Sunday, January 21, 2024

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

Mott the Hoople..........................The Hoople

decisions, decisions.......................

 The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance. We must daily decide whether the threats we face are real, whether the solutions we are offered will do any good, whether the problems we're told exist are in fact real problems, or non-problems.

-Michael Crichton, as cut-and-pasted from here


Understanding the limitations of human beings is the beginning of wisdom.

The key feature of Communist propaganda has been the depiction of people who are more productive as mere exploiters of others.

When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.

Envy plus rhetoric equals 'social justice'.

If I could offer one piece of advice to young people thinking about their future, it would be this: Don't preconceive. Find out what the opportunities are.

Before the Iraq war I was quite disturbed by some of the neoconservatives, who were saying things like, "What is the point of being a superpower if you can't do such-and-such, take on these responsibilities?" The point of being a superpower is that people will leave you alone.

What socialism, fascism and other ideologies of the left have in common is an assumption that some very wise people—like themselves—need to take decisions out of the hands of lesser people, like the rest of us, and impose those decisions by government fiat.

Racism has never done this country any good, and it needs to be fought against, not put under new management for different groups.

The fact that so many successful politicians are such shameless liars is not only a reflection on them, it is also a reflection on us. When the people want the impossible, only liars can satisfy.

-a few quotes from Thomas Sowell

more fun pix here

Lifelong learning....................

 Human improvement has come from learning. We learned how to achieve better health and greater longevity. We learned how to grow enough food so that people do not have to go hungry. We learned how to cooperate in large societies.

But we do not know everything that we need to know in order to live better. Both individually and collectively, we have more to learn. We have more to learn today, and we will have more to learn tomorrow.

To learn requires an open mind. My father, Merle Kling, used to say that the First Iron Law of Social Science is “Sometimes it’s this way, and sometimes it’s that way.” My undergraduate economics professor, Bernie Saffran, would say “I’m willing to be wrong,” meaning that his ideas were open to challenge. My graduate adviser, Robert Solow, said in his address to the American Economic Association that government intervention in markets is neither always right nor always wrong.

-Arnold Kling, from here

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

      Nine-year-old Henry Knox entered the Boston bookstore, leaving his childhood behind.  The boy, blond and tall for his age, could see shelves of books and boxes of fine stationery adorned with floral designs imported from London, along with writing materials, inkwells, quills, pamphlets, and writing paper neatly laid out for customers.  His days of playing with friends or attending school would be replaced with the bookshop's chores and adult concerns over money and the support of his family.

     HIs life had been turned upside down that year, 1759.  His father, William Knox, a once-prosperous shipbuilder, left the family after his business collapsed in the midst of economic hard times sweeping the American colonies.  Plagued by debts, the disillusioned Knox boarded a ship bound for St. Eustatius in the West Indies, leaving his family with no means of financial support.  Henry was left to care for his mother and his three-year-old brother.  His older siblings, John and Benjamin, had left home years earlier to earn a living as merchant seamen, never to return to Boston.

Mark Puls, Henry Knox: Visionary General of the American Revolution


 Of all the factors that have been studied, the strongest known force in daily motivation is a sense of progress.  You can't always find motivation by staring harder at the thing that isn't working.  Sometimes you can build momentum by taking a detour to a new destination.  A detour is a route off your main road that you take to refuel.

-Adam Grant, Hidden Potential: The Science of Achieving Greater Things