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Things That Make You Go Hmmmm

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 5:55
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A lot of the time during this process, I am on my computer reading stuff. We talk. We have moments of intensity. Then, we retreat.   My father in law passed yesterday.  Hospice people are really great.  One of the most terrifying things of the whole experience was that I knew someday I’d be there.  I haven’t sorted out my feelings on that yet-but I have never really had a fear of death. Maybe I do now.  I don’t know.

Apologize for the rambling nature of this blogpost, but that’s the way things are.

Here are a few things that make me think that what I am seeing isn’t really what is there. The mainstream media shouts from a soapbox about causes they care about and want you to notice.  For example, here is some data from the Academy Awards. Yet, when I saw data on actual viewership it was down. Here are the numbers. You can run it yourself.

2016 — 34.3 million viewers
2015 — 37.3 million viewers
2014 — 43.7 million viewers
2013 — 40.4 million viewers
2012 — 39.5 million viewers
2011 — 37.9 million viewers
2010 — 41.6 million viewers   This was the first year they expanded the Best Picture Nominee list
2009 — 36.9 million viewers
2008 — 31.8 million viewers   (low) This makes sense, people were fearing for their financial lives.
2007 — 39.9 million viewers
2006 — 38.6 million viewers
2005 — 42.2 million viewers
2004 — 43.6 million viewers
2003 — 33.0 million viewers   What was going on here? This is an outlier number in a short series that looks stable.
2002 — 40.5 million viewers
2001 — 42.9 million viewers
2000 — 46.5 million viewers   (high) Turn of the century. Facebook and a lot of other technology hadn’t been invented yet.

I used this calculator.  This years drop was 2 standard deviations from the mean. I wouldn’t call it a trend yet. The movies are mostly uninspiring.   People want to be entertained and escape. They are sick of being preached to.

This Scott Adams (Dilbert creator) post is related.  TV sucks too.  I found myself nodding a lot to this post.  I curse at remotes-and you can’t ever find anything on.  We only watch a few programs anymore.  We spend most of our time in front of computer screens.   That’s probably a bad thing too.  I don’t like reading books on a Kindle.  Prefer reading them physically.  I need to read more books-and I need to read more for pleasure and not business type books.

Speaking of news and media, my friend Peter Layton put this graphic up.  What do you think?  Here is where I think it’s incorrect. First, NPR/PBS are mouthpieces for the left.  It wouldn’t bother me one bit if the federal government ended funding for public television and radio.  ABC/NBC/CBS/CNN/Washington Post/New York Times/Newsweek are all hyper-partisan left based on their reporting over the past 8 years.  On the same axis as Cato, I’d add the Hoover Institute.  In “Leans Right” I’d add the American Enterprise Institute.  If you don’t read stuff from Hoover and AEI, you aren’t getting balance.

I read this article by Sam Altman.  Sometimes when hard lefty liberals like Sam trek out of their bubbles it’s more like them going to the “zoo” to see the animals.  I don’t think any real listening gets done and instead, they see it as a “teachable moment”.    I have seen a lot of lefties tweeting about how the people that voted for Trump don’t get out much.  I have news for them, they get out.  They aren’t racists.  They didn’t like the Obama policies.  It destroyed them.

The questions Sam didn’t ask.  What did you like about him?  What policies that he talks about do you like?  Why do you like them?  I hope Sam asked but just didn’t choose to write about it.  Sometimes when you are negative, but ask questions in a positive light people open up more.

If you really ask and listen, you are going to hear answers that cause your stomach to rumble.  You have to suppress that physical sensation-which drives a mental one to cause you to shut down.  The thing about getting out of your bubble is finding out what the true root reason people believe what they believe.

I agree with Democratic Chairperson Donna Brazille.

The fear mongering over repeal of Dodd-Frank is unwarranted.  Repeal will spur more innovation, not less.

Warren Buffett released his letter to shareholders.  Buffett is a big fan of index investing.  Harvard decides to invest with outside managers.  However, the State of Nevada is eating Harvard’s lunch when it comes to investment returns.  Ironic that in the capital of gambling, the head of the pension fund idolizes John Bogle.  The fellas at Tastytrade have a different take.  One thing that occurs to me-if you are a billionaire your investment portfolio probably looks a lot like an index.  Wilbur Ross being confirmed as Secretary of Commerce is a nice development.

One thing we are seeing is that it is hard for career businesspeople to go through the approval process to serve their country in government.  I don’t think the Founders wanted it that way.  Our system today rewards career bureaucrats that don’t have real world experience.  It’s something that needs to change.


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