Saturday, June 24, 2017

Purpose..........................


“This is the true joy in life, being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one, being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”

-George Bernard Shaw, as quoted here

Quiz time..............................


Years back, Marilyn vos Savant had a quiz column in which a question was: “Two bugs in a jar reproduce, doubling their number every minute. The jar is full in an hour. How long does it take to half fill the jar?”

-extracted from here 

And I don't think he is talking about bourbon....


"If you go to college today, you had best take on the hard stuff or nobody cares."

-The News Junkie, as culled from here

17 Ideas..............................


.............for the modern world, from Seth Godin.  Idea #1:

You are more powerful than you think.

Welcome to the age of leverage. A moment in time when each of us has more tools, more reach and more impact than a head of state did a hundred years ago.
Each of us has the skills and insight and power to see what’s happening around us, to create new ideas, and most of all, to change the way others respond and act.

Jagged indeed........................


"Comfort and stability is not always the best goal. With comfort it can be hard to change. Without change it can be hard to maintain future stability. And comfort."

-Nicholas Bate, as lifted from here

While technology may create the need........


...........................for immediacy, we actually live in a "not-yet" world.  Jeff Gill offers some thoughts:

"The world around us may expect speed, but we look for truth, a concept that can be blessedly slow."

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Arrant..................................


"There is no nonsense so arrant that it cannot be made the creed of the vast majority by adequate governmental action."

-Bertrand Russell, from his essay, An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish

Coming home..............................


Allman Brothers...............................................Into The Mystic



We were born before the wind
Also younger than the sun
Ere the bonnie boat was won as we sailed into the mystic
Hark, now hear the sailors cry
Smell the sea and feel the sky
Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic

And when that fog horn blows I will be coming home
And when the fog horn blows I want to hear it
I don't have to fear it

And I want to rock your gypsy soul
Just like way back in the days of old
And magnificently we will flow into the mystic

When that fog horn blows you know I will be coming home
And when that fog horn whistle blows I got to hear it
I don't have to fear it

And I want to rock your gypsy soul
Just like way back in the days of old
And together we will flow into the mystic
Come on girl...

Too late to stop now...


-Van Morrison, c. 1970

Gotta love the '60s..................


The Byrds.............................................I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

When you've lost David Brooks...........

I was the op-ed editor at The Wall Street Journal at the peak of the Whitewater scandal. We ran a series of investigative pieces “raising serious questions” (as we say in the scandal business) about the nefarious things the Clintons were thought to have done back in Arkansas.


Now I confess I couldn’t follow all the actual allegations made in those essays. They were six jungles deep in the weeds. But I do remember the intense atmosphere that the scandal created. A series of bombshell revelations came out in the media, which seemed monumental at the time. A special prosecutor was appointed and indictments were expected. Speculation became the national sport.


In retrospect Whitewater seems overblown. And yet it has to be confessed that, at least so far, the Whitewater scandal was far more substantive than the Russia-collusion scandal now gripping Washington.


-via


Ah, the memories.   It's almost like we should read history books to keep up with current matters.

The world is just..............................



...............a much better place when Jeff is posting regularly.

On rule following........................



....................................................I especially like #62 and #63.


via

Monday, June 19, 2017

Invest a half hour....................


................................................understanding with Tucker Carlson.

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



Tim Buckley...............................No Man Can Find The War

Trump.............................



Can we "all agree on is that he is America’s first modern asymmetric warrior president"?    It would be nice if we could agree on at least one thing.


-idea further fleshed out here


via

Counter-intuitive..............................



.................................but human nature is a fairly mysterious thing:


"As the level of information and access to knowledge continues to improve it’s only making it harder for most people to make better decisions."


-Ben Carlson, as he concludes this post about the Dorito Effect

The one true lesson of history.........



.........................................................is that nothing is "fixed."

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Optimism versus pessimism.....................


...................An interesting post from Morgan Housel here.   An extracted quote that I enjoyed here:

Optimists are often ridiculed as being oblivious to how risky the world is. I’ve found this to be a bad reading. They’re often quite aware of risks, but equally aware of risks being the soil optimism eventually grows out of.

As said here before, while pessimism many sell more newspapers and books, always bet on the optimists.

via

A few thoughts..........................


.........................................on Jeff Bezos's philanthropic impulses:

Because he is presumably uniquely good a creating businesses, probably the best way for him to maximize the use of his money and time in improving the lives of a maximum number of people is to go start another business.  Certainly Amazon has created value for the rest of us that dwarfs the amount he has earned from it.  Taken another way, via Amazon he has hugely improved the lives of many, many people and in turn taken just a small commission for himself on this value created. He has lowered prices for us, he has saved us time, he has brought us many more choices.  He has created a platform for small businesses to sell their product that they could never duplicate themselves.  He has nearly single-handedly created the self-publishing business and provided an outlet for a ton of new authors (myself included).  He helps keep Apple and Google honest (and vice versa) from his competition with them.

-Warren Meyer, as culled from here

Trying..............................



Public art................................

The Dog and I were out for our morning walk through the beautiful OSUN/COTC campus this morning when we came upon a new sculpture.   Faithful readers will remember that previous posts highlighted six other Gary Lee Price works that magically appeared several seasons ago at the campus  (Washington, Franklin, Einstein, Shakespeare, Lincoln, and Monet).  Looks like the Wright Brothers have been added to the list.   Walking over there is like being on a treasure hunt.  You never know what you might find.


The Wright Brothers

as all right-thinking people are aware......




“When Benjamin Franklin invented the lightning-rod, the clergy, both in England and America, with the enthusiastic support of George III, condemned it as an impious attempt to defeat the will of God. For, as all right-thinking people were aware, lightning is sent by God to punish impiety or some other grave sin—the virtuous are never struck by lightning. Therefore if God wants to strike any one, Benjamin Franklin [and his lightning-rod] ought not to defeat His design; indeed, to do so is helping criminals to escape. But God was equal to the occasion, if we are to believe the eminent Dr. Price, one of the leading divines of Boston. Lightning having been rendered ineffectual by the 'iron points invented by the sagacious Dr. Franklin,' Massachusetts was shaken by earthquakes, which Dr. Price perceived to be due to God's wrath at the 'iron points.' In a sermon on the subject he said, 'In Boston are more erected than elsewhere in New England, and Boston seems to be more dreadfully shaken. Oh! there is no getting out of the mighty hand of God.' Apparently, however, Providence gave up all hope of curing Boston of its wickedness, for, though lightning-rods became more and more common, earthquakes in Massachusetts have remained rare.  Nevertheless, Dr. Price's point of view, or something very like it, was still held by one of the most influential period of recent times.   When, at one time, there were several bad earthquakes in India, Mahatma Gandhi solemnly warned his compatriots that these disasters had been sent as a punishment for their sins."

-Bertrand Russell, from his essay An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish found in his book, Unpopular Essays

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


Tim Buckley..........................................................Once I Was

Seems about right.....................


"A problem with using the mind to discover the truth is that it often cannot tell the forest from the trees and instead focuses on problematic irrelevancies and extraneous diversions..."

-David R. Hawkins

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Not a bad idea at any time.............


"Perhaps whenever survival is at stake, we need to unite as human beings rather than quarreling genders."

-Camille Paglia

On why the study of history is important.....


Man is a rational animal - so at least I have been told.  Throughout a long life, I have looked diligently for evidence in favor of this statement, but so far I have not had the good fortune to come across it, though I searched in many countries spread over three continents.  On the contrary, I have seen the world plunging continually further into madness.  I have seen great nations, formerly leaders of civilization, led astray by preachers of bombastic nonsense.  I have seen cruelty, persecution, and superstition increasing by leaps and bounds, until we have almost reached the point where praise of rationality is held to mark a man as an old fogey regrettably surviving from a bygone era.  All this is depressing, but gloom is a useless emotion.  In order to escape from it, I have been driven to study the past with more attention than I had formerly given to it, and have found, as Erasmus found, that folly is perennial and yet the human race has survived.  The follies of our own times are easier to bear when they are seen against the background of past follies.

