Wednesday , October 16 2019
Home / Tag Archives: In Brief

Tag Archives: In Brief

On The Great Jihad And Other Possible Futures

PDF Download (Paid Subscription Required): On the Great Jihad And Other Possible Futures “He had seen two main branchings along the way ahead—in one he confronted an evil old Baron and said: “Hello, Grandfather.” The thought of that path and what lay along it sickened him. The other path held long patches of gray obscurity except for peaks of violence. He had seen a warrior religion there, a fire spreading across the universe with the Atreides green and black banner waving at...

Read More »

Death in Slow Motion

There is nothing quite like a slow-motion death scene. And there is no slow-motion death scene quite like the classic from the 1973 Turkish film and popular 2012 meme Kareteci Kiz. The picture you clicked on to get to this piece gives you a small taste of its glory, but you really must watch the video to get the full experience. Speaking of painfully drawn out deaths, let’s talk about the asset management industry (hey-o!). To that end, I read an interesting...

Read More »

Mailbag

I don’t write many Mailbag notes these days. That’s partly because I’ve got so many words burning through my fingers to get out in new notes, but it’s even more so because we’ve created an ongoing Mailbag on the Epsilon Theory website … a place BY Pack members and FOR Pack members, where you’ll find some of the smartest commentary going, and where Rusty and I are in full engagement. At last count, we’ve got something like 2,000 published comments. It’s one of the best...

Read More »

Does It Make a Sound?

This is Hong Kong right now. The image is powerful. The audio is more powerful. The people in this image and this video are singing “Do you hear the people sing,” from Les Mis. It is a common protest song, but not the kind of thing that is allowed in 2019 China. If you know the curtain-dropping line from the play, you’ll know why: Do you hear the people sing?Singing a song of angry men?It is the music of a peopleWho will not be slaves again – Les Miserables (1980) Here...

Read More »

The Country HOA and other Control Stories

Ahchoo: You don’t have to do this. Look, this ain’t exactly the Mississippi. I’m on one side, see? I’m on the other side. I’m on the east bank. I’m on the west bank. It is NOT that critical. Robin of Locksley: Not the point! It’s the principle of the thing. Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993) I visited my parents in Texas last week. They live on the periphery of Houston exurbs and East Texas country, although – and this is not unusual for Texas – their home is in a development....

Read More »

What You Call Love

Don Draper: What you call love was invented by guys like me. To sell Nylons. In certain circles, it’s fashionable to assert that “words are violence.” That is to say, certain language is used to perpetuate and reinforce existing (typically oppressive) social power structures, and this is a form of coercion on par with physical violence. For brevity, I’m going to lump everyone who espouses these beliefs together under the broad umbrella of postmodernism. In other circles, it’s...

Read More »

The Patsy, Revisited

As they say in poker, “If you’ve been in the game 30 minutes and you don’t know who the patsy is, you’re the patsy.” – Berkshire Hathaway Chairman’s Letter (1987) This is the ur-quote. The True Source from which all hedge fund investor letter quotes spring. I’m not criticizing. It’s a great quote. I’m also not pointing fingers. We’ve used the true-to-Buffett ‘patsy’ version of the quote at least once in past Epsilon Theory notes. We have used the ‘sucker’ version at least six...

Read More »

So I got that goin’ for me

Dry a subject as you’d imagine they would be, buybacks have become a topic every bit as polarizing as some of our political discussions. No matter how nuanced your view, it will be auto-tuned to some extreme by the obedience collar-wielding ideologues on one end of the spectrum or the dog whistle-wielding ideologues on the other. Even now, someone is preparing a “stop with the bothsideism – it’s just math” response without reading any further. Sigh. It’s not about the...

Read More »

The Problem with Brussels Sprouts

I think it started in 2010. Within six months of patient zero, they were everywhere. Every gastropub. Every upscale comfort food concept. Every ‘American Brasserie’ in a gentrifying neighborhood. Every farm-to-table that became an OK-maybe-a-little-Sysco-to-table after six months of food cost realities. Brussels sprouts. No, not the actual vegetable. That would be gross. No, I mean Brussels sprouts! These things that we quartered, soaked in olive oil and butter, bathed in...

Read More »

Mailbag: A Modern Vocational Curriculum

Few topics seem to arouse the kind of interest, creativity and occasional rancor as our diversions into higher education. When we wrote about a vocational curriculum that we thought would do a far better job achieving the true professional preparation aims of a mixed post-secondary educational system, we received a lot of thoughtful comments – enough that it made sense to make sure all of our readers saw them: Interesting selection. You might be interested to know that something...

Read More »