.....................................of musical blissfulness. Thank you!
Saturday, February 20, 2021
Friday, February 19, 2021
Warren Meyer opines on the latest unusual idea to come out of what passes for the educational industry these days - here. A wee excerpt here:
Steve Martin used to have a comedy routine where he would say something like, "wouldn't it be funny to teach your kids how to talk wrong. On their first day in Kindergarten class they would walk up to the teacher and exclaim, "Mumbo dogface in the banana patch!" That had a certain dark humor to it but teaching kids to do math wrong in real life is simply insane.
An explanation of "cargo cult thinking" is here
..................................................................The 5-Hour Rule.
Tuesday, February 16, 2021
The future isn't something to be nailed down, defined, and programmed. The only way to influence it is to keep noticing. While an efficient mind-set prizes predictability and continuity, an artist's passion for exploration develops the capacity for change. For years now, we've been encouraged to develop "the brand you," to adopt, as businesses or individuals, an unwavering, fixed positioning that everyone can recognize and rely on. But for artists, brands are toxic, suppressing the lively evolution that keeps them growing. . . .
Artists often change before they have to. Fans and followers frequently deplore these moments of evolution, when musicians adopt or abjure new technology, when painters change media, when writers shift style or genre. Ibsen was forever frustrating his champions by his furious refusal to be tied down by their definition of him. Picasso's shifts in style baffled critics. Fans of Schoenberg's gorgeous classicism were dismayed and disgusted by his adoption of the twelve-tone scale. Even James Joyce's staunchest supporters balked before diving into Finnegans Wake. Many Miles Davis fans never forgave his electric years. It took decades before Bob Dylan's fans got used to the idea that change was the point, that developing self was Dylan's subject.
-Margaret Heffernan, Uncharted: How To Navigate The Future
Psychologists have a name for our tendency to confuse our own perspective with something more universal: it's called 'naive realism', the sense that we are seeing reality as it truly is, without filters or errors. Naive realism can lead us badly astray when we confuse our personal perspective on the world with some universal truth. We are surprised when an election goes against us: everyone in our social circle agreed with us, so why did the nation vote otherwise? Opinion polls don't always get it right, but I can assure you they have a better track record of predicting elections than simply talking to your friends.
One of the rules that emerges from a consideration of the factors that promote self-sacrifice is that we are less ready to die for what we have or are than for what we wish to have and to be. It is a perplexing and unpleasant truth that when men already have "something worth fighting for," they do not feel like fighting. People who live full, worthwhile lives are not usually ready to die for their own interests nor for their country nor for a holy cause. Craving, not having, is the mother of a reckless giving of oneself.
Like many people with an interest in art, I carry an imaginary museum around in my head. I change exhibitions frequently, not in any orderly way, adding new pieces and putting old ones in storage. I throw away very little, so that the place, if it can be called that, is cluttered. One of the pleasant attributes of an imaginary gallery is that it can be any size, and there is no maintenance or upkeep and no worry about conservation. Nothing costs anything. If the pictures I put in it sometimes gain in value and sometimes decline, it is a matter of taste (call it whim, if your please)—my taste—and any arguments about it are between my taste today and my taste of yesterday.
It is almost impossible not to put what is in my museum in categories—landscapes, genre, nudes, portraits or nonrepresentational, religious, mythical, still life, and decorative paintings. Though I have some sculpture and some objets de vertu and a great many drawings, that is about it, except for a very few photographs and prints. My museum doesn't tend towards "mulitples" of any sort. It is a matter of playing favorites; I am under no pressure to put something in my museum because some critic, or generations of connoisseurs and dilettantes, have declared it to be a masterpiece. One generation's masterpiece can obviously be the next generation's colossal bore, which does not change the nature of the object in the least.
Here are a few things hanging in my imaginary gallery:
One of the incidents in Ike's youth that he later said had a lasting impact on him revolved around Halloween. When he was in elementary school, hit two older brothers were given permission to go out and trick-or-treat. Ike wanted desperately to go, but was denied permission by his parents. In a spectacular display of what we would today call a "meltdown," Ike went into a rage—and essentially blacked out as he bloodied his fists by repeatedly hitting them against a tree. His parents, rightly concerned, took measures. His father probably gave Ike's backside a few strokes of a hickory stick, and he was sent to his room—the one he shared with the two brothers who were out on the town.
As Ike lay in bed sobbing pitifully, his mother came upstairs and sat quietly for a few minutes, waiting for him to settle down. When his tears had turned to occasional whimpers, Ida talked to him in a gentle but firm way. Did he know that his behavior had hurt only himself?
After a few quiet words she ended with a paraphrase from the Bible: "He who conquereth his soul is greater than he who taketh a city."
As his mother bandaged his hands, she continued to talk to her son, again calmly urging him to understand that in his anger he had hurt only himself; that the object of his anger (in this case his brothers) probably didn't even know of his resentment.
Eisenhower later wrote that the conversation was "one of the most valuable moments of my life."
-Susan Eisenhower, How Ike Led: The Principles Behind Eisenhower's Biggest Decisions
Monday, February 15, 2021
Developing an inner sense of captaincy is not about compensating for an incompetent leader—nor does it mean thinking we always know best. The better someone is at leading people, the more they create the conditions for their team to take initiative and be proactive about preventing problems. They show by example that they inhabit a state rather than a particular role. A stronger leader can mean a more independent team.
-from this Farnam Street post
It doesn’t matter how well-intentioned the program is. It doesn’t matter what a regulation was meant to do — it matters what it . . . .
“” is cartoon libertarianism, but you know what? . And if you don’t let them work, you end up with artificial scarcity, high prices, and rationing.
-Kevin D. Williamson, as culled from this post
John Maynard Keynes was not an athletic man. Though a spirited debater, he had always suffered from fragile health. Overworked by choice and underexercised out of habit, he had acclimated himself to living in the constant shadow of head colds and influenza attacks. He was thirty-one years old on the first Sunday of August 1914 and had lived nearly all those years at Cambridge, where, like his father before him, he held a minor academic post. His friend and mentor Bertrand Russell was accustomed to seeing the younger man reviewing figures or buried in papers on weekend afternoons. A King's College man, Keynes might, in moments of extreme restlessness, calm himself with a walk through the Great Court of Russell's Trinity College, taking in the turrreted medieval towers of King's Gate, the soaring gothic windows of the chapel built during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and the steady waters of the fountain designed when William Shakespeare had composed Hamlet. Keynes was a man who savored tradition and contemplation. He was perfectly suited for a life at the timeworn university.
-Zachary D. Carter, The Price Of Peace: Money, Democracy, And The Life Of John Maynard Keynes