Wednesday, September 30, 2020

"You know it makes sense"


 Nicholas Bate cuts through the fear-mongering.

Poetry Break: "The Unknown Citizen"

 


Modern Times

 


Remembering Jim Lehrer

The late and great reporter had sound (and still relevant) advice for the journalists who worked with him:

"It's not about us."

Autumn Sounds



Kurt Harden (and George Winston) are into "Autumn."


[Photo by Dora Reis at Unsplash]

Quick Look

 


Henry Fairlie, Old Style Journalist

While he was not quite a man of the people, he was a man for the people - and he took pains to go beyond an editorialist's sentimentality in his attitude toward them, whoever they are. He set out to know them. While the legends of journalism were being ushered into the hideaways of the Capitol to have their importance proved to the on background, Fairlie was earnestly chatting about the issues of the day with interns and receptionists and bartenders (the ones foolish enough to let him open a tab). He hated the idea that he belonged to an elite. His attraction to the demos was virtually erotic. The capital never obscured the country, for him.

- Leon Wieseltier on Henry Fairlie

Reminds Me of Last Night's Debate

 


William Hogarth's "Chairing the Member."

Shakespeare Break

 


Let's Have a Shot of Civilization

 


Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Great Lines

 


The Decline of Debates




At last word, there will be a presidential debate tonight between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. [Click here for C-Span coverage.]

Some bloggers, in the spirit of fun, will be drunk-blogging the brawl and injecting humor fueled by alcohol.

My approach is far less entertaining. I am offering a link to the transcripts of the Lincoln-Douglas debates.

In those days, political candidates had serious exchanges and the key issue - slavery - was as serious as it could get. Consider the fact that their large audience could follow the complexity of the related arguments. Compare that with today's audiences. Hmm.

You may be inspired to start drinking.

Heavily.

By the way, I loathe the format of modern presidential debates. The questioners are seldom top-drawer, the moderators are usually biased (remember Candy Crowley?), and the person who wins the debate is not necessarily the best person for the office. It is far from unusual to read the news coverage on the morning after the debate and wonder if you and the reporters watched the same event. 

My guess is that many reporters finished writing their debate assessments several days ago.

[Book recommendation: "Crisis of the House Divided: An Interpretation of the Issues in the Lincoln - Douglas Debates" by Harry V. Jaffa. It is extraordinary.]


[Photo by Bob Fisher at Unsplash]

Hands Off Hopper


 

Althouse notes the decline of The New York Times continues with an article zinging Edward Hopper.

Philistines.

Another Brave New Something or Other

 


Scorsese Honors Hitchcock: "Key to Reserva"

 


Back by popular demand: "Key to Reserva." 

What a brief and enjoyable take on the genius of Alfred Hitchcock!

Battle of the Debate Preppers

 


City Journal: Tevi Troy looks at memorable behind-the-scenes battles of some presidential debates.


[Photo by Jan Zikan at Unsplash]

I'll Have an RC Cola and a Moonpie

 


Read the marketing story at Wide Open Eats.

More Action. Less Talk.

 Politico: The EPA, the Superfund, and a surprise.

Monday, September 28, 2020

That's a Good Point

It's insane to think a country that will drive around fifteen minutes hoping for a better parking spot would start a civil war.

- Eric Nelson

Ink This!

Reuters: A French elementary school teacher said he was removed from teaching kindergarten because of his extensive tattoos. The school said he scared the children.

That's a lot of ink.

Mall World

Instant nostalgia. 

The Mind Circle on how America's shopping malls looked in 1989.

Question: If your assignment was to redesign shopping malls so people in today's internet-connected world would want to go to them, what would you do?

[Updated to correct "assignment."]

Makes Sense to Me

 


From 2012: Paul Graham crafted a "to do" list that originated with five regrets.

Beware of the Ducks

 


When it comes to work, on most days we face a greater risk of being nibbled to death by ducks than being torn apart by tigers.


[Photo by Brandon Riley at Unsplash]

Pondering, Pondering


 Back soon. I'm busy preparing some wizardry.


[Photo by Brian McGowan at Unsplash]

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Leisurely Bathing


When someone has run a bath, and closed the door, one hears nothing from within, except occasionally the sound of a slight movement, like the dip of an oar in a lake at night. All is silence. All is peace. But from a shower there comes only noise, splashing and slapping and jumping about, and occasionally a voice breaking into, not the gentle lilt of the true bather who sings softly, but raucous and jolly snatches of songs from the locker room.

