Friday, January 20, 2023

Just the ticket.........................


In the background.....................

Hootie & the Blowfish..........Cracked Rear View


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

 ..........................with Kevin Kelly:

When a child asks an endless string of "why?" questions, the smartest answer is, "I don't know, what do you think?"

To be wealthy, accumulate all those things money can't buy.

Be strict with yourself and forgiving of others.  The reverse is hell for everyone.

What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.

Sustained outrage makes you stupid.

Writing down one thing you are grateful for each day is the cheapest possible therapy ever.

There is no limit on better.  Talent is distributed unevenly, but there is no limit on how much we can improve what we start with.

Perhaps the most counter-intuitive truth of the universe is that the more you give to others, the more you'll get.  Understanding this is the beginning of wisdom.

Over the long term, the future is decided by optimists. To be an optimist you don't have to ignore all the many problems we create; you just have to imagine improving our capacity to solve problems.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Meanwhile, at Davos................


Can I get an amen................?


Really good question...........

 What if this life is the paradise we were promised, and we're just squandering it?

-Naval Ravikant


We have to deal with things that we're capable of understanding.

I'm really better at determining my level of incompetency and then just avoiding that.

You have a limited amount of time and talent and you have to allocate it smartly.

-Charlie Munger, as culled from here

And we take safety for granted..............

      In our common speculations we do not enough remember that interest on money is a refined idea, and not a universal one.  So far indeed is it from being universal, that the majority of saving persons in most countries would reject it.  Most savings in most countries are held in hoarded specie.  In Asia, in Africa, in South America, largely even in Europe, they are thus held, and it would frighten most of the owners to let them out of their keeping.  An Englishman—a modern Englishman at least—assumes as a first principle that he out to be able to "put his money into something safe that will yield 3 per cent," but most saving persons in most countries are afraid to "put their money" into anything.  Nothing is safe in their minds, indeed, in most countries, owing to a bad Government and a backward industry, no investment, or hardly any, really is safe.

-Walter Bagehot, as excerpted from Lombard Street: A Description of the Money Market


 Most people drift through life, accepting whatever they can get without drawing on the forces of their minds.  Lake of a Definite Major Purpose is the most deadly form of personal limitation.  It has been plainly written in the records of men that all who demand something definite find ways and means of getting it if the persist in their demands.  An important part of persistence is action—the sort of action I have been talking about; action in making a start; action in keeping on going, even when the going is hard; action in making a new start when one is temporarily defeated.  Action, action, action!  Let that word burn itself into your consciousness until it stands out like the shining sun on a cloudless day.

-Andrew Carnegie, from here

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

slandering Pygmies..................

 The United States today stands as a living contradiction to the ‘great man theory of history’. For the US is a great country led by small minds. In recent times, it has been ruled by a narcissistic moral reprobate and it is now being run by a cognitively deficient and scandal-plagued politician. There is a growing feeling, particularly among the young, that today’s America is diminished. Yet the US remains the world’s premier power, and its last best hope against a rising authoritarian tide.

So, how does an America led by mediocrities succeed? The secret sauce lies in two great assets – America’s geography and its constitution.

-Joel Kotkin, as he starts this post

In the background..............

Jimmy Buffett...............................Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes



It is not necessary to do extraordinary things to get extraordinary results. 

-Warren Buffett

A rule from Benjamin Franklin..............

 3. To apply myself industriously to whatever business I take in hand, and not divert my mind from my business by any foolish project of growing suddenly rich; for industry and patience are the surest means of plenty.

-As cut and pasted from here

People don't talk like this much anymore.....

 I preach to you, then, my countrymen, that our country calls not for the life of ease but for the life of strenuous endeavor. The twentieth century looms before us big with the fate of many nations. If we stand idly by, if we seek merely swollen, slothful ease and ignoble peace, if we shrink from the hard contests where men must win at hazard of their lives and at the risk of all they hold dear, then the bolder and stronger peoples will pass us by, and will win for themselves the domination of the world. Let us therefore boldly face the life of strife, resolute to do our duty well and manfully; resolute to uphold righteousness by deed and by word; resolute to be both honest and brave, to serve high ideals, yet to use practical methods. Above all, let us shrink from no strife, moral or physical, within or without the nation, provided we are certain that the strife is justified, for it is only through strife, through hard and dangerous endeavor, that we shall ultimately win the goal of true national greatness.

