Saturday, September 16, 2017

And this was a surprise.....................?

     Once back in his new home at Küsnacht after the travails of the American trip, Jung started on a fresh work programme.  First, he began analysing his wife, but the session soon broke up in turmoil when it became clear how little stomach Emma had for his polygamous activities.

-Frank McLynn,  Carl Gustav Jung

Probably not a very busy intersection.....

True for non-investors as well.................

“Investors should always keep in mind that the most important metric is not the returns achieved but the returns weighed against the risks incurred. Ultimately, nothing should be more important to investors than the ability to sleep soundly at night. 

-Seth Klarman

Wondering if blogging counts as a hobby?

The average scientist is about as likely to have a hobby as any member of the public.  However, eminent scientists (members of the Royal Society or National Academy of Sciences) are nearly twice as likely to have one.  Nobel Prize-wining scientists?  Almost three times as likely.  Steven Johnson found the same thing holds true for geniuses of the past, like  Benjamin Franklin and Charles Darwin.  These guys had lots of hobbies.  Facing different challenges in different contexts allowed them to look at things differently, to challenge assumptions, and to realize breakthroughs.  Getting lots of different ideas crashing together turns out to be one of the keys to creativity.

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

An epiphany..............................

The famous day when Andrew locked us in a kitchen up in Willesden and said, "Come out with a song" - that did happen.  Why Andrew put Mick and me together as songwriters and not Mick and Brian, or me and Brian, I don't know.  It turned out that Brian couldn't write songs, but Andrew didn't know that then.  I guess it's because Mick and I were hanging out together at the time.  Andrew puts it this way:  "I worked on the assumption that if Mick could write postcards to Chrissie Shrimpton, and Keith could play a guitar, then they could write songs."  We spent the whole night in that goddamn kitchen, and I mean, we're the Rolling Stones, like the blues kings, and we've got some food, piss out the window or down the sink, it's no big deal.  And I said, "If we want to get out of here, Mick, we better come up with something."

     We sat there in the kitchen and I started to pick away at these chords ..."It is the evening of the day."  I might have written that.  "I sit and watch the children play,"  I certainly wouldn't have come up with that.  We had two lines and an interesting chord sequence, and then something else took over somewhere in this process.  I don't want to say mystical, but you can't put your finger on it.  Once you've got that idea, the rest will come.  It's like you've planted a seed, then you water it a bit and suddenly it sticks up out of the ground and goes, hey, look at me.  The mood is made somewhere in the song.  Regret, lost love.  Maybe one of us had just busted up with a girlfriend.  If you can find the trigger that kicks off the idea, the rest is easy.  It's just hitting the first spark.  Where that comes from, God knows.

     With "As Tears Go By," we weren't trying to write a commercial pop song.  It was just what came out.  I knew what Andrew wanted:  don't come out with a blues, don't do some parody or copy, come out with something of your own.  A good pop song is not really that easy to write.  It was a shock, this fresh world of writing our own material, this discovery that I had a gift I had no idea existed.  It was Blake-like, a revelation, an epiphany.

-Keith Richards, Life

The mood is made somewhere in the song...

The Rolling Stones...............................................As Tears Go By


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Choose wisely......................

We are not our thoughts. Nope, quite the opposite.
We have a constant stream of thoughts meandering through our minds. That’s part of being human. However, we get to choose which of those to engage with.
Author and blogger Pam Grout has a brilliant analogy for thoughts: They’re like a line of ants marching across your picnic blanket. You can choose to observe them as they keep on marching straight off the other side of the blanket and disappear, or you can choose to scoop them up and interact with them. Make them your focus. Fuss over them. And they’ll probably bite you too.
But there’s your power: It’s your choice.
You decide which thoughts you pay attention to.
Because thoughts come and go. All the time. And that’s normal.

Yeah, but tell us how you really feel.......

Piers Morgan weighs in on the latest great book:

By the time I'd finished wading through Hillary's absurdly self-indulgent tome, I felt like I'd been lowered into a large vat of violently indignant, furiously self-justifying, boiling mad spittle.


 "Never defer life. Live it now."

-Nicholas Bate, as taken from here

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Happy 137th Birthday........... Henry Louis Mencken.   Unfortunately, his writing has aged well.  To wit:

"Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary."

Sooner or later.................

Part of this Power Point

wiki for Jim Rogers is here

A short "to do" list...................


Imagine that..............................

     Richard Wiseman, a professor at the University of Hertfordshire, did a study of lucky and unlucky people to see if it was just random chance, spooky magic ... or if there were real differences that caused such different results in life.  It turns out luck isn't just serendipity or due to the paranormal.  A lot of it is about the choices people make.
     Studying over a thousand subjects, Wiseman found that lucky people maximize opportunities.  The study showed that they are more open to new experiences, more extroverted, and less neurotic.  They listen to their hunches.   Most of all, Wiseman says, lucky people just try stuff.

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

On counting the cost.....................

"The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run."

-Henry David Thoreau

Monday, September 11, 2017

Ah, the experts. They've had........

