Hello! Welcome to MarkFord.net
This is the open-for-inspection half-way home for my writing!
What you’ll find here are essays, stories, book chapters, poetry, and journal entries, as well as words and images from others that I want to share.
The bulk of the essays will be about business, wealth building, and personal productivity. But there will also be things I’m equally or more interested in, such as art, education, economics, physics, philosophy, psychology, neurobiology, fitness, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Since much of what you’ll be reading here will be early drafts of work meant for publication I welcome any comments or suggestions you might have that will help me strengthen them.

I’ve always felt that philosophy degenerated when the numbers guys took over.

From The Daily Reckoning:

Despite all their numbers, formulas and Nobel prizes, America’s leading economists, including the lead dog economist himself, Ben Bernanke, were apparently unable to see something so obvious that even we spotted it: the collapse of housing and the blow up of the credit market.

Not that they are dumb. They are just following a different career path. A genuine economist keeps his eyes open. He reads the paper. He reads books. He studies history. He talks to taxi drivers and businessmen. He tries to understand what has gone on in the past…and what might be going on today.

He has no illusions about it. The future will never be like the past. But there will be similarities. And those similarities can be studied…

He has little appreciation for numbers. He knows they can’t be trusted. They are like whores and lobbyists — they will do their work for whomever pays them.

Read the rest here.


We were walking down a small cobblestone street in Aix en Provence. It was a perfect June day – sunny and still warm in the late afternoon. The old, unpainted buildings had an amber glow.

Some of these buildings, we had learned from poking our heads inside, contained modest-sized apartments. Others enclosed elegant residences that only the wealthy could afford. From the outside, though, you couldn’t tell one from the other.

“That’s a good thing,” K said. “From the outside nobody can tell how much money you have.”

“It’s the opposite back home in Florida,” I said. “Wealthy people want everyone to know how much money they have. So they keep building bigger and bigger McMansions.”

“It’s just a question of values,” K said.

We stopped at a cafe about a block from our hotel. It was nearly filled with people having drinks and smoking, enjoying the end of their workday. A young girl stood under an oak tree playing Bach on a violin.

We ordered coffee. I wrote in my journal. K was reading a magazine.

“It says here you can survive without food for three weeks,” she said. “And three days without water. But only three minutes without oxygen.”

“Japanese pearl divers can stay under water a lot longer than that,” I said. “I think the world record is something like 19 minutes and 21 seconds.”

She shook her head, smiling. “You know what I mean. It’s a question of values. So much of our time is spent pursuing things that have questionable or temporary importance. But food… water… oxygen — what could be more important to human beings?”

Click to continue… True Value: Understanding What Matters in Business and in Life

Getting A Perspective

July 24, 2012 in Briefs

Strategy for Taking a Sensible Approach to a Disturbing Situation:

You get upset about something. It is all-consuming. But you know, deep down, it’s not that important. Perhaps this will help. While you are counting to ten, ask yourself these two questions:

  1. On a scale of 1 to 10, how much is this bothering me?
  2. On a scale of 1 to 10, how important will this seem to me in five years?

Example: My issue with a certain client who is not listening to my advice.

  • How much does it bother me now? 8
  • How much will it bother me in 5 years? 0

Asking these two questions reminds me that this is a temporary problem, one I can easily fix by allowing the client to improve or by dismissing him. With that in mind, I can relax.

Invade a peaceful country
Because you want world peace
Throw a welcome bash
Bring paper hats and pepper spray

If the survivors hate you
Teach appreciation
With cudgels and curfews
Show them you care

Remind them how bad it
Was before you saved them
Show them photos of life
Before you won their hearts

Be brutally sincere
Benignly persistent
Subjects are like children
They need some instruction

Invite each one
To the salvation ball
Provide transportation
Bring gas and lock the doors

Let the world know you
Cannot be defeated
But just in case of snags
Bring party favors and body bags

By Ford Fine Art

Oracle sur Managua: Hommage to Ernesto Cardenal

Armando Morales (1927-2011)

Oil on canvas, 1989,  64″ x 79″

The art world was surprised in 1957 when a young Nicaraguan, with a few original and suggestive abstract paintings imbued with mysterious and mythical context, received immediate international recognition.  Using jungles, moons, phantasmagorical trees, reflective lakes, metallic surfaces, and groups of nudes, Armando Morales created the motifs that would linger throughout his long career.

Oracle sur Managua: Hommage to Ernesto Cardenal,  painted in 1989, is a figurative work filled with nudes, bicycles, coaches, train tracks, horses, dogs, tires, mirrors, and more. The title refers to the town where Morales was schooled, Managua, and honors the Nicaraguan poet, revolutionary, and Minister of Culture, Ernesto Cardenal.  The illusionist space and lighting set the stage for the magical realism and surreal mannequin-like figures.  This painting was valued at $450,000 in 1999.

We  like the subdued colors and subject matter of this painting. The images are abstracted representations of natural things rather than pure abstractions.  While visiting a gallery in Managua, we were fascinated by the use of funnels and finishes in many of Morales’s paintings. We learned that he worked in his father’s hardware store and constantly drew the tools and reflective surfaces that surrounded him.

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