Friday, December 9, 2016
“If there is one thing I’ve learned in my years on this planet, it’s that the happiest and most fulfilled people I’ve known are those who devoted themselves to something bigger and more profound than merely their own self interest”
-attributed to John Glenn
................the problem of high priced Washington, D. C. real estate: move federal offices elsewhere. Senator Robert Byrd was the master at this, as a trip of any length through West Virginia will make evident. Glenn Reynolds is pushing the idea. Now Matt Yglesias is jumping on the bandwagon. If shrinking is impossible (probably not Yglesias's first choice), dispersal might be a great option. Real estate is mighty affordable here in Central Ohio. I love the part where Yglesias encourages Donald Trump to "take a little time to think bigger." As they say, read the whole thing. A wee excerpt follows:
Thursday, December 8, 2016
“Abandon the urge to simplify everything, to look for formulas and easy answers, and to begin to think multidimensionally, to glory in the mystery and paradoxes of life, not to be dismayed by the multitude of causes and consequences that are inherent in each experience -- to appreciate the fact that life is complex.”
-attributed to Scott Peck
....................................look it up your ownself.
I’m great at multitasking; I can waste time, be unproductive, and procrastinate all at once.
More samples here. Thanks Ray.
Having the White House alternate between two wealthy, familiar political families may reassure corporate lobbies, Wall Street banks, and billionaire donors, but it turns out that this modified version of hereditary monarchy has very little appeal among American voters.
The voters, we have learned, have a different conception of democracy than the donor class. Ordinary Americans think of elections not as chances to passively ratify the candidates already chosen by party elites, but as opportunities to choose the candidates they prefer. Where this populist idea of genuine voter power came from is not clear, but it now seems to be widespread.
-Michael Lind, as excerpted from here
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
"After years of working with students at both ends of the achievement spectrum, I now have a distinctly different view of school reform. The problem, I think, is not only the schools but also the students themselves. Here's why: learning is hard. True, learning is fun, exhilarating, and gratifying - but it is also often daunting, exhausting, and sometimes discouraging. By and large, students who no longer want to learn, who don't think they can learn, and who don't see any point in learning simply won't - no matter how wonderful the school or teacher...
To help chronically low-performing but intelligent students, educators and parents must first recognize that character is at least as important as intellect."
"Underachievement among American youth is often blamed on inadequate teachers, boring textbooks, and large class sizes. We suggest other reasons for students falling short of their intellectual potential: their failure to exercise self-discipline...We believe that many of America's children have trouble making choices that require them to sacrifice short-term pleasure for long-term gain, and that programs that build self-discipline may be the royal road to building academic achievement."
-Angela Lee Duckworth, as excerpted from Martin E. P. Seligman's Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being
There is no "cause" of emotions except from within. To see this fact results in empowerment, autonomy, and release from the illusion of victimhood.
Inner peace automatically arises out of our willingness to give up certain positionalities, such as judging others and making them "wrong". Willingness stems from a forgiving, understanding position. Judgmentalism does not really solve anything but instead adds to the problem. Making others wrong results in a world of lose-lose.
-David R. Hawkins, as extracted from Healing and Recovery
Scrutinize the Scorpion constellation
and see where a hook of stars
ends with a lonely star.
Go to the grey sea horizon
and ask for a message
and listen and wait.
See whether the conundrums
of a heavy land fog
either sing or talk.
Let only a small cry come
in behalf of a clean sunrise:
the sun performs so often.
Speak to the branches of spring
and the surprise of blossoms:
they too hope for a good year.
Search the first winter snowstorm
for a symphonic arrangement:
it is always there.
Take an alphabet of gold or mud and spell
as you wish any word: kiss me, kill me,
love, hate, ice, thought, victory.
Read the numbers on your wrist watch
and ask: is being born, being loved,
being dead, nothing but numbers?
