Saturday, June 18, 2016

Metal detectorists.............................



............Didn't know there was such a job.  Sounds like fun.

This blog doesn't...........................

...........always quote Nietzsche, but when it does:


 "The moral and social order to which the religion gave rise cannot survive its disappearance."


Uh-oh.    Source and back story here.

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



The historian in me believes that all things 1966 deserve a fair hearing.  The music lover in me draws the line at the Mothers of Invention.   Frank Zappa's group issued their debut album in June of 1966.  Feel free to listen to it here.

Had it all.................................



The Hollies..........................Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress)



The genius of Warren Buffett......................


And I said, ‘Well when are you going to start doing what you like?’ And he said, ‘Well I’ll get to that someday.’ And I said, ‘Well you know, your plan sounds to me a lot like saving up sex for your old age. It just doesn’t make a lot of sense.’


-thanks Kurt

Where was C-SPAN.....................

................................when we needed it?


But these I believe are the only speeches ever committed to writing.  The Orators, while I was in Congress from 1774 to 1778 appeared to me very universally extemporaneous, and I have never heard of any committed to writing before or after delivery.


-thanks Kurt (again)

The war on "illegal" drugs.......................................



...................A war worth ending?  Probably.  It hasn't been much of a success so far.  Now,  if only they could figure out a way to collect taxes on them.

I believe............................



................................this is what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi  called Flow:  The Psychology of Optimal Experience :  


"So that's just survival instinct. And when I'm doing math, it's all-encompassing and I'm 100% in it, and there's really nothing else to think about when I'm doing math," he said. "I love mathematics, I love the elegance, I love the challenge, and so that's been natural for me."
-as excerpted from here


thanks craig

Friday, June 17, 2016

Creatures..........................



32.  Many of the anxieties that harass you are superfluous:  being but creatures of your own fancy, you can rid yourself of them and expand into an ampler region, letting your thought sweep over the entire universe, contemplating the illimitable tracts of eternity, marking the swiftness of change in each created thing, and contrasting the brief span between birth and dissolution with the endless aeons that precede the one and the infinity that follows the other.


-Marcus Aurelius,  Meditations,  Book IX

Play ball.....................................!




"The genius of every nation expresses itself in the people's manner of passing their time, and in their pleasures."

-Charles Rollin,  The Ancient History of the Egyptians, Carthaginians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Medes and ...

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Told me of a cure...............................



Bachman Turner Overdrive...............You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet



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


On the TV..............................................................Star Trek



A sign of the times...................................








via













On the uses of fear.......................

via




Treasures...................




“I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.”
-Lao Tzu, as borrowed from here

Darwin would have approved................


"The rough and vulgar structure of English commerce is the secret of its life; for it contains 'the propensity to variation,' which, in the social as in the animal kingdom, is the principle to progress."

-Walter Bagehot, as excerpted from his 1873 text,  Lombard Street:  A Description of the Money Market

This would explain a lot....................


"It is perfectly possible for the elites to lapse into paralysis while the public staggers into nihilism."
-Martin Gurri,  The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

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



At the movies..................................................Our Man Flint



Ten things to believe..............


......................about investing, from the very common sensical blog of Ben Carlson.  A wee sample:

4. I believe self control can make you far more money than just about any other trait as an investor.

9. I believe that paying attention to your spending and saving habits is far more important than paying attention to the daily changes in the markets.

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


Dr. Iannis had enjoyed a satisfactory day in which none of his patients had died or got any worse.  He had attended to a surprisingly easy calving, lanced one abscess, extracted a molar, dosed one lady of easy virtue with Salvarsan, performed an unpleasant but spectacularly fruitful enema, and had produced a miracle by a feat of medical prestidigitation. 

-Louis de Bernieres,   Corelli's Mandolin

Sherlock Holmes...................................



...............................may have been offering investment advice.


"'Data! Data! Data!' he cried impatiently. 'I can't make bricks without clay.'"


Full story here


via

Costs..............................


     Policies dictated by Brussels and Frankfurt, and supported by policy-makers in Washington, have imposed enormous costs on citizens throughout Europe.  The inability of governments to prevent high unemployment and avoid reductions in living standards has led to disillusionment.  It was predictable that many voters would seek salvation in parties outside the mainstream.

-Mervyn King,  The End of Alchemy:  Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy

And I thought I was busy.......


Laocoon and His Sons          Marble              circa 20 B.C.

     Adams own life had become immensely complicated by the extracurricular burdens peculiar to his job.  Throughout 1820 and 1821, he was preparing the annals of the Constitutional Convention, the reports on weights and measures, the decennial census, the biennial register of federal employees, and - an entirely new congressional demand -  a digest of commercial laws, including the duties, tariffs, and other commercial regulation of all the nations with which the United States traded.  It seemed unimaginable that one man - even with six clerks and two  messengers - could accomplish all this while at the same time attending to the nation's diplomacy and foreign affairs.  The 1787 records alone made him feel like Laocoon wrestling with his serpents.  George Washington had deposited his own copy of the records with the State Department, but Adams found large gaps that had to be plugged with whatever documents he could find elsewhere, including from the few signers still living.  The sheer chaos drove him to distraction.

-James Traub,  John Quincy Adams:  Militant Spirit

Well, that explains a lot....................


"Politics offers yesterday's answers to today's problems."
-Marshall McLuhan

Be swift...............................


"Life is short and we have never too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are traveling the dark journey with us.  Oh, be swift to love, make haste to be kind!"

-Henri-Frederic Amiel

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



Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich...................Bend It



Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Action............................


“It's the action, not the fruit of the action, that's important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there'll be any fruit. But that doesn't mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.” 

-Mohandas K. Gandhi

Navigating...................




European Monetary Union (EMU) is the most ambitious project undertaken in monetary history.  Launched in 1999, it now comprises nineteen members.  It was, and is, a great economic and political experiment.  No monetary union has survived unless it has also developed into a political union, and the latter usually came before the former, as when a single currency followed the unification of Germany under Bismarck.  EMU has not proved to be an easy marriage, with the enterprise trying to navigate a safe passage between the Scylla of political ideals and the Charybdis of economic arithmetic.

-Mervyn King,  The End of Alchemy:  Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy

Entries...............................



.....................................from the National Geographic 2016 Travel Photographer of the Year contest.  Amazing stuff.







Within.............................................



12.  Work yourself hard, but not as if you were being made a victim, and not with any desire for sympathy or admiration.  Desire one thing alone:  that your actions or inactions alike should be worthy of a reasoning citizen.


13.  Today I have got myself out of all my perplexities;  or rather, I have got the perplexities out of myself - for they were not without, but within;  they lay in my own outlook.


-Marcus Aurelius,  Meditations,  Book IX

Aging gracefully...............................................?




Of course, Hillary will turn 69 in October.   As a 64-year-old, I don't mind at all having these two candidates push back on the definition of "old".


thanks Ann

Unsettled science...............................



Present reality is that science is on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
-as excerpted from this Samizdata post


It would be wrong to suspect that Science on the Verge is the work of right-wing activists, climate skeptics and hide-bound traditionalists.  It is the work, rather, of scientists with a range of ideological views despairing over what appears to be a fundamental breakdown as science has become more and more enmeshed in the business of providing evidence for policy-making.
-Terence Corcoran, as excerpted from here

Something usually does......................


"We do not know what the future will bring, except that it will be quite different from anything we could predict.  I have said in another context that it is a disadvantage of 'the long run' that in the long run we are all dead.  But I could have said equally well that it is a great advantage of 'the short run' that in the short run we are all alive.  Life and history are made up of short runs.  If we are at peace in the short run that is something.  The best we can do is put off disaster, if only in the hope, which is not necessarily a remote one, that something will turn up."

-John Maynard Keynes,  July 1937

Brexit.......................................?


This blog has no official position (although there is an unofficial position, which you are likely to guess correctly about) on Britain's referendum on the European Union, but it is interesting, and a bit of relief, to watch other countries struggle over tough choices.

I choose not to believe it is a curse to live in interesting times.  Study up and enjoy the ride.  Here are two thoughtful people, not directly affected by the vote, thinking thoughtfully about the subject: 

11.  So I would vote Remain, but with some feelings of despair, because what I’d be voting to remain with is a system that desperately needs reform but shows little sign of reforming.
-Paul Krugman

"Actually, Obama likes the European Union’s approximation of American progressives’ aspirations. These include unaccountable administrators issuing diktats, and what one E.U. critic calls “trickle-down postmodernism” — the erasure of national traditions and other impediments to “harmonizing” homogenized nations for the convenience of administrators."
-George Will

The historian in me....................


...............................................believes this to be a mighty truth:

"The treaty seems to mean whatever the politicians in the big countries want it to mean."

-Mervyn King

Reexamine...........................




Paradigms power perception and perceptions power emotions.  Most emotions are responses to perception - what you think is true about a given situation.  If your perception is false, then your emotional response to it will be false too.  So check your perceptions, and beyond that check the truthfulness of your paradigms - what you believe.   Just because you believe something firmly doesn't make it true.  Be willing to reexamine what you believe.

-William Paul Young

A mask chosen by you.........



David Gilmour.................................................Faces Of Stone



Do something special today......................


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



At the movies............................The Russians Are Coming etc.




Monday, June 13, 2016

Mastery........................................



4.  The sinner sins against himself;  the wrongdoer wrongs himself, becoming worse by his own action.


5.  A man does not sin by commission only, but often by omission.


6.  Enough if your present opinion is grounded in conviction, your present action grounded in unselfishness, and your present disposition contented with whatever befalls you from without.


7.  Erase fancy; curb impulse; quench desire; let sovereign reason have the mastery,


-Marcus Aurelius,  Meditations,  Book IX

A decent question............................



“How could our society have regressed to the point where a bridge that could be built in less than a year one century ago takes five times as long to repair today?”
-attributed to Larry Summers from this post titled, "Larry Summer sits in traffic, has an epiphany on regulation


A hint to the author's idea of a simplistic answer to the decent question might be found here:
"The Federal Register, the daily log of federal agency regulations, proposed rules, public notices and executive orders, clocked in at 80,035 pages in 2015, among the highest on record. The rule book was 2,620 pages in 1936, the first year it was published."


thanks craig

The science of persuasion.....................



"Truth is useless for persuasion whenever emotions are involved."
-Scott Adams, as excerpted from this post about the awesomeness of "science"

I ain't lying........................


Creedence Clearwater Revival................I Put A Spell On You


Life its ownself.........................


.................................Good thing the year's not over yet.

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


Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers.....Gotta Get You Into My Life


Sunday, June 12, 2016

Growth.............................


"Faith does not grow in the house of certainty."
-William Paul Young

Evil...............................


"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction."
-Blaise Pascal

Let's do Darwin proud then.................


..............................................................and stay very, very adaptable.

When silicon chips came along, few foresaw personal computers; when the internet arrived, few predicted the central role of search engines or one-click shopping; when mobile phones took us by surprise, few imagined texts, let alone social media, sat-nav, phone cameras or the sharing economy. The one thing that the history of technology shows above all else is our complete inability to see what comes next.

-As excerpted from this Matt Ridley post on Europe's blindness


The always exceptional.............................


................................Cultural Offering is in especially fine form today.