Saturday, January 14, 2017

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


Sam Cooke..........................................A Change Is Gonna Come

Radical meritocracy...........................................or, Ray Dalio for president........................


"I think the greatest tragedy of mankind is that people have ideas and opinions in their heads but don't have a process for properly examining these ideas to find out what's true. That creates a world of distortions."

-As extracted from this conversation between Ray Dalio and Henry Blodget

Happy 13th............................


.......................................................to the amazing Althouse!

We're about to get our low-attention-span President, and I will indulge my low-attention-span reading propensities. We will see what happens. So far what has happened, doing only what I love here, is 13 years of 10-post-a-day blogging without a single day's break. It's not as though I'm doggedly plugging away here trying to keep a record going. It's only blogging if it runs on intrinsic reward.

Sensing this is true....................


"Someone who has spent his life as a heterosexual white male will never be able to understand how an incorrectly-made sandwich could trigger a trauma."

-Philipp Oehmke. as extracted from his essay Has Political Correctness Gone off the Rails in America?

Tension...............................


You may well ask: "Why direct action? Why sit ins, marches and so forth? Isn't negotiation a better path?" You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word "tension." I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood. The purpose of our direct action program is to create a situation so crisis packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. I therefore concur with you in your call for negotiation. Too long has our beloved Southland been bogged down in a tragic effort to live in monologue rather than dialogue.

-Martin Luther King, Jr., as excerpted from his Letter from Birmingham Jail

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


The Association................................................................Windy

On quieting the ego.................


Failure and rejection can be a miserable place. How do you carry on? How do you take pride in yourself and your work?
The famous coach John Wooden’s advice to his players gives the answer: Change the definition of success. “Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-­satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”
That’s it. Your effort, doing the best, is what you can control. This is what you need to focus on.
Do your work. Do it well. Then “let go and let God.“ That’s all there needs to be. Recognition and rewards — ­those are just extra. Rejection, that’s on them, not on us.
In other words, the less attached we are to outcomes the better. 
-Ryan Holiday, as culled from this post

It is never too late....................


.........................for ten life lessons that take a long time to learn.

thanks

Friday, January 13, 2017

Kurt..........................


.................you really should check this out (if you haven't already).















#18 from this wondrous list

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


"The danger of civilization, of course, is that you will piss away your life on nonsense."

-attributed to Jim Harrison

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


Bob Marley......................................................Redemption Song

Winning.....................................


....................................................................with Fred Rogers

Steps..............................


In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self purification; and direct action. We have gone through all these steps in Birmingham. There can be no gainsaying the fact that racial injustice engulfs this community. Birmingham is probably the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States. Its ugly record of brutality is widely known. Negroes have experienced grossly unjust treatment in the courts. There have been more unsolved bombings of Negro homes and churches in Birmingham than in any other city in the nation. These are the hard, brutal facts of the case. On the basis of these conditions, Negro leaders sought to negotiate with the city fathers. But the latter consistently refused to engage in good faith negotiation.

Then, last September, came the opportunity to talk with leaders of Birmingham's economic community. In the course of the negotiations, certain promises were made by the merchants--for example, to remove the stores' humiliating racial signs. On the basis of these promises, the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth and the leaders of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights agreed to a moratorium on all demonstrations. As the weeks and months went by, we realized that we were the victims of a broken promise. A few signs, briefly removed, returned; the others remained. As in so many past experiences, our hopes had been blasted, and the shadow of deep disappointment settled upon us. We had no alternative except to prepare for direct action, whereby we would present our very bodies as a means of laying our case before the conscience of the local and the national community. Mindful of the difficulties involved, we decided to undertake a process of self purification. We began a series of workshops on nonviolence, and we repeatedly asked ourselves: "Are you able to accept blows without retaliating?" "Are you able to endure the ordeal of jail?" We decided to schedule our direct action program for the Easter season, realizing that except for Christmas, this is the main shopping period of the year. Knowing that a strong economic-withdrawal program would be the by product of direct action, we felt that this would be the best time to bring pressure to bear on the merchants for the needed change.

-Martin Luther King, Jr., as excerpted from his Letter from Birmingham Jail

Parenting 101:


......................I'll have to ask my kids how well we did:

I don't believe in playing down to children, either in life or in motion pictures. I didn't treat my own youngsters like fragile flowers, and I think no parent should.  Children are people, and they should have to reach to learn about things, to understand things, just as adults have to reach if they want to grow in mental stature. Life is composed of lights and shadows, and we would be untruthful, insincere, and saccharine if we tried to pretend there were no shadows. Most things are good, and they are the strongest things; but there are evil things too, and you are not doing a child a favor by trying to shield him from reality. The important thing is to teach a child that good can always triumph over evil, and that is what our pictures attempt to do.

