"Property is not just the house itself but an economic concept about the house, embodied in a legal representation." Legal property . . . gave the West the tools to produce surplus value over and above the physical assets. Property representations enabled people to think about assets not only through physical acquaintance but also through the description of their latent economic and social qualities. Whether anyone intended it or not, the legal property systems became the staircase that took these nations from the universe of assets in their natural state to the conceptual universe of capital where assets can be viewed in their full productive potential. With legal property, the advanced nations of the West had the key to modern development; their citizens now had the means to discover, with great facility and on an on-going basis, the most potentially productive qualities of their resources. As Aristotle discovered 2,500 years ago, what you can do with things increases infinitely when you focus your thinking on their potential. By learning to fix the economic potential of their assets through property records, Westerners created a fast track to explore the most productive aspects of their possessions. Formal property became the staircase to the conceptual realm where the economic meaning of things can be discovered and where capital is born. - From The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else by Hernando de Soto [Photo by Scott Webb at Unsplash]
Progress reports can be informative and yet they often are silent when it comes to items that have been sidelined or not started. That's why it helps to have a section of progress reports that is dedicated to identifying what is not happening. The What is Not Happening section should note uncompleted projects that have been sidelined as well as projects that are important but which have been abandoned entirely or have not been started. You may be surprised by what emerges. Consider yourself fortunate if you are not. [Photo by rawpixel at Unsplash]
"It's difficult to explain exactly, but it's rather like bridge as compared to belote. When we make war, we play belote with thirty-two cards in the pack. But their game is bridge and they have fifty-two cards: twenty more than we do. Those twenty cards short will always prevent us from getting the better of them. They've got nothing to do with traditional warfare, they're marked with the sign of politics, propaganda, faith, agrarian reform . . . "What's biting Glatigny?" "I think he's beginning to realize that we've got to play with fifty-two cards and he doesn't like it at all . . . Those twenty extra cards aren't at all to his liking." - From The Centurions by Jean Lartéguy
Notes to coaching clients. Billing. Preparatory test for some surgery. Dog to groomer. Finalizing a briefing on Arizona's leadership. Thank-you notes that are long overdue. Book suggestions requested by clients. Resolving a question about a board's policies. Reading two novels about French Indochina. Haircut. More material on Machiavelli. Drafting a solution to conflicts between an organization's departments. And the inadvertent but seemingly unavoidable goofing-off.
"It was a long while ago that the words God be with you disappeared into the word good-bye, but every now and again some trace of them still glimmers through." - Frederick Buechner [Photo by Cristina Gottardi at Unsplash]
Here, we see that both states start out in a similar place, where from 2003 to 2005, the share of the teen population with jobs in California and Texas was about the same.
Since 2006 however, a persistent gap has opened up, with a larger share of Texas' teen population working as compared to California. In 2018, 28.1% of Texas' working-age teen population were earning paychecks, while only 22.7% of California's Age 16-19 population had jobs.
How big is that difference? If the same share of its teen population were working as in Texas, over 108,000 more Californian teens would have had jobs in 2018. At the same time, if the same share of its teen population were working as in California, over 84,000 fewer Texan teens would have jobs in the same year. [Photo by Sammie Vasquez at Unsplash]
I told the young man not to worry so much about making mistakes but instead to focus on doing his best. He looked puzzled and no doubt wondered what the difference was between the two. That part of the coaching session required more time.
First came the routine request for a breach of privacy permit. A police officer took down the details and forwarded the request to a clerk, who saw that the tape reached the appropriate civic judge. The judge was reluctant, for privacy is a precious thing in a world of eighteen billion, but in the end he could find no reason to refuse. On November 2, 2123, he granted the permit. - From Flatlander by Larry Niven
Kurt Harden at Cultural Offering discusses the difficulty/impossibility of getting a decent night's sleep at a hotel. I have the same problem. The closest I've gotten to a solution is to bring my own pillow but that only improves the situation while not removing the overall problem. Let's face it. For the most part, business travel is hellish. Its time demands are so constrained that there is little space to ease into the experience. Airports have lost their glamour and have become bus stations. The one advantage of great wealth is the ability to have a private jet. That single element of control would reduce the hotel hassle while eliminating the airport one.
Glatigny liked the commissar better when he was carried away by his hatred, for by restoring his natural reactions this hatred made him seem more human. When he became smarmy and sanctimonious like this, he frightened and at the same time fascinated him. This sad little man, who hovered about like a ghost in clothes several sizes too large for him and who spoke about Truth with the vacant gaze of a prophet, plunged him back into the termite nightmare. He was one of the antennae of the monstrous brain which wanted to reduce the world to a civilization of insects rooted in their certainty and efficiency. - From The Centurions by Jean Lartéguy
Cultural Offering is correct. The best biography of Abraham Lincoln was written by an Englishman. Lincoln is one of those rare historical figures whose status rises with familiarity. The more you know about him, the more he earns your respect and affection.
