Excellent article by economist John Taylor on the topic of the jobless US recovery.
“The best way to understand the problems confronting the American economy is to go back to the basic principles upon which the country was founded—economic freedom and political freedom.”
“Public officials from both parties apparently found the limited government approach to be a disadvantage, some simply because they wanted to do more—whether to tame the business cycle, increase homeownership, or provide the elderly with better drug coverage. And so policy swung back in a more interventionist direction, with the federal government assuming greater powers. The result was not the intended improvement, but rather an epidemic of unintended consequences—a financial crisis, a great recession, ballooning debt and today’s nonexistent recovery.”
“A well-known principle of human behavior says that when we ask someone to do us a favor we will be more successful if we provide a reason. People simply like to have reasons for what they do.”—The psychology of persuasion - because
WE STOPPED FOR GAS in Nebraska, piled out of the chocolate brown van like a chain of circus monkeys. Playing cards, battered library books, a crumpled map tumbled out in our wake. The baby fell onto cement and skinned his knee, while gold stretched out around us, waving, lambent in the heat, bearing the anticipation of fire or something we could not dream up. We were tiny people, timid, our backs against the hot mud paint of the van. Our mother wandered off. We, barefoot California urchins, tangled hair, parents full of ideas, stared in disbelief at the gravid world. Hot wind. Hot, hot wind. A sky so bold and distended we couldn’t breathe in. Everything possible saturated the air, eddying above this land. My father stood hunched in a filthy phone booth. My mother pulled a bottle from the Coke machine. When our courage mounted, we dashed to a scrap-wood fence before forever fields, climbed, then pulled the baby up. On top of that fence, hand-holding a tow-headed brother and a dusty sister, I saw distance everywhere, smelled lightning, dead animals, strong men running for their lives, young girls driving tractors, teenagers clinging to each other on motorcycles, winding far out dirt roads. I sensed families stuck in houses, injuring each other, over and over again. Scalloped clouds stretched thin across the overwhelming sky and my new nose opened to glinting flakes of wheat sheath, pungent in fine currents, the scent of sorrow and sex, days and days of boredom, repressed emotions, despair, someone’s mama gone. Eleven years old on a fence in Nebraska, California kids, full of beaches, glamorous blonde mothers making art, fathers experimenting with sound and sexual partners. But for all I knew, Nebraska was the place where everything happened. You could smell it.
KIRSTEN JONES NEFF, ‘88, is an award-winning filmmaker and poet who lives in Marin County. “Nebraska” originally appeared in When the House is Quiet(Finishing Line Press, 2009).
Excellent article from The Economist on the nature and function of music. Since music “sates an appetite that nature cannot” yet is not a necessity for survival, how come music has come to play such an important role in modern society?
CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s antiquities minister, whose trademark Indiana Jones hat made him one the country’s best known figures around the world, was fired Sunday after months of pressure from critics who attacked his credibility and accused him of having been too close to the regime of ousted…
Let her be bored. Let her have long afternoons with absolutely nothing to do. Limit her TV-watching time and her internet-playing time and take away her cell phone. Give her a whole summer of lazy mornings and dreamy afternoons. Make sure she has a library card and a comfy corner where she can curl up with a book.
Give her a notebook and five bucks so she can pick out a great pen. Insist she spend time with the family. It’s even better if this time is spent in another state, a cabin in the woods, a cottage on the lake, far from her friends and people her own age. Give her some tedious chores to do. Make her mow the lawn, do the dishes by hand, paint the garage. Make her go on long walks with you and tell her you just want to listen to the sounds of the neighborhood.
Let her be lonely. Let her believe that no one in the world truly understands her. Give her the freedom to fall in love with the wrong person, to lose her heart, to have it smashed and abused and broken. Occasionally be too busy to listen, be distracted by other things, have your nose in a great book, be gone with your own friends. Let her have secrets
… focus and creativity are connected. People are more likely to be creative if they are allowed to focus on something for some time without interruptions. If constantly interrupted or forced to attend meetings, they are less likely to be creative.
… people who complete certain tasks in parallel take much longer and make many more errors than people who complete the same tasks in sequence