The Flogging of Punchinello

Month: June, 2015

Charlie Rose & Kevin Rudd

Wish you were here

And the most famous flamingo fugitive, Pink Floyd of Salt Lake City, spent almost two decades in the home he chose after his initial escape. A Chilean flamingo, Pink Floyd’s first stop in Utah was at the city’s Tracy Aviary, in 1985. Three years later, the bird flew from the aviary to the nearby lake, where he stayed through the mid-aughts. At one point, locals stocked his home with plastic flamingos to keep him company; others wanted to import more actual flamingos to the lake in order to create a whole flock.

Pink Floyd was last seen in Idaho, another favorite haunt, but since then he’s been missing, presumed dead. One can only assume that among themselves, flamingos still in aviaries and zoos still whisper his name: He flew away, and he made it.  

Link

Events & Time

The Romans distinguished between futurum and adventus. Futurum refers to events that roll away from us. For example, a turnip farmer was reasonably sure that he was going to eat boiled turnip for dinner but the further ahead one looks the harder it becomes to predict the future. Adventus refers to those events or shocks that come at us and hit us, things that we could not possibly have seen coming. 

Notes From London Value Investor Conference 2015: Woodford, Ruffer, Brandes & More

His Holiness, Munger

“The human mind is a lot like the human egg, in that the human egg has a shut-off device. One sperm gets in, and it shuts down so that the next one can’t get in. The human mind has a big tendency of the same sort … According to Max Plank, the really innovative and important new physics was never really accepted by the old guard. Instead, a new guard came along that was less brain-blocked by its previous conclusions. And if Max Plank’s crowd had this consistency and commitment tendency that kept their old conclusions intact despite disconfirming evidence, you can imagine what the crowd that you and I are a part of behaves like … What people are shouting out they are pounding in.”

Lice Lice Baby

Permitting statistical treatment and the hypnotic presence of numbers and decimal points to befog causal relationships is little better than superstition. And it is often more seriously misleading. It is rather like the conviction among the people of the New Hebrides that body lice produce good health. Observation over the centuries taught them that people in good health usually had lice and sick people very often did not. The observation itself was accurate and sound, as observations made informally over the years surprisingly often are. Not so much can be said for the conclusion to which these primitive people came to from their evidence: Lice makes a man healthy. Everybody should have them.”

The Yellow Birds

The war tried to kill us in the spring. As grass greened the plains of Nineveh and the weather warmed, we patrolled the low-slung hills beyond the cities and towns. We moved over them and through the tall grass on faith, kneading paths into the windswept growth like pioneers. While we slept, the war rubbed its thousand ribs against the ground in prayer. When we pressed onward through exhaustion, its eyes were white and open in the dark. While we ate, the war fasted, fed by its own deprivation. It made love and gave birth and spread through fire.

Then, in summer, the war tried to kill us as the heat blanched all color from the plains. The sun pressed into our skin, and the war sent its citizens rustling into the shade of white buildings. It cast a white shade on everything, like a veil over our eyes. It tried to kill us every day, but it had not succeeded. Not that our safety was preordained. We were not destined to survive. The fact is, we were not destined at all. The war would take what it could get. It was patient. It didn’t care about objectives, or boundaries, whether you were loved by many or not at all. While I slept that summer, the war came to me in my dreams and showed me its sole purpose: to go on, only to go on. And I knew the war would have its way.

John Hempton on Broker Dealer Regulation

A must read for all Australians.

Bronte Capital submission to the Cooper Review

BK on Atlantic

That was me in BK on Atlantic
Never looked both ways, ran in traffic
Pops went away but I stayed, vagrant
Placed where the steel and cement became nature
Love what you did with the place, it looks gorgeous
Cityscape where the blood of good men courses
And the dreamers are bull trapped in porcelain
Take a knee to the gods and get horse shit
Wanna live for the thrill? They’ll arrange it
Got a bevy of imps to spit hatred
Shit’ll get in your head and cause panic
Have you desperately begging to get famous
Get your dignity dirty and left orphaned
Sanity on the fringe of distortion
Who are they to just take shit and hoard it?
Who am I that I don’t get my portion?
The most impressionable minds get molested
And informed by manipulating forces
Don’t fret little man, don’t cry
They can never take the energy inside you were born with
Knowing that, understand you could never be poor
You already won the war, you were born rich
You can only take the energy you had
Going back to the realm or the home where your lord is
Whoever whatever that lord is couldn’t
Give a fuck if you ever made fortunes
Fuck anyone ever trying to run that bum shit
Send ’em to the flames where the orcs live
Them and the lost minds thinking they’re smarter than us
Don’t understand love’s importance
And we can weaponize that, bring ’em back to the truth
Where the ashes and dust got formed in

Some cheek

Prime Minister Julia Gillard recalled that while Mr Holding’s push for a land rights act was blocked by his boss, Bob Hawke, Mr Holding responded with typical cheek and courage by funding Eddie Mabo’s ground-breaking native title claim in the courts – although the Commonwealth was the defendant.

Retreat. Absorb. Retreat. Absorb.

“You think that you are an iconoclast, but you’re not. You just move, or replace what you cannot have. If you fail at something, you retreat into something else. Nothing changes you…. I left you because I knew I could never change you. You would stand in the room so still sometimes, as if the greatest betrayal of yourself would be to reveal one more inch of your character.”
― Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient