3. Pursue your passion (no one pays you for having fun)"
“That’s my background and my question. I will now retreat to the background, and learn.” Very nicely phrased and useful.
There is a certain type of social insecurity, shyness, modesty that actually conceals exaggerated egocentrism: people secretly believe the world revolves around them, everyone is paying attention to them and their actions, constantly judging and criticizing the smallest details.
The first gulp of the glass of science makes you atheist, but at the bottom is always God.
A bear knows seven songs, and they are all about honey.
Economics is the study of how to get the most out of life.
Das Leben ist kein Ponyhof. (Life is not a pony farm.)
Men want women, but don’t need them. Women need men, but don’t want them.
The proverb appeared in Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde, written in 1385. Later, George Herbert modified it this way: “Whose house is of glass, must not throw stones at another.” And in 1736, Benjamin Franklin wrote, “Don’t throw stones at your neighbors, if your own windows are glass.” https://www.almanac.com/fact/where-did-the-saying-people-who-live
" `What is the sonne wers, of kinde righte,
Though that a man, for feblesse of his yen,
May nought endure on it to see for brighte?
Or love the wers, though wrecches on it cryen? 865
No wele is worth, that may no sorwe dryen. And for-thy, who that hath an heed of verre,
Fro cast of stones war him in the werre! https://www.gutenberg.org/files/257/257-h/257-h.htm
"The tactic is by now obvious:
1. Make topic taboo.
2. Normal people shy away from it.
3. Topic mostly discussed by weirdos and edgy people.
4. Point out how suspicious it is that everybody who talks about topic is a weirdo or edgy."
From "The Uneasy Case for Copyright: A Look Back Across Four Decades," Stephen G. Breyer:
“Do not tell the class you are talking economics. Anyone who does not understand economics and applies it in antitrust is not properly teaching the course. But anyone who lets the class know that they’re talking economics is not a law school professor.”
“Like many economists,” Arrow (1972, pp. 354–55) writes, “I do not want to rely too heavily on substituting ethics for self-interest. I think it best on the whole that the requirement of ethical behavior be confined to those circumstances where the price system breaks down . . . We do not wish to use up recklessly the scarce resources of altruistic motivation.”
Astral Codex 10
"You listed some funny facts about this disorder, but this disorder is really serious and killed my grandmother". I have a lot of trouble being serious, and this has served me well in getting people to read and enjoy things I write. But almost everything in medicine has killed at least one person's grandmother. :
"“eggs are broken, but the omelette is not in sight, there is only an infinite number of eggs, human lives, ready for the breaking. And in the end the passionate idealists forget the omelette, and just go on breaking eggs.”
1963 “Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking”
Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.
Chesterton, G. K.
People generally quarrel because they cannot argue. And it is extraordinary to notice how few people in the modern world can argue. This is why there are so many quarrels, breaking out again and again, and never coming to any natural end.
If our social conditions curtail manhood and womanhood, we must alter the social conditions. We must not go on quietly in a corner making men unmanly and women unwomanly, that they may fit into their filthy and slavish civilization.
Religious liberty might be supposed to mean that everybody is free to discuss religion. In practice it means that hardly anybody is allowed to mention it.
We are ruled by secret societies which have no names even among the initiate.
My own political philosophy is very plain and humble; I can trust the uneducated, but not the badly educated.
1) pick a variable. For Marx it was labor. For Nietzsche, will to power. For Kendi, it's race.
2) divide the population by this variable
3) blame one side as oppressor, the other as oppressed
4) feign oppression to wield the mob of the oppressed
“Poor is the people that has no heroes, but poorer still is the people that, having heroes, fails to remember and honour them.”
Slightly altered from his Twitter rules:
1. Please be polite and do not fight.
2. Do disagree, but do not swear, blaspheme, or abuse.
3. I write as if my late parents are reading, so please be respectful.
4. You always have control over how you conduct yourself.
5. A more civil society starts with you.
To claim a result to be highly significant, or even just significant, sounds like enthusiastic
endorsement, whereas to describe a result as insignificant is surely dismissive. To help avoid such
misinterpretations, the qualified terms statistically significant or statistically insignificant should,
at the risk of some tedium, always be used.
Most people don't read → if you read books at all, you are more educated than most
Even among those who read, most haven't read a book on X. If you read one book on X, you know more about it than the vast majority
Read 2–3 books on one topic, and you're practically an expert. [--Twitter, 2021]
In spreadsheets you see the data but the code sits behind it.
In a programming language you see the code but the data sits behind it.
"“A scholar,” said Daniel Dennett in 1995, “is just a library’s way of making another library.”" (James Gleick, The Information)
Dick, Philip K.
“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”
After all, that is the beauty of the common law; it is a maze, not a motorway.
It's easy to forget that every cognitive bias is the flip side of a heuristic that works.
The goal of cancel culture is to cancel culture.
"Resentment of billionaires is rooted in our Neolithic minds' inability to intuitively understand that one person's positive impact on the world may be many orders of magnitude greater than another's."
So we belong to a class that neither controls nor owns what matters, the famous means of production, and it does not produce what also matters, the famous surplus value (or perhaps produces it only indirectly and incidentally . . . ).
“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts."
"Most truth is grasped as a sort of sudden insight. Writing it down is always a problem b/c it only approximates the discovery. And then the written word becomes the plaything of lesser intellects, who tie themselves in knots trying to explicate it. And therein lies most academia." (2021, Twitter)
The school is now so flush that its campus is a sort of Saks Fifth Avenue of Quakerism. Forget having Meeting in the smelly old gym. Now there is a meetinghouse of sumptuous plainness, created out of materials so good and simple and repurposed and expensive that surely only virtue and mercy will follow its benefactors all the days of their lives. The building’s citation by the American Institute of Architects notes that the interior is lined with “oak from long-unused Maryland barns” and the exterior is “clad with black locust harvested from a single source in New Jersey.”...
College admissions is one of the few situations in which rich people are forced to scramble for a scarce resource. What logic had led them to believe that it would help to antagonize the college counselors? Driven mad by the looming prospect of a Williams rejection, they had lost all reason...
These aren’t parents in the public-school system; they are consumers of a luxury product. If they are unhappy, they won’t just write anonymous letters. They’ll let the school know the old-fashioned way: by cutting down on their donations. Money is how rich people express their deepest feelings...
This a great question: "Is it a general occurrence that if you ask your wife how her day was that she will go into every little possible detail about what she did, what she talked to other people about, and what happened but never actually tell you how her day was?"
That's how a normal woman tells you how her day was. The description is the conclusion, which to a man seems like a joke w/o a punchline. She took you on her journey & in doing so she thinks you feel what she felt as she went thru it. Therefore, she thinks you'll just get it.
The great weakness of modern states lies in their lack of doctrinal content, in having renounced a firm concept of man, life, and history. The major error of liberalism is in its negation of any permanent category of truth—its absolute and radical relativism—an error that, in a different form, was apparent in those other European currents that made ‘action’ their only demand and the supreme norm of their conduct [i.e., Communism and National Socialism]. . . . When the juridicial order does not proceed from a system of principles, ideas, and values recognized as superior and prior to the state, it ends in an omnipotent juridicial voluntarism, whether its primary organ be the so-called majority, purely numerical and inorganically expressed, or the supreme organs of power.
"Theoretical Statistics is the Theory of Applied Statistics"
Econ is econ and is special in its own way, but Sturgeon’s law applies universally. Most published statistics articles are completely irrelevant to the world, even to whatever application area they are nominally targeting. Bad statistics articles are irritating in a different way than bad econ articles, which in turn are a different sort of irritating than bad poli sci or sociology articles. It’s an interesting thought: we tend to compare different fields based on the different characteristics of their best work, but another dimension is to compare the different characteristics of crappy but well-respected work in each field.
