Happy Mother’s Day

What’s so wonderful in perpetuating the cycle of misery and death by procreating?

Pure selfishness created the life that’s guaranteed to suffer, die and be totally forgotten, signifying nothing. Please spare me the honoring of mothers and fathers.

Today I called my friend  Courtenay to wish her a happy “Mother’s Day” since Cassie (14) and Remi (10) are adorable kids. And then I went on a rant about how terribly selfish it was that she decided that it is a good idea to bring two sentient beings into existence who are bound to suffer physical, psychological and existential pain — and eventually die.

She humored me and didn’t contradict my position. Perhaps she didn’t really understand that I was actually indicting her of a moral failing. Or perhaps she’s smarter than I give her credit for. Perhaps she got my point and was willing to admit her fault in adding to the sum of suffering in the universe.

Biology is what it is. But now, people can choose  to overcome their naive instincts and do what, though legally allowed, is morally wrong. People should stop breeding because it leads to suffering.

Elisey Mysin plays Mozart’s Concerto No. 3 in D major

Image by Julia Jin @ Unsplash.com

Humans are infinitely varied in their inborn talents and native intelligence. Then given the right training in a nurturing environment, it’s astonishing the heights the lucky few attain. Consider music. In the Western musical canon, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart epitomizes musical genius. Born in Salzburg in 1756, “Mozart showed prodigious ability from his earliest childhood. Already competent on keyboard and violin, he composed from the age of five and performed before European royalty.” [wiki.]

We don’t have a video of his performance when he was five; we can only imagine. Or we can watch the 5-year old Elisey Mysin perform Morzart’s Concerto No 3 in D major. The youtube video description notes:

The youngest pianist in Russia does not get his feet to the piano pedals, but masterfully performs the most complex musical works. When Elisha Mysin sits down at the piano and music begins to flow from under his fingers, it is hard to believe that he is five years old. He still does not reach his feet to the piano pedals, and the height of the chair for him has to be increased with a pillow. However, talent and hard work have already helped Stavropol Prodigy to win the appreciation of professionals and the love of the public from different parts of the country.

Watch, listen and prepare to be moved. And marvel at the fact that he was probably getting his training in music at the same time as he was getting toilet trained 😊. Continue reading “Elisey Mysin plays Mozart’s Concerto No. 3 in D major”

The San Francisco Bay Bridge

Bay Bridge – SF to Treasure Island part. Tanya Nevidoma at Unsplash.

A lovely picture of the SF Bay Bridge which connects San Francisco, CA in the west to Oakland, CA in the east across the San Francisco Bay. The bridge is in two parts. From SF the bridge stretches to Treasure Island, and then on to Oakland. The picture above is the part from SF to Treasure Island (seen in the far left.) Continue reading “The San Francisco Bay Bridge”

Happy Birthday, Prof Hayek

Herr Dr Prof Friedrich August von Hayek is one of my three favorite economists—the other two being James Buchanan and Milton Friedman. Like them, I too am a classical liberal. Since Hayek was born on May 8th, 1899, today’s a day to celebrate.

I confess that I did not fully appreciate the core lessons of economics until after I had finished my formal studies. I had learned the usual neoclassical stuff — including impressive looking math involving the calculus and maximization of twice-differentiable continuous functions, Lagrange multiplies and other sillinesses. I am not dissing the use of math; just that the mathiness is silly. Continue reading “Happy Birthday, Prof Hayek”

An Essay into the Nature and Causes of Poverty — Part 4

Property

At a very abstract level, the formula for prosperity is to have a liberal market order and institutions that support that liberal market order, namely those that protect property rights, enforce contracts and settle disputes, and provide the rule of law.

Property rights does not imply the privileging of the rights of property over the rights of humans, although socialists mistakenly believe that that is what it means. The right to private property is the source of all human rights. Without the right to own property, one is hardly a human being; one becomes mere chattel or property. Continue reading “An Essay into the Nature and Causes of Poverty — Part 4”

Are you a Bayesian?

I have been a Bayesian since I first learned Bayes’ theorem when I was a teaching assistant for a Statistics 101 course at UC Berkeley around 25 years ago.

It’s one of those neat ideas that one should know to be able to reason competently about the world we live in. Thanks to the Indian education system, I had not been exposed to any hint of that fascinating rule in my 18 years of attending school in India. Anyway, better late than never.

The late great John McCarthy insisted that “he who refuses to do arithmetic is doomed to talk nonsense.” I think he who is ignorant of Bayes’ rule cannot avoid talking nonsense about probabilistic events. Consider the question posed in the image above. Continue reading “Are you a Bayesian?”

An Essay into the Nature and Causes of Poverty — Part 3

Tequila $8000 per liter

It is hard to overemphasize how critically important exchange is in any economy, including that of primitive hunter-gatherer societies. Only hermits who voluntarily choose to live in extreme isolation don’t engage in exchange, and those who are marooned on deserted islands are forced to be self-sufficient.

Exchange 

For the rest of us, we rely on exchange for meeting practically all our needs. Just reflect on the fact that every one of us consumes a very tiny fraction, if anything at all, of what we actually produce. The factory worker produces cars but most of his consumption consists of non-cars; the doctor produces medical services but consumes very little of that; similarly the architect, the farmer, the green grocer, ad infinitum Continue reading “An Essay into the Nature and Causes of Poverty — Part 3”