-Walt Disney, as excerpted from here

True.......................................?


"Since Plato, Western thought and the theory of knowledge have focused on the notions of True-False;  as commendable as it was, it is high time to shift the concern to Robust-Fragile, and social epistemology to the more serious problem of Sucker-Nonsucker."

-Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Knowing the wondrousness of the Intertunnel, this was inevitable:


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


     You never knew what a kid in the interview room might say to jolt you out of your slumber and back to your senses and force you to pay attention.  And once you were paying attention, you naturally placed far greater weight on whatever he had just said than you probably should:  The most memorable moments in job interviews for the National Basketball Association were hard to consign to some appropriately sized compartment of the brain.  In certain cases it was as if the players were trying to screw up your ability to judge them.  For instance, when the Houston Rockets interviewer asked one player if he could pass a drug test, the guy had gone wide-eyed and grabbed the table and said, "You mean today!!!???"  There was one college player who'd been arrested on charges (subsequently dropped) of domestic violence, and whose agent had claimed it had been a simple misunderstanding.  When they'd asked the player about it he'd explained, chillingly, that he'd grown weary of his girlfriend's "bitching, so I just put my hands around her neck and I squeezed.  'Cause I needed her to shut up."  There was Kenneth Faried, a power forward out of Morehead State.  When he showed up for his interview they'd asked him, "Do you prefer Kenneth of Kenny?"  "Manimal," Faried said.  He wanted to be called Manimal.  What do you do with that?  Roughly three out of every four of the black American players who came for NBA interviews - or at least came for interviews with the NBA's Houston Rockets - had never really known their father.  "It's not uncommon, when you ask these guys who their biggest male influence was, for them to say, 'My Mom,'" said the Rockets' director of player personnel, Jimmy Paulis.  "One said, 'Obama.'"

-Michael Lewis,  The Undoing Project:  A Friendship That Changed Our Minds

Trouble shots.........................


         Because Pap didn't allow the members to practice chipping and putting on the greens, he certainly wasn't going to let me do it, which is one reason why my short game was rather weak in my early amateur days.  On the other hand, I tended to be perfectly comfortable hitting shots from places where no other golfer ever wanted to be.  It turned out to be an important lesson about the game:  you've got to learn to live with trouble, and you've got to learn how to get out of it.  In golf, as in life, you get some good breaks and some bad breaks, but if you're going to depend on the breaks always going your way, you're in for a surprise.

-Arnold Palmer, A Life Well Played:  My Stories

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


The Happenings........................................................I Got Rhythm

But luckier than most......................



Thursday, January 12, 2017

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


Minnie Riperton.........................................................Loving You

Recommended...................................

























Ornament Of The World referenced Moses de Leon, a Jewish mystic writing in Al-Andalus in the late 13th century.   Interest piqued about Moses, the Colossus Amazon was consulted.  Three Mystics Walk Into A Tavern:  A Once and Future Meeting of Rumi, Meister Eckhart, and Moses de Leon in Medieval Venice popped up first.  Fairly certain that the three never actually met, it seemed like a good book to own, and a good place to find out more about Moses de Leon.  If the faithful reader is  interested in mysticism, as applied via the three Abrahamic religions, this easy-to-read book is recommended.

On guard..............................


     "We must always be on guard about limiting God, whether in language, thought, or theology.  It is so easy to do that often we do not realize we are doing it."

-Moses de Leon, as channeled by James C. Harrington and Sidney G. Hall, III in their book, Three Mystics Walk Into A Tavern:  A Once and Future Meeting of Rumi, Meister Eckhart, and Moses de Leon in Medieval Venice

Transformative.............................


     "I profoundly believe that, if religion gets in the way of entering into the mystery of Love, it must be ignored.  Intellectual knowledge about religion cannot  become religion itself.  Religion is the intermediary, not the end goal.  The right practice of religion should help move us unto the Lover's embrace.  Religion has to be transformative, transformative of ourselves and of the community, not something that emphasizes loyalty to a group or that claims superiority over all other groups.  Religion must be a garden of life, not a citadel of exclusivity."

-Rumi, as channeled by James C. Harrington and Sidney G. Hall, III in their book, Three Mystics Walk Into A Tavern:  A Once and Future Meeting of Rumi, Meister Eckhart, and Moses de Leon in Medieval Venice

A continuum.........................