-Bertrand Russell, from the essay An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish, as published in Unpopular Essays

Okay by me.......................



-Shel Silverstein,   Where The Sidewalk Ends

Simplicity..............................


     When we condemn or justify we cannot see clearly, nor can we when our minds are endlessly chattering;  then we do not observe what is;  we only look at the projections we have made of ourselves.  Each of us has an image of what we think we are or what we should be, and that image, that picture, entirely prevents us from seeing ourselves as we actually are.
     It is one of the most difficult things in the world to look at anything simply.  Because our minds are very complex we have lost the quality of simplicity.  I don't mean simplicity in clothes or food, wearing only a loin cloth or breaking a record fasting or any of that immature nonsense the saints cultivate, but the simplicity that can look directly at things without fear - that can look at ourselves as we actually are without any distortion - to say we lie when we lie, not cover it up or run away from it.

-J. Krishnamurti,  Freedom from the Known

Singular..................................


      How did he live such a life, so hectic with public concerns, while preoccupying himself so fully with individual human beings:  whose torments, never mind their singularity, he adopted as his own, with the passion that some give only to the universal?  Eleanor Roosevelt, James Burnham once mused, looked on all the world as her personal slum project.  Although he was at home with collectivist formulations, one had the impression of Allard Lowenstein that he might be late in aborting a Third World War - because of his absorption with the problems of one sophomore.  Oh, they followed him everywhere;  because we experienced in him the essence of an entirely personal dedication.  Of all the partisans I have known, from the furthest steppes of the spectrum, his was the most undistracted concern, not for humanity - thought he was conversant with big-think idiom - but with human beings.

-William F. Buckley, Jr., A Torch Kept Lit:  Great Lives of the Twentieth Century;  Allard Lowenstein, RIP

Seismographs....................


Congressmen are not evil people, they're mostly sort of seismographs with antennae; they're waiting - they're more worried about losing their jobs than Assistant Deans of Men in the Ivy League.

-attributed to Allard  K. Lowenstein

Sit..........................................


"Sit close to someone with a big heart, sit in the shade of a tree with fresh leaves."

-Attributed to Rumi, by Brad Gooch in Rumi's Secret:  The Life of the Sufi Poet of Love

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


     The imposter borrowed the name of Neville Manchin, an actual professor of American literature at Portland State and soon-to-be doctoral student at Stanford.  In his letter, on perfectly forged college stationary, "Professor Manchin" claimed to be a budding scholar of F. Scott Fitzgerald and was keen to see the great writer's "manuscripts and papers" during a forthcoming trip to the East Coast.  The letter was addressed to Dr. Jeffrey Brown, Director of Manuscripts Division, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Firestone Library, Princeton University.  It arrived with a few others, was duly sorted and passed along, and eventually landed on the desk of Ed Folk, a career junior librarian whose task, among several other monotonous ones, was to verify the credentials of the person who wrote the letter.

-John Grisham,  Camino Island

Friday, June 16, 2017

He cracks me up....................


Amazon's offer to purchase Whole Foods has been in the news:



To hell with the consequence..........


Melissa Etheridge.......................................I Want To Come Over

My Sweetie and I......................


.....................just got home from seeing mega-talented and audience-connecting Melissa Etheridge perform at the wondrous Midland Theatre.  She featured a number of songs first produced by Stax Records, including one by William Bell.  Wasn't this one though:

William Bell..........................................I Forgot To Be You Lover

It is too depressing.......................


..............to contemplate, so I suggest you skip this Spengler post.

Roles..............................