There is an odd prejudice in favor of speed. The idea that faster is better makes no sense in many situations, especially those related to pleasure. Rushing through a gourmet meal or a great novel or a conversation with a loved one reduces the joy and yet many people will forego pleasure so they can hurry along to their next stilted experience. Just as less can be more, so too can slow be more. Fast is not the only speed. [Photo by Monika Kozub at Unsplash]
East or West coast? West London or New York? London Dog or cat? Dog Red or white wine? Red Summer or fall? Fall Hammett or Chandler? Chandler Nixon or McGovern? Nixon Lee or Grant? Grant Mozart or Handel? Handel Drucker or Peters? Drucker E-book or paper? Paper Aristotle or Plato? Aristotle Steak or fish? Steak Macbeth or Julius Caesar? Julius Caesar Nap or no nap? Nap Blue or black ink? Blue Snickers or Mounds? Mounds Red or green chili? Red High Noon or The Wild Bunch? High Noon Blog or Tweet? Blog Eisenhower or Patton? Eisenhower Sports car or SUV? SUV New York Times or Wall Street Journal? Wall Street Journal Digital or analog watch? Analog Adams or Jefferson? Adams Audrey or Marilyn? Audrey Mountains or beach? Beach Orwell or Huxley? Orwell Television or reading? Reading Giuliani or Bloomberg? Giuliani Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate Reason or experience? Experience Wellington or Napoleon? Wellington FDR or Hoover? FDR My Fair Lady or Phantom of the Opera? My Fair Lady Swimming or running? Swimming Army or Navy? Army Truman or MacArthur? Truman Cake or pie? Cake Springsteen or Dylan? Dylan Leno or Letterman? Leno Three Stooges or Marx Brothers? Marx Brothers Sinatra or Crosby? Sinatra The Byrds or The Animals? The Byrds Krugman or Friedman? Friedman Cocktail party or bookstore? Bookstore Churchill or Attlee? Churchill Thanksgiving or Halloween? Thanksgiving Baseball or football? Baseball Beatles or Stones? Beatles Sgt. Pepper or Abbey Road? Abbey Road Downton Abbey or Justified? Justified Blues or jazz? Blues Coffee or tea? Coffee History or science? History Dickens or Austen? Dickens
Whatever Mum's saying's drowned out by the grimy roar of the bus pulling away, revealing a pub called The Fox and Hounds. The sign shows three beagles cornering a fox. They're about to pounce and rip it apart. A street sign underneath says WESTWOOD ROAD. Lords and ladies are supposed to be rich, so I was expecting swimming pools and Lamborghinis, but Westwood Road looks pretty normal to me. Normal brick houses, detached or semidetached, with little front gardens and normal cars. The damp sky's the color of old hankies. Seven magpies fly by. Seven's good. Mum's face is inches away from mine, though I'm not sure if that's an angry face or a worried one. "Nathan? Are you even listening?" Mum's wearing makeup today. That shade of lipstick's called Morning Lilac but it smells more like Pritt Stick than lilacs. Mum's face hasn't gone away, so I say, "What?" - From Slade House by David Mitchell
Because of the build-up of vast levels of personal, corporate and government
debts since the 1970s, the need for redemption of these debts will be immense.
After hubris must come catharsis. It is our view that societies might have to
introduce a global ‘jubilee’ of debt cancellation – an extraordinary amnesty for
debtors. The first purpose of such an amnesty would be to release millions
of people, business enterprises and governments from the grip of parasitical
creditors, draining them of every last asset. The second purpose would be to
restore debtors to viability, enabling them once again to become productive and
I love using case examples when teaching. People like stories and the case examples permit them to see how key principles fit into the real world. Besides that, a good case example permits me to play with their minds and to twist the example around so they can see how close to the edge what initially appears to be an easy call may be. That part of the lesson is crucial because no matter how much you learn in the classroom, the world awaits with curve balls and sinkers. I want them to leave with the confidence that the subject is not beyond their grasp and with a healthy sense of paranoia so they'll retain the ability and willingness to question.
Back from teaching a lengthy but enjoyable workshop. Am trying to regain the use of my legs. Testing the medicinal qualities of some Thin Mints purchased from a pusher just down the street. May move treatment to a whole new realm via some Samoas.
It started in high school. I began to hear bits of advice ("If you want to be a doctor, you should study German") that turned out to be so far off the mark that I wish I'd jotted them down. Some others that proved equally worthless:
"You have to be fluent in a foreign language in order to earn a Ph.D."
"You have to be fluent in two foreign languages in order to earn a Ph.D."
"The CIA doesn't hire people with military backgrounds."
"The CIA only recruits from Ivy League universities."
"You must have a doctorate in order to be a college professor."
"Political science is the best major for pre-law students."
"It is always wise to go straight on to graduate school after earning your bachelor's degree."
"If an employer asks for six years of experience, then that is strictly required in order to be seriously considered."
"Supervising in the military is easy because all you have to do is issue orders."
Are there any memorable ones that you've encountered?