Saturday, July 8, 2017

Working on it..................


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

Art theory.....................


Claude Monet         Le Parlement, soleil couchant.         Oil on canvas        c. 1900-1901. 




















The mission of art is not to copy nature but to express it.  The radiation of light is what gives the appearance of a particular body;  so I have not drawn outlines;  I have spread over the contours a cloud of warm and delicate tints in such a way that you cannot put your finger on the spot where the contours merge with the background.  Nearby it looks woolly and imprecise, but from two paces away everything grows clear and one feels that the air surrounds the whole.

-Honoré Balzac, as channeled in The Unknown Masterpiece, published in 1832

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


Also, the more self-confident an expert appears, the worse his or her track record is likely to be.

-Barry Ritholtz,  lifted from his footnotes to this post on "An Expert's Guide to Calling a Market Top."

Being Vice-President......................


.............................................................looks like a pretty good gig.

via

Since we are sharing..................


..............................................the good stuff today, check out Dan Piraro's Bizarro cartoons.


I hate being bossy..................


...............................so consider this as a suggestion, not an order:  visit View From the Ledge.  The Intertunnel is a better place when Jeff posts regularly.

One of life's little treats........................


..............................................is periodically checking in with the Astronomy Picture of the Day site:




Good advice...........................


.......................on dealing with life its ownself and due dates.

thanks craig

Friday, July 7, 2017

Taking the rest of the day off...............


The Rippingtons................................................Wednesday's Child

Knowledge is good......................



"It’s a universal law — intolerance is the first sign of an inadequate education,” observed Alexander Solzhenitsyn. “An ill-educated person behaves with arrogant impatience, whereas truly profound education breeds humility.”


-as culled from here

Ouch..........................


"The Bloomberg syndrome is a characteristic of contemporary government officials. When they are unwilling or unable to address pre-modern problems in their jurisdictions — crime, crumbling infrastructure, inadequate transportation — they compensate by posing as philosopher kings who cheaply lecture on existential challenges over which they have no control."

-Victor Davis Hanson, as extracted from here.  As they say, read the whole thing.

Stories..............................


Optimists told themselves a story that may not have been true, but it kept them going, often allowing them to beat the odds.  Psychologist Shelly Taylor says that "a healthy mind tells itself flattering lies."  The pessimists were more accurate and realistic, and they ended up depressed.  The truth can hurt.

-Eric Barker,  Barking Up The Wrong Tree

That woman.......................


Marshall Tucker Band......................................Can't You See

Connection.............................


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 effort, it's soul killing.

-Eric Barker,  Barking Up The Wrong Tree

Thursday, July 6, 2017

In praise of mavericks....................


Here was just the right sort of maverick:  someone with very high intellectual credentials and a sterling education but not housebroken enough by politics to prevent her from doing serious research on the character strengths of students who succeed and the character deficits of students who fail.

-Martin E. P. Seligman,  Flourish:  A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being

Incalculable................................


      Philosophers, for the most part, are constitutionally timid, and dislike the unexpected.  Few of them would be genuinely happy as pirates or burglars.  Accordingly they invent systems which make the future calculable, at least in the main outlines.

-Bertrand Russell, from his essay "Philosophy's Ulterior Motives," as found in Unpopular Essays

Must be thinking more, here of late......


Perhaps, as Borges concludes in his story, it is forgetting, not remembering, that is the essence of what makes us human.  To make sense of the world, we must filter it.  "To think," Borges writes, "is to forget."

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

Can I get an Amen.........................?


      In the age of speed, I began to think, nothing could be more invigorating than going slow.
      In the age of distraction, nothing can feel more luxurious than paying attention.
      And in an age of constant movement, nothing is more urgent that sitting still.

-Pico Iyer,  The Art of Stillness:  Adventures In Going Nowhere

It's a process...............................


Traffic...................................................John Barleycorn Must Die



There were three men came out of the west, their fortunes for to try
And these three men made a solemn vow
John Barleycorn must die
They've plowed, they've sown, they've harrowed him in
Threw clods upon his head
And these three men made a solemn vow
John Barleycorn was dead

They've let him lie for a very long time, 'til the rains from heaven did fall
And little Sir John sprung up his head and so amazed them all
They've let him stand 'til Midsummer's Day 'til he looked both pale and wan
And little Sir John's grown a long long beard and so become a man
They've hired men with their scythes so sharp to cut him off at the knee
They've rolled him and tied him by the way, serving him most barbarously
They've hired men with their sharp pitchforks who've pricked him to the heart
And the loader he has served him worse than that
For he's bound him to the cart

They've wheeled him around and around a field 'til they came onto a pond
And there they made a solemn oath on poor John Barleycorn
They've hired men with their crabtree sticks to cut him skin from bone
And the miller he has served him worse than that
For he's ground him between two stones

And little Sir John and the nut brown bowl and his brandy in the glass
And little Sir John and the nut brown bowl proved the strongest man at last
The huntsman he can't hunt the fox nor so loudly to blow his horn
And the tinker he can't mend kettle or pots without a little barleycorn

Music.................................


..........................................................is there anything it can't do?


THE YEAR WAS 2081......................


.......................................and everybody was finally equal.

Re-reading Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.'s short story, Harrison Bergeron, is an annual event around these parts.  Try it out.

Others feel the same

The danger of overloading on..................


............................................................................."news"

Wise selfishness............................


"So as you rightly mentioned, a self-centered attitude is the source of the problem.  We have to take care of ourselves without selfishly taking care of ourselves.  If we don't take care of ourselves, we cannot survive.  We need to do that.  We should have wise selfishness rather than foolish selfishness.  Foolish selfishness means you just think only of yourself, don't care about others, bully others, exploit others.  In fact, taking care of others, helping others, ultimately is the way to discover your own joy and to have a happy life.  So that is what I call wise selfishness."

-The Dalai Lama

receiving and retrieving.................

Spirit ........................................................................Nature's Way



It's nature's way of telling you something's wrong
It's nature's way of telling you in a song

It's nature's way of receiving you
It's nature's way of retrieving you
It's nature's way of telling you
Something's wrong

It's nature's way of telling you, summer breeze
It's nature's way of telling you, dying trees

It's nature's way of receiving you
It's nature's way of retrieving you
It's nature's way of telling you
Something's wrong
It's nature's way, it's nature's way
It's nature's way, it's nature's way

It's nature's way of telling you
It's nature's way of telling you
Something's wrong
It's nature's way of telling you
It's nature's way of telling you
In a song, oh-h

It's nature's way of receiving you
It's nature's way
It's nature's way of retrieving you
It's nature's way
It's nature's way of telling you
Something's wrong, something's wrong, something's wrong

-Randy California

It's Entertainment.....................


The world is actually entertainment.  Like amusement, it is meant to be worn lightly.  Heaven is within and is revealed by awareness.  The world is merely an appearance.  Its melodrama is an artifice of the distorted sense of perception.  It leads one to think that the world is large, powerful, and permanent and that the Self is small, weak, and transitory;  exactly the opposite is true.

-David R. Hawkins

Eugene Delacroix...............................


Eugene Delacroix     Liberty Leads The People     oil on canvass   1830


"You can stuff the most violent colors into your painting, just give them a reflection that unites them and you will never be loud.  Is nature sober in coloring?  Isn't it flooded with fierce contrasts that in no way destroy its harmony?  Some people try to eliminate this in their painting;  it can be done but there's a slight drawback, which is that painting is eliminated too."

"I have started work on a modern subject, a scene on the barricades.. ..I may not have fought for my country but at least I shall have painted for her.."

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Soothing every raging wave that comes.......


Sugarloaf..........................................................Green Eyed Lady

How to solve the Korea problem........



.................................................................Redefining "Win-Win"

Transition from misery to hope................


In other words, when we economic historians lecture to undergraduates we emphasize an anti-Malthusian message of hope - that average human welfare has shot up startlingly since 1980.  A graph of average income over time resembles an ice hockey stick, with tens of thousands of years spent tracing the long, horizontal handle.  Then finally, after 1800, history reached the business end of the hockey stick and shot up the blade.  A video by Rosling, "200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes," makes the optimistic point, illustrating the transition from misery to hope.

-Deirdre Nansen McCloskey,  Bourgeois Equality:  How Ideas, Not Capital Or Institutions, Enriched The World

the strange idea.........................


       The bourgeois, voluntary, egalitarian, bettering ideology writ across a society is recent, and therefore cannot be put down to ancient risings of empires and strugglings of classes, or to biological evolution on a scale of centuries.   We did not become rich at the time of the rise of trade, which is paleolithically ancient, or upon the establishment of towns and the agricultural state and the legal protection of real property, which are less ancient but nonetheless many millennia old, or in long times of peace, which has characterized life in economically stagnant places as much as in Europe 1815-1914.   An ideological change did it, and recently.  In northwestern Europe the strange idea grew up that aristocracy (the rule of the best by descent) and theocracy (the rule of priests) and even plutocracy (the rule of the present rich) were all nasty.  What replaced them in people's ideology, slowly, was the rule of the better technique, allowing free entry to compete with the monopolies that the aristocrats or the plutocrats had arranged under the aegis of a captured government.  The new ideology in places like Britain and Belgium around 1800 favored a "betterocracy," or, if you want the pure Greek, a "kaluterocracy."

