Sunday, June 8, 2014

Why Piketty is Wrong and Western Workers Have a Bright Future

I'm sorry.  I'm supposed to be angry and dismal, because angry and dismal is smart, or at least that's the current received wisdom, and not wanting to look smart is practically a cardinal sin these days, and it would be a wilful sin to boot given that I could just keep my mouth shut, or at least write something angry.  But I can't help it -- I'm just too happy and optimistic, though somewhat overworked, which I suppose goes a long way towards explaining many things, including my rather poor writing record of late.  It seems kind of easy to write angry things (especially when you've gotten into the habit!), but harder to write other kinds of things, especially with pressing matters to attend to.

But I do think I have something happy to say about Piketty's new book which also might happen to be smart.  I confess to not having read the actual book (which is something of an economic tome at 700 pages, and a bestseller on Amazon, no less, an unusual juxtaposition, to say the least).  But I have read reviews!  And I will try to be fair, and trust that the reviews have been more or less accurate.  I also don't intend to go into great detail, but just to stick with the basic idea, which I also confess to be a really interesting one, but, alas, as I said, wrong on a very central point.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Texas, Explained

My sister forwarded me this video by Bill Whittle --

It is funny, and has a kernel of truth to it (I did these sorts of things growing up, too, and could do them still if the urge ever really got hold of me), but it did set me into a bit of a melancholy state, because it is very easy to make observations like this and come to conclusions that I think are a bit off and too optimistic.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Karen Hudes

Holy moly, this lady is the mother of all smoking guns. If half of what she says is true - and from what I heard from her on the radio, she gives every indication of being legit - the mother of all cats is about to come out of the bag.

She really is unbelievable.  She is hopelessly naive, moralistic, and somehow got past the gatekeepers and landed herself right in the middle of the international banking system.   She's been in the middle of 20 years worth of scandals at the highest levels and decided to blow the whistle.

Maybe I'm late to the game on this one, but this is the first I've heard of her.  And she basically confirms all the worst things you might have guessed about places like the IMF,  the World Bank,  the national governments,  etc.

For some reason, she's naive enough to think it's a matter of rooting out corruption,  and she still has faith in state governments,  but anyway, 100% worth listening to if you are into that kind of thing.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Coffee... not actually a substitute for food. Or sleep.  All rumors to the contrary.

It looks like it should work, but it doesn't.  And I never thought I'd become one of 'these people.'


It is incredible how difficult it is to raise kids.

I have slogged through 4+ years of blogging, through living at 4-5 different addresses, through two different jobs -- one of them (my current) 24-hour rotating shift -- 60 to 80 hour weeks, and about a year and a half of that time with my in-laws living with me in my own house.

Yet 'settled' as I am, I have never found it so difficult to get blog posts up.  Or to get just about anything else done, for that matter.

Part of the reason for the 80 hour weeks is, basically, what the hell?  I'm not going to get anything done anyway.  Or any sleep.  Might as well get paid while I'm (not) doing it and feeling like crap.

I hope and pray that all of this is worth it someday, because right now, it's all on faith.  God only knows why I want another one...

Anyway, this is not one of those 'screw it all, I'm quitting blogging' sorts of posts.  Because that would be a lie.  Writers are compelled to write.  If they're not, they aren't writers.  If you ever hear me utter such nonsense -- or any other once-prolific writer, for that matter -- you can know it for what it is.  Writers are like crackheads.  If they aren't posting their crap publicly, they are scribbling it on napkins and paper towels with crayons and stuffing it away somewhere. 

But I won't be writing much (as if I were already, anyway), and even of what I do, unfortunately you won't be seeing much of it.  I actually have something of a backlog of (very) lengthy posts which will likely never see the light of day.  The demands on me are much too high right now.

For the life of me, I will never understand the apparently near-universal compulsion to demand the attention of others for the purpose of completely wasting it.  In general, I tend to avoid the attention of others, even when I probably should speak up.  But that is the way it is.  And no, I'm not really talking that much about my kids at the moment.  'The job' has ratcheted itself up along these lines as well.  But I'm afraid that until I can achieve some modicum of isolation, I'm just not going to be able to get anything done.

My hope is that someday I'll be able to arrange some sort of life-hibernation, so that if I can erect enough barriers between myself and these people, I might actually be able to get something done.  In the meantime, I have finally entered into the 21st century and gotten myself a shiny new smartphone.  I hope that I can at least get up those little 'blurby' type posts ever now and then.

Just to remind people that I'm alive.