Saturday, December 17, 2016
"When people tell Joe to stop and smell the roses, his first response is 'Who is maintaining the roses?'"
-Tim Ferriss, as extracted from Tools Of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, And Habits Of Billionairs, Icons, And World-Class Performers
"That’s why you need patience and some courage. Those will steady you through the hard times. Hard times will come, and I can’t tell you when. ... Remember, moderate risk wins in the end."
...............sounds like something Emerson would say. One could also assume he might have said it in his essay Compensation. Sometimes believing in the notion that accuracy is good, I scanned through my copy of said essay. It was not a thorough reading, but I could not find the quote. Thus, the Oracle Google was consulted. Hundreds of sites showed up with the quote, but none providing the location of the quote in Emerson's writings. Hmmm. Did he really write that? Maybe later today a more serious search will be undertaken to find the source. Meanwhile, true to the wonder that is the Intertunnel, during my brief search, this beauty was found:
"When God measures man, He puts the tape around the heart instead of the head for if there's is no truer measure of a man than by what he does, it is by what he gives. We can speak kind words but without kind deeds they often sound mighty sick. So be kind to everyone and remember, everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. One final word Tiana, most of the world's misery is caused by being unkind to those who live with us."
-The Sage, as taken from here
Friday, December 16, 2016
...............................................of personal finance. Please read it (and live it). You will be happier if you do.
The goal shouldn’t be about making it to a certain age so you can ride off into the sunset, but rather getting to the point where you don’t have to worry about money anymore.
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Working with golf clubs wasn't just a function of being a professional golfer. To me it was fun, and I looked at each club I worked on as if I were molding a work of art. Just like my golf game, I was always looking to improve my equipment, too, and that gave me the sense that I was improving on me as I improved on them. I think that is the essence of life - always striving to do something better. Or even perfectly.
-Arnold Palmer, A Life Well Played: My Stories
The superheroes you have in your mind (idols, icons, titans, billionaires, etc.) are nearly all walking flaws who've mastered one or two strengths. Humans are imperfect creatures. You don't succeed because you have no weaknesses; you succeed because you find your unique strengths and focus on developing habits around them.
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
“We should not be ashamed to acknowledge truth and to assimilate it from whatever source it comes to us, even if it is brought to us by former generations and foreign peoples. For him who seeks the truth there is nothing of higher value than truth itself; it never cheapens or debases him who reaches for it but ennobles and honors him.”
"The problem of power is how to achieve its responsible use rather than its irresponsible and indulgent use - of how to get men of power to live for the public rather than off the public."
History being what it is, who knows? The Oracle Google was consulted (in a hurry and without much depth). Wiki on Wotan is here. One version of "why Christmas trees" is here.
Kurt's twitter feed is here.
But to the south, Toledo's takeover by a powerful Christian monarch who was a real contender, not just another strongman of some minor city, provoked a historically fateful military reaction. Alfonso's defeated and dismayed rival for control over Toledo, the equally ambitious and accomplished Mutamid, based in Seville, asked for military help from the Almoravids, the fundamentalist Muslim regime that had recently taken control of Marrakech and established the polity we know as Morocco. The Almoravids were Berber tribesmen who had been building a considerable empire in North Africa. These fanatics considered the Andalusian Muslims intolerably weak, with their diplomatic relations with Christian states, not to mention their promotion of Jews in virtually every corner of their government and society. But the somewhat deluded Mutamid of Seville cared little about their politics, and imagined he could bring them in to help him out militarily and then send them packing. The Almoravids thus arrived ostensibly as allies of the weak taifas and quickly succeeded, in 1086 in defeating Alfonso VI. These would-be protectors, however, stayed on as the new tyrants of al-Andalus.
By 1090, the Almoravids had fully annexed the taifa remnants of the venerable al-Andalus into their own dour and intolerant kingdom. For the next 130 years, Andalusian Muslims would be governed by foreigners, first these same Almoravids, and later by the Almohads, or "Unitarians," an even more fanatic group of North African Berber Muslims likewise strangers to al-Andalus and its ways. Thus did the Andalusians become often rambunctious colonial subjects in an always troublesome and incomprehensible province. They had irretrievably lost their political freedom, but the story of Andalusian culture was far from over: although bloodied, the Andalusians were unbowed, and their culture remained their glory - viewed with suspicion , yet often coveted by all their neighbors, both north and south.
