Sunday, March 19, 2023


Claude Monet    1883     Port d'Aval, Rough Sea 

Claude Monet   1883  The Manneport, Cliff at Étretat 

“If the ocean can calm itself, so can you. We are both salt water mixed with air”

-Nayyirah Waheed

True this............................

 Having watched numerous extinction-level events come and go over the years, I’ve observed a few familiar patterns. The common thread, ignoring the prophets of doom, never failed.

-Tony Isola

Good point.......................

 Income is obviously different than wealth. It doesn’t matter how much money you make, if you don’t save any of it, you’re not really wealthy.

-Ben Carlson

As we have said before, it's not how much you make, it's what you do with what you make that counts.


 The interesting question isn’t whether someone has status. It’s whether they’re gutsy enough to demonstrate it by making things better for others.

-Seth Godin


 ..........................and other good stuff may be found here on a regular basis.


U2.................................................Lights of Home


     As we do before every show, we pray.
     Sometimes it can feel as if we're strangers, praying to find the intimacy of a band that could be useful to our audience this evening.  Useful? To music.  To some higher purpose.  In some strangely familiar way we are changed.  We begin our prayers as comrades; we end them as friends finding a different image of ourselves, as well as the audience we're about to meet, who will change us again.
     To be useful is a curious prayer.  Unromantic.  A little dull even. but it's at the heart of who we are and why we're still here as a band.  Men who met as boys.  Men who have broken the promise that's at the very heart of rock 'n' roll, which is that you can have the world but in return the world will have you.  You can have your messiah complex, but you must die on a cross aged thirty-three, or everyone has the right to ask for their money back.  We've turned them down so far.
     We are men who bear some scar tissue from our various struggles with the world but whose eyes are remarkably clear considering the vicissitudes and surreality of a life playing stadiums for thirty-five years.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

On clerking..........................

 Now the world is run by sophists. They think that because they read a few books about people who were great that they are great in their turn. There are two problems with this surmise. One, the people they think were great probably weren't. Secondly, most people are incapable of much more than misremembering and misunderstanding the twaddle they read anyway, because education isn't very rigorous anymore. If you think the world's business is decided by simply choosing wisely between John Galt and Noam Chomsky, I don't know what to say to you. Mozart is never going to show up on American Idol.

-as cut-and-pasted from this Sippican Cottage post

Here is the money take...........................

 ................on San Francisco's reparations plan:

The plan would cost an estimated $600,000 per household. Just out of morbid curiosity about what literally happens to the city if this plan goes through, I’m in favor. Also, after the exodus of people fleeing to avoid this new tax, there’ll be a lot of nice properties around for cheap. I’d like one of those. So let’s do this.


On the importance of the "struggle"....

 The downfall of capitalism will not come from the uprising of an impoverished working class but from the sabotage of a bored upper class. This was the view of the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter in 1942. Schumpeter believed that at some point in the future, an educated elite would have nothing left to struggle for and will instead start to struggle against the very system that they themselves live in.

-from Newsweek magazine of all places 


Might pay to remember this..............

 The first thing a man will do for his ideals is lie.

-Joseph Schumpeter

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Is this a great country or what....................

 CONTRA-INDICATOR: Inverse Jim Cramer ETF outperforming market trackers after just 2 weeks. “In the two weeks since its launch, the ‘Inverse Cramer Tracker’ exchange-traded fund (ETF) has been outperforming the market by allowing investors to short any stock CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer recommended buying.”


The Present...........................

Much has been said about being in the present.
It’s the place to be, according to the gurus,
like the latest club on the downtown scene,
but no one, it seems, is able to give you directions.

It doesn’t seem desirable or even possible
to wake up every morning and begin
leaping from one second into the next
until you fall exhausted back into bed.

Plus, there’d be no past
with so many scenes to savor and regret,
and no future, the place you will die
but not before flying around with a jet-pack.

The trouble with the present is
that it’s always in a state of vanishing.
Take the second it takes to end
this sentence with a period––already gone.

What about the moment that exists
between banging your thumb
with a hammer and realizing
you are in a whole lot of pain?

What about the one that occurs
after you hear the punch line
but before you get the joke?
Is that where the wise men want us to live

in that intervening tick, the tiny slot
that occurs after you have spent hours
searching downtown for that new club
and just before you give up and head back home?

