Non-financial: April - June 2011 articles archive home
 
The deadliness of second-handers
If you look at people, they are paying the price and wondering for what sin and telling themselves that they’ve been too selfish. [But] in what act or thought of them has there ever been a self? What was their aim in life? Greatness - in other people’s eyes. Fame, admiration, envy - all that which comes from others. Others dictated their convictions, which they did not hold, but they were satisfied that others believed that they held them.
Friday, June 24, 2011 ... more
 
 
Not-to-do list
“It is the ‘stop doing’ list that may well be the more important of the two as a mechanism for allocating the most precious of all resources: time” says Jim Collins in his book From Good to Great. “Most of us lead busy but undisciplined lives. We have ever-expanding ‘to do’ lists, trying to build momentum by doing, doing, doing—and doing more. And it rarely works.
Friday, June 17, 2011 ... more
 
 
To do something different
I know that … on behalf of your elders and the entire nation, I am expected to say I am sorry that the economy had failed, the job market dried up, the housing market become uncertain—in other words, that we who came before you were handing off an unmitigated disaster.
Friday, June 10, 2011 ... more
 
 
And hope for the best
The one talent which is worth all other talents put together in all human affairs is the talent of judging right upon imperfect materials, the talent if you please of guessing right. It is a talent which no rules will ever teach and which even experience does not always give …
Friday, June 3, 2011 ... more
 
 
You’re not old … yet
Stanford University economist John B Shoven recently came up with an entirely new way of calculating when we reach the crest of that hill. Given the fact that we’re all in better shape and living longer, he argues that our true age should be determined not by years since birth but by years left to live.
Friday, May 27, 2011 ... more
 
 
Success: What it is and isn't
The logic of worldly success rests on a fallacy: the strange error that our perfection depends on the thoughts and opinions and applause of other men! A weird life it is, indeed, to be living always in somebody else's imagination, as if that were the only place in which one could at last become real. - Thomas Merton.
Friday, May 20, 2011 ... more
 
 
Give me freedom or give me death ... or is that anarchy?
I have often been asked why I maintain such a non-compromising antagonism to government and in what way I have found myself oppressed by it. In my opinion every individual is hampered by it. It exacts taxes from production. It creates tariffs, which prevent free exchange. It stands ever for the status quo and traditional conduct and belief.
Friday, May 13, 2011 ... more
 
 
Better than pure reason
We are often urged to make unemotional decisions, especially when it comes to investing, despite the lack of evidence that it leads to better decision-making or that we are even capable of doing so.
Friday, May 6, 2011 ... more
 
 
Nature's not entirely to blame
If one gives two monkeys hugely different rewards for the same task, the one who gets the short end of the stick simply refuses to perform. In our own species, too, individuals reject income if they feel the distribution is unfair. Since any income should beat none at all, this means that both monkeys and people fail to follow the profit principle to the letter.
Friday, April 29, 2011 ... more
 
 
The future is uncertain, but ‘twas ever thus, which is oddly reassuring.
How the price of oil will go up, how it will go down, how house prices might fall further, how they will most definitely rise: turn on the radio, open a newspaper and the predictions of experts are seemingly ubiquitous. In Future Babble: Why Expert Predictions Fail - And Why We Believe Them Anyway, Dan Gardner wonders why we live in a world of predictions that are so unfailingly inaccurate.
Friday, April 15, 2011 ... more
 
 
The only problem.
In Greek mythology, Sisyphus was a rascal who played tricks on the gods to get what he wanted. He even managed to avoid death. Finally the gods condemned him to eternal hard labour - his punishment: to roll a boulder up a hill, only to have it roll back to the bottom each time he finally gets it to the top. The toil of Sisyphus is a metaphor for all difficult and repetitive labour that is frustrating and unrewarding.
Friday, April 8, 2011 ... more
 
 
Solely for money
Obviously money constitutes a powerful force. Certainly there can be no doubt that it motivates. One need only look around (even at oneself) to see how willing people are to engage in a wide range of activities for money. They drag themselves to work at jobs they hate … get hooked on gambling … take on extra assignments that unduly stress them … and engage in a wide variety of nefarious activities that promise handsome rewards.
Friday, April 1, 2011 ... more
 
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