In his delightfully authentic and autobiographical Setting the Table, restauranteur and entrepreneur Danny Meyer both laments and celebrates the role critics have played in determining the success of his various restaurants.
In one such story he recounts a time in 1994 when New York magazine profiled his newest restaurant upon its opening, complete with a cover page emblazoned with 4 stars under the prompt “Gramercy Tavern: The Next Great Restaurant?”
While publicity like this would normally be considered better than anything money could buy, the publication failed to inform their lead food critic, Gael Greene, that they would be running this piece. Mr. Meyer was put in the awful position of having to explain that her work would be overshadowed by that of the magazine for which she wrote. She was outraged and took it out on the newly opened tavern.
Predictably, Gael did launch an assault on the restaurant in her review; she was responding as much to her own magazine’s hype as she was to her sense of the restaurant itself.
You’ve been told that capitalism is a system based on greed, ruthless selfishness, exploitation, and of disregard for your fellow man.
You’ve been lied to.
In his book Knowledge and Power George Gilder proposes that capitalism, more than any rival economic system, requires entrepreneurs and innovators to be generous, empathetic, and passionately focused on the wants and needs of others. Capitalism begins with giving.
This makes sense once you get down to the essence of what capitalism is. When we strip away terms and definitions like buyers and sellers, employees and employers, etc. we see that capitalism is simply shorthand for a system of voluntary exchanges between two parties in which each party exchanges something that is less valuable to them in order to receive something that is more valuable to them. … Read More
In her widely viewed TED Talk entitled The Power of Vulnerability (video and transcript available here) author Brené Brown makes the case that we are neurobiologically hardwired for connection with others. In order to thrive and succeed as humans we need to connect with others in the same way that we need air and water. If this connection is absent bad things happen.
This isn’t a new idea. Aristotle observed that “man is by nature a social animal” and many others have commented on this reality as well. But only recently have we begun understanding just how deeply this hardwiring goes.
In his book Digital Minimalism, Cal Newport summarizes neuroscientific research conducted at Washington University in St. Louis that gives us an interesting glimpse into just how central social interaction is to our neurological function. To summarize, our brains have what’s been labeled “the default network” that is turned off any time we focus on specific tasks but immediately kicks back on when we’re “thinking about nothing.” … Read More
Government is run by greedy politicians who are owned by lobbyists because all they care about is money!
Corporations are run by greedy CEOS who don’t care about people and all they care about is money!
Scientific research is funded by government subsidies and grants involving many financial conflicts of interests and therefore should be carefully and critically examined before being considered trustworthy and objective!
Why won’t I wear a mask? First, it’s not because I’m selfish, anti-science, I want your grandma to die, Donald Trump told me not to, I believe CV is a Russian hoax, etc. Second, I actually don’t care if people wear masks or not. If you want to wear one, go for it. Throw on a face shield or even a HAZMAT suit on your way to Target and I’ll do nothing but smile and wave when we cross paths in the kombucha aisle.
But I’ve decided I’m not going to wear one. Here’s why:
My face belongs to me.
My body and, consequently, my face are my own personal property. They do not belong to anyone else, including the Mayor of Lincoln, Nebraska or the Interim Health Director of the Lincoln/Lancaster County Health Department. This point is not inconsequential because most State abuses and overreach violate a person’s rights to ownership of themselves and their property.
When they said “It’s just a mask” they were lying. In the name of some nebulous concept entitled public health the police have been sent to close down a privately owned business in Northeast Lincoln.
Their offense? Patrons of the business are not being forced to wear masks while inside the building. It should be noted that nobody in Lincoln or Lancaster County is being forced to patronize Madsen’s Bowling and Billiards against their will. But I digress.
Let’s put it very plainly. Some mid-level county bureaucrat, in this case the Interim Health Director, has the power to seize your property and prevent you from using it. … Read More
There are exactly two ways that wealth is acquired, and only one of them is morally justifiable.
But before we get to that, let’s define what wealth is. Strictly speaking, wealth is the value of the assets and resources an individual owns and has use of, including their own body, their labor, and their property.
Wealth can be created, destroyed, or transferred from one party to another. Imagine, for example, a field that has been plowed, fertilized, and planted with wheat. In a few months’ time a crop of wheat will exist that didn’t before. Now imagine that a week before harvest that same field is consumed by fire. That wheat can no longer be consumed or turned into other goods.
Production and Voluntary Exchange
As hinted at, one way wealth can be acquired is through production. A person can apply their labor (physical, mental, or otherwise) to create goods and services that did not previously exist, which then belong to them. … Read More