-Theodore Roosevelt, as he concludes this speech

Watson observes.............

 "What a very attractive woman!" I exclaimed, turning to my companion.

He had lit his pipe again and was leaning back with drooping eyelids.  "Is she?" he said languidly; "I did not observe."

"You really are an automaton—a calculating machine," I cried. "There is something positively inhuman in you at times."

He smiled gently.  "It is of the first importance," he said, "not to allow your judgment to be biased by personal qualities.  A client is to me a mere unit, a factor in a problem.  The emotional qualities are antagonistic to clear reasoning.  I assure you that the most winning woman I ever knew was hanged for poisoning three little children for their insurance money, and the most repellent man of my acquaintance is a philanthropist who has spent nearly a quarter of a million upon the London poor."

-Arthur Conan Doyle, channeling his inner Holmes in The Sign of Four

Monday, January 16, 2023

On peace and happiness........

In my own personal experience, the place I end up the most is wanting to be at peace.

Peace is happiness at rest, and happiness is peace in motion.  You can convert peace into happiness anytime you want.  But peace is what you want most of the time.  If you're a peaceful person, anything you do will be a happy activity.

Today, the way we think you get peace is by resolving all your external problems.  But there are unlimited external problems.  The only way to actually get peace on the inside is by giving up this idea of problems.

in an unknowable world............

 Bridge requires a continual effort to assess probabilities in at best marginally unknowable situations, and players need to make hundreds of decisions in a single session, often balancing expected gains and losses.  But players must also continually make peace with good decisions that lead to bad outcomes, both one's own decisions and those of a partner.  Just this peacemaking skill is required if one is to invest wisely in an unknowable world.

-Richard Zeckhauser

In praise of cash reserves...............

      Any sudden event which creates a great demand for actual cash may cause, and will tend to cause, a panic in a country where cash is much economised, and where debts payable on demand are large.  In such a country an immense credit rests on a small cash reserve, and an unexpected and large diminution of that reserve may easily break up and shatter very much, if not the whole, of that credit.  Such accidental events are of the most various nature: a bad harvest, an apprehension of foreign invasion, the sudden failure of a great firm which everybody trusted, and many other similar events, have all caused a sudden demand for cash.  And some writers have endeavoured to classify panics according to the nature of the particular accidents producing them.  But little, however, is, I believe, to be gained by such classifications.  There is little difference in the effect of one accident and another upon our credit system.  We must be prepared for all of them, and we must prepare for all of them in the same way—by keeping a large cash reserve.

-Walter Bagehot, from his 1873 classic, Lombard Street: A Description of the Money Market

On courtiers...................

      One day the Emperor Julian's courtiers were praising him for being so just.  "I would readily take pride in these praises," he said, "if they came from people who dared to accuse or dispraise my unjust actions, if there should be any."

-Michel de Montaigne,  The Complete Works, Book 1, Chapter 42

Sunday, January 15, 2023

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

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band & Friends/Orange Blossom Special


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

 .................................with Doug Savage:

for the love of the game types...........

 More broadly, our society needs many more Charlie Watts’ and should do what it takes to create them. Fewer thieves, militarists, spreadsheet jockeys, influencers, celebrities, administrators: More musicians, painters, photographers, world-builders, model railroaders, knitters, gamers, welders, winemakers, and “for the love of the game”-types generally.

-Lambert Strether, as culled from here

Not to worry..................

Missing out on some opportunity never bothered us.  What's wrong with someone getting a little richer than you?  It's crazy to worry about this.

-Charlie Munger 


 “Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisoned by the enemy, don't we consider it his duty to escape?. . .If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we're partisans of liberty, then it's our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!”

-John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

Except for books and single malt scotch...........

 The man who can buy anything he covets, without any consultation with his banker, values nothing that he buys.

-William Dawson


On charity...................

 A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog when you are just as hungry as the dog.

-Jack London


  One may well ask: “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that “an unjust law is no law at all.”

Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. 

-Martin Luther King, Jr., as excerpted from his Letter from Birmingham Jail

You are missing a lot.................

 ..............if you don't check in with The Hammock Papers on a regular basis.