"When I get new evidence I change my mind. What do you do?" John Maynard Keynes
- Inevitable Nexus When Fear Runs the Numbers
- The Smoothing Factor
- Sweetly Focused Nora Bateson
- Teaching Story – The Great Warrior
- Cat Toy?
- Cat Spat
- The Precarity of the Estimate
- Artist’s Way of Flow
- Being a Hippie Changes Something
- Periodic Table – a web side street
- Why Do Fallibilists and Nominalists Have Anything to Say At All?
- Meta Plus Recursion (and a topos for truthiness)
- More Bloomin’
- Bloomin’, if you cannot beat ‘em, take a closer look
- New URL for Symmetry-Hypotheses
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- “The judgment of the intellect is, at best, only the half of truth, and must, if it be honest, also come to an understanding of its inadequacy. The dynamic principle of fantasy is play, a characteristic also of the child, and as such it appears inconsistent with the principle of serious work. But without this playing with fantasy no creative work has ever yet come to birth. The debt we owe to the play of imagination is incalculable. It is therefore short-sighted to treat fantasy, on account of its risky or unacceptable nature, as a thing of little worth.” The Psychology of Individuation, CG Jung
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- "It requires a very unusual mind to undertake the analysis of the obvious." - Alfred North Whitehead
- More email newsletters July 2, 2014
- new language annotation software June 25, 2014
- Software, Culture, and Political Economy in New Media Capitalism June 25, 2014
- ye olde net… June 25, 2014
- re the big data explosion June 10, 2014
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
- If, during the long course of ages and under varying conditions of life, organic beings vary at all in the several parts of their organization, and I think this cannot be disputed; if there be, owing to the high geometric powers of increase of each species, at some age, season or year, a severe struggle for life, and this certainly cannot be disputed; then, considering the infinite complexity of the relations of all organic beings to each other and to their conditions of existence, causing an infinite variety in structure, constitution, and habits, to be advantageous to them, I think it would be a most extraordinary fact if no variation ever had occurred useful to each being’s own welfare, in the same way as so many variations have occurred useful to man. But if variations useful to any organic being do occur, assuredly individuals thus characterized will have the best chance of being preserved in the struggle for life; and from the strong principle of inheritance they will tend to produce offspring similarly characterized. This principle of preservation, I have called, for the sake of brevity, Natural Selection. [Charles Darwin (1859) On the Origin of Species]
- “It is essential to such a government, that it be derived from the great body of the society, not from an inconsiderable proportion, or a favored class of it; otherwise a handful of tyrannical nobles, exercising their oppressions by a delegation of their powers, might aspire to the rank of republicans, and claim for their government the honorable title of republic.” James Madison
- All the property that is necessary to a Man, for the Conservation of the Individual and the Propagation of the Species, is his natural Right, which none can justly deprive him of: But all Property superfluous to such purposes is the Property of the Publick, who, by their Laws, have created it, and who may therefore by other laws dispose of it, whenever the Welfare of the Publick shall demand such Disposition. He that does not like civil Society on these Terms, let him retire and live among Savages. He can have no right to the benefits of Society, who will not pay his Club towards the Support of it. -Benjamin Franklin
Thinking Outside the Agora
- A SpaceX Rocket Test Just Went Explosively Awry August 23, 2014A rocket exploded during a test flight at the SpaceX Rocket Development and Test Facility in McGregor, Texas. An anomaly crept during the flight, triggering the rocket to self-detonate. No injuries are reported, and rumours are rampant.Read more...
- A new meta-analysis published in Psychological Science throws a bucket of cold water on the "10,000- August 23, 2014A new meta-analysis published in Psychological Science throws a bucket of cold water on the "10,000-hour rule" – the idea that "deliberate practice" of any skill for 10,000 hours is sufficient to make you an expert at that skill. Fiona Rutherford breaks down the results over at NewStatesman.Read more...
- These Are the Silliest Star Trek Reenactments We've Seen in Ages August 23, 2014We love these photographs and gifs created by Ken Lin and his friends, who posed for them in many of the same kinds of California landscapes that provided the "alien world" backdrops for the original Star Trek series. The results are crazy and adorable.Read more...
- Watch A Cemetery Spring To Life Thanks To Animated Magic August 22, 2014A collection of artists directed by Alejandro Garcia Cabbalero brought Mexico's 590-acre cemetery Panteón Dolores to life thanks to some little animated video projectors. And the result is really stunning. Read more...
- No, New Orleans Is Not Getting Another Katrina This Weekend August 22, 2014New Orleans really doesn't need to worry about a hurricane barreling into them right now, even if you see a Facebook post proclaiming, "SHARE THIS IMMEDIATELY!" You can stop calling the National Weather Office in a panic now.Read more...
- A SpaceX Rocket Test Just Went Explosively Awry August 23, 2014
- Cool Crowdfunding August 22nd: 10 Projects to Check Out Before They’re Over August 23, 2014
- Cider Makers Battle: It’s On Like Diddy Kong August 22, 2014
- Numitron Tube Watch With 3D Printed Case August 22, 2014
- Engineers Day 2014 at the Museum of Life and Science August 22, 2014
- 3D Printer That Scans Objects to Print on Its Surface August 22, 2014
Tag Archives: David Brooks
The milquetoast, kinder-and-gentler conservative NYT editorialist David Brooks delivered another brightly burning ideational bulb today. Man, I wish he had had the time to show it to the missus first!
It is all downhill after this tipping point, reached in the piece’s fourth sentence:
Politics, some believe, is the organization of hatreds. The people who try to divide society on the basis of ethnicity we call racists. The people who try to divide it on the basis of religion we call sectarians. The people who try to divide it on the basis of social class we call either populists or elitists.The Populist Addiction – NYT – 1/26:2010
Brooks wants to bracket his main point with, as it turns out, a nonsensical treatment of populism. He’s made this main point previously in a review Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton. This review, titled Creating Capitalism, was published in April 2004 in the NYT.
From the review,
But Hamilton dreamed of a vibrant economy that would allow aspiring meritocrats like himself to rise and realize their full capacities. He sought to smash the aristocratic fiefs enjoyed by Southern landowners like Jefferson and to replace them with a diversified marketplace that would be open to immigrants and the lowborn. Their vigor, he felt, would drive the nation to greatness. ”Every new scene, which is opened to the busy nature of man to rouse and exert itself, is the addition of a new energy to the general stock of effort,” he wrote.
He started a political tradition, dormant in our own day, in which energetic government doesn’t oppose market dynamism but is organized to enhance it. Today our liberal/conservative debates tend to pit the advocates of government against the advocates of the market. Today our politics is dominated by rival strands of populism: the anticorporate populism of the Democrats and the anti-Washington populism of the Republicans. But Hamilton thought in entirely different categories. He argued that ”liberty may be endangered by the abuses of liberty as well as by the abuses of power.” He wanted a limited but energetic government that would open fields of enterprise and give new directions to popular passions.
His editorial is a recycle job.
Hamilton championed capital markets and Lincoln championed banks, not because they loved traders and bankers. They did it because they knew a vibrant capitalist economy would maximize opportunity for poor boys like themselves. They were willing to tolerate the excesses of traders because they understood that no institution is more likely to channel opportunity to new groups and new people than vigorous financial markets.
In their view, government’s role was not to side with one faction or to wage class war. It was to rouse the energy and industry of people at all levels. It was to enhance competition and make it fair — to make sure that no group, high or low, is able to erect barriers that would deprive Americans of an open field and a fair chance. Theirs was a philosophy that celebrated development, mobility and work, wherever those things might be generated.
And what was the status and stature of the industrial revolution in the first decade of the 19th century in the U.S.? (Hamilton died in 1804.) What, at the time, was the normal range of ambitions for the average man? ‘open field’ indeed!
Then, having raced downhill, Brooks writes one of the most astonishing sentences of his career:
If they continue their random attacks on enterprise and capital, they will only increase the pervasive feeling of uncertainty, which is now the single biggest factor in holding back investment, job creation and growth.
I’m going to offer an opposing idea: people are certain about the current state of the economy. Many people are certain about who got bent over and who did the bending too.
Ironically, Brooks offers implicit advice, advice perhaps dear to the capitalist’s heart. Last implied by Phil Graham, remember?
Yup, suck it up you whiners–you’re the real problem. ‘Just let us make some more dough now that we’ve managed to eke out a bit more productivity from our lucky surviving workforce.’ After all, Al Hamilton says so, and, let’s face it, we’re really a country about the faction-less dynamism of marching capital.