Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Denigrating Achievement

Thomas Sowel:
"The very word "achievement" has been replaced by the word "privilege" in many writings of our times. Individuals or groups that have achieved more than others are called "privileged" individuals or groups, who are to be resented rather than emulated.
The length to which this kind of thinking — or lack of thinking — can be carried was shown in a report on various ethnic groups in Toronto.
It said that people of Japanese ancestry in that city were the most "privileged" group there, because they had the highest average income.
What made this claim of "privilege" grotesque was a history of anti-Japanese discrimination in Canada, climaxed by people of Japanese ancestry being interned during World War II longer than Japanese-Americans.
If the concept of achievement threatens the prevailing ideology, the reality of achievement despite having obstacles to overcome is a deadly threat.
That is why the achievements of Asians in general — and of people like the young black man with no arms — make those on the left uneasy.
And why the achievements of people who created their own businesses have to be undermined by the president of the United States.
What would happen if Americans in general, or blacks in particular, started celebrating people like this armless young man, instead of trying to make heroes out of hoodlums?
Many of us would find that promising and inspiring. But it would be a political disaster for the left — which is why it is not likely to happen."

I'm glad I don't live in Seattle

Seattle... land of endless traffic, tons of gray, cold, rainy days, and rabid fruit bats:

"Seattle City Councilmember-elect shares radical idea with Boeing workers
Seattle City Councilmember-elect Kshama Sawant told Boeing machinists her idea of a radical option, should their jobs be moved out of state 
“The workers should take over the factories, and shut down Boeing’s profit-making machine,” Sawant announced to a cheering crowd of union supporters in Seattle’s Westlake Park Monday night.
This week, Sawant became Seattle’s first elected Socialist council member. She ran on a platform of anti-capitalism, workers’ rights, and a $15 per-hour minimum wage for Seattle workers."
 If you were thinking of opening a business in Seattle, you probably shouldn't. It isn't just this woman, after all: remember that thousands more idiots are the ones that elected her, and they would be your customers. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Don't Snatch The Pebble, Grasshopper

Scott Adam's Secret of Success: Failure:

Throughout my career I've had my antennae up, looking for examples of people who use systems as opposed to goals. In most cases, as far as I can tell, the people who use systems do better. The systems-driven people have found a way to look at the familiar in new and more useful ways.
To put it bluntly, goals are for losers. That's literally true most of the time. For example, if your goal is to lose 10 pounds, you will spend every moment until you reach the goal—if you reach it at all—feeling as if you were short of your goal. In other words, goal-oriented people exist in a state of nearly continuous failure that they hope will be temporary.
If you achieve your goal, you celebrate and feel terrific, but only until you realize that you just lost the thing that gave you purpose and direction. Your options are to feel empty and useless, perhaps enjoying the spoils of your success until they bore you, or to set new goals and re-enter the cycle of permanent presuccess failure.
 Makes sense to me.

One example: debt elimination. If you're pursuing it, you're probably doing so because debt makes you unhappy.

As a goal, it can be done. And then what?

If it's a goal, you very well may reload yourself and pursue debt elimination again. So you become unhappy again so that you can be happy for a brief moment until you become unhappy again... That sucks.

You probably will incur debts again at a later date. That's a failure from the perspective of the goal-oriented approach. It's a mere event from the perspective of the system-driven approach.

If debt elimination is a byproduct of a system you build, and you consistently execute on that system, you don't have to think about it. It just happens. Your happiness will not be dependent on being debt free, but upon your tending to avoid it when possible, and to reduce and eliminate it when you can't avoid it.

Any wave is a tsunami in the case of the former; a wave may only rock your boat in the case of the latter, and a tsunami is actually a tsunami if one does come.

One swallow does not make a summer, neither does one fine day; similarly one day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy. -- Aristotle

Goals are singular, finite things. They are inflexible, incapable of adaptation, can be knocked down, surpassed and diminished, etc. Whatever happiness they bring has an expiration date.

Systems can be perpetual, resilient,  and adaptable. Whatever happiness they bring is a byproduct, a "surplus" generated by a usefully functioning machine, if you will. It's an indication that the system works, and it can be maintained.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Obamacare: You'll Want To Get Insurance On Your Insurance

Step 1: be involved in Obozocare in some fashion, as a customer, producing insurance agent, etc.

One day. It took one freakin' day for something like this to happen. The chances are good that it will happen again, and again, and again. Eventually, it will happen to you.

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