It is no wonder that Americans have a reputation for being always on the go, never able to take things quietly for very long, if they start the day by standing upright for five minutes under a jet of water, which they deliberately aim at themselves.

- From "The Importance of Bathtubs" in Bite the Hand That Feeds You: Essays and Provocations by Henry Fairlie


[Photo by Nik Owens at Unsplash]

True to Life

 


Glenn Loury and John McWhorter on Chronicling the Race

 


Amy Coney Barrett

Ann Althouse and others on Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett.

Bright. Reasonable. Solid background.

The perfect target in today's political world.

Shakespeare Break

 


The State of Our World

 


Much Appreciated

 A very kind mention by Kurt Harden at Cultural Offering.

Keep Your Sanity in a Political Year

 


This excellent series worked wonders by maintaining calm and good cheer in the Wade household in 2016.

Great plots. Charming people. Art deco styling.

We're using this as therapy again this year.

Churchill's Funeral and the Cranes

 


"It is totally plausible that Churchill planned his own funeral; it was, after all, the most gorgeous display of pageantry this side of a coronation. Surely nobody but Churchill could have thought that his body should be taken by barge, like a Tudor sovereign, from a pier near to St. Paul's Cathedral to a pier near to Waterloo Station, where it would be borne by train to the Marlborough burial plot at Blenheim. In the event, however, the most heraldic feature of this departure was none of Churchill's doing. As the barge progressed down the Thames, the dockside cranes all dipped as it passed. The sight of these bowing cranes moved a nation (and me) to tears. For dockers, stevedores, are a nation's most Bolshie workers. In Britain, certainly, none of them ever could have voted for Winston Churchill. Yet they, these proud proletarians, by their own bidding, on a day off, and not on the orders of their employers, lowered their cranes like guardsmen making an arch of their swords over the passing of a monarch."

- Henry Fairlie

Weekend Leadership Reading

 


Wally Bock has assembled various perspectives on offices in the pandemic world.


[Photo by Austin Distel at Unsplash]

Friday, September 25, 2020

Hmm

 


Happy Birthday to The Immortal Glenn



The Hammock Papers has a special birthday feature for the great Glenn Gould.


[Photo by Annie Spratt at unsplash]

Now Do One on Tom Wolfe or Thomas Sowell

 


When "Who" is Not a Band



Steve Layman and Kurt Harden frequently cite musical groups I have either never heard of or have heard of but have never heard.

Ray Visotski and Doug Fine do the same thing.


[Photo by Caleb George at Unsplash]

Carpark

 


"The Lesson to Unlearn"

 


The most damaging thing you learned in school wasn't something you learned in any specific class. It was learning to get good grades.

When I was in college, a particularly earnest philosophy grad student once told me that he never cared what grade he got in a class, only what he learned in it. This stuck in my mind because it was the only time I ever heard anyone say such a thing.

Read the rest of Paul Graham's essay here.

First Paragraph

On March 18, 2014, still bathed in the afterglow of the Winter Olympics that he had hosted in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russian president Vladimir Putin stepped up to a podium in the Kremlin to address the nation. Before an assembly of Russian officials and parliamentarians, Putin signed the documents officially reuniting the Russian Federation and the peninsular republic of Crimea, the home base of Russia's Black Sea Fleet. Crimea had seceded from Ukraine only two days earlier, on March 16. The Russian president gave what was intended to be a historic speech. The events were fresh, but his address was laden with references to several centuries of Russian history.

- From Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin by Fiona Hill and Clifford G. Gaddy

The Challenge Facing Law Schools

 


TaxProf Blog points to posts on the dangers facing law schools as enrollments drop.

I don't sense that the necessary nimbleness is present. Unlike many businesses, law schools operate in a rigid and slow-moving environment. 

The needed urgency may rapidly expand as more and more schools fold.


[Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe at Unsplash]

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Art Break

 


Art Contrarian looks at the work of Tamara de Lempicka.

National Hobby: Villain-Finding

 


California Dreaming

 Quillette: Amy Alkon on how homeless policies turned her home into a prison.

3 Books for Business Leaders that Aren't Business Books

 


Wally Bock has some excellent choices.


[Photo by Erol Ahmed at Unsplash]

Dangerous Practice

 


Advice to young techies marketing smartwatches: never patronize the FutureLawyer.


Focus

 The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.

- Lin Yutang

Music Break


 

Bloomberg's Florida Strategy

Jonathan Turley on Michael Bloomberg's effort to pay off the fines of black and Hispanic felons in Florida so they can vote.

Hmm. American Indian, Asian American, and Anglo felons would not qualify. 

I'd like to ponder the implications of that for a while. And has Bloomberg considered the unintended consequences if his efforts are successful in swaying the election. I'm sure he's had plenty of lawyers scrutinizing the wording and substance of his idea but the legal aspect is only one question. 

There also is an ethical one.

National Pride


National pride is to countries what self-respect is to individuals: a necessary condition for self-improvement. Too much national pride can produce bellicosity and imperialism, just as excessive self-respect can produce arrogance. But just as too little self-respect makes it difficult for a person to display moral courage, so insufficient national pride makes energetic and effective debate about national policy unlikely. Emotional involvement with one's country - feelings of intense shame or of glowing pride aroused by various parts of its history, and by various present-day national policies - is necessary if political deliberation is to be imaginative and productive. Such deliberation will probably not occur unless pride outweighs shame.

- Richard Rorty in Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in Twentieth-Century America


[Photo by Thomas Kelley at Unsplash]

"When Our Schools Abandoned Commonality, We Became a Nation at Risk"


I write this farewell book about American early schooling not just as an educator concerned about the quality of our children's education, but as an American concerned about our survival as a high-achieving, fair, and literate society. Over my long life, I have always been a booster of the United States, ever grateful for the blessings of liberty secured to us by our Constitution. No nation is without failure or shame, but I believe ours to be the best nation on earth - and not just for its spacious skies and amber waves of grain, although these do add to the sense of greatness and possibility. Along with our Constitution, it has been the schoolmistresses and schoolmasters of our past - starting with Noah Webster - who have kept us thriving and unified.

- From How to Educate a Citizen: The Power of Shared Knowledge to Unify a Nation by E. D. Hirsch, Jr.


[Photo by Nicola Tolin at Unsplash]

Supreme Court Nominations: "How Fast Can the Senate Move?"

 Thomas Jipping at The Heritage Foundation looks at earlier nominations. An excerpt:

The committee held a hearing on eight Supreme Court nominees who did not attend, including Earl Warren in 1953. Justices Stanley Reed (1938) and William O. Douglas (1939) attended their hearings, but said nothing and were asked no questions. While Reed’s hearing lasted almost an hour, Douglas’ was over in just five minutes.

The entire confirmation process is sometimes over before virtually anyone knows it has begun. The Senate confirmed James Byrnes in 1941 on the same day that President Franklin Roosevelt nominated him. Four years later, Roosevelt’s nomination of Harold Burton languished longer (for a single day).

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

There's a Profound Life Lesson Here

 


I Keep Returning to This

 


Not the Standard Dysfunctional Family

 


These Are Still Around

 


Music Break

 


Surgical Mask Ground Rules

Remember the advice that you should wear the mask with its white side out if you want to avoid getting the virus and the blue (or green) side out if you want to avoid transmitting an illness? 

Here's hoping this simplifies matters.

[Executive summary: show your colors.]

Behind Many a Book Report

 


First Paragraph

On the afternoon of 23 May 1945, more than two weeks after the German surrender, a group of about twenty suspects - German civilians and soldiers - who had been rounded up two days previously, were brought into the British forces' 31st Civilian Interrogation Camp near L√ľneburg.

- From Heinrich Himmler by Peter Longerich

Knowing the Rules


It is not enough to know the rules. It is also important to know the exceptions and where the rules originated.

And then, along with those areas, it can help to know the proclivities of those who enforce the rules and which modifications, however unintended, they may insert in that enforcement. Such changes made be the equivalent of amendments.

What is a good demonstration of knowledge? Being able to provide a brief,  accurate, and understandable explanation to someone who has no background in the subject and who is eager to be elsewhere.

Excellence

 


Educating Citizens and Unifying the Nation

 

Read the review by Joanne Jacobs here.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Shakespeare Moment


 

The Fool's Prayer

The royal feast was done; the King

Sought some new sport to banish care,
And to his jester cried: “Sir Fool,
Kneel now, and make for us a prayer!”

Read all of it here.

To Be Read Slowly

 


"Mme Yourcenar wrote a good deal of fiction, but her imperishable work is Memoirs of Hadrian, first published in French in 1951. The novel is in the form of a lengthy letter by the aged and ill Emperor Hadrian, who ruled from CE 117 to 138, to the 17-year-old but already thoughtful Marcus Aurelius."

