"Restore(s) a little sanity into current political debate" - Kenneth Minogue, TLS "Projects a more expansive and optimistic future for Americans than (the analysis of) Huntington" - James R. Kurth, National Interest "One of (the) most important books I have read in recent years" - Lexington Green
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People at home feel isolated. That isolation can lead to depression. It’s rough being an independent contractor. There is a lot of rejection. Entrepreneurship is hard. It’s better to experience it with people in the same boat as you.
All of this is true in my experience. Working at home gets depressing. Getting a conventional office removes the distractions but you are still isolated. Working from someone else’s office removes the isolation, but typically you don’t have much control over your environment, and the fact that the other people in the office are a team while you are operating solo kills some of the social benefit. The best situation is to be part of a team that you lead or are a partner in. Next best is to work independently in the same physical space as other people who are working independently. Starbucks or the public library ain’t it. Businesses that offer high-quality flexible working environments at low-enough rates to make using them a low-thought decision for contractors and entrepreneurs should do well, going forward.
UPDATE: Another take on the same issue:
These are variations on a theme of tech-driven individual empowerment that’s closely related to the America 3.0 argument.
Remarkable verbal pirouettes from gun-ban advocate Mark Kelly:
Obviously Glenn Reynolds is right about this. Kelly bought the guns for the same reasons so many other people are buying guns. No other explanation makes sense. He expected to do it without anyone noticing, and now that he’s been called out he’s appearing in friendly media to try to minimize damage to the cause. We won’t believe him but surely some people will, perhaps the same kinds of people who believe gun bans reduce crime.
Very closely are noble issues bound up with material ones. Nothing could be more grossly material than the refusal to pay taxes, and the honest historian who comes to examine these occasional epic refusals will find often that the tax was reasonable and the refusal, on material grounds, absurd. Yet the refusal to pay taxes is one of the sacraments of history, the outward and visible sign of the inward and spiritual grace, the symbol of a resurgent spirit among an oppressed people, the assertion of the rights of man, the voice of liberty defying the dictates of authority.
This post is an outsiders view of Chicago during the holiday season with a few photos and a video to boot. If you live there you might not gain a lot from it – on the other hand, you might get a few laughs.
I have been following the cover song debate here at Chicago Boyz with the mantra “if you are going to do a cover, make it your own.”
Here is Ryan Adams covering Bob Mould’s “Black Sheets of Rain” on Letterman. I always liked Bob Mould and of course Husker Du (just downloaded the new album and will be giving it a spin, sounds great) but I have to say that Ryan Adams improved upon Bob’s version of this great song.
I started the video about at the 2:25 mark… typical of Ryan Adams there is a self indulgent time when he wanders around getting ready to play. But hell, the guy is a genius, so what do I know.
[Jonathan adds: I wasn't able to get the video to start at the right place. You will have to move the slider to the 2:25 mark to get it to start there.]
[Originally posted in October 2006, this post is about a lecture by Professor Véliz that is well worth the time to watch again. I have updated the post by embedding our video of lecture.]
Now you can watch Professor Claudio Véliz’s brilliant talk on “The Optional Descent of the English Speaking World,” which he gave at the inaugural event of Jim Bennett’s Anglosphere Institute. The lecture was hosted by the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC.
Professor Véliz discusses the reasons for the global success of English culture and institutions, including meta-parallels between England and Ancient Athens.
Click here to watch the video.The lecture runs about 49 minutes and is followed by another 35 minutes of Q&A that are also very much worth watching. (There is a gap of approximately ten seconds at around 38:25.)
Unfortunately, the last few minutes of the lecture, in which Professor Véliz discusses the importance of cultural self-confidence to the survival of English civilization in its current struggle with radical Islam, were not recorded. However, a complete audio recording and written transcript of his talk may eventually be made available.
You may need to raise the volume on your speakers to get best audio quality.
Strutter, the KISS classic, a standard in The Donna’s set:
Our standard: “If you are going to cover a song, rip it apart a bit and make it your own.”
The Donna’s version exists in a world where punk rock happened. They do an all girl version of a hairy chested, swaggering guy song, and do it without irony. They own it and make something out of it that is their own. I love how the crowd is singing along so loudly. I wish I had been at that party.
The official Donna’s video of the song also pretty cool. (Brett looks fetching in Paul Stanley’s makeup.)