-Billy Collins

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

       Whether the photographer, who would forever remain anonymous, felt the conceivably immense pressure we will never know.  But with the head of the nation and the soul of the nation's preservation movement, both rugged, demanding, and outspoken men, paired together for a brief time, posted against arguably the nation's most transcendent and iconic landscape, a long journey by train, horseback, and boot from any major city, the stakes in making a good image were high.

-Dean King, Guardians of the Valley: John Muir and the Friendship That Saved Yosemite

dependence and addiction...............

 Industrialization plus globalization has not only generated the fastest economic growth in history; collectively they have dramatically increased the standard of living of billions of people the world over.  Unlike the shockingly unequal preindustrial world, the industrialization/globalization combo has achieved the seemingly impossible duology of enabling the utterly unskilled to live at something above an abused subsistence level while pushing the frontiers of human knowledge and education further and faster and more broadly than ever before. . . .

     Botton line: the world we know is eminently fragile.  And that's when it is working to design.  Today's economic landscape isn't so much dependent upon as it is eminently addicted to American strategic and tactical overwatch.  Remove the Americans, and long-haul shipping degrades from being the norm to being the exception.  Remove the mass consumption due to demographic collapses and the entire economic argument for mass integration collapses.  One way or another, our "normal" is going to end, and end soon.

-Peter Zeihan, The End of the World Is Just the Beginning: Mapping the Collapse of Globalization


 Our senses often misperceive data.  And our minds don't have the processing power to take in all information surrounding us.  Our senses would be overwhelmed by light, color, sound, and smell.  We would not be able to distinguish one object from another.

     To navigate our way through his immense world of data, we learn early in life to focus on information that appears essential or of particular interest.  And to tune out the rest.

     As artists, we seek to restore our childlike perception: a more innocent state of wonder and appreciation not tethered to utility or survival.

-Rick Rubin, The Creative Act: A Way of Being

a temporary setback................

     On November 10, 1954, a story appeared on the front page of the Cornell Daily Sun that began, "The spirit of Prometheus was reincarnated and the campus and the routing of the arts school upset when, yesterday morning, Ed Epstein, '57, made a dramatic horse and buggy appearance for his 10 AM class in Boardman Hall."

     As the story explained, the reason I elected this quaint form of transportation was that my driving privileges had been suspended for my sophomore year because I had transgressed the rules by having a car on campus my freshman year.  Oddly enough, it was not that difficult finding a buggy in 1954 in Upstate New York.  I went to several local farms, and, at the third one, the farmer offered to sell me both the buggy and a horse named Wisconsin for $200.  Driving it onto campus had consequences though.  I was put on probation and, when I refused to rein in my horse and buggy, double probation.  I then gave the buggy and horse to a local farmer, but my probation was not lifted.  It was the beginning of a downward spiral.  I stopped attending classes, my grades plunged, and the following year I was asked to leave Cornell.  I considered it a temporary setback. 

-Edward Jay Epstein, Assume Nothing: Encounters with Assassins, Spies, Presidents, and Would-Be Masters of the Universe

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

The doctor says.....................

.................give yourself a break: 

Here’s a tip for anyone wanting to become a machine of relentless focus: stop trying to become a machine of relentless focus. Despite the officially sanctioned fairy tales, you can’t. Your brain does not work like that. Nice theory — wrong species.

-From this post by Eric Barker

Be like hating to eat or breathe..........

 And though correlation is not causation, I submit that we’d save ourselves an enormous amount of trouble in the future if we’d agree to a simple litmus test: Immediately disregard anyone in the business of selling a vision who proudly proclaims they hate reading.

-Backstory is here

Keys to the kingdom..............

. . .  key four is to chase quality of life rather than standard of living (8) key five to freedom is to realise that most-if not all-of what we want, is available to us now if we simply slow down and notice it. (9) Key five is thus don't defer good times. Don't think when. Nor one day. Think now. Build them in now: breaks, walks, conversation, home cooking, reading to the children, learning that language, that project, charity work, learning how to knit (10) key six is to note that people become free every day in an instant when they wake up and realise that the thing for the majority of us in this part of the world is that freedom is a decision not a goal, qualification nor purchase. A decision. And that's pretty damn cool. 

-Nicholas Bate