Posts tagged with America

Winthrop also subscribed to the belief that the native peoples who lived in the hinterlands around the colony had been struck down by G-d, who sent disease among them because of their non-Christian beliefs:

“But for the natives in these parts, God hath so pursued them, as for 300 miles space the greatest part of them are swept away by smallpox which still continues among them. So as G-d hath thereby cleared our title to this place…”

New World Encyclopedia, via MRU

(search pictures of smallpox only if you have a strong stomach)

As to longitude, I declare that I found so much difficulty in determining it that I was put to great pains to ascertain the east-west distance I had covered. The final result of my labours was that I found nothing better to do than to watch for and take observations at night of the conjunction of one planet with another, and especially of the conjunction of the moon with the other planets….

After I had made experiments many nights, one night, the twenty-third of August 1499, there was a conjunction of the moon with Mars, which according to the almanac was to occur at midnight or a half hour before. I found that…at midnight Mars’s position was three and a half degrees to the east.

Amerigo Vespucci

Good gosh. Can you imagine having travelled so far on the globe—without a swift means of return, of course—that you literally had no idea where you were?

And what’s more, science to save you. You can’t ask anyone around you for the answer. Many of the people around you not only have never heard of Europe, but can’t even conceive of such a thing.

Nobody knows the answer. ∄ books that purport to have the answer. ∄ communication channels back to home. You’re all alone, mentally. To figure out what’s going on all you have to go on is reason and facts. And if you get the answer right, whom are you going to tell?

(Source: Wikipedia)

[It is] fallacious [to argue] that what is possible or desirable for individuals one at a time will be equally possible or desirable for all who might wish to do so or for the economy as a whole.

[Such] analysis seems to be based on the assumption that … devoting more resources to one use inevitably detracts from availability for another. This might be justifiable in an economy at chock-full employment…. But under current conditions [1996] such success is neither likely nor desirable.

[U]nemployment rates … in the 5 to 6 percent range [are] bad enough merely in terms of the loss of 10 to 15 percent of our potential production … but when it translates into unemployment of 10, 20, and 40 percent among disadvantaged groups, the further damages in terms of poverty, family breakup, school truancy and dropout, illegitimacy, drug use, and crime become serious indeed.

Fallacy 1:

Deficits are considered to represent sinful profligate spending at the expense of future generations who will be left with a smaller endowment of invested capital. This fallacy seems to stem from a false analogy to borrowing by individuals.

Current reality [1996] is almost the exact opposite. Deficits add to the net disposable income of individuals, to the extent that government disbursements that constitute income to recipients exceed that abstracted from disposable income in taxes, fees, and other charges. This added purchasing power, when spent, provides markets for private production, inducing producers to invest in additional plant capacity, which will form part of the real heritage left to the future. This is in addition to whatever public investment takes place in infrastructure, education, research, and the like.

[T]he analogy … is faulty. If General Motors, AT&T, and individual households had been required to balance their budgets in the manner being applied to the Federal government, there would be no corporate bonds, no mortgages, no bank loans, and many fewer automobiles, telephones, and houses.

William Vickrey

(Source: columbia.edu)

If you added up all the college education of Steinbeck, Hemingway, Faulkner you’d get almost to spring break of freshman year. …

Contemporary writing … has been influenced by the mid-century French style: psychological. Exploring your inner thoughts.

Most [American] writers today come out of M.F.A. programmes. There they’re taught to “write what you know”. And, wheuw, it is bo-o-ring.

Tom Wolfe

(Source: youtube.com)

Video Games by Lana del Rey