306 comments

Efficiency is the Highest Form of Beauty

This year, I’ve been spending a lot more time at the local elementary school, as our boy has rejoined his friends in fifth grade after two years of homeschooling. Through the daily bike rides to and from school, and my weekly gig as a volunteer math/engineering teacher for a small group of boisterous advanced learners, I get to meet a lot more new people from the community than I had in the preceding two years.

As a not-all-that-normal person, it is always a delicate challenge to spark up casual relationships with brand new people. For one thing, there’s the whole issue of being 11 years into semi-retirement, which makes any discussion of work schedules, mortgages and debt, or even overall goals in life a challenge: you either make up a superficial cover story or you open up a huge can of worms that will take an hour to explain.

Unless you are lucky enough to be conversing with another highly abnormal person, this conversation can quickly turn to a blank stare – the normal people don’t quite understand the idea of deliberately working hard even if you don’t have to, or not buying stuff even when you can afford to buy it. When you get the blank stare, it’s time for a quick, cheery wrap-up with a reference to the weather or how great the school staff is this year.

So the superficial story usually wins: “Well, these days I’m mostly a Dad, and I do some carpentry while he’s in school.”

But an even bigger disconnect comes during my travels around town. Strangers don’t seem to know quite what to make of the just slightly imposing flannel-shirt man in his 40s who is always zooming around on a bike at the highest speed his legs can manage at any given moment. Usually with a slightly overstuffed backpack that might be filled with cucumbers, 10-packs of electrical outlets,  beer, or even smooth rocks from the creek for use in ornamental gardens. On special occasions, maybe even a trailer with some lumber. “Is he homeless? A hooligan? He’s definitely not as well-off as me, as I hold my mobile phone like a tray in one hand and use the other to operate the steering wheel of my GMC Envoy.

At Home Depot I sometimes slip up and start discussing my unorthodox plans for the materials I am buying – an underground conduit to run some solar-heated water between the main house and some external collector, or an off-grid charger for an electric car, because nobody makes these things cost-effectively on the real market and they should be doing it. But that blank stare comes back to remind you that this is not the place to open up such a can of ideas.

Personally, I enjoy this little disconnect between me and most people. There are enough friends around here (and Mustachians out there) for all of us to find plenty of community as well as plenty of time to dabble in our own little science labs.

But what I don’t enjoy, is how the rest of our society is missing the beauty of this endeavor. It bugs me to see people standing on the airport escalators when they could be sprinting up the adjacent stairs with a suitcase in each hand. I’m annoyed that people still trundle around in cars they can’t afford, wasting fuel and asphalt that wrecks all of our living spaces, just because they can’t be bothered to swing their leg over a 25 pound aluminum sculpture with wheels that makes most of our fattening 20-trillion-dollar urban infrastructure unnecessary. Then they fight, with lobbying groups and misinformation, if anybody dares to tell them there’s a better way.

It also bugs me that high spending is still considered a desirable thing, and that living on less money is assumed to come with a reduction in happiness. When really, measuring life by your spending level is like judging a town by the size of its parking lots. Is your goal to maximize the amount of asphalt and SUVs you can spread out across the land, or would you rather just get into that damned grocery store so you can get yourself some nice stuff for dinner?

Spending is a skill: a Mustachian can buy the same lifestyle with $25,000 that might cost a Consumer Sucka $100,000 per year. If you can cultivate this skill, the Art of the 75% reduction, at any income level, you can go from a lifetime of being in debt, to being rich enough to retire in less than 10 years. Similarly, a company that can operate with this level of skill will quickly become the most successful company in history, and a similarly efficient government would find the world sitting peacefully in its palm.

The reason I pursue and love the idea of finding new ways to live life in an industrialized world, is the same reason I love music, and art, and writing and all of the beautiful, advanced, inspiring things that people do. It’s because Efficiency is Beauty.

Think about it. What is it that has allowed humans, despite our soft and weak bodies, dull noses and eyes, inability to swim or fly, and mostly-hairless skin that is only really comfortable unprotected in the tropics? Tigers, Owls, and Sharks would mock us ceaselessly if they were smart enough to open Twitter accounts. But of course they cannot, because we are the only ones with these kickass brains that have allowed us to overcome all obstacles to take over this entire planet – with more planets soon to come.

