Saturday, November 11, 2017
The common worldview, shared by most humans, is that there is one objective reality, and we humans can understand that reality through a rigorous application of facts and reason. This view of the world imagines that some people have already achieved a fact-based type of enlightenment that is compatible with science and logic, and they are trying to help the rest of us see the world the "right" way. As far as I can tell, most people share that interpretation of the world. The only wrinkle with that worldview is that we all think we are the enlightened ones. And we assume the people who disagree with us just need better facts, and perhaps better brains, in order to agree with us. That filter on life makes most of us happy - because we see ourselves as the smart ones...
-Scott Adams, Win Bigly: Persuasion In a World Where Facts Don't Matter
Around the time that he reached the unnerving milestone of turning thirty, Leonardo da Vinci wrote a letter to the ruler of Milan listing the reasons he should be given a job. He had been moderately successful as a painter in Florence, but he had trouble finishing his commissions and was searching for new horizons. In the first ten paragraphs, he touted his engineering skills, including his ability to design bridges, waterways, cannons, armored vehicles, and public buildings. Only in the eleventh paragraph, at the end, did he add that he was also an artist. "Likewise in painting, I can do everything possible," he wrote.
-Walter Isaacson, from the introduction to Leonardo da Vinci
I have been told the central problem in politics is that people are selfish. I don’t believe this. I think the central problem is spite. I think that if the “natural man” would vote consistently in his own interest, and by extension in that of his close family, the world would get along tickety-boo. On the other hand, I also think the art of politics, in a modern mass democracy, is to deprive the voter of this option, either directly by removing it, or indirectly by scrambling his brains with sweetly perfumed abstractions.
-David Warren, from this essay in idleness
In mythology, whenever the Unmoved Mover, the Mighty Living One, holds the center of attention, there is a miraculous spontaneity about the shaping of the universe. The elements condense and move into play of their own accord, or at the Creator's slightest word; the portions of the self-shattering cosmic egg go to their stations without aid. But when the perspective shifts, to focus on living beings, when the panorama of space and nature is faced from the standpoint of the personages ordained to inhabit it, then a sudden transformation overshadows the cosmic scene. No longer do the forms of the world appear to move in the patterns of a living, growing, harmonious thing, but stand recalcitrant, or at best inert. The props of the universal stage have to be adjusted, even beaten into shape. The earth brings forth thorns and thistles; man eats bread in the sweat of his brow.
-Joseph Campbell, The Hero With A Thousand Faces
Friday, November 10, 2017
So my Sweetie and I bundled up against the cold and headed for the wondrous Midland Theatre tonight. It was a Grand Funk Railroad kind of night. Don Brewer is an ageless wonder on the drums, and I've never seen a band enjoy themselves more than Grand Funk seems to. Great show. Loudish, but that may just be me showing my age. If you get a chance, do go see them.
Later, Erasmus writes, “Things that ripen prematurely are wont suddenly to go limp. What grows slowly and steadily can endure.”
“The real issue with speed,” writes film editor Walter Murch in his book, “Is not just , but It doesn’t help to arrive quickly if you wind up in the wrong place.”
-As borrowed from this Austin Kleon post
..............but you don't read Ben Carlson's blog -- well, you should:
I have no idea when the current bull market will end and the next bear market will begin. I wouldn’t be shocked if it started this week or if the current rally extended another 4-5 years. Anything is possible in the markets.
Thursday, November 9, 2017
Most people do not look thoughtfully at the facts and draw their conclusions by objectively weighing the evidence. Instead, they make their decisions based on what their deep-seated subconscious mind wants and then they filter the evidence to make it consistent with those desires.
-Ray Dalio, Principles
Jack Reacher and Michelle Chang spent three days in Milwaukee. On the fourth morning she was gone. Reacher came back to the room with coffee and found a note on his pillow. He had seen such notes before. They all said the same thing. Either directly or indirectly. Chang's note was direct. And more elegant than most. Not in terms of presentation. It was a ballpoint scrawl on motel notepaper done wavy with damp. But elegant in terms of expression. She had used a simile, to explain and flatter and apologize all at once. She had written, "You're like New York City. I love to visit, but I could never live there."
-Lee Child, The Midnight Line
It is obvious that higher states of consciousness have a profound effect on our relationships, because one of the laws of consciousness is like goes to like. Our inner states are actually radiated to others. We can positively affect others even when we are not physically with them. Feelings are energy and all energy gives off a vibration. We are like sending and receiving stations...The more we love, the more we find ourselves surrounded by love.
-David Hawkins, Letting Go
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Mental pain often comes from being too attached to an idea when a person or event comes along to challenge it. This is especially true when what is being pointed out to you involves a weakness on your part. This kind of mental pain is a clue that your are potentially wrong and that you need to think about the question in a quality way.
-Ray Dalio, Principles
Deliverance is out of time into eternity, and is achieved by obedience and docility to the eternal Nature of Things. We have been given free will, in order that we may will our self-will out of existence and so come to live continuously in a "state of grace." All our actions must be directed, in the last analysis, to making ourselves passive in relation to the activity and the being of divine Reality.
-Aldous Huxley, The Perennial Philosophy
Humility does not consist in hiding our talents and virtues, in thinking ourselves worse and more ordinary than we are, but in possessing a clear knowledge of all that is lacking in us and in not exalting ourselves for that which we have, seeing that God has freely given us and that, with all His gifts, we are still of infinitely little importance.
-Jean-Baptiste Henri Lacordaire
Monday, November 6, 2017
Offer to help people. ... When people say they're having trouble with something, try to find a way you can help.
You don't want to be a phony transactional networker. You want this to become an organic, serendipitous, natural friendship, right? Friends do each other favors. They don't have a goal or a payoff in mind. So rely on karma. There's plenty of research showing that trying to make others in your network happy makes the happiness come back to you. Happy friends will make you 15 percent more likely to be happy too. Even if a friend of a friend of a friend becomes happier, there is a 6 percent chance you will become happier. So don't worry about the payoff and don't ask for anything. this makes them feel good about you, and you feel good about yourself. You're just being a friend. And if you do offer some help, follow through.
(Warning: If you follow through with all this, you may accidentally wind up becoming a good person.)
-Eric Barker, as lifted from Barking Up The Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong
I have a remarkable power to self-consciously ask myself what I ought to do. I can answer by my own powers of reason and then follow through in action, for one reason or another. Simply being so constituted, I count as my own, as responsible for my chosen actions.
My behavior then isn't just a simple reflex reaction, part of the impersonal causal order of scientific study; it's my behavior, my free action. I've chosen my conduct, anew, despite what has come before in my history, whoever I've been before this present moment. And for Sartre, I am in this way responsible for myself. "For human reality, to be is to choose oneself." I choose myself, in the totality of each choice I make. Whatever might come to me "either from the outside or from within," I have to decide what to "receive or accept," and "without any help whatsoever" I am "entirely abandoned to the intolerable necessity of making myself to be - down to the slightest detail."
-Aaron James, Surfing With Sartre: An Aquatic Inquiry Into A Life Of Meaning
In assessing Trump’s prospects, let’s keep in mind that Trump’s personal approval rating on election day was nearly as negative. Last year, Americans voted for someone they didn’t much like, reflecting the even greater dislike of Hillary Clinton and the desire for a change of direction in Washington. Change is what we got.
-as culled from this LA Times piece
Sunday, November 5, 2017
............Who knew "the most vexing challenge in mathematics"?
The solution to the formal Monty Hall problem is counterintuitive and incontrovertible. But the right approach in the game show depended on what Hall himself was trying to do in offering the choice. Was he benevolent, malevolent, or simply aiming for great television?