   
     "For me, this conjures up the idea of a continuum that stretches from the unavoidable human flaw inherent in trying to understand the ineffability of the Divine to the outright control with which some religious institutions try to take over people's lives.  Group-loyalty trumps God-loyalty.  Behind this pole, of course, lies the danger of extremism.
     God's love is not exclusive and doctrinaire; nor should religion be.  Killing people in the name of God, or causing them to suffer unless they convert, or consigning them to the fires of Hell is not the work of God.  This is all abhorrent to God and prevents God's self-manifestation in the human community.  How often have we sinned against God in the name of God?"

-Meister Eckhart,  as channeled by James C. Harrington and Sidney G. Hall, III in their book, Three Mystics Walk Into A Tavern:  A Once and Future Meeting of Rumi, Meister Eckhart, and Moses de Leon in Medieval Venice

Mystical..........................




"The most beautiful and most profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical.  It is the sower of all true science.  [The person] to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead.  To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms - this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness."

-Albert Einstein

image via

Interrelatedness............................


Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial “outside agitator” idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.

-Martin Luther King, Jr., as excerpted from his April, 1963 Letter from Birmingham Jail

All things.......................
























“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

GIGO...........................


"The calamity of the information age is that the toxicity of data increases much faster than its benefits"

-Nassim Nicholas Taleb

A new homework..................


......................assignment from Scott.  Got some listening to do.

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


Jefferson Airplane......................................................White Rabbit

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

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


Steve Goodman..................You Never Even Call Me By My Name

Fixing dinner tonight................


...............................................................................it'll be terrific.


















via

Victor Davis Hanson............................



............takes a stab at the meaning of Trumpism.  He concludes:


Policies are good or bad based on how much they cost and how much value is returned on the sale. Success is profitability; failure is red ink and negative net worth. If Solyndra had worked, and if it had paid back its $500 million taxpayer-funded loan as its expanded plants and work forces, then a pragmatic Trump would have been for it and ignored classical free-market axioms. The solution to the inner city is an economy in overdrive — not government handouts, but so many good jobs that employers are forced to hire at good wages every employee they can find.


In sum, it’s an America that emulates (even if hypocritically so) the lost culture of the 1950s; exploits fossil fuels; is run by deal makers who make money ostensibly to achieve a GDP that can fund the niceties of American civilization; opposes unfettered free trade and is united by race and class through shared material success; assesses winning as what’s workable rather than what’s politically correct or doctrinaire; makes “tremendous” cars, air-conditioners, and planes; has the largest and most powerful and least-used military; and is loyal to our allies and considerably scary to our enemies. All that seems to be Trumpism (at least for now).

When Trump has a record as president, one can add to or subtract from the list.
 

Apparently................................


...........................................................this is so last century.



Here is a story from a F-35 pilot.  The old glory days of aerial dogfighting seem to have passed us by.

"There is some idea that when we talk about dogfighting it's one airplane's ability to get another airplane's 6 and shoot it with a gun ... That hasn't happened with American planes in maybe 40 years," Berke said.

thanks craig

Guessing this is true..................


'The fact that we now have data that wasn’t available in the past changes the nature of that past data. ... Hindsight changes perception."

-Ben Carlson, as extracted from here

Our man in Augusta...............


................................has earned the right to gloat for a few days.

Wisdom.................................


............................................................................from its usual source.    The hard part is getting the second list right.

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


Janis Ian..............................................................Society's Child

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Hey, wait a minute..................


..................................................what about my history degree?

"Based on data he has collected, the iconic tech entrepreneur and Microsoft co-founder said people with three backgrounds will be the most in-demand in the coming years: sciences, engineering and economics."

-as culled from this essay

Of course us old-fashioned folk believe that the ability to think for yourself, the ability to get along well with a wide variety of people, and the possession of more than a bit of self-discipline are way more important than educational backgrounds.

thanks craig


Hmmm.....................................


Liberals, please: politics is not therapy. Politics is about power. Right now you don’t have it. Not at the state level, not in Congress, and soon not in the White House. If you want to get it, you have to be smart. Stop giving Republicans the argument they want! Stop playing to their frame! It doesn’t matter if you’re right. That’s irrelevant. It doesn’t matter if they’re the ones in the bubble! The only thing that matters is what you can accomplish. Right now, that’s not much. Your opponents, meanwhile, are a single state legislature flip away from being able to pass constitutional amendments. So you better come up with a plan to convince the people who are able to be convinced. Including those who you think live in bubbles in the hinterland. Even if you think you shouldn’t have to convince them, you have to appeal to them if you want to win. Life’s not fair. Get to work, or keep doing what you’re doing and lose again.

