Saturday, April 14, 2018

I don't know if..........................


...........this was a good idea or not, or the right thing to do or not.  I do know that we should beware of the unintended consequences.























cartoon (from over a year ago) via

Mueller as revenge for Ken Starr............


Anyway, the raid the other day made it clear that Mueller is getting no farther with Russia than Starr got with Whitewater.  He raided Trump's attorney's office (a pretty aggressive move) to get evidence of ... lying about details related to Trump's Stormy Daniels affair and perhaps for details about the famous Trump Access Hollywood tape.  While I am skeptical that there is much in the Russia story, I am more than willing to believe that there may be lying and fraud related to Trump's business and sex lives.

If history does not repeat itself, it certainly echoes.

Postscript:  When Republicans see the far Left slate of candidates the Dem's are likely to field for President in 2020, they are going to long for Bill Clinton.  Heck, I could list a lot of states that would happily run Clinton as their Republican candidate for Congress in 2018.


Predictions are hard..................


...........especially about the future.  Ben Carlson has a new answer:

I’m constantly asked about the possibility of certain scenarios — market crashes, inflationary shocks, rising interest rates, low return environments, etc. — and the probability of their occurrence.
My new answer:
More than never. Less than always.

Watching and wondering..................


The truth is that the next big thing always starts out looking like nothing at all. Things that truly change the world always arrive out of context for the simple reason that the world hasn’t changed yet. They need to build up ecosystems around them and identify meaningful problems to solve. That takes time.
In the interim we are mostly left to watch and wonder.
-Greg Satell. as culled from here

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


Traffic......................................................................Feelin' Alright

Friday, April 13, 2018

Trifecta..............................


via

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


At the book store......Carlos Castaneda's The Teachings of Don Juan


“Anything is one of a million paths [un camino entre cantidades de caminos]. Therefore you must always keep in mind that a path is only a path; if you feel you should not follow it, you must not stay with it under any conditions. To have such clarity you must lead a disciplined life. Only then will you know that any path is only a path and there is no affront, to oneself or to others, in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you to do. But your decision to keep on the path or to leave it must be free of fear or ambition. I warn you. Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary.   This question is one that only a very old man asks.   My benefactor told me about it once when I was young, and my blood was too vigorous for me to understand.  Now I do understand it.  I will tell you what it is:  Does this path have a heart? All paths are the same: they lead nowhere. They are paths going through the bush, or into the bush. In my own life I could say I have traversed long long paths, but I am not anywhere.   My benefactor's question has meaning now.  Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn't, it is of no use. Both paths lead nowhere; but one has a heart, the other doesn't. One makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it, you are one with it. The other will make you curse your life. One makes you strong; the other weakens you."

Thursday, April 12, 2018

History.............................


xkcd takes us back in time to the fall of 1881, a sad time in American history.  While many faithful readers will recognize the events involved, I'm guessing many a recent college graduate won't have a clue.  Perhaps we ignore history because there is so much of it, or maybe it's because we feel our own time (and by default, us) is special and unique.   The study of history offers an important context for understanding the human experience.   We avoid it at our own peril.



For those interested in the events of 1881, this book is highly recommended.

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


On the TV.....................................................The Name of the Game 

Monday, April 9, 2018

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



a qualitative lens...........................


      We need fun.  We need rest.  They increase our chances of success and they benefit your employer as well.  Hard work doesn't necessarily mean good work.  If a lot of surfing on the Internet has taught us anything it's that quantity often does not mean quality.  Don't do more work if you can do better work.  You want to keep in mind the 80/20 perspective Peter Drucker talked about and do things that move the needle instead of spending all your time shuffling emails.
      Author Tony Schwartz says, "Energy, not time, is the fundamental currency of high performance."  It's a qualitative lens instead of a quantitative one.  All hours are not created equal.  We're not machines ...

