Yea, with regard to this silly thing. What hilarity, huh? How ri-di-cu-lous. Those people are kooks of the first order. Don’t they know that the way to redemption is through trusting that a dead guy who lived 2,000 years ago, was killed, rose from the dead, ascended to heaven, and built a mansion for each and every one of you (while currently seeing to its upkeep) will personally see to your arrival in heaven, where, naturally–to go along with your mansion–you’ll be walking on streets of gold?
Archives for April 2005
You’re an idiot if you don’t put both on your computer immediately.
Can’t believe I waited so long. Amazing. Turned my user profile, which I began on a Win2000 beta machine back in 1999 and have taken with me to every new machine since, into an easily accessed archive of gigantic proportions, even to include all emails. Every damn email and file, and everything in them is indexed, and every search I’ve tried is virtually instantaneous. Jesus, it even indexes everything you browse on the Internet, so when you search for something, you get results from your browser history.
Don’t be an idiot.
Update: And with this, not only can you search all of your machines (I have 3: office, home, notebook) in one search, but you can search them all from any web browser on the net, from anywhere, and retrieve the results.
All values come from business. Heresy, right? Think again. It’s true. It’s Uncommon Sense.
Are you taken aback? Understandable. Do you understand what values are? To an extent, I’ll grant you. You probably do–to an extent.
Do you understand what business is? No, probably not, at least not in the widest, metaphysical sense of the concept.
Languish about. One in 10,000 might get it. …And that’s good enough for me–for now.
…illuminates what happens when manifest cannibals gather around the "community" soup-kettle.
He stands on his enemies’ premise, complaining that he’s got enemies.
It was a society before lumpen-Eloi had been taught that everything was theirs because nothing was anybody’s.
Anyone who is surprised or mystified at this is a goddamned moron.
So yesterday afternoon I’m sitting down to watch a little TV…and I pop up Tivo’s play list and notice about 3 or 4 episodes of Oprah that my wife believes need to be saved. So I start piling on shit about her filling up "my" hard drive with "Doprah" crap.
Then she says that I "need" to watch a segment of one episode. Turns out it’s Simon Cowell of American Idol fame; so I say: "fine." Yea, I like Simon. Tells it straight up, and as such, he’s the one benefiting those contestants and wannabes on American Idol more than anyone. That means: he’s actually the most benevolent of the three. That, of course, is Uncommon Sense; but I digress.
So Simon does his interview thing, but then announces that he’s put together a new group that have an album coming out and they’re going to perform right there on the Oprah show for the first time in the U.S. Here’s what the arrogant Simon said:
Il Divo have taught me more than I have taught them. I am actually intimidated and slightly in awe of their talent! I am more proud of this album than anything else I’ve ever been involved with, they are going to be huge.
Yea, he’s trying to sell albums. But you know what? He has the goods to back it up. Now…I don’t know if you like formally trained operatic voices doing contemporary music, but I happen to love it–a lot…I do. I can listen to certain songs performed by Andrea Bocelli and tear up every time. The splendor and phenomenal beauty of it is just more than I can take in a single dose. Overwhelming: in every sense of the word.
So here’s Il Divo. Amazon has samples of each track on the album. The track they performed on Oprah was Unbreak My Heart. The big difference is that in the full performance, each guy does at least one solo section, and I can tell you that each and every one has an amazing voice.
These guys are going to be big. No doubt about it.
Regular readers who also delve into the comments will have noticed that one of this blog’s most valuable contributors is Kyle Bennett. I wasn’t aware, but Kyle also has a blog. Though it looks like he hasn’t done a lot with it lately, his latest entry reveals that he may have found just the inspiration he’s been looking for. It’s an important post that merits your attention. Of note:
…politics, libertarian or otherwise, is most definitely not the future. Politics is a system that has utterly failed to solve any real problems.
The scattered and chaotic state of the libertarian movement makes more sense to me now. It is a result of the idea, implicit in everything it does, that the main purpose of the libertarian movement is to advance the libertarian movement.
