Stoic movie review: RBG – How to Be a Stoic:

Now, why do I think of Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a Stoic role model, and have included the documentary about her in my Stoic movie reviews? Three reasons, all of them explored in the film. First off, and most obviously, she embodies at least three of the Stoic virtues: courage, justice, and temperance. The above biographical sketch should leave no doubts about her commitment to social justice, in a sense that is aligned with the Stoic conception of it, and which unfortunately is easily forgotten by a number of self-professing modern Stoics: we are all human beings, members of the human cosmopolis, to be treated fairly and equally. But she also clearly showed plenty of courage, standing up for the right thing to do, both in terms of her own professional career and on behalf of millions of women, for many decades. She did all this in the right major, rarely if ever departing from a no-nonsense approach that would calibrate her reactions to the problem at hand, thus practicing the virtue of temperance. (I cannot comment on her practical wisdom, as that one is a virtue that is usually deployed only by people who consciously think of themselves as Stoics.)

Second, her firm rejection of anger as a useful emotion. The documentary mentions this several times, adding that she inherited the attitude from her mother. Anger, as Seneca puts it, is temporary madness, and not conducive to act reasonably, even when it may be justified by an injustice. RBG has suffered plenty of personal injustices, and has fought on behalf of many others treated unjustly, throughout her life. And yet she has managed to maintain her calm in the midst of plenty of storms, a most Stoic trait.

Finally, and most surprisingly, her apparently genuine friendship with the now deceased Justice Antonin Scalia. Despite their diametrically opposite positions on all sorts of social issues, they were warm toward each other, went on vacation trips together, and made several joint public appearances. I have to admit that I probably would not have the fortitude to stomach a friendship with a person like Scalia, who I found to be despicable. But that’s because I’m not a sage, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a better Stoic than I am. Her behavior toward Scalia embodies the difficult to internalize Stoic notion that nobody does evil on purpose, but only because they are misguided. As Marcus says:

“They are certainly moved toward things because they suppose them to be suitable to their nature and profitable to them. ‘But it is not so.’ Teach them then, and show them without being angry.” (Meditations VI.27)

(Via How To Be A Stoic)

There certainly has been a push lately around Justice Ginsburg. I like the story of her and the late Justice Scalia. Regardless of the political perspectives each held they could have not just an honorable debate but a genuine friendship.

Using Request to Download Financial Data | Irreal:

Sebastian Schweer has a nice post on using the request package to query an online financial service and download current stock quotes. That data is placed in an Org table along with certain historical data (such as purchase date and original cost) and used to calculate the current value of his stock holdings. The table can, of course, be exported to produce a nicely formatted report.

This post is similar to the one by Charl Botha that I wrote about previously. If you need to programmatically retrieve data from a restful website, you should carefully study these two posts. They show how to use the request package and then parse out the data. Sadly, I haven’t had a need to use these techniques but I’m really looking forward to when I do. Request, let-list, and the rest are tools that I’m dying to try out.

(Via irreal.org)

This is pretty cool. I can see using this in my iOS workflows & automation as well.

Reproducible Research for Management | Irreal:

Derek Feichtinger has an interesting post in which he describes the application of reproducible research and literate programming to management problems. As an example, he considers generating a budget for a pair of related projects. His workflow is to first generate an outline describing his goal and the information he has and to refine that with subheadings as more information becomes available. That provides a history of the project and automatically tracks changes.

(Via irreal.org)

I really like this idea. Something to think about.

New word (to me) from the Washington Post:

Elide
I. vt To cut off, as a vowel or a syllable, usually the final one; to subject to elision.
II. vt To break or dash in pieces; to Demolish; as, to elide the force of an Argument.

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