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May 2011

"Daughters and Roller Skating"

Wonderful piece by one of my favorite sportswriters, Joe Posnanski.

Watching her out there was one of the strangest feelings I’ve ever had as a parent. I was proud and embarrassed, nervous and uncertain. I did not teach her this. I could not teach her this. If someone had told me then, “Wow, your daughter has such amazing confidence,” I would have to say — as so many parents have said to me — “I had nothing to do with it.”

I desperately hope that she keeps that confidence, that verve, that fearlessness. I believe that stuff can change the world. That is the confidence I see in so many people I admire, people who are doing things, fixing things, achieving things. Thing is, I don’t know if she will keep that verve because, frankly, I don’t know where it came from in the first place. There’s only so much as parents you know. Every year, that becomes more apparent.

And I think that’s one of the many wonders and challenges of parenthood. Even in the most extreme cases, there’s only so much you can do. 

Also see "Life Lesson with Tom Watson".

Real life is shooting 72 when you hit only six greens. Every shot counts.

"10 Reasons Why I Would Never Donate To A Major Charity"

James Altucher makes a strong case.

1)      Be a Microcharity, part 2. First off, my recommendation in the first article still holds. What I like to do is direct donation into what I call “micro-causes”.  Specifically, pick up the local paper and see who needs help RIGHT NOW where a small amount of money can immediately make a significant difference in someone’s life.

In other words, be directly, personally involved with your cause. Then you know how the dollars are being used, you know face to face who is being helped, you feel good, you solve an immediate problem, you save a life.

Like shooting fish in a barrel

The New York Times sends a reporter to interview David Mamet. It's like a middle school baseball team playing the Yankees.

Years ago, you described “American Buffalo” as being about “how we excuse all sorts of great and small betrayals and ethical compromises called business.” In this book, you defend enormous payouts to C.E.O.’s working for failing corporations. You seem to have changed radically.

I have. Here’s the question: Is it absurd for a company to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to a C.E.O. if the company is failing? The answer is that it may or may not be absurd, but it’s none of our goddamned business. Because as Milton Friedman said, the question is not what are the decisions but who makes the decisions. Because when the government starts deciding what’s absurd, you’re on the road to serfdom.