Monday, August 31, 2009

If we understand little of the absurd complexity of the components of our own bodies, if we are components in the body of God, how much of itself does God understand?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Repeat after me: the world is unfair and I am a piece of shit

Slavery was just outlawed in Mauritania in 2007(!)

(You'll have to listen to this BBC story to understand the title of this post.) I get so angry when I think about stuff like this. On the other hand, I think about whether some girl in a Chinese factory working 14 hours a day so I can have cheap electronics or a migrant worker from Mexico picking strawberries for below US minimum wage is right. I think what makes it not worth worrying about for most people is that the information about working conditions has been lost (e.g. I don't know that my $2.99 strawberries were picked by someone getting paid $2.50 an hour). Recovering this information and exposing it (along with making it easy for people paying below minimum wage to head to prison for a year would do some good).

I love me some good ol' cognitive dissonance.

Friday, August 28, 2009

I never knew about this, I may actually have to think next time I see someone use a statistic.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I feel for the guy who wrote this post. I'm sure he recommends making a special effort not to get on the wrong side of an entity with deep pockets and little regard for the welfare of others.

Restraint is hugely important in many areas of life -- humor for one, relationships for another. I have a low opinion of those who protect their status quo by all means at their disposal. It's weakness.
Short and good article on finance's function in our economy and how well it's doing the job -- and at what cost.

Friday, August 21, 2009

I noticed in my grocery store that the Coinstar machine no longer displays that they take a cut of 8.9%. (I bet a law has been changed, and there is no longer regulation mandating this.) Every time I see someone use one I cringe since someone taking 8.9% off an investment would just be insane. They don't even make sense from an evil economist robot point of view since you're exchanging perfectly good legal tender for less legal tender.

I wish I could legally shake the next person I see using one...and then also lecture them on starting a 401k (and make sure that expense ratio is where it should be).

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

"attempt what is not certain. Certainty may or may not come later. It may then be a valuable delusion."

—Richard Diebenkorn, from “Notes to myself on beginning a painting”

Tiny random factoid

In Indonesia, you could send 1500 text messages for the cost of sending one in the US.

Monday, August 17, 2009

I routinely come across articles mentioning a corrupt politician or salesman, but I've never come across a soul in my life who would consider themselves corrupt. And I bet even those rare few people who have been convicted for the offense do not see themselves as corrupt, or at least no more than any other person.

Maybe everyone deep down knows they have that weakness in them, but they cannot stand the thought of themselves being weak or mildly evil?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I started meditating regularly this year and it still surprises me how good I can feel when I do it well.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"I ain't never been lost, but I've been in some mighty strange country for two or three days."

--Daniel Boone (supposedly, at least)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Facebook has probably done more for digital camera sales than anything else I can imagine.
"Do not lose your desire to walk; every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness; I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it."

--Mr. Soren Kierkegaard

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The nights have been beautiful here lately in San Juan Capo. I've been sitting outside and watching the stars and moon the past few nights. Lovely.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Psychoanalytic doctrine reveals the pig in man, a pig saddled with a conscience; the disastrous result is that the pig is uncomfortable beneath that pious rider, and the rider fares no better in the situation, since his endeavor is not only to tame the pig but also to render it invisible.

--Stanislaw Lem, His Master's Voice