Category Archives: Home is where you hang your blog post

While The Paint Dries

I think over the years that I have done a pretty decent job of naming names when I intend to criticize someone specifically, but the fact that I feel the need to now clarify that point again points out how poorly my writing has become as I make the whistle stops on the blog.

That I find myself feeling a need to apologize to other people for slights not intended is a little distressing, and as I have found out even mild criticism of some media people, when I have singled them out, has had a greater impact than I intended, or could have foreseen when I did do so, so I’m pretty wary about singling anyone out unless they are a headliner, complete bonehead, or formerly, a Post staff writer.

I think it is bullshit, but they don’t, and when you write you have to consider what the reader thinks and not just hope they can discern your meaning from past postings. In that respect I think I have gone to using too wide a brush too often, and it has become the normative, which it shouldn’t have become.

I have also done a poor job of not knowing who reads the blog, which entails a certain loss of freedom to write as I would prefer to do, to the ubiquitous everyman. I have on more than one occasion asked the media folks to stop stopping by so I could develop political angles on various topics for political junkies who are not politicians, whom I would prefer to write to. All of which just goes to show that I can have my head up my ass as far as anyone I have ever accused of being in that sad state of affairs, collectively or as individuals.

So in the end if you get your knickers in a knot over what I’ve written there are really only two options available as far as I can tell, either quit reading this blog, or quit wearing shorts. I don’t recommend either one, but YMMV.

Good For Them

Greg Mitchell pushes American-Statesman to apologize

After Mitchell’s diary unleashed I’m sure a torrent of letters to the editor directed at the newspaper, the story disappeared from the paper’s website, scrubbed clean of any traces of its existence. People emailing the author, this aforementioned Patrick Beach, received responses that they just didn’t get the hilarity of his humorous account. Now, the paper’s editor has published an apology:

Update: Looky here — Time has made a correction.

It’s pretty tough to make these apologies since you kinda screwed up in front of millions of people, and some of them get pretty hostile about it. That’s why I’m an engineer, so I don’t make mistakes – I make revisions.

Chaos In Business Is Best In The Abstract

I may be alone in wondering how the most authoritarian of systems produces the most chaotic of results, but I don’t think so. I’m using the definition of authoritarian in the sense of you do what you’re told or your fired, and I don’t think that in systems of order authority is something that has to be understood as necessary, and so lacks any inherent morale or ethical characteristics, in and of itself. I view chaos in the sense of the economic beer head of bubbles expanding and popping in various diverse sectors of the economy.

My own personal view is that any and all economic systems produce uneven results, and the Soviets in dachas were hardly an improvement over a hereditary aristocracy or capitalistic oligarchies of laissez-faire. Whatever inherent worth one system or the other has over the others, human nature invariably screws them up.

The American system prevails in most of the world, if not all, primarily because it wasn’t mauled in World War Two. That isn’t the only reason though. Capitalism promotes the best people at exploiting resources for any given business and maximizing profit for the owners, Like Kudlow felt the need to emphasize. There is nothing inherently morale or ethical about that neutrality either, until human nature screws it up.

The oil situation is a case in point, a bubble forming I think, which needs to be deflated as opposed to popping ala housing or the techs. Six months in six months out sounds reasonable to me, but ymmv.

The way I see it the tech bubble popping cleaned out the middle class pretty good, the housing bubble looks pretty similar and oil looks to be going the same direction. The economy doesn’t appear to have any cycles but more of a game of musical chairs, where instead of sitting down it is a rush for the exits by the games insiders.

That’s all fine until the government has to bail out businesses, whence it becomes, in the American system, the business of everyone. The most obvious bailout would be a war. We have refined that to other measures to avoid involving the voice of the people in the carnage. You have to opt in to that discussion, and to do that you have to cross the paths of the authoritarians who get bowed up at anyone questioning their authority, however large or small it may be.

Any democratic system will have friction with any economic system at that point. Human nature tends to be an ego driven measuring of other people and impugning with whatever motive you find necessary to justify a personal disdain, and contributes to seeing what you wish and not what is, so the offending individual may be removed or neutralized within whatever group is under consideration, to ones own satisfaction.

Even in that respect, politics is more consensual than it is in business. My politics is, the most good for the most people, with the caveat of, as I see it. My positions change as someone presents an argument that persuades me to their point of view, not because they know more than me and told me so. Tell me what you you know and I will decide for myself whether I think you are too.

My problem with off shore drilling and nuclear power at this juncture are the same as they have been for years, and I’ve already written about that. The uni-dimensional desire for profit is not persuasive in and of itself. If you can provide the most good for the most people and make a profit, I’m all for it. I also think leaving a habitable planet for the grand kids is the most good for the most people too.

I take a long view of humanity which collides with the narrow interests of more ego centric individuals. That isn’t news to me. Understanding what motivates people is the first step in finding a working compromise. That tends to be getting people to say more than they had intended to about themselves, a sneaky trick of listeners. Listeners know one thing though, and that is no one is completely uni-dimensional.

If I’ve managed to piss you off or make you laugh maybe you need to do a better job of listening to yourselves. I spend the majority of my time listening to you and highly recommend it. I find you all fascinating.

update: I cleaned up a sentence in the first paragraph to convey what I meant. In my mind this post could have been distilled down to, “I find other people to be as interesting as they find themselves to be,” which is a truth that can be construed in a negative sense, and which would be the wrong construct.

I Keep Trying To Ditch You

The problem with turning blogging into an art form is a decided lack of appreciation for the art of art forms.