-Carl Sandburg, Almanac
From the wondrous APOD:
Explanation: If Scorpius looked this good to the unaided eye, humans might remember it better. Scorpius more typically appears as a few bright stars in a well known but rarely pointed out zodiacal constellation. To get a spectacular image like this, though, one needs a good camera, color filters, and a digital image processor. To bring out detail, the above image not only involved long duration exposures taken in several colors, but one exposure in a very specific red color emitted by hydrogen that brings out great detail. The resulting image shows many breathtaking features. Vertically across the image left is part of the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy. Visible there are vast clouds of bright stars and long filaments of dark dust. Jutting out diagonally from theMilky Way in the image center are dark dust bands known as the Dark River. This river connects to several bright stars on the right that are part ofScorpius' head and claws, and include the bright star Antares. Above and right of Antares is an even brighter planet Jupiter. Numerous red emission nebulas and blue reflection nebulas are visible throughout the image. Scorpius appears prominently in southern skies after sunset during the middle of the year.
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
"When the cravingness, desiringness, obsession, compulsion, and addiction to the wantingness and cravingness of this physicality dissipate, we are at peace."
-David R. Hawkins, Healing and Recovery
...............................will get old and tired soon, but for now, it's kind of fun to watch. Piers Morgan has the story:
Since the election, Trump has continued to Tweet away. He's called for Hamilton to be boycotted and flag-burning to be criminalised, and every time the same 10-part pattern unfolds and the whole thing starts again.
Each episode followed a familiar 10-part pattern:
1) Trump posts an inflammatory, highly opinionated tweet.
2) The media goes nuts.
3) Trump’s tweet then dominates the news all day.
4) The media demands he stops tweeting because it’s ‘un-presidential.’
5) Trump ignores them.
6) Conventional politicians demand he stops tweeting because it’s un-presidential.’
7) Trump ignores them too.
8) Trump wakes up next morning to every paper and cable news show talking about his tweet.
9) Trump chuckles to himself.
10) Trump tweets again.
...........................but it makes sense to me:
I am exhausted with folks talking about some fundamental political shift to a white male resurgence, or whatever. There was no shift. Trump got about the same number of votes as Romney and McCain. He won no more white male votes than those guys and if anything performed better than them in traditional Democratic categories like single women and blacks. The reason Trump won is because Clinton had 10 million fewer votes than Obama had in his first win. Traditional Democratic supporters were unenthusiastic about Clinton and stayed home.
-Warren Meyer, as extracted from here
When we see a disaster coming – as we do with climate science – we have an unbroken track record of avoiding doom.
-Scott Adams, as culled from here
I'm only a blogger, and mostly a cut and paste one at that, so take what I say with a grain of salt - but no one has had a better 2016 than Scott Adams.
Adams recently opened up the comments section of his blog. Loved this one:
Climate models, by and large, say more about the modelers than they do the climate
We begin in infancy by establishing correspondence of eyes with eyes. We recognized that we could do the same things with them. We went on to the visible motion of the lips - smile answered smile....So far so good. From here all the wonder grows. It has been said that recognition in art is all. Better say correspondence is all. Mind must convince mind that it can uncurl and wave the same filaments of subtlety, soul convince soul that it can give off the same shimmers of eternity. At no point would anyone but a brute fool want to break off this correspondence. It is all there to satisfaction; and it is salutary to live in the fear of its being broken off.
-Robert Frost, from his introduction to E. A. Robinson's 1935 poem, King Jasper
Sitting in his lab, Marion D. Ford entered a numerical password and watched a hooded man execute three hostages with a ruby-handled knife. Different victims, different locations, and months apart, but always the same knife, never pausing to sharpen the blade.
-Randy Wayne White, Deep Blue
Therefore, in a system of multiple models across multiple disciplines, I should add as an extra rule that you should be very wary of heavy ideology.
You can have heavy ideology in favor of accuracy, diligence, and objectivity. But a heavy ideology that makes you absolutely sure that the minimum wage should be raised or that it shouldn't - and it's kind of a holy construct where you know you're right - makes you a bit nuts.
This is a very complicated system. And life is one damn relatedness after another. It's all right to think that, on balance, you suspect that civilization is better if it lowers the minimum wage or raises it. Either position is OK. But being totally sure on issues like that with a strong, violent ideology, in my opinion, turns you into a lousy thinker. So beware of ideology-based mental misfunctions.
-Charles T. Munger, Poor Charlie's Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger
Monday, December 5, 2016
Jim Brickman and Lady Antebellum...............Never Alone
May the angels protect you Trouble neglect you And heaven accept you when it's time to go home May you always have plenty The glass never empty Know in your belly You're never alone May your tears come from laughing You find friends worth having As every year passes They mean more than gold May you win and stay humble Smile more than grumble And know when you stumble You're never alone