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Bill Maher asked Fareed Zakaria why he thinks Justice Roberts ruled in favor of the health care bill. Listen to his take on this:

Fareed Zakaria: I think he did it because he is a politician in the best sense of the word. The person leading one of the three branches of government has to think about the power of that branch of government. The Supreme Court has no power to tax or to spend. It has no army. All its power comes from legitimacy. In the 1980’s the Supreme Court’s approval rating was something like 66%. It’s down to 36%. A lot of that is Bush v. Gore. Some of it is Citizens United. And I think he realized that another 5-4 decision that would overturn the signature achievement of the first two years would be too much and it would make it impossible for them to have credibility going forward. They’re going to rule on affirmative action in the next session. They’re going to rule on gay marriage. Would any of those rulings have credibility?

Bill Maher: I agree with that and there is some positive in that but it also makes me so cynical because it makes me think when they decide about the law, the law is the last thing in their minds. They make the decision and then they find whatever they need to find to back up the law. 

Fareed Zakaria: You haven’t hired lawyers? That’s what they do. You tell them where you want to go and they find a way to get you there. The supreme court is 9 lawyers. 

It’s really important that in the top third of the segment you don’t say ‘Khalid Sheikh Mohommad,’ or ‘military tribunal,’ or ‘Guantanamo’, because as soon as you say those things, people think they know what the story is. If you don’t edit mercilessly to keep out all of the words that make people leap to conclusions about what you’re going to say, you’ll never persuade people that you’re going to tell then something you don’t already know.
Rachel Maddow

On being “aggressively boring”

Fantastic wrap-up of the NBA Finals by Henry Abbott.

From the article:

Or maybe the secret is: There is no secret. Maybe you work really hard, add skills, build relationships with your teammates, stay in great shape, concentrate, take high percentage shots and just keep right on trucking, knowing that with the right people and effort in place, the results will take there of themselves. 

Jonah Perretti: “Social is the new starting point”

From the article:

Another aspect of modern media consumption is the mashing together of content. With Facebook and Twitter people are sharing all different types of media from humor to cute kittens to Internet memes to serious substantive reporting. BuzzFeed, as a publisher, brings all this together. The argument that cute animal posts dumb down your audience has never made sense to me. I like to think of a smart Frenchman at a cafe reading Le Monde and smoking a pipe. A lot of French cafes have dogs, so he pauses to pet the dog. When he’s petting the dog, he doesn’t get dumb and when he goes back to Le Monde, he doesn’t suddenly get smart. Humans are complex and there are all these different interests that don’t have to be perfectly resolved. You can like tabloid stuff and cute animal stuff and really smart substantive reporting. That’s not a contradiction. That’s just being human.

In a world full of naysayers, you’d be king

Fantastic piece by Akshay on haterism in the start-up world, applies to all professions. From the article:

When you’re a startup, it’s astounding how many people want to give you unsolicited advice. The quantity of naysayers you will meet will astonish you. Doubters will pour forth from environmentally friendly aluminum & glass Mac casing.

I’ve realized something though, all the negativity I’ve ever received has been from people who aren’t successful or seasoned entrepreneurs. These people need to define their success by spouting wisdom from their ass. The proverbial Porche for the micro-phallus syndrome.

On the other hand, entrepreneurs who have been in the trenches, the one’s who have faced humiliation & failure, the one’s who know it’s all about execution don’t put you down. It’s not that these entrepreneurs coddle you, quite the opposite; they ask you hard questions, questions which you may have no answers for, but such advice advances your mind, not diminishes it. At best good entrepreneurs advise you, at worst they give you constructive criticism. You never feel patronized.

So next time you walk away from a conversation feeling put down, an automatic “ding” should go off in your mind. Know that the person who just “advised” you is inconsequential. In fact there’s a good side to this. People who need to put others down in order to make themselves feel better are not optimists. And in this industry if you’re not optimistic, you will fail (for a variety of reasons). In fact, if the world was full of naysayers, you’d be guaranteed success cause you’d have no competition.

