Oct 24

Presented

I’m not as smart as everyone said I was. I was a gifted kid, so how do I deal with being an average adult?

I’m smarter than everyone said I was, and even all the people who hated me thought I was pretty smart. But I didn’t need to prove it to anyone and didn’t care about school, so I just did my own thing. Learned a lot more that way and didn’t need external validation to thrive.

Most “gifted” kids get into the program because they are from rich or well-off families. I was not. My partner wasn’t, either. We both got in on natural fucking talent rather than our parents pushing for it or having us tested. I don’t think this makes me better than anyone else; I am very concerned with cognitive inequality reinforcing and exacerbating other inequalities.

Once I got into gifted, though, it was obvious that most people in there were certainly a bit above average, but none of them seemed all that bright to me. Most just had the right parents. None of them could hold much of a conversation with me. (Later on, I realized there was one kid in there who was my equal or greater, but he never spoke up or did much of anything due to extreme shyness, so I didn’t know it at the time.)

If this all sounds very arrogant to you, you’ll get over it — I’m just reporting what happened. Most gifted kids seemed pretty deficient to me and I only kept going to get out of class.

Oct 24

Destable

We didn’t wholly create the refugee situation in Central America, but we and the Democrats (and Republicans) certainly had much to do with its genesis and continuance — Hillary Clinton and the Democrats fully included in that.

It doesn’t mean I support the moronic idea of open borders, but I do recognize culpability for making people’s lives much worse when I see it.

Oct 23

Liszt Price

The first 10 on today’s playlist. Near Halloween is a good time for Liszt’s “Totentanz.” It’s so frantic that I can only listen to it a few times a year, anyway. And I don’t much care for Krystian Zimmerman’s fussy performance of it, but it’s what I had to hand. (However, I do enjoy his interpretation of Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2). Anyway, here’s the 10:

Oct 23

Burning House

Oct 23

Being and Time

I am now the person I always knew I’d be when I was a kid, and that many in my family and nearly all of my peers told me I had no hope of being.

Pretty cool. I am very lucky that inspiration doesn’t work on me, but derision and spite do — and lord I got plenty of that.

Oct 23

Kitsch You Later

Something I’ve been pondering lately is why kitsch looked kitschy to me even when I was a young kid?

I didn’t go to art museums. I’d never been inside an expensive house. I’d read only a few books about art and interior design, and hadn’t paid all that much attention to them if I’m being honest.

So why did velvet Elvises, chicken-based decor, pink flamingoes, Hummel figurines and the like feel kitschy and schlocky even when I had little to no basis of comparison? I have been struggling to figure this out and I really cannot come up with any answers.

Oct 23

A Capital Idea

Woo, glad I sold a buncha stocks recently. It’s all down in the sewer now. Thank you, Netflix, for that 311% gain but I don’t trust you long term since you are bleeding money and losing content.

I could be wrong, but 311% is a fuckload of right. I’ll take it and preserve my capital and live to buy when the prices makes sense.

Oct 23

Loss and Erasure

Since I’ve been doing much the same thing as this blogger in an effort to understand the history of economic thought, I have also noticed this phenomenon while reading Polanyi, Keynes, Smith and others.

My larger point comes from reading a lot of the very early anthropological literature of the late nineteenth century. In particular I’m intrigued by the writings of Sir Henry Maine on the history of ancient laws and the development of ancient institutions, and of course Lewis Henry Morgan, the “father” of anthropology. The more I read from this time period (as well as from the 1970’s) the more I’m convinced that they had everything already pretty much already figured out, and a lot of modern scholarship is just restating or rediscovering what they already knew but has been forgotten or deliberately obscured in the interest of keeping people from questioning the status quo.

Most of the ideas in economics and quite a few other later fields being “discovered” now were well-known to early political economists, historians and sociologists. All of that academic effort and history was excised and suppressed over the years, so much so that it now feels novel and fresh despite it being (correctly) taken for granted for around 100 years or so.

Reading Polanyi — who was drawing on much earlier histories — makes this abundantly clear.