Thursday, October 24, 2019

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


John Coltrane................................................My Favorite Things



Purists might note that this was recorded in 1963.  It was also released on the Selflessness album in 1969.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Highly recommended...................




     "On the whole, I disliked school, sitting in class, receiving instruction;  information seemed to go in one ear and out the other.  I could not be passive—I had to be active, learn for myself, learn what I wanted, and in the way that suited me best.  I was not a good pupil, but I was a good learner, and in the Willesden library—and all the libraries that came later—I roamed the shelves and stacks, and had the freedom to select whatever I wanted, to follow paths that fascinated me, to become myself.  At the library I felt free—free to look at the thousands, tens of thousands, of books; free to roam and to enjoy the special atmosphere and the quiet companionship of other readers, all, like myself, on quests of their own."

Oliver Sacks, excerpted from the chapter "Libraries" in Everything In Its Place:  First Loves and Last Tales

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


Johnny Taylor................................Take Care Of Your Homework

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Friday, October 11, 2019

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Monday, October 7, 2019

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Friday, October 4, 2019

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Monday, September 30, 2019

I don't claim expertise..................


..............but it amazes me that people don't give changes in that fiery ball in the sky more credit for our climate,  92.96 million miles away or not:



image via

Fun with the language...............


............................................................with Rick & Morty:



thanks Connor

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


Neil Young with Crazy Horse...……….Down By The River


Saturday, September 28, 2019

Control................................


While you don't control external events, you retain the ability to decide how you respond to those events.  You control what every external event means to you personally.
     This means the difficulty in front of you right now.  You'll find, if you approach it right, that this trump card is plenty.

-Ryan Holiday, from today's entry in The Daily Stoic

An environmental catastrophe....


....................is likely in our future.  As a betting man, I would wager a large sum that it won't be man-made:

     In about 2200 B.C., a major volcanic eruption somewhere far to the north spewed enormous quantities of fine ash into the atmosphere.  If historic eruptions are any yardstick, the debris veiled the sun for months on end, bringing unseasonal cold.  Unfortunately for Ur's lords, the eruption coincided with the beginning of a 278-year drought cycle that affected huge areas of the eastern Mediterranean world and is clearly visible in ice cores from the Greenland ice sheet and the high Andes.  With catastrophic abruptness, the moist Mediterranean westerlies faltered.  Winter rainfall plummeted.  The Euphrates and Tigris floods, starved of rain and snowfall in the distant Anatolian highlands, failed as well.
     The drought turned the once-fertile northern Habur plains by the Euphrates into a near desert.

-Brian Fagan,  The Long Summer:  How Climate Changed Civilization





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


Frankie Laine......................................You Gave Me A Mountain

Friday, September 27, 2019

Don't ask..............................



Afterthoughts................................



A priority................................


About climate change....................


If you are worried about rising sea levels, don’t be. The smartest and richest people in the world are still buying property on the beach. They don’t see the problem. And if sea levels do rise, it will happen slowly enough for people to adjust.

-Scott Adams, from this love letter

thanks Chris

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


Glen Campbell......................Where's The Playground Susie

Thursday, September 26, 2019

The complexity of sociality..................


Many people think about conversation and connection as two different strategies for accomplishing the same goal of maintaining their social life.  This mind-set believes that there are many different ways to tend important relationships in your life, and in our current modern moment, you should use all tools available—spanning from old-fashioned face-to-face talking, to tapping the heart icon on a friend's Instagram post.
     The philosophy of conversation-centric communication takes a harder stance.  It argues that conversation is the only form of interaction that in some sense counts toward maintaining a relationship.  This conversation can take the form of a face-to-face meeting, or it can be a video chat or a phone call—so long as it matches Sherry Turkle's criteria of involving nuanced analog cues, such as the tone of your voice or facial expressions.  Anything textual or non-interactive—basically all social media, email, text, and instant messaging—doesn't count as conversation and should be categorized as mere connection. . . .The socializing that counts is real conversation, and text is no longer a sufficient alternative. . . .
     To be clear, conversation-centric communication requires sacrifices.  If you adopt this philosophy, you'll almost certainly reduce the number of people with whom you have an active relationship.  Real conversation takes time, and the total number of people for which you can uphold this standard will be significantly less than the total number of people you can follow, retweet, "like," and occasionally leave a comment for on social media, or ping with the occasional text.  Once you no longer count the latter activities as meaningful interaction, your social circle will seem at first to contract.
     This sense of contraction, however, is illusory. . . .

Our sociality is simply too complex to be outsourced to a social network or reduced to instant messages and emojis.

-Cal Newport,  Digital Minimalism:  Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World

Micro blogging.............................


