Category Archives: Reference

Today’s Must-Read

The Logic of Stupid Poor People

You have no idea what you would do if you were poor until you are poor. And not intermittently poor or formerly not-poor, but born poor, expected to be poor and treated by bureaucracies, gatekeepers and well-meaning respectability authorities as inherently poor.

This was brutal:

When she left my VP turned to me and said, “did you see that tank top she had on under her blouse?! OMG, you wear a silk shell, not a tank top!”

A minor error of not knowing can keep you down.

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Gems Of Genius 2


Gems of genius; or, Words of the wise: a collection of the most pointed sentences, remarks and apophthegms of the greatest geniuses of ancient and modern times. To which are added, Thoughts, from the diary of a young man, edited by Andrew Steinmetz.

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Gems Of Genius


Gems of genius; or, Words of the wise: a collection of the most pointed sentences, remarks and apophthegms of the greatest geniuses of ancient and modern times. To which are added, Thoughts, from the diary of a young man, edited by Andrew Steinmetz.

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From the May 1917 issue of Ambition magazine:


Previously here:

Our Founding Malcontents

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How Poverty Taxes the Brain

In a series of experiments run by researchers at Princeton, Harvard, and the University of Warwick, low-income people who were primed to think about financial problems performed poorly on a series of cognition tests, saddled with a mental load that was the equivalent of losing an entire night’s sleep. Put another way, the condition of poverty imposed a mental burden akin to losing 13 IQ points, or comparable to the cognitive difference that’s been observed between chronic alcoholics and normal adults.

The finding further undercuts the theory that poor people, through inherent weakness, are responsible for their own poverty — or that they ought to be able to lift themselves out of it with enough effort. This research suggests that the reality of poverty actually makes it harder to execute fundamental life skills. Being poor means, as the authors write, “coping with not just a shortfall of money, but also with a concurrent shortfall of cognitive resources.”

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

It takes science to explain what any person with sufficient verbal skills touched by poverty could have told them.

This is a fundamental flaw of some science. How many damn “anecdotes” does it take to make something rise to the level of requiring actual study?

And they’re not done yet. There are types of poverty too. This nation wasn’t founded by millionaires. The majority of people were literally “dirt poor” (didn’t even own dirt!). Yet they rose. Why? That’s what they need to study next. And as soon as possible.

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Refuse The Invitation


BILL WATTERSON: A cartoonist’s advice

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A Line Has Been Crossed

Forced Exposure ~pj

You’ll find all the laws in the US related to privacy and surveillance there. Not that anyone seems to follow any laws that get in their way these days. Or if they find they need a law to make conduct lawful, they just write a new law or reinterpret an old one and keep on going. That’s not the rule of law as I understood the term.

Bold and redfacing added by me.

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Our Founding Malcontents

Ages of Revolution: How Old Were They on July 4, 1776?

It’s a simple question — perhaps so basic that it’s been overlooked. How old were the key participants of the American Revolution? And not just the Founding Fathers. Authors often reveal the age of a soldier, politician or other main character in books about the American Revolution, but I always find myself wondering about their peers at the same time.

That’s a question I had several months ago and I couldn’t find such a list. Now the list exists.

I’ll no longer refer to them as our Founding “Fathers.” That makes them seem sedate.

They were malcontents. They would not submit to the way things were. They hated the way things were. They risked death rather than submit. There’s nothing at all “fatherly” about that.

They were malcontents. And as malcontents they drafted a legal document that would protect other malcontents: The U.S. Constitution.

You owe your freedom to people who complained. Remember that the next time you dare open your yap about others who complain.

If you can’t see anything to complain about, you’re not aware, not alive.


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The Return Of The Jungle

Jurgis could see all the truth now — could see himself, through the whole long course of events, the victim of ravenous vultures that had torn into his vitals and devoured him; of fiends that had racked and tortured him, mocking him, meantime, jeering in his face. Ah, God, the horror of it, the monstrous, hideous, demoniacal wickedness of it! He and his family, helpless women and children, struggling to live, ignorant and defenceless and forlorn as they were — and the enemies that had been lurking for them, crouching upon their trail and thirsting for their blood! That first lying circular, that smooth-tongued slippery agent! That trap of the extra payments, the interest, and all the other charges that they had not the means to pay, and would never have attempted to pay! And then all the tricks of the packers, their masters, the tyrants who ruled them, —the shutdowns and the scarcity of work, the irregular hours and the cruel speeding-up, the lowering of wages, the raising of prices! The mercilessness of nature about them, of heat and cold, rain and snow; the mercilessness of the city, of the country in which they lived, of its laws and customs that they did not understand! All of these things had worked together for the company that had marked them for its prey and was waiting for its chance. And now, with this last hideous injustice, its time had come, and it had turned them out bag and baggage, and taken their house and sold it again! And they could do nothing, they were tied hand and foot — the law was against them, the whole machinery of society was at their oppressors’ command! If Jurgis so much as raised a hand against them, back he would go into that wild-beast pen from which he had just escaped!

The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair

Available free at Google Books (download as PDF under the gear icon).

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China: eBooks, Writers, And Writing

Something’s happening over there. I’m just not sure what or how right now. So these links for later.

Report: Qidian Founder Arrested, Ugly Rumors May Implicate Shanda, Tencent

iFanr/Google English: Network literature changes: pattern, channels and author are in the innovation eco-

Google English: Biography founder Lolli start commercial bribery detainees suspected war grand Tencent

Shanda Interactive Entertainment Limited

Shanda Snags Success

Shanda Literature: Making Money from Copyright

Wikipedia: Shanda and Guo Jingming

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