11-12-11 Hodgepodge

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Impotence of Consistent Evil

The man who is running Venezuela into the ground is doing the same to himself:

"Chávez wants his people to believe that he was 'healed' months ago and that the recent visits to Cuba have confirmed his miraculous recovery," he said.

"However, his physical deterioration is speeding more rapidly than his doctors had predicted and, despite this serious situation, Chávez has insisted on receiving low doses of chemotherapy to avoid long absences from the political scene during this fragile period."

He added that Chávez's political advisors are worried that he will die soon and leave his successor with the incredible task of explaining why the leaders of the country instigated such a big lie.

According to Noriega, the doctors believe that the decision of receiving a lower dose of chemotherapy to try to continue his public functions is suicidal, but they have no alternative but to follow the plan.
This is one of the clearest examples how answering a basic metaphysical question incorrectly can have real life-and-death consequences. Chávez is a primacy-of-consciousness guy living -- but not for much longer -- in a primacy-of-existence universe.

Base your decisions on bunk and you will ultimately get what you deserve -- as the Venezuelan electorate, and now its dictator, are demonstrating.

Weekend Reading

"Like the drug or alcohol addict, or the compulsive shopper or gambler, the person who projects actually 'needs' to criticize in order to lower anxiety about his own real or alleged flaws." -- Michael Hurd, in "Finding Fault in All the Wrong Places" at DrHurd.com

"Ignoring or squelching politically inexpedient prices doesn't make them go away." -- Jonathan Hoenig, in "Speculators Make Markets, Too" at SmartMoney

"The bigots among the 99% of people who seek to control or destroy the top 1% of U.S. income-earners and wealth-owners are targeting a minority and treating its members as inferior citizens devoid of full rights, not based on skin color, gender, or religion, but because the minority displays superlative productive power." -- Richard Salsman, in "The Limits of Tax Reform Amid Envy" at Forbes

"Redistributing wealth suddenly became a lot less appealing when one was the victim of the 'redistribution,' rather than the recipient." -- Paul Hsieh, in "In Praise of Capitalist Inequality" at PJ Media

My Two Cents

Michael Hurd's piece is an interesting and valuable look at a common psychological phenomenon, and one I have long taken as a serious red flag when I observe it coming from people I have to deal with for some reason or another. Understanding its cause can be highly useful in knowing what to do about such people.

"In Defense of the Google Chef"

As a late-blooming chef, I have come to value the ability to find really good starting points for recipes I want to try by using the Internet, so the title of this article drew me in on that basis.

What I read about was very different, but quite worthwhile:
Working at a startup is hard. The hours are long, the stress can be brutal, and there is no guarantee of success. In fact, the odds for a raw startup (which is what Google was when Charlie joined) are very much against you. I have no idea what Google's deal with Charlie was, but typically you take a pay cut for a shot at the brass ring. Charlie didn't make $20M for cooking, he made $20M for taking the risk that the company he was joining would fail and that he could end up five years older, unemployed, and with nothing to show for his trouble.
All I would add is this: In a business, the terms under which everyone works are nobody's business but their own, assuming it isn't some criminal enterprise. The writer makes a very good point, but nobody outside such arrangements is owed an explanation, nor should anyone not actually concerned have a say.

-- CAV


Richard said...

There is a bit of a catch to the idea of knowing no 1 else's employment agreements. One needs some idea of the market rates for that job. No one has justification to know a business ownerr's share, nor his income, except shareholders.

Gus Van Horn said...

I don't think the fact that something is nobody else's business means that nobody would ever talk about it, even if our society had a better appreciation for privacy and a more rational regard for it. Indeed, as you indicate, there are rational reasons for doing do.

In specific cases, people may have legitimate reasons to keep such information close to the vest, but I don't think most people, at least in a rational and free society, would feel a strong need to hide what they make.