they come they took

I wonder who thieves are, we should all know, but wonder less about where thieves go:

Bruce Wasserstein, the head of the Lazard investment bank and the father of ‘mergers and acquisitions’ died on Wednesday after a career that put him at the center of global dealmaking from the go-go days of the 1980s through the current three decades of banking.

I keep tellin’ ya, ladies and gents, we know nothing about the rich. How is that?

Blind as we are, we have an important task to know who rules.


Ayn Rand was proud, grouchy, vindictive, insulting, dismissive, and rash...

Arrogance so common, well, so Sarah, so Bernie Madoff, er, so easily Republican.

Ayn RandAmong a long line of successful psychotics, she built a glorious imaginary empire on that nuclear-grade temperament, then devoted every ounce of her will and intelligence to proving it was all pure reason.

Her temperament could have neutered an ox at 40 paces. “I am” and “I want” are an inadequate substitute for Ayn Rand’s years in Russia. This is the comedy, the tragedy, and the power of Rand.

New York Magazine:

After reading the details of Rand’s early life, I find it hard to think of Objectivism as very objective at all—it looks more like a rational program retrofitted to a lifelong temperament, a fantasy world created to cancel the nightmare of a terrifying childhood.


She built a glorious imaginary empire on that nuclear-grade temperament, then devoted every ounce of her will and intelligence to proving it was all pure reason.

So damn familiar and utterly tiring, she was proud, grouchy, vindictive, insulting, dismissive, and rash.

other than gumming

bumped into a snippet:

We will need to think out-of-the-box to come up with smart solutions. We need to build an innovation ecosystem. We need solutions that are scalable rapidly. We need to lead the world in key areas. We will have failures, but the impact of success will far outweigh the downside. We not only need more entrepreneurs, we need them to come up with big vision. We need entrepreneurs who are willing to run the risk of failure; to change the game dramatically. We need entrepreneurs who are not satisfied with building a small, profitable company but are willing to build big.

to save us

the showdown era

an aficionado of business disruption:

After all, as a venture capitalist it is imperative to understand ways in which a smaller private company can gain the upper hand on a large incumbent.

One of the most successful ways to do this is to change the rules of the game in such a way that the incumbent would need to abandon or destroy its core business in order to lay chase to your strategy.

words via a man on the desert, provocative words, the best these days, wot?

we sit among ruins

Mikhail Gorbachev:

The real achievement we can celebrate is the fact that the 20th century marked the end of totalitarian ideologies, in particular those that were based on utopian beliefs.

Yet new ideologies are quickly replacing the old ones, both in the east and the west.

Mikhail GorbachevMany now forget that the fall of the Berlin wall was not the cause of global changes but to a great extent the consequence of deep, popular reform movements that started in the east, and the Soviet Union in particular. After decades of the Bolshevik experiment and the realization that this had led Soviet society down a historical blind alley, a strong impulse for democratic reform evolved in the form of Soviet perestroika, which was also available to the countries of eastern Europe.

But it was soon very clear that western capitalism, too, deprived of its old adversary and imagining itself the undisputed victor and incarnation of global progress, is at risk of leading western society and the rest of the world down another historical blind alley.

snippet from Economist’s View

to rationally assess harm

He says:

Alcohol is more harmful than many illegal drugs.

The man is then fired as UK’s chief drugs advisor.

Professor David Nutt — Estimating drug harms: a risky business?

“I think we have to accept young people like to experiment – with drugs and other potentially harmful activities – and what we should be doing in all of this is to protect them from harm at this stage of their lives.

We therefore have to provide more accurate and credible information.

“If you think that scaring kids will stop them using, you’re probably wrong. They are often quite knowledgeable about drugs and the internet has made access to information extremely simple. We have to tell them the truth, so that they use us as their preferred source of information.

“A fully scientifically-based Misuse of Drugs Act where drug classification accurately reflects harms would be a powerful educational tool. Using the Act in a political way to give messages other than those relating to relative harms undermines the Act and does great damage to the educational message.”

We are dealing with huge challenges using irrational policies.

world unseen

a world waiting…

There are 480 million newspapers printed daily; 800 million automobiles registered on the planet; 1.1 billion personal computers including all desktops, laptops, notebooks and netbooks; 1.2 billion fixed landine phones; 1.4 billion internet users; 1.5 billion TV sets; 4 billion mobile phone subscriptions; 1.7 billion unique holders of a credit card; and 2.1 billion unique holders of a banking account.

The Next Four Billion by Tomi Ahonen.

strikes me as numbers to work with…

another boom too big

As well as Yellowstone’s continental dome, nor’westers are sitting on a pretty big pot:

a single immense body of magma may be feeding those big conical things Mount Rainier, Mount Adams, and Mount St. Helens…

we are not hate

As he signed his name:

We have for centuries strived to live up to our founding ideal, of a nation where all are free and equal and able to pursue their own version of happiness. Through conflict and tumult, through the morass of hatred and prejudice, through periods of division and discord we have endured and grown stronger and fairer and freer. And at every turn, we’ve made progress not only by changing laws but by changing hearts, by our willingness to walk in another’s shoes, by our capacity to love and accept even in the face of rage and bigotry.

skim is never home


“Despite decades of complaints that the United States does not have enough scientists and engineers, the data show our high schools and colleges are providing an ample supply of graduates,” said the State University of New Jersey. “It is now up to science and technology firms to attract the best and the brightest graduates to come work for them.”

We are a great people. Of course we are capable. But thieves are too common and never more able.