We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Saturday, March 8. 2014
The Remnants of Prehistoric Plant Pollen Reveal that Humans Shaped Forests 11,000 Years Ago
The Age of Atheism: How We Have Sought to Live Since the Death of God, by Peter Watson
US household net worth increased to a new record high of $80.6T in Q4, fueled by stock market and housing gains
Rutgers rage against Rice -- why do liberals have so much hate for black conservatives?
Will Obama Ever Enforce His Health Law?
IRS estimates cheapest Obamacare plan $20k per family in 2016
The Left Corrupts and Steals a Culture, It Doesn’t Convince
Image below via Ace:
Tracked: Mar 09, 09:14
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I did not know that Ted Williams was John Glenn's wingman in Korea.
Is it possible to have envy without malice?
It seems to me that Bono's American that is willing to work for his own mansion on the hill is still a bit envious of the person who already has one.
One can be envious of another and set to work to create for themselves what the others has.
Malice enters the envy when the individual lacking seeks to salve their failure to achieve. The failure may be direct but is often the product of a lack of empathy and a childish refusal to acknowledge that life is made of choices.
This reminded me of this passage from the talk "You and your Research" by Dr. Richard Hamming I linked to in another post a couple days back:
Now for the matter of drive. You observe that most great scientists have tremendous drive. I worked for ten years with John Tukey at Bell Labs. He had tremendous drive. One day about three or four years after I joined, I discovered that John Tukey was slightly younger than I was. John was a genius and I clearly was not. Well I went storming into Bode's office and said, "How can anybody my age know as much as John Tukey does?'' He leaned back in his chair, put his hands behind his head, grinned slightly, and said, ``You would be surprised Hamming, how much you would know if you worked as hard as he did that many years.'' I simply slunk out of the office!
What Bode was saying was this: "Knowledge and productivity are like compound interest.'' Given two people of approximately the same ability and one person who works ten percent more than the other, the latter will more than twice outproduce the former. The more you know, the more you learn; the more you learn, the more you can do; the more you can do, the more the opportunity - it is very much like compound interest. I don't want to give you a rate, but it is a very high rate. Given two people with exactly the same ability, the one person who manages day in and day out to get in one more hour of thinking will be tremendously more productive over a lifetime. I took Bode's remark to heart; I spent a good deal more of my time for some years trying to work a bit harder and I found, in fact, I could get more work done. I don't like to say it in front of my wife, but I did sort of neglect her sometimes; I needed to study. You have to neglect things if you intend to get what you want done. There's no question about this.
I copied this highlighted quote to my "notes". I have reread it 4 or 5 times. It is probably the best advice on success I have ever seen. It is a great insight to the success of most great minds. This is really quite profound. The gist of it is in the sentence "Given two people of approximately the same ability and one person who works ten percent more than the other, the latter will more than twice outproduce the former." The rest of the quote supports and fills out the point made in that one sentence. I also accept as a given that the work includng the extra 10% is focused and specific work not merely putting in your time as so many of us do in life. The point made in this quote should be repeated by commencement and motivational speakers. It is such a simple concept to get your mind around but we are so accustomed to thinking genius is a gift that you either have or do not have that we are unwilling to simply accept that it might really be about the hard work instead.
"Socialism a Philosophy of Failure", Laughlin, J.L., Scribner's magazine, 1909
Since the socialist grieves at the unequal distribution of material wealth, and regards a better distribution as essential to the reformation of society, one is obliged to ask at once why the socialist does not himself set to work and accumulate wealth as well as others? In our country there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of cases where men have begun with nothing and accumulated a competence. Why do not the socialists do the same? If material wealth is the cure-all, why not go in at once and get it? The answer is not far to seek. They claim that they have no chance of success in the competitive struggle with others. They wish wealth, but they do not possess the bourgeois virtues necessary for its acquisition under existing conditions. Therefore, they wish to rearrange society so that those who do not now have the industrial qualities may obtain wealth as well as those who do have them. Of course, they do not explain who is to produce the wealth they are to share, and which they are incompetent to produce. That is supposedly an insignificant detail. However this may be, the central point in the question is this: having admitted their failure to achieve success in accumulating material wealth in a competitive struggle open freely to all, they propose the abolition of free competition. State control is to take its place. Here we have socialism confessedly as a philosophy of failure. Just to the extent that the socialists insist on their inability to accumulate as much wealth as others, under existing conditions, they are unconsciously advertising their own industrial inefficiency. They clamor for a philosophy of failure -- for a system in which they shall be relieved from the inevitable results of their relative inferiority in obtaining the material means which they regard as essential to their idealistic ends.
"Black women are 80% more likely to be obese than non-Hispanic white women."
It is virtually impossible that this difference could be the result of diet, education, racism or any of the more popular causes de jour. Clearly this tendency to obesity is genetic. And is the statment implies the same genetic predisposition to obesity applies to hispanics of Central and South American descent as well. Obesity is genetic.
There certainly is a genetic factor involved.
And it being shared between blacks and hispanics in the US is no surprise as the hispanics in the US have for centuries interbred heavily with blacks (largely before coming to the US, of course).
But social factors do play a role. When a gym membership costs hundreds of dollars a month, it's "not done" to do any physical exercise outside a gym, and big meals are a prestige object among low income people (even if they are made up of crappy food, like loads of breads, pasta, and rice), that hits some groups more than others.
And the black and hispanic populations are low income as well as highly affected by social pressure from their peers (which is a given in low income groups in general btw) so they're vulnerable.
Add a potential genetic disposition and you have all the factors you need.
Rationalization. The math doesn't support it. Even in Africa a large majority of blacks are obese just as in Mexico and most of the rest of native Central and South Americans are obese. It is genetic pure and simple. It is most likely a natural selection process in any recently native population living an essentially stone age lifestyle. When you have feast and famine it is a genetic advantage to store a lot of fat. Then when you transition to a first world lifestyle it cannot be avoided, not with diet, not with health club memberships and not with wealth.
The feel of cool water on my face !
Ohhh. . . I got that old wonderful sensation again yesterday. You know that feeling when you are out hiking in the high mountains in the summer? That wonderful feeling when you come to a clean, clear, mountain fresh stream and knell down and rinse your face and yes, take a drink. I know, I know someone's gonna tell me that dear may have died in the water up steam--I don't care. Soo, well then maybe a beaver pooped in the water up stream--I don't care. There is nothing so refreshing as that experience, that feeling. Why is it then that watching Rep. Issa flip the switch on Rep. Cummings gave me that same wonderful sensation? Was it seeing one person's personal courage--unsupported by any other at that moment?Has that become so unique in our country today that it has the same wonderfully refreshing sensation as a cool clear stream in the high mountains?
spelling corrections !
knell should be kneel
dear should be deer
Here is a good study of envy.