SL 678

Quiet day here. I had to get caught up with some secretarial work. And I HAD to read all the Brangelina gossip. God, I wasted too much time today. Anyhow, here are some quick links. I need to get outside and get some steps in.

For some reason, I’ve been looking at homes of artists and musicians today. Check out Frank Zappa’s old house. And here’s an artist’s place in Brooklyn.

Joss Whedon has assembled one of his largest casts ever to speak out against Donald Trump, “a racist, abusive coward who could permanently damage the fabric of our society.”

17 thoughts on “SL 678

      1. My average for this month so far is 14,000 steps a day, partially because somebody started a bridge on fire and screwed up traffic enough that walking was faster than the bus.

  1. I’m not a big Trump fan, but there are two possibilities:

    1. No one cares about what a bunch of celebrities say about political issues, because celebrities are, generally, people with very little brain power, very little training in critical analysis of political issues, and very little experience of average life or of government and politics. I would like this situation to be as true everywhere as it is chez y81.

    2. People are very influenced by what celebrities say, because, OMG, a guy (or girl) on TV is saying it! It must be true! Those guys are famous and we should follow their lead. I don’t think this is actually a common way of thinking, but it’s depressing to think that it might be.

      1. Trump is probably a little brighter than the average TV actor (or the average reality TV star), given that he’s an Ivy League graduate, but basically you’re right, which is why I’m not a big Trump fan. The parts about no evidence of capacity for critical analysis of political issues and no experience in government or politics apply to him just as much as they do to Joss Whedon and his friends.

      2. That’s not quite as weak as Ted Cruz’s statement, but then I’m guessing Trump didn’t accuse your father of shooting JFK.

      3. Though I don’t think that being an Ivy League graduate is a particular guarantee of any brain power, and don’t know how Trump would compare to the average TV actor, that cast of Whedon actors has two Wesleyan grads, 3 UCLA grads, a CMU grad, and a NYU grad. Neil Patrick Harris doesn’t have a degree, but I’m pretty certain he’s smart. Martin Sheen also doesn’t have a degree, but has been engaged with issues for a very long time.

        I don’t actually believe that Trump is low in brain power (though I’m guessing I’d think Neil Patrick Harris is smarter — the kind of child actor he was is usually pretty conventionally smart, ’cause every kid is cute; the ones who have long running tv series centered on them are usually capable, too). But, he certainly has ” very little training in critical analysis of political issues, and very little experience of average life or of government and politics.” He also shows very little desire or ability to learn or become trained in critical analysis, experience of average life or government or politics. I am still in shock that he won the Republican nomination.

    1. I think the most fruitful way to look at this is, Josh Whedon will now be a hero at all the cocktail parties he attends. And, people who signed on to this will bask in his reflected glory. And, in Nevada, four people will change their intended votes because of it, three from Trump to Clinton and one from Clinton to Trump.

  2. Unfortunately a lot of politics has to do with changing the mind of uncritical thinkers. My sister has a nephew, sweet kid but barely made it out of high school. At 20, he has recently gotten onto Trump and has been posting all sorts of videos about how horrible Clinton is and how wonderful Trump is. (He’s one of the “poorly educated” that Trump loves.) If my sister and her partner and his grandmother can reach him, it’ll be with something like this. He’s the target audience, not someone who can formulate a sophisticated analysis of HIllary’s foreign policy.

    Trump is not just a celebrity, but he got the nomination and may win the presidency because of his celebrity. If some other successful businessman (and of course you can challenge how successful he is, but let’s assume it here) ran for the nomination – Steve Forbes, Carly Fiorina, etc. – but wasn’t a celebrity, how far do they usually get?

  3. https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-09-24/what-not-to-do-with-a-35-7-billion-endowment-itgyua83

    “The university with the biggest endowment in the world saved $50 million by hiring less expensive money managers — but it also lost billions in investment returns. Barry Ritholtz says academic hubris and political correctness led to a series of terrible decisions that should provide big lessons for Harvard’s leaders.”

    That’s really interesting, not least because some years ago, I remember seeing articles about how Ivy League endowment managers were geniuses and everybody should learn from them.

    My goodness–I just looked and there’s a 2011 book entitled “The Ivy Portfolio” that is billed on Amazon as “A do-it-yourself guide to investing like the renowned Harvard and Yale endowments.”

    1. If you follow all the links and read up on Harvard, it’s a complicated picture.

      I’d lay the blame on the people who were supposed to manage the endowment managers. It seems everyone really high up in the Harvard administration have very, very impressive day jobs which one would assume would demand lots of time and attention. It is very arrogant to assume that you can be better than the endowment managers, when you don’t have the time to keep up with the details.

      1. cranberry said:

        “It is very arrogant to assume that you can be better than the endowment managers, when you don’t have the time to keep up with the details.”

        That reminds me of what I’ve heard about doctors being absolutely terrible investors–overconfident, but without the time to do things properly.

      2. A joke I’ve heard:

        Q: Definition of a tax shelter?
        A: Any investment vehicle sold to a doctor.

        More seriously, years back, a doctor cousin told me he had doctor friends who had their own private planes. I suppose for things like flying from New York to family holidays. My cousin stated he was never tempted, as you have to keep track of many details as a pilot–plane maintenance, flight hours, rules & regulations. He knew he was too busy in his professional life to keep up with it all. Since that time, I have noticed that small, private plane crash fairly regularly.

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