Monday, December 31, 2018

As years go.............


.....................it could have been better and it could have been worse, but it's hard to see how it could have been more interesting.
















Be generous with change...................


........................and brave with your business.

Generosity in terms of free work,  constant discounts, and plenty of uncompensated overtime isn't really generous.   Because you can't sustain it.  Because soon you'll be breaking the promises you made.
     On the other hand, showing generosity with your bravery, your empathy, and your respect is generous indeed.
     What you customers want from you is for you to care enough to change them.
     To create tension that leads to forward motion.
     To exert emotional labor that will open them up to what's possible.
     And if you need to charge a lot to pull that off, it's still a bargain.

-Seth Godin,  This Is Marketing:  You Can't Be Seen Until You Learn To See

M.I.A..........................................?


In the right relationship between elites and the public, the former acts as exemplars to the latter.  They embody and live out the master narratives.  We can think of George Washington returning to his farm after the Revolution as a striking example.  Abe Lincoln in his childhood log cabin and Tom Edison chasing the perfect filament also fit the type.  It almost didn't matter what these historic figures were like in person:  whether they were lovable or jerks.  The outline of their lives had displayed magnificently admirable traits, and previous generations of Americans agreed with Ortega on the power of exemplarity to raise human life to a higher plane.

The quality that sets the true elites apart -- that bestow authority on their actions and expressions -- isn't power, or wealth, or education, or even persuasiveness.  It's integrity in life and work.  A healthy society is on in which such exemplary types draw the public toward them purely by the force of their example.  Without compulsion, ordinary persons aspire to resemble the extraordinary, not superficially but fundamentally, because they will to partake of superior models of being or doing.  The good society, Ortega concluded, was an "engine of perfection."

-Martin Gurri, The Revolt of the Public

Dig...................................


     I will great this day with love in my heart.
     And how will I speak?  I will laud mine enemies and they will become friends;  I will encourage my friends and they will become brothers.  Always will I dig for reasons to applaud;  never will I scratch for excuses to gossip.  When I am tempted to criticize I will bite my tongue;  when I am moved to praise I will should from the roofs.
     Is it not so that birds, the wind, the sea, and all nature speaks with the music of praise for their creator?  Cannot I speak the same music to his children?  Henceforth will I remember this secret and it will change my life.
     I will great this day with love in my heart.

-Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman In the World

A retrospective of sorts.............


One can't property say goodbye to the old year without first reviewing the 2018 collection of (mostly) blog headers from the wide, wide world of Eclecticity





































From the 2018 archives.  Sorry if I missed your favorite.

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


Fleetwood Mac with Peter Green............. New Year's Eve 1968

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Most likely.......................



An appropriate theme for 2019....................?




If you don't check in with John Cox and his lovely blog from time to time, well, you're missing out.

Biggitude...............................

























"M100 is appropriately known as a grand design spiral galaxy. It is a large galaxy of over 100 billion stars."

All the information you want (and a larger photo) is here 

If you are interested in the "are there more stars in the sky or grains of sand on the beach" question, you can pursue answers here.

Verse............................


27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.
30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.
33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.
34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
-The Holy Bible, Luke 6:27-38

Just because.....................


John Coltrane.................................................................Equinox

Charitable..................


When your tribal mindset takes over, you demonize the other side and never question your own beliefs. I think we need to do the opposite. We need to take the most charitable view of those with whom we disagree. And we need to examine our own views critically, as if we were trying to knock them down.

-Arnold Kling, as culled from here


-

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


Gladys Knight & The Pips................The End Of Our Road

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Are you ready for the 2020 presidential campaign?


.........Althouse has the story.  I'm looking for a hiding place.

On the dissipation of certainty............


“But so long as men are not trained to withhold judgment in the absence of evidence, they will be led astray by cocksure prophets, and it is likely that their leaders will be either ignorant fanatics or dishonest charlatans. To endure uncertainty is difficult, but so are most of the other virtues. For the learning of every virtue there is an appropriate discipline, and for the learning of suspended judgment the best discipline is philosophy.

But if philosophy is to serve a positive purpose, it must not teach mere skepticism, for, while the dogmatist is harmful, the skeptic is useless. Dogmatism and skepticism are both, in a sense, absolute philosophies; one is certain of knowing, the other of not knowing. What philosophy should dissipate is certainty, whether of knowledge or of ignorance.
-Bertrand Russell, as culled from his essay,  Philosophy For Laymen

Certain.........................

















































Greet................................


     I will greet this day with love in my heart.
     And how will I do this?  Henceforth will I look on all things with love and I will be born again.  I will love the sun for it warms my bones; yet I will love the rain for it cleanses my spirit.  I will love the light for it shows me the way; yet I will love the darkness for it shows me the stars.  I will welcome happiness for it enlarges my heart;  yet I will endure sadness for it opens my soul.  I will acknowledge rewards for they are my due; yet I will welcome obstacles for they are my challenge.
     I will great this day with love in my heart.

-Og Mandino,  The Greatest Salesman In The World

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


     Charles Bukowski was an alcoholic, a womanizer, a chronic gambler, a lout, a cheapskate, a deadbeat, and on his worst days, a poet.  He's probably the last person on earth you would ever look to for life advice or expect to see in any sort of self-help book.
     Which is why he's the perfect place to start.

-Mark Manson,  The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*uck:  A Counterintuitive Approach To Living A Good Life

On switching to lobster..............


listen, he said, you ever seen a bunch of crabs in a 

bucket? 
no, I told him.
well, what happens is that now and then one crab
will climb up on top of the others
and begin to climb toward the top of the bucket,
then, just as he's about to escape
another crab grabs him and pulls him back
down.
really? I asked.
really, he said, and this job is just like that, none
of the others want anybody to get out of 
here. that's just the way it is
in the postal service! 
I believe you, I said.
just then the supervisor walked up and said,
you fellows were talking.
there is no talking allowed on this
job.
I had been there for eleven and one-half
years.
I got up off my stool and climbed right up the 
supervisor
and then I reached up and pulled myself right
out of there.
it was so easy it was unbelievable.
but none of the others followed me.
and after that, whenever I had crab legs
I thought about that place.
I must have thought about that place
maybe 5 or 6 times
before I switched to lobster. 


-Charles Bukowski,   The Great Escape

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


Eddie Floyd..I've Never Found A Girl (To Love Me Like You Do)

At seventeen......................


     Michelangelo was primarily a sculptor, though it is probably true to say that he was more interested in the human form as such than in any particular way or medium in which to represent it.  Obviously he found carving the best way of doing it, and his paintings tend to be two-dimensional sculptures.  His wet nurse was a stone-carver's wife from Settignano, and Michelangelo told Vasari that he "sucked in the chisels and mallet" with her milk.  His father was an ambitious, social-climbing bourgeois of Florence and was most reluctant to allow him to sculpt for a living, believing it to be manual work and demeaning.   This may explain why the boy was first apprenticed to a painter, Domenico Ghirlandaio, in 1488.  Only in the following year did he manage to get himself into the sculpture garden workshop in the Medici house at San Marco.  He taught himself by copying the head of an antique faun, which attracted the attention of Lorenzo "the Magnificent."
     Michelangelo was made when, at seventeen, he produced his first masterpiece, a marble relief, The Battle of the Centaurs.

-Paul Johnson,  The Renaissance:  A Short History

Michelangelo        The Battle of the Centaurs         1492

Ghirlandaio.................................


Adoration of the Magi (Ospedale degli Innocenti)    Ghirlandaio  1485-88


Friday, December 28, 2018

I really like Ben Carlson...............


....If you aren't reading his blog, well, feel free to start now.   Here is a for instance of his common sensical thinking:

5. There isn’t just one reason. Narratives about what caused the market correction can be fun to argue about but there’s never just one reason for something like this. The president or the Fed or the tariffs or algorithmic trading strategies or the month of December or Taylor Swift’s deafening silence on the trade war didn’t cause this downturn.
Markets are made up of millions of investors, all with different goals, objectives, time horizons, risk profiles, and temperaments. No one person or office or investment strategy can control these millions of moving parts.
The poet Frank Bidart once wrote, “Insanity is the insistence of meaning.” He may have been talking about the movements of the stock market.

I'm sure this means something.........
























Animals here......Feel free to tell me what that means.

via

One of the firm ground rules...................


.............around here is to pay attention to Michael Wade.

So many opportunities to learn.......


"One of my proofs of a loving God, is in the provision of catastrophes, especially those man-made through lapses of prudence. We learn from experience. Or we don’t learn, in which case we have the benefit of catastrophe, again. One generation replaces another, and perhaps we never learn; but the potential is always there."

-Richard Warren, from this anti-bot post

Checking in with Steinmetz..............


"There are no foolish questions and no man becomes a fool until he has stopped asking questions."

"In this country all a man need to do is to attain a little eminence and immediately he begins to talk. Usually his eminence is financial, and the greater this eminence the more he talks and the further his voice reaches. I don't blame the rich people for talking; many of them don’t know what else to do with themselves. The fault is with these who listen. If no one would listen no harm would he done. But the American people are willing to listen to any one who has attained prominence. The main fact is that we've heard a man's name a great many times; that makes us ready to accept whatever he says. … We listen to the one who talks the most and loudest."

-Charles Proteus Steinmetz1865-1923

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


Glen Campbell................................................Wichita Lineman

Communications......................











    thanks sean

On coincidences.......

























"The most astonishingly incredible coincidence imaginable would be the complete absence of all coincidences."

-John Allen Paulos