-Eric Barker,  Barking Up The Wrong Tree:  The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong

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


     On a chilly April night in 1940, leading officials of the Norwegian government were invited to the German legation in Oslo for the screening of a new film.  The engraved invitations, sent by the German minister Curt Bräuer, directed the guest to wear "full dress and orders," which indicated the gala was a formal occasion.  But for the white-tie, bemedaled audience seated in the legation's drawing room, the evening turned out to be anything but festive.
     Horrific images filled the screen from the film's beginning:  dead horses, machine-gunned civilians, a city consumed in flames.  Entitled Baptism of Fire, the movie was a documentary depicting the German conquest of Poland in September 1939;  it portrayed in especially graphic detail the devastation caused by the bombing of Warsaw.  This, Bräuer said after the screening, was what other countries could expect if they dared resist German attempts "to defend them from England."  Appalled by the harrowing footage, Bräuer's guests were puzzled as to why the German diplomats thought it necessary to show the movie to them.  What could any of this have to do with peaceful, neutral Norway?
     Four nights later, just after midnight, those same officials were awakened by urgent phone calls informing them that several ships of unknown origin had entered the fjord leading to Oslo.  A sea fog blanketing the fjord made it impossible to identify the ghostly armada's markings.  Within minutes, however, the mystery of their nationality was solved when reports of surprise German attacks on every major port in Norway and Denmark began flooding Norwegian government offices.

-Lynne Olson,  Last Hope Island:  Britain, Occupied Europe, and the Brotherhood That Helped Turn the Tide of War

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


Johnnie Taylor.................................................Who's Making Love

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Me too.........................................


That said, I have something of the midwestern attitude toward Trump that Von Drehle described. Settle down, give the man a chance. See what he actually does. And, good lord, isn't he entertaining! Let's be kind to our guest, even if he's rough and weird.

-Ann Althouse

Thing are definitely not equal.............


     We all spend a lot of time complaining about incompetence, but as Malcolm Gladwell pointed out in a talk he gave at High Point University, overconfidence is the far bigger problem.  Why?  Incompetence is a problem that inexperienced people have, and all things being equal, we don't entrust inexperience people with all that much power or authority.  Overconfidence is usually the mistake of experts, and we do give them a lot of power and authority.  Plain and simple, incompetence is frustrating, but the people guilty of it usually can't screw things up that bad.  The people guilty of overconfidence can do much more damage.

-Eric Barker,   Barking Up The Wrong Tree:  The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong

But I don't think he is talking about Facebook....


     So having a calling one is obsessively passionate about can bring success and fulfillment, but it can also crowd out relationships, which are key to happiness.  Harvard researcher Shawn Archor echoed this, "People who survive stress the best are the ones who actually increase their social investments in the middle of stress, which is the opposite of what most of us do.  Turns out that social connection is the greatest predictor of happiness we have when I run them in my studies."    What was number four in that list of biggest regrets of the dying?  "I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends."

-Eric Barker,  Barking Up The Wrong Tree:  The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong

Evolution in action...................



My favorite optimist reports on the expansion of urban wildlife, and not the human kind:


Since most animals have shorter lifespans than us and no welfare state, they are genetically adapting faster to the concrete world than we are. A fascinating book by a Dutch biologist, Menno Schilthuizen, called Darwin Comes to Town, documents just how wide and deep this urban wildlife evolutionary pulse is. We have unleashed an unprecedented burst of natural selection. ...


Urban landscapes present new evolutionary pressures. Street lights confuse and massacre moths and cause songbirds insomnia. Metal concentrations can be toxic. Noise drowns out birdsong. Instead of remaining insuperable, however, these novelties bring out the ingenuity in evolution. Urban insects may be changing their genetic  make-up so they no longer fly towards lights: suicide as a selective force. One Swiss study found that ermine moths from the countryside are almost twice as likely to fly towards a light as their cousins from the city of Basel. ...


Mexican sparrows that incorporate cigarette butts in their nests have fewer bloodsucking mites feeding on their chicks because nicotine is a pesticide.

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


O. C. Smith......................................................Little Green Apples