Saturday, September 7, 2019

If only all that previous competence & expertise..


........................................ had shown some actual competence:

President Barack Obama seemed to appreciate behavioural economics and gave Thaler’s co-author, Cass Sunstein, a senior appointment. The Trump administration, observes Thaler, has no interest in behavioural economics. “Look, there’s no demand for expertise of any sort . . . The lack of competence and expertise is like nothing anyone has ever seen.”

-as extracted from this post

A fundamental truth..................


My political opinions lean more and more to Anarchy (philosophically understood, meaning abolition of control not whiskered men with bombs) … the most improper job of any man, even saints (who at any rate were at least unwilling to take it on), is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.

-James Ronald Reuel Tolkien

On powerful legacies...................


............................................................and "no regrets."

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


Small Faces............................................................I Can't Make It

Friday, September 6, 2019

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Free speech..................


..............what follows is a longish excerpt from a read-worthy Jason Richwine essay on the subject:

Presumably, the founders believed open debate is essential to a free society, and the threat of government persecution would discourage that debate. Of course, the First Amendment restrains only the government, but if we take the wisdom of it seriously we should value its principles more broadly. After all, if open debate is truly desirable, we should be concerned not just about government suppression of unpopular views, but about non-governmental suppression. As chilling effects go, “I would speak out, but I don’t want to risk going to jail” is not all that different from “I would speak out, but I don’t want to risk losing my friends and my livelihood.” The end result is the same—less speech, less debate, less openness.

Some people assume non-governmental censorship limits only a vitriolic fringe. I see no evidence of this. James Damore hardly expressed a fringe or hateful perspective when he internally criticized Google’s diversity ethos, but the company fired him anyway. Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich donated to a ballot initiative against same-sex marriage that won, but he lost his job anyway. The message from both companies was that people with contrary views—even widely-held contrary views—should get with the ideological program or lose their jobs.

Another misleading assumption is that private-sector censorship is only about defending the powerless from harassment. Actually, it’s often about defending the powerful from criticism. CNN once threatened to dox a blogger who had created a pro-Trump meme mocking the network. It backed down only on the condition that the blogger apologize and promise never to do it again. Who exactly was the powerless one in that situation? Dr. Noah Carl was fired by St. Edmund’s College because his research on group differences was “problematic,” but the administration cited no actual errors in his work. Was the university speaking truth to power, as the saying goes—or speaking power to truth?

via

Parenting...................................




Thanks David

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


Small Faces.................................................................Hey Girl



Originally released in 1966, this song appears on their 1969 double album release, The Autumn Stone

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

As tie-breakers go....................


....................................................................this is a great one.

Realism....................


A gambler once said to the Master, "I was caught cheating at cards yesterday, so my partners beat me up and threw me out of the window.  What would you advise me to do?"

The Master looked straight through the man and said, "If I were you, from now on I would play on the ground floor."

This startled the disciples.  "Why didn't you tell him to stop gambling?" they demanded.

"Because I knew he wouldn't," was the Master's simple and sagacious explanation.

=Anthony de Mello,  One Minute Wisdom

A quick visit.......................


..................................with David Kanigan:



50,000 light-year wide close-up....


The question was posed, "How much should we know?" and the answer gently wafted by, "Not so much."














Messier 61 Close Up Image Credit: NASAESAHubbleESO, Amateur Data; Processing & Copyright: Robert Gendler & Roberto Colombari
Explanation: Image data from the Hubble Space Telescope, the European Southern Observatory, and small telescopes on planet Earth are combined in this magnificent portrait of face-on spiral galaxy Messier 61 (M61). A mere 55 million light-years away in the Virgo Cluster of Galaxies, M61 is alsoknown as NGC 4303. It's considered to be an example of a barred spiral galaxy similar to our own Milky Way. Like other spiral galaxies, M61 also features sweeping spiral arms, cosmic dust lanes, pinkish star forming regions, and young blue star clusters. The bright galactic core is offset to the left in this 50 thousand light-year wide close-up.

from the Astronomy Picture of the Day

Life Tips 101.......................


........................Here's a great tip:  Invest a few minutes everyday reading something from Nicholas Bate


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


Small Faces......................................Wham Bam, Thank You Mam

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Worry is not mandatory.....................


"There will always be something to worry about because good news is gradual while bad news is a headline."

-Ben Carlson, from here


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


......................................................................Søren Kierkegaard:

The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.

A fire broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to warn the public; they thought it was a joke and applauded. He repeated it; the acclaim was even greater. I think that's just how the world will come to an end: to general applause from wits who believe it's a joke.

There is nothing with which every man is so afraid as getting to know how enormously much he is capable of doing and becoming.

One must not think slightingly of the paradoxical…for the paradox is the source of the thinker’s passion, and the thinker without a paradox is like a lover without feeling: a paltry mediocrity.

Take away paradox from the thinker and you have a professor.

What looks like politics, and imagines itself to be political, will one day unmask itself as a religious movement.

Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.

Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.

If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of the potential, for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible. Pleasure disappoints, possibility never. And what wine is so sparkling, what so fragrant, what so intoxicating, as possibility!

Ah, humanity.......................


..................................................Nothing wrong with The World today that more things like this couldn't fix:



thanks

On the bright side....................






































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Flourish............................
























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
























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


Small Faces............................................................Itchycoo Park


Purists would be correct in noticing that this tune was first released in 1967, but it also appears on The Autumn Stone double album put out in the fall of 1969

Life its ownself.........................


The world is not respectable; it is mortal, tormented, confused, deluded forever; but it is shot through with beauty, with love, with glints of courage and laughter; and in these, the spirit blooms timidly, and struggles to the light amid the thorns.


-George Santayana

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


The night the Djellabas came to Duk Payuel, I remember that I had been feeling tense all over, as it my body were trying to tell me something.  I could not sleep.
     It was a dark night, with no moon to reflect off the standing water that pooled beside our huts.  My parents and the other adults were sleeping outside, so the children and elderly could all be inside, away from the clouds of biting insects.  My brothers and sisters and I, as well as about a dozen refugees from other villages in southern Sudan, stretched out on the ground inside a hut that had been build especially for kids.  I lay in the sticky heat, tossing and turning on a dried cowhide, while others tried to sleep on mats of aquot, a hollow, grasslike plant from the wetlands that women of my Dinka tribe stitch together.  Our crowded bodies seemed to form their own patchwork quilt, filling every square foot with arms and legs.

-John Bul Dau, from the Introdution to God Grew Tired Of Us:  A Memoir

Monday, September 2, 2019

Eight simple virtures.................


Helen Keller, the deaf and blind activist, was asked by a journalist what she thought would be worse than being born blind. She replied without missing a beat, ‘to have sight and no vision.’

-from this Farnam Street post listing the eight simple virtues in  David Ogilvy's The Eternal Pursuit of Unhappiness:  Being Very Good Is No Good, You Have To Be Very, Very. Very, Very, Very Good

Old dog, new tricks.......................





























Thanks Kurt

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


..................................................................Charles Handy:

We cannot wait for great visions from great people, for they are in short supply. It is up to us to light our own small fires in the darkness.


The moment will arrive when you are comfortable with who you are, and what you are- bald or old or fat or poor, successful or struggling- when you don't feel the need to apologize for anything or to deny anything. To be comfortable in your own skin is the beginning of strength.


We need to have faith in the future to make sense of the present.


It is tempting to call for better leadership, but we probably expect too much from the leaders of the nations. Those nations are too big, the connections not strong enough, the commitment to the future not long enough. It is better to look smaller, to our now-smaller organisations, to local communities and cities, to families and clusters of friends, to small networks of portfolio people with time to give to something bigger than themselves. We have to fashion our own directions in our own places.

To learn anything other than the stuff you find in books, you need to be able to experiment, to make mistakes, to accept feedback, and to try again.  It doesn't matter whether you are learning to ride a bike or starting a new career, the cycle of experiment, feedback, and new experiment is always there.

Anything that takes us out of our comfort zones for a while can act as a reminder that the past we are used to may not be our best future.

thanks to The Sovereign Professional


Really......................................?

Adulting for many young people has gotten put on the backburner (and I don’t really blame them).
Millennials are more highly educated. A big reason young people are getting married later in life is that they’re better educated than previous generations.  More young people going to school for longer means more people that put off adult responsibilities:
Am I the only one wondering about the quality of education received here of late?

a "beautiful mess"........................


Another big issue with what passes for modern-day wellness is that it creates the impression that everyone is happy all the time and that you should be, too. But like selective sharing on social media, this is not the reality of being human.

People get sad. Psychologists tell us that hiding and repressing that only makes it worse. Studies show that the more you hold something back or try to force it away, the stronger it becomes. On the contrary, the more vulnerable you are—both with yourself and others—the better. Researchers at the University of Mannheim, in Germany, call this the “beautiful mess effect.” Through multiple experiments, they’ve found that even though sharing your feelings may seem like a weakness to you, to others it seems courageous and builds trust and connection. In other words: stop trying so damn hard to be invincible, and just be yourself. Most people will be receptive and caring. And those who aren’t? Screw ’em. 

-Brad Stulberg, as excerpted from this essay, We've Reached Peak Wellness.  Most of It Is Nonsense

thanks Tony

Enough already....................................


If you wish to make Pthocles rich, do not add to his store of money but subtract from his desires.”

-Seneca

Mission: Impossible....................


...........................................Of course, if anyone can do it, he can.

A quote for Labor Day...............


..........Actually, it is pretty good quote for any, even every, day.

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


Sam & Dave..................................Hold On, I'm Coming
(Originally released in 1966, this is from their 1969 Best of)



with a big thanks to Jet Boy

Sunday, September 1, 2019

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


25  When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?
26  But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
The Holy Bible, King James Version,  Matthew 19:25-26

21st century problems..................






from the wonder that is xkcd

Dance...............................


Labour is blossoming or dancing where
The body is not bruised to pleasure soul,
Nor beauty born out of its own despair,
Nor blear-eyed wisdom out of midnight oil.
O chestnut tree, great rooted blossomer,
Are you the leaf, the blossom or the bole?
O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,
How can we know the dancer from the dance?

William Butler Yeats
from his poem, Among School Children

If we must have rules...........


.............these three (from James Altucher) are pretty good:
I have three rules that I try to live by each day:
  • improve my RELATIONSHIPS with the people around me. Be around people I love and support, who love and support me. Get rid of toxic people.
  • improve at CREATIVITY. Improve at the things I love. If I study something I love and feel I am getting better at it, then I know that will compound into “life abundance”.
  • improve at my feeling of FREEDOM in life. If every day, I can take more actions that are MY decisions versus the descisions of others, then I know I will have freedom in life.


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


Paul Revere & The Raiders..........................Mr. Sun, Mr. Moon