Monday, October 31, 2016

Sunday, October 30, 2016

More quotes from Oscar Wilde

A bore is someone who deprives you of solitude without providing you with company.

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.

I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.

The truth is rarely pure and never simple.

A good friend will always stab you in the front.

I don't want to go to heaven. None of my friends are there.

Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.

I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.

Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.

The heart was made to be broken.

Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.

I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.

We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell.

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.

With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?

Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Wicked Wit of Oscar Wilde - quotes continued

It is only the intellectually lost who ever argue.

The English mind is always in a rage.

But beauty, real beauty, ends where intellectual expression begins.

...I live in terror of not being understood.

I like hearing myself talk. It is one of my greatest pleasures. I often have long conversations all by myself, and I am so clever that I sometimes don't understand a single word of what I am saying.

We teach people how to remember, we never teach them how to grow.

I adore simple pleasures. They are the last refuge of the complex.

The British public are really not equal to the mental strain of having more than one topic every three months.

No one cares about distant relatives anymore. They went out of fashion years ago.

It is a very dangerous thing to know one's friends.

Anyone can sympathise with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathise with a friends success.

Women, as some witty Frenchman once put it, inspire us with the desire to do masterpieces, and always prevent us from carrying them out.

Women are never disarmed by compliments. Men are. That is the difference between the two sexes.

Men become old, but they never become good.

He had gone on the Stock Exchange for six months; but what was a butterfly to do among bulls and bears.

For myself, the only immortality I desire is to invent a new sauce.

Industry is the root of all ugliness.

It is the Philistine who seeks to estimate a personality by the vulgar test of production.

Let me say to you now that to do nothing at all is the most difficult thing in the world, the most difficult thing and the most intellectual.

One must have some occupation nowadays. If I hadn't my debts I shouldn't have anything to think about.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Wicked Wit of Oscar Wilde - quotes continued

There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.

It is absurd to divide people up into good or bad. People are either charming or tedious.

There is no reason why a man should show his life to the world. The world does not understand things.

Whenever people agree with me, I always feel I must be wrong.

In literature mere egotism is delightful … Even in actual life egotism is not without its attractions. When people talk to us about others they are usually dull. When they talk to us about themselves they are nearly always interesting, and if one could shut them up, when they become wearisome, as easily as one can shut up a book of which one has grown wearied, they would be perfect absolutely.

All charming peoiple, I fancy, ar spoiled. It is the secret of their attraction.

Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their life is a mimicry, their passions a quotation

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Wicked Wit of Oscar Wilde - quotes continued

It is only the auctioneer who should admire all schools of arts.

One should either be a work of art of wear a work of art.

After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I never committed, and mourning over tradegies that were not my own. Music always seems to produce that effect.

If one hears bad music, it is one's duty to drown it in conversation.

But love is not fashionable any more, the poets have killed it. They wrote so much about it that nobody believed them.

There is much to be said in favour of modern journalism. By giving us the opinions of the uneducated, it keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community. By carefully chronicling the current events of contemporary life, it shows us what little importance such events really have.

The fact is the public have an insatiable curiousity to know everything, except what is worth knowing. Journalism, conscious of this, and having tradesmanlike habits, supplies their demands.

I am not at all in favour of amusements for the poor, Jane. Blankets and coal are sufficient.

There is only one class in the community that thinks more about money than the rich, and that is the poor.

It is a sad fact, but there is no doubt that the poor are completely unconsciou of their own picturesqueness.

No gentleman dines before seven.

What is a cynic?
The man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.

Modern morality consists in accepting the standard of one's age. I consider that for any man to accept the standard of his age is a form of the grosses immorality.

The only thing that sustains one through life is the consciousness of the immense inferiority of everybody else, and this is a feeling I have always cultivated.

There is no such thing as an immoral books. Books are either well written, or badly written. That is all.

All excess, as well as renunciation, brings its own punishment.

There are few things easier than to live badly and to die well.
Murder is always a mistake...One should never do anything that one cannot talk about after dinner.  

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Book: The Wicked Wit of Oscar Wilde - quotes

Oscar Wilde was a genius wordsmith and this little compendium includes many of his finest gems along with a handy short biography of the man. My favourites are quoted below, with more to follow in future postings:

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

Thirty-five is a very attractive age. London society is full of women of the very highest birth who have, of their own free choice, remained thirty-five for years. Lady Dumbleton is an instance in point. To my own knowledge she has been thirty-five ever since she arrived at the age of forty, which was many years ago now.

Beauty is he wonder of wonders. It is only the shallow people who do not judge by appearances.

She has exquisite feet and hands, is always a bien chaussee et bien gantee, and can talk brilliantly upon any subject, provided that she knows nothing about it.

To get back my youth I would do anything in the world, except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable.

I never saw anybody take so long to dress, and with such little result.

As soon as people are old enough to know better, they don't know anything at all.

The secret in life is never to have an emotion that is unbecoming.

Romance should never begin with sentiment. It should begin with science and end with a settlement.

Ah, nowadays people marry as often as they can, don't they? It is most fashionable.

Good heavens! How marriage ruins a man! It's as demoralising as cigarettes, and far more expensive.

To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.

Oh, I love London Society! It has immensely improved. It is entirely composed now of beautiful idiots and brilliant lunatics. Just what Society should be.

(I don't know how to talk.)
Oh! talk to every woman as if you loved her, and to every man as if he bored you, and at the end of your first season you will have the reputation of possessing the most perfect social tact.

We live in an age when unnecessary things are our only neccessities.

Arguments are extremely vulgar, for everybody in good society holds exactly the same opinions.

Can't make out how you stand London Society. The thing has gone to the dogs, a lot of damned nobodies talking about nothing.

Nothing is so dangerous as being too modern. One is apt to grow old-fashioned quite suddenly.

We live in the age of the over-worked, and under-educated: the age in which people are so industrious that they become absolutely stupid.

A man who can dominate a London dinner-table can dominate the world.

Highlights from The Economist this week

On the effects of police wearing body cameras:

"A study published in September by researchers at the University of Cambridge suggested that body cameras can dramatically reduce the number of complaints made against the police. Over the course of a year almost 2,000 officers, in four forces in Britain and two in America, were randomly given cameras. Compared with the previous year, the number of complaints brought against them dropped by a stonking 93%." 


Key points on the transformation of the bond market: 

* The market is dominated by forced buyers with no real interest in maximising the return on their portfolios:

- Central banks (QE bond buying - trillions of bonds bought)
- Pension funds and insurance companies, which buy government bonds to match their long-term liabilities. Neither group has an incentive to sell bonds if yields fall; indeed, they may need to buy more because, when interest rates are low, the present value of their discounted future liabilities rises.
- Banks, too, play an important role. They have been encouraged to buy government bonds as a “liquidity reserve” to avoid the kind of funding problems they had in the 2008 crisis. They also use them as the collateral for short-term borrowing. 

* With so many forced buyers, trillions of dollars-worth of government bonds are trading on negative yields. “When you have so many price-insensitive buyers, the price-discovery role of the market doesn’t work any more,” says Kit Juckes, a strategist at Société Générale, a French bank.

* “It’s about the return of capital, not the return on capital,” says Joachim Fels, Pimco’s chief economist.
..investors have been forced to take more risk in search of a higher return. They have bought corporate bonds and emerging-market debt. And in the government-bond markets they have bought higher-yielding longer-term debt.

 * In short, as Mr Juckes puts it, the bond market is “brittle”. It is priced for a world of slow growth and low inflation, leaving no margin for error if things change. The most intimidating thing about the modern bond market now is the risk that they do.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Video: Modern day business meetings

It's funny because it's true.

Here's another one:

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Video: Louis C.K. hates cell phones

Not yet owning a personal smart phone makes me feel smug and stupid at the same time

: S

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Monday, October 17, 2016

Quotes by Hunter S. Thompson - Fact and Fiction

Before we get into the quotes proper, here is Hunter S.Thompson on the writing process, taken from the Paris Review:
Question - What is your instrument in composing? You are one of the few writers I know who still uses an electric typewriter. What’s wrong with a personal computer?
Answer: I’ve tried. There is too much temptation to go over the copy and rewrite. I guess I’ve never grown accustomed to the silent, non-clacking of the keys and the temporary words put up on the screen. I like to think that when I type something on this [pointing to the typewriter], when I’m finished with it, it’s good. I haven’t gotten past the second paragraph on a word processor. Never go back and rewrite while you’re working. Keep on it as if it were final.
The quotes noted below are a mixture of fact and fiction. 
We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and — in spite of True Romance magazines — we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely — at least, not all the time — but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don’t see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.
I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me. 
These things happen. One day you run everything, and the next day you run like a dog. Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously. You won't find reasonable men on the tops of tall mountains. 
Anything that gets your blood racing is probably worth doing. 
He that is taught only by himself has a fool for a master. 
The best fiction is far more true than any kind of journalism. 
The truth, when you finally chase it down is almost always far worse than your darkest visions and fears. 
 There are times, however, and this is one of them when even being right feels wrong. 
 THE EDGE, there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is the ones who have gone over...  
 Let us toast to animal pleasures, to escapism, to rain on the roof and instant coffee, to unemployment insurance and library cards, to absinthe and good-hearted landlords, to music and warm bodies and contraceptives… and to the good life, whatever it is and wherever it happens to be.  
So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself: who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?
A man who procrastinates in his choosing will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.  
I have long understood that losing always comes with the territory when you wander into the gambling business, just as getting crippled for life is an acceptable risk in the linebacker business. They both are extremely violent sports, and pain is part of the bargain. Buy the ticket, take the ride.  
I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem. 

We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers... and also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls.Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.― Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas  
Like most others, I was a seeker, a mover, a malcontent, and at times a stupid hell-raiser. I was never idle long enough to do much thinking, but I felt somehow that some of us were making real progress, that we had taken an honest road, and that the best of us would inevitably make it over the top. At the same time, I shared a dark suspicion that the life we were leading was a lost cause, that we were all actors, kidding ourselves along on a senseless odyssey. It was the tension between these two poles - a restless idealism on one hand and a sense of impending doom on the other - that kept me going.― Hunter S. Thompson, The Rum Diary  
Every now and then when your life gets complicated and the weasels start closing in, the only cure is to load up on heinous chemicals and then drive like a bastard from Hollywood to Las Vegas ... with the music at top volume and at least a pint of ether.― Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas  
It was like falling down an elevator shaft and landing in a pool full of mermaids. 
I felt a tremendous distance between myself and everything real.  
Beware of enthusiasm and of love, both are temporary and quick to sway.  
A man who has blown all his options can't afford the luxury of changing his ways. He has to capitalize on whatever he has left, and he can't afford to admit — no matter how often he's reminded of it — that every day of his life takes him farther and farther down a blind alley.  
The streets of every city in America are filled with men who would pay all the money they could lay their hands on to be transformed, even for a day, into hairy, hard-fisted brutes who walk all over cops, extort drinks from terrified bartenders and roar out of town on big motorcycles...  
I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I... And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots.

The importance of Liking Yourself is a notion that fell heavily out of favour during the coptic, anti-ego frenzy of the acid era — but nobody guessed back then that the experiment might churn up this kind of hangover; a whole subculture of frightened illiterates with no faith in anything.
I find that by putting things in writing I can understand them and see them a little more objectively. … For words are merely tools and if you use the right ones you can actually put even your life in order, if you don't lie to yourself and use the wrong words. 
I had come to regard him as a loner with no real past and a future so vague there was no sense talking about it.
The towers are gone now, reduced to bloody rubble, along with all hopes for Peace in Our Time, in the United States or any other country. Make no mistake about it: We are At War now — with somebody — and we will stay At War with that mysterious Enemy for the rest of our lives.Kingdom of Fear (12 September 2001)  
We are turning into a nation of whimpering slaves to Fear — fear of war, fear of poverty, fear of random terrorism, fear of getting down-sized or fired because of the plunging economy, fear of getting evicted for bad debts, or suddenly getting locked up in a military detention camp on vague charges of being a Terrorist sympathizer.
I understand that fear is my friend, but not always. Never turn your back on fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed.


Photo: Kitten pics - no mice were hurt during this production

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Comic: Dilberts

A modern day conundrum: