Monday, June 24, 2024

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

 

Choose rather than react.

-Nicholas Bate, from here


Well, yes......................


 I saw a description of Bitcoin being everything you didn't understand about computers combined with everything you don't understand about money. Now I feel seen.

-Chris Lynch, from here


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


On the TV........Freddie Prinze in Chico and The Man

 

wellness............................

 

image via










                A library is a hospital for the mind

-anonymous (quoted by Toffler)


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

 

Change is not merely necessary to life - it is life.

-Alvin Toffler, Future Shock

Let it go...............


Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

-Kevin Kelly, from here

 

nudged.....................


Given how much our daily lives are nudged and steered into channels engineered by tech firms, one can no longer sensibly adopt a conceptual demarcation between "the private sector" and "government."

-Matthew Crawford,  Why We Drive: On Freedom, Risk and Taking Back Control


Evening wind................


Evening Wind    Edward Hopper     1921


is the title of one of Edward Hopper's
pen-and-ink drawings,
which I spent some time looking at
in a gallery on the far west side of town.

Hopper could have called it
Totally Naked Women Crawling
on All Fours into an Unmade Bed
for she does occupy the foreground fully,

so it was only later that I noticed
the curtains behind her being lifted
by what must be an evening wind.
Then I noticed that the woman appears

to be looking at those curtains,
her face hidden by the dark curtain of her hair.
Or is she looking through the curtains
at the jagged outline of the city buildings,

topped with water tanks in silhouette?
It was not until I closed my eyes and imagined
her gradually falling asleep
after sliding naked under the covers

that I could envision the evening wind,
not just the wind as revealed by the curtains,
but the invisible wind itself blowing
through the room of this ingeniously titled drawing.

-Billy Collins, as published in Whale Day And Other Poems

Sunday, June 23, 2024

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


At the cinema.....................The Godfather Part II

 

a reaction to...................

 

There is something new and voracious in the world that feeds on individual agency, and is basically imperialistic in its aspirations. . . . 

. . .the idea of sovereignty has suddenly reemerged as politically salient.  If we take the political anger of populist movements at their word, it is a reaction to the imperiousness of political elites and corporate forces in pressing agendas of progress that seek to delegitimize the concerns of those deemed regressive.

-Matthew Crawford,  Why We Drive: On Freedom, Risk and Taking Back Control


a bracing concept................

 

. . . in Germany, where on certain roads you are free to drive as fast as you please.  But if you cause a serious accident, you are never allowed to drive again, essentially.  The law grants wide discretion and assigns total responsibility.  That is, it treats citizens as adults.  This is a bracing concept, maybe a little too radical for the United States.

-Matthew Crawford,  Why We Drive: On Freedom, Risk and Taking Back Control


play spirit.........................

 

To dare, to take risks, to bear uncertainty, to endure tension—these are the essence of play spirit.

-Johan Huizinga

advantage.......................

 

I believe that the people who institute our laws are the weak and the many.  So they institute laws and assign praise and blame with themselves and their own advantage in mind.

-Plato, channeling Callicles, from Gorgias


disburdening......................

 


a curious glance..................


Moving about in India...............

 


The third form of traffic rationality is one that comes into view as soon as one recognizes the oddly gratuitous nature of such a project and permits oneself a curious glance backward, as it were, to "less developed" parts of the world.  Rather than try to duplicate the efficiency of their driving practices with computers, we might instead look to such practices to remind ourselves what human beings are capable of, when left to their own devices.  This becomes a meditation on the meaning of self-government.


a deep necessity.........................

 

A fundamental fact about human beings is that we are homo faber, as Hannah Arendt said.  We make stuff.  Doing so seems to express a deep necessity we have to point to something visible in the world and say, "I did that."

-Matthew Crawford,  Why We Drive: On Freedom, Risk and Taking Back Control


the most fundamental freedom..............

 

As creatures who are self-moving, freedom of movement would seem to be the most fundamental freedom there is, a minimal condition for that basic animal pleasure that makes life sweet. . . . What is at stake is not simply a legal right, but a disposition to find one's way through the world by the exercise of one's own powers.

-Matthew Crawford,  Why We Drive: On Freedom, Risk and Taking Back Control


safetyism..........................

 

If one cares about safety (and who doesn't), one does well to take a skeptical look at the safety-industrial complex, and its reliance on moral intimidation to pursue ends other than safety.

. . . if left unchallenged, the pursuit of risk reduction tends to create a society based on an unrealistically low view of human capacities.  Infantilization slips in, under cover of democratic ideals.  I will insist, on the contrary, that democracy remains viable only if we are willing to extend to one another a presumption of individual competence.  This is what social trust is built on.  Together, they are the minimal endowments for a free, responsible, fully awake people.