Why the US can beat China: the facts about SpaceX costs

Elon Musk:

For the first time in more than three decades, America last year began taking back international market-share in commercial satellite launch. This remarkable turn-around was sparked by a small investment NASA made in SpaceX in 2006 as part of the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program. A unique public-private partnership, COTS has proven that under the right conditions, a properly incentivized contractor — even an all-American one — can develop extremely complex systems on rapid timelines and a fixed-price basis, significantly beating historical industry-standard costs.

China has the fastest growing economy in the world. But the American free enterprise system, which allows anyone with a better mouse-trap to compete, is what will ensure that the United States remains the world’s greatest superpower of innovation.

Antoine de Saint Exupéry:

Have you looked at a modern airplane? Have you followed from year to year the evolution of its lines? Have you ever thought not only about the airplane but about whatever man builds, that all of man’s industrial efforts, all his computations and calculations, all the nights spent over working draughts and blueprints, invariably culminate in the production of a thing whose sole and guiding principle is the ultimate principle of simplicity?

It is as if there were a natural law which ordained that to achieve this end, to refine the curve of a piece of furniture, or a ship’s keel, or the fuselage of an airplane, until gradually it partakes of the elementary purity of the curve of a human breast or shoulder, there must be the experimentation of several generations of craftsmen. In anything at all, perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away, when a body has been stripped down to its nakedness.

It results from this that perfection of invention touches hands with absence of invention, as if that line which the human eye will follow with effortless delight were a line that had not been invented, but simply discovered, had in the beginning been hidden by nature and in the end been found by the engineer. There is an ancient myth about the image asleep in the block of marble until it is carefully disengaged by the sculptor. The sculptor must himself feel that he is not so much inventing or shaping the curve of breast or shoulder as delivering the image from its prison.

In this spirit do engineers, physicists concerned with thermodynamics, and the swarm of preoccupied draughtsmen tackle their work. In appearance, but only in appearance, they seem to be polishing surfaces and refining away angles, easing this joint or stabilizing that wing, rendering these parts invisible, so that in the end there is no longer a wing hooked to a framework but a form flawless in its perfection, completely disengaged from its matrix, a sort of spontaneous whole, its parts mysteriously fused together and resembling in their unity a poem.

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Ignition (Remix)

Young the Giant

Young The Giant Ignition (R. Kelly Cover)

Don’t follow your passions, follow your effort. It will lead you to your passions and to success, however you define it.

This statement by Mark Cuban reminds me of something Charlie Chaplan said about how he became an actor: “I went into the business for the money, and the art grew out of it. If people are disillusioned by that remark, I can’t help it. It’s the truth.”

Dont Follow Your Passion, Follow Your Effort « blog maverick

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The Neighbourhood Sweater Weather

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Alpines Gold

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Look At Miss Ohio

Benjamin Francis Leftwich

Benjamin Francis Leftwich Look At Miss Ohio

"We Stopped Dreaming" - Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson

Never underestimate how much people desire to be spoon-fed.

Why the Kony video is a good thing…

The message may be flawed but fundamentally the Kony video has done its purpose. It’s inspired people to want to capture an actual, real-life bad guy (#1 criminal in the world according to the International Criminal Court). This video activated an entire base that was prior to this was posting and sharing videos of talking dogs, the Kardashians, and donkey sex. So hell yeah, it’s a good thing. 

Here’s an excerpt from the Forbes article that started this rant:

But still.  How is it a bad thing that hundreds of thousands people all over the world are now motivated to help neutralize a horrible man who is responsible for countless heinous crimes against people throughout Central Africa?

He’s #1 on the ICC “worst people in the world” hit list. Getting him and his lieutenants off the streets would be good.

Rather than sitting back and saying “you’re not fighting evil correctly,” I would love it if the naysayers did something to help.