Saturday, December 3, 2016

I'm thinking there is a lot of accuracy here...


"Enter Trump, seemingly on a lark, because his manner of speaking and campaigning amounted to little more than thumbing his nose at political correctness and its adherents. Yet, no doubt to the surprise of the Clinton camp, he elicited an enthusiastic and growing response from millions of people united by little more than resentment and, in some cases, hatred of their self-anointed betters. This kind of popular rebellion was not supposed to happen; the deplorables were supposed to recognize that they were on the losing side of a long historical-cultural conflict and act in a way that validated their acceptance of defeat. But the make-America-great-again group was not buying it, and they leaped at the chance to embrace a political leader who would proudly endorse their burning desire to spit out political correctness like a rotten fish."

"One suspects that Trump himself must have been surprised by the magnitude and enthusiasm of the following he attracted. After all, he is not a sociologist, a political scientist, or even an experienced politician. However one might label him, though, he had stumbled onto a cultural time-bomb waiting for a detonator. Thus, he was not so much the man of the hour as he was the right tool for the task a great many people yearned to see carried out."


-Robert Higgs, as excerpted from here

via

This seems accurate as well.............


"It is more from carelessness about truth than from intentional lying, that there is so much falsehood in the world."

-Samuel Johnson

Pachelbel would be proud.....................


TSO (?) and friends..............................................Christmas Canon

for the times they are a-changin.........


Those not burdened by feelings of inferiority and incompetence can resist showing off how much they know and even lure those who think they're smart into giving away more than they would if they believed their antagonist had superior knowledge and skill.

-as culled from this Althouse post

Opening paragraphs


     Legend has it that John Adams spent his last night in the presidential mansion eventually known as the White House furiously signing appointment letters for Federalist friends and cronies, thereby defying the will of the electorate and the wishes of Thomas Jefferson, his former friend and successor to the presidency.  By appointing these "midnight judges" Adams sustained the legacy of Federalism well beyond the time of its time, at least as the story goes, bedevilling Jefferson and subsequent Republican presidents with the judicial opinions of John Marshall and a Federalist dominated court.

-Joseph J. Ellis,  from the Prologue to Passionate Sage:  The Character and Legacy of John Adams

Every once in a while..................


.......................................................only the Three Stooges will do:

One of the glories of the Intertunnel..............


..............................................is that you can learn really neat stuff without even trying.  For instance, "Wheeler's which."

Maybe the reason we get to..............


.....live on this wondrous planet is to finally answer this question.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Overdoing it is not even possible........


Mannheim Steamroller.............................................Hallelujah

Talking Mount Rushmore..................................?



There are many ways a Trump administration can fail, and the President-elect faces the most challenging international environment since the end of the Cold War, but after so many failed prophecies of Trump failure, it’s at least a worthwhile mental exercise to speculate on how a Trump administration might actually succeed.


-excerpted from this Walter Russell Mead post

If leadership..................................



................................matters to you, read this letter.  A wee excerpt:


"By reading, you learn through others’ experiences, generally a better way to do business, especially in our line of work where the consequences of incompetence are so final for young men."

We never graduate...........................?


.........................................................More truth-telling:  here.

On marketing and sales.................


"Because marketing is everything. It’s the promises we make, the work we do, the people we connect with, the folks we lead, the hard decisions we make, our values, our ability change the status quo…that’s all marketing."

"Just about everyone is selling a good or a service, whether they realize it or not. And right or wrong, people are susceptible to a good story or narrative. So if you’re like me and weren’t born to always be closing, this is something you have to work on."

-Ben Carlson, as pulled from this blog post

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Time to kick off the Christmas carol season......


August Burns Red.............................................Carol of the Bells

Wait. What?......................Santa's a myth?


.............................Parents are harming their children by telling them Santa is real?  I fear for psychiatry.  Story here.  Kill shot here:

"I believe children should be taught to question authority, and as they mature to learn that there are no guardians of truth."


Behaviorally at least...........................


"And so it turns out that, behaviorally at least, the opposite of success is not failure, but mediocrity."

-as extracted from this blog post, which made me think of this drawing from Gaping Void:






Some thoughts on "free" trade.....


"Much of what goes on in the modern age requires people to deny observable reality."

"We have so-called free trade with Mexico. The result was not trade in the way normal people think of it. What happened was dirty US manufacturers located their plants to Mexico. Companies looking to game the labor laws followed soon after. Mexico is not selling us more stuff and buying more of our stuff. Mexico is just a loophole in US labor and environmental laws."

"A good rule of life is that anytime a well understood word suddenly gets a modifier, you know a caper is afoot. Trade is something people always understood. One group of people trades their excess for the excess of another group of people. Mexico sends Canada sombreros, while the Canadians send Mexico beaver hats. Free-trade is something else entirely. It is a collection of loopholes, so well-connected industries can get all the benefits of the state, but shift the costs onto others. Those cost are often quite high."



-quotes culled from this, The High Cost of Free Trade, post

The wages of the Presidency..............


............................It is a difficult job, people.  It will age you:

Barack Obama 2008ish

Barack Obama 2016

Your basic disconnect...............


But we’re missing one profound thing about Trump, and we keep missing it, and we will continue to miss it: Trump is not a politician. He doesn’t think of himself as a politician, and he doesn’t act like a politician, and we’re all desperately trying to fit him into our understanding of what he’s supposed to be.

-John Podhoretz, as extracted from this NYPost opinion

via

From the wonderful mind that is Doug.....

















via

Seven.......................


....................................................."Dangers of  Busy":

        5.   Reptile Brain takes over and we become reactive rather than 
              proactive. The latter anticipates problems; the former 
              accumulates them.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

empty...............................




"If you want wisdom, empty your heart of ignorance. If you want contentment, empty your heart of greed. If you want serenity, empty your heart of ill will."

-attributed to the Buddha

image via

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Thank God.........................























via

At the end of the day......................


..................................................the big, orange, fiery ball will have its way with us.  Like this for instance.


I don't even know where to start.....


     Do people who have been tidying for more years than others tidy better?  The answer is no.  Twenty-five percent of my students are women in their fifties, and the majority of them have been homemakers for close to thirty years, which makes them veterans at this job.  But do they tidy better than women in their twenties?  The opposite is true.  Many of them have spent so many years applying erroneous conventional approaches that their homes overflow with unnecessary items and they struggle to keep clutter under control with ineffective storage methods.  How can they be expected to know how to tidy when they have never studied it properly?

-Marie Kondo,  the life-changing magic of tidying up:  the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing

On nurturing the notion.........


     To hear of the delicacy with which these clients must be approached, you might imagine they are cloistered sufferers of disfigurement, exotic neurological tics, or tawdry, addictive passions.  But actually they're just messy or at least believe themselves so.  Waddill is a professional organizer, here in San Diego to address the annual conference of the National Association of Professional Organizers, or NAPO.
     An entire industry of sorts has sprung up, quickly picking up steam over the past decade, to nurture the notion that if only we were more organized with our possessions, time, and resources, we could be more content and successful, and our companies and institutions could be more effective.  Take into account the hundreds of books, the vast array of home - and office - organizing aids, the classes and seminars, the software, the television shows, the magazines, and the organizational consultants that all purvey some variation on the theme of straightening up, rearranging, acquiring highly effective habits, planning your day/week/life, restructuring organizations, and rigidly standardizing processes, and it's easy to see that neatness and order have become a multibillion-dollar business.

-Eric Abrahamson and David H. Freedman,  A Perfect Mess:  The Hidden Benefits Of Disorder:  How crammed closets, cluttered offices, and on-the-fly planning make the world a better place

Leave me alone......................


     Is there any evidence that neat environments really help?  The longer T George Harris chased credible research into the impact of "good design" on employee productivity, the more elusive that research seemed.  "People suddenly put into 'good design' did not seem to wake up and love it," he wrote.  What they loved instead was control over the space in which they had to work.

     And that control typically leads to mess.  The psychologist Craig Knight admits that s space that workers design for themselves will almost always look rather ugly.  "It doesn't look as good as something a designer would have chosen, and it never will."

     The management theorist A. K. Korman vividly recalls visiting one factory where the mess had been embraced:

          I was assaulted with a kaleidoscope of orange, blue, pink,
          yellow, red and multi-colored machines.  My host laughed
          at the expression on my face and then went on to tell me
          that the management of the company had told the workers
          they could paint the machines any color they wanted and the
          company would furnish the paint if they furnished the man-
          power.  The result was a very unusual looking factory to me,
          although it was a pleasing work environment to those who
          worked their every day.

     From the vantage point of a nice corner office, someone else's messy desk is an eyesore.  The clutter is visible, but the resulting sense of empowerment is not.  For the senior manager, the lesson is simple:  Resist the urge to tidy up.  Leave the mess - and your workers - alone.

-Tim Harford,  Messy:  The Power of Disorder To Transform Our Lives

Monday, November 28, 2016

the real questions.................................

"Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone's face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love?' These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come."


-attributed to Henri Nouwen


via

When my blog grows up...........................



.................I hope it is at least half as good as this one.

Talking superclusters..............


Astronomers now believe that superclusters (galaxies with 1,000 to 10,000 TRILLION stars) lurk on the other side of the Milky Way (the galaxy we call home) from us.  We are just now finding them as we are just now figuring out how to see through our galaxy.   These newly discovered superclusters have been hiding behind this:


















Just for context, a supercluster may contain "hundreds or thousands" of galaxies.  Reminds me of my favorite part of Animal House:



And do we still think WE are the central focus of the Universe?


thanks

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Road Trip.......................


A drive across the U. S. of A................just to "stand back and let go."


There's the alt-right and...........


..............................the alt-left, but my favorite is the alt-house.

a representation.............................


Agnes Martin       Untitled 5             1998























"I don't think the way to succeed is by doing something aggressive. Aggression is weak-minded."

"To progress in life you must give up the things you do not like. Give up doing the things that you do not like to do. You must find the things that you do like. The things that are acceptable to your mind."

"One thing I like about Zen. It doesn't believe in achievement."

"Artwork is a representation of our devotion to life. The enormous pitfall is devotion to oneself instead of to life. All works that are self-devoted are absolutely ineffective."

-Agnes Martin

via

Just hoping those job-stealing.....


.................robots don't learn how to sell real estate anytime soon.

This time it’s different, I hear you cry. Those were just peasants or factory hands: now it’s software developers, accountants and perhaps even lawyers who face obsolescence through automation. Or academics and journalists! People – oh horror! – like us. But if we could lose most of the jobs in farming and manufacturing to automation and still have a record proportion of the population in employment, even while bringing women into the workforce in vastly higher numbers, why should we be unduly alarmed if some white-collar folk now suffer the same fate?
The argument that artificial intelligence will cause mass unemployment is as unpersuasive as the argument that threshing machines, machine tools, dishwashers or computers would cause mass unemployment. These technologies simply free people to do other things and fulfill other needs. And they make people more productive, which increases their ability to buy other forms of labour. “The bogeyman of automation consumes worrying capacity that should be saved for real problems,” scoffed the economist Herbert Simon in the 1960s. 
-as excerpted from this post from my favorite optimist