................................Sensory Dispensary has changed venues.   Catch up with Scott here.

A simple, one-page return, flat tax anyone?....


Mankiw attempts to inform our politicians that writing tax law is difficult, it also tends to unleash the The Law of Unintended Consequences.

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


Clarence Carter..................................................Snatching It Back

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Spare yourself..........................


     When King Pyrrhus was undertaking his expedition into Italy, Cyneas, his wise counselor, wanting to make him feel the vanity of his ambition, asked him:  "Well, Sire, to what purpose are you setting up this great enterprise?"  "To make myself master of Italy," he immediately replied.  "And then," continued Cyneas, "when that is done?" "I shall pass over into Gaul and Spain," said the other.  "And after that?"  "I shall go and subdue Africa; and finally, when I have brought the world under my subjection, I shall rest and live content and at my ease."  "In God's name, Sire,"  Cyneas then retorted, "tell me what keeps you from being in that condition right now, if that is what you want.  Why don't you settle down at this very moment in the state you say you aspire to, and spare yourself all the intervening toil and risks?"

          Because he does not know the bounds of gain,
          And where true pleasure stops, and starts to wane.
                                                             Lucretius

     I will conclude this piece with this old line that I think is singularly fine and to the purpose:  Each man's character shapes his fortune [Cornelius Nepos].

-The Complete Essays of Montaigne, Essay 42  Of the inequality that is between us

the innumerable flutterings..................


It is a thorny undertaking, and more so than it seems, to follow a movement so wandering as that of our mind, to penetrate the opaque depths of its innermost folds, to pick out and immobilize the innumerable flutterings that agitate it.

-Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

     Writing had got Montaigne through his "mad reveries" crisis;  it now taught him to look at the world more closely, and increasingly gave him the habit of describing inward sensations and social encounters with precision.  He quoted Pliny on the idea of attending to such elusive fragments:  "Each man is a good education to himself, provided he has the capacity to spy on himself from close up."   As Montaigne the man when about his daily life on the estate, Montaigne the writer walked close behind him, spying and taking notes.

Sarah Bakewell,  How To Live—Or—A Life Of Montaigne: In One Question And Twenty Attempts At An Answer

A calling.............................


     You have every right to be happy.  Dostoevsky said through Father Zosima in The Brothers Karamazov, "Anybody who is completely happy can be sure he's doing God's will on earth."  We are called to be happy, not only for our own sake, but you're called to be happy for everybody's sake.  How much more help I could have been to my anorexic daughter if I had been happy, at peace, whole, a rock, instead of a haggard, anxiety-ridden, doom-ridden cripple.

-Frederick Buechner,  The Remarkable Ordinary

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


Gladys Knight & The Pips.....................................Cloud Nine

Monday, September 23, 2019

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


Samuel Spade's jaw was long and bony, his chin a jutting v under the more flexible v of his mouth.  His nostrils curved back to make another, smaller v.  His yellow-grey eyes were horizontal.  The v motif was picked up again by thickish brows rising outward from twin creases above a hooked nose, and his pale brown hair grew down - from high flat temples - in a point on his forehead.  He looked rather pleasantly like a blond satan.

-Dashiell Hammett,  The Maltese Falcon

Most people don't write like this anymore.  Have to read a few more chapters before deciding whether that is our loss -  or gain.

If only..........................


...............................................our elites were more elite:

In a remarkable Washington Post opinion piece, he now professed to advocate a “more active role by government and regulators,” to balance the “freedom for people to express themselves” online with the protection of society “from broader harms.”  Zuckerberg included “harmful content” and political ads as categories of digital speech in need of regulation.  . . .

The effect, I suspect, will be the exact opposite of the reactionary dream.  In wild and seedy digital gathering-places, far from any pretense of idealism, political discussion will inevitably grow more unfettered, more divisive, more violent.  The attempt to impose Victorian standards of propriety on the information sphere will end by converting it into a vicious and unending saloon brawl.  No matter how revolting the web appears at present – it can always get worse.

-from this essay by the always interesting Martin Gurri

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


The Rascals...................................................................Real Thing

Unfolding.........................


     Say not, "I have found the truth," but rather, "I have found a truth."
     Say not, "I have found the path of the soul."  Say rather, "I have met the soul walking upon my path."
     For the soul walks upon all paths.
     The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed.
     The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals.

-Kahlil Gibran, from his discourse on Self-Knowledge in The Prophet

One of my favorite seasons..............


Autumn is right up there with Winter, Spring and Summer!


Sunday, September 22, 2019

"The biggest moment of anyone's life"...




more than you ever wanted to know about Rock Paper Scissors may be found here

On connection and solitude............