The included video interview with the journalist Emma Marris is interesting. She makes the reasonable points that 1) the environment is always changing, so determining a baseline for “pristine” is impossible, 2) humans are part of the environment and 3) many natural environments that we take for granted, such as Hawaiian forests, are populated heavily by “non-native” species that were introduced so long ago that no one now thinks to object to them. This is the environmentalist version of Saint-Exupéry’s observation that people who object to technology are typically objecting only to new technology.
Why is this mere partial sanity? Marris points out that the pythons are here to stay but doesn’t seem to consider whether allowing people to hunt them might be a good way to control the snake population. But perhaps I am being too critical.
An enthusiast group called the Historical Flight Foundation owns a DC-7B airliner that it has restored. Like the Lockheed Constellation, the DC-7 was one of the ultimate piston-engined airliners whose production run (early to late 1950s) overlapped the first few years of jets. It soon became obsolete. Jets used more fuel but were faster and could fly above weather, so airlines could get more use out of them to outweigh the higher capital and operating costs, and they were more pleasant for passengers. Nonetheless the old prop liners are beautiful and impressive in flight. The video below makes me think of this famous photo. Wouldn’t it be a kick to fly down the Florida coast or up the Hudson at 500 feet in your own DC-7? But, of course, the operating costs are probably huge, and the systems are so complex that you need a flight engineer in addition to two pilots, so operating such a machine is no casual activity.
You could see such aircraft flying out of Miami into the 1990s. I assume they were carrying freight to Caribbean and Central American destinations. At some point the operating costs must have become prohibitive. (Each of the engines in a DC-7B has 28 18 cylinders and they haven’t made them in decades; parts availability is no doubt an issue. It would need much more maintenance than a comparable jet engine, and it was designed to use high-octane leaded gasoline that is no longer available. Another YouTube video mentions that they have to restrict engine power on this plane in order to use modern gas.)
You don’t see many of these old planes any more, not even the ones (like DC-6s and DC-3s) that have more reliable engines. It’s a treat to see one that’s been restored to flying condition and is actually flown.
Worth watching. Glick bluntly describes the delusional nature of current US foreign policy and predicts terrible consequences unless we change course. As she puts it in her closing remarks, Israel embarked on a similar delusional course of action in the early 1990s at the eventual cost of thousands of lives. Current US policy repeats Israel’s naive mistakes on a grand scale and will be much more costly unless we change it. And we have the power to change it merely by voting in a new government.
In Oak Park the tradition is to have a block party on each block over the course of the Summer. A sub-tradition, which occasionally happens, is live musical performances by denizens of the block. My friend Ed is a keyboard player in addition to his many other accomplishments. He performed with a block party band that had him, two guitars, bass, drums, and FOUR girl singers (OK, grown-up women), one of whom played harmonica. They were way better than I expected them to be. Soon after the performance I compiled a lengthy email suggesting songs they might perform at future performances. The email with videos is below the fold, for anyone who might be interested.
It may not be DHS/EPA flying a big Predator over your farm or subdivision and drawing the attention of thousands of voters. (People will learn how to spot those things even if they’re at 60k feet.) More likely it’ll be small, cheap technology in the hands of individuals. For good or bad? Probably both like every other technology. Right now the most obvious use is by people making videos, but that will probably change.
The equipment used to make this video (via Guy Kawasaki) probably cost in the low four figures at most. It will only get cheaper. It’s probably only a matter of time before inexpensive video links for flying these devices remotely will be available, if they aren’t already (were the guys who made this video using one? — it looks like they may have been). And all of the equipment will get smaller with time.
You couldn’t have made this video with any technology available a few years ago.
Via sportsman extraordinaire Dan from Madison, this fascinating video shows the operations of a British bicycle factory in 1945. If the factory shown is not a composite it may be the Raleigh works in Nottingham. (The video shows Rudge branded bike frames being made. Wikipedia says that the electronics — now music — company EMI bought the Rudge name and produced bikes from 1935 until 1943 when they sold the brand to Raleigh.)
The video was a promotional effort on behalf of British industry. In hindsight it shows British industry on the cusp of postwar decline. But that’s hindsight. The bicycles shown are pre-war designs, variations of which are still used in much of the world. (Many of the bikes shown in the video would have been exported, perhaps mainly to what are now the Commonwealth countries.) Updated versions of these bikes were popular in the USA until the 1970s when they began to be superseded by more modern designs. Since then the Raleigh brand has passed through multiple acquisitions, and Raleigh bicycles are no longer made in Britain (I have no idea when the Rudge brand was last used).