     Feminist ideology has never dealt honestly with the role of the mother in human life.  Its portrayal of history as male oppression and female victimage is a gross distortion of the facts.  There was a rational division of labor from the hunter gatherer period that had its roots not in the male desire to subjugate and imprison but in the procreative burden which has fallen on women from nature.  It is woman who bears most of the responsibility in the process of procreation.  The male contribution to procreation is momentary, a mere pinprick, but the human female makes an enormous investment in the nine months of pregnancy, which could formerly not be forestalled or controlled as it is today.  Even now, pregnancy is a risky business that can result in the death of the mother.  Anything can go wrong and often does.  Before modern medicine, the mortality rate in childbirth was enormous.  In early history, women in advanced pregnancy or just after childbirth were extraordinarily vulnerable;  they could not fend for themselves and required the protection of men.  Feminist theory has been grotesquely unfair to men in refusing to acknowledge the enormous care that most men have provided to women and children.  The atrocious exceptions have been used by feminist theorists to blame all men, when over the whole of human history, men have given heroically of their energy and labor and indeed their lives to benefit and protect women and children.  Feminism has been very small-minded in the way it has treated male history.  Feminism cannot continue with this poisoned rhetoric - it is dangerous for young women to be indoctrinated to think in that negative way about men.

-Camille Paglia, as culled from here

Skin in the game..........................



Besides antifragility, another theme Nassim Taleb has been stressing of late is "skin in the game": the idea that people who face the consequences of their actions are more likely both to learn and to behave responsibly, than people who are shielded from such consequences.


Of course, Taleb is smart enough and educated enough to know that this is not an entirely new idea, and that he is expanding upon the intimations of earlier thinkers here. Even so, it was interesting to see Michael Oakeshott sound this motif so clearly in "Rational Conduct":

"And politics is a field of activity peculiarly subject to the lure of this 'rational' ideal. If you start by being merely 'intelligent' about a boiler or an electrical generator you are likely to be pulled up short by an explosion: but in politics all that happens is war and chaos, which you do not immediately connect with your error."



Gene Callahan, as excerpted from here

When you have more money...............



............than God, you can do this sort of thing.   Glad to see it happen.

Human nature............................


When you rule out the reality of human nature from the tool set, you’re left with solutions that are contrary to human nature.

-Zman

Well, this is fun.............................


.................................Any Major Dude With Half A Heart offers an eclectic mix of Beatles covers, mostly from Sgt Pepper's.  A sample, from 1968:

Thursday, June 15, 2017

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




      via

Consumer greed......................


.................................................Mark J. Perry wants to spoil the fun:

Here’s a dirty little secret about capitalism: consumers, not corporations, run the show.  If you find something about the marketplace objectionable, it would be more appropriate to blame those who actually call the shots: the ruthless, cutthroat, and disloyal American consumers.

Standing your ground......................


....................................................................for a really long time!

On the importance of.....................

....................."Devil's advocates".  Full post here.  Conclusion here:
It’s a scourge to be led by a great man, then, unless the great man is open-minded and big hearted enough to encourage others to take issue with his thinking. If not, the collective military mind closes. Doubt dissipates when it’s needed most—in the topsy-turvy realm of violent interaction among combatants determined to impose their will on one another. An institution unable or unwilling to entertain second thoughts about its assumptions or reasoning is an institution that has set itself up for failure. So it was for the Imperial Japanese Navy at the Battle of Midway. So it could be for today’s U.S. Navy, or any other institution.
Certitude is the bane of group decision-making. Physicist Richard Feynman beseeches researchers to “leave the door to the unknown ajar,” even when a scientific law appears settled. That’s doubly true for military and naval bureaucracies. After all, martial science is never settled. We should all be doubters—and seek out skeptics of Feynman’s ilk to poke holes in our schemes. Whether his input is right, wrong, or somewhere in between, the devil’s advocate invigorates strategic and operational discourses—subjecting proposals to penetrating scrutiny and bolstering the final product.

My advice...................................?


......................................................Get a lot while you are young.






       via

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


From the wide world of TV advertising........................McDonald's

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Inflected......................................


