Wednesday, November 1, 2023

value added..................

      Like Warren Buffett, Munger inherited no wealth.  He built his fortune on the sheer power of his will and his business acumen.

     "While no real money came down, my family gave me a good education and a marvelous example of how people should behave, and in the end that was more valuable than money."

-Janet Lowe, Damn Right! Behind the Scenes With Berkshire Hathaway Billionaire Charlie Munger

an affabale complaisance................

 Those who work in an office often feel that, despite the proliferation of contrived metrics they must meet, their job lacks objective standards of the sort provide by, for example, a carpenter's level, and that as a result there is something arbitrary in the dispensing of credit and blame.  The rise of "teamwork" has made it difficult to trace individual responsibility, and opened the way for new and uncanny modes of manipulation of workers by managers, who now appear in the guise of therapists or life coaches. Manager themselves inhabit a bewildering psychic landscape, and are made anxious by the vague imperatives they must answer to.  The college student interviews for a job as a knowledge worker, and finds that the corporate recruiter never asks him about his grades and doesn't care what he majored in.  He senses that what is demanded of him is not knowledge but rather that he project a certain kind of personality, an affable complaisance.  Is all his hard work in school somehow just for show—his ticket to a Potemkin meritocracy?  There seems to be a mismatch between form and content, and a growing sense that the official story we've been telling ourselves about work is somehow false.

-Matthew B. Crawford,  Shop Class As Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work


      Munger and Buffett had something else in common.  "Like Warren, I had a considerable passion to get rich," said Charlie, who early on earned his living as a lawyer. "Not because I wanted Ferraris—I wanted the independence.  I desperately wanted it.  I thought it was undignified to have to send invoices to other people.  I don't know where I get that notion from, but I had it.

-Janet Lowe, Damn Right! Behind the Scenes With Berkshire Hathaway Billionaire Charlie Munger

Monday, October 30, 2023


      He was out to get all the soft-heads, and he got them triumphantly.  Unhampered by anything resembling a coherent body of ideas, he was ready to believe up to the extreme limits of human credulity.  If he did not come out for spiritualism, chiropractic, psychotherapy, and extra sensory perception it was only because not one demanded that he do so.  If there had been any formidable body of cannibals in the country, he would have promised to provide them with free missionaries fattened at the taxpayers' expense.

     So we now have him for four years more—four years that will see the country confronted by the most difficult and dangerous problems presented to it since 1861.  We can only hope that he will improve as he goes on.  Unhappily, experience teaches that no man improves much after 60, and after 65 most of them deteriorate in a really alarming manner.  I could give an autobiographical example, but refrain on the advice of counsel.  Thus we seem to be in for it.  I can only say in conclusion that the country jolly well deserves it.

-Henry Louis Mencken, from his 11/7/48 piece in The Baltimore Sun, in which he opines on Harry Truman's election


 If you want to be successful and live a long, stimulating life, keep yourself at risk intellectually all the time.

-Byron Wien, as culled from here

thanks Chris

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Can I get an Amen.......................................?

 -  The funny thing is - this would work. Any politician would have to deploy for any war they vote funds for. If over 35-years old their kids would have to sign up

-Chris Lynch

creeping concealment.................

      The disappearance of tools from our common education is the first step toward a wider ignorance of the world of artifacts we inhabit.  And, in fact, an engineering culture has developed in recent years in which the object is to "hide the works," rendering many of the devices we depend on every day unintelligible to direct inspection.  Lift the hood on some cars now (especially German ones) and the engine appears a bit like the shimmering, featureless obelisk that so enthralled the proto-humans in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.  Essentially, there is another hood under the hood.  This creeping concealment takes various forms.  The fasteners holding small appliances together now often require esoteric screwdrivers not commonly available, apparently to prevent the curious or the angry from interrogating the innards.  By way of contrast, older readers will recall that until recent decades, Sears catalogues included blown-up parts diagrams and conceptual schematics for all appliances and many other mechanical goods.  It was simply taken for granted that such information would be demanded by the consumer.

-Matthew B. Crawford,  Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work

Ed. Note:  As a college junior, my parents, concerned about my apparent aimlessness, had me take one of those personality tests designed to uncover what profession one might be good at.  All I remember about the results was a warning that I should avoid anything to do with "spatial relations."  That made abundant sense, as I was totally lost viewing a "conceptual schematic."  Would have been easier to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics.

Assuming the shelves.......................

 ...........are still loaded with books, this could be one of the greatest historic renovation, and/or urban renewal project, ever imaged.

A Shakespeare jukebox.................

When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
(Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
       For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
       That then I scorn to change my state with kings.