Don Draper’s Brand

“PEOPLE TELL YOU WHO THEY ARE BUT WE IGNORE IT BECAUSE WE WANT THEM TO BE WHO WE WANT THEM TO BE.”

“MAKE IT SIMPLE AND SIGNIFICANT.”

“I DON’T BELIEVE IN FATE. I CREATE MY OWN OPPORTUNITIES.”

“IF YOU DON’T LIKE WHAT’S BEING SAID, CHANGE THE CONVERSATION.”

“YOU’RE GOOD. GET BETTER. STOP ASKING FOR THINGS.”

This is from James Altucher’s article here.

Fear and Circumstance in Las Vegas

I came home to a cat, her white paws delicately dancing past the typewriter, mine.

Tucked inside the typewriter was a sheet, long dead, with the words I wrote by hand:

“Place yourself in circumstances of want, and ask yourself, “is this what I fear?”

Wages in Cuba and a quote from my former Professor of Latin American Politics

Cuba announces increase in wages as part of economic reform

by Associated Press Thursday, June 27th 2019

The beginning:

“Every Cuban has the right to a salary increase,” said Dariel Tejeda, a 28-year-old tour guide. “The country and all the state workers have needed this for a long time.”

and the end:

Ending the dual-currency system is expected to lead to the eventual removal of subsidies and bankruptcy of dozens, even hundreds of state enterprises and the loss of many thousands of public sector jobs. With lower or no subsidies, state companies would be forced to raise prices. For that reason, a state salary increase has long been seen as a key precursor to monetary unification in Cuba.


Frame control on why gun control is political in the U.S.A

Do you live in the city?

Or are you from a rural area?

One person’s perspective on how where you live informs how you feel about guns.

Gun control is a political issue because America is a nation whose population is very split between rural and urban areas. Most other nations don’t have this kind of heterogeneity in their population – they are either mostly rural, or mostly urban.

As it happens, life experiences and environment relating directly to gun usage heavily influences opinions on guns.

It turns out that it’s not political affiliation that determines gun opinions, it’s whether you live in a rural area.

Pro-gun-control liberals who move into rural areas often end up owning guns and significantly softening their stance on guns once they gain experience with them.

About a hundred years ago, guns were not a political issue in the US. Most everyone owned a gun, or had a close family member who owned guns. Most people lived in rural areas. It was just a necessary tool because there were no police nearby and sometimes you had problems with wild animals. You were on your own.

The lived-experience “facts” staring people in the face in each area vary wildly. In rural areas, of course you own guns. You need them. Of course they are dangerous – that’s the point: it’s a tool intended to make you dangerous against wild animals and occasional criminals.

None of that applies to the lived experience of living in the city.

In the city, the main thing you run into is other people. Some of them are occasionally annoying or have poor impulse control. You don’t need to shoot them, you just walk away. But if they have a gun, you might be in trouble.

I’ve decided on Tolstoy’s Decision Making Matrix

Here are some excerpts from this excellent article on The Art of Decision Making.

In “War and Peace,” Tolstoy writes that, while an armchair general may imagine himself “analyzing some campaign on a map” and then issuing orders, a real general never finds himself at “the beginning of some event”; instead, he is perpetually situated in the middle of a series of events, each a link in an endless chain of causation.

“Can it be that I allowed Napolean to get as far as Moscow?” Tolstoy’s General Kutuzov wonders.

“When was it decided? Was it yesterday, when I sent Platov the order to retreat, or was it the evening before, when I dozed off and told Bennigsen to give the orders? Or still earlier?”

For Tolstoy, the tendency of big decisions to make themselves was one of the great mysteries of existence. It suggested that the stories we tell about our lives are inadequate to their real complexity.

We first ask ourselves what we value, then seek to maximize that value.

We choose how we change.

The problem is that you don’t actually want to listen to classical music. You want to want to. Aspiring, Callard thinks, is a common human activity.

If we couldn’t aspire to changes that we struggle to describe, we’d be trapped within the ideas that we already.

To aspire, Callard writes, is to judge one’s present-day self by the standards of a future self who doesn’t yet exist.