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Sympathy for the Devil

OOH …Here’s One Thing —by Jim Johnsen,

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message for Johnsen, Fretty & Company

OOH …Here’s One Thing


by Jim Johnsen,
Managing Director, Johnsen, Fretty & Company

Sympathy for the Devil

Since I don’t have anything meaningful to blather about today (then again when do I ever) I thought I would serve up el burdigato supreme.  Yup break the google out.  I had to.

First up, you will finally be able to move back from the edge of your seat as the Unicode Consortium just published its annual ranks.  Mr. Johnsen, who the hell is the Unicode Consortium?  I asked the same question.  Wikipedia (after demanding a donation) gave me the answer:

“The Unicode Consortium (legally Unicode, Inc.) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization incorporated and based in Mountain ViewCalifornia.[3] Its primary purpose is to maintain and publish the Unicode Standard which was developed with the intention of replacing existing character encoding schemes which are limited in size and scope, and are incompatible with multilingual environments. The consortium describes its overall purpose as:

…enabl[ing] people around the world to use computers in any language, by providing freely-available specifications and data to form the foundation for software internationalization in all major operating systems, search engines, applications, and the World Wide Web. An essential part of this purpose is to standardize, maintain, educate and engage academic and scientific communities, and the general public about, make publicly available, promote, and disseminate to the public a standard character encoding that provides for an allocation for more than a million characters.[4]


Say wha?  A not-for-profit with revenue of $467k, expenses of $470k and 3 employees gets to decide what GLOBAL unicode is acceptable and not?  WTF!!!  Anyone else feeling like Spectre is at play here?  (You will need to see the latest James Bond to get that reference…and btw for those that have seen it, who is with me that the next James Bond is a woman?)

Geez I get off track easily.  Let’s not worry our silly little heads about the consortiums of evil out there.  Let’s just keep on swimming as Nemo says.  So here is Aldous Huxley’s Soma:

“92% of the world’s online population use emoji — but which emoji are we using? Well, it appears that reports of Tears of Joy’s death are greatly exaggerated 😂. According to data collected by the Unicode Consortium, the not-for-profit organization responsible for digitizing the world’s languages, Tears of Joy accounts for over 5% of all emoji use (the only other character that comes close is ❤️ and there is a steeeeeep cliff after that). The top ten emoji used worldwide are 😂 ❤️ 🤣 👍 😭 🙏 😘 🥰 😍 .”


Tears of Joy.  Who knew?!  As a baby boomer, until recently, I cringed slightly every time I sent an emoji in a text or email.  And for the most part I never venture past the thumbs up.  It makes me chuckle to think what my first boss at JP Morgan would have done if I had sent his boss a Tears of Joy or a Praying Hands.  He lost his shit on me on the third day for smiling too much.  No joke.

Speaking of corporate culture, I read a recent analyst report on the chip maker Nvidia that got me thinking:

“Pros: Jensen, our President/CEO is very intelligent, driven, articulate, encouraging, warm, and approachable. What you see on stage is the same person you bump into in the halls or overhear at the bar. Yes, we have a really nice bar in our building. NVIDIA’s success and amazing culture clearly comes from the top. During Covid, he firmly repeated this message: “Put family first!” During the holidays, we don’t have a big expensive company dinner, we volunteer or donate to our local communities. The work is challenging and meaningful. Compensation and benefits are great. I love my coworkers. I’ve been here almost five years. It’s real and I still can’t believe how lucky I am.

Cons: NVIDIA innovates at a crazy pace. There is more work to do than time to do it. But everyone around you is working super hard. And doing what you love, with people you care about, for a president that seems genuinely to be one of the nicest human beings I’ve ever met makes me want to work extra hard, too. So the biggest negative is really self-inflicted. (from NVIDIA glassdoor review)”


Funny how wildly successful companies seem to always share certain things in common.

Okay Johnsen, all good, but what about the reference to one of the OG songs of all time?  Well I was reading a Scientific American article on the conversion of WWI tanks to other uses right after the war…yes I am a fan of snow cat skiing so I thank the Frogs for the innovation here… (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/tanks-carry-tourists-into-the-french-alps/) and my non-linear brain immediately went to the stanza:

“I rode a tank
Held a general’s rank
When the blitzkrieg raged
And the bodies stank”

https://youtu.be/f47TZePukuQ  (Holy Shitake is that still good)

Turns out there is a lot more to the origins of this song.  Interested?  Read on here, as the story of good and evil is as old and complicated as man himself.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Master_and_Margarita

ps, has the Dinosaur Christmas party been cancelled again :((



Securities transacted through StillPoint Capital Member firm FINRA/SiPC


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