1922: Why I Quit Being So Accommodating

It was not until long afterward that I understood the whole truth of the matter. People never trust an accommodating man with important things. That may sound harsh and cynical, but check it up in your own experience. If you have a severe illness, for example, you turn to the busiest, most exacting doctor in town. The fact that he is busy and can’t be bothered by little things gives you confidence in his ability and judgment.

.. It was written a long time ago that no man can serve two masters. Bert, in his good-natured way, is trying to serve a thousand.’”

.. I control my charities now; they do not control me. I am master of my time; it is not wasted wantonly among a thousand thoughtless folks. And while I find ways to do more than ever for those who really deserve help — the young, the sick, and the bereaved — I no longer allow myself to be sacrificed by the selfish demands of those who are perfectly able to take care of themselves.

.. First: A man’s chief loyalty must be to the woman who has joined her life to his; to the children who call him father; and to the business which feeds and clothes and houses them all. In my easy-going willingness to befriend the world at large, I was sacrificing my wife, my children, and my employer far more than I was sacrificing myself. As I look back, I marvel that my wife and the children should have borne with me as uncomplainingly as they did.

.. Second: I am convinced that indiscriminate charity, whether one gives money or time — which is life itself — merely pauperizes the recipients. The business and social world are full of respectable panhandlers, who will take and take and take, just as long as they can find anyone to give. I gave to them for years, at the expense of those who had a far better claim upon my generosity. I am still willing to help any man who honestly needs help. But as for the strong, perfectly well, and perfectly capable human beings who have chosen to ride through the world on someone else’s back, they will have to look for another beast of burden. They can buy their own theatre tickets, write their own letters of introduction, make their own hotel reservations, use somebody else’s office instead of mine for their engagements, and borrow money from the banks which are in business to lend.

.. And, finally, I am persuaded that no one ever achieves anything worth-while in this world unless he has so great a respect for his work that he compels all other men to respect it. Unless, in a word, he commands his time

.. I was explaining this point of view to a good old aunt of mine one afternoon and she exclaimed: “But, Joe, it is so selfish for a man to put his work ahead of everything! It’s unchristian.”

“On the contrary, it is Christian in the very finest sense,” I replied. “What was it that Jesus said when his parents rebuked him for his failure to keep his engagement with them on that first journey down from Jerusalem? ‘Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?’ He demanded. He had work to do — great work and little time in which to do it. Even He was no exception to the eternal rule that achievement comes only through the subordination of every power to a great ideal; and that no man is really obliging who does not first discharge in full his obligations to his work.”

Pope Francis Shocks Workers With Pro-Capitalism Pitch

“There can’t be a good economy without good businessmen, without their capacity to create and to produce,” he said, shattering his reputation as an enemy of the free market economy.

 .. Moreover, only an economically healthy society can keep a democracy afloat, he suggested.
.. “A monthly check from the state that allows you to keep the family afloat doesn’t solve the problem. It has to be resolved with work for everyone,” he said.
.. “When it’s a system of individual incentives that puts workers into competition among themselves, you can obtain some advantages, but it ends up ruining the trust that’s the soul of any organization,” the Pope argued. “When a crisis comes, the company falls apart. It implodes, because there’s no longer any harmony.”
.. The Pope said that it is “the many thousands of men and women who strive each day to do an honest day’s work, to bring home their daily bread, to save money and – one step at a time – to build a better life for their families” who “sustain the life of society.”
.. The Pope’s most remarkable words came when speaking about the ability of the free market to lift people out of poverty.
.. “Business is a noble vocation,” the Pope continued, “directed to producing wealth and improving the world. It can be a fruitful source of prosperity for the area in which it operates, especially if it sees the creation of jobs as an essential part of its service to the common good.”

God Can’t Be In The Presence of Sin? (And Other Crap About God We Mindlessly Repeat)

This notion that God cannot be in the presence of sin is a classic case of what I have come to call “generational theology.” Generational theology encompasses a host of things we believe and repeat without ever deeply questioning them. They get passed on to generation to generation not because they’re true, but because that’s what our well-meaning but uninformed Sunday School teacher, grandparents, or parents taught us. Reader’s digest version: Generational theology is crap we believe about God and mindlessly repeat without even thinking about whether or not it’s true.

.. One of the reasons Jesus was so unpopular with the religious elite was because of his preference to build his inner circle with those considered the worst, most unclean sinners of society. Jesus took this so far that the Bible tells us during his ministry he had the public reputation of being an alcoholic (Matthew 11:19, Luke 7:34). In fact, one of the nicknames Jesus eared was Friend of Sinners.

.. Does God like or approve of sin? Of course not. But is sin some magical kryptonite where God is blinded and has to run the other way?

S3Stat: The Cheap Bastard Plan

The Cheap Bastard Plan

Software is expensive. As makers of the most costly (and only) integrated web statistics package for Cloudfront and Amazon S3, we can certainly sympathize. Many organizations that leverage the global content delivery power of Amazon Web Services simply cannot afford to pay $10/month for a service like S3STAT.

We want to let you know that we understand your plight, and as such, we are now offering our Cheap Bastard Plan to accommodate such hardship cases. Read the instructions below and decide if the Cheap Bastard Plan is right for you!

