Friday Hodgepodge

Friday, December 22, 2017

Merry Christmas!

With this post, I begin the first half of my annual blogging hiatus. After next week, I'll be back for a week, before disappearing again. I highly recommend the Onkar Ghate column linked below, and find it to be on a par with Leonard Peikoff's classic, "Christmas Should Be More Commercial."

Notable Commentary

"Congress has backed us into a corner with Social Security Numbers and no viable competitors to the likes of Equifax." -- Gus Van Horn, in "To Find the Equifax Culprit, Congress Must Probe Itself" at RealClear Markets.

"When people say things like 'Trump is the Ayn Rand presidency,' that's nonsense." -- Steve Simpson, in "Is Ayn Rand Affecting Trump's America? An Interview with Steve Simpson" at Merion West.

"When you genuinely feel good about your own life and when you're allowed to acknowledge and celebrate that joy, you come to wish the same happiness for others." -- Onkar Ghate, in "Commercialism Only Adds to Joy of the Holidays" (2009) at US News.

"Borrowing is not a magic perpetual motion machine." -- Keith Weiner, in "The Party of Spend More vs. the Party of Tax Less" at SNB & CHF.

And Speaking of Starting Breaks...

I've been doing contract work for a startup for most of the past six months, and have found my own version of the Pomodoro Technique very helpful for for plowing through the work. Integral to the technique are (mostly) short breaks interspersed between periods of concentration. The following suggestion, on how to start a break, over at the Thinking Directions blog, sounds like a great way for me to kill two several birds with one stone:

Image of pomodoro timer from Wkipedia.
In one of the references to last week's newsletter, I mentioned an idiosyncratic practice of mine: reading one paragraph of Ayn Rand's non-fiction at the start of a break during the workday.

This is an example of a highly tailored tactic to help with a problem that many people have: breaks take over the work day. Let me explain why this tactic works for me, and then how you could find a corresponding tactic that works for you.
The tactic, which Jean Moroney stresses doesn't have to be reading Ayn Rand's non-fiction in particular, ends up serving as a diagnostic of what kind of break one needs, in addition to being a good break activity itself, if continuing is warranted. In my case, the particular activity will help me improve my own reading program, by adding this way to mine Ayn Rand for new insights without eating away at the limited time I have to read new things.

-- CAV


Snedcat said...

Merry Christmas! Have a good Christmas Mass.

Gus Van Horn said...

And a belated one back to you. I'm looking forward to Shady Characters. Thanks.

bothenook said...

Don't be gone too long!