Honoured and flattered by Cultural Offering

I’m honoured, flattered and, frankly, quite chuffed to find the Sovereign Professional on Cultural Offering’s annual list of 25 Blogs Guaranteed to Make You Smarter.

Kurt Harden’s Cultural Offering was one of a handful of blogs that inspired me when I started blogging more than 10 years ago. The Sovereign Professional is a new venture and I’m honoured to make Kurt’s list in such esteemed company.

 

Photo by wu yi on Unsplash

You have the power

Callie Oettinger on StevenPressfield.com talks about the highs and lows of the independent creative. Also, the need to fight:

Be prepared to fight today. Be prepared to fight tomorrow. Be prepared to fight every day that follows.

And if you cross paths with a rabid wolf, don’t let it steal your soul.

Hold on tight and fight.

Fight for your ideas.

Fight for your work.

Fight for your mind.

Fight for your body.

Fight for everything you hold dear.

Sage advice.

 

Photo by Ryan Cryar on Unsplash

Songs For Sovereign Professionals: Down Payment Blues

I got myself a Cadillac
But I can’t afford the gasoline
I got holes in my shoes
And I’m way overdue
Down payment blues

So, not a place you want to be. A wise warning.

But, also, maybe it’s a state of mind:

Feeling like a paper cup
Floating down a storm drain
Got myself a sailing boat
But I can’t afford a drop of rain
I got holes in my shoes
And I’m way overdue
Down payment blues

Some people always spend more than they make.

I couldn’t find a video of the Bon Scott line-up performing this, but here’s Brian Johnson in 1996…

The song originates from the band’s 1978 album, Powerage.

Echoes through time: enter into the mind of the speaker

“Accustom yourself to give careful attention to what others are saying, and try your best to enter into the mind of the speaker.”

Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations

 

Image: Copyright : Vladimir Korostyshevskiy at 123rf.com

Markets, fairness and wolves – @mattwridley, @worstall

Over on CapX, Tim Worstall elaborates on Matt Ridley’s recent Times column regarding free markets and fairness.

Ridley observes that free trade, contrary to common socialist rhetoric,  actually makes people behave more fairly and generously:

The more integrated into the commercial world people are, the more generous they are. As one of the authors, the economist Herb Gintis, summarises the results: “Societies that use markets extensively develop a culture of co-operation, fairness and respect for the individual.”

Worstall elaborates that, as a result, a free market of repeated interactions is self-regulating:

Buying bread is, for example, a fairly common activity. Anyone trying to cheat us will quickly find their market disappearing. We might tell on them. We might just reject their offering. But bad bread does quickly disappear.

Buying pensions on the other hand is different – we only really do it once in a lifetime. And it takes perhaps 50 years to find out we made the wrong decision. We can rely a great deal less upon that trained-to-operate-in-markets set of reflexes that multiple iterations allow.

Which is rather a long-winded way of explaining what must be regulated and why.

Worstall’s assertion that fairness is a learned response reminds me of this recently reported experiment which found that wolves and domestic dogs have a similar sense of fairness (i.e. that it pre-dates the domestication of dogs). As reported on the BBC:

Two animals of each species were placed in adjacent cages, equipped with a buzzer apparatus. When the dog or wolf pressed it with their paw, both animals got a reward on some occasions. Other times, the dog or wolf doing the task got nothing while the partner did.

The key finding was that when the partner got a high value treat, the animal doing the task refused to continue with it.

“When the inequity was greatest they stopped working,” said Jennifer Essler, from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna.

“For some of them it was a really really quick and strong response. One of the wolves stopped working after the third trial of not receiving anything while his partner received something. I think he was so frustrated he even broke the apparatus.”

 

Photo by Courtney Clayton on Unsplash