Always fight for progress and reform, never tolerate injustice or corruption, always fight demagogues of all parties, never belong to any party, always oppose privileged classes and public plunderers, never lack sympathy with the poor, always remain devoted to the public welfare, never be satisfied with merely printing news, always be drastically independent, never be afraid to attack wrong, whether by predatory plutocracy or predatory poverty.--Joseph Pulitzer
on 19 March 2014
on 11 January 2014
Every single one of us, all of us — excepting none — walks upon the bones of the conquered, the tortured, the raped, the exterminated, the pillaged. All of us are descended from murderers, rapists, pedophiles and warmongers. Trace each and every one of us back far enough, and there will be ancestors who did things so horrific that there aren't words in any language to describe what they did. NONE of us is immune.
Knowing this, admitting this, we must all conclude that — regardless of whether there's a Nazi near-ancestor who gassed Jews, a distant American colonial settler who pushed an Indian tribe off her ancestral land, a Chinese father who raped his daughters, an Arab warrior who enslaved Africans or something else more horrible — we must not wander the halls of our homes wailing in agony over the sins of our ancestors BUT strive to be better than them. That is the lesson from history that all of us have to learn.
We can hold grudges against every grave offense and peccadillo, or we can leg go of a better past and work on making something better for our children.--Dan Holliday
on 12 October 2013
The genius of the minimum guaranteed income, and the reason that it could possibly appeal to both liberals and libertarians is because in this case it does precisely the opposite of what you're afraid of: the government doesn't pick anything.
They give it to everybody. If you think that the government does a poor job of allocating the absolutely colossal amounts of money currently spent by social programs, or you recognize that trying to "do a good job" and prevent fraud, and all the other social engineering requires a vast, wasteful bureaucracy, then this is an interesting option
This is a program that eliminates extreme poverty, but requires almost no infrastructure. You'd only need to verify that recipients are citizens and that they file their taxes. Since you can abolish Social Security, a stripped down social security bureaucracy, which already prevents people who haven't paid into social security from receiving benefits, could take over that task.
It could allow one of the largest and most sweeping reductions in the size of government in our lifetimes.
And if you believe in freedom, but also want to live in a country where people don't have to beg for food, then this is your best bet. You trust people to make their own decisions about what benefits them and their family. You don't discourage work or enterprise.--DavidAdams discussing Rather than cuts, Switzerland discusses Star Trek economics.
I think it's a political long shot of epic proportions, but also a great idea.
on 19 September 2013
Regarding the article, Children Are Suffering from a Severe Deficit of Play
Having grown up in the late 80s in an East Block country, this article resonated very strongly. Growing up in that place and time was akin to 50s America - no cable, consoles, arcades, VCRs or handhelds. We had TV, but it only had the single state broadcast channel which played only one cartoon.
The only thing to do was play which we did prodigiously - I was part of a large mix-aged group (6-12 kids, 5 years age difference) and we would play everything (sports, house, building things, demolishing things, raising stray animals, foraging fruit, fighting other kids). It was a great childhood and neither I nor my childhood friends (most of us are still friends, even across continents) would trade it for anything. Interestingly, it was almost the same childhood my mom and dad had.
My sister (the de-facto leader of our group) now has children and their childhood could not be any different - constantly shuttled from home to school to organized activity. Play only for a bit under heavily supervised conditions (ie, birthday party at another kids house) and filled to the brim with tablets, phones, computers etc.--martythemaniak
I feel very bad for my nephew's effective lack of childhood, even more so because it seems that doing something differently is a big social taboo. My mom, siter and I have talked about this, and my sister described being almost powerless - who would they play with? Where? What are other parents going to think? etc etc.
When I go to places like rural Belize or small-town Costa Rica I see kids still playing and I wonder if that's not the best place to raise a small kid (4-10 years old).
One of the lenses on my five-year-old frames popped out yesterday. I know it's around the house somewhere, but it seems to be doing an excellent job of hiding. Although I don't have horrible vision, having corrected-vision makes interacting with the world so much more pleasant.
Since I was looking at the various options for purchasing glasses online, I thought I'd post my findings here. It's a short list, but at least it saves me 30 minutes of searching the next time I need glasses.
Labels: Products and Services
on 04 April 2013
Swedes are secure in their identity because even the poorest and least talented Swede can expect a good life and the richest, most talented ones don't grudge them their standard of living as "unearned" or "undeserved" the way capitalists do in the US and India.
This is not an argument for state socialism of the Swedish variety. It is perfectly fine to attempt to get there in other ways (through entrepreneurship or whatever). It is perfectly fine to end up with unequal societies and launch moon rockets. So long as there is continued attention to raising the floor continuously.
The important lesson to take away from countries like Sweden is that social identity and pride is NOT based on your greatest achievements. It is based on the things you are least proud of. The dark stuff. The stuff you like to sweep under the carpet. The stuff you put in closets when visitors show up at your home. Which in general translates to "how a society treats its least fortunate members."Venkatesh Rao