This domination has been entirely the fruit of our efficiency. I mean, sure, monkeys will seek out straight sticks and use them as tools to harvest bugs from a nest, but early humans sought out even more specialized sticks, arranged them into better shelters, weapons and animal traps. We caught animals and used every part for ingenious purposes, to create even more advanced tools, weapons, and methods of preserving information.

On and on through the generations, our survival and advancements have been won only as we became more efficient with our resources. Even our ability to create art, music, literature, and the social structures like laws and governments that allowed us to stop killing each other so often, was only made possible by buying ourselves free time – by efficiently securing food, which gave us time to play at night.

This uncontroversial history lesson could have come straight out of the pages of the Duhh Journal or Obvious Magazine. But yet, the idea of efficiency has been consistently ignored in our more recent society, and this is the source of most of our current problems.

For example, the accepted norm is that as we get richer, we spend more, borrow more, and work harder than ever to beat each other in the highly-competitive economy. The richest people earn the right to consume the largest share of natural resources.

However if we still valued our efficiency, the very thing that got us here and the biggest gift of being a human, the opposite would be true. The wealthiest people could afford to be the most efficient. They would find ways to have the largest amount of fun, but with the added dimension of seeing nothing going to waste. We could live with a zero or negative environmental footprint, and enjoy this incredibly prosperous, engaged lifestyle without even needing to step on anybody else’s head to enjoy it.

The added dimension of knowing we were accomplishing this rich life on two dimensions would take the satisfaction level to a new level as well. While the beginner rich person is a corpulent businessman who buys himself thrones and treats to emulate the life of ancient kings, the advanced rich person is one measured by how much better they left the world, after subtracting any value they destroyed along the way.

In a more efficient, rational world, the rich people would be the ones least concerned about advancing or preserving their own personal wealth, because that is obviously not an efficient use of time when you’re already rich.

Yeah, But How Could We Actually Create Such a World?

I can see you nodding there, but you don’t really think this is possible. If you’re a scientist and into evolutionary motivations, you will remind me that efficiency is only a human priority in times of scarcity. After that, we branch out because it is actually more efficient to chill out, and in fact making a show of waste is a show of genetic superiority. “Look at me! I can afford to grow all these impractical colorful feathers! Or dump water on this big green lawn and pay servants to water it, and I’m not even here because I’m in Monaco this month. Now, come have sex with me because you know you want some of these superior genes.”

This is indeed a problem, and it’s what drives most of the ugliest problems in the world. The world wars and the cold war. Dictators and politicians who seek personal power over society’s advancement. Certain CEOs and their followers who teach themselves not to understand climate change because they fear it would hurt their superficial profits. It’s all the byproduct of when we throw our energy into our simpler ape-like instincts, instead of the more beautiful instinct of Efficiency that got us out of those tree branches and into this much richer life in the first place.

But rather than surrendering our world to the simple dictators who cater to their own ape-like instincts, we can actually hijack their weakness for our own benefit. Because in a world where our material needs are met, the ultimate competition is for status. And status means emulating the richest, most powerful beings of your particular species. If you happen to be one of the richest and most powerful beings, this means everybody else will emulate you.

I hereby suggest that you, the self-selected curious and generally very wealthy people that happen to be reading this article, represent a significant portion of the world’s most powerful people – the ones with the status. People are watching you, wondering how you got all that money, maybe how you manage to run such a successful company, and why you seem to have your life together, with free time to spend with your kids or the motivation to stay in such good shape. They want what you have, and thus they will do what you do.

If you happen to agree with me that efficiency is beauty, the world would be a better place if we became more efficient, and that most of our biggest problems come from too many people missing that obvious fact, you can fix the whole problem by doing just one thing: demonstrating and celebrating efficiency in your own life.

As your peers and the more junior members of your tribe see you riding your bike to work, not moving to an even bigger house, playing with your own kids in the public park and raking your own leaves, and packing up your hiking boots and a tent instead of getting picked up by an airport limousine to begin every vacation, that’s the life they will want for themselves.