.......................................a few bad decades.  Almost, but not quite, makes one feel sorry for them.  Regardless, Scott Adams is on their case.

"And this brings me to my topic of the day: How do you know when to trust experts? My hypothesis is that people who have the most experience in the real world trust experts the least. To make that point, allow me to give you a brief tour of my experience with experts."

On creating your own Mongol horde....

     The Great Khan has had twenty-two sons by his four legitimate wives, the eldest of whom, named Chinghis, was designed to inherit the government of the empire; and this nomination was confirmed by him during the life-time of his father.  But, as it came to pass he died and left a son, whose name is Themur.  He, as the representative of his father, is to succeed to the dominion.  The disposition of this prince is good, and he is endowed with wisdom and valour;  of the latter he has given proofs in several successful battles.
     Besides these, his majesty has twenty-five sons by his concubines, all of them brave soldiers, having been continually employed in the military profession.  These he has placed in the rank of nobles.  Of his legitimate sons, seven are at the head of extensive provinces and kingdoms, which they govern with wisdom and prudence, as might be expected of the children of one whose great qualities have not been surpassed, in the general estimation, by any person of the Tartar race.

-The Travels of Marco Polo, from his chapter on Kublai Khan

Vernon Johns.........................

More quotes from Vernon Johns:

"You should avoid hedging, at least that's what I think.  You should be ashamed to die until you've made some contribution to mankind."

"The blundering genius for expression, which was the virtue of Simon Peter, would save us from the folly of applying ostrich wisdom to vital prob­lems. If we had the courage to talk frankly concern­ing our problems, there would be less occasion to fight about them."

"It is good to be the possessor of some mountain-top experience.  Not to know life on the heights, is to suffer an impoverishing incompleteness. To be sure, there is better opportunity for practical pursuits in the valley regions, and life is easier and safer there: but views are possible from the mountain top which are not to be had in the vale."

"Jesus kindled the consciousness of human brother­hood in the most self-conscious and provincial of all races. His character was so dramatically free from all class and national and racial hatreds and preju­dices that no follower could long mistake him. To mistake him would have been to cease following! “There is no difference between Jew and Greek, Bar­barian, Scythian, bond or free, but all are one in Christ Jesus.” “I perceive that God is no respecter of persons, but in every nation they that fear God and work righteousness are acceptable with him.” “Out of one blood hath God created all nations to dwell upon the face of the earth.” This is the lan­guage of men who had kindled their lives at the feet of Jesus for the wise and noble adventure in human brotherhood."


Vernon Johns was merely another invisible man to nearly all whites, but to the invisible people themselves he was the stuff of legend.  The deepest mysteries of existence and race rubbed vigorously within him, heating a brain that raced constantly until the day he died.  His ancestry was a jumble of submerged edges and storybook extremes.  During slavery, his father's father was hanged for cutting his master in two with a scythe, and even eighty years later it was whispered in the Johns family that the hunting dogs would not approach the haunted spot where the murder had occurred.

     Johns maternal grandfather was a white man named Price, of Scottish descent, who maintained two entirely separate families - one white, one Negro.  This type of bi-patriarchy, though fairly widespread, was never publicly acknowledged in either culture.  The Negro children handed down stories about how Price became one of the first inmates at the new Virginia State Penitentiary for killing another white man he caught trying to rape his slave mistress.  He protected the mistress "just like she was a white woman."  For this he was admired by some Negroes, but he was by nature a mean, violent, complicated man.  When his Negro wife died in the 1870s, he took all of his Negro children into the other household to be raised by his childless white wife, "Miss Kitty."    Vernon Johns's mother, Sallie Price, made this transfer as a little girl, and years later she told her family how the taboos had been respected against all opposing reality, even in the intimacy of the home.  She never called her father "father," for decency required the Negro children to be orphans and the white couple to be missionary dispensers of foster care.  When Price died about 1900, Sallie Price Johns went to the funeral with her young son Vernon and her husband Willie, son of a hanged slave, and sat through the burial service in a separate-but-equal family section, just across the gravesite from Miss Kitty and the white relatives.

     Willie Johns died not long afterward, and in due course Sallie Johns married her dead husband's younger brother.  So Vernon Johns finished his youth as the stepson of his uncle, and grandson of a slave who killed his master and of a master who killed for his slave.  Only in the Bible did he find open discussion of such a tangle of sex, family, slavery, and violence.

-Taylor Branch,  Parting The Waters:  America In The King Years  1954-63

Sunday, September 10, 2017

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

At the movies: Bond, James Bond.................You Only Live Twice


There was a time in my life..........

...........................when I had mastered this one:

3. The ability to be comfortable being miserable.

-One of The Four Fundamental Skills Of All Investing.



"By bringing our dreams into contact with reality, we can unleash our greatest energies and make the most progress in our lives."

-Gabriele Oettingen, as culled from this Don't Think Too Positive essay


Central Licking County........................

................could double in size, and we could finally sell all of those wondrous wooded home sites we have available!    A fellow can dream, can't he?