-Maria Rosa Menocal, The Ornament Of The World: How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created A Culture Of Tolerance In Medieval Spain
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
.................................................eminent domain, and other police powers the State has over real estate. One no longer knows whether to laugh or cry.
Monday, December 12, 2016
"Hit it hard, boy, go find it, and hit it hard again."
-Arnold Palmer, quoting his father's advice about golf, from the opening sentence in A Life Well Played: My Stories
To be fully educated, students should encounter not only Plato, but also Republicans.
We liberals are adept at pointing out the hypocrisies of Trump, but we should also address our own hypocrisy in terrain we govern, such as most universities: Too often, we embrace diversity of all kinds except for ideological. Repeated studies have found that about 10 percent of professors in the social sciences or the humanities are Republicans.
We champion tolerance, except for conservatives and evangelical Christians. We want to be inclusive of people who don’t look like us — so long as they think like us.
I fear that liberal outrage at Trump’s presidency will exacerbate the problem of liberal echo chambers, by creating a more hostile environment for conservatives and evangelicals. Already, the lack of ideological diversity on campuses is a disservice to the students and to liberalism itself, with liberalism collapsing on some campuses into self-parody.
-Nicholas Kristoff, as excerpted from here
In other words, the numerical, chronological age has no power within itself. It is our beliefs about it, how we hold it in mind, and how we genuflect to all the belief systems that go with it and that we have bought into throughout the years that have power. How is it that some people are dancing and performing at age eighty, and other people at age fifty-nine are ready for the grave?
-David R. Hawkins, Healing And Recovery
Messiness is often taken as a sign of weakness. In a person it's regarded as a character flaw. And most companies would be quick to assume that the less tightly organized a competitor is, the more vulnerable it is. But in fact, disorder can confer certain kinds of strength - ... Because mess tends to loosely weave together disparate elements, messy systems are more resistant to destruction, failure, and imitation. Neat systems tend to have more sharply defined strong and weak points, and thus are often brittle, easily foiled or disrupted, and easily copied.
-Eric Abrahamson and David Freedman, A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits Of Disorder
It is all too commonplace not to be mentally ill but to be stuck and languishing in life. Positive mental health is presence: the presence of positive emotion, the presence of engagement, the presence of meaning, the presence of good relationships, and the presence of accomplishment. Being in a state of mental health is not merely being disorder free; rather it is the presence of flourishing.
-Martin E. P. Seligman, Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being
Sunday, December 11, 2016
The advice of a solid old Anglican priest — back when the Anglicans had a use for solids — was to retain one’s balance. “Don’t try to do everything at once,” he said, after my conversion on that bridge over Thames. In particular, “Don’t try to believe everything at once. It is bigger than you, you shan’t be able to do it.” And, “Never abandon your scepticism. If it doesn’t make sense to you, leave it and get back to it later.” And, “The trick to walking, whether you are a babe or very drunk, is: one step at a time. Those who get ahead of themselves tend to fall over.”
-David Warren, as extracted from here
..............................but still can't exactly explain what this means.
"What is funny is to watch the media try to interpret [Trump] through their prism of politics. It is like trying to understand the workings of a nuclear reactor through the prism of deconstructionist feminist semiotics."
..................................................................public pension mess?
David Merkel offers seven Central Errors that are casting a dark shadow over promises made. As he notes, "Pensions are promises. Sadly, promises are often broken. Choose your promiser with care…" Full post is here. Cherry-picked excerpts here:
"Before I start, remember that the rich get richer, and the poor poorer even among states. Unlike what many will tell you though, it is not any conspiracy. It happens for very natural reasons that are endemic in human behavior. The so-called experts in this story are not truly experts, but sourcerer’s apprentices who know a few tricks, but don’t truly understand pensions and investing. And from what little I can tell from here, they still haven’t learned.
"Forewarned is forearmed. South Carolina is a harbinger of future problems, in their case made worse by opportunists who sold the idea of high-yielding investments to trustees that proved to be a bunch of rubes. But the high returns were only needed because of the overly high promises made to state employees, and the unwillingness to levy taxes sufficient to fund them."