The pianist Glenn Gould once proposed a mathematical formula for this cycle, telling a journalist:  "I've always had a sort of intuition that for every hour you spend with other human beings you need X number of hours alone.  Now what that X represents I don't really know . . . but it's a substantial ratio."

-Cal Newport, Digital Minimalism:  Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World

As best you can......................


     And, of course, Jesus says that the greatest commandment is this:  loving God and loving our neighbors.  I don't know what it means to love God—really, I'm not all that good at it—but I think one of the things it means is, just as in the case of loving anybody else, you stop and watch and wait.  Listen for God, stop and watch and wait for him.  To love God means to pay attention, be mindful, be open to the possibility that God is with you in ways that, unless you have your eyes open, you may never glimpse.  He speaks words that, unless you have your ears open, you may never hear.  Draw near to him as best you can.

-Frederick Buechner,  The Remarkable Ordinary

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


19.  When a man becomes steadfast in his abstention from harming others, then all living creatures will cease to feel enmity in his presence.

-Patanjali, How To Know God:  The Yoga Aphorisms Of Patanjali

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


Peter, Paul and Mary.....................................................Day Is Done

Gratitude......................


     Without exception, I begin every day of my life with an expression of gratitude.  As I look in the mirror to begin my daily ritual of shaving, I say, "Thank you, God, for life, for my body, for my family and loved ones, for this day, and for the opportunity to be of service.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!"

-Wayne Dyer,  Inspiration:  Your Ultimate Calling

Saturday, September 21, 2019

A guru-level reminder..........

.....................................................from Bill Murray:

Step seven: Remember that you are you and no one else is.
The night’s final question was “What’s it like being you?” Murray responded with a guru-level reminder about the importance of being present, which we’ll reprint in full and embed in audio form below.
I think if I’m gonna answer that question, because it is a hard question, I’d like to suggest that we all answer that question right now, while I’m talking. I’ll continue. Believe me, I won’t shut up. I have a microphone. But let’s all ask ourselves that question right now. What does it feel like to be you? What does it feel like to be you? Yeah. It feels good to be you, doesn’t it? It feels good, because there’s one thing that you are—you’re the only one that’s you, right? So you’re the only one that’s you, and we get confused sometimes—or I do, I think everyone does—you try to compete. You think, Dammit, someone else is trying to be me. Someone else is trying to be me. But I don’t have to armor myself against those people; I don’t have to armor myself against that idea if I can really just relax and feel content in this way and this regard. If I can just feel, just think now: How much do you weigh? This is a thing I like to do with myself when I get lost and I get feeling funny. How much do you weigh? Think about how much each person here weighs and try to feel that weight in your seat right now, in your bottom right now. Parts in your feet and parts in your bum. Just try to feel your own weight, in your own seat, in your own feet. OK? So if you can feel that weight in your body, if you can come back into the most personal identification, a very personal identification, which is: I am. This is me now. Here I am, right now. This is me now. Then you don’t feel like you have to leave, and be over there, or look over there. You don’t feel like you have to rush off and be somewhere. There’s just a wonderful sense of well-being that begins to circulate up and down, from your top to your bottom. Up and down from your top to your spine. And you feel something that makes you almost want to smile, that makes you want to feel good, that makes you want to feel like you could embrace yourself.
So what’s it like to be me? You can ask yourself, What’s it like to be me? You know, the only way we’ll ever know what it’s like to be you is if you work your best at being you as often as you can, and keep reminding yourself: That’s where home is.

Thanks Chris

About all this connectivity.......


Solitude Deprivation:

         A state in which you spend close to zero time alone with
         your own thoughts and free from input from other minds.  

. . . this prioritization of communication over reflection becomes a source of serious concern.  For one thing, when you avoid solitude, you miss out on the positive things it brings you:  the ability to clarify hard problems, to regulate your emotions, to build moral courage, and to strengthen relationships.  If you suffer from chronic solitude deprivation, therefore, the quality of your life degrades.

-Cal Newport,  Digital Minimalism:  Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World

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


The Beatles.................................................All You Need Is Love

Friday, September 20, 2019

Thursday, September 19, 2019

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


      The world had changes.  Paradise had changed.  Most significantly for Jesse Stone, his life had been turned upside down.  He was a man wise enough to know that live comes with only one guarantee—that it would someday end.  As a Robbery-Homicide detective for the LAPD and as the longtime chief of the Paradise PD he had seen ample proof of that solitary guarantee written in blood, in wrecked bodies, and in grief.  It wasn't that long ago that his fiancee's murder had given Jesse all the proof he could ever need.  He remembered an old Hebrew proverb about how people's planning for their futures was God's favorite joke.  Still, at an age when most men were steeped in haunting regrets of what could have been and what they might have done, Jesse had been given the most unexpected gift a loner like him could receive.  Cole Slayton, Jesse's son, had arrived in town just as Paradise was shedding its old skin and transforming itself into the place Jesse was currently seeing through the night-darkened windows of his latest Ford Explorer.