     



     Too often we talk about our memories as if they were banks into which we deposit new information when it comes in, and from which we withdraw old information when we need it.  But that metaphor doesn't reflect the way our memories really work.  Our memories are always with us, shaping and being shaped by information flowing through our senses, in a continuous feedback loop.   Everything we see, hear, and smell is inflected by all the things we've seen, heard, and smelled in the past.

-Joshua Foer,  Moonwalking With Einstein:  The Art and Science of Remembering Everything

Warren Meyer...........................


..............the author of the read-worthy Coyote Blog is pondering an end to his blogging.   Here's hoping he continues.   An excerpt:

The world seems to be moving away from intellectualism.  I say this not because Trump voters were somehow rejecting intellectualism, but because intellectuals themselves seem to be rejecting it.  They act like children, they are turning universities into totalitarian monoculters, and they compete with each other to craft mindless 140-character "gotchas" on Twitter.  I challenge you to even find a forum today for intellectual exchange between people who disagree with one another.  In politics, Trump clearly rejects intellectualism but for whatever reasons, the Democratic opposition has as well.

Breed.......................


"Order imposed from without must always breed disorder."

-J. Krishnamurti

Unknown................................




It is not what we know that is important, it is what we do not know."

-attributed to Charles Kettering

image via
thanks Ray

This might have been more..................


..............interesting, and valuable, if the author had gone a bit more in depth and looked at what those "disproportionately burdened" by student debt majored in.  When it comes to earning power, not all degrees are made equal.

Might be boring to you big city types............

............but to us simple country folk, this is really good news.
"The Trump administration laid out its highly anticipated plan for overhauling bank rules" yesterday, and it is pretty good I guess? Here is the Treasury Department report, and just as a matter of form, it generally seems to have been written by professionals who are familiar with bank regulation, which I can't say I entirely saw coming. (It "was spearheaded by Craig Phillips, a former BlackRock Inc. executive who was major fundraiser for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.") 
As for content, there is a lot of it, and it is fairly miscellaneous, without too many unifying themes. One broad but boring theme seems to be that smallish banks -- below $10 or $50 billion in assets, depending on the provision -- should be exempted from Dodd-Frank stress tests and the Volcker Rule and other rules. I cannot get that excited about small-bank deregulation, but if you are a small bank this report will probably be pretty exciting for you.
-culled from this Matt Levine post

Optimists or Pessimists.......


...................Who is more insightful?   Marginal Revolution covers the story.  Don't have the answer here, but will stand by long-held Rule 27:  Always bet on the optimist.


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


...................................a Gerry Goffin/Carole King tune;

The Turtles..........................................................So Goes Love

On friendship.............................




“What sweetness is left in life, if you take away friendship? Robbing life of friendship is like robbing the world of the sun. A true friend is more to be esteemed than kinsfolk." 

-attributed to Cicero

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Weil and Mann one more time.........


Paul Revere and The Raiders................................................Kicks

Political hospice..........................?



..............................Where would we be without the "experts"?

Being a “working class white voter” does not make us inferior or intellectually stunted so much that we need to be (re)educated in liberally biased schools of doublespeak and thoughtlessness. All we want to do is work a good job that does present a modest challenge, that does feel rewarding, keeps the lights on and our bellies full and after all of that, we just want to come home, drink some beers, pet the dog and enjoy the sunset in our small suburban slice of heaven. For us, that is what life is all about. We don’t care about revolutions, microaggressions, or how many physical and economic descriptors we can apply to a sub group of a sub group of a sub group. People like Gest and Capehart are more important to themselves, like Narcissus was to his reflection; eventually, they will drown in their obsession. And when they do, they’re still gonna be at the counter of a Mom and Pop shop asking some “white working class voter” with grease on his or her face “What’s wrong with my Prius?”

-as excerpted from here


via

This is just too fun to ignore...........


Booker T. & The M.G.s....................................Time Is Tight

One of those days..............



A second-hand people.................


     Man has always asked the question:  what is it all about?  Has life any meaning, at all?  He sees the enormous confusion of life, the brutalities, the revolts, the wars, the endless division of religion, ideology and nationality, and with a sense of deep abiding frustration he asks, what is one to do, what is this thing we call living, is there anything beyond it?
     And not finding this nameless thing of a thousand names which he has always sought, he has cultivated faith - faith in a saviour or an ideal - and faith invariably breeds violence. ...

    For centuries we have been spoon-fed by our teachers, by our authorities, by our books, by our saints.  We say, "Tell me all about it - what lies beyond the hills and the mountains and the earth?" and we are satisfied with their descriptions, which means we live on words and our life is shallow and empty.  We are a second-hand people.   We have lived on what we have been told,  either guided by our inclinations, our tendencies, or compelled to accept by circumstances and environment.  We are the result of all kinds of influence and there is nothing new in us, nothing that we have discovered for ourselves;  nothing original, pristine, clear.

-J. Krishnamurti,   Freedom from the Known

Seth peeks into the future...........


..............................................(talking technology not politics).

"Revolutions are impossible, until they're not, and then they seem totally normal."

-as extracted from here

Aspirationally....................



Memory...........................


     Buzan was eager to sell me on the idea that his own memory has been improving year after year, even as he ages.  "People assume that memory decline is a function of being human and therefore natural," he said.  "But that is a logical error, because normal is not necessarily natural.  The reason for the monitored decline in human memory performance is because we actually do anti-Olympic training.  What we do to the brain is the equivalent of sitting someone down to train for the Olympics and making sure he drinks ten cans of beer a day, smokes fifty cigarettes, drives to work, and maybe does some exercise once a month that's violent and damaging, and spends the rest of the time watching television.  And then we wonder why that person doesn't do well in the Olympics.  That's what we've been doing with memory."

-Joshua Foer,  Moonwalking With Einstein:  The Art and Science of Remembering Everything

Context, not content....................


     Detachment from positionalities - and especially the positionalities occasioned by labeling - leads to serenity, freedom, and security.  Greater serenity arises from relating to the context of life rather than to the content, which is primarily a game board of interacting egos.  This broader style of relating to life leads to greater compassion and emancipation from being at the effect of the world.

     Like any limiting ego position, it is not position itself that requires relinquishment, but the emotional payoff or energy that holding on to that position provides to the ego.

-David R. Hawkins

More Goffin and King....................


The Animals.............................................Don't Bring Me Down

Tigers.................................


Tiger                 Deborah Ross               watercolor





"An infallible method of conciliating a tiger is to allow oneself to be devoured."

-attributed to Konrad Adenauer

thanks for the pointer Jeff

Monday, June 12, 2017

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


......................co-written by Gerry Goffin in 1983

Roberta Flack & Peabo Bryson........Tonight, I Celebrate My Love

On being anti-charlatan.................


“The reason that ‘guru’ is such a popular word is because ‘charlatan’ is so hard to spell.” 

-William Bernstein

Quote above opens this Ben Carlson post, wherein Ben politely asks "legendary investors" who have called six of the last zero market crashes to please stop doing that.

Accurate modeling is difficult...................


...............................as is long term investing.  Real estate anyone?


We're complicated..........................


“And what we students of history always learn is that the human being is a very complicated contraption and that they are not good or bad but are good and bad and the good comes out of the bad and the bad out of the good, and the devil take the hindmost.” 

-Robert Penn Warren

thanks David

Positive proof that I'm not the only one.....


.........................who believes "offbeat and quirky" is a good thing.

Marching orders.......................



Refresh.............................


...........................yourself regularly with The Man In The Wind.





Great moments in American history.......


* I got this figure of speech from Comey's testimony (which I discussed here). Comey claimed that he used an intermediary to leak his memo to the press because reporters were "camping at the end of [his] driveway," so for him to just hand them something "would be like feeding seagulls at the beach."

-via Althouse

Weil and Mann re-visited...................


