Saturday, November 28, 2015

At least once a year........................


Iron Butterfly..........................................In A Gadda Da Vida

Close only counts in...................


.................................................horse shoes and hand grenades.  Or, why we spend $100 at the carnival to win a $10 stuffed animal:

"We want and place value on something when we almost have it and lose it.  Charlie Munger says, 'One reason why horse races, bingo and these things have always been so popular is because of all the near misses.'  Frequent near nisses are like small reinforcements and make us want to try again and again.

-Peter Bevelin,  Seeking Wisdom:  From Darwin To Munger

On doing.........................


"Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do when it ought to be done whether you like it or not.  It is the first lesson that ought to be learned and however early a person's training begins, it is probably the last lesson a person learns thoroughly."
-Thomas Henry Huxley

Fifty years ago.............................


The Temptations........................................................My Baby

Illusions..........................


"The masses have never thirsted after truth.  They turn aside from evidence that is not to their taste, preferring to deify error, if error seduce them.  Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their manster; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim."
-Gustave Le Bon

On changing one's mind....................


























"There is nothing wrong with changing a plan when the situation has changed."
-Lucius Annaeus Seneca

"A man should never be ashamed to own that he has been in the wrong, which is but saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday."
-Jonathan Swift

"When somebody persuades me that I am wrong, I change my mind.  What do you do?"
-John Maynard Keynes

cartoon via

Friday, November 27, 2015

Can you see me................


Loggins and Messina............................................Angry Eyes

The muses dance and sing...........


Yes.....................................................................Roundabout

On pulling the sword......................


....................out of the stone.  More smart stuff from Nicholas Bate.

On the diversifier's fallacy,..............


................the winner's curse, and other stuff you should think about.

"The diversifier’s fallacy is a generalisation of the Peter Principle: individuals rise within an organisation until they are given a job they are not competent to do. Companies diversify until they are engaged in businesses in which they have a competitive disadvantage relative to incumbents. This seems particularly common among financial companies."

-John Kay, as culled from here

Fifty years ago.......................


Donovan.........................................................Catch The Wind

Consider yourself warned,............


........................a La Niña lurks and it won't be pretty.  The fun thing about making weather predictions about next summer, instead of climate predictions about ten years from now, is that they are easier to remember.  Full story, with some advice mixed in, here.

via

Aquarians are pretty cool folk..................


If you doubt that, check out friend Bilbo's list of irrational fears by zodiac sign.

Aquarius (January 20 - February 18): Arachibutyrophobia, the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

A little moved...........................


Adam Sandler..........................................The Thanksgiving Song



For those of you expecting Alice's Restaurant, go here.

The reason for the season...............








Happy Thanksgiving..........................


































non chicken cartoons from here

Giving thanks............................


................................................that there is no "Turkey Czar" (yet).

Fifty years ago (give or take)............


The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade..........................

Enough..............................



















“If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.” 
-Meister Eckhart


Happy Thanksgiving.........................



A vision of genuine Thanksgiving......


I hope that as a society we are better than that narrow, stunted celebration of what really could be a beautiful day. A day without stress. A day without tension. A day to celebrate with your whole heart those things for which you are TRULY thankful with the people who TRULY make you grateful to be in their lives. Eating the food for which you’re TRULY appreciative, wherever and however you want. In other words, keep the tradition of thankfulness – just lose the empty pretense. Free yourselves from the chains of obligation and tradition and, in my humble opinion, you’ll finally learn what it feels like to celebrate a day of genuine thanksgiving.
-Gina, as excerpted from here

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

the juke box's blowin' a fuse........


