CSotD: Knowing stuff

Bizarro (KFS) tests the “It’s funny ’cause it’s true” concept, and, yes, it’s funny, and, sigh, it’s also true.

I don’t have a solution except to keep on keepin’ on, but, since the editorial cartoonists are mostly playing catch-up today with Cuomo, Infrastructure and DeSantis cartoons, we’ll feature funny stuff instead.


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Existential Comics)


I’m well aware that a lot of Existential Comics — of which the above is only a snippet — go over the heads of the average reader, in part because, despite my having read a lot of philosophy in college, a fair portion of it still goes over my head.

But, then, a whole lot of xkcd goes over my head, in part because I didn’t study that sort of thing and in part because I just don’t get it.

Like Socrates, I know that I know not.

It’s not a smart/stupid issue. My brother taught philosophy at the Naval Academy and found it a steep climb. His students were brilliant students, but your typical Middie is an engineering type, not a liberal arts type. He had to break it down into bite-sized pieces and then over-explain it, not because they weren’t smart but simply because their brains weren’t wired that way.

They could repeat it all back, but they never quite seemed to get it.

The good news today being that, since most people have either danced or been dragged through the Apology, this Existential Comic will be accessible to a larger audience than usual. You should go read the rest of it.

Though I may be one of those experts who overestimate things.

I think there should be niche comics for people with knowledge in specific areas. Uniting widely scattered people with unusual interests is one of the chief benefits of the Internet.

But I also think one indicator of intelligence is curiosity, and the willingness to try things that are outside your experience and comfort zone.

And I’m probably overestimating that as well. What do I know?


One area in which I know I know nothing is in affirmations, and this Reply All (WPWG) pretty much sums it up for me. Clearly, I need some clarity on affirmations.

I know that some people need these things a whole lot more than I do, but most of them seem like Stuart Smalley, only serious.

When I was covering real estate, I’d attend a weekly breakfast of about 300 Realtors and affiliates, which would often begin with someone declaring that we all need hugs and calling on us to hug each other, which was okay 35 years ago but would cost you your job today.

We also had speakers who urged us to have goals and to write those goals down and put them on our bathroom mirrors to read each morning.

It seemed silly to me, but, then again, the most successful people in the room swore by that sort of thing, so it obviously worked for them.

I don’t do it, I don’t need it, but I don’t judge it.

Well, except for the car I saw with a vanity plate that read “Namaste.”

I know that driver didn’t grok the concept in fullness.


Juxtaposition of the Day #2

(Stephen Collins)

(Jen Sorensen)

Two sides of the Atlantic, two similar takes on the short-term rental phenomenon, or, at least, similar in that both cartoonists smell greed.

Again, my experience covering real estate and related topics might skew my take on all this.

I have a small amount of sympathy for owners of rental cottages who find that taxes on waterfront properties have gone through the roof. I know a really nice set of cabins in the Adirondacks that, after decades in the same family, are now for sale and I suspect that’s a big part of why.

But I also know of someone who recently built a large, fabulous house on an Adirondack lake, apparently expecting to pay for it by renting it out on Air BNB at extravagant rates, and it’s now also up for sale, to which my response is “Ha-ha! Sucks to be you!”

Which, I think, covers Collins, while Sorensen is more focused on what this short-term rental phenomenon does to local housing costs, and, while it also sucks, it’s a far more serious issue.

My experience may not yield universal truth, but I think rents are more reasonable when the landlord is someone who owns two or three properties and sees them as a long-term personal investment than when investors begin vacuuming up all available properties in an area and wringing out every dime to help pay for the money they leveraged to do it.

And here’s something semi-related that made me both laugh and gasp: USA Today did a story on small towns that offer a bonus to people who work remotely if they will move there.

I can’t rephrase this is a way more ridiculous than the straight-faced article itself:

Here’s what I don’t know: Where to even start.

I have very limited ability to identify with someone forced to live at her parents’ home in Vail, and even less for someone who can plunk down $405,000 for a house, and yet even less than that for anyone who thinks a ten grand bonus — even sweetened with a mountain bike! — makes a damn bit of difference in the transaction.

At $405,000, they should be willing to knock $10,000 off the purchase price because you don’t like the color of the switchplates.

And god knows what this budding real estate tyro is going to have to charge for that downstairs apartment to make it all pay.

Also, with all due respect to the Dalton Gang and everyone else in northwest Arkansas, if the town has to bribe people to move there, $400 grand ought to pretty much buy up the whole place.

Yeah, I know: Housing prices are like that.

Here’s something else I know: This housing bubble cannot, must not, last forever.


I’m hopeful that the generation depicted in Buckets (AMS) will take the necessary steps to correct things.

Until they do, I know it’s no longer just in DC and I know it’s no longer just about race.


One thought on “CSotD: Knowing stuff

  1. Today’s Mother Goose and Grimm would have made a good juxtaposition of the day with the Brodner you posted yesterday.

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