Currently Analytically Reading: What Is History? By Edward Hallett Carr

What is History? by Edward Hallett Carr from 1961 contains a series of the George Macauley Trevelyn Lectures which were given at the University of Cambridge from January to March in 1961.

The reason that I am reading this is to understand the study of history and how it might enable me to understand problems better and how to look at the world in general. I love this quote from page 86:

“Learning from history is never simply a one-way process. To learn about the present in the light of the past means also to learn about the past in the light of the present. The function of history is to promote a profounder understanding of both past and present through the interrelation between them.”

As I was referring to earlier, I believe this quote from page 130 illustrates what I am attempting to understand.

“How can one discover in history a coherent sequence of cause and effect, how can we find any meaning in history, when our sequence is liable to be broken of deflected at any moment by some other, and from our point of view irrelevant, sequence?”

This is highly recommended as it is very thought provoking in understanding our world and most importantly our past.

Some Thoughts On Reading From Various Authors

“I would never read a book if it were possible for me to talk half an hour with the man who wrote it.”

Woodrow Wilson

“Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.”

P.J. O’Rourke

“Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.”

Maya Angelou

“Keep reading books, but remember that a book is only a book, and you should learn to think for yourself.”

Maxim Gorky

“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.”

Oscar Wilde

Some Thoughts On Books From Various Authors

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

Neil Gaiman

“The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.”

Oscar Wilde

“Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everybody doesn’t carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life.”

Stephen King

“Think before you speak. Read before you think.”

Fran Lebowitz

“No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally – and often far more – worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.”

C.S. Lewis

Currently Analytically Rereading: Latticework: The New Investing By Robert G. Hagstrom

Latticework: The New Investing by Robert G. Hagstrom is not only a book about investing but how to become a much better thinker in acquiring worldly wisdom. He brings together such diverse subjects as biology, physics, sociology, psychology and even literature in showing the reader how they can be put together and used in our decision-making process. This is not an in-depth work but a summary of all these subjects which whets the appetite of those of us who wish to pursue this further.

Even though he speaks primarily on investing, the reader can use these same principles in other fields as well.

Some interesting quotes from the book include:

“Investment decisions are more likely to be correct when ideas from other disciplines lead to the same conclusions.”

“Those who strive to understand connections are well on the way to worldly wisdom.”

“How does one achieve worldly wisdom? The first is a matter of educating yourself; the second is a matter of learning to think and see differently.”

“We do not learn new subjects because we have somehow become better learners, but because we have become better at recognizing patterns.”

I am really excited about rereading this book and taking some extensive notes in which to share with you. Here is a video from the author about the book. Even though this book was written in 2000, I believe that it contains pearls that we need to be patient and harvest.

Continued Reading: Evicted: Poverty And Profit In The American City By Matthew Desmond

Here is more from the book:

From Page 47:

“In Milwaukee and cities across the country, as affordable rental stock has been allowed to deteriorate and eventually disappear, low-income families have rushed to occupy cheap units. Nationwide, vacancy rates for low-cost units have fallen to single digits. Lenny’s (the office manager) office phone rang before the newspeople came, and it rang after they left. The month the story aired, the trailer park had zero vacancies. “The park is filled up,” Lenny said with a chuckle. “And we still got people calling.” The rent rolls that Lenny kept for Tobin showed that in an average month only five trailers sat vacant, which would put Tobin’s vacancy rate below 4 percent. The high demand for the cheapest housing told landlords that for every family in a unit there were scores behind them ready to take their place. In such an environment, the incentive to lower the rent, forgive a late payment, or spruce up your property was extremely low.”

From Page 76:

“Between 2009 and 2011, nearly half of all renters in Milwaukee experienced a serious and lasting housing problem. More than 1 in 5 lived with a broken window; a busted appliance; or mice, cockroaches, or rats for more than three days. One-third experienced clogged plumbing that lasted more than a day. And 1 in 10 spent at least a day without heat. African American households were the most likely to have these problems—as were those where children slept. Yet the average rent was the same, whether an apartment had housing problems or did not.”

From Page 149:

“In Milwaukee, renters with housing vouchers were charged an average of $55 more each month, compared to unassisted renters who lived in similar apartments in similar neighborhoods. Overcharging voucher holders cost taxpayers an additional $3.6 million each year in Milwaukee alone—the equivalent of supplying 588 needy families with housing assistance.”

https://www.amazon.com/Evicted-Poverty-Profit-American-City/dp/0553447432/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1467641512&sr=1-1&keywords=evicted+matthew+desmond is focused on landlord greed, renter’s desperation, poor decision-making and very little self-discipline as well as weak government decision-making and intervention. I know there are numerous other factors (too many to mention), but to me it is this combination that is causing this housing crisis in America.

This is a must read in understanding part of what is really happening in America in the housing sector and the growing inequality that we and our leaders face.

Currently Reading: Evicted: Poverty And Profit In The American City By Matthew Desmond

Evicted: Poverty And Profit In The American City by Matthew Desmond explores the poorest neighborhoods in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and tells the reader the story of eight families and their plight in living day to day. Two landlords determine their futures and whether they are put out into a shelter or even worse, out on the street.

Here are some interesting statistics from the book thus far:

“Today, the majority of poor renting families in America spend over half of their income on housing, and at least one in four dedicates over 70 percent to paying the rent and keeping the lights on. Millions of Americans are evicted every year because they can’t make rent. In Milwaukee, a city of fewer than 105,000 renter households, landlords evict roughly 16,000 adults and children each year. That’s sixteen families evicted through the court system daily.”

“If you count all forms of involuntary displacement—formal and informal evictions, landlord foreclosures, building condemnations—you discover that between 2009 and 2011 more than 1 in 8 Milwaukee renters experienced a forced move.”

“In a typical year, almost 1 in 5 poor renting families nationwide missed payments and received a disconnection notice from their utility company.”

“As much as $6 billion worth of power was pirated across America every year. Only cars and credit cards got stolen more.”

Some reviews of the book for your enjoyment:

From The New York Times

From The Guardian.com

An article by the author in The New Yorker

Here are also some videos that may be on interest:

Some Thoughts On Reading From Various Authors

“If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.”

Oscar Wilde

“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.”

Oscar Wilde

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”

Charles William Eliot

“Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly.”

Francis Bacon

“Think before you speak. Read before you think.”

Fran Lebowitz

Here is a video for your enjoyment from Mortimer J. Adler from How To Read A Book: