Monday, January 10, 2011

Book Report

Turns out my own personal resolution is poor--real low def kind of stuff--like a 1980's jumbo-tron resolution.

Out of ten possible chances to go to bed and wake up at a decent hour, I capitalized three times. 30%. It would make a great batting average, but a terrible free-throw percentage, and I believe in terms of letter grades it's a solid "F."

The bright spot is that I'm 100% in my other goal. I did read a book last week: Men to Match My Mountains.

It is a "biography" of the Far West, meaning California, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado. My favorite moment was when one historian commented that Brigham Young would have been a great man if only he hadn't of been a Mormon. Interesting.

The takeaway from the book was that scoundrels eventually die penniless and/or lonely, while nice guys often live in gradual and consistent crescendo.

I also distinctly saw two kinds of capitalists. There were those who worked tirelessly to provide a benefit to others, and who hoped to take a rightful share of the increase. I like to think of these as value-adding capitalists. Sure, they want a slice of the pie like everyone else--they may even want a very large slice--but rather than take from others, they seek to make the pie bigger. Everyone benefits.

Then there are value-diminishing capitalists. They do not add any benefits, but seek to manipulate the "rules of the game" to redirect capital from others' pockets into their own. They artificially inflate and deflate prices, use tricks to modify demand, limit supply, and frustrate the efforts of competitors. These are the jerks.

It's a good contrast for me to heed since one of my favorite past times is looking for "legal" ways to make board and card games dysfunctional. Heaven help any of the poor suckers who try to play Pit with me.


Holdinator said...

If we are grading on a curve (and why wouldn't we be?), based on the success of most Americans and their respective resolutions, throwing out the overachievers who have been 100% and the real slackers who broke their resolutions at 12:03 am on January 1st, you're probably averaging a C+ for your bedtime habits. Way to go.

As for the book, I bet the historian would make a fine Mormon if he weren't a man...

Daniel said...
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Daniel said...

That made me laugh. And not in the internet way where I'm mildly and silently amused and type, "lol," but in the real-life-laugh way.

As for your curve comment, my first thought was Nephi: "Not that I would excuse myself because of other men." But my second though was, if I'm not going to excuse myself because of other men, then why should I inexcuse myself because of Nephi?

Holdinator said...

Ha! (That was a real-life-laugh too.) Thanks for that.

jonny said...

I second that real life laugh.

That is an interesting thought about the capitalists though. I don't think enough "value-added" capitalists speak up enough to increase salience over the other kind.

Daniel said...

Pants, we should have talk sometime. We're good at talking.

Lee said...


BonnieJean said...