Friday, September 30, 2016

how it's the little things in life.........


Zac Brown and Jimmy Buffett..............................Chicken Fried

The evolution of pessimism.........?

    
     "It's incredible," he says, "this moaning pessimism, this knee-jerk, things-are-going-downhill reaction from people living amid luxury and security that their ancestors would have died for.  The tendency to see the emptiness of every glass is pervasive.  It's almost as if people cling to bad news like a comfort blanket."  In trying to make sense of this pessimism, Ridley, like Kahneman, sees a combination of cognitive biases and evolutionary psychology as the core of the problem.  He fingers loss aversion - a tendency for people to regret a loss more than a similar gain - as the bias with the most impact on abundance.  Loss aversion is often what keeps people stuck in ruts.  It's an unwillingness to change bad habits for fear that the change will leave them in a worse place than before.  But this bias is not acting alone.  "I also think there could be an evolutionary psychology component," he contends.  "We might be gloomy because gloomy people managed to avoid getting eaten by lions in the Pleistocene."

-Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler, Abundance:  The Future Is Better Than You Think

Focused............................


His books were, even when published anonymously, banned by the censors.  And yet everyone knew that he was the author of the notorious Tractatus theologico-politicus that carried out a radical, rationalistic deconstruction of the Bible and advocated the creation of a secular state that would guarantee freedom of religious and political expression.  In spite of the threats that menaced him (including an attempt at assassination), Spinoza was surreptitiously read and admired by the whole of intellectual Europe.  He turned down offers from several prestigious universities, and even an invitation from Louis XIV to teach in Paris, where he would have drawn on a comfortable income.  He knew that, if he accepted, he would lose his liberty of thought and preferred to carry out his modest activity as a lens polisher for the rest of his life.

-Frederic Lenoir,  Happiness:  A Philosopher's Guide

On letting go.......................


"The world and everything in it is transitory;  therefore, to cling to it brings suffering."

-David Hawkins

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Not that it matters..................


..........(and not that you couldn't substitute a familiar name)



   via

Making experiences...........Part 1


The only things that are increasing in cost while everything else heads to zero are human experiences - which cannot be copied.  Everything else becomes commoditized and filterable.
     The value of experience is rising.  Luxury entertainment is increasing 6.5 percent annually.  Spending at restaurants and bars increased 9 percent in 2015 alone.  The price of the average concert ticket has increased by nearly 400 percent from 1981 to 2014. ... These are not commodities.  They are experiences.  We give them our precious, scarce, fully unalloyed attention.  To the creators of these experiences, our attention is worth a lot.  Not coincidentally, humans excel at creating and consuming experiences.  That's where we'll spend our money (because they won't be free) and that's where we'll make our money.  We'll use technology to produce commodities, and we'll make experiences in order to avoid becoming a commodity ourselves.

-Kevin Kelly,  The Inevitable:  Understanding The 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future


Making experiences...............Part 2


     The funny thing about a whole class of technology that enhances experience and personalization is that it puts great pressure on us to know who we are.  We will soon dwell smack in the middle of the Library of Everything, surrounded by the liquid presence of all existing works of humankind, just within reach of our fingertips, for free.  The great filters will be standing by, guiding us, ready to serve us our wishes.  "What do you want?" the filters ask.  "You can choose anything:  what do you choose?"  The filters have been watching us for years;  they anticipate what we will ask.  They can almost autocomplete it right now.  Thing is, we don't know what we want.  We don't know ourselves very well.

-Kevin Kelly,  The Inevitable

Making experiences.........Part 3


To some degree we will rely on the filters to tell us what we want.  Not as slave masters, but as a mirror.  We'll listen to the suggestions and recommendations that are generated by our own behavior in order to hear, to see who we are.  The hundred million lines of code running on the million servers of the intercloud are filtering, filtering, filtering, helping us to distill ourselves to a unique point, to optimize our personality.  The fears that technology will make us more uniform, more commoditized are incorrect.  The more we are personalized, the easier it is for the filters because we become distinct, and acutalized distinction they can reckon with.  At its heart, the modern economy runs on distinction and the power of differences - which can be accentuated by filters and technology.  We can use the mass filtering that is coming to sharpen who we are, for the personalization of our own person.
     More filtering is inevitable because we can't stop making new things.  Chief among the new things we will make are new ways to filter and personalize, to make us  more like ourselves.

-Kevin Kelly,  The Inevitable

Let's get creating.....................


"But ultimately, abundance is about creating a world of possibility:  a world where everyone's days are spent dreaming and doing, not scrapping and scraping."

-Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler,  Abundance:  The Future Is Better Than You Think

Seeking.........................


The fingers turn the pages.
The pages unfold as a scroll.
There was a time there was no America.
Then came on the scroll an early
     America, a land of beginnings,
     an American being born.
Then came a later America, seeker
     and finder, yet ever more seeker
     than finder, ever seeking its way
     amid storm and dream.

-Carl Sandburg,  Ever A Seeker

The "essentials"........................


...........................Difficult to argue with the first ten.

Yes I do.............................






































thanks Kurt

They are more like guidelines.........


Despite what you hear, not everyone's a winner.  It doesn't mean you shouldn't play.

Don't lose your cool.  Especially at work.

Some rules are meant to be broken.  Jaywalking is not one of them.

When handling a frog, be gentle.

Offer your name when greeting someone.  Even good friends have lousy memories.

Treat your body well.  You'll be glad you did when you are a dad.

-Walker Lamond,  as culled from his Rules for My Unborn Son

On being careful what you wish for........


"Excessive desire creates the illusion of lack, just like seeming money problems are created by spending faster than income."

-David Hawkins

Say "Yes" to life.......................


Kant, Schopenhauer and Freud are all pessimists who claim that a complete and enduring happiness is impossible because of the infinite character of human desire:  to this, the sages of both East and West reply that this happiness is possible on condition that we no longer strive to adjust the world to our desires.  Wisdom teaches us to desire and love what is.  It teaches us to say "yes" to life.  A deep and permanent happiness becomes possible once we have transformed the way we look at the world.  We then discover that happiness and unhappiness don't depend on external causes, but on our "state of mind."

-Frederic Lenoir,  Happiness:  A Philosopher's Guide

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Sounds about right.................




   via

The benefits of being crazy..............


"Putting this another way, humans did not evolve to acquire a detailed knowledge of the universe. We evolved in order to bring the next generation to sexual maturity. Understanding the world as it is, in great detail, is of no benefit and would possibly be a great detriment. Instead, we have evolved to perceive the world in a way that allows us to navigate it in the short run, with the highest possibility of success. For those disinclined to accept evolution, God has literally made us crazy, to our great benefit."

-as excerpted from here

I bend to the wood and I coax it to sing....


Mark Knopfler..................................................Monteleone



On questions and answers............


     But the chief consequence of reliable instant answers is not a harmony of satisfaction.  Abundant answers simply generate more questions!  In my experience, the easier it is to ask a question and the more useful the reply, the more questions I have.  While the answer machine can expand answers infinitely, out time to form the next question is very limited.  There is an asymmetry in the work needed to generate a good question versus the work needed to absorb an answer.  Answers become cheap and questions become valuable - the inverse of the situation now.  Pablo Picasso brilliantly anticipated this inversion in 1964 when he told the writer William Fifield, "Computers are useless.  They only give you answers."

-Kevin Kelly,  The Inevitable:  Understanding The 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future

On good questions...................


A good question is not concerned with the correct answer.

A good question cannot be answered immediately.

A good question challenges existing answers.

A good question is one you badly want answered once you hear it, but had no inkling you cared before it was asked.

A good question creates a new territory of thinking.

A good question reframes its own answer.

A good question is the seed of innovation in science, technology, art, politics, and business.

A good question is a probe, a what-if scenario.

A good question skirts on the edge of what is known and not known, neither silly nor obvious.

A good question cannot be predicted.

A good question will be the sign of an educated mind.

A good question is one that generates many other good questions.

A good question may be the last job a machine will learn to do.

A good question is what humans are for. ...


Questioning is simply more powerful that answering.

-Kevin Kelly, The Inevitable

Stoics on worry...................................














Here’s how ancient wisdom from the Stoics can help you be happier:
  • Events Don’t Upset You. Beliefs Do: Only the end of the world is the end of the world.
  • Control What You Can. Ignore The Rest: Worrying never fixed anything.
  • Accept Everything. But Don’t Be Passive: Nobody recommends denial. Accept. And then do something.
  • Choose Whose Child You Will Be: “What would Batman do in this situation?”
  • Morning And Evening Rituals Are Essential: Plan for the day, then reflect on the day.


-courtesy of this post from Eric Barker

You say that like it's a bad thing.............



"There's no question it's harder to operate as a financial advisor today than 10 or 20 or 30 years ago. There's great sophistication among consumers. They have obtained greater knowledge and experience, so their demands and expectations are higher."


-Rick Edelman, as culled from here

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

On criticism...........................


Don't be afraid of verbal abuse or criticism.
     Only the morally weak feel compelled to defend or explain themselves to others.  Let the quality of your deeds speak on your behalf.  We can't control the impressions others form about us, and the effort to do so only debases our character.
     So, if anyone should tell you that a particular person has spoken critically of you, don't bother with excuses or defenses.  Just smile and reply, "I guess that person doesn't really know about all my other faults.  Otherwise he wouldn't have mentioned only these."

-Epictetus,  A Manual For Living

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


"...we don't get the behavior we hope for, beg for, or demand.  We get the behavior we reward."

-Mark Sanborn

When is Three Billion Dollars..............


...............................................considered not a lot of money?

Well, here for starters.  Still it is an immensely generous act.  May they be blessed with positive outcomes.

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


     He was seventy-two and famous, reclaiming his boyhood:  "When a man looks backward to things that happened to him 50 or 60 years ago," Carl Sandburg wrote in an unpublished manuscript, "he can often tell exactly what he saw and heard.  Some words and actions get burned into memory."  In the solitude of the Carolina mountains, he resurrected his Illinois prairie youth:  "to tell what those words and actions did to his mind and heart, what changes went on inside of him because of those words and actions, what new darkness or fresh lights became part of his personality, there the story of his life and growth goes winding into mysteries of the human mind and secrets of character, will, vision and hope that never come perfectly clear."

-Penelope Niven,  Carl Sandburg:  A Biography

The art..............................


...........................................................of blogging.

Let him seek deep..................


A father sees a son nearing manhood.
What shall he tell that son?
"Life is hard; be steel; be a rock."
And this might stand him for the storms
and serve him for humdrum and monotony
and guide him amid sudden betrayals
and tighten him for slack moments.
"Life is a soft loam; be gentle; go easy."
And this too might serve him.
Brutes have been gentled where lashes failed.
The growth of a frail flower in a path up
has sometimes shattered and split a rock.
A tough will counts. So does desire.
So does a rich soft wanting.
Without rich wanting nothing arrives.
Tell him too much money has killed men
And left them dead years before burial:
The quest of lucre beyond a few easy needs
Has twisted good enough men
Sometimes into dry thwarted worms.
Tell him time as a stuff can be wasted.
Tell him to be a fool every so often
and to have no shame over having been a fool
yet learning something out of every folly
hoping to repeat none of the cheap follies
thus arriving at intimate understanding
of a world numbering many fools.
Tell him to be alone often and get at himself
and above all tell himself no lies about himself
whatever the white lies and protective fronts
he may use amongst other people.
Tell him solitude is creative if he is strong
and the final decisions are made in silent rooms.
Tell him to be different from other people
if it comes natural and easy being different.
Let him have lazy days seeking his deeper motives.
Let him seek deep for where he is a born natural.
      Then he may understand Shakespeare
      and the Wright brothers, Pasteur, Pavlov,
      Michael Faraday and free imaginations
bringing changes into a world resenting change.
      He will be lonely enough
      to have time for the work
      he knows as his own.


-Carl Sandburg, The People, Yes   9

When I was a child...................................



Pink Floyd.....................................................Comfortably Numb



A necessary precondition.......


I cherish a good wasting of time as a necessary precondition for creativity.  More important, I believe the conflation of play and work, of thinking hard and thinking playfully, is one of the greatest things this new invention has done. ... This new mode of being - surfing the waves, diving down, rushing up, flitting from bit to bit, tweeting and twittering, ceaselessly dipping into newness with ease, daydreaming, questioning each and every fact - is not a bug.  It is a feature.  It is a proper response to the ocean of data, news, and facts flooding us.  We need to be fluid and agile, flowing from idea to idea, because that fluidity reflects the turbulent informational environment surrounding us.  This mode is neither a lazy failure nor an indulgent luxury.  It is a necessity in order to thrive.

-Kevin Kelly,  The Inevitable:  Understanding The 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future

Monday, September 26, 2016

Just in time for the big debate.........................



Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats.........................S.O.B.



Mark this one.......................................



..................................................as a "must read:"


Ranking the thirteen best Star Trek episodes.  A difficult job well done.


thanks craig

Thank God for the kids...................................



"Previous research suggests that parents may be less happy than non-parents. We critically assess the literature and examine parents’ and non-parents’ happiness-trends using the General Social Survey (N = 42,298) and DDB Lifestyle Survey (N = 75,237). We find that parents are becoming happier over time relative to non-parents."


-as culled from here

Investing 101..................................



"Most investors make money because of the things they decided not to do."
-Tony Isola


More on the three magic words, "I don't know," and why predicting the future can be a difficult game may be found here.

Investing 201........................................



"Intelligence becomes wisdom with the recognition that no matter how certain you are in your market views, no one really knows how things will play out."


"One of the most dangerous places to be as an investor is when you’re the smartest person in the room. Smarts, when not combined with a heavy dose of humility, can get you into trouble because it can lead to overconfidence."


-Ben Carlson, as excerpted from here

Gone, but not forgotten............................





"I'm not much for sitting around and thinking about the past or talking about the past. What does that accomplish? If I can give young people something to think about, like the future, that's a better use of my time."


-Arnold Palmer