Do you see how Kyle’s first identification is a direct result of the second, applied to the whole scope of politics? I was talking about this subject a bit, here.
The simple fact is that politics, in the widest philosophical sense, is nothing more than the application of ethics to social interaction. If you can get your mind around that, then it should not be difficult to see how practical politics (i.e., modern politics in action) can never really achieve anything great, at least from the value perspective of individualists. To the extent politics accomplishes anything, it is typically only to deal with problems that have arisen because of practical politics in the first place.
Fundamentally, practical politics can’t work because it subordinates the individual to society. That’s an inversion of a natural, immutable hierarchy of metaphysical proportions. The individual comes first. Everything that is "society" must flow from that, non-contradictorily. This is the problem that is created by modern practical politics. To think that modern practical politics will in any way solve this problem strikes me as rather like a woman looking up her rapist for the purpose of getting rape-victim counseling from him.
The other thing I find interesting about Kyle’s post is that my whole interest in the blogosphere has been waning, significantly, and this touches on precisely why. With few exceptions, at least in the political sphere, it’s only about advancing one political agenda over another, i.e., same shit, different medium. That will never get anyone anywhere–and the primary reason is that nobody has the slightest clue as to where they’re going. They just want to be along for the ride.
What this has come to is that we have a whole population of people with no idea of where they are going–or where they want to go–hitching a ride with those they’re most comfortable with. Everybody thinks somebody knows where they’re going, but no one really does. "Legalize drugs! Privatize Social Security! Cut taxes!" Those aren’t destinations. Hell, they aren’t even pit stops. They’re actually unreachable fantasy "destinations" along a road that has only a single direction, and the only thing that can be varied is the speed (fast or faster).
Kyle’s right. What we need to be talking about is where we actually want to be.
I discovered that what I really want to talk about, what I really want to get the world talking about – if I can be so bold as to assume I have any power to do so – is where we are going. It’s nice to talk about how we’ll get there, but it’s meaningless without the why that informs the how.
Regular readers (thank you so much) of this blog have noticed a drop in prolificacy.
I’m sorry. I’m up to my ass in alligators, at the moment.
For one, I’ve scorched to earth and rebuilt my sales department twice in the past year (well, I didn’t get it right the first time). Six months ago, I hired the best employee I’ve ever hired, and frankly, I should give him my job (he’s that good). He fired a 9-man team a few months ago, replaced them with a 3-man team, and exceeded the performance of the predecessors. Yea, really.
But we lost the star of that 3-man team yesterday to family problems and a need to relocate. Shit. Shit!
For two, I get blindsided by the bank, yesterday. You see, to grow a business of any import, you eventually have to use other people’s money. The analogy is that you can save a down payment (start a business and get it rolling) on your own, but if you want to buy a house (grow the business), it’s going to involve using other people’s money.
So, we have access to significant cash, but it’s secured by our accounts receivable, which typically hovers at around $1/2 million. We have to send them reports every month, et cetera, et cetera. Each year, we have to renew the line, which involves an audit. Over the last year, we’ve changed our payment systems from a prehistoric, manual system to full automation. Now, the guy who audited us last year doesn’t get it, and on top of that, the new system fucked with the database queries that build the reports from which we source the information to make semi-monthly consolidated entries in the accounting app. Consequently, we’re $200k off. The auditor implies (to us) that it’s no big ("just get me this and that"), but then tells the bank something entirely different…
…and now the bank is talking serious shit.
The saving grace is that the security, the underlying accounts receivable, is solid as a rock, as always. The problem is in the reports. The problem is getting them to understand that (while keeping my cool).
