Money and Morals

The invention
Of weights and measures
Makes robbery easier.
Signing contracts, setting seals,
Makes robbery more sure.
Teaching love and duty
Provides a fitting language
With which to prove that robbery
Is really for the general good.
A poor man must swing
For stealing a belt buckle
But if a rich man steals a whole state
He is acclaimed
As statesman of the year.

Chuang Tzu.

My mind to me a kingdom is

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My Mind To Me a Kingdom Is

My mind to me a kingdom is;
Such perfect joy therein I find
That it excels all other bliss
Which God or nature hath assign’d.
Though much I want that most would have,
Yet still my mind forbids to crave.

No princely port, nor wealthy store,
No force to win a victory,
No wily wit to salve a sore,
No shape to win a loving eye;
To none of these I yield as thrall,–
For why? my mind despise them all.

I see that plenty surfeit oft,
And hasty climbers soonest fall;
I see that such as are aloft
Mishap doth threaten most of all.
These get with toil and keep with fear;
Such cares my mind can never bear.

I press to bear no haughty sway,
I wish no more than may suffice,
I do no more than well I may,
Look, what I want my mind supplies.
Lo ! thus I triumph like a king,
My mind content with anything.

I laugh not at another’s loss,
Nor grudge not at another’s gain;
No worldly waves my mind can toss;
I brook that is another’s bane.
I fear no foe, nor fawn on friend,
I loathe not life, nor dread mine end.

My wealth is health and perfect ease,
And conscience clear my chief defence;
I never seek by bribes to please,
Nor by desert to give offence.
Thus do I live, thus will I die,–
Would all did so as well as I!

Sir Edward Dyer

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley.

Time present and time past

Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
                              But to what purpose
Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves
I do not know.
                        Other echoes
Inhabit the garden. Shall we follow?
Quick, said the bird, find them, find them,
Round the corner. Through the first gate,
Into our first world, shall we follow
The deception of the thrush? Into our first world.
There they were, dignified, invisible,
Moving without pressure, over the dead leaves,
In the autumn heat, through the vibrant air,
And the bird called, in response to
The unheard music hidden in the shrubbery,
And the unseen eyebeam crossed, for the roses
Had the look of flowers that are looked at.
There they were as our guests, accepted and accepting.
So we moved, and they, in a formal pattern,
Along the empty alley, into the box circle,
To look down into the drained pool.
Dry the pool, dry concrete, brown edged,
And the pool was filled with water out of sunlight,
And the lotos rose, quietly, quietly,
The surface glittered out of heart of light,
And they were behind us, reflected in the pool.
Then a cloud passed, and the pool was empty.
Go, said the bird, for the leaves were full of children,
Hidden excitedly, containing laughter.
Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind
Cannot bear very much reality.
Time past and time future
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.

From Four Quartets by T. S. Eliot.

Ferengi rules of acquisition

Once you have their money … never give it back.
Never pay more for an acquisition than you have to.
Never allow family to stand in the way of opportunity.
A man is only worth the sum of his possessions.
Keep your ears open.
Small print leads to large risk.
Opportunity plus instinct equals profit.
Greed is eternal.
Anything worth doing is worth doing for money.
A deal is a deal … until a better one comes along.
A contract is a contract is a contract (but only between Ferengi).
A Ferengi without profit is no Ferengi at all.
Satisfaction is not guaranteed.
Never place friendship above profit.
A wise man can hear profit in the wind.
Nothing is more important than your health–except for your money.
There’s nothing more dangerous than an honest businessman.
Never make fun of a Ferengi’s mother … insult something he cares about instead.
It never hurts to suck up to the boss.
Peace is good for business.
War is good for business.
She can touch your lobes but never your latinum.
Profit is its own reward.
Never confuse wisdom with luck.
Expand, or die.
Don’t trust a man wearing a better suit than your own.
The bigger the smile, the sharper the knife.
Never ask when you can take.
Good customers are as rare as latinum — treasure them.
There is no substitute for success.
Free advice is seldom cheap.
Keep your lies consistent.
The riskier the road, the greater the profit.
Win or lose, there’s always Hyperian beetle snuff.
Home is where the heart is … but the stars are made of latinum.
Every once in a while, declare peace. It confuses the hell out of your enemies.
Beware of the Vulcan greed for knowledge.
The flimsier the product, the higher the price.
Never let the competition know what you’re thinking.
Ask not what your profits can do for you, but what you can do for your profits.
Females and finances don’t mix.
Enough … is never enough.
Trust is the biggest liability of all.
Nature decays, but latinum lasts forever.
Sleep can interfere with profit.
Faith moves mountains … of inventory.
There is no honour in poverty.
Dignity and an empty sack is worth the sack.
Treat people in your debt like family … exploit them.
Never have sex with the boss’s sister.
Always have sex with the boss.
You can’t free a fish from water.
Everything is for sale, even friendship.
Even a blind man can recognize the glow of latinum.
Wives serve, brothers inherit.
Only fools pay retail.
There’s nothing wrong with charity … as long as it winds up in your pocket.
Even in the worst of times someone turns a profit.
Know your enemies … but do business with them always.
Not even dishonesty can tarnish the shine of profit.
Let others keep their reputation. You keep their money.
Never cheat a Klingon … unless you’re sure you can get away with it.
It’s always good business to know about new customers before they walk in the door.
The justification for profit is profit.
New customers are like razortoothed grubworms. They can be succulent, but sometimes they can bite back.
Employees are rungs on the ladder of success. Don’t hesitate to step on them.
Never begin a negotiation on an empty stomach.
Always know what you’re buying.
Beware the man who doesn’t make time for oo-mox.
Latinum lasts longer than lust.
You can’t buy fate.
Never be afraid to mislabel a product.
More is good … all is better.
A wife is a luxury … a smart accountant is a necessity.
A wealthy man can afford anything except a conscience.
Never allow doubt to tarnish your love of latinum.
When in doubt, lie.
Deep down everyone’s a Ferengi.
No good deed ever goes unpunished.
[Quark’s rule] When Morn leaves, it’s all over.

*

Stages of Acquisition.

Infatuation: An unreasoning love or attraction … “I want it.”

Justification: Moral excuse used to explain … “I must have it!”

Appropriation: To take to one’s self in exclusion of others … “IT’S MINE AT LAST!”

Obsession: A compulsive or irrational preoccupation … “Precious!”

Resale: The action of selling something previously bought … “Make me an offer.”

———
Funny, isn’t it?

Tedio

ASTROFF. Yes, ten years have made me another man. And why? Because I am overworked. Nurse, I am on my feet from dawn till dusk. I know no rest; at night I tremble under my blankets for fear of being dragged out to visit some one who is sick; I have toiled without repose or a day’s freedom since I have known you; could I help growing old? And then, existence is tedious, anyway; it is a senseless, dirty business, this life, and goes heavily. Every one about here is silly, and after living with them for two or three years one grows silly oneself. It is inevitable. [Twisting his moustache] See what a long moustache I have grown. A foolish, long moustache. Yes, I am as silly as the rest, nurse, but not as stupid; no, I have not grown stupid. Thank God, my brain is not addled yet, though my feelings have grown numb. I ask nothing, I need nothing, I love no one, unless it is yourself alone. [He kisses her head] I had a nurse just like you when I was a child.

Uncle Vanya, Anton Chejov