-Deirdre Nansen McCloskey,   Bourgeois Equality:  How Ideas, Not Capital Of Institutions, Enriched The World

The Great Enrichment..................


Then after 1798 - as economic historians have discovered over the past few decades - life in quite a few places got better.  Slowly, and then quickly, and by now with unstoppable, ramifying, worldwide force, it got much better.  Material life got better not merely for Europeans or imperial powers or Mr. Moneybags, but for ordinary people from Brooklyn to Beijing.
        The betterment stands out in human history as the Great Enrichment, the most important secular event since we first domesticated squash and chickens and wheat and horses.  The Enrichment has been and will continue to be more important historically that the rise and fall of empires or the class struggle in all hitherto existing societies.   Such perennial fascinations of historians, entranced by the realpolitik that accompanies empires rising and classes struggling, had little to do with our enrichment.  Empire did not enrich Britain.  America's success did not depend on slavery.  Power did not lead to plenty, and exploitation was not plenty's engine.
         The real engine was the expanding ideology of liberty and dignity that inspired the proliferating schemes of betterment by and for the common people.

-Diedre Nansen McCloskey,  Bourgeois Equality:  How Ideas, Not Capital Or Institutions, Enriched The World

Because the learning never stops...........















Not remembering my Zeno's Paradoxes, the Oracle Google was consulted.  Now I remember, but I still don't understand.  Read it yourself.

"To fully solve any of the paradoxes, however, one needs to show what is wrong with the argument, not just the conclusions."

Really?   I think Diogenes the Cynic had the correct answer.

Forty years ago......................


Santana...................................................................She's Not There

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

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


4th of July

via

Learning something new (again)............


.....................................................................The Ship of Theseus








A visit to this post at Maggie's Farm will provide the readable context, as well as a cool link.  Keep learning.

Ouch.........................


Finally, no one has calibrated quite the nation’s deep antipathy toward the coastal media-university-political-cultural nexus, most specifically its utter hypocrisy. Half the country sees not so much Democrats or progressives, but rather a bankrupt class whose venom for others is used to excuse their own exemptions from the ramifications of their own ideology.

People are tired of the social justice warrior Obama frolicking in Tahiti, the feminist Hillary Clinton excusing four decades of the sexual predations of her husband upon the weak, the supposedly in the know campus bullies picking on the vulnerable while shelling out a quarter-million dollars for a mediocre education; the progressive media decrying inequality and fairness amid face-surgeries, hair plugs, nannies, and prep schools; the Silicon Valley masters of the universe sermonizing on the evils of walls, inequality, and social justice from their gated hideaways, servants, and schemes to monopolize, offshore, outsource, and avoid taxes.
There is a limit to Trump’s crude personal tweets, but apparently no observer has yet calibrated where it is—given the country’s disdain for the media, the progressive hypocritical agenda, and the scatological and obscene rhetoric of Trump’s opposition.
-Victor Davis Hanson, as extracted from this essay on the president's communication style

Next thing you know....................


...................................they will be telling us that quarter-pounders with cheese, with a side of fries and a coke, are bad for you.  I wish these people would just stop.

via

School is never out....................


...........................................................with Professor Althouse:

....................................................fun with the language

....................................................on "doctoring" videos

Responsibility.........................


..........................is the price one pays for independence.   Seth Godin has some thoughts, and some more thoughts, on the subject.

A few more thoughts on liberty and responsibility


There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them. 
-Denis Waitley

Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility. 
-Sigmund Freud

Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.
-George Bernard Shaw

The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That's the day we truly grow up. 

-John C. Maxwell

You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of. 
-Jim Rohn

Freedom and responsibility aren't interconnected things. They are the same thing.
-Harry Browne
The aim of art, the aim of a life can only be to increase the sum of freedom and responsibility to be found in every man and in the world. It cannot, under any circumstances, be to reduce or suppress that freedom, even temporarily. No great work has ever been based on hatred and contempt. On the contrary, there is not a single true work of art that has not in the end added to the inner freedom of each person who has known and loved it.
-Albert Camus
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.
-Ronald Reagan

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




      via

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Well, it would explain a lot...................


 If power were a prescription drug, it would come with a long list of known side effects. It can intoxicate. It can corrupt. It can even make Henry Kissinger believe that he’s sexually magnetic. But can it cause brain damage?

-Jerry Useem, as he opens this essay in The Atlantic

Read the whole thing.  Amazingly, the essay never mentions our current president.

via

One reason us History majors..............


.........................appreciate the Oracle Google, is that it helps us understand correct grammar.  Reading the essay featured in the above post, your faithful blogger was puzzled.   Shouldn't "If power were a prescription drug..." be "If power was a prescription drug..."?    The Oracle Google seems to say that the wordsmiths at The Atlantic are correct:






















Learned something new today.