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 Devil, You Say!

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In late May of last year, I did a post called The DMC Challenge which had a very simple premise: I would take a hypothetical $500,000 wad of cash and put all of it into my best long ideas and best short ideas, evenly distributed among every symbol, and see what happens. When I did the post, the first comment was:

Well, it’s been almost eight months, so let’s check in on the Devil May Care portfolios!

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Harmony at Gunpoint

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Over just two days, I read the newly-published book We Have Been Harmonized cover to cover. For anyone interested in China, global economics, or high-tech surveillance, I heartily recommend it. The book is superbly written, well-researched, and comes from an author who is an expert in the field. In this post, I would like to explore some of the topics covered in the book.

For starters, I offer a philosophical question: Is there such a thing as a universal, indomitable human spirit? In other words, are all human beings imbued with the desire to live their lives freely and express themselves without fear of reprisal? Or is this notion simply coming from the head of someone like myself who has been blessed with life inside a western liberal democracy his entire life?

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The Peanut Butter Manifesto

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Let us begin with a simple premise.

Remarks that are black are not allowed here. If you make them, you will be banned. (In this sensitive age, let me stress this is not related to race, but merely color, for the purposes of a metaphor).

The community, surely, could agree on subjects that are “black”. They could be child pornography, or animal torture, or anything else repellent and vile. That’s simple. And how easy it would be, if human thought was along these lines:

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My Life as a Stand-Up

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OK, I finally figured it out. It took me long enough, but now I get it.

For years, I’ve had a fascination with stand-up comics. I’m not just talking about their comedy, which I certainly appreciate on its own. Indeed, George Carlin has been Slope’s patron saint for years. I mean my ceaseless interest in their work. What they do. How they do it. What their life as a comic is like. What it really means to be a comic day after day.

I’ve never tried stand-up before. It isn’t out of shyness. I enjoy public performances. I’ve been on stages many, many times. Usually talking. Believe it or not, sometimes even singing. Yes, me, singing on stage. For an audience. Honest. But I’ve never tried comedy, even though I’m known to occasionally write funny stuff.

But it finally did click: I’m already doing it! I’m a stand-up. Or at least something extremely close.

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