The often-quotable William James gets things going with a mullable thought for the week. “Lives based on having are less free than lives based on doing or being.”
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At this time in our cultural evolution, I believe we have now reached that place where it is no longer necessary for anyone to ever again say, when talking about an internet address, “double u double u double u.” Under any circumstances.
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Just so you know, if I was the president of a giant multinational oil company, I’d look at the P & L reports from the last quarter and note that we did pretty good, posting a net profit of $5 billion. Then, I’d look at the non-stop barrage of news about Americans having all these fits and seizures about the current price of my product. Then, I’d say to my staff of vice-presidents, “People are hurting out there. Our product is priced too high. I want you to cut the price to our dealers by 20 percent. We’ll be OK if we only post a net of 4 billion next quarter. I’ll deal with the asshole stockholders. Just cut that price. Hell, customers will be so grateful, they’ll flock to our stations, and we’ll probably still make 5 bill just on increased volume. I can’t wait to kick the snot out of those bastards at Oil Giants A, B, and C. Now, get out of here and do my bidding.” Curiously, though, this never seems to happen.
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A reminder to those who have some bills left in the ole money clip after your weekly trip to the pump—don’t forget your local favorite restaurants. They need you right now. Badly. Please remember to suffer the tortures of the damned and drag yourself out to eat once in a while. And if you really want to be loved, drag yourself out on a Tuesday or Wednesday night. You’ll likely have complete run of the place and be treated like royalty, to boot.
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Back in the Nov. 15 issue, I wrote about a cheap transportational option being exercised by basically zero Americans at this point. The electric bike. This is from the new National Geographic, which is one big report on China: “This year, Chinese e-bike makers may roll out 20 million units—bikes that cost $200 to $300, can zip along quietly at a top speed of 20 miles an hour, and go 30 miles on 16 cents worth of electricity.” Sure, it’s not for everybody around here. But for those in an urban area who work within five or even 10 miles from home, say you buy 20 gallons of gas a week. That used to cost you 60 bucks. These days, it’s gonna cost 80. Twenty extra dollars a week, or $80 a month. You will completely pay for a $1,000 e-bike in a year, year and a half, tops. And think of all that sleek buffitude you’ll put on yourself, since the e-bike lets you pedal without the motor if you want to extend your mileage.