Saturday, October 31, 2015
So, I was scrolling through the latest Shirk Report and came across this:
It reminded me of the old Batman and Robin "climbing the wall" thing in the mid 60's TV version of the Dynamic Duo. After combing through the vast YouTube library, this beauty was found - enjoy:
Friday, October 30, 2015
The universe, it turns out, owes each of us very little indeed. Hard work and the dangerous commitment to doing something that matters doesn't get us a guaranteed wheelbarrow of prizes... but what it does do is help us understand our worth.
-Seth Godin, read the rest at this blog post
We celebrated Halloween here in Newark last night. We live in an area not prone to receive "Trick or Treaters," so it was rather dull at our household. However, reading this Instapundit post made me to want to post this picture (that has already appeared throughout the Intertunnel, sorry):
Thursday, October 29, 2015
"This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy."
-George Bernard Shaw, as extracted from Man and Superman
... there is nothing an author should guard against more than the apparent endeavour to show more intellect than he has; because this rouses the suspicion in the reader that he has very little, since a man always affects something, be its nature what it may, that he does not really possess. And this is why it is praise to an author to call him naive, for it signifies that he may show himself as he is. In general, naivete attracts, while anything that is unnatural everywhere repels. We also find that every true thinker endeavours to express his thoughts as purely, clearly, definitely, and concisely as ever possible. This is why simplicity has always been looked upon as a token, not only of truth, but also of genius. Style receives its beauty from the thought expressed, while with those writers who only pretend to think it is their thoughts that are said to be fine because of their style. Style is merely the silhouette of thought; and to write in a vague or bad style means a stupid or confused mind.
-Arthur Schopenhauer, as excerpted from here
"People don't behave - for both good and bad reasons - in line with the economic model of rationality. In consequence others do devise strategies that make money at their expense. That consequence is critical to an understanding of how financial markets operate today."
-John Kay, as excerpted from Other People's Money: The Real Business of Finance
I'm only on page 70 (224 more to go) of Kay's book. Started reading it last week, then got interrupted by an engrossing Michael Connelly tale, but I suspect that Kay believes that all is not well with the world of Wall Street and those who "regulate" them. Will report back.
It is impossible to conceive of a world devoid of power; the only choice of concepts is between organized and unorganized power. Mankind has progressed only though learning how to develop and organize instruments of power in order to achieve order, security, morality, and civilized life itself, instead of a sheer struggle for physical survival. Every organization known to man, from government down, has had only one reason for being - that is, organization for power in order to put into practice or promote its common purpose.
-Saul Alinsky, as excerpted from Rules For Radicals
"Everything you learned in school as 'obvious' becomes less and less obvious as you being to study the universe. For example, there are no solids in the universe. There's not even a suggestion of a solid. There are no absolute continuums. There are no surfaces. There are no straight lines."
-R. Buckminster Fuller
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Growing strawberries in California is 9796% more profitable than growing corn in the Midwest, Gladstone Land said, in the latest evidence of underperformance in row crop land.
"A farmer with 10,000 acres in corn in the Midwest would only need approximately 143 acres of strawberry ground in California to generate the same amount of revenue," Gladstone said.
9796% is a lot. But seriously meaningless. First, are we talking revenue or net income? Should our steadfast Midwest farmer with 10,000 acres convert to strawberries? If you will watch this YouTube video you will note that this berry farmer in California, with several hundred acres of strawberries, employs 1,200 people. That's a lot of people. Think that is practical for 10,000 acres of berries?
The top three states for growing strawberries (California, Florida, and Oregon) have about 50,000 total acres dedicated to strawberry growing. Just to put that in context, the Oracle Google reports: Corn acres planted is estimated at 91.6 million acres, down 4 percent from last year, representing the lowest planted acreage in the United States since 2010. Soybean area for harvest is estimated at a record high 84.1 million acres, if realized, up 7.4 million acres (11 percent) from 2013.Jun 30, 2014.
Farming can be a tough business, but what business isn't? Give row crops their due. They are providing sustenance for a nation.
"Work is the grand cure of all the maladies that ever tested mankind."
"I have in my own fashion learned the lesson that life is effort, unremittingly repeated, and ... I feel somehow as if the real pity was for those who had been beguiled into the perilous delusion that it isn't."
"Never despair; but if you do, work on in despair."