-Freddie deBoer, interesting as always

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


Otis Redding..............................(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay

Have to think about this one for a bit.......


"Fractured and many-minded, the public, in truth, is unified only by the force of its negations..."

-Martin Gurri, as excerpted from this essay, which concludes:

 "If I were captain of the global airliner flying into 2017, I’d make the following announcement:  Fasten your seatbelts, there will be turbulence ahead."

Hmmmm....................................























"The Web is an unhealthy place for someone hungry for attention."

-Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Pardon me...........................




















via

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


The Monkees...................................................Daydream Believer

Monday, January 9, 2017

Would it be judgmental..............


.............................................................of me to think, "Good"?






















       via

On good behavior...................


Arnie presents Jack the 1963 Masters Green Jacket

Jack presents Arnie the 1964 Masters Green Jacket



     But believe me when I say that despite the pain of losing major tournaments to each other and the wild swings in fortune that defined our relationship, we had a lot of fun being in the center of all that attention.  And neither of us ever lost sight of what it was all about, sports and competition, not life and death.  That meant that the guy who lost was always able to congratulate the guy who won with all sincerity.  Likewise, the winner, understanding the disappointment the other man was feeling, was able to be humble and kind.
     I can't think of a better way to behave whatever side of the fence you end up on in your daily pursuits.

-Arnold Palmer, A Life Well Played:  My Stories.  As extracted from the chapter "Jack."

From your lips....................


................................................................to God's ears:

"Higher standards of everyday journalism would help."

-Steven Novella, as culled from his post, The Misinformation Wars

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


Johnny Horton......................................................Cherokee Boogie

Be Melting Snow..............

Totally conscious, and apropos of nothing, you come to see me. 
Is someone here? I ask. 
The moon. The full moon is inside your house. 

My friends and I go running out into the street. 
I'm in here, comes a voice from the house, but we aren't listening. 
We're looking up at the sky. 
My pet nightingale sobs like a drunk in the garden. 
Ringdoves scatter with small cries, Where, Where. 
It's midnight. The whole neighborhood is up and out 
in the street thinking, The cat burglar has come back. 
The actual thief is there too, saying out loud, 
Yes, the cat burglar is somewhere in this crowd. 
No one pays attention. 

Lo, I am with you always means when you look for God, 
God is in the look of your eyes, 
in the thought of looking, nearer to you than your self, 
or things that have happened to you 
There's no need to go outside. 

Be melting snow. 
Wash yourself of yourself. 

A white flower grows in quietness. 
Let your tongue become that flower.

-Rumi

One of my father's favorites..........


..............................................................easy to see (hear) why.

Recurring seasons..............................


This era could be summed up much as Charles Dickens wrote in 1859 in  A Tale of Two Cities:  "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair..."
     In this era of enormous, stunning intellectual progress and simultaneous fearsome calamities, the reprehensible paths take by mainstream leadership is not surprising, nor was their propensity to cling to rigid theologies and politics of "us and them."...

-James C. Harrington and Sidney G. Hall III,  Three Mystics Walk Into A Tavern

Not to disappoint anyone, but the "era" being discussed is the 13th and 14th centuries.  Ah, the winding staircase that is history.

Insulation.........................





"Bureaucracy is a construction designed to maximize the distance between a decision-maker and the risks of the decision."

-Nassim Nicholas Taleb

cartoon via

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


The Who............................................................I Can See For Miles



Forget what the video says, this song was released as a single in October of 1967.  Reached # 9 on Billboard's Hot 100 in December of 1967.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Leave it to The Onion..................


.....................................................to deliver the hard news.

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


"There are books in which the footnotes or comments scrawled by some reader’s hand in the margin are more interesting than the text. The world is one of these books."

-George Santayana

via

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


Roy Orbison......................................................I Drove All Night

As habits go.....................


......................................................"Fill The Jar" is a pretty good one.

thanks Nicholas

We really do need more messiness.......


"We have become less and less interested in either policy or politics, and more interested in finding some loophole in the rules that will allow one party or the other to impose its will on the country without the messy business of gathering votes and building public support. It started with the courts, but it certainly has not ended there."

-Megan McArdle, as excerpted from here

Thought nicotine might have made the list....


"The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary."

-Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Jetboy.............................


..............................................................................Hots it up.

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


.................................................................of social skills.

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


Neil Diamond.........................Thank The Lord For The Nightime