Dried Roses

Sunday cat pix

On the stove.
Musa at the window
Josie, 31 Jan 2009


LinkFebruary 1, 2009 in Cats

Sacred cow tipping

A Republican blogger asks (following David Brooks) who will replace Bill Kristol at the New York Times. (I know you’re following this closely.) He likes Megan McArdle from the Atlantic.
Unpredictable, intellectual, policy-oriented, witty, with a brain the size of a planet. If there a better public intellectual for our day, I don't know who it is. In Megan McArdle, I see the potential to transform the Right; to tear down the sacred cows and rebuild a much more coherent, effective movement.
Source: EVENE, Vach’Art 2006, Paris
(Emmanuelle Solinski)
Extra points if you noticed the misuse of a semicolon and the clause that no verb; bonus extra points if the planet you thought of came in a Cracker Jacks box. Not because Megan McArdle isn’t smart (she has an MBA, just like our former president), but because it’s a silly comparison. She has a resume as bright as a bulb, and as many ideas as a Senator.

LinkFebruary 3, 2009 in Current Affairs · Language

Sound of the week

If you want to hear some rain, here it is, almost two minutes’ worth (1′56″). The original sound is melting snow drips. The drip sounds were combined using Aura.
alt: rainrain

LinkFebruary 5, 2009 in Music | TrackBack (0)

Dial: Villa Borghese

Based on a colored engraving by F. Sablet after Piranesi. Source: BN Gallica.

LinkFebruary 5, 2009 in Patterns

Sunday cat pix

Studying the local avian fauna.


LinkFebruary 8, 2009 in Cats

Dial: Red Name

Based on an old enameled box.

LinkFebruary 10, 2009 in Patterns

Animal spirits are the motor of the economy

Some time ago I took note of the odd appearance of the antique phrase “animal spirits” in an economist’s ruminations on the future of the US economy. Recently I discovered the immediate source of that phrase in economic discourse: it is Keynes, arguing that economic agents are not, and shouldn’t be, entirely rational.
Enterprise only pretends to itself to be mainly actuated by the statements in its own prospectus, however candid and sincere. Only a little more than an expedition to the South Pole, is it based on an exact calculation of benefits to come. Thus if the animal spirits are dimmed and the spontaneous optimism falters, leaving us to depend on nothing but a mathematical expectation, enterprise will fade and die; — though fears of loss may have a basis no more reasonable than hopes of profit had before.
It is safe to say that enterprise which depends on hopes stretching into the future benefits the community as a whole. But individual initiative will only be adequate when reasonable calculation is supplemented and supported by animal spirits, so that the thought of ultimate loss which often overtakes pioneers, as experience undoubtedly tells us and them, is put aside as a healthy man puts aside the expectation of death.
Now the question is: where did Keynes find those animal spirits? A search of Google Books did not turn up any obvious candidates, but perhaps Keynes read Harald Høffding’s then-recent History of philosophy (1908), which includes a number of references.

LinkFebruary 13, 2009 in History of Philosophy

Sunday cat pix

In profile.
Musa profile
Musa, 15 Feb 2009


LinkFebruary 15, 2009 in Cats

Sunday cat pix

Josie looks out
Josie, 21 Feb 2009


LinkFebruary 21, 2009 in Cats