"The highest reward for man's toil is not what he gets for it, but what becomes by it."
all quotes lifted from On Virtues by Sheldon Whitehouse
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
"I detest and fear dogma. I know that all revolutions must have ideologies to spur them on. That in the heat of conflict these ideologies tend to be smelted into rigid dogmas claiming exclusive possession of truth, and the keys to paradise, is tragic. Dogma is the enemy of human freedom. Dogma must be watched for and apprehended at every turn and twist of the revolutionary moment. The human spirit glows from that small inner light of doubt whether we are right, while those who believe with complete certainty that the possess the right are dark inside and darken the world outside with cruelty, pain, and injustice. Those who enshrine the poor or Have-Nots are as guilty as other dogmatists and just as dangerous, To diminish the danger that ideology will deteriorate into dogma, and to protect the free, open, questing, and creative mind of man, as well as to allow for change, no ideology should be more specific than that of America's founding fathers: "For the general welfare."
-Saul Alinsky, as excerpeted from Rules For Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals
The wind did not wake him. It was the dream. He heard the buffeting wind before he opened his eyes, but the dream was what woke him on the dark early morning. A cat was his witness. Hunkered at the end of the bead, ears down, a low growl in its chest, a ragged black cat was staring at him when Elvis Cole opened his eyes. Its warrior face was angry, and, in that moment, Cole knew they had shared the nightmare.
-Robert Crais, The Sentry
How to grow our economy to benefit all of us? John Cochran offers an essay's worth of suggestions. Wee excerpt here:
"It is tempting to cast the question before us as growth vs. redistribution, or growth vs. inequality, as the rhetoric of redistribution and inequality pervades the arguments from those who want to continue the policies that are strangling growth.
"But giving in to that rhetoric is a mistake. The US, in fact, has one of the most progressive tax systems in the world. And the relatively minor costs of government assistance to truly poor, needy, mentally ill or disabled people are not major impediments to growth. The weeds choking the economy represent cronyist redistribution to wealthy people, well-connected industries, and other powerful groups such as public employee unions, and large transfers among middle income people (social security and medicare). They are not, by and large, the result of genuine and effective redistribution from rich to needy poor."
Monday, October 26, 2015
Whether it’s the lotto or the stock broker or the fantasy sports leagues or Las Vegas, someone is always ready to take advantage of your desire for a free lunch. The sooner you start picking up the tab for your own meals, the better off you will be.
If you want anything — especially something lots of other people want, too, like money — there is a simple formula that few really want to hear about. It’s no secret. In fact, it’s fairly obvious. All you need to do is work your tail off; be smarter or at least more insightful than your competition; treat every task as an opportunity to enhance your reputation; exercise good judgment; have great patience; be attentive to what matters and what doesn’t; develop social skills; learn what motivates people; avoid getting sidetracked by distractions and nonsense; continue to learn; have valuable, marketable skills; and occasionally, get lucky. Just apply some combination of the above for a few decades, becoming more efficient and productive and luckier as time goes on.
-Barry Ritholtz, as culled from here
More and more people are choosing to live in very large apartment complexes. More and more people are shopping on-line with FedEx or UPS delivering packages. The question arises, who is responsible for the receipt of, and security of, the package? Back story here.
“How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, 'This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant?' Instead they say, 'No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.' A religion, old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the Universe as revealed by modern science might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths.”
enlargable photo and back story here
"In the last 30 yeas the field of investment banking had been transformed from a field that was dominated by people who were good at meeting clients at the 19th hole, to people who were good at solving very difficult mathematical problems that were involved in pricing derivative securities."
Yet these cleverer people managed things less well - much less well - than their less intellectually distinguished predecessors. Although clever, they were rarely as clever as they thought, or sufficiently clever to handle the complexity of the environment they had created. Perhaps the ability to meet clients at the nineteenth hole is more relevant to making good investments than the ability to solve very difficult mathematical problems.
-John Kay, as excerpted from Other People's Money: The Real Business of Finance
...........................................vote for him, but I suspect that the entertainment value in #1 below is why he is doing so well in the polls.
Sunday, October 25, 2015
David Warren writes from the High Doganate:
Among the more absurd myths, of contemporary public thinking, is that people are basically the same everywhere; that you can put them all on some standard curve. This may be, or not, true of human nature, in some (imaginary) pre-cultural condition, but the living creature has more range. Better and worse can be got out of him, and this is where “culture” deeply matters. To say that “one is as good as another” — the premiss of current multicultural policy — is, whether knowingly or not, to serve dark forces.
The original terms have many meanings, each of which depends on context, but at some primary level the acceptance of “cultural inequality” distinguishes right from left, the conservative from the liberal, the reactionary from the revolutionary, or as I like to put it, the friends of Jesus from the friends of Lucifer. This, and not folderol about “free markets.” Men are trouble — we are all trouble — in the more ancient view; and it is hard work indeed to get anything good from us. Success does not come by And anything that is done to raise civilized standards, creates a cultural distinction.
Full essay is here.
........that more than a few emperors are walking around naked today?
What does it say about your policies when it takes a figure like Orban to finally acknowledge that the Emperor is naked?
-As extracted from here.