Monday, December 31, 2018

The Future

The future will soon be a thing of the past.

-- George Denis Patrick Carlin (1937 - 2008), American stand-up comedian, actor, author, and social critic, Napalm and Silly Putty (2001), p. 260

Friday, December 28, 2018

The Same Weapons

Never let the future disturb you.  You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.

-- Imperator Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus (121 - 180), Stoic philosopher, and Roman Emperor from 161 to his death in 180, Meditations (c. 121-180 AD)

Thursday, December 27, 2018

A Spectrum

The past, like the future, is indefinite and exists only as a spectrum of possibilities.

-- Stephen Hawking, The Grand Design (2010)

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

It Was Profound

I don't know, something overcame me.  I just felt locked in for the last 32 hours, like a deep flow state.  I didn't listen to any music -- just locked in, like I'm going until I'm done.  It was profound, it was beautiful, and it was an amazing way to finish up the project.

-- American Colin O'Brady, 33, who became the first person to traverse Antarctica from coast to coast solo, unsupported, and unaided by wind.  O'Brady covered the final 77.54 miles of the 921-mile journey across Antarctica in one final sleepless, 32-hour burst; speaking in a telephone interview, New York Times, 26 December 2018

Monday, December 24, 2018

Real Spirit

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind.  To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.

-- John Calvin Coolidge Jr. (1872 - 1933), 30th President of the United States, reported in Canfield, Jack; Mark Victor Hansen, Patty Hansen, Irene Dunlap (2002). Chicken soup for the soul Christmas treasury for kids, page 1

Friday, December 21, 2018

Christmas Morning

There's nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.

-- Erma Louise (Harris) Bombeck (1927 - 1996), born Erma Fiste, American humorist who achieved great popularity for a newspaper column that depicted suburban home life in the second half of the 20th century, in "I Lost Everything in the Post-Natal Depression" (1970)

Thursday, December 20, 2018


My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over four decades of immersion in these issues.  We must do everything possible to advance an international order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values, and we are strengthened in this effort by the solidarity of our alliances.

-- Defense Secretary James Mattis, in his letter of resignation, 20 December 2018

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Outrage Is A Brand

But today, too often, genuine disagreement quickly gives way to intense distrust.  We spend far more time trying to convict one another than we do developing our own convictions.

Being against someone has more currency than being for anything.  Each of us has found ourselves operating on the wrong side of this equation from time to time.

All of this gets amplified by technology, with an incentive structure that preys on people's fears, and algorithms that play on anger.  Outrage is a brand.

And, as with anything that gets marketed, it gets scaled up.

It becomes more industrialized, more cold, and more unfeeling.

-- Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI), in his farewell address, 19 December 2018

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Never Submit

Thought must never submit, neither to a dogma, nor to a party, nor to a passion, nor to an interest, nor to a preconceived idea, nor to whatever it may be, save to the facts themselves, because, for thought, submission would mean ceasing to be.

-- Jules Henri Poincaré (29 April 1854 - 17 July 1912), one of France's greatest mathematicians and theoretical physicists, and a philosopher of science, in a speech at University of Brussels (19 November 1909), during the festival for the 75th anniversary of the university's foundation; published in Œuvres de Henri Poincaré (1956), p. 152

Monday, December 17, 2018


The Republican Party isn't looking for converts, it's looking for heretics.

-- Syndicated columnist Mark Shields, Shields & Brooks, PBS Newshour, 14 December 2018

Friday, December 14, 2018

True Intentions

One never really knows one's own true intentions.

-- Lord Tuan, elder monk of the Order of the Crane Mother, on the Netflix series Iron Fist

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Working At Scale

This is working at scale, and we don't manually intervene on any particular search result.

-- Google CEO Sundar Pichai in testimony before Congress, in response to Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), who asked "Right now, if you google the word 'idiot' under images, a picture of Donald Trump comes up.  I just did that.  How would that happen?"

