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"But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?"

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It all sounds so grossly parasitic and rentier-prone. But the grooves of the system are so well-worn that a more efficient or sensible system is all but unimaginable.

blackbootz  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 11, 2017

Thanks dog. It is very kind of you to offer me to help myself to your pension.

    The thing to be careful is to not get sucked into that cycle where you keep needing more money to sustain a lifestyle. Get in, do your time then get out before you burn out

That's what they say: stay off that hedonic treadmill. I have some practice living and being happy on the cheap, but I wouldn't be the first one to escalate my spending and think it perfectly justified. I'll definitely try to keep it under control. Live independently and retire early.

blackbootz  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 11, 2017

    I just don't have very much tolerance for "sticking to one's artistic morals and refusing to work for the Man" when hey, you already work for the man, and b, all that really means is feeling proud of yourself for getting paid a pittance without sick time off, health insurance, or 10 federal holidays a year.

No, you're right. While I admire people who live by their principles, I don't pity starving artists. (I'll just buy some art.) My lack of pity probably stems from the fact that Baltimore is so goddamn filled with them..

By not collecting a paycheck, there's a very plausible deniability that helps assuage cognitive dissonance. And I have a rather comforting amount of plausible deniability that I'd be trading in. I don't think I'll be too hard on myself but I don't know if that's a rationalization or a reasonable conclusion.

blackbootz  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 11, 2017

    It's really hilarious that you think my porsche selection problems are somehow "tough".

It is probably a softhearted projection of mine. I verbally hand-wring when I'm going through something tough, and by column inches I took your pains to be quite large. =)

blackbootz  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 11, 2017

Damn. The timing. fistbumps back.

Guilt is a useful thing. Having an overly sensitive guilt function can be debilitating. I think your situation is a little tougher because you have more fun money. Granted... I was essentially just gifted a house. Out of a taxpayer funded subsidy program. That came about because of the '08 crisis. Caused in part (I'm guessing) by Morgan Stanley.

What would winning guilt free look like? There's hardly such a thing as totally independent bootstrap-pulling. There's just the suburbs where you're aren't daily reminded of the slow decay of Western society.

blackbootz  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 11, 2017

Something unusual has developed for me. I might get an internship (which is tantamount to a job) at Morgan Stanley.

The prospect of working for a Wall Street firm is causing massive cognitive dissonance. Now while I don't have a comprehensive understanding of which bad Wall Street actors were baddest (is Morgan Stanley worse than, say, Wells Fargo? Bear Stearns?), I can't shake the feeling that they'd all absolutely plunder the world if they could. The cold-blooded profit-seeking that is a hallmark of those firms reminds me of the narrator from Fight Club describing his job:

    A new car built by my company leaves somewhere traveling at 60 mph. The rear differential locks up. The car crashes and burns with everyone trapped inside. Now, should we initiate a recall? Take the number of vehicles in the field, A, multiply by the probable rate of failure, B, multiply by the average out-of-court settlement, C. A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don't do one.

I might be getting way ahead of myself. I haven't even done the interview, let alone completed the internship and gotten a full-time offer. But. I did have a casual and free-ranging half hour conversation with the hiring manager at an information session yesterday, wherein we discussed the merits of Dodd-Frank, the role of good writing in creating company policy, and some Baltimore history (they have an office here that is expanding). We were downright chummy by the end of it. And also, his division is the one I'm most interested in: legal & compliance. Specifically the global financial crimes unit. You know, where they bust white collar crime. Maybe this might be worth it? (nota bene: the GFC unit protects the firm first, not Main Street. It's not an analog to the FBI, but it's an interesting start.)


In other news, my gymnastics floor routine is coming together. I haven't performed in fifteen years, but the skills are all coming back--today I started add a twist to my back layout. I think a teammate took a video, I'll see if I can scrounge it.

Found it.

blackbootz  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 11, 2017

Bought evening tickets for Blade Runner 2049. I've managed to avoid most of the trailers. CANNOT WAIT

The constitutional amendment process is damn near broken. It should be made (slightly) easier. And before people say that an easier amendment process would enable religious fundies recognizing the United States as a Christian nation, or whatever else...

I appreciate the point that a looser amending process could enable all sorts of amendments, including some I don't like, and we should defer to our wise framers. But I'm tired of the lack of nuance--"deference to the framers" is a semantic stop sign. You can't even get to suggesting what a revised amendment process should look like before you get dug-in heels. I'm a big fan of the revolutionary generation, but this tack encourages a dogmatic obedience to an imperfect system. As it stands, a bare majority in the 13 least populous states can stop an amendment that otherwise receives broad national support. That amounts to 2% of the population. I'll literally quote Scalia when I say, "It should be hard to amend the constitution... but not THAT hard." Some amendments that received broad support and came close to ratification include the equal rights amendment, DC statehood, and child labor restrictions during the early part of the 20th century. Ironically, the latter policy was accomplished by a judicially active court granting expansive commerce clause power to Congress to regulate child labor laws. That's another argument for a somewhat looser amendment process: Advocates for certain rights pursue a Supreme Court remedy--framing their proposals as being reflected in the constitution rather than needing to be explicitly added--which encourages judicial activism. And if one claims to be wary about "policies being enacted that we're not a fan of" then would they not prefer a slightly more sensible amendment process to a non-elected body of Justices reading this right or that between the lines of the constitution?

This argument is independent of the pragmatism of amending or repealing the second amendment. There are probably millions of second amendment absolutists.

This is one of the most gratifying things I've read all week.

Someone That Loves You is a feelgood electro-soul song. I'm in a feelgood music mood lately.

blackbootz  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: September 27, 2017

What sort of lecturing do you do? How much does mastery of the subject help when delivering?

I just found a standup comic who I think is funny as hell and his two-minute set makes this exact joke.

That two-minute set.

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