Reed Farrel Coleman, Robert B. Parker's The Bitterest Pill

Count me among those who like it when the estate of a dead author hires a living author to continue the lives of the dead author's characters.  Coleman writes nothing like Parker, as evidenced by the opening paragraph, but he writes well.  Hope his sixth effort with Jesse Store is as enjoyable as his first five.

On sugar highs and meaningful glows.....


The sugar high of convenience is fleeting and the sting of missing out dulls rapidly, but the meaningful glow that comes from taking charge of what claims your time and attention is something that persists.

-Cal Newport,  Digital Minimalism:  Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World

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


The Beatles.......................................................All Together Now

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

the fleeting illusion of permanence.......


................................that is the origin of all our suffering.















-Carlo Rovelli,  The Order of Time

Thanks Tony

Fetters.................................


     Verily all things move within your being in constant half embrace, the desired and the dreaded, the repugnant and the cherished, the pursued and that which you would escape.
     These things move within you as lights and shadows in pairs that cling.
     And when the shadow fades and is no more, the light that lingers becomes a shadow to another light.
     And thus your freedom when it loses its fetters becomes itself the fetter of a greater freedom.

-Kahlil Gibran,  On Freedom, The Prophet

Wonderful! We can only hope.................


........................................................that this is true.


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


The Beatles.............................................................Hey Bulldog

Monday, September 16, 2019

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Freedom 101......................


1.  Stop worrying about what others think: that’s an instant path to freedom.

-Nicholas Bate

Still learning........................

























via

Many truths................................


There are a few things that are so obviously true, and true for everyone, that no one argues about them. But most stuff isn’t black or white. Most of the stuff we argue about usually have many truths – several “right” answers depending on the person and situation – and we’re actually arguing over the other person not having the same goals, needs, risks, and wants as you do. It’s a mess. And the only thing worse than thinking everyone who disagrees with you is wrong is the opposite: being persuaded by the advice of those who need or want something you don’t.

This is common in finance. You can count the number of things that are certain on one hand, so the “right” answer to most finance questions is just however much uncertainty you want to accept, which is not only different for everyone but constantly changing for everyone. People don’t agree on a lot of big investing points because they shouldn’t.

-Morgan Housel, as he starts this blog post


To quote a well-known blogger..........


"The 21st century isn't turning out the way I'd hoped":

“Within a very few years, every vulnerable public building, sports stadium or city center will have to install some kind of drone defense,” James Adams writes at Spectator USA.

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


The Beatles.................................................................Sea of Time

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Taking Kurt's.........................


.........................................................................advice:

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.

-Henry Louis Mencken

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


On the second floor of a characterless hotel in the British Crown Colony of Gibraltar, a lithe, agile man in his late fifties restlessly paced his bedroom.  His very British features, though pleasant and plainly honourable, indicated a choleric nature brought to the limit of its endurance.  A distraught lecturer, you might have thought, observing the bookish forward lean and loping stride and the errant forelock of salt-and-pepper hair that repeatedly had to be disciplined with a jerky back-handed shoves of the bony wrist.  Certainly it would not have occurred to many people, even in their most fanciful dreams,t hat he was a middle-ranking British civil servant, hauled from his desk in one of the more prosaic departments of Her Majesty's Foreign and Commonwealth Office to be dispatched on a top-secret mission of acute sensitivity.

-John Le Carré,  A Delicate Truth

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


Gary Puckett & The Union Gap................Don't Give In To Him

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Just another dose of randomness.......































Thinking this is now more true than ever............



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




“Once you realize that the road is the goal and that you are always on the road, not to reach a goal, but to enjoy its beauty and its wisdom, life ceases to be a task and becomes natural and simple, in itself an ecstasy.”

-Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj


Work..................................


“I would like my life to be a statement of love and compassion--and where it isn't, that's where my work lies.” 

-Ram Dass

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


The Beatles............She Came In Through The Bathroom Window

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Questions and answers.......................


The quality of the answers we get are directly correlated with the quality of the questions we ask.

We can learn a lot, often more, from the work involved in answering a question than from the answer itself.

There are no dumb questions. Don’t be afraid to ask them. They are the most straight forward path to learning.

-All from this Farnam Street post

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


The Beatles....................................................Here Comes The Sun

Monday, September 9, 2019

All we need is love.......................





“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”

-attributed to John Lennon