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The Science Behind Why Jeff Bezos’s Two-Pizza Team Rule Works

Once at an Amazon offsite, managers had the reasonable-sounding suggestion that employees should be increasing communication with each other. To their surprise, founder and CEO Jeff Bezos stood up and announced, “No, communication is terrible!”

This stance explains his famous two-pizza team rule, that teams shouldn’t be larger than what two pizzas can feed. More communication isn’t necessarily the solution to communication problems — it’s how it is carried out. Compare the interactions at a small dinner — or pizza — party with a larger gathering like a wedding. As group size grows, you simply can’t have as meaningful of a conversation with every person, which is why people start clumping off into smaller clusters to chat.

  • If you take a basic two-pizza team size of, say, 6. That’s 15 links between everyone.
  • Double that group for a team of 12. That shoots up to 66 links.
  • A small business of 50 people has an incredible 1225 links to manage.

.. Bezos’s two-pizza rule works out to at most 6 or 7 non-ravenous people. Teamwork expert Hackman pegs his magic number at 5

What Does Your Party Want?

Securing the loyalty of the millions of white working-class Americans who lined up behind Trump will require that all three wings of the Republican Party — its business faction, its ideological purists and its cultural traditionalists — abandon any idea of strict adherence to core conservative principles on fiscal and social policy.

“Just as Reagan converted the G.O.P. into a conservative party, with his victory this year, Trump has converted the G.O.P. into a populist, America First party,”

.. Trade and immigration are in my view unambiguously good for the country — but new policies on these issues will have to be done in ways that are supported by the American people, not shoved down their throats by the elites. In this regard, I am a populist. The elites in both parties have not understood Trumpism and have often been contemptuous of the intellect and lifestyle of the Trump loyalists.

.. These voters have shunned Republicans because they disagree with the party’s focus on low taxes, small government, and pro-business policies. They benefit enormously from middle-class entitlement programs; their children get what they consider to be good educations from public schools and state universities. They have no problem with redistribution so long as it is focused on either people who can’t work or people who do.

.. Where movement conservatives see many social programs and the high taxes that fund them as threats to liberty, these voters see them as giving decent, hard-working people a hand up to live decent, dignified lives. Where business conservatives see free trade or immigration as helping people and increasing growth, these voters see those policies as favoring foreigners over themselves and as just another way that their bosses try to pay them less without justification.

.. newly recruited white working-class converts to Trump’s Republican Party do not consider conservative dogma on gay rights, abortion, gender identity, or traditional marriage their priority.=

.. Bannon described the goal of the “entirely new political movement” he believes Trump is leading:

It’s everything related to jobs. The conservatives are going to go crazy. I’m the guy pushing a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan. With negative interest rates throughout the world, it’s the greatest opportunity to rebuild everything. Shipyards, ironworks, get them all jacked up. We’re just going to throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks. It will be as exciting as the 1930s, greater than the Reagan revolution — conservatives, plus populists, in an economic nationalist movement.

.. Bannon is explicit in his identification of the enemy:

The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia. The issue now is about Americans looking to not get f—ed over. If we deliver, we’ll get 60 percent of the white vote, and 40 percent of the black and Hispanic vote and we’ll govern for 50 years.

.. This ad was part and parcel of an election that has put some of the most vocal House Republicans, including the vaunted Freedom Caucus, on notice that defying Trump’s right-populist orientation could put their political future at risk.

.. “Trump dominated — in the primary and general elections — those districts represented by Congress’s most conservative members,” Tim Alberta wrote in National Review (he is now at Politico):

They once believed they were elected to advance a narrowly ideological agenda, but Trump’s success has given them reason to question that belief.

.. Even if they support Trump nine times of ten, voting against him once could trigger a tweetstorm or the threat of a visit to their district. It’s a chilling thought for members who know that the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the House GOP leadership already want them gone.

Kevin McCarthy, the House majority leader, plans to make full use of Trump’s leverage to keep recalcitrant members of the Freedom Caucus in line.

Can Uber Ever Deliver? Part One – Understanding Uber’s Bleak Operating Economics

There are no grounds for believing that Uber will ever be profitable, let alone justify its lofty valuation, absent perhaps the widespread implementation of driverless cars.

.. is least likely to be implemented in cities, which present far more daunting design demands that long-distance transport on highways.

.. The taxi ride company provided 290 pages of verbiage, but would not provide its net income or even annual revenues.

.. Uber is currently the most highly valued private company in the world. Its primarily Silicon Valley-based investors have a achieved a venture capital valuation of $69 billion based on direct investment of over $13 billion.

.. Uber has been aggressively pursuing global industry dominance, in the belief that the industry has been radically transformed into a “winner-take-all” market.

.. Unlike most startups, Uber did not enter the industry in pursuit of a significant market share, but was explicitly working to drive incumbents out of business and achieve global industry dominance. Uber’s huge valuation was always predicated on the dramatic growth towards global dominance.

.. Uber passengers were paying only 41% of the actual cost of their trips; Uber was using these massive subsidies to undercut the fares and provide more capacity than the competitors who had to cover 100% of their costs out of passenger fares.

.. in 2000, Amazon had a negative 50% margin, losing $1.4 billion on $2.8 billion in revenue, and the company responded by firing more than 15 percent of its workforce.[4] 2015 was Uber’s fifth year of operations; at that point in its history Facebook was achieving 25% profit margins.