On his first job as a young teenager, Carnegie worked in a factory, and he made an effort to spend part of every Sunday discussing and debating issues with friends. Eventually, he left that job when he was hired as a telegraph messenger—and he wrote that he felt emancipated from manual labor: “From the dark cellar running a steam-engine at two dollars a week, begrimed with coal dirt, without a trace of the elevating influences of life, I was lifted into paradise, yes, heaven, as it seemed to me, with newspapers, pens, pencils, and sunshine about me.”
Carnegie’s eagerness paid off and he earned raise after raise in job after job, cashing in on his enthusiasm for enterprise. Carnegie was fallible, too, losing a payroll package while working as a messenger on the Pennsylvania Railroad. After the parcel tumbled off the train, he recovered the package, with help from workers on the line—who chose not to report the loss to his superiors. Impressed by the camaraderie, Carnegie vowed never to judge a man too harshly for making a mistake.
As he acquired knowledge and experience, Carnegie continued to read, study and learn. He staked out clear positions, speaking out against slavery, becoming a fierce opponent, and, despite the fact that he was too young to vote, hailing the nation’s new anti-slavery Republican Party, which held its first national meeting in Pittsburgh in 1856.
Carnegie became more intellectual, priding himself on making advancements for what he saw as progress—linking ideas to the practicality of business. Noting that he was among the first to employ women as telegraph operators on railroads in the United States, he wrote: “[W]e placed girls in various offices as pupils, taught and then put them in charge of offices as occasion required….Our experience was that young women operators were more to be relied upon than young men.”
Carnegie met President Abraham Lincoln, who occasionally visited the communications office where Carnegie worked, during the Civil War. Here, too, he was more impressed by the man’s mind than by his status. Carnegie wrote of Lincoln: “[I]ntellect shone through his eyes and illuminated his face to a degree which I have seldom or never seen in any other.”
© Copyright 2012 Scott Holleran. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without the permission of Scott Holleran.
November 27, 2012
November 25, 2012
On WYNC.org, they say “starting March 10, WNYC’s Brian Lehrer will be moderating First Principles, a series of three debates on the moral underpinnings of today’s politics. The event co-sponsored by Demos, The Ayn Rand Institute and It’s A Free Country.”
Describing the event in more detail at First Principles, they say:
First Principles: The Moral Debates that Drive Today’s Politics
After the 2008 financial crisis and its aftermath a great political divide emerged among many Americans reexamining the direction of our country. One side says that unleashed free-market policies led to the worst downturn since the Great Depression, and calls for effective government to foster more equitable prosperity. The other side says that government has grown too big and too intrusive, and calls for the country to rediscover the virtues of limited government and free-market capitalism.
The first debate was on the proper role of government. This is a debate worth watching if you want to address some fundamental principles of the issue — principles we fail to hear today from our politicians and journalists. You could get some good information for writing essays in school, some good supplementary information to government or history class, or some good information for debates — or some good information so that you understand issues essential to forming the culture in which you act, think, and live, a culture which could frustrate, injure or destroy your life, or which could encourage, aid, and allow for you to make your own life.
November 17, 2009
A SCIENCE only advances with certainty, when the plan of inquiry and the object of our researches have been clearly defined; otherwise a small number of truths are loosely laid hold of, without their connexion being perceived, and numerous errors, without being enabled to detect their fallacy.
The wide range taken into the field of pure politics, whilst investigating the subject of political economy, seemed to furnish a much stronger reason for including in the same inquiry agriculture, commerce and the arts, the true sources of wealth, and upon which laws have but an accidental and indirect influence. Thence what interminable digressions! If, for example, commerce constitutes a branch of political economy, all the various kinds of commerce form a part; and as a consequence, maritime commerce, navigation, geography—where shall we stop? All human knowledge is connected. Accordingly, it is necessary to ascertain the points of contact, or the articulations by which the different branches are united; by this means, a more exact knowledge will be obtained of whatever is peculiar to each, and where they run into one another.
In the science of political economy, agriculture, commerce and manufactures are considered only in relation to the increase or diminution of wealth, and not in reference to their processes of execution. This science indicates the cases in which commerce is truly productive, where whatever is gained by one is lost by another, and where it is profitable to all; it also teaches us to appreciate its several processes, but simply in their results, at which it stops. Besides this knowledge, the merchant must also understand the processes of his art. He must be acquainted with the commodities in which he deals, their qualities and defects, the countries from which they are derived, their markets, the means of their transportation, the values to be given for them in exchange, and the method of keeping accounts.
The same remark is applicable to the agriculturist, to the manufacturer, and to the practical man of business; to acquire a thorough knowledge of the causes and consequences of each phenomenon, the study of political economy is essentially necessary to them all; and to become expert in his particular pursuit, each one must add thereto a knowledge of its processes. These different subjects of investigation were not, however, confounded by Dr. Smith; but neither he, nor the writers who succeeded him, have guarded themselves against another source of confusion, here important to be noticed, inasmuch as the developments resulting from it, may not be altogether unuseful in the progress of knowledge in general, as well as in the prosecution of our own particular inquiry.
In political economy, as in natural philosophy, and in every other study, systems have been formed before facts have been established; the place of the latter being supplied by purely gratuitous assertions. More recently, the inductive method of philosophizing, which, since the time of Bacon, has so much contributed to the advancement of every other science, has been applied to the conduct of our researches in this. The excellence of this method consists in only admitting facts carefully observed, and the consequences rigorously deduced from them; thereby effectually excluding those prejudices and authorities which, in every department of literature and science, have so often been interposed between man and truth. But, is the whole extent of the meaning of the term, facts, so often made use of, perfectly understood?
It appears to me, that this word at once designates objects that exist, and events that take place; thus presenting two classes of facts: it is, for example, one fact, that such an object exists; another fact, that such an event takes place in such a manner. Objects that exist, in order to serve as the basis of certain reasoning, must be seen exactly as they are, under every point of view, with all their qualities. Otherwise, whilst supposing ourselves to be reasoning respecting the same thing, we may, under the same name, be treating of two different things.
The second class of facts, namely, events that take place, consists of the phenomena exhibited, when we observe the manner in which things take place. It is, for instance, a fact, that metals, when exposed to a certain degree of heat, become fluid.
The manner in which things exist and take place, constitutes what is called the nature of things; and a careful observation of the nature of things is the sole foundation of all truth.
March 15, 2009
In a better world, we’d be seeing things like this (and good, abstract but concretized debates and arguments about it) on television — and people would care.
March 10, 2009
The book will give you a much clearer understanding of economics, clear thinking, proper thinking, and today’s events. The book is a short, 150 (or so) pages. Or, if you disagree with the book, it will give you some serious arguments you must address.
I must say that James (of James’s Liberty file), Ron Paul, and the Libertarians want liberty without a moral or philosophic foundation. Think about that one. Would that not be like trying to practice civil or aeronautical engineering without physics or mathematics? And without a philosophy of science and mathematics?
Don’t think for a second that a “philosophy of mathematics” is abstruse and abstract and arm-chair stuff only. It has very practical implications — just as a philosophy of education makes all the difference in the world as to the nature of the education our children get, what their day-to-day activities are, and whether our children learn to reason and become independent, self-sovereign adults or whether they become tortured emotional wrecks who don’t understand the world, don’t know how, and don’t know how to make any important decisions for themselves.
January 24, 2009
Hunter-Gatherers didn’t have cheese or sausage, but it’s good stuff. The picture was taken with my cell phone, so the color is a bit washed out.
Chef Bruce Aidell’s mango and jalapeno chicken-and-turkey sausage; cantaloupe; blueberries; blackberries; white Stilton cheese with apricot pieces. And hot coffee.
Wow…I just learned how to spell cantaloupe. It’s not cantelope. The folks at Dictionary.com say:
1730–40; < F, allegedly after Cantaluppi, a papal estate near Rome where cultivation of this melon is said to have begun in Europe, though a comparable It word is not attested until much later than the F word, and Cantaloup, a village in Languedoc, has also been proposed as the source. From cantaloupe. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/cantaloupe (accessed: January 24, 2009).
The amazing thing about this breakfast is what it shows about economics, capitalism and technology. (N.B. We have only partial elements and remnants of capitalism today; we do not have capitalism proper in the world — capitalism goes part and parcel with property rights which go part and parcel with natural, individual human rights…which are routinely violated today, not respected and protected.)