- Joseph Epstein

Paranormal Investigations

 


Clueless in Seattle

 Seattle pays ex-pimp a bundle to offer alternatives to policing.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

 


Pandemic-Inspired Thoughts About Government

 


Charming Bunch

The New York Times reports on the protests in residential neighborhoods.

An excerpt:

A small free literature selection was set up on the grass and overseen by three people in ski masks. It was a popular offering, and people crowded around, craning to see the pamphlets.

Titles included “Why Break Windows”; “I Want To Kill Cops Until I’m Dead”; “Piece Now, Peace Later: An Anarchist Introduction to Firearms”; “In Defense of Smashing Cameras”; and “Three-Way Fight: Revolutionary Anti-Fascism and Armed Self Defense.”

1955 Perspective on The New Political Class

 


Unlike the old Establishment, the Political Class depends directly or indirectly on the state for its special privileges, career structure and increasingly for its financial support. This visceral connection distinguishes it from all previous British governing elites, which were connected much more closely to civil society and were frequently hostile or indifferent to central government. Until recent times members of British ruling elites owed their status to the position they occupied outside Westminster. Today, in an important reversal, it is the position they occupy in Westminster that grants them their status in civil society.

- Henry Fairlie in The Spectator in 1955 on the change from the old British Establishment to the new Political Class

[Photo by Clever Visuals at Unsplash]

Some Books That Can Change Your Life

 


  • The Bible
  • Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankel
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
  • John Adams by David McCullough
  • Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  • The Gulag Archipelago by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
  • The First Circle by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
  • The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
  • Bleak House by Charles Dickens
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers by Tom Wolfe
  • Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
  • Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
  • The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope
  • The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay

Whoa!


Law professor (and Instapundit) Glenn Reynolds revives one of his old proposals: having a Supreme Court with 59 members.

That would be a grand illustration of solving one problem and creating some new ones that could well surpass the old problem in terms of severity.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Winning The Fight


Patrick Rhone, an extraordinarily talented person,
tells of his battle with The Piggyback Guy.

Odds are you know of someone who can be helped by his powerful story.

Mission Accomplished

 Cultural Offering, where life well-lived is a theme, has finished restoring his father's shop.

I Highly Recommend His Book "The Madness of Crowds"

 


Quick Look

 


News You Can Use: The Proper Preparation of Potlikker

 A Layman's Blog points to a humorous potlikker debate between an editor and The Kingfish.

Genius Test


If you think you are a genius, you probably aren't.

- Joseph Epstein

Autumn Leaves

 


A Murray Treat

 A Large Regular treats us to various sides of Bill Murray.

Here's the trailer for his latest film.

Time for Some Old Guidelines

 


As even the most remote hermit knows, we're going to have an election in November.

It won't be a coup. It won't be a revolution. It will be an election and after that we'll have a president. [All of us will have a president, not just the side that won.]

But what is just as important is that we need to have a country. It does no good for either side if an election is so acrimonious that it severely divides our people and makes governance next to impossible. 

I know individuals who will be voting for different candidates. These are fine and intelligent people who wish the best for this country and for future generations. They are not dunces or scoundrels.

To avoid needless acrimony, it might help to reach into the attic and dust off some tried and true guidelines. They are far from original but nonetheless they are valuable. Let us:

  • Give one another the benefit of the doubt; 
  • Lower the heat in our arguments; 
  • Avoid burning bridges with friends, relatives, and associates; and
  • Refrain from cheap shots.

As a wise old executive once said, "Whenever you're angry, don't do anything that feels good."

When passions are fevered, basic courtesy can be a tonic.

Eventually, all of us will feel much better as a result.


[Photo by Max Sulik at Unsplash]

Questions: Learning and Traps


 

Distinguish between those who ask questions to learn and those who ask questions to entrap. 

With that in mind, remember that not every question deserves an answer.


[Photo by Vlad Kutepov at Unsplash]

Oldie But Goodie


 

Saturday, September 19, 2020

The Confidence of the Elite Thinkers

I noticed that very intelligent and informed persons were at no advantage over cabdrivers in their predictions, but there was a crucial difference. Cabdrivers did not believe that they understood as much as learned people - really, they were not the experts and they knew it. Nobody knew anything, but elite thinkers thought that they knew more than the rest because they were elite thinkers, and if you're a member of the elite, you automatically know more than the nonelite.