[What, in all the world, could bring the greatest happiness?]
"The open steppe, a clear day, and a swift horse under you," responded the officer after a little thought, "and a falcon on your wrist to start up hares."
"Nay," responded the Khan, "to crush your enemies, to see them fall at your feet — to take their horses and goods and hear the lamentation of their women. That is best."
As quoted in Genghis Khan: The Emperor of All Men (1927) by Harold Lamb, Doubleday, p. 107.
An Ed Glaeser aphorism just now from his Markus seminar, improved a bit:
"It's not Trust in Authorities: it’s the Trustworthiness of Authorities, that matters. A good government nobody trusts is better than a bad government *everybody* trusts."
Ich bin der Geist der stets verneint.
"I am the spirit that always denies, or negates." Faust part I.
@SWGoldman, January 8, 2021:
A lot of people who thought they were part of the con now discovering that they were the marks. Which is exactly how a con works.
An underappreciated reason to keep economic theory programs vigorous and strong is that a LOT of the best scholars in other fields started out wanting to do theory. Like, a lot of amazing people. The prospect of doing theory is like a honeypot for a certain kind of curious, high-powered person, who can then be redirected more productively. (Twitter, 2021)
Grant, Ulysses S.
As we approached the brow of the hill from which it was expected we could see Harris' camp, and possibly find his men ready formed to meet us, my heart kept getting higher and higher until it felt to me as though it was in my throat. I would have given anything then to have been back in Illinois, but I had not the moral courage to halt and consider what to do; I kept right on. When we reached a point from which the valley below was in full view I halted. The place where Harris had been encamped a few days before was still there and the marks of a recent encampment were plainly visible, but the troops were gone. My heart resumed its place. It occurred to me at once that Harris had been as much afraid of me as I had been of him. This was a view of the question I had never taken before; but it was one I never forgot afterwards. From that event to the close of the war, I never experienced trepidation upon confronting an enemy, though I always felt more or less anxiety. I never forgot that he had as much reason to fear my forces as I had his. The lesson was valuable.
50 yrs ago, intellectuals were top prestige; journalists, judges, activists, inventors, etc aspired to be that.
Today, activists are top prestige; intellectuals, journalists, judges, inventors, etc aspire to be that.
We were up late around the fire as all the participants took turns telling the story of the day. Of course everyone told the same story, since there was only one, but somehow we were all attentive to each new version.
Such men lack consistency, because they simply don’t have the intellectual horsepower to maintain it, while they quickly and without noticing contradict themselves if it’s needed to get shiny baubles such as the praise of those they realize to be their intellectual or social betters.
"There are ticks in woods now." Why did God create ticks? Perhaps the tick will be justified some day like the flea, by a poem. Ars longa, vita brevis. With a zero discount rate, a good poem justifies even the Black Death. https://buff.ly/3dpjpHE
10:29 AM · Apr 18, 2021·Buffer
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Professor Eric Rasmusen
I rightly used "Ars longa, vita brevis",to digress, but it has multiple meanings, like a Chinese poem. One is "Art lasts forever, but life is brief."
Ars longa, vita brevis - Wikipedia
Professor Eric Rasmusen
The original, in Greek, is "There's a lot of technique, but only a short life to learn it in", which I at 62 appreciate.
