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Passions in Poetry

Fishing Lessons

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Local Rebel
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0 posted 06-20-2007 05:53 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

While I have command of my faculties;

Teaching a man to fish may be a great survival skill if you're marooned on a desert island -- but we live in a complex economic system.

Given the fish analogy -- knowing how to fish is of little value comparatively and competitively because if the man doesn't have a boat, winch, net, fuel, liscence, and a means to deliver his fish to the marketplace -- he has little recourse but to fish all day long on someone else's boat, catch a lot of fish, and get paid in return a very small portion that is decided largely by the owner of the boat.  Most of the time this will be an amount that would make obtaining a boat at some point an unattainable goal.

Moreover -- the owner may or may not be a participant in the fishing process -- but takes a large cut for his 'rent'.  

That is a perfectly acceptable model -- but the axiom doesn't take into account the factors that there are more would-be fishermen than there are boats, or fish, or market -- nor does it consider that the owner will get to pass his boat on to his heirs -- who will have never done anything to earn it.

The West was won on African slave labor, indentured servants, migrant workers, and Chinese rail and mine workers.

Wealth concentrates.

And then there's Marx and T.R.

The age of Adams was long past discredited by the time Rand wrote 'Atlas'.  But wasn't it a brilliant design that she would write it to appeal to the boat owners -- right down to her ideal of femininity?
Balladeer
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1 posted 06-20-2007 06:18 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Well, the actual phrase is "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish  and you feed him for a lifetime.", or something like that. The object is appeasing someone's hunger, not providing them with a means of livelihood.

As far as the extras you have thrown into the mix, come to Venezuela with me and let's fish. There the fishermen use long strands of fishing lines, a hook and a glove on their hand. They twirl the line over their heads like a lariat, let it fly and then let the tide carry it out. When there is a tug on the line, they pull it in, wrapping the line around their gloved hand. No poles, no boat, winch, net, fuel or nets needed. (This, of course, doesn't apply to those fishermen who need a $20,000.00 boat, $500.00 fishing jacket, pants, boots and cap, and thousands of dollars in fishing gear)

It's curious how we can set up our own barricades to excuse our NOT being able to do something instead of just doing it.


oceanvu2
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2 posted 06-20-2007 07:09 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Local Rebel:  I am glad you still have command of your faculties.  When I was in school, the faculties pretty much had command of me.

As the grandson, on both sides, of Scots indentured servant girls who each worked seven years to pay their passage, and the grandson on both sides of Scots ship-jumpers, I don't know that they won the West.  On the other hand, they all learned how to fish the hard way.

Best, Jim
rwood
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3 posted 06-20-2007 07:33 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

Hey, don't knock those of us who have a lot of fun with a cane pole, some string with a hook, a cork, and some night crawlers. Yes, I bait my own hook, and yes, the cork comes from a nice bottle of Zin.


It seems to me that the boats were the same for men and women in Atlas, where usually men got the big boats, and women were only a factor if it sank.

Dagny Taggert was a powerful woman who had her own ship of dreams.


BTW Jim, We're probably related.
Local Rebel
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4 posted 06-20-2007 08:47 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

So, Mike.  The reason you haven't beaten Tiger Woods is what?

reg;

quote:

While her books championed men and women as intellectual equals (for example, Dagny Taggart, the protagonist of Atlas Shrugged was a hands-on railroad executive), she thought that the differences in the physiology of men and women led to fundamental psychological differences that were the source of gender roles. Rand denied endorsing any kind of power difference between men and women, stating that metaphysical dominance in sexual relations refers to the man's role as the prime mover in sex and the necessity of male arousal for sex to occur.[45] According to Rand, "For a woman qua woman, the essence of femininity is hero-worship the desire to look up to man." (1968)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayn_Rand#Gender.2C_sex.2C_and_race



Jim -- how could it have been done without them???
Ron
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5 posted 06-20-2007 09:34 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Yep. Capitalism sucks, Reb.

Then again, we both know that everything else sucks more.

Of course, the metaphor you're referencing probably shouldn't be taken too literally. We don't really need fishermen so much as we need people who know how to make a living. You know, as opposed to people who expect others to support them? The adage, I'm sure, was written in a time when most people could still be self-sufficient and live off the land. Or the river, I guess. Perhaps, in today's world, we could come up with something a bit more appropriate?

