Slope of Hope Blog Posts

Slope initially began as a blog, so this is where most of the website’s content resides. Here we have tens of thousands of posts dating back over a decade. These are listed in reverse chronological order. Click on any category icon below to see posts tagged with that particular subject, or click on a word in the category cloud on the right side of the screen for more specific choices.

The Very Best of 2021 (Part 1 of 7)

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Preface to all parts: It’s that time of year again. I have written over 30,000 posts during the long history of Slope, and at the end of each year, I gather up what I consider the best of the prior year’s offerings. At the end of every year, I assume I’m utterly out of material, and yet at the same time, I look back with amazement at all the terrific posts from the year that has just completed. I’m not sure how long I can keep this up, but my concerns of content exhaustion have been proved wrong since March 2005. For your reading pleasure, I offer the following Best of 2021 Posts:

Cover to Cover
The juxtaposition of Silicon Valley virtue-signaling with reality

My Life as a Stand-Up
How my job is almost identical to stand-up comedy

The Peanut Butter Manifesto
Reflections on China and their efforts to control their citizens

Harmony at Gunpoint
An examination of the outstanding We Have Been Harmonized book

The Legend of D.F.V.
A deep look at the guy who made his fortune on GME

My experience as a landlord with people who refuse to pay

Box of Memories
An old box unveils some good memories

I Love My Airsnake!

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OK, this is going to be an unusual post. It has nothing to do with charts, or finance, or theology, or philosophy, or my personal life. It has to do with a hardware product called the Milwaukee M12 Airsnake.

There are three relevant facts here: (1) I’ve had problems for years with slow drains and, sometimes, totally clogged drains, which in some cases has caused some terrible domestic disasters (2) I am not at all handy (3) In spite of not being handy, I’m cheap, so I prefer fixing themselves myself instead of paying a professional.

I finally found my salvation: the Airsnake. This thing is basically an air compressor which blows the literal and proverbial shit right outta the water. I absolutely love this thing. There are few sounds sweeter than the GLUG GLUG GLUG of a bathtub (or toilet!) that is finally flowing freely without being backed up. I figure a few of you out there might have similar problems, and I just wanted to say this is one of the best things I’ve ever bought for myself.

Gulag Reflections

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As I mentioned about a week ago, I took it upon myself to read the book The Gulag Archipelago by Nobel laureate Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. The actual Archipelago series is three volumes, and about 1200 pages. I read the approximately 500 page trimmed-down version of it, making copious highlights along the way.

The book certainly had an impact on me, and I wanted to offer you a smattering of snippets, with remarks along with each one, and perhaps by the time I get to the end, I’ll have some personal insights to offer

I originally was going to break this into multiple parts, due to its length, as well as to satisfy my neurotic need for a large quantity of posts every day. But this post is very long for a reason, and some people will want to consume it all in one sitting. So this will be the only post for twenty-four hours. It took a tremendous amount of work, and it deserves the time.

These snippets are not meant in any way to substitute for the reading of a 500 page book (which itself is less than half the content of the original work), but to instead serve as small jumping-off point for various thoughts and impressions I had. We begin with a description of the ubiquitous and omnipresent risk of being arrested anytime and anywhere during the era of the gulag