Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Understanding the idea of "Niskatnu HaDoros"...

,,, which roughly translates to "the diminishing of the generations". Ready?

I'm a Dad.
(poor kid)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Should I Steal?

One of the best articles I've read in a long time, at The Atlantic. (Hat tip: Farbs)

Should I Steal From Macy's?

Macy's is a large corporation.  They are not particularly nice to me.   They issue credit cards with high interest rates.

Many of the things I purchased at Macy's have not really made me better off.  In fact, some have made me worse off. Once I bought a suit for $800 that I couldn't really afford, but the sales clerk at Macy's didn't even ask me to rethink before I paid.  All she cared about was selling me that suit.

Macy's makes an allowance for theft (euphemistically known as "shrinkage" in the retail trade).  It's factored into the price of the product.  They knew when they let me into the store that there was a risk that I might try to steal something.  As soon as they opened the doors, everyone knew what was going to happen: a bunch of stuff would get bought, and some stuff would be stolen.  One could argue that every time I have bought something at retail, paying an extra percentage to cover losses from shrinkage, I have been paying for the right to steal at some point in the future.

Macy's doesn't even use written contracts for most transactions!  If they had wanted to, they could have asked me to sign a contract agreeing not to steal.  Since they didn't, why do I have an obligation not to steal?

Monday, June 13, 2011

EZ Reads 6/13/11: No Shortcuts

I don't think non-Clevelanders always understand how exactly Clevelanders feel and felt about Lebron James. Two (really three, but the one in Deadspin's language is way too unnecessary) pieces really explain it perfectly:
On a related note, this video by the Greater Cleveland Partnership about Cleveland's rebirth and rebuilding process is impressive - not just for the video, but the amount of infrastructure ($6.8 billion!) being put into the city as it reinvents itself around its outstanding medical facilities.

  • James Taranto on the Monster Mohel cartoons which led to the circumcision ban's primary backer dropping it.
  • James Bovard discusses his summer working for government, which shows perfectly why government operations are so ineffective: There's simply no incentive to work properly.
  • Kol HaRav has R' Bigman's piece on Coercing a Divorce, about how the process ultimately gives power to uncooperative husbands. As we have seen a couple friends pay small fortunes to get their get, this one hit home.
  • On a related note, Kefirot questions, after watching a friend be forced to give up her own get rights to get hers, whether we have lost our belief in God that we allow so many people to act so horribly.

Rescue Needed

For those of you old enough to remember Suri Feldman's disappearance and her subsequent rescue, I cannot help but notice the difference in response to Lauren Spierer's disappearance.

Her name is Golda bas Mazal, and everyone should please daven for her and help in any way that they possibly can, whether it be to daven a little for her, to donate, or volunteer services.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

EZ Reads 6/12/11: Mazel Tov Edition

Since it's been a while...
  • Happy 38th Anniversary to my parents this past Friday!
  • Mazel tov to OD and SIL on the birth of a girl over Shavuos!
  • Mazel tov to G on the birth of a baby boy recently! (English name suggestion below...)
  • Mazel tov to Moshe and family on their move to (gasp) Cleveland!
  • Happy 24th (!) birthday to the Apple!
  • Mazel tov to Pobody's Nerfect on a baby girl recently!
  • ...and I'm sure there are more I'm forgetting, sorry!
  • Elsewhere, some good stuff - Blobby with a really nice story about Jews. That's how I was brought up, where that's how we were viewed. Awesome.
  • Avi Shafran proudly "informs" on other Jews, for a good cause. 
  • Love is the Motive talks of a nice new app (waiting for it on Android) called PowerSefer, bringing a slew of seforim etc. to your iPhone or PC.
  • And really - did you think I'd forget? GO MAVS!! (Suggestion for G: Dirk. I don't care what name he's got, this is a potential add, right?)

Monday, June 06, 2011

The Talk

R' Yanky Horowitz is giving The Talk in Baltimore, KGH, Monsey, and Brooklyn over the coming weeks. See info below and here.

Friday, June 03, 2011

EZ Reads 6/3/11

Some thoughts going into Shabbos:
  • Someone did a study of the 5 largest regrets people have on their deathbeds. It's an interesting read, if somewhat obvious. Excerpt:
    3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
    Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.
    We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.
  • Another interesting piece, if only to the extent to which it's true: What we expect is what we get, to the point that people who were told their jobs are good exercise would lose weight, while those who weren't  told wouldn't. To me, this simply proves that mind truly is over matter to a large extent: You can control far more of your life if you simply decide to.
  • An interesting aside from Mark Suster's excellent entrepreneurial blog Both Sides of the Table, discussing Peter Thiel's offer to find 20 bright young entrepreneurs to pay them to drop out of college and pursue their own companies. (Why couldn't anyone do this 8 years ago?!) Excerpt y'all may appreciate if you know me:
    I don’t give a s*** whether you were graduated from college or not. If you’re excellent at what you do (coding, sales, marketing, leadership) and you can demonstrate that, I really don’t care if you went to or dropped out of college. At least not as an entrepreneur. Others might care so you should take that into consideration. I personally don’t. And I can attest to this because one of my leading developers at both of my startups never finished college. It never affected him when it was time to check in his code and I’d hire him again in a second.
  • Need some extra motivation? How about an alarm clock which shreds your money?
  • Finally, a great marriage proposal using a graffiti mural, in time lapse.

The Best Comic (Ever?!)

I'm not the "wow this is the best stuff ever!" kind of person, but I love this strip by xkcd. Make sure to mouseover the image to see the other text.