Saturday, August 15, 2020

Flotsam and Jetsam

 Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Now that the Red Sox delayed one of their games because of a drone - how many games will be have to be delayed or cancelled now that MIT students know this and have lots of extra time on their hands this upcoming semester?...  "Dogs bark at what they cannot understand." - Heraclitus... Wait - it's not Batman twerking?... Richard Feynman, one of the top 5 minds of the 20th century, was tested in high school as having an IQ of 125. Goes to show what IQ tests are worth... "The habit of committing far more time to learning and thinking than doing is no accident." - Charlie Munger... Had my first Pumpkin Spice (Shipyard) beer of the year last night. Every year they seem to release them one week earlier than the last...  James Altucher on why NYC will not recover from this. He makes a lot of good point (especially the one on bandwidth) and could have gone into more detail on others (like taxes). People making the argument that this industry or that industry will return to NYC remind me of those who kept believing that auto manufacturing would again boom in Detroit... 

Linky Links

 Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- Ryan Holiday - 9 short quotes that changed my life and why

- AMC movie theaters to re-open August 20th with $.15 tickets

- SpaceX Starlink early adopter bandwidth speeds leaked.

- Heh Heh

- Amazing 91-year old gymnast 

- Israel, UAE reach historic peace deal

Things Freud Should Have Said


Friday, August 14, 2020

Flotsam and Jetsam

 Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

The disinterest in sports and the cancellation of a number of college football conferences will have another effect that will have long term repercussions. Many people cling to cable TV mainly for the RSN's (Regional Sports Networks) such as NESN (Red Sox and Bruins), YES (Yankees), The Big 10 Network, etc. Look for the number of people "cutting the cord" to greatly increase in the next six months or so largely due to people not caring about sports or not having access to games to actually watch... Victor David Hanson on Who or What Exactly is Running Against Trump?. The line I really enjoyed was about Kamala Harris "hovering and rummaging about as in impatient President in waiting"... The revenue generated from the RSN subscription fees are largely what have driven the great increase player salaries over the past two decades. Now a lot of that revenue will go POOF. Look for pro contracts in baseball, basketball, and hockey to be for less money and fewer years in the near future... History repeats itself? A hundred years ago the most popular sports in America were baseball, boxing, and horse racing. Football, basketball and hockey were very much niche sports (with college football being much more popular than pro football). Today the UFC is gaining in popularity and has been the most popular TV sport during the pandemic while it could be argued that basketball and hockey are reverting to niche sports... What does Taylor Swift think about the choice of Kamala Harris as VP? How come she hasn't spoken out? What is she trying to hide?... 

Farnam Street Knowledge


- Yes, It's Your Fault: Active vs Passive Mindsets

- The Stormtrooper Problem: Why Thought Diversity Makes Us Better

- How to Think: The Skill You've Never Been Taught. Effective multi-tasking is a myth.

Heh Heh


Thursday, August 13, 2020

Linky Links

 Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- A Leftist explains why he's not exactly jazzed by Kamala Harris

- Why the US Army's V Corps moving its HQ to Poland is important

- Execupundit looks at the traits of a Fanatic. If you find that any of these traits describe yourself then it is time for some serious self-evaluation. If they describe any of the people in your circle of friends - it may be time to find new friends.

- So cool - good for him! Also love how the Aussies call them "scratchy tickets."

- Heh Heh - Kamala Harris already vetting VP picks

- NFL considering adding Friday night games. I've long predicted a Saturday night slate of games but I think trying to add Friday night as well would be a mistake in many ways.

The Wrong Enemy vs the Right Enemy


Agree 100% with the above. Hat tip to Russ Roberts.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

The Long Ships

 Recently finished the book The Long Ships by Frans Bengtsson. I heard about the book as a recommendation author Michael Lewis made on The Tim Ferriss Podcast (also highly recommended). I went out bought the book, read it, and thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Perhaps the best way to describe it is if  JRR Tolkien wrote about Viking adventures instead of wizards and elves. Another parallel to Tolkien is that The Long Ships was originally two books about the adventures of Red Orm but was made into one longer book for US audiences. Whereas Tolkien's masterpiece was one book made into three by the publishers.  

Flotsam and Jetsam

 Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

A good idea for an app would be something that takes your Amazon book Wish List and allows you to compare it to the inventory of any used bookstore you visit to see if they have any of the books you're interested in. Of course the used bookstore would have to have an actual digital inventory of their books which in most cases is not the case... Scrotal Charisma would be a good name for a band... "A fit body, a calm mind, a house full of love. These things cannot be bought - they must be earned." - Naval Ravikant... My guess is that when the NBA's ratings continue to tank you will see the social justice messages disappear on the back of the uniforms and you will suddenly see lots of players doing PSA spots about supporting the police and the military...Heh Heh... How many Boston Bruins fans are calling in sick today?... For everyone excited by the prospect of Kamala Harris debating Mike Pence - they understand that the VP Debate only happens if Joe Biden debates President Trump first right? Team Biden doesn't seem too enthused about that do they?...  

Linky Links

 Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

Interesting look at the Master Class phenomenon

Excellent point!

New study finds Sweden's refusal to lock down saved the economy without sacrificing lives

How about NO THANK YOU!

Army V Corps HQ to be moved to Poland

California will be paying $1,250 to people who test positive for Covid-19. The people who run California have no idea how incentives work.

This made me laugh

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Top 5 - Football Predictions

 Unlike most football predictions these have nothing to do with who will win what game, end up in the championship or win the Super Bowl. Sports will never be the same again after 2020 and these predictions have to do with those changes.

1. The NFL is bleeding revenue since indications are there will be no or limited fans in the stands this season. To recoup that revenue the NFL will move some games to Saturday night and put that package of games out to bid. (I've been making this prediction since June.)

2. I expect the NFL to have a new Commissioner by Super Bowl LVI and that almost any university that finished in the Top 20 in the polls in the last two-years but who does not play football this fall with have a new University President by the Fall of 2021.

3. A number of teams (both pro and college) will utilize hydroyxchloroquine and zinc as prophylactics this fall and those teams will do much better than the teams that don't.

4. College football teams and conferences who do not play this fall will be at a big disadvantage for years to come in recruiting high school players. Not playing will cost millions not just this season but for a decade to come as top players flock to schools and conferences that decided to play this year. If you're a top high school player in California why would you go to USC if the conference or the State prohibits football this fall? Why not go to a school in Florida, Texas or Georgia that values football the same way that player does? 

5. States that allow football will vote for Republicans in the November election (Texas, Florida, Georgia) while States that vote to shut down sports in the Fall will vote for new leadership (where a choice is available). Some States that are purple right now will end up being solidly Red. Some pundits (looking at you Pat Forde) will try to blame the lack of football on President Trump but those with a grain of common sense will understand that it wasn't Trump who allowed football to be played in Texas but not in California. 

Bonus prediction: the number of people who play fantasy football will be down 30-50% year over year because of the way the NFL handled kneeling during the anthem and because football is no longer that important to people.

I'm a big sports fan (or at least I was) but this weekend I didn't watch a minute of a single game although the Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics were all playing. That would have been unfathomable before 2020. Last night I was in a sports bar and it wasn't until the third inning was in progress that someone requested the Red Sox be put on the TV's. There's a big reckoning coming for sports revenue because people have learned that they can live without it.

Flotsam and Jetsam

 Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Dallas Mavericks owner (does the NBA still use that word?) Mark Cuban recently boasted on Twitter that the NBA's prime time ratings were better than Fox News' Tucker Carlson in the 18-49 demographic by 215%. If you told me a few months ago that Mark Cuban would consider beating a Fox News show in a certain demographic (Tucker Carlson's overall ratings were MUCH better than he NBA's) a "win" then I would have said that things were not going well for the NBA... Happy belated 92nd birthday to NBA legend and Worcester's own Bob Cousy who celebrated the big day on Sunday... "People who are brutally honest generally enjoy the brutality more than the honesty." - Richard Needham... It would be interesting to see a study of who "dosed" more unsuspecting people in the 1960's with LSD - the Grateful Dead (Jerry Garcia was notorious for this) or the CIA under project MK Ultra... The word "overmorrow" means the day after tomorrow. What a great word! How come we never use the word overmorrow anymore?... "You must always be willing to work without applause." - Ernest Hemingway... It would be interesting to look back at the comedians, pundits and celebrities who mocked Ronald Reagan for being old and forgetful as he departed office. Joe Biden is basically the same age as Reagan when he left office yet these same people seem to be oddly quiet about this...

Kurt Vonnegut and the Shape of Stories

Monday, August 10, 2020

Linky Links

 Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- The Spies Who Hijacked America. Must reading for anyone who has followed Russiagate. More background from Matt Taibbi here.

- SpaceX deserves to be celebrated. Agree 100%! Elon Musk and astronauts Bob Behken and Doug Hurley all deserve to be awarded th Presidential Medal of Freedom for this accomplishment.

- The mechanics of President Trump's Payroll Tax Deferment Memorandum

- Niall Ferguson makes a good point about China and TikTok

- Funny because it is so often true! Consulting Firm Recommends Keeping Consulting Firm on for 6 More Months

- Wow - for every 3 Covid-19 deaths in England, lockdown may have caused an additional 2

- Saying farewell to Pete Hamill

Farnam Street Knowledge


- The Spacing Effect: How to Improve Learning and Maximize Retention

- James Cash Penney and the Golden Rule. Some very good life advice.

- The Ingredients for Innovation

Joe Rogan on the Biggest Mistake People Make

Sunday, August 09, 2020

Jesus' First Miracle

Decades ago it was a Friday afternoon and my fraternity was having a "social" at one of the sororities. There was a problem with their tap to the keg so me and a buddy agreed to walk back to our house to get one of ours.

We filled a red solo cup for the short walk home. When we arrived there were three young men in white dress shirts and solid ties waiting for us.

"Jesus wouldn't be happy with what you are doing" one of them said nodding at our Solo cups full of beer.

"Oh really?" said I. "What was Jesus' first miracle?" The man who had spoken knew he was beat. "That's right" said I. "Now get the fuck off my lawn."

They left without a word. My friend was impressed but puzzled. "What was Jesus' first miracle?" he asked.

"Turning water into wine for a party." We grabbed one of our taps, went back to the party and had a great time.

Have a great Sunday. Drink some beer. Jesus would approve.

Brains! I Mean Masks!