“A man can reach truth neither directly nor alone.”

Experience has proven, I told myself, that a man can reach truth neither directly nor alone; an intermediary must exist— still human in certain respects yet surpassing humanity in others. Somewhere on our Earth this superior humanity must exist, and it cannot be absolutely inaccessible. And so shouldn’t all my efforts be devoted to discovering it? Even if, in spite of my certainty, I were the victim of a monstrous illusion, I would have nothing to lose in making the effort, for in any case, without this hope, all life is meaningless.

—Rene Daumal, Mount Analogue.

Global Wealth Report 2014

Credit Suisse just released its annual global wealth report. Summary here:

Although the global economic environment has remained challenging, total global wealth has grown to a new record, rising by USD $20.1 trillion between mid-2013 and mid-2014, an increase of 8.3%, to reach USD $263 trillion – more than twice the USD $117 trillion recorded for the year 2000.

Our estimates for mid-2014 indicate that once debts have been subtracted, a person needs only USD $3,650 to be among the wealthiest half of world citizens. However, more than USD $77,000 is required to be a member of the top 10% of global wealth holders, and USD $798,000 to belong to the top 1%. Taken together, the bottom half of the global population own less than 1% of total wealth. In sharp contrast, the richest decile hold 87% of the world’s wealth, and the top percentile alone account for 48.2% of global assets.

The USA has by far the greatest number of members of the top 1% global wealth group, and accounts for 41% of the world’s millionaires.

Global wealth is expected to grow by 40%, reaching USD $369 trillion by 2019. Emerging markets will account for 26% of the additional wealth, compared to 11.4% of the extra wealth in the period from 2000 to 2014. The number of millionaires worldwide is projected to rise from 35 million to 53 million, an increase of more than 50%.

Full report here (PDF, via Credit Suisse).

Baby Black Bear Found Dead In Central Park

In a Mystery, a Baby Black Bear Is Found Dead in Central Park [NYT]

The furry black mass lay hidden under a bush near Central Park’s main loop, unnoticed, unmoving and partially concealed by an abandoned bicycle. A dog rustling in the brush drew the first eyes to the bush and a sight rarely, if ever, found in modern Manhattan: a baby black bear, dead.


Bears have not been seen outside captivity in the park in recent memory. History records the shooting of a wild black bear in Manhattan, but it was several centuries ago. “This is a highly unusual situation,” said Elizabeth Kaledin, a spokeswoman for the Central Park Conservancy. “It’s awful.”

Major WTF indeed.

“I’m a cop. If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t challenge me.”

I’m a cop. If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t challenge me [WaPo]

L.A. police officer in Washington Post op-ed proudly declaring what he says is the mindset of most cops:

Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you. Don’t argue with me, don’t call me names, don’t tell me that I can’t stop you, don’t say I’m a racist pig, don’t threaten that you’ll sue me and take away my badge. Don’t scream at me that you pay my salary, and don’t even think of aggressively walking towards me.

So.. there’s that.

Email Is Here To Stay

Email Is Still the Best Thing on the Internet [Atlantic]

Email is actually a tremendous, decentralized, open platform on which new, innovative things can and have been built. In that way, email represents a different model from the closed ecosystems we see proliferating across our computers and devices.

Email is a refugee from the open, interoperable, less-controlled “web we lost.” It’s an exciting landscape of freedom amidst the walled gardens of social networking and messaging services.

Email: still the best thing on the internet, indeed.