Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Forgotten Man

They are always under the dominion of the superstition of government, and, forgetting that a government produces nothing at all, they leave out of sight the first fact to be remembered in all social discussion – that the state cannot get a cent for any man without taking it from some other man, and this latter must be a man who has produced and saved it.

This latter is the Forgotten Man.

William Graham Sumner

Thursday, June 17, 2010

You are not great just because your country is rich and powerful

I just finished reading Ron Paul's excellent book The Revolution - A Manifesto.

Seriously, a must read for anyone, especially Americans.

Ron Paul is truly a well educated, intelligent and no nonsense type of guy.

I couldn't resist sharing this small excerpt:

“In other words, the problem of empire-building is essentially mystical.

It must somehow foster the impression that a man is great in the degree that his nation is great; that a German as such is superior to a Belgian as such; an Englishman, to an Irishman; an American, to a Mexican: merely because the first-named countries are in each case more powerful than their comparatives.

And people who have no individual stature whatsoever are willing to accept this poisonous nonsense because it gives them a sense of importance without the trouble of any personal effort.”

Felix Morley (1957), in an essay explaining Hitler’s approach

Sunday, June 13, 2010

2 theories of effort

Indeed, the two self-theories take very different views of effort. To incremental theorists, exertion is positive. Since incremental theorists believe that ability is malleable, they see working harder as a way to get better. By contrast, says Dweck, "the entity theory is a system that requires a diet of easy successes." In this schema, if you have to work hard, it means you're not very good.

People therefore choose easy targets that, when hit, affirm their existing abilities but do little to expand them. In a sense, entity theorists want to look like masters without expending the effort to attain mastery. – Daniel Pink, Drive