Max Frost and  The Troopers.................Shape Of Things To Come

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


This trust in public institutions among Boomers is natural. Most of them grew up in a high trust culture. When they watched TV in the 50’s, the people making the shows were in love with America and promoted 1950’s values. Even into the 60’s, the mass media was supportive of America. When the culture began to collapse, the media seemed to be on the side of those good hearted Progressives trying to make things better for blacks, Jews, women and the disposed around the world. The media was all about good intentions.
Later generations came of age assuming that what was on television was a deliberate lie intended to have them buy stuff. Today’s youth have come of age in a time when the media is clearly the church choir for the managerial elite.
-excerpted from The Coming Boomercide

Sunday, June 11, 2017

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


I was arrested at Eno's diner.  At twelve o'clock.  I was eating eggs and drinking coffee.  A late breakfast, not lunch.  I was wet and tired after a long walk in heavy rain.  All the way from the highway to the edge of town.

-Lee Child,  Killing Floor

Ed. Comment:  If you enjoy Child's Jack Reacher tales, this is the first one.  If you buy the paperback edition it may also contain a preface from Child about the why, how, and who of Jack Reacher.  You might also then share my utter disdain for whoever thought it was a good idea to cast Tom Cruise as the cinematic Reacher.

The Execupundit offers.......................


..................a great list of British films.  Might we add one?

1967 was a wondrous year............


The Human Beinz............................................................Noboby



Well, ok...............................



Recognizing the truth that all.................


........................................children are different, one should not overlook the impact of good parenting.

Beautiful........................


My Sweetie and I ventured to the amazing Ohio Theatre to see the show Beautiful:  The Carole King Musical.  If you are ever presented the opportunity, do go to this show.  It was fabulous.  Of course, some of us are children of the '60s, and Carole King contributed greatly to the soundtrack of our lives.   Somehow I made it this far in life without every owning Tapestry.  Our friends at Amazon are now busy correcting that.






Weil and Mann...........................


One of the story lines of  Beautiful:  The Carole King Musical was Goffin and King's friendship and rivalry with the song writing team of Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann.  The four of them are responsible for an amazing amount of the early 1960s music.  A twofer from Weil and Mann:



Monday, June 5, 2017

Comprehension.......................


Edvard Munch    The Sun     c. 1909      oil/mural



"His symbolic distortions, enlargements, exaggerations speak of our ever-present inclination to invest the world around us with a private significance that often enough eludes even our own comprehension."

-Robert Coles, from his essay Munch's Look Inward

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


Ella Fitzgerald.............................................................Summertime

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


The Kinks................................................................Two Sisters

Sunday, June 4, 2017

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


All forms of loss are a confrontation to the ego, and its survival mechanisms.  All aspects of human life are transient, so to cling to any aspect eventually brings grief and loss.  Each incident, however, is an opportunity to search within for the source of life, which is ever present, unchanging, and not subject to loss or the ravages of time.

-David Hawkins

"I was keeping an eye on it"................






Source and back story here

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


Johnny Winter.........................................Be Careful With A Fool

On dogmatism.......................


     Those who have a passion for quick returns and for an exact balance sheet of effort and reward may feel impatient of a study which cannot, in the present state of our knowledge, arrive at certainties, and which encourages what may be thought the time-wasting occupation of inconclusive meditation on insoluble problems.  To this view I cannot in any degree subscribe.  Some kind of philosophy is a necessity to all but the most thoughtless, and in the absence of knowledge it is almost sure to be  silly philosophy.  The result of this is that the human race becomes divided into rival groups of fanatics, each group firmly persuaded that is own brand of nonsense is sacred truth, while the other side's is damnable heresy.  Arians and Catholics, Crusaders and Moslems, Protestants and adherents of the Pope, Communists and Fascists, have filled large parts of the last 1,500 years with futile strife, when a little philosophy would have shown both sides in all these disputes that neither had any good reason to believe itself in the right.  Dogmatism is an enemy to peace, and an insuperable barrier to democracy.  In the present age, at least as much as in former times, it is the greatest of the mental obstacles to human happiness.

-Bertrand Russell, from his essay Philosophy For Laymen


Want a successful life?.................


...............The simplest, most effective plan would be to focus on each of these ideas - one new one per day for the next 1,111 days.  The three years will pass anyway, might as well put them to good use.

He does have a way with words............


"America, which is entertaining itself to inanition, has never experienced a scarcity of entertainment."

-George Will, as extracted from this WaPo column

My first reaction was it was a typo and he meant inattention, but this is George Will we are talking about.  His grasp of the language far and away exceeds mine.  Therefore, the Oracle Google was consulted:













Looks like his word usage is correct, again.

via Althouse

On emotional connection.......................or,


.........................................hoping computers stay unmotivated:

David Foster Wallace once said, "If you are immune to boredom, there is literally nothing you cannot accomplish."  In many ways, this is very true.  If you never get bored, you'd be a step closer to being a computer.  Computers do all kinds of boring things for us, and they do them quite well and very quickly.  Computers don't need game mechanics.  They don't get bored or unmotivated.  Yet we are designing offices as if we were machines - but we're not.  Jane McGonigal, a researcher and game designer, argues that by its very nature, efficiency entails removing game mechanics form the design of labor.  In other words, we're taking the fun out of it.
     Karl Marx was wrong about a lot of things in economics, but we're now realizing he was also right about some stuff.  When you remove people's emotional connection to their labor and treat them merely as machines that produce efforts, it's soul killing.

-Eric Barker,  Barking Up The Wrong Tree:  The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong

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


The Kinks........................................................Waterloo Sunset

Saturday, June 3, 2017

That vision thing..............................


     As they began to plot in earnest for the general election, Hillary and her aides thought things were finally starting to go their way.  They believed Trump offered them the perfect foil against which to run a base-focused campaign with a dash of outreach to centrist Republicans fearful that he would be intemperate in an international crisis.  Trump was dividing the Republican establishment from its base in the primary, and the Clinton campaign saw an opportunity to take advantage of that rift.  If everything went right - and they thought there was a good chance of that happening - Hillary would be able to expand Democrats' dominance of the electoral map.  They couldn't or wouldn't see that Trump had spent the primaries courting voters in their backyard.

-Jonathan Allen & Amie Parnes,  Shattered:  Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign

My Sweetie and I..........................


....................ventured out to the wondrous Midland Theatre to experience the Marshall Tucker Band.  35 years ago Marshall Tucker approached #1 on my play list.  Only lead singer Doug Gray remains from the original version, but the new guys can play pretty well.  If you get the chance, go see them.




















They opened with this beauty:



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


The Beach Boys............................................Let The Wind Blow

Friday, June 2, 2017

All one has to do is look around, and read.....


....a bit of history, to realize that the veneer of civilization is fairly thin.  Societal cohesion, once lost, is not an easy thing to peaceably re-create.  Martin Gurri offers an interesting essay on the subject, but leaves us all to draw our own conclusions and find our own solutions.   He begins this way:
Three years ago I remarked that the public was engaged in a messy divorce from the elites who run the great institutions of the industrial age.  That bit of scandal is by now notorious.  The elites, with more to lose, have come to regard the intrusive public as little better than a barbarian horde They know that a complex society can’t be managed without expertise, and long to return to a past in which the expert’s dictates went unquestioned.  Their watchword is “resistance,” but their dream is reaction.
The public, however, has so far proved irresistible, and the breach appears irreconcilable.  Established institutions, the political process, the economy, “the system,” all look to the public suspiciously like a lottery rigged in favor of the perpetual winners:  a class of insiders who manage to be both self-righteous and self-serving, arrogant and failed.  The terms of the divorce would send the lot of them packing.  This attitude is being called “populism” – a fraught word, rarely used by the populists themselves, connoting a politics of anger and negation played out on a minimalist ideological stage.  You can have populists of the right, like Donald Trump, or of the left, like Bernie Sanders.  What brings them together is a determination to do away with the present order of things, and an indifference to what comes after.