-Matthew Crawford,  Why We Drive: On Freedom, Risk and Taking Back Control


My kind of writer...........................

 

"Consistency of tone" is one of those precepts pressed upon writers by writing teachers.  Any reader who expects consistency is likely to be bewildered in what follows, . . .

--Matthew Crawford,  Why We Drive: On Freedom, Risk and Taking Back Control


Friday, June 21, 2024

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


On the TV..........James Garner and The Rockford Files

 

Wisdom......................

 

.........................from our friend at Sippican Cottage:

Time marches on. You can never put the toothpaste back in the tube. You can never put Humpty Dumpty back together again. The past is another county. Whatever. But I’m sure glad I didn’t forget to have kids in the first place.


Say it isn't so...................

 

Bad news: the universe is largely indifferent to your lucky socks.

-Eric Barker, from this post on "smart luck"


written in 1970.....................


 The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.

-Alvin Toffler


in the grip............................

 

If your opinions on one subject can be predicted from your opinions on another, you may be in the grip of an ideology.  When you truly think for yourself, your conclusions will not be predictable.

-Kevin Kelly


An understatement...................

 

But I also think that it is important to separate out what is real from what is just a comforting lie that we tell ourselves.

-James O'Malley from his Music Just Changed Forever post


Thursday, June 20, 2024

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


At the cinema..........................Blazing Saddles

 

The tough housing market...............

 

No matter how you slice it, the home building sector seems strangely slow given our population growth . . .

Brian Wesbury offers a pretty good take on why the housing market is so tight.  He includes governmental hurdles as a major problem.  Maybe.  We think the major problem (that he fails to mention) is the wipe out of the small homebuilder - the company that would build 10-12 houses per year - after the 2008 meltdown.  Those guys never recovered and/or aged out, and have not yet been replaced.  We were so focused on sending all high school graduates to college, we forgot the importance of the building trades.  There is still a screaming need for plumbers, electricians, carpenters, drywallers, etc.  The earning potential for those high school graduates entering those trades now seems significantly higher than college graduates with BA degrees.  Just saying.  As an honorable mention for housing problems, we should not forget the serious inflation of building material costs that the covid/broken-supply-chain-years brought us.  Prices have moderated a bit, but not much.  All in all, no quick fix to the housing problem is on the horizon.


 

The good life....................

 

In fact, good relationships are significant enough that if we had to take all eighty-four years of the Harvard Study and boil it down to a single principle for living, one life investment that is supported by similar findings across a wide variety of other studies, it would be this: Good relationships keep us healthier and happier. Period.

-Robert Waldinger and Marc Schulz

via

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

 
















      This one patiently sat in the bookcase for about twenty years, waiting for its turn.  Worth the wait.

lottery winning........................

 

Choose humility and accept the fact the only certainty is uncertainty.

Fortune doesn’t favor the brave. It rewards the realists.

All of us have won the Universe’s equivalent of the Mega-Jackpot Lottery by simply existing.

Don’t squander your good fortune by listening to people spraying a firehose of certitude.

-Tony Isola, from here


An understatement............


 When it came to the economy, the federal government’s framework of understanding had lost touch with the truth.

-Martin Gurri, from here


 



                     via

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

acceptance.........................

 

Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.  Always work with it, not against it.  Make it your friend and ally, not your enemy.  This will miraculously transform your life.

-Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now


Reading..................................

 

.............................................is not "interactive":

But reading is active, an act of attention, of absorbed alertness—not all that different from hunting, in fact, or from gathering. In its silence, a book is a challenge: it can’t lull you with surging music or deafen you with screeching laugh tracks or fire gunshots in your living room; you have to listen to it in your head.


Talking about my hometown...................

 



I really thought........................

 

...........................this book would cost a lot more.  


Recognizing and honoring..................

 

..................................a pioneer:









Checking in...........................

 

..................................with Morgan Housel:

I try to keep in mind that there are two ways to use money. One is as a tool to live a better life. The other is as a yardstick of success to measure yourself against other people. The first is quiet and personal, the second is loud and performative. It’s so obvious which leads to a happier life.


A few words.................................

 

................................from some long shots:

There are but few important events in the affairs of men brought about by their own choice.
-U. S. Grant

A la base de notre civilisation, il y a la liberté de chacun dans sa pensée, ses croyances, ses opinions, son travail, ses loisirs.
(At the root of our civilization, there is the freedom of each person of thought, of belief, of opinion, of work, of leisure.)
-Charles de Gaulle

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.
-Viktor Frankl

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.
-Helen Keller

To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker.
-Frederick Douglass