Saturday, March 11, 2017
"Economics and economic history also teach us humility: No economist in 1900 could have figured out what farmers, horse-shoers, ice deliverers, street-sweepers, and so forth would do when those jobs disappeared. The people involved did. Knowledge of our own ignorance is useful."
-Arnold Kling citing John Cochrane commenting on Russ Roberts. Start here.
“There is a way of losing that is finding. When soul overmasters sense. When the noble and divine self overcomes the lower self. When duty and honor and love immortal things bid the mortal perish. It is only when a man supremely gives that he supremely finds.”
-Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain
Friday, March 10, 2017
...................................................that I liked Amal Clooney before.
"The wife of actor George Clooney, who represents victims of IS rapes and kidnappings, told a U.N. meeting that what's "shocking" is not just the group's brutality but the "passive" response by the world's nations to the campaign to investigate its crimes and bring the perpetrators to justice."
Thursday, March 9, 2017
So the headline reads at the Coyote Blog. We would all do well to remember that people, small businesses, corporations, partnerships (collectively known as risk taking entrepreneurs) create private jobs. The government does not. The president does not. Private enterprise does. We forget that at our own peril.
.............................................................and their ageless lessons:
One, the importance of being a lifelong learner. Two, keep my life simple. Three, closely guard my character and reputation. Four, not take life too seriously and stay happy always. These are apart from the hundreds of lessons I have learned from these two wise men on how to be sensible with my money.
We have to remember that the unpopularity of the press was a key to Trump's election. Journalists helped solve the billionaire's accessibility problem by being a more hated group than the arrogant rich. Trump has people believing he shares a common enemy with them: the news media. When we do badly, he does well.
-Matt Taibbi, as culled from here
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
It is a striking fact that the nation's most famous soldier was born to parents whose religion preached ardent conscientious objection to all mortal wars. But the truth of a life is never contained in its summarizing labels; the influences that shaped our thirty-fourth president were deeper, wider, and more idiosyncratic. As Ike himself acknowledged, he wasn't an exceptional student or a particularly promising military candidate. He once told his wife, Mamie, "If I'm lucky. I'll be a colonel." His ambitions didn't reach farther than that. Yet he went on to become Supreme Allied Commander, assemble the greatest fighting force in the history of mankind, defeat Adolf Hitler's war machine, save Western civilization from fascism, and manage to get elected president twice by decisive majorities. He had never dreamed of being a general, much less president of the United States, but that's where life took him.
-Bret Baier with Catherine Whitney, Three Days In January: Dwight Eisenhower's Final Mission
.................The discovery of some unsettled science: the question of the expansion of the Universe. The work done by these scientists fascinates me. I don't understand much about it, and I suspect that, while their knowledge and smarts dwarf mine, they don't either. What a puzzle! Still, the question I would like a serious answer to is: If it is expanding, into what? And I'm sorry, but this doesn't strike me as much of an answer, or it is an answer that only raises more questions. For myself, I side with the Huxley quote below.
I am entirely on the side of mystery. I mean, any attempt to explain away the mystery is ridiculous. I believe in the profound and unfathomable mystery of life which has a sort of divine quality about it.
- Aldous Huxley
thanks michael image via
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
"If history is our guide, this odd situation, in which the most famous “liar” in the world also has access to the world’s best secrets, will be more entertaining than dangerous. We’re seeing that entertainment now."
-Scott Adams, from this post about Trump and "wiretapping."
Ed. Note: The trailing post, a quote from Martin Gurri's post on cui bono (or who benefits from Trump), must surely apply to Adams. The boy is on a serious hot streak.
"I know that’s a tricky question, if only because our political life at the moment resembles the food fight in ."
-Martin Gurri, as culled from here
cui bono wiki here
One word sums up our country’s achievements: miraculous. From a standing start 240 years ago – a span of time less than triple my days on earth – Americans have combined human ingenuity, a market system, a tide of talented and ambitious immigrants, and the rule of law to deliver abundance beyond any dreams of our forefathers.
-Warren Buffett, as excerpted from this February 2017 letter
"Those firms who are able to pay more attention to their clients and help them make better, more informed decisions can separate themselves from the pack."
-Ben Carlson, from this post touching on the "active vs passive" investment management debate
My formula for living is quite simple. I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night. In between, I occupy myself as best I can.
There's no point in being unhappy about growing older. Just think of the millions who have been denied the privilege.
Destiny is not necessarily what we get out of life, but rather, what we give.
I am reminded of a piece of advice my father gave me regarding shoes. ...He said it is better to buy one good pair of shoes than four cheap ones. One pair made of fine leather could outlast four inferior pairs and, if well-cared-for, would continue to proclaim your good judgment and taste no matter how old they become.
I've often been accused by critics of being myself on-screen. But being oneself is more difficult than you'd suppose.
To write an autobiography, you've got to expose other people. I hope to get out of this world as gracefully as possible, without embarrassing anyone.
“Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to be always part of unanimity.”
Monday, March 6, 2017
"He that lives in a college, after his mind is sufficiently stocked with learning, is like a man, who having build, rigged, and victualled, a ship, should lock her up in a dry dock."
|William Hogarth Gin Lane 1751|
The London that Burke encountered was by far the largest city in the British Isles. Its population of more than 600,000 people in 1750 was roughly one-tenth of England as a whole, and ten times that of the next-largest city, Bristol. It was a place of squalor and stench, with huge overcrowding and only the most rudimentary sanitation. Pigs and fowl often lived in urban cellars. Diseases such as smallpox, typhoid fever and dysentery were rampant, with periodic outbursts of influenza. The results were death and deformity, which hit the urban poor the hardest, but left no family untouched. Barely one child in three survived childhood.
By way of antidote, people turned to gambling, cockfighting and the like, and above all to drinking gin. The latter, mixed with fruit cordials, was embraced on such an epic scale that the average annual consumption across the whole of England in 1743 was well over two gallons a head. When Burke arrived in London memories were still fresh of the notorious Judith Defour and, thanks to William Hogarth's print Gin Lane, would remain so. It was she who in 1734 had strangled her own two-year-old daughter and sold the new petticoat the girl had been given at the parish workhouse in order to pay for gin. Five acts of Parliament were required to bring the craze under control.
There was not established police force, and though a widely admired new system of street lighting had been introduced two decades earlier, it was only partially effective. It is not surprising, then, that crime and petty disorder were widespread, arson and looting not unusual. Riots were sometimes seen as a means for an urban underclass to even the score, and could offer rich pickings to people in desperate poverty. Violence lay everywhere below the social surface.
-Jesse Norman, Edmund Burke: The First Conservative
Art History majors will undoubtedly know that Hogarth also produced a print, Beer Street, showing the happiness and contentment associated with drinking beer, unlike that nasty gin. Here 'tis:
|William Hogarth Beer Street 1751|
Sunday, March 5, 2017
“We show hospitality to strangers not merely because they need it, but because we need it, too. The stranger at the door is the living symbol and memory that we are all strangers here. This is not our house, our table, our food, our lodging; this is God's house and table and food and lodging. We were pilgrims and wanderers, aliens and strangers, even enemies of God, but we, too, were welcomed into this place. To show hospitality to the stranger is, as Gordon Lathrop has observed, to say, "We are beggars here together. Grace will surprise us both.”
-Thomas G. Long
If your creativity is flagging, this easy-to-read, not-too-long, whimsically-illustrated book could be just what the doctor ordered. MacKenzie, the Creative Paradox at Hallmark Cards, has fought the good fight against corporate blandness. His tale is highly recommended.
To be fully free to create, we must first find the courage and willingness to let go:
Let go of the strategies that have worked for us in the past...
Let go of our biases, the foundation of our illusions...
Let go of our grievances, the source of our victimhood...
Let go of our so-often-denied fear of being found unlovable.
You will find it is not a one-shot deal, this letting go. You must do it again and again and again. It's kind of like breathing. You can't breathe just once. Try it: Breathe just once. You'll pass out.
If you stop letting go, your creative spirit will pass out.
Now when I say let go, I do not mean reject. Because when you let go of something, it will still be there for you when you need it. But because you have stopped clinging, you will have freed yourself up to tap into other possibilities - possibilities that can help you deal with this world of accelerating change.
-Gordon MacKenzie, Orbiting The Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool's Guide to Surviving with Grace