- Nassim Nicholas Taleb in The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable

Remembering Ruth Bader Ginsburg

 David Post, a former RBG law clerk, remembers Ruth Bader Ginsburg. An excerpt:

Most of what I know about writing I learned from her.  The rules are actually pretty simple:  Every word matters.  Don't make the simple complicated, make the complicated as simple as it can be (but not simpler!). You're not finished when you can't think of anything more to add to your document; you're finished when you can't think of anything more that you can remove from it. She enforced these principles with a combination of a ferocious—almost a terrifying—editorial pen, and enough judicious praise sprinkled about to let you know that she was appreciating your efforts, if not always your end-product. And one more rule: While you're at it, make it sing. At least a little; legal prose is not epic poetry or the stuff of operatic librettos, but a well-crafted paragraph can help carry the reader along, and is always a thing of real beauty.



The Timeless Powerful Mantra

 Nicholas Bate notes it. Churchill would agree.

Back By Popular Demand: The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere


 

Quick Look

 


Kabuki Theater and the Supreme Court

 


With regard to filling the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, we see both political parties adopting positions they previously opposed. 

That is what parties do. If their power positions were reversed, each would be embracing the exact strategy it now opposes. Senators Schumer and McConnell would exchange scripts.

Althouse weighs in here.


[Photo by Yu Kato at Unsplash]

Hollywood Story


Writing in Commentary, Terry Teachout
tells the sad story of the collaboration between Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett.

Two Plans


When preparing an important project, it helps to jot down a couple of plans that address these questions: How Can I Achieve This? and How Can I Screw This Up?

[I'm not joking.]


[Photo by Wonderlane at Unsplash]

Weekend Leadership Reading


 
Wally Bock has the assignments.


[Photo by Kinga Cichewicz at Unsplash]

Quick Look

 


Friday, September 18, 2020

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, RIP


 SCOTUS Blog has the story.

The Days of The Big Three

 


Gothic

 FutureLawyer has an unforgettable song that resembles a novel with more than a touch of William Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor.

Pre-Robespierre

 


When the "Oppressor" is Bluecollar

Peterson describes Skidmore as a politically monolithic campus where the campus Republican club attracted only a handful of members and has since shut down. It’s the kind of place where students are shocked to meet anyone who holds right-of-center views. So if, in these times of protest, they want to go around looking for The Oppressor, the ideological opponent who represents everything that is wrong with the world, he can be a little hard to find. But then, as Peterson puts it, “There he is, screwing in lightbulbs.”

Read the rest of Robert Tracinski's column in The Bulwark.

How Infectious?

Just The News reports on the question of whether many COVID-19 cases might not be infectious at all.

The Worldometer country-by-country update

[I like to check out the Netherlands and Sweden because they largely avoided a lockdown.]

Quick Look


 

Strange But Productive Self-Improvement Exercises

 


To be done over any twelve-month period:

  • Pick a country, any country, but preferably one with a sizable literature. Over the next twelve months, read about its history, geography, economy, government structure, etc. Also watch its films, view its art, and listen to its music. Try out the cuisine. Studying the country's language is optional.
  • Pick a year from the past seven decades. Study the events that took place. Read that year's novels and non-fiction. Check out its fashions, art, architecture,  and music. Watch the films. Compare the quality of the political and cultural figures with their peers of today.
  • Any other similar projects?
Update: See Dan's ideas in the comments section. 

Quick Look

 


Thursday, September 17, 2020

The Bose Boo

FutureLawyer is ready for Halloween with his Bose Frames.

Now if he can only find a mask.

Another Reason to Read Raymond Chandler

“He looked about as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food cake.”

- Raymond Chandler

Princeton Admits to Embedded Racism?

 I don't want any federal money going to racist universities.

Bravo to the Department of Education!

A Fast and Cheap Covid-19 Transmission Test?

Malcolm Gladwell talks to Dr. Michael Mina about a possible inexpensive test that could be used every day.

Is this a case where the best has been the enemy of the good?

Update: A similar story at The Harvard Gazette.

Quick Look

 


The Courage Deficit

Jonathan Zimmerman on the latest campus free speech travesty.

If there are going to sack anyone they should start with the dean.


The Disaster Scout


Some of my favorite assignments are when an organization is interested in preventing - and not merely responding to - significant problems.

