Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Cav update

Hello friends and readers,

I'm alive and well, still chopping wood in New York.  The new job I took 18 months ago cut my reading from 5 hours to 5 minutes per day, hence the precipitous drop in blogging.

I'm trying to figure out how to read more and post more, and am going to try Twitter to increase 'reps'.  Finally got the twitter feed set up on the blog, on the upper right hand corner.  My handle is @caveatbettor if you are already there.

The family keeps me busy.  Bummed over the field of mayoral candidates, one of whom is poised to take over from Bloomberg.  As curiously anti-libertarian as he is, he was good for markets and I think that smoking ban actually improved bars and restaurants for owners, workers, suppliers, neighbors and customers, based on my sampling over the past 2+ decades.  I am a chastened and humbled libertarian--as is true of some bets, trades, people: some government is actually good.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Quotes of the week

There’s such a direct correlation between how much money you have and what you’re able to do or not do with your budget parameters. We’re better off as indie filmmakers studying South Korean filmmakers or Eastern European filmmakers — artists who have to do a lot with little. I admire the aesthetic of, say, the Duplass Brothers’ movies, but there are ways to bring bigger production value to indie movies without having gobs of money.--Steve Taylor

I fear that in the current climate the goal of "women's rights," with the compliance of politically motivated government policy and the tacit complicity of college administrators, runs the risk of grounding our most cherished institutions in a veritable snake pit of injustice—not unlike the very injustices the movement itself has for so long sought to correct. Unbridled feminist orthodoxy is no more the answer than are attitudes and policies that victimize the victim.--Judith Grossman

There is one thing present: That powerful human need to help. That is our hope -- in Boston, in Newtown, in Oklahoma City, in Columbine. People run toward the danger. People apply pressure to stop the bleeding. People send money they need. People pray for men and women and children they never met. People do stop attacks before they unleash and notice bombs before they go off.
...
Yes, this is our hope. All through the night, people in Boston wrote and talked about the terror and the pain, of course, but what was so striking is that they also wrote and talked about small kindnesses and large ones. They wrote and talked about the spirit of their city, and how it can never be broken. It was haunting and beautiful. And it was deeply true. This is something we hold on to in the moments of darkness.--Joe Posnanski


Rest in Peace Pat Summerall. You let sports breathe. You let Madden talk. And in an age where we so often use too many words to say too little, you let our imaginations fill in the gap.--Joe Posnanski

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Explorer at work; Safari at home

Source here.

And that would be blasphemy

And that's what it would be, (a retrospective on Charlie Pierce on Tiger Woods).  My favorite:

Tiger had a birdie in his pocket, unless he jerked it over the flock of genuine American coots and dunked it into the designer pond in front of the green. All he had to do was lay it up, pitch the ball close and sink his short putt. That was the safe play. That was what he should have done.

Tiger took a wood out of his bag.

The gallery erupted.

It had been a long time since any golf gallery cheered someone for removing a club from his bag. The ovation was not about redemption or about inspiration. It was not about the metaphysical maundering of theological dilettantes. It was about courage and risk and athletic daring. Its ultimate source was irrelevant, but I do not believe this golden moment was foreordained by God while Earl Woods was stumbling around Indochina trying not to get his ass shot off. To believe that would be to diminish God.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Chart of the day: female fertility



Time sure flies.  Source here.

Ross Douthat on "Journalists leading the conversation"

Consider, for instance, the Washington press’s tendency toward what critics have dubbed “bipartisanthink” — in which journalists fetishize centrism and deal making, and assume that the best of all possible legislation, regardless of its actual content, is the kind that has both parties’ fingerprints on it. By conflating the march of progress with the march of legislation through Congress, bipartisanthink allows journalists to take sides and root for particular outcomes without having to explicitly choose sides.
...

 “Leading the conversation” is how you end up with the major Sunday shows somehow neglecting to invite a single anti-amnesty politician on a weekend dominated by the immigration debate. It’s how you end up with officially nonideological anchors and journalists lecturing social conservatives for being out of step with modern values. And it’s how you end up with a press corps that went all-in for the supposed “war on women” having to be shamed and harassed — by two writers in particular, Kirsten Powers in USA Today and Mollie Ziegler Hemingway of GetReligion — into paying attention to the grisly case of a Philadelphia doctor whose methods of late-term abortion included snipping the spines of neonates after they were delivered.

As the last example suggests, the problem here isn’t that American journalists are too quick to go on crusades. Rather, it’s that the press’s ideological blinders limit the kinds of crusades mainstream outlets are willing to entertain, and the formal commitment to neutrality encourages self-deception about what counts as crusading.
Read the whole thing. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

James Taranto on nature and nurture

He writes:

Here's our hypothesis to explain the Hart-Risley findings [on academic success in young children]: The variables they studied--again, the parents' loquaciousness and the children's IQ and school performance--were all effects. The main causal factor was something the researchers apparently didn't think to measure: parental IQ.

Steven Pinker, the Harvard cognitive psychologist, seems to be thinking along similar lines. This morning in response to the Rosenberg post he tweeted: "The Blank Slate lives: Yet another story on parent-child correlations that dares not mention the g-word."

"The g-word" is "genetics," and "the Blank Slate" refers to the view that human beings are essentially fungible--that all differences between individuals and groups, or at least all those that have important social consequences, are the product of nurture rather than nature. It follows from this view that inequalities between individuals or groups can be eliminated by social engineering--by changing the environment in which individuals develop.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Margaret Thatcher passes away

Andrew Sparrow with (decidedly mixed) round up.

London is the financial capital of Europe, thanks to Maggie.  Perhaps her fellow citizen detractors would prefer it be Frankfurt.

Race bias? Nahhh

Chuck Culpepper has it.

What’s interesting is the fact that somehow, folks were missing [Jeremy Lin's basketball talents] in practice, and that’s what’s interesting, because you’ve got to assume that during scrimmages, he was running that pick-and-roll pretty well ... --President Obama

And one of the better SNL cold opens:

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Quotes of the week

As soon as you crack your knuckles and open up a comments page, you just canceled your subscription to being a good person.--Louie C.K.

Manipulated by the media, voting their pocketbooks, supporting sectional interests or monofocal issues, voters in America and other Western democracies do not show very great signs of transcendent wisdom. Worse, we labor under the delusion (indeed, we foster the delusion) that somehow things will be all right provided lots of people vote. Our system of government is our new Tower of Babel: it is supposed to make us impregnable. The Soviet empire totters; other nations crumble into the dust, Balkanized, destroyed by civil war, tribal genocide, grinding poverty, endemic corruption, Marxist or some other ideology. Not us. We belong to a democracy, “rule by the people.”--Don Carson

Monetarism is not — nor did it appear to policy makers in the 1970s to be — a laissez-faire program.  Rather, it is a program for government control of economic volatility.--Michael Clune

Devote your life to something you love — not like, but love.--Gene Siskel