Vincent van Gogh did for the art of painting what Frédéric Bastiat did for the art of economics.
Both were revolutionists in their fields.
Let us think about the author of The Starry Night (explore The Starry Night at Google Art Project)
Man is not placed on the earth merely to be happy; nor is he placed here merely to be honest, he is here to accomplish great things through society, to arrive at nobleness, and to outgrow the vulgarity in which the existence of almost all individuals drags on.
Vincent van Gogh, The Letters (2009, p. 57) (The Letters)
“I must continue to follow the path I take now. If I do nothing, if I study nothing, if I cease searching, then, woe is me, I am lost. That is how I look at it — keep going, keep going come what may.
But what is your final goal, you may ask. That goal will become clearer, will emerge slowly but surely, much as the rough draught turns into a sketch, and the sketch into a painting through the serious work done on it, through the elaboration of the original vague idea and through the consolidation of the first fleeting and passing thought.” (Vincent van Gogh)
“When we are working at a difficult task and strive after a good thing, we are fighting a righteous battle, the direct reward of which is that we are kept from much evil. As we advance in life it becomes more and more difficult, but in fighting the difficulties the inmost strength of the heart is developed.”
Dear Theo: the Autobiography of Vincent Van Gogh (1995) edited by Irving Stone and Jean Stone, p. 26
“There are things which we feel to be good and true, though in the cold light of reason and calculation many things remain incomprehensible and dark. And though the society in which we live considers such actions thoughtless, or reckless, or I don’t know what else, what can we say if once the hidden forces of sympathy and love have been roused in us? And though it may be that we cannot argue against the reasoning sentiment and to act from impulse, one would almost conclude that some people have cauterized certain sensitive nerves within them, especially those which, combined, are called conscience. Well, I pity those people; they travel through life without compass, in my opinion.”
Dear Theo: the Autobiography of Vincent Van Gogh (1995) edited by Irving Stone and Jean Stone, p. 181
- The unexpected math behind Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” – Natalya St. Clair
- Billions of people have seen this painting. What someone just discovered about it? Amazing…
- It Took 125 Years To Notice THIS In A Painting Millions Have Seen
- Loving Vincent: This Vincent van Gogh biopic is made using 12 oil paintings a second; LV1,
Look! It’s interesting:
- Pope Francis’s Relentless Pessimism Fuels His Faith in Politics (“Pope Francis’s new encyclical “On Care for Our Common Home” has been released to much acclaim from the mainstream media. One German news source declares “Papal encyclical could break climate change deadlock.” “Pope Francis’ views on climate change present a moral challenge to many 2016 GOP contenders,” declares US News and World Report. … And what is the worldview of this pope? Well, it is a vision that is relentlessly pessimistic. According to Francis, the world is very nearly falling down around us. The poor are getting poorer, he claims. The inequalities between rich and poor are worse than ever, he says. Pollution is making us sicker than ever, he implies. And the basic requirements for sustaining human life are becoming more inaccessible than ever. These claims serve a purpose: to illustrate that the rise of industrialization and market economies (a modern phenomenon) are the cause of these social and environmental ills. …
Francis’s Worldview Does Not Fit the Facts …
Industrialization and Market Economies Have Brought Wealth and Longer Lives …
Francis is following a specific secular narrative in which so-called “neoliberalism” has robbed the world of its supposed natural abundance and mildness. In his misguided pessimistic nostalgia, he then turns to undoing the material gains of recent centuries through government action. It’s an unfortunate position, and one that does not suit a religious leader well.”) see also: The New Paganism? The Case against Pope Francis’s Green Encyclical Has the Holy Father managed to merge two religions?
- Wealth Must Be Created Before We Can Give It To the Poor (“Business is often portrayed as being crude and cruel. According to the popular narrative — the Charles Dickens view of the world — businesses are filled with cold-hearted scrooges who value profits more than people. This is then contrasted with the kindness and altruism of charities, non-profits, and governments, which are all supposedly created to help people. Charity, in particular, is seen as ethically superior to business. … Without this initial creation of wealth, charities would have nothing to distribute. In the developed world, it’s easy to forget that poverty is the default state of human existence. Wealth is not found in nature; it must be created, and this is precisely the role of businesses and entrepreneurs. They are the force which takes us out of the state of nature. All cases of poverty have the same solution — not wealth distribution, but wealth creation.”)
- The Myth of CEO Pay and “Greed” (“we now know the greatest problem with the AFL-CIO statistic is that it is not representative of all CEOs, just those at the nation’s largest companies. The report does reveal an actual fact: there is a CEO to worker pay gap. The average CEO in the United States earned a salary of $178,400 in 2013, compared to $46,440 for the average worker (both figures exclude benefits). This is a radically different picture from the misrepresentation of the AFL-CIOs data report, which enthusiastically takes a group of outliers to draw conclusions from. The pay gap between the CEOs the AFL-CIO sampled and the average worker is a multiple of the gap between the actual average CEO and average worker.”)