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

A Path Of Darkness

Your Honor, this may seem hard to believe, but today is one of the most meaningful days of my life.  The irony is today is the day I am getting my freedom back as you sit at the bench and you contemplate my fate.

I have been living in a personal and mental incarceration ever since the fateful day that I accepted the offer to work for a famous real estate mogul whose business acumen I truly admired.  In fact, I now know that there is little to be admired.  I want to be clear.  I blame myself for the conduct which has brought me here today, and it was my own weakness, and a blind loyalty to this man that led me to choose a path of darkness over light.  It is for these reasons I chose to participate in the illicit act of the President rather than to listen to my own inner voice which should have warned me that the campaign finance violations that I later pled guilty to were insidious.

-- Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, in a courthouse statement just prior to being sentenced to 3 years in federal prison, 12 December 2018

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Thrives On Confusion

This ought to be a time when democracy leaps forward, an informed citizenry being essential to self-government.  Instead, it's in retreat.  Three decades after the Cold War defeat of a blunt and crude autocracy, a more clever brand takes nourishment from the murk that surrounds us.  The old-school despot embraced censorship.  The modern despot, finding that more difficult, foments mistrust of credible fact, thrives on the confusion loosed by social media and fashions the illusion of legitimacy from supplicants.

-- Karl Vick in Time Magazine, Person of the Year 2018, The Guardians and the War on Truth, 11 December 2018

Monday, December 10, 2018

No Matter What Way It Be

If a man strictly observe the rules of his way, and keep a rein on himself, then no matter what way it be, he will be a scholar of renown and be a teacher of multitudes.

-- Yoshida Kenko (1283? - 1350?), Japanese author and Buddhist monk, born Urabe Kaneyoshi, The Tzuredzure Gusa (Essays in Idleness) of Yoshida no Kaneyoshi as translated by George Sansom (1911)

Friday, December 07, 2018


Snow is water, and ice is water, and water is water; these three are one.

-- Joseph Dare (1831 - 1880), Australian Wesleyan Church leader, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers, p. 285 (1895)

Thursday, December 06, 2018

He Said Xi Said

Unfortunately until we get new news the market continues to be a cauldron of concerns causing caution with investors.  With the combination of he said Xi said on China trade, a fear of an economic slowdown in 2019, and the slow trickle of Mueller investigation reports coming out, it is not at all surprising to see a buyer's strike in the after-hours market.

-- Art Hogan, Chief Market Strategist at investment bank B. Riley FBR, on negative signs in the overnight futures market, CNBC, 6 December 2018; the market fell 784 points during the day before rebounding for a loss of just 79

Wednesday, December 05, 2018


Throughout history, people have never before expected to be as comfortable as people do today.

-- Jens Risom (1916 - 2016), Danish American furniture designer, Block Island Times, Meet Jens Risom by Jane Vercelli, Spring 2010, House and Garden Edition, New Shoreham, Rhode Island USA

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

RIP Paul Sherwen

His legacy is that he made it entertaining.  It wasn't just sport and results.  He brought the race and the racers alive for the viewers.

-- Professional cycling announcer Phil Liggett, on the late Paul Sherwen (7 June 1956 - 2 December 2018), who completed his 40th Tour de France this summer (7 cycling, 33 announcing), Velonews, 3 December 2018

Monday, December 03, 2018

These Triggers

These triggers could be things like a visa restriction, a pandemic, a trade war -- something like that that was outside of our control.

Hedging the risk that we face gives us more confidence to be able to continue proactively investing in the very strong relationships that we have in China.  We chose the $60 million figure because that roughly is our exposure across the two colleges.  If demand had actually completely disappeared, we'd be "made whole" for that year.

-- Jeff Brown, dean of the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois, describing insurance that would be triggered in the event of a 20% drop in revenue from Chinese students at the Business and Engineering colleges in a single year as a result of a "specific set of identifiable events."  Tuition revenue from Chinese students makes up about a fifth of the business college's revenue. Times Higher Education, 29 November 2018