Thursday, December 21, 2017

Michael Wade as Christmas shopping guru......


4.   If you are in the market for good chocolates, pray that your state has a See's Candies store. They have excellent chocolates. The only drawback is that See's has a high number of customers who like lengthy discussions with the check-out crew. Those people will be ahead of you in line. Each will have a group discount, but they will have to search for the card.

-his full list of ten observations is here.

Newark, Ohio, to our everlasting good fortune, is home to Goumas Confections.   See's may have a better known owner, but other than that, you are better off with Goumas.   Try them.  You'll be glad you did!

On structure.........................


 I learned that someone had to direct and encourage the observations of others, and get real data, in order to make effective changes.  Leadership is not always delegation, but co-ordination with foresight.  I did not impose my rank in the division to make it all work, but enabled their insights through structure that they themselves could not impose.

-David Merkel, from here via here

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

On letting go..................................



.......................................................permission not required.

Far better..........................


These well-meaning gentlemen of the British Broadcasting Corporation have absolutely no qualifications and no claim to represent British public opinion.  They have no right to say that they voice the opinions of English or British people whatever.   If anyone can do that it is His Majesty's Government;  and there may be two opinions about that.  It would be far better to have sharply contrasted views in succession, in alteration, than to have this copious stream of pontifical, anonymous mugwumpery with which we have been dosed so long.

-Winston Churchill, from a February, 1933 speech in the House of Commons

More random stuff found on the computer....






































































Be responsible...................






















via

Monday, December 18, 2017

You might want to read about...........


......................................."another psychotic episode in the strange ongoing breakdown of the American mind."

-Latest version here

One of the more fun things........


.................about the Astronomy Picture of the Day, is reading the descriptions of the photographs.  Some days you have the feeling that they are just guessing.  Like here:



The Entrepreneur as hero................





Should society call entrepreneurs heroes? Are they like heroes from mythology? Those may seem like strange questions for an economist to ask. But they matter for several reasons. Dwight Lee and Candace Allen argued that if we don't honor entrepreneurial accomplishments, we won't get enough startups. Deirdre McCloskey says that economic growth only took off around the year 1800 because the West began according dignity to entrepreneurs. The work of entrepreneurs parallels the hero's adventure in mythology. 

-from this post at The Dangerous Economist

Mad Men..............................?


A curious fact of life in late capitalism is that many of humanity's most ambitious dreams are being pursued by advertising companies. Alphabet Inc. has achieved massive advances in artificial intelligence and is planning to "cure death," but essentially all of the money to do that comes from internet advertising revenues. Facebook Inc. is at the cutting edge of virtual reality and has also reshaped human interaction and global politics, while its founder is working to "cure all disease"; it, too, gets virtually all of its money from advertising. 

-Matt Levine, as culled from here

Liberty as fuel.........................


     Madison believed the consequences of these barriers to religious liberty were substantial.  He suggested to Bradford that in Pennsylvania, immigration, motivated by religious liberty, had encouraged industry and virtue.  Liberty had fueled a quest for "fame and knowledge" that, in turn, drove "continual exertions of genius" among the populace.  Religious freedom was, in short, an engine of creativity.  By contrast, "religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise, every expanded prospect."  That was the case in Virginia.

-Noah Feldman,  The Three Lives Of James Madison:  Genius, Partisan, President

Hereby claiming......................


.............to follow the advice of a great founder, John Witherspoon:

“Never read a book through merely because you have begun it.”

Sunday, December 17, 2017

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


He came to New Jersey for the air.  Arriving at Princeton in the autumn of 1769, James Madison, Jr., found something unique in the North America of the time:  a college offering entrée into the European republic of letters and the ideas of the Enlightenment as well as a close-knit community of smart, ambitious young men intent on forming lasting friendships and getting ahead in the world.  For the eldest son of a wealthy Virginia plantation owner, educated privately by tutors, this was the true start of his life.

-Noah Feldman,   The Three Lives Of James Madison:  Genius, Partisan, President

I'm pretty sure this was the norm........


.............................................................not all that long ago:

"In the world as I see it, reasonable people can disagree, and progress is best made when people do not question the moral rectitude of others simply because they hold different opinions."

-Greg Mankiw, as he comments on a Paul Krugman blog post

David Warren.................


.............discusses current events and all the "special places,"  wherein he offers the following point of view:

(This is one of my arguments for capital punishment, incidentally. It helps us distinguish between the serious and the frivolous; wakes the jurors up.)

A throwback...................


 

     The conniving and bibulous character Fields developed caught the public imagination at a time when the nation was deep in the throes of the Great Depression and the sale of liquor was still prohibited by law.  He appeared on the scene as the embodiment of public misbehavior, a man not so much at odds with authority as completely oblivious to it.  He drank because he enjoyed it and cheated at cards because he was good at it.  Fields wasn't a bad sort, but rather a throwback to a time when such behaviors were perfectly innocuous and government wasn't quite so paternalistic.

-James Curtis,  W. C. Fields:  A Biography

On dark views...............


There is a bull market in paranoia these days. I am missing out on it.

-Arnold Kling, from this post

Bumps and detours..........


Failure is a far better teacher than success because it’s much easier to duplicate failure than it is to replicate success. 

-Michael Blatnik, from this post about a post-presidency failure of finances