"You can give a man a burger and feed him for a day, or you can teach him that flipping burgers isn't beneath his dignity and feed him for a lifetime."


Local Rebel
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6 posted 06-20-2007 09:50 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Yep, and if he's eating burgers he won't have to worry about living too long at that.  

The Libertine Capitalism that Rand aspired to did suck.  Without a central banking system there was chaos.  Without anti-trust and inheritance taxing, capital concentrated into the hands of the robber-barons.  Adam's (and Rand's) natural aristocracy eventually destroyed even themselves.

If everyone got to start with the same capital, the same opportunity, the same talent, the same intellectual capacity,  and got to collect 200 bucks for passing go that would be one thing.  But you can't even buy Oriental Avenue flipping burgers.

Mike complains about the way Bill Gates gets treated -- maybe he's forgotten that Bill Gates was an intellectual moocher.  (Ask Steve Jobs for his opinion).  Yet Rand would have it that only the government picks the pockets of the 'minds'.

and, I think my mind just ran out..

Ron
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7 posted 06-20-2007 10:47 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
But you can't even buy Oriental Avenue flipping burgers.

Yea? I'm guessing you never read my well hidden bio posted on the main site, Reb?

My first job out of the Marines (actually, I started while still stationed locally) was flipping burgers, Reb. I had a wife, a daughter, and another on the way. Flipping burgers got me through college. And a third kid. After graduating, I managed another small handful of restaurants and restaurant chains for some few years, until 1981 when I returned to the classroom to learn a bit about this new fangled thing called computers. No more burgers for this kid!

I didn't buy Oriental Avenue, of course, but I think I did okay. In my opinion, success doesn't depend on how much you make every week, but rather on how much you KEEP each week. If you have to make a living flipping burgers for a while (a long while in my case), you just have to be willing to live like someone flipping burgers. That's the hard part for most folk, I think.

Oh, and of course, Gates was an intellectual moocher. Then again, so was Steve Jobs (ask the people at Xerox for their opinions). Ideas, even really good ideas, are a dime a dozen. The real results are in the execution.


Local Rebel
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8 posted 06-20-2007 11:42 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Well I'll try to do this with half-a-brain (which is probably giving myself more credit than I deserved when it was actually working).

Yep -- I never read your well-hidden, well-writen bio -- but I certainly enjoyed it!  That's a great story Ron.

And your Veterans benefits enabled your rise from lowly burger flipping.

Let's say someone doesn't have Veterans benefits (and not everyone can-- and under current circumstances I think it may be understandable why someone might not want to pursue that path) -- then -- they will need access to job specific training through other means -- or remain a burger flipper.  

In the current business climate -- I think you'd agree there is not the opportunity to begin a software company that there was in the eighties.  And, there aren't that many kinds of businesses that can succeed with talent and sweat of brow alone my friend.

On the other hand -- if the burger flipper is willing to flip burgers -- why should he have to live in the back of a 20-year-old station wagon (an actual burger flipper I know).  Isn't the veil of ignorance the more rational self-interest?

And --I agree execution is important - but a well capitalized venture with a mediocre idea beats an under-funded great idea any day -- if Jobs hadn't found an $80k angel early on -- it's difficult to say what turn your career might have taken.

When Gates meets his expiration date -- there is no reason that his fortune -- made possible by the burger flippers and floor sweepers -- should remain soley in the hands of those who did not earn it.

Rand's appeal to reason is only sound if everyone's paradigms of truth and intellectual capacity are equal -- and her conclusions are suitably tailored to appeal to her benefactors -- and let's not forget -- her heroine inherited!  

It's the gabapentin... I swear!

rwood
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9 posted 06-21-2007 05:10 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

Yep, she's allowed to have her views. I never said I admire her every thought, and she has flaws as everyone does.

I may not be completely into hero-worship, but I look up to my Dad and my Granddaddy. I'm honored to have men like them to look up to. But there's some great ladies in my bloodline that helped keep them in line too. They all taught me how to be myself and to go out and get what I wanted in life. Don't depend on others for it.

In fact, I didn't just go for the boats, I went for the trains, planes, surfboards, motorcycles, race cars, and my first car? 49 Ford. When everyone else was driving 80's models.

The only problem I have is finding a Fish who can keep up with me.
Balladeer
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10 posted 06-21-2007 09:36 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Actually, reb, you have no idea how many letters I have written to Tiger Woods challenging him to a match. Has he responded? Not once! Go figure...

Truth is that I can enjoy my golf tremendously without having the ability to beat Woods. The "If you ain't number one, you ain't nothing" philosophy is ridiculous. You can only hope to be the best your own capabilities allow. A kid went up to  Cassius Clay (at the time) and said, "If I was as big s you, I'd be heavyweight champion, too", to which Clay replied, "So what's stopping you from being the lightweight champion?" Or, in  a phrase which may be more to your liking, "If you can't be a tree then be a Bush."

John Galt inherited wealth? Reardon? That fellow architect in the other book? Gates?

rwood
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11 posted 06-21-2007 10:23 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

laugh~

"If you can't be a tree then be a Bush."

I'd rather be a briar patch.

or Poison Ivy

I think I'm a weed.

Drauntz
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12 posted 06-21-2007 03:29 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Dear Sir Balladeer,

"Actually, reb, you have no idea how many letters I have written to Tiger Woods challenging him to a match. Has he responded? Not once! Go figure..."

...you need to change your name first. A match between a Tiger and a Deer? be rational!!!!
Balladeer
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13 posted 06-21-2007 05:32 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

No worries, Drauntz. I was only lion
serenity blaze
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14 posted 06-21-2007 05:49 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Just popping in here to groan.

Local Rebel
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15 posted 06-21-2007 08:12 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

You can only hope to be the best your own capabilities allow.



I doubt, considering his intellect and ability and work ethic, that the reason that Ron didn't make it in the Photography business or as commercial artist was because he sucked or because Olan Mills was better.  In fact -- I'll bet he furnished his clients with a much better product than Olan Mills ever aspired to.

I also seriously doubt, that you don't want to have more money than Bill Gates -- or win the Masters.

If you reach for the stars eh?  

And Who is John Galt?

Who took John Galt's dream away?  Do CEO's really decide to share with everybody in the company equally?  Every corporation I worked for as an engineer made me sign an agreement as a condition of employment that anything I invented (aka designed) was property of the company?  Why?  Because that's what they were paying me to do -- and thier investment in the tools and facilities for the reasearch involved were expected to bring proprietary technologies.  The sale of which would yeild a profit for the shareholders.  

The real Galts -- men like Tucker, Hughes -- sure they had their pockets picked by the government -- by men who were installed into government positions to represent thier competitor's interests -- not 'the people'.

Shall we have a conversation about K Street?

And, without the sacrifice of Francisco's entire life and fortune -- there is no John Galt -- it seems, he lived his life for another man.  The true irony?

Rand laughed.
rwood
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16 posted 06-23-2007 08:05 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

Hmm..interesting. Loved the bio on Tucker, the car and there was a movie, but yeah, hate the way they were shook down so to speak.

Do you think Howard Hughes overcame that or  earned things a bit differently?

the Galts of the world...

Ever been to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville NC?

Wow. Not all Galts are from the same cloth, hear tell Mr. Vanderbilt basically went cuckoo in the end and hated the place? So as far as inheriting, he nearly ended it with himself.

But, what a legacy and piece of architectural art he left behind. I've been there several times.

sighs...I have an appreciation for the Gilded Age, because there was still some sense of celebration in refinement. Now there seems to be many gaudy attempts at it.  

i'll just remain humble and plain so I don't mistake it all.

Local Rebel
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17 posted 06-23-2007 08:50 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

I don't know Regina... Tucker and Hughes both lived by the sword, so to speak, equiping the U.S. Military with materiel for WWII.  

Myself -- I loved the STYLE of the 30's, 40's and 50's -- but, I couldn't have stood the society.

Colored only/White only.  The signs were still up when I was a kid and my school didn't get desegregated until I was in third grade or so.

It kind of makes the plights of rich white men, um, pale  -- in comparison.
rwood
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18 posted 06-23-2007 09:34 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

so true. I think those times in our American history are most sad and shameful.

