Don’t Take Sides, Take Issues (How To Think About Wikileaks)

I’ve been following the Wikileaks saga with increasing interest, because it embodies a principle in which I firmly believe: Don’t take sides, take issues. People have asked if I’m pro-Wikileaks or anti-Wikileaks. One of my friends said she was anti-anti-Wikileaks. The problem with taking sides is that its rare that sides are drawn up based … Continue reading Don’t Take Sides, Take Issues (How To Think About Wikileaks)

Thanksgiving, Happiness, And Memory

My friend and HBS classmate Lindsey and I started emailing about her most recent blog post. The exchange ended up lasting much of the Thanksgiving holiday, and touched on optimism, the underrated virtues of melancholy, and the conundrum of memory. Here’s how the conversation went: Chris: In this morning’s blog post, you wrote the following: … Continue reading Thanksgiving, Happiness, And Memory

The Unstuffed Life

Charles Dickens once wrote, “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six, result misery.” Yet while many seem to understand this principle when it comes to money, far too few demonstrate such an understanding when it comes to time. When it comes … Continue reading The Unstuffed Life

Categories vs. Experiences

We all simplify the world around us. We have to–given the amount of information each of us is exposed to daily, the alternative to dumbing down is overload-induced catatonia. One of the main ways we simplify is by categorizing things. By attaching a simple name to a rough set of associated characteristics, we can reduce … Continue reading Categories vs. Experiences

Your Way Or The Right Way?

We all like to think that we do the right thing. But it’s very easy to get lazy and reverse the causality–to believe that something is right because we do it. White House Chief of Staff Rahm “Rahmbo” Emanuel famously said of the Great Recession, “Never allow a crisis to go to waste.” Yet pushing … Continue reading Your Way Or The Right Way?

“The Referendum”: Great Essay On Mid-Life Angst

I thought this New York Times article from Tim Kreider was one of the best (funniest, insightful) things I’ve read this week. Kreider discusses a phenomenon that strikes many of us as we get along in years: The tendency to evaluate the lives of our friends to ponder paths not taken. Some money quotes: * … Continue reading “The Referendum”: Great Essay On Mid-Life Angst

Embrace Your Human Limitations

(Photo courtesy of patrick h. lauke) Limitless possibilities are a paradox. On the one hand, the sense of limitless possibilities can be exhilarating. On the other hand, it can be paralyzing. Almost every choice eliminates certain options. Dan Ariely’s work shows that we humans are irrationally predisposed to preserving options, even to our own detriment. … Continue reading Embrace Your Human Limitations

Paragraph of the Day: “The Big Thing”

“The Flash of Insight, The Grand Gesture, The Rousing Speech, The Last Straw. All of these are doppelgangers of The Big Thing, which too many of us wait for to come along and change our lives. The secret is, of course, that it’s not coming. Worse, by waiting for The Big Thing, you could let … Continue reading Paragraph of the Day: “The Big Thing”

The Zero-sum Fallacy Of Socialism

This paragraph from Warren over at Coyote Blog may well be the best paragraph I read all week: “For socialists, wealth is not created by man’s mind and his effort — it is a spring in the desert with a fixed flow rate. It just exists to be taken or fought over. The wealthy, by … Continue reading The Zero-sum Fallacy Of Socialism