‘I guess I used to think of myself as a lone agent, who made certain choices and established certain alliances with colleagues and friends,’ he said. ‘Now, though, I see things differently. I believe we inherit a great river of knowledge, a flow of patterns coming from many sources. The information that comes from deep in the evolutionary past we call genetics. The information passed along from hundreds of years ago we call culture. The information passed along from decades ago we call family, and the information offered months ago we call education. But it is all information that flows through us. The brain is adapted to the river of knowledge and exists only as a creature in that river. Our thoughts are profoundly molded by this long historic flow, and none of us exists, self-made, in isolation from it.’
‘And though history has made us self-conscious in order to enhance our survival prospects, we still have deep impulses to erase the skull lines in our head and become immersed directly in the river. I’ve come to think that flourishing consists of putting yourself in situations in which you lose self-consciousness and become fused with other people, experiences, or tasks. It happens sometimes when you are lost in a hard challenge, or when an artist or a craftsman becomes one with the brush or the tool. It happens sometimes while you’re playing sports, or listening to music or lost in a story, or to some people when they feel enveloped by God’s love. And it happens most when we connect with other people. I’ve come to think that happiness isn’t really produced by conscious accomplishments. Happiness is a measure of how thickly the unconscious parts of our minds are intertwined with other people and with activities. Happiness is determined by how much information and affection flows through us covertly every day and year.’ ”
We begin by clarifying our own view of politics. In a few words: We’re against it.
We’re not for abstract “liberty” or “democracy” or any of the “-isms.” We just don’t like anyone telling us what to do.
Politics is telling other people what to do. It is one part self-deception, one part fraud, and one part brute force. If you don’t go along with the self-deception or submit to the fraud, the government will use brute force against you. Ultimately, you must do what the politicians and their lackeys in government tell you… or they will soon have their boot on your neck.
Most people go along willingly… often happily. They stand in line to vote, feeling proud of themselves, hoping to score an advantage… or drive their neighbors in the direction they think they should go.
They want more retirement benefits… bigger salaries for teachers… or more war in the Middle East. They cannot get these things without the firepower of government behind them. So, they believe they are “good citizens” by using it.
Deceiving, pretending, bullying, threatening, thieving, enslaving, and killing – strip away the claptrap and that is what you have. Government is a dirty and uncivilized business. As Thomas Jefferson pointed out long ago, the less of it you have the better off you are.”
– Dan Ferris
It’s also important to note the biggest source of risk to any investment in publicly traded securities is YOU. Humans are designed to avoid being eaten by bears and reproduce as often as possible, not to buy stocks when they’re cheap and hold on through the market’s ups and downs.
Investing is a whole different kind of bravery. It’s as natural as jumping out of an airplane (with or without a parachute). Our emotions lead us to follow the crowd into wrong decisions, like staying away from stocks when they’re cheap (exactly when you should be buying) and buying when they’re expensive (exactly when you should be holding or even selling).”