Category Archives: Adages

Quote of the day

From Tyler Cowen’s conversation with Elisa New

COWEN: Why would anyone ever have wanted to be a Puritan?

NEW: That’s a great question. That’s a terrific question and one that I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about. Being a Puritan is a great way to live a psychologically very candid life, [laughs] if what you want is actually not to be repressed at all.

We think of the Puritans as very repressed, but instead, you want to be marinating in and giving a lot of attention to all of your own insecurities and sense of, “I goofed that up. I messed that one up. Oh, that didn’t work out very well.” If you want to cultivate your inner life, it’s really great to be a Puritan.
If you want to live a kind of high-octane life of extremes, you want to feel the exultation of a day like this in New England, where the green of the grass and the blue of the sky announce to you that God’s creation is the most eloquent of all creations. If that’s what you’re after, that kind of intensity, New England Puritanism is a really good religion for you.

Quotes to ponder

I came across the phrase “Tyranny of the articulate”  somewhere recently – something to consider as one ranks the online component of modern life.

And as I must quote Kevin Williamson at every opportunity –

As the Scots say: “The father buys, the son builds, the grandchild sells, and his son begs.” A nation that is not building is on its way to begging.

Assorted links

  1. By raw coincidence from – here is this line from McSweeney’s – specifically regarding prayers to end war and murder

    Mudslides, freak lightning storms, untreatable illnesses–those are God problems. But YOU killing each other with killing machines YOU created to kill each other seems like a YOU problem. Go do something about it! But, hey, that’s just this God’s opinion.

    As Hoffer put it – we walk between the devil and the dragon.

  2. My favorite SMBC so far – sort of related to my “Let’s Kill Hitler” book idea.
  3. One of Tyler Cowen’s better posts – regarding Moore’s Law and Social Media – some nuggets

    Manipulable people can be reached with a greater flood of information, so over time as data on them accumulate, they become more manipulable.

    It is often easier to manipulate smart people than stupid people, because the latter may be oblivious to a greater set of cues and clues.

    There is a performative dimension that renders both sides more rigid and dishonest.

    The socially sensitive, very smart people will become the most despairing, the most manipulated, and the most angry. The socially insensitive will either jump ship into the camp of the socially sensitive, or they will cultivate new methods of detachment, with or without Stoicism. Straussianism will compete with Stoicism.

Social sensitivity is the nugget of wisdom – that seems like more of a spectrum disorder (to use the parlance of our time)