Outer Order, Inner Calm…

Is a book about by Gretchen Rubin. She was on the 10% Happier podcast recently and seemed cool. Book is about organization. I’m not big on organization but she had some pretty good hacks.

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Refuge in Grief

It’s OK to not be OK.

If your life has exploded into a million little bits, you don’t need platitudes. You don’t need cheerleading. You don’t need to be told this all happened for a reason.

Some things cannot be fixed. They can only be carried.

https://www.refugeingrief.com/

Heard Megan on The One You Feed podcast.

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The Failures of Capitalism

OpenCulture.com: Economics 101 by Ray Dalio

Dalio himself isn’t setting out to build a worker’s paradise or to make financiers like himself obsolete, but he does have some trenchant thoughts on capitalism’s failures—and they are many, in his estimation.

I didn’t watch the video and I haven’t read Dalio’s essay on Why And How Capitalism Needs To Be Reformed (though it’s on my reading list) but my quick thoughts are that capitalism only has two faults.

  • Capitalism is amoral. If I can make money helping people then capitalism thinks that’s great. If I can make money killing people then capitalism thinks that’s great. As long as we make money it doesn’t matter how. In theory the market will punish the latter but in practice that hasn’t been true. Personally I think that’s because markets only work when they’re relatively small and when the buyer and seller have roughly equal info. In today’s global marketplace the corporation has so much more… everything, that consumer is essentially powerless. You have get millions of people organized in order to punish a bad actor with the result that very few are ever punished. So there’s no need for them to change.
  • This might just be a subset of the morality but, capitalism doesn’t have any concept of enough. The amount of money that any corporations seeks to make is all of it. And as they’re unburdened by morals and unpunished by the marketplace they will end up hurting people in their never-ending quest for more money.

A note on morality: I’m not saying the people, CEO’s etc, are amoral, though many of them are, I’m saying the system is amoral. Capitalism’s definition doesn’t include anything about morality. Here’s the definition from Wikipedia:

Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit. Characteristics central to capitalism include private property, capital accumulation, wage labor, voluntary exchange, a price system, and competitive markets. In a capitalist market economy, decision-making and investment are determined by every owner of wealth, property or production ability in financial and capital markets, whereas prices and the distribution of goods and services are mainly determined by competition in goods and services markets.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitalism

Emphasis is mine because now I see the problem in the US. We’re not capitalist. We definitely believe in “private property”, “capital accumulation” and “wage labor” but we don’t believe in “competitive markets”. We give lip service to the idea but if you look around the US what you find is giant corporations using their size to push out or buy competitors or smaller markets where the government has been manipulated to kill competition.

So what type of economy believes in “private property”, “capital accumulation” and “wage labor” but not “competitive markets”? Cause the US needs to stop calling itself capitalist.


Read Daylio’s article, Why And How Capitalism Needs To Be Reformed and I’m in agreement with most of it but I don’t see the “how” part. He says some stuff about “leadership” and then he says “redistribution” and… no actual “how”. Basically he’s says in a very milquetoast way that the people at the top need to get their shit together. Really? Those are the people benefitting from the current system. Not sure you’re gonna get them on board with changing things. Getting them to give lip service to “change” while not really doing anything should be pretty easy but if you want real change you might need to convince voters to stop supporting people that don’t support them.

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You can’t have freedom without safety

This showed up in my RSS feed: An LA gallery is selling “Molotov cocktails” from a vending machine.

It included an image of a vending machine that sells fake molotov cocktails with a slogan on the side:

Freedom not safety is the highest good.

And I get that these folks are making a statement but why do they think it’s possible to have freedom without safety? Freedom to dodge bullets isn’t freedom.

art vending machine selling

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The campaign to put science and tech leaders in public office starts now | Ars Technica

Yes, more of this please. The two attributes I want in a politician are logic and ethics.

Source: The campaign to put science and tech leaders in public office starts now | Ars Technica

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The Need for Competition

THIS!!!! Holy shit how can the Republicans who are supposedly so pro-market allow the market to be dominated by so few players?!? Because they’re not really pro-market? They’re just pro-rich assholes giving them money.

Jason Furman, the chair of the Council of Economic Advisors under President Obama and now a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, argues that “both microeconomi…

Source: The Need for Competition

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Standard Ebooks: Free and liberated ebooks, carefully produced for the true book lover.

Source: Standard Ebooks: Free and liberated ebooks, carefully produced for the true book lover.

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Climbing the Horseshoe

Yep, this.

Climbing the Horseshoe

Assholes on the left and right ruining it for all the sensible people.

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Making Business Ethics a Cumulative Science

Such is the goal of Jonathan Haidt and Linda Trevino in a recent Nature article. “Imagine a world,” they write, in which medical researchers did experiments on rats, but never on people…

Source: Making Business Ethics a Cumulative Science

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Natural “Narrative Selection” Was the Key to Success for our Species | Big Think

Natural “narrative selection” was key to turning insignificant apes (who had tools for 2 million years) into the species that now dominates the bio-sphere.

Source: Natural “Narrative Selection” Was the Key to Success for our Species | Big Think

2019-04-13 update:

I wish had pulled better summaries back when.  This basically says that the thing that makes humans dominant on the planet is our ability to cooperate on massive scales.  Every day you read about stupid people killing each other remember that approximately 7.5 billion humans didn’t kill anyone that day. I wonder if this article from March 2017 was the first time I encountered that idea?  I doubt it. Nonzero by Robert Wright has to cover that and I read it back in 2005-ish.

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