I read with rather intense interest this City Journal piece by Theodore Dalrymple, The Frivolity of Evil. Also very interesting was Wretchard’s thorough take on it, as well as Billy Beck’s. I think that a lot of what I’d have to say about it would overlap what’s already been written. On the other hand…
Among other things, Beck says:
…it makes no sense to pose good and evil as mutually exclusive in human nature without knowing human nature to include the element of free will. "The barriers to evil" are erected and mounted one mind at a time, willfully realizing itself in the purpose of choosing life over death.
It just seems noteworthy to me that after millennia of religion-induced guilt, followed by centuries of modern state-induced guilt, that it has come to this. And yet, in spite of all the evil, there’s no greater evidence of the heights of goodness and accomplishment to which men can ascend than in things we can see being done by great individuals today.
History, apparently, has never been short of either great men or evil men–or the deeds of both. On balance, it’s fair to observe that the good has outstripped the evil time and again. But to whom do we owe the general triumph of good: to religious indoctrination, force of the state, or to individuals who’ve simply chosen to do good instead of evil? Huh?
Yet we continue to prattle on about how "we’re all just one part of ‘God’s creation’ or ‘Society’" (take your pick). It matters not a wit to me that seemingly smart people continue to fashion meaningless distinctions between the church and the state. Neither has forsaken the individual and his potential greatness. They’ve just never championed him as an individual. He’s never been anything more than a handmaiden to God and his brethren–or just a handmaiden to his fellow man.
Individualism may not rid the world of evil, but it will give you the moral sanction to ignore it to the extent it doesn’t affect you. It permits you to deal with only the truly moral–forming a "society" unto yourself. And the only morality that’s really worth a shit–that can begin to be trusted–is the sort of morality that’s freely chosen by a man, because he’s rational–because he can.
You want to hear a real horror? I started a company in 1993 that has served thousands of clients, now employs 30 people, and is largely unregulated. There are no federal or state laws that specifically contemplate my business model, which seeks to provide a creative, sensible, win-win alternative to bankruptcy*.
Isn’t that awful? We are actually pretentious enough that we would dare to operate and build businesses without the prior stamp of approval from the Emperor.
Oh, there are bad actors, of course–just like in any industry or profession. Two that I know of were outright frauds, and I didn’t shed a tear when they were shut down. Of course, they were shut down under the authority of a simple principle that’s been around for 10,000 years, at least, and was even encoded into law about 3,000 years ago: Thou shalt not steal.
But because the industry has grown and has all sorts of variations and off-shots, it has been determined by the "authorities" that "regulation" is "required".
And, so, I’ve been making trips to Chicago over the last few months to sit around the table with other industry leaders and state commissioners charged with drafting a Uniform State Law. These are the folks who wrote the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), and things like that.
Anyway, the draft is complete, and once it’s approved by the full Conference of Commissioners in Philadelphia at the end of July, it will go out to the 50 state legislatures. Will it pass? Don’t know.
But even if it does, it’s still a loss, for me. The following is just out in email to an industry email list I own and have run since 1994. A phrase or two is ripped off from a recent email exchange with Billy Beck:
I think it’s important to make a critical distinction, here.
It’s not "fine with me", as you characterize it, but I believe we can probably make it work–though that’s not going to be easy.
Aside from the philosophical implications of having fee caps (really, price fixing) imposed upon us, European style, all this "accomplishes" is to unjustly punish good operators for the misdeeds of bad ones and the alleged misdeeds of others.
If this is what we "need" in order to operate "legitimately", out in the open, and to take away some of the steam from regulators and special interests who have it so easy at our expense, then I’m prepared to grudgingly support it–even though I make a lousy pragmatist.
But I’m not going to applaud them, nor am I going to pretend that they have bestowed any favor upon me. The whole exercise is a fiction. The Emperor still has no clothes.
I entered this with no illusions. I knew that it was not about winning or losing, but only about losing a little less than I otherwise would have. There was really nothing to gain. There was only to mitigate loss.
Everything we had to "gain" was already ours. Thus, we could only lose.
* Paradoxically, bankruptcy is primarily for the benefit of creditors, not debtors.