The Public Square 03/24/09

Hour of Splendor, Bryce Canyon, Utah, 1928 oil on canvas



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18 responses to “The Public Square 03/24/09

  1. iggydonnelly

    Malcom Gladwell’s new book _Outliers: The Story of Success_ presents on a variant of the fundamental attribution error. This foregoing error is one where people tend to attribute a person’s difficulties or problems as resulting from their personality, rather than their circumstances. In America we hold that personal ambition and other internal states invariably lead to success. Gladwell presents the case that often circumstances, luck, etc. figure in prominently into people’s successes.

    From the book:
    “I think overall it’s a disadvantage,” Jeb Bush once said of what it meant for his business career that he was the son of an American president and the brother of an American president and the grandson of a wealthy Wall Street banker and U.S. Senator. When he ran for governor of Florida, he repeatedly referred to himself as a “self-made man,” and it is a measure of how deeply we associate success with the efforts of the individual that few batted an eye at that description (Gladwell, 2008, p. 18).

    Gladwell, M. (2008). _Outliers: The Story of Success_. Little, Brown and Co. New York, NY.

  2. 6176746f6c6c65

    I believe Gladwell is correct. This has been my thesis for many years. I add that while the fundamental attribution error is inviting, factually those circumstances to which Gladwell alludes, including luck in appropriate cases, are more telling of one’s chance of future success than hard work, etc. It further seems that this is more true as we progress through the American Experience.

    Let us not forget that our Founding Fathers were often the products of their circumstances as well; not all were “self made men”.

  3. fnord

    I think our small group and this blog are experiencing some luck. Did anyone notice 295 hits today, several hundred in a few short days?

    Okay, everyone raise their right arm above their head, now bend the elbow and put the right hand behind your shoulder where you should administer a firm pat on the back!

    And, QnofHrts will do an extra step in the happy dance.


  4. iggydonnelly

    The success of this blog is due, in no small part, to the efforts of fnord and her personality, too.

    So, take that, Malcom!

  5. QnofHrts

    In fact I did do an extra happy dance. Today has had some wonderful news and some extreme aggravation (in totally unrelated areas – thankfully).

  6. Gladwell’s stuff is always popular in the ‘in’ crowd.
    That’s us, of course.
    I commented on his site for awhile, but haven’t been there in ages.
    Wouldn’t Gladwell be an excellent name for a Doctor?
    When I flew into NYC a few years ago, I was seated next to a man that could have been Gladwell’s TWIN! Not wanting to be an annoying hick, I kept my mouth shut as long as I could, finally I asked him if he happened to be Gladwell.
    He smiled, laughed a little and said no, but he understood, he’s been asked that question before!

  7. annie_moose

    Heard about this on NPR

  8. fnord


    I read on both you and MM’s Facebook part of what today brought! Sad. I’m sorry you had to face that. (For everyone else the recent teen car accident in the small town north of them involved their friend.)

    I sent MM an email personally inviting him to come visit us, even shared some ‘who is who’ hints! You tell him it’s a safe place and we’ll move over and make room for him on our bench!

  9. fnord

    quiver full, huh? Well, the pharmacy has some stuff to help with that!

  10. annie_moose

    When I heard about the Quiverfull movement this popped into my mind….16 seconds into the scene

  11. prairiepond

    YIKES, the quiver made me shiver.

    And this?

    ““I think overall it’s a disadvantage,” Jeb Bush once said of what it meant for his business career that he was the son of an American president and the brother of an American president and the grandson of a wealthy Wall Street banker and U.S. Senator.”

    A disadvantage?

    OH PUL-EEEEEZE! Pobracito!

    Give me that disadvantage. Really. I promise I’d appreciate it.

    Big eye roll….

  12. Pedant

    Hi all, is that a Birger Sandzén above?

    Holy moly, sometimes I sure miss Lindsborg, Kansas…

    Somebody around here has good taste in art!

    • iggydonnelly

      Yes, Pendant that is the work of Birger Sandzen. To see his stuff in person is almost overwhelming.

      It is time now for me to confess to a fantasy I have had for a long time. I am traveling on the outskirts of Bumfuque, McPherson County, Kansas and I happen across some people who want to unload this painting that is “way too caked with too much paint.” Unknown to them, it is is obvious Sandzen painting – I offer to take it off of their hands for $25.00 – they accept – I get to retire early.

      I would hate to rip anyone off to that degree, but I would offer to help them get the highest price they could and take a 15% agent fee.

      • iggydonnelly

        Yes, Pendant, good to see you here.

        I have this question I have wanted to ask for a long time, did you post under the name of flike (I think it was) at the blog that shall not be named?

        My initials used to be S.E.D., now they are I.D.

        Will tell the story of my nic’s origins soon.

      • Pedant

        Yeah, I too have a Antiques Roadshow fantasy (or three). Yours is a pretty good one, btw.

        Maybe you know this already, but here goes anyway. If you ever find yourself close to the McPherson College library, head up to the second floor and over to the center of the east wall. There are a handful of lounge chairs sep in a small study area there, and there used to be 2 or 3 HUGE Sandzen’s hanging behind them. The two I recall are probably at least 4′ x 5′, and another may be larger than that. It’s pretty cool. The local public library has some smaller ones, too.

  13. fnord

    It’s been a day.

    We have a wood fence in the back and it has a big gaping hole thanks to the wind that sheared off a fence post and two sections went down yesterday afternoon. That left fence floppin’ in the wind since it was no longer hooked to anything (what it had been hooked to was laying on the ground).

    Then a friend stopped by this afternoon and she needed to talk so she was here awhile.

    Hungry hubby had leftovers. 😉 I love that man that knows people, friends, life is way more important than the dinner that had been planned.

    When I was warming up the leftovers I turned on the TV to hear the pres speak. Just when I turned it on he was asked why the ban on federal funding of embryonic stem cells was lifted since adult stem cells were bringing cures and treatments…

    Well, I was sorely disappointed in his answer! I was waving my arm in the air and wanting someone to pick me, pick me — I have the answer!

    So did he do better on the other questions? How was his speech leading up to the questions? I want the truth here. No glossing, none of this media interpretations. How did he do?

  14. fnord

    Pedant! I like seeing you here. Pull up a chair, make yourself at home, stay awhile and come back often!

  15. fnord

    The good taste in art would be our guy Iggy. You know him as SED (Steven…). We have all new nics so if the worst of the worst at the old newspaper blog decided to search for a batch of people who disappeared we wouldn’t be as easily found. 😉