January 26th, 2008

Stating What Should Have Been Obvious

Just because a computer is five years old doesn't mean that it won't benefit hugely from an extra gigabyte of memory. I can't believe it took me so long to make the move. Of course, I paid hundreds of dollars less than I would have a few years back. But think of all the hours of frustration I had waiting for the machine to execute tasks. The most surprising thing is how much quieter and cooler it's running now.

May 27, 1839

The eleventh in a series:
A great genius must come & preach self reliance. Our people are timid, desponding, recreant whimperers. If they fail in their first enterprises they lose all heart. If the young merchant fails, men say he is RUINED. If the fittest genius studies at the Cambridge Divinity College, and is not ordained within a year afterwards in Boston, or New York, it seems to his friend & himself that he is justified in being disheartened & in complaining for the rest of his life.

A sturdy New Hampshire man or Vermonter who in turn tries all the professions, who teams it, farms it, peddles, keeps a school, preaches, edits a newspaper, goes to Congress, & so forth, in successive years, and always like a cat falls on his feet, is worth a hundred of these Boston dolls. My brave Henry here who is content to live now, & feels no shame in not studying any profession, for he does not postpone his life but lives already -- pours contempt on these crybabies of routine & Boston. He has not one chance but a hundred chances. Now let a stern preacher arise who shall reveal the resources of Man, & tell men that they are not leaning willows, but can & must detach themselves, that a man, a woman, is a sovereign eternity, born to shed healing to the nations; that he should be ashamed of our compassion; & that the moment he acts from himself, tossing the laws, the books, the idolatries, the customs, out of the window, we pity him, we pity her no more, but thank & revere them; that with the exercise of self trust new powers appear.
Meet the new economy, same as the old economy. Was the Fordism in between really an attempt to recreate Feudalism? I don't mean in terms of the production process itself, but rather in the way it warded off the transient.