Category Archives: Unreality

A Cup of Trembling

Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, When they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: All that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, Though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it… In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, And like a torch of fire in a sheaf; And they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: And Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem. – Zechariah 12:2-3, 6, KJV

On a scale that measures the significance of biblical prophesy, that one ranks pretty high, I think.  It’s merely the tip of the iceberg (of significant scripture), of course, but, today, this one ought to be rather compelling, even to an unbeliever.  After all, this particular book (Zechariah) is understood to have been written around 520 B.C., some 1,100 years before Mohammad and 2,400+ years before we learned to convert oil into gasoline. Continue reading

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Imagine: Death, Taxes, Insurance Premiums

Oh, yes, I’m old enough now to have a more complete understanding of the old saw regarding the only certainties in life being death and taxes.  To that list, I now add insurance premiums, specifically for health care.

It matters not a whit that my wife and I have used perhaps $1,000 in coverage over the past 20 years; we find ourselves now paying more than $10,000 per year in medical insurance payments.  Of course, I know that the day is coming, perhaps sooner than later, when I’ll start using my “fair share” of those costs, assuming I can afford to continue making those payments while (in all probability) not capable of working.  Continue reading

As Time Flies, The Dude Abides

ut tempus fugit, optimus vir mansurus

 

For each of us, time is passing by.  I’m just guessing here, but for some, not as quickly as for others.  I do remember kindergarten after all.  

Most of us try to ignore this simple truth for the bulk of our lives, but we are propelled forward nonetheless.  Maybe you’ve given up asking, “are we there yet?”  But, I haven’t.  Today, it sounds a bit more like: “So, how ought we to spend this day?”  Continue reading

There’s No Such Thing As Strong Coffee….

(Only Weak People)  – “Colonel Steve”, an Air Force pilot from the “old school”.

Inspired, in part, by this article:  “Wanting is for Weaklings“, by “The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur”, check him out.  Had me laughing, which – some days – can be a very good thing.  One of his mottos “for winners”:  “There is no Plan B“.  And, that got me thinking some too.  Sometimes there is no Plan B. Continue reading

Mission Creep: Back to the Woodshed

It’s raining again this morning and, it seems, winter is soon upon us.  Sadly, I should be out there in the rain, belatedly finishing my new woodshed project.  

But, as Mrs. Tuttle and I now embark on Year 11 of our overly-ambitious “Five Year Plan”, I’m reminded of Wayne Gretzky’s famous statement, “A good hockey player plays where the puck is.  A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.”  At the moment, it seems that the puck is out there in the rain.

Continue reading

Bizzaro World: The New Normal?

Occam’s Razor:   The simplest explanation (no matter how unusual) is usually the correct one.

Pattern recognition, by some accounts, is the very basis of human intelligence.  However complicated human thought might be, it’s hard to argue that, in most circumstances, we’re really pretty good at “connecting the dots” and, thus, making sense of what might, otherwise, just be chaotic noise.  This talent, however, can break down when either the signal-to-noise ration gets too low or, alternatively, when our experiential (or heuristic) bias simply over-rides the process.  Continue reading

Review: Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value (and How to Take Advantage of It)

William Poundstone’s “Priceless” (2010) is an interesting and useful read for anyone who’s curious about the arcane science of behavioral decision theory.  In application, this field of study is particularly useful in addressing questions regarding the both the psychology and, thus, the frequently debated “rationality of the market” (or lack thereof). 

As a fundamental economic concept, the psychological underpinnings of market behavior remains one of the least understood and, yet, most critical factors driving the business cycle,  and more often than not, public economic policy.  Continue reading