I just wondered about Hughes since he wasn't well accepted within the social circles of his own interests. I also wonder if that makes a difference when money is of no object, because we all assume that money buys everything, even acceptance. (that is if one could overlook his peculiarities)


Fish school.

Balladeer
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19 posted 06-23-2007 11:33 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

also seriously doubt, that you don't want to have more money than Bill Gates -- or win the Masters
Then your doubts are in grave error, reb. I've never given a thought to having more money than Bill Gates. The Masters? Sure, in a daydream I would like to win one but I have never even considered putting in the time and effort to be good enough to make it a reality. Tiger did. Why would you think I would seriously want either of those things? Because that's what people are supposed to want? Believe me, many don't. I'm perfectly content to have what I have but then I've never professed to be a Rand character.

Reach for the stars? Anyone can dream of it. How many dedicate their lives to it, study for it, work towards it, get the education necessary for it? Reaching takes more than sticking your hand up in the air trying to grab something.

Who said Ron wasn't a success? If he put everything he had into it, who would you or I be to say he wasn't successful? Is the bottom line on the bank statement the only measure of success? When Rand's character was asked that, if there were an afterlife, what would she want her peers to say to her upon her arrival, she answered, "I would like for them to say 'well done'."

who took John Galt's dream away? No one....
Local Rebel
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20 posted 06-24-2007 12:08 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Hughes could have received top medical care now Regina for his OCD -- but I don't know if Trump would be a fitting analog or not -- Trump doesn't aspire to anything except opulence and more of it like our scandal ridden CEO's:

quote:

The hit parade of corporate scandal isn't about money. It's about boredom. It's not about wealth. It's about loneliness. It's not about power. It's about insecurity.
And it's not about greed. It's about unrealistic fantasy.

So say top corporate psychologists, management experts and CEOs asked by USA TODAY to answer the simple question: Why? What motivates wealthy CEOs to steal from their companies? When you're already a multimillionaire, why do you need more?

Take Dennis Kozlowski, former CEO of Tyco, who, along with two others, has been charged with looting $600 million from the company. Or Andrew Fastow, former Enron CFO, who has been charged with masterminding schemes that officials say let him pocket millions of dollars.

Take former Global Crossing chairman Gary Winnick, under fire for selling $734 million in Global Crossing stock before the company's collapse. Or John Rigas, founder of Adelphia Communications, who along with two sons was accused of stealing hundreds of millions from the company.

This image CEO as crook changes everything. It changes the way millions of investors view Corporate America. It changes the way the nation's best and brightest leaders of the future view the executive seat. It changes the way honest, hardworking CEOs view themselves and their peers. And it changes the way some scandal-weary boards of directors will operate.

"It threatens the very fabric of our system," says William George, former CEO of Medtronic, an outspoken critic of corporate greed.

But it doesn't change one thing: the internal motivations that prodded a plethora of top executives to enrich themselves at the expense of shareholders and workers.

Were he still alive, Dr. Seuss might have his own name for it: Yertle the Turtle syndrome. Sound hokey? Well, the more Yertle got, the more the imperious turtle wildly fantasized about what else he could get until his kingdom literally toppled into the muck.

Some of the nation's top corporate psychologists say that's precisely what's taking place in Corporate America. This isn't about simple greed. It's about a warped executive mind-set stoked by the faux tech boom of the 1990s that's so out of whack it threatens the credibility of big business.

It wasn't long ago that CEOs were equated with rock stars and heralded as corporate messiahs. Now, after various scandals, investors are lumping corporate chiefs into the same ethical junk heap as con artists and two-bit crooks.
http://www.usatoday.com/money/companies/management/2002-10-10-ceo-psychology_x.htm



This behavior more mirrors addiction than irrational self-interest -- but then there is the other dimension of those who are well suited for the tasks of commanding an industry -- they have anti-social personality disorder - aka sociopaths.  It's highly unlikely that Taggert would ever come face to face with exactly who and what he was because men like him have no consciense.  They are exactly like criminals.

But as Twain would say -- it's in their make.

Sorry Mike -- I'll have to catch you on the next sitting.  
Ron
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21 posted 06-24-2007 02:58 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Not a lot of time, but two quick points, if I may, Reb.

First, we probably shouldn't forget that a CEO is, when push comes to shove, just another employee. And I've never seen ANY company that didn't have an ongoing problem with employee theft. Not every employee is a thief, of course, but not every CEO is either.

Second, I had to smile at one of the questions in your quotation: "When you're already a multimillionaire, why do you need more?"

I smiled because I have to strongly suspect that many Third World families, subsisting on the equivalent of a few hundred dollars a year, probably say much the same thing about Middle Class America. We already have SO MUCH, and yet it seems as if we're all scrambling for just a little bit more. Isn't that pretty much symptomatic of the human condition, though? When we have everything we could ever possibly want, we either stop breathing or very quickly find something else to want. It doesn't necessarily have to more of the same, of course, but up to a certain point, that seems to be almost inevitable. Why does a Middle Class family have to have two or three cars? I think it's pretty much the same reason the wealthy might have two or three houses. The more one has, the more one needs to support it.

At the end of the day, the rich are the same as the poor. They just have more money is all.
rwood
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22 posted 06-24-2007 04:19 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

*shiver* up my spine, here.

all this talk about Corporations and CEO's is chilling me cuz I remember, all too well, what it was like working for them.

there was some high times, but more often than not the air was filled with bloody fear and greed. There were bowls of anti-depressants in the "green room".

Thankfully, there is always a window, somewhere, where one can get some fresh air.

I'm a sucker for rags to riches stories, like the one LeeJ posted in announcements.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1k08yxu57NA


I couldn't be happier for this man, but I'm worried at the same time. I hope he never loses his humble heart.


what he has, you can't teach, but it can be taken away. Sighs. Media Moguls.

Local Rebel
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23 posted 06-24-2007 08:55 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Ron,

Motivation is quite a bit more complex than that. The unchecked motivation for revenge, for example, is so strong that a person will give up everything to obtain it.  Also for love.  Neurotransmitters take over.  That doesn't mean that self-interest isn't still present -- but rationality is a hard thing to come by when you're really ticked off -- or just aroused.

That doesn't mean that I don't buy Maslow's intent -- it's just that subsequent studies have shown that the real motivations don't come in any specific hierarchy.  

It makes sense that people may care more about surviving than art -- but, not more than status or revenge, or schadenfreude.

Giving our reward-center in the brain what it wants is ultimately what motivates.

The personality types that are suited to making the kinds of decisions that many CEO's have to make -- especially the ones that have to climb from the bottom to get there -- are willing to do things to get there that most 'normal' people aren't willing to do.

On the other hand -- studies have shown that our reward center responds to paying taxes (involuntarily) -- but that voluntary charity donations do produce a stronger response.  (in normal people)

Twain was more right a century earlier.

Local Rebel
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24 posted 06-24-2007 09:07 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Mike,

quote:

Who said Ron wasn't a success? If he put everything he had into it, who would you or I be to say he wasn't successful? Is the bottom line on the bank statement the only measure of success?



On reading his bio the apparent bar Ron set for himself was avoiding starvation.

quote:

Then your doubts are in grave error, reb. I've never given a thought to having more money than Bill Gates. The Masters? Sure, in a daydream I would like to win one but I have never even considered putting in the time and effort to be good enough to make it a reality. Tiger did. Why would you think I would seriously want either of those things? Because that's what people are supposed to want? Believe me, many don't. I'm perfectly content to have what I have but then I've never professed to be a Rand character.



Are these excuses Mike?  You wanted to be a Rand character.  You've said you tried -- couldn't do it.  What do you think about that attempt tended to drive away your friends?  

Is it possible your poker buddies don't really want to win either -- but just enjoy the game?  Gambling addicts -- they aren't really about winning are they?  It's just the thrill of the risk that they're addicted to -- win or lose -- the game is the thing.

I hope you don't take this the wrong way -- it's really only my intent to get people to stop beating themselves up for not reaching the stars -- which is what philosophies like Objectivism tend to do -- and why I prefer Twain to Rand.

On the other hand -- it's also my intent to get people who have 'success' to be disabused of the notion that they are 'self-made' -- or that thier success belongs to them alone -- it doesn't.

You may invent a confection better than ice-cream.  How boring if there is no one to eat it.
 
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