Electric Light Orchestra......................Roll Over Beethoven




Gonna write a little letter gonna mail it to me local D.J.
it's a jumpin little record I want my jockey to play
Roll Over Beethoven, gotta hear it again today

My temperature's risin, the juke box's blowin a fuse
My heart's beatin a rhythm, singin out rhythm and blues
Roll Over Beethoven, they're rockin in two by two

Well if you feel you like it, go get your lover and reel and rock it
roll it over and move on up now, go for cover and reel and rock it
roll it over, Roll Over Beethoven, tell Tchaikovsky the news

Early in the mornin I'm a givin you the warnin,
don't you step on my blue suede shoes
hey diddle diddle gonna play my fiddle,
I ain't got nothing to lose
Roll Over Beethoven, tell Tchaikovsky the news

She wiggles like a glow-worm, dances like a spinning top
she got a crazy partner, you should have seen her reel and rock
long as she got a dime, the music will never stop

Well if you feel you like it, go get your lover and reel and rock it
roll it over and move on up now, go for cover and reel and rock it
roll it over, Roll Over Beethoven, dig these rhythm and blues

Roll Over Beethoven, Roll Over Beethoven,
Roll Over Beethoven, Roll Over Beethoven,
Roll Over Beethoven, dig these rhythm and blues?


Believe it or not, the system actually works...


"Way back when Jimmy Carter was telling us to turn down the thermostats and put on our cardigan sweaters, those of us on the free market side of the so-called energy shortage debate said the best cure for high oil prices is high prices. Now we know."
-David Stockman, as excerpted from here

What's the rush..............................?















via

Good to know........................


"The American consumer is astute and far more intelligent than they are given credit for. "
-Scott Rothbort, as culled from this post on "the death of the American mall."

Choices, choices, choices..............



Fifty years ago...........................


The Beatles.........................................Run For Your Life

Disbelief...................................


My favorite optimist is also a humanist.  Full story here, excerpt here:

The fastest growing belief system in the world is non-belief. No religion grew nearly as fast over the past century. Whereas virtually nobody identified as a non-believer in 1900, today roughly 15 per cent do, and that number does not include soft Anglicans in Britain, mild Taoists in China, lukewarm Hindus in India or token Buddhists in Japan. Even so, the non-religious category has overtaken paganism, will soon pass Hinduism, may one day equal Islam and is gaining on Christianity. (Of every ten people in the world, roughly three are Christian, two Muslim, two Hindu, 1.5 non-religious and 1.5 something else.)
This is all the more remarkable when you think that, with a few notable exceptions, atheists or humanists don’t preach, let alone pour money into evangelism. Their growth has come almost entirely from voluntary conversion...

Dwight Eisenhower was a smart man........


Eisenhower's fear:
As it turned out, however, there was a virulent threat to peace still lurking on the Potomac. The great general and president, Dwight Eisenhower, had called it the “military-industrial complex” in his farewell address, but that memorable phrase had been abbreviated by his speechwriters, who deleted the word “congressional” in a gesture of comity to the legislative branch.

Today's reality:
Needless to say, the sudden end to 20th century history posed an existential threat to Imperial Washington. A trillion dollar complex of weapons suppliers, warfare state bureaucracies, intelligence and security contractors, arms exporters, foreign aid vendors, military bases, grand poobahs and porkers of the Congressional defense committes, think tanks, research grants and much more——were all suddenly without an enemy and raison d’etre.

As it has happened, Imperial Washington did find its necessary enemy in the rise of so-called “global terrorism”.
-As excerpted from this David Stockman essay.  Do read it.

Crack my head up.............................


From David Kanigan's wondrous Tumblr

BREAKFAST.  EAT YOUR ROTHKO.




Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Singing songs of love.......................


Donovan...........................................................Hurdy Gurdy Man

Opening paragraphs..................


Spiritual formation begins with the gradual and often painful discovery of God's incomprehensibility in the face of life's great mysteries and limitations.  We might be competent in many subjects, but we cannot become an expert in the things of God.  God is greater than our minds and cannot be caught within the boundaries of our finite concepts.  Thus, spiritual formation leads not to a proud understanding of the divinity, but to docta ignorantia, an "articulate not-knowing."

-Henri Nouwen,  Spiritual Formation:  Following the Movements of The Spirit

Opening sentences...........................


Before he came into a lot of money in 1839, Richard Plantagenet Temple Nugent Brydges Chandos Grenville, second Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, led a largely uneventful life.
-Bill Bryson,  Shakespeare:  The World as Stage

Fifty years ago.........................