It is creditable to Charles's temper that, ill as he thought of his species, he never became a misanthrope. He saw little in men but what was hateful. Yet he did not hate them. Nay, he was so far humane that it was highly disagreeable to him to see their sufferings or to hear their complaints. This, however, is a sort of humanity which, though amiable and laudable in a private man whose power to help or hurt is bounded by a narrow circle, has in princes often been rather a vice than a virtue. More than one well disposed ruler has given up whole provinces to rapine and oppression, merely from a wish to see none but happy faces round his own board and in his own walks. No man is fit to govern great societies who hesitates about disobliging the few who have access to him, for the sake of the many whom he will never see. The facility of Charles was such as has perhaps never been found in any man of equal sense. He was a slave without being a dupe. Worthless men and women, to the very bottom of whose hearts he saw, and whom he knew to be destitute of affection for him and undeserving of his confidence, could easily wheedle him out of titles, places, domains, state secrets and pardons. He bestowed much; yet he neither enjoyed the pleasure nor acquired the fame of beneficence. He never gave spontaneously; but it was painful to him to refuse. The consequence was that his bounty generally went, not to those who deserved it best, nor even to those whom he liked best, but to the most shameless and importunate suitor who could obtain an audience.
In 1973, Mouton was elevated to "first growth" status after decades of intense lobbying by its powerful and influential owner, the only change in the original 1855 classification (excepting the 1856 addition of Château Cantemerle). This prompted a change of motto: previously, the motto of the wine was Premier ne puis, second ne daigne, Mouton suis. ("First, I cannot be. Second, I do not deign to be. Mouton I am."), and it was changed to Premier je suis, Second je fus, Mouton ne change. ("First, I am. Second, I used to be. Mouton does not change.")
what Napoleon said when asked how he came to be Emperor: “I came across the crown of France lying in the street, and I picked it up with my sword.”
" It is hard enough to remember my opinions, without also remembering my reasons for them!"
“How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test?” Asked of a Scottish driving instructor in 1995.
“Damn fool question!” To BBC journalist Caroline Wyatt at a banquet at the Elysée Palace after she asked Queen Elizabeth if she was enjoying her stay in Paris in 2006.
“We don’t come here for our health. We can think of other ways of enjoying ourselves.” During a trip to Canada in 1976.
“It’s a vast waste of space.” Philip entertained guests in 2000 at the reception of a new £18m British Embassy in Berlin, which the Queen had just opened.
“If it has four legs and it is not a chair, if it has got two wings and it flies but is not an aeroplane and if it swims and it is not a submarine, the Cantonese will eat it.” Said to a World Wildlife Fund meeting in 1986.
“I would like to go to Russia very much – although the bastards murdered half my family.” In 1967, asked if he would like to visit the Soviet Union.
“The problem with London is the tourists. They cause the congestion. If we could just stop the tourism, we could stop the congestion.” At the opening of City Hall in 2002.
“You must be out of your minds.” To Solomon Islanders, on being told that their population growth was 5 per cent a year, in 1982.
“Your country is one of the most notorious centres of trading in endangered species.” Accepting a conservation award in Thailand in 1991.
“I wish he’d turn the microphone off!” The Prince expresses his opinion of Elton John’s performance at the 73rd Royal Variety Show, 2001.
“Any bloody fool can lay a wreath at the thingamy.” Discussing his role in an interview with Jeremy Paxman.
“It’s not a very big one, but at least it’s dead and it took an awful lot of killing!” Speaking about a crocodile he shot in Gambia in 1957.
“It is my invariable custom to say something flattering to begin with so that I shall be excused if by any chance I put my foot in it later on.” Full marks for honesty, from a speech in 1956.
Celebrity preachers: Trample on the Cross to pick up a crown.
Unpopular preachers: Trample on a crown to pick up the Cross.
Just as high-IQ men come unarmed to a battle of wits, ss strong men come unarmed to a battle of fists. Raw talent is not enough. One must know how to use it. And be willing to use it.
Andrew Carnegie (repeated by his friend Mark Twain) said about undiversification: "Put all your eggs in one basket-- and then WATCH THAT BASKET." The Buffett-Munger method is "Watch for a one really good basket-- and then put all your eggs into it."
We should treat young men as men, with all the privileges and responsibilities attached thereto, but tell them they are too foolish and experienced to deserve the privileges or carry out the responsibilities.
Come to think of it, that applies equally to young ladies.
Instead, we tell young people they are just as good as the middled-aged, but treat them like children.
People who don't care, don't quarrel. They just let each other be wrong and make mistakes. Love leads to fights.
The cosmopolitan man has no Country, the timeless man has no Time.
Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don't know we don't know.
"A true Christian is one who has not only peace of conscience, but war within. He may be known by his warfare as well as by his peace.”
How to square the circle of indulging in the kind of petty grievances that most fascinate people with upper-middle-class disdain for Trump-like feuding? And how to make our pique sound important?
The answer to both appears to be to position one’s personal gripes as part of the cosmically important war on racism and sexism, while conversely labeling Trump’s obviously individualistic feuds as racist.
Thus, the upper reaches of society have been egging on everybody who isn’t a straight white male to dredge up and dwell on ancient memories of social unease in middle and high school. But instead of getting too specific about that mean girl in eighth grade who said snippy things about your shoes, you are encouraged to blame your embarrassing memories on whiteness in general.
“I don’t care who writes a nation’s laws—or crafts its advanced treaties—if I can write its economics textbooks. The first lick is the privileged one, impinging on the beginner’s tabula rasa at its most impressionable state.” (1990)
If you’re going to do any kind of important (therefore controversial) work, you can really only care about what approximately 10 people in the world think about you. Choose those people carefully.
(Roughly. I’m sure he said it better)
Salvation is not an invitation from a buddy, but a summons from a king.
"We seem to be getting closer and closer to a situation where nobody is responsible for what they did but we are all responsible for what somebody else did."
"There is something very comforting in the thought that Satan is an adversary: I would sooner have him for an adversary than for a friend."
“A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.”
“Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the vote decide everything.”
“Education is a weapon, whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.”
“When there’s a person, there’s a problem. When there’s no person, there’s no problem.”
“Quantity has a quality all its own.”
“The Pope! How many divisions has he got?”
“In the Soviet army it takes more courage to retreat than advance.”
"On the way uptown in the roadster, I reflected that there was one obvious lever to use on Helen Frost to pry her in the direction I wanted her; and I'm a great one for the obvious, because it saves a lot of fiddling around. I decided to use it." Rex Stout, The Red Box, Chapter 7 (1937) (Nero Wolfe mystery)
Nein, mit solchen Advokaten No, with advocates like this
Ist verkauft man und verraten, One is sold short and betrayed,
Da verliert man die Geduld. Making one lose patience.
Rekurrieren, appellieren Petition, appeal,
Reklamieren, revidieren, Complain, review,
Reziepieren, subvertieren, Prescribe, subvert,
Devolvieren, involvieren, Devolve, involve,
Protestieren, liquidieren, Protest, liquidate,
Exzerptieren, extorquieren Excerpt, extort,
Arbitrieren, resümieren! Arbitrate, summarize!
Exkulpieren, inkulpieren, Exculpate, inculpate
kalkulieren, konzipieren Calculate, draft
Und Sie müssen triumphieren! And you must triumph!
Ach, wie rührt mich dies! Ah, how this stirs me!
Glücklich ist, wer vergisst, Happy is the person who forgets,
Was doch nicht zu ändern ist. What can't be altered anyway.
From Die Fliedermaus: Glücklich ist, wer vergisst, Was doch nicht zu ändern ist.
(Happy he, who forgets, What, can't be altered anyway.)
A price increase is a message about scarcity. Price controls are like shooting the messenger."
quoted in May 5, 2008 issue of Forbes.
I've never heard a good argument for why a long-gone philosopher's problematic views matter for evaluating their plausible ones. People seem to have this sense that problematic-ness kind of like infects someone's whole corpus somehow. That's just conspiracist contagion reasoning. --Twitter (2021)
You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.
"When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years." Mark Twain, "Old Times on the Mississippi" Atlantic Monthly, 1874.
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
There are big tranches of the world where people do redefinitions and treat that as doing analysis. April 8 tweet.