[Pictured above: Part of the Maginot Line.]

Mandatory Viewing

 



The Guardian: A report on the number of young Americans who know little about the Holocaust.

First Paragraph

Landscape-tones: brown to bronze, steep skyline, low cloud, pearl ground with shadowed oyster and violet reflections. The lion-dust of desert: prophets' tombs turned to zinc and copper at sunset on the ancient lake. Its huge sand-faults like watermarks from the air; green and citron giving to gunmetal, to a single plum-dark sail, moist, palpitant: sticky-winged nymph. Taposiris is dead among its rumbling columns and seamarks, vanished the Harpoon Men . . . Mareotis under a sky of hot lilac.

- From Balthazar by Lawrence Durrell 

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Stanley Crouch, Rest in Peace

 The jazz critic and commentator has passed at the age of 74.

Chores

I am in my office at home. There is serious stuff to do but the morning has been gobbled by correspondence and odds and ends. My wife is off at work. The dog connives in the other room. I ponder my list. One item is "flu shot." I suppose I can't delegate that one. It's a question of when. Some doctors say get it pronto and others say wait until October so it will be effective in March when the flu scythe seriously begins to swing. 

Hmm.

The book manuscript is calling. Coaching projects need to be scheduled. Some clients still have in-person coaching with appropriate social distancing and enough hand cleanser to float a boat. Others are inveterate Zoomers. A few would probably put a mask over the screen if it were possible, Zoom is fine for social chats but it's a difficult venue for coaching especially when the client is seated at the far end of a conference room and staring up at a coach-filled screen. 

Jabba the Consultant.

I've tossed the coin. The manuscript wins.

Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots

The ability Elizabeth showed in choosing men was uncommon, as uncommon as Mary's lack of it. Not only did the latter choose as favorites, confidantes, husbands, men who had contributed largely to her ruin; when a man was before her who could have saved her, she fell out with him.

- From Elizabeth The Great by Elizabeth Jenkins

Out-Read Your Competitors

Wally Bock has book recommendations for business leaders.

Something Woked This Way Comes

 


Recommended by Glenn Loury. A review of how post-modernism, social justice, wokeness, and related concepts fit together.

Season 2

 


Miscellaneous and Fast

 


The Four Quadrants of Conformism

 


Why do the independent-minded need to be protected, though? Because they have all the new ideas. To be a successful scientist, for example, it's not enough just to be right. You have to be right when everyone else is wrong. Conventional-minded people can't do that. For similar reasons, all successful startup CEOs are not merely independent-minded, but aggressively so. So it's no coincidence that societies prosper only to the extent that they have customs for keeping the conventional-minded at bay.

Read all of Paul Graham's essay here.


[Photo by Nick Fewings at Unsplash]

It Was the Best and Worst of Times

 It's a Rorschach test: Say what you think of the Sixties and you reveal a great deal about yourself.

- Joseph Epstein

"In Amsterdam Anything is Possible"

 


Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Another Reason to Read Raymond Chandler

“In writing a novel, when in doubt, have two guys come through the door with guns."

- Raymond Chandler

Tricky


 



[Photo by Bret Jordan at Unsplash]

Most Likely a Hoax But Entertaining Either Way

The Columbia University Marching Band has announced its decision to disband.

Known for being unconventional - the Band's board is known as the Bored - it is probably playing an elaborate joke.

Life has become a series of stories from The Onion.

Hmm

 


Just Arrived

 


Battle of Britain Day

 


Due Process? Evidence?

 Rav Arora on "Police Violence and the Rush to Judgment."

There are many reasons why no one should want to turn the process of justice over to the emotions of the moment.

[Side note: Is "A Tale of Two Cities" still read in high school?]

Coffee and Spotlight


Working on the manuscript's fifth draft (or is it the sixth?). 

While sipping coffee in another room, I realized that I had gotten ahead of myself in the first section. There is a perspective that needs to be mentioned. I was writing as if it were known and it is not.

And that perspective is a spotlight. Once it is switched on, a bunch of other ideas will be clearer.

I need to sip coffee more often.


[Photo by Qamarul Azman at Unsplash]

Halloween Has Come Early in the Journalism Biz


Jonathan Turley on a Stanford University journalism professor who does not believe in objectivity.

He doesn't want it to get in the way of social justice which, to borrow a line from Glenn Reynolds, is anything he wants it to be.


[Photo by Todd Cravens at Unsplash]