Facebook Prison!

For the first time in all the years I have been on Facebook, I got restricted for ONE WHOLE HOUR. What nerve!

Apparently, I violated “Community Standards”. At first, I said to myself: “WTF!? What did Ebenezer Scrooge or Mr. Henry Potter suddenly seize control of the platform and take umbrage at my ongoing Holiday Video series? Bah, humbug!”

Then, a friend showed me that the same thing happened to a mutual friend of ours … and I figured that it probably had something to do with me scrolling thru my feed and giving too many Thumbs Up, Care, and Heart reacts to people. I never dreamed that liking too many posts would be deemed as aggressive!

So many of my FB pals have been in FB prison in the past, for a helluva lot longer than an hour! I was beginning to think I could do no wrong here! But after an hour, the dismissal bell rang, and I got my wings and flew the coop! I’m happy to have finally joined the ranks of the (fallen) angels.

Next time, I won’t be so nice with generous reacts and do something REALLY naughty! 😉

Check out the lively Facebook discussion this provoked.

Brenda Lee at #1!

Good for Brenda Lee! Recorded in 1958, “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” took 65 years to hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100! (And I featured it as my Song of the Day on December 29, 2007!) At the age of 78, Brenda finally got around to doing a video just for the occasion!

Song of the Day #2077

Song of the Day: Lipstick features the words and music of Jacob Kasher Hindlin, Nathan Perez, Andrew Wansel, and Charlie Puth, who celebrates his 32nd birthday today. At 92 beats per minute, what DJs used to call a “sleaze beat“, the song sports a sensual, sultry old-school groove and is the lead single to Puth’s upcoming fourth studio album (CP4*). The lyrics and the video are a bit, uh, suggestive, but hey, Happy birthday, Charlie! Check it out [YouTube link].

Song of the Day #2076

Song of the Day: DJ Play a Christmas Song, words and music by Sarah Hudson, Brett McLaughlin, and James Abrahart, among others, is featured on the 2023 Cher album, “Christmas“. I first saw Cher perform this song at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade [YouTube link]. It’s hard to “believe” that her song “Believe” ruled the charts 25 years ago. Alas, an annual event a lot older than the 77-year-old Cher continues tonight. The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting, a tradition begun in 1931 by Italian immigrant workers, will be televised by NBC.

Song of the Day #2075

Song of the Day: My Time to Fly [YouTube link], composed by NJ-native Harriet Goldberg and featuring saxophonist Billy Novick, is probably one of the most heard pieces of music in the world. Have you ever been put on hold? And this jazzy musical ditty gets looped OVER AND OVER again? Having been on hold for over an hour today, I thought I’d feature this song. When I first heard it some time ago, I thought to myself: “That’s got a nice feel to it.” But like any piece of music that one might listen to, eventually, if played incessantly for a very long time, one’s nerves start to fray, and that’s why it’s the Song of the Day! This bouncy tune was recorded in 2011 and has been adopted by legions of companies as the Music to Hold By. Now you know why Goldberg has been dubbed the Queen of Hold Music.

And if you’d like to see my “Motion Photography” while on hold with the NY Times today, see Facebook!

It’s been a year …

It’s been a year—since your suffering ended.

It’s been a year—and I miss you so deeply.

It’s been a year—but the gift of your love is eternal.

It’s been a year—my Bitty, and I will always love you.

Elizabeth Ann Sciabarra
September 2, 1952 – November 26, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving

At a time when so many people in this world are suffering and in the depths of despair, I count my blessings for all the love and support of family and friends that have gotten me through one of the most difficult years of my life.

My best wishes to all for a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving.

Farewell, Aristos

Having served on the Board of Trustees of the Aristos Foundation for many years, I would like to report that Aristos: An Online Review of the Arts has finished its long publication history. Founded by Louis Torres in 1982 as a print publication, it ran from 1982 to 1997. Michelle Marder Kamhi became a coeditor in 1992, and Aristos began its online presence in 2003, running through 2021.

By year’s end, the Foundation will dissolve; no further issues of the journal will be forthcoming. A Farewell Statement appears on the journal’s home page. That statement reminds us of the illustrious history of Aristos, which was praised by the eminent cultural historian Jacques Barzun (1907–2012), among others. It should be remembered that the coeditors were also coauthors of the much-discussed book, What Art is: The Esthetic Theory of Ayn Rand (Open Court, 2000), which inspired a provocative Aesthetics Symposium published by The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies in 2001.

I am delighted that the journal’s contents have been preserved through Archive-It. It is a wonderful legacy that readers will be able to access in perpetuity.

I wish my dear friends Lou and Michelle well as they move forward. Readers can continue to follow their work at their respective websites: https://aristos-redux.com/ and https://www.mmkamhi.com/ .

The Aristos Farewell statement can be found here: https://aristos.org/

Boettke on Lavoie

The fall 2023 issue of The Independent Review: A Journal of Political Economy (vol. 28, no. 2), focuses attention on “Underappreciated Economists”. One essay that resonated with me is written by my friend and colleague, Peter Boettke: “Don Lavoie: The Failures of Socialist Central Planning.” Boettke is in a unique position to have authored this essay. He, along with the late Steve Horwitz, Dave Prychitko, Emily Chamlee-Wright, and Virgil Storr, were among Don’s foremost students. And in their own works, one can see how each has carried forth elements of Don’s legacy. Boettke’s essay is, in many respects, a celebration of Lavoie’s inspiring gifts as a teacher and mentor.

The essay reviews Lavoie’s two most cited works, Rivalry and Central Planning: The Socialist Calculation Debate Reconsidered and National Economic Planning: What is Left? —both of which shed much light on the crucially important “knowledge problem” and the necessity of understanding economic and social processes dynamically, across time. But Boettke rightfully laments the fact that Don Lavoie’s untimely death at the age of 50, from pancreatic cancer, left many works unfinished. Still, this appreciation of Lavoie’s contributions to comparative economic systems, philosophy of science, and computer science, including key principles applicable to emergent AI, is a worthy read.

In contrast to prominent models of politico-economic “militarization”, Lavoie provided us with an “interpretive turn,” which integrated economic insights from Austrian theory, epistemic insights from the works of Michael Polanyi on tacit knowledge, and hermeneutical methodological precepts. Boettke argues that Lavoie viewed the ideology of power and privilege as the greatest threats to free civilization, while offering a vision for a “gentle and humane” society “grounded in our mutual respect and desire to learn from one another.”

Though much of Lavoie’s work is not readily available and only a few representative presentations exist on YouTube, including three lectures that I posted back in February 2023, Boettke touches upon Lavoie’s planned projects, including those on methodology and a book entitled “Understanding Political Economy”. Lavoie hoped to realize the key aims of critical theory through an Austrian-inspired approach. In this, as in many other areas of study, Lavoie was a theorist ahead of his time.

Don was one of my dearest friends and this is a wonderful article in tribute to the projects—and promise—of his work.

SNL Goes Roman

After my post on the “Roman Empire Obsession?“, I laughed out loud at this “Saturday Night Live” skit this past weekend, featuring host Jason Momoa.