The Temptations.................................The Girl's Alright With Me

Climate fun.............................


.............................................or, taking the really long view.























from the minds at xkcd

Uh-oh..................................


"Mortal danger is an effective antidote for fixed ideas."
-Erwin Rommel

Oh, by the way...........................



Monday, November 23, 2015

Ramify.......................................


The composition of this book has been for the author a long struggle of escape, and so must the reading of it be for most readers if the author’s assault upon them is to be successful,— a struggle of escape from habitual modes of thought and expression. The ideas which are here expressed so laboriously are extremely simple and should be obvious. The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones, which ramify,  for those brought up as most of us have been, into every corner of our minds.

-John Maynard Keynes, as extracted from his Preface to The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money - which, amazingly, you can own right now by sending $1 to our friends at Amazon.

Sunday's first snow of the season..............


video

Snares................................


There must certainly be a vast fund of stupidity in human nature, else men would not be caught as they are, a thousand times over, by  the same snare, and while they yet remember their past misfortunes, go on to court and encourage the causes to which they are owing, and which will again produce them.
-Marcus Porcius Cato

Fifty years ago..........................


Gary Lewis & the Playboys.....................Save Your Heart For Me

On projections...........................


I have no use whatsoever for projections or forecasts.  They create an illusion of apparent precision.  The more meticulous they are, the more concerned you should be. We never look at projections, but we care very much about, and look very deeply at, track records.  If a company has a lousy track record, but a very bright future, we will miss the opportunity.
       I do not understand why a buyer of a business looks at a bunch of projections put together by a seller or his agent.  You can almost say that it's naive to think that those projections have any utility whatsoever.  We're just not interested.
      If we don't have some idea ourselves of what the future is, to sit there and listen to some other guy who's trying to sell us the business or get a commission on it tell us what the future's going to be - like I say, it's very naive.
-Warren Buffett

Like manna from heaven...............




Sunday, November 22, 2015

Round and round..............................


The Ink Spots.....................................................If I Didn't Care



thanks Ann.  Ink Spots wiki here

Adjustments......................


"... think of all recessions as adjustment problems."
-Arnold Kling, as excerpted from here (and here).   If you want something to ponder today, consider his list of the adjustments required by the Great Depression.  Have a great day.

On the lust for respectability................


"There is the, usually droll, question, “What would Jesus do?” Right question, perhaps, but in the wrong tone. Better would be, “What would Christ have me do?” For his Life was not a catalogue of situations and responses, and God did not create us to do what has already been done. He did not make us for statistical purposes. Instead He made each to be a new Saint, providing each with the light to show his steps forward, like the lantern on a miner’s hat — not towards, but away from the light of this world, by which we are dazzled."
-David Warren, as excerpted from here

Fifty years ago....................


Roy Head........................................................Just A Little Bit

Marinating.............................


"It took me years of writing on the Internet to learn what is nearly an iron law of commentary: The better your message makes you feel about yourself, the less likely it is that you are convincing anyone else. The messages that make you feel great about yourself (and of course, your like-minded friends) are the ones that suggest you’re a moral giant striding boldly across the landscape, wielding your inescapable ethical logic.  The messages that work are the ones that try to understand what the other side is thinking, on the assumption that they are no better or worse than you. So if you are actually trying to help the Syrian refugees, rather than marinate in your own sensation of overwhelming virtue, you should avoid these tactics." 
-Megan McArdle, as excerpted from this post on "refugee policy"

Speaking of Vonnegut................


“If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:
THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC” 

When I become King........................



.............everbody who spouts off about equality this and equality that will just have to go sit in a corner and read Kurt Vonnegut's masterful short story, Harrison Bergeron.  It begins:

The year was 2081, and everybody was finally equal.  They weren't only equal before God and the Law, they were equal every which way.  Nobody was smarter than anybody else.  Nobody was better looking than anybody else.  Nobody wass stronger or quicker than anybody else.  All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.

Follow the link to an on-line version of the whole tale.