- 7 Habits of Highly Effective Libertarians (1. Oppose oppression but love liberty even more. 2. Read broadly and be confident in your ideas. 3. Look beyond politics. 4. See everyone as an ideological friend. 5. Don’t have all the answers. 6. Hack your life. 7. Be joyful. Onward!)
- The Importance of Free Speech to Human Progress (“When we look at the history of the freedom of speech in the West, we see that early on it was tied up with the freedom of the press, which is why the terms are used interchangeably in American constitutional theory. Yet, for most of the West’s history, the idea of “publishing” was meaningless. … It should not surprise us that early libertarians were often printers. “Freeborn John” Lilburne was first arrested for printing and circulating unlicensed books. …The free press opened new communication channels for theoretical innovation. … Central to the principle of a free press is the right to be wrong — which enables peer review and criticism in the first place. It is also central to scientific and technological innovation and experimentation, and therefore also central to economic progress, which has led to the great explosion in human welfare we have seen over the last two centuries. Free speech allows more ideas to “have sex,” to use Matt Ridley’s phrase, and that is why societies that are frightened by the consequences of this ideological sexual revolution are those with the most severe censorship laws. … It is exactly that goal — to help us determine what actually is, rather than what is simply asserted — that free speech and free inquiry make possible. As an institution of liberty, free speech must be defended wherever it is attacked. …Those who seek to suppress free speech want to keep mankind mired in poverty and ignorance, subject to their own whims and beliefs. They cannot be allowed to succeed.”
- 5 Economic Myths That Just Won’t Die („Myth 1. The idea that economic growth helps the poor is trickle-down economics … it doesn’t actually help them. Myth 2. Free trade doesn’t lead to better economic outcomes in the real world.Myth 3. The government ended child labor. In a free market, child labor would still exist. Myth 4. Countries like Sweden and Denmark prove that high taxes don’t harm economic growth.Myth 5. Capitalism isn’t economically superior to socialism.”
- Cliches of Progressivism (… a series of insightful commentaries covering topics of free enterprise, income inequality, and limited government, …).
- 40 years of Hayek’s Nobel Prize: Hayek’s “Rejuvenating Event”, Still Great, Still Ignored, Hayek: The Knowledge Problem, Hayek’s Rules of Order
- Understanding “Quid Pro Quo” (“Quid pro quo is a phrase that has similarly evolved from offering clarity to producing confusion. It originally meant “something for something.” That offered a useful distinction between voluntary market arrangements, in which people were induced to cooperate by being offered adequate compensation, and government arrangements (or robbery), in which such inducements need not be offered. However, the usage of quid pro quo has evolved to typically mean an exchange of equally valuablegoods or services. In the process, it has muddied the distinction between voluntary and involuntary arrangements.”)
- IEA Head of Public Policy debates economist Thomas Piketty on inequality, Prof Richard Epstein: An attack on Piketty’s thesis and policy recommendations
- Advancing Pharmaceutical and Medical Technology Does Not Depend on Patents (“In a truly free market, whoever has the resources to manufacture an invention is permitted to do so, and the firms that enter the market first with a new drug enjoy a significant advantage. Moreover, the fact remains that the best way to protect an idea is to keep it a secret, which is why the trade-secret method remains effective. The state, however, has made it profitable to conclude that the best way to protect an idea is twisting the wrists and shoulders of one’s competitors with government force. Yet in spite of overwhelming government intervention, innovation and ingenuity prevail, even if to a lesser degree.“)
- Drones: Not Just for Missiles Anymore (“The internet is abuzz after Amazon unveiled their latest idea: the delivery of goods to your doorstep within thirty minutes via drone. Yes, the infamous drone will finally be put to constructive use. Here’s the video, if you haven’t already seen it …“); Amazon’s info here and here
- 7 Falsehoods about the Free Market and 7 More Falsehoods about the Free Market (The free market creates scarcity and higher prices, The free market means the government gives businesses special privileges,The pre-Obamacare healthcare industry was a free market, The free market requires that all valuable resources be privately owned and traded on markets, The free market encourages racism, homophobia, etc., The free market is pro-war, The free market is always efficient, The free market is “dog eat dog,” encouraging people to cheat and steal from one another with impunity, The free market promotes monopoly, The free market stifles innovation, The free market makes people selfish, The free market discourages charity and sympathy, The free market means profit comes at the expense of others, The free market means that we approve of everything that goes on in it)
- Fifty Ways to Leave Leviathan (Every time the State shuts a door or closes a loophole, people find and exploit two more doors, two more loopholes. If this model of disruption and defiance is part of a larger trend, it provides a very revealing look at a strategy that liberty-minded people ought to intellectually codify, encourage, and practice. … Compared with politics or the slow-road of mass education, the work of hacking Leviathan through innovation is a promising road forward. Something’s happening. It’s like the Singularity for civil disobedience. Pandora’s box. Perhaps a series of innovation tidal waves. A whole lot of people are participating in a great unfolding. And if you’re drawing up grand social engineering plans, throw them out. The world is about to get a lot more dynamic.) Fifty More Ways to Leave Leviathan Innovation and entrepreneurship can make you freer
- Economic Freedom of the World (2013/2011), Interactive map (Hong Kong retains the highest rating for economic freedom, 8.97 out of 10. The rest of this year’s top scores are Singapore, 8.73; New Zealand, 8.49; Switzerland, 8.30; United Arab Emirates, 8.07; Mauritius, 8.01; Finland, 7.98; Bahrain, 7.93; Canada, 7.93; and Australia, 7.88; Poland 59 with score 7.20), and 2013 Index of Economic Freedom (Heritage Foundation), 2013 Economic Freedom Heat Map (Hong Kong 89.3; Singapore 88.0; Australia 82.6; New Zealand 81.4; Switzerland 81.0; Canada 79.4; Chile 79.0; Mauritius 76.9; Denmark 76.1; United States 76.0; Poland 57 with 66.0).
- Why are The Economist’s writers anonymous? (MOST newspapers and magazines use bylines to identify the journalists who write their articles. The Economist, however, does not. Its articles lack bylines and its journalists remain anonymous. Why?)
- The beauty and dignity of the productive class (“What I saw was a lone man setting up tables and chairs – simple work, the kind that any teenager could do. But what I watched this man do was every bit as beautiful as dance. He moved with integrity, with precision, and with intent. He carefully spaced the tables in a precise geometry, he moved every chair with efficiency. This was more than just work; it was also art. This man knew that he was doing his job well, and, perhaps most importantly, he enjoyed doing it well.”)
- Private Property Is the Essence of Liberty
- The browser wars enter a new era with a wimper
- Uruguay is set to be the first country to make cannabis lawful
- Declare Detroit a Free City
- The world’s next great leap forward Towards the end of poverty
- A Diabolical Tool; Ready to get rid of the income tax?
- European economy guide
- Development finance in Africa
- Tomorrow’s ride
- A Modest Proposal for My Students
- Ron Paul: Pursue the Cause of Liberty: A Farewell to Congress
- What Coke Contains
- A history of gold, parts: 1 2 3 4 5 (cartoons)
- China has released data on income equality for the first time in 12 years
- Holocaust on a Conveyor Belt – Assembly Line of Death
- Printing in DNA
- Overcrowding? Nah — the World’s Population May Actually Be Declining
- Global Risk 2013 (report WEF)
- 13 prediction for 2013 – NESTA
- History Shots (nice cartoons of different histories)
- the 28th of December 2012: 2012 in charts: The long roald to recovery
- the 18th of December 2012: 14 Ways an Economist Says I Love You
- the 2nd of December 2012: Technology giants at war. Another game of thrones
- the 29th of November 2012: The lottery if life
- the 27th of November 2012: Obama Third Term?; (text)
- the 15th of November 2012: European economy guide
- the 4th of November 2012: Economics: Art
- the 12th of October 2012: Interactive guide to govenment-debt dynamics
- the 12th of October 2012: Ludwig von Mises speadpaint
- the 12th of October 2012: The inequality debate
- the 3rd of October 2012: The urbanisation trap
- the 7th of September 2012: The Sinodependency Index
- the 3rd of September 2012: World debt comaprison
- the 26th of August 2012: two books by David Friedman: Legal systems very different from ours and Law’s order
- the 23rd of August 2012: America’s middle class is glum
- the 22nd of August 2012:
Made in China. Made in America
- the 22nd of August 2012: Americans are exchanging ever more words
- the 2nd of July 2012: Learn about the ideas of a free society
- the 16th of May 2012: The ecological footprint of nations
- the 2nd of May 2012: How global surface temperature, ocean heat and atmospheric CO2 levels have risen since 1960
- the 26th of April 2012: How 9 Banks Are Exposed To $200 Trillion Worth Of Derivatives
- the 24th of April 2012: 10 Lesser Known Economic Issues
- the 24th of April 2012: Who has the most plastic surgery?
- the 5th of April 2012: Size inflation
- the 5th of April 2012: Age and wisdom: Older and Wiser?
- the 3rd of April 2012: The pursuit of money
- the 7th of March 2012: Nuclear energy interactive map
- the 7th of March 2012: The Geography of Government Benefits USA
- the 29th of February 2012: Cato Home Study Course (on individual liberty and limited government)
- the 27th of February 2012: The largest migration in history
- the 23rd of February 2012: Impossible photography; M.C. Esher website; impossible objects
- the 20th of February 2012: Foreign direct investment in China by province
- the 14th of February 2012: 14 Ways as Economist Says I Love You
- the 10th of February 2012: The shores of El Dorado, Swiss banking secrecy
- the 3rd of February 2012: Scale of the Universe
- the 31st of January 2012: America’s primary elections The Republican candidates for president
- the 27th of January 2012: All the World’s gold
- the 27th of January 2012: Is Behavioral Economics Doomed?, Against Intellectual Property
- the 26th of January 2012: Waiting for the green light
- the 24th of January 2012: Global Business Cycle Status
- the 19th of January 2012: Standard & Poor’s Credit Rating for each country
- the 18th of January 2012: Federal Debt Climbs Past Annual GDP
- the 18th of January 2012: Over half of China’s people now live in urban areas
- the 16th of January 2012: Winners and losers
- the 10th of January 2012: Feeling gloomy
- the 2nd of January 2012: Heterodox economics Marginal revolutionaries
- the 30th of December 2011: 2011 revisited: Charting the year
- the 21st of December 2011: The true size of Africa (and jpg)
- the 18th of December 2011: The world this year (2011)
- the 16th of December 2011: Africa Research Online, Africa Confidential
- the 13th of December 2011: OECD Better Life Index
- the 2nd of December 2011: The Fed audit, and GAO report
- the 29th of November 2011: OECD Economic Outlook 2011-
- the 28th of November 2011: Shale gas in Europe and America: Fracking here, fracking there
- the 20th of November 2011: A visual guide to global energy needs
- the 19th of November 2011: Digital data will flood the planet
- the 19th of November 2011: Eurozone debt web: who owes what to whom? and Debt dynamics
- the 15th of November 2011: Government is force. A license to agress
- the 10th of November 2011: Downsizing the Federal Government
- the 4th of November 2011: Envisioning the future of technology
- the 4th of November 2011: Difference Engine: Luddite legacy
- the 4th of November 2011: ABB Energy Survey 2011 (The sad picture how people are believing in the omnipotence of government)
- the 2nd of November 2011: Europe’s economies (Currency, Economy, Debt, Growth)
- the 1st of November 2011: Herbert Hoover: Father of the New Deal
- the 29th of October 2011: Victimless Crime Constitutes 86% of The Federal Prison Population
- the 29th of October 2011: Jem Bendell – The Money Myth
- the 28th of October 2011: Safe Toasters and Toxic Financial Assets
- the 28th of October 2011: The world’s population will reach 7 billion, We are 7 billion
- the 27th of October 2011: Quantitative Easing Forever?
- the 25th of October 2011: Abolish Central Banks (The question which for years I usually state to my students when I am talking on the central banks system is: ‘Will Fed survive and will Fed celebrate the centennial anniversary in 2013?’)
- the 19th of October 2011: Deficit Panel May Need Push to Meed Deadline Usual political stalemate; rising-cutting hysteresis!; use market mechanisms instead!
- the 18th of October 2011: Next 10 years to be ‘decade of innovation’ for Asja
- the 17th of October 2011: Rothbard Revises the History of the Great Depression
- the 8th of October, 2011: Beyond the PC
- the 1st of October, 2011: Seven Reasons Why Tax Increases Are the Wrong Approach, Four Reasons Why Big Government Is Bad Government, and Learning From Sweden’s Free Market Renaissance.
- the 25th of September, 2011: Utilitarians are not nice people
- the 25th of September, 2011: Mapping trade connections – nice graphics
- the 24th of September, 2011: A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language, especially: Academia vs. Business, Investing, The economic argument, Converting to metric , Ages.
- the 22nd of September, 2011: Debt, deficit and the markets
- the 20th of September, 2011: Economist Debate: The yuan the world’s currency?
- the 20th of September, 2011: Tracking Indexes for the Global Economic Recovery
- the 16th of September, 2011: Can we Determine the Optimal Size of Government?
- the 16th of September, 2011: Public opinion on government spending
- the 14th of September, 2011: US household income
- the 13th of September 2011: Female graduation rates (Female discrimination?)
- the 12th of September, 2011: Project Syndicate (mostly orthodox, but from time to time worth to read, commentaries “on topics ranging from economics to international affairs to science and philosophy”).
- the 11th of September, 2011: Manmade Disasters .
- the 6th of September, 2011: Explore Gapminder!
- the 2nd of September, 2011: Social Security: Yes, It Is a Ponzi Scheme and Ponzi unmasked (added a few days later: A monstrous truth)
- the 1st of September, 2011 – Reagan tells Soviet jokes and Reagan tells Soviet jokes, pt .2
- the 31st of August, 2011 – The number of deaths among babies is declining