You’ll note the obvious similarities to the Tesla Motors master plan here, which the company has used to go from a 3-person garage experiment to the world’s most sought-after luxury automaker, while simultaneously ditching the 150-year tradition of the gasoline engine all in only 10 years: Start by attracting the top of society, allow them to demonstrate that your idea is desirable, then watch the rest of the world follow.

However, as a collection of the world’s highest-status trend setters, we can outdo even Elon Musk. Rather than just upgrading our existing infrastructure to be more efficient, we can upgrade the entire culture.

Instead of just building a billion autonomous electric cars to drive (or fly) us through our trillion dollar sprawling networks of concrete, we can choose to live closer together in the first place in beautiful, verdant neighborhoods that can be traversed in bare feet. Instead of just building solar arrays and storage batteries to cleanly power our gluttonous yet slovenly and unsatisfying lifestyles, we can upgrade to badass, muscular outdoor lifestyles of deep human and natural connection – while also putting up as many solar panels and batteries as it takes to keep the good music playing all night long.

And as we dance in this utopian environment, we’ll note that efficiency has again proven its beauty. Because while it is brilliant and noble to strive towards advancing the efficiency of our technology, it’s even more efficient to directly to change our culture.

I can’t do that all by myself just by riding my bike around town. But you can.

  • Atroc December 1, 2016, 3:45 am

    May I ask a question? Why do you escort your fifth grader son to school on your bike? At fifth grade he must be around 11 years old. Surly old enough to go to school on his own.

    Reply
    • Aimee December 14, 2016, 10:11 am

      Depends on how far the school is and most likely other parents are driving their kids to school, so it would be a very isolating walk.

      Reply
  • Laura Ann December 1, 2016, 8:56 am

    We’re working on having an efficient, frugal Christmas here this year. When I do spend money, I try to make choices that will give the most happiness per dollar. That sounds really cold, but I’ve wasted too much money other years on gifts that were not well thought-out. It doesn’t take a lot of money to find something that the recipient will really love and appreciate: what it does take is a lot of thought. I’m also trying to be creative and make do with what we already have, like making wreaths from balsam firs that grow on our property, or making homemade eggnog, caramel corn, and fudge from simple ingredients I always stock. (On sale, of course.) I will admit to some teasing from my family yesterday when I set up the rather scrawny home-grown Christmas tree, but I kind of love this tree even more than a store-bought one for its simplicity and honesty. (The family is calling it a Christmas Twig, not a Christmas Tree, but it’s all in good spirit.) It is definitely more efficient for me to walk down to the woods and cut down a tree rather than pay for one trucked in from somewhere! I’ve also recently quit buying expensive, inefficient clumping cat litter and have replaced it with shredded paper made from junk mail. I find changes like this to be deeply satisfying.

    I’ve been frugal since I was a child–my babysitting money went to pay for the down payment on our first house!

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache December 1, 2016, 10:42 am

      There’s nothing cold and in fact everything warm about that in my opinion – taking your best shot at maximizing happiness-per-dollar is what this entire MMM thing is is about! Whether you apply it on a personal or a global basis, you end up way further ahead by thinking this way.

      Reply
    • Buried December 2, 2016, 1:05 am

      A lot of married guys head to the jewelry store for Christmas & whatnot. I headed to the fishing department at Walmart. I bought my ex-wife a tackle box, & she loved it. She said it was probably the most thoughtful gift that anyone had ever given her, after I explained it to her. She doesn’t fish. At all. She liked making bead necklaces, but her beads were everywhere. The tackle box allowed her to sort her beads, wire, tools, etc. into a handy (& portable) case that was the first of several.

      So some thought, $20 & tons of time spent enjoying it, or a few hundred for something that is only worn occasionally, usually to stuff we didn’t want to go to in the first place.

      Everyone has a tackle box – you just have to dig beneath the surface to figure out what it is.

      Reply
    • grisly_atoms January 7, 2017, 4:47 pm

      Laura Ann,

      Woman, you rock! If you gave me a wreath made from balsam fir trees growing on your property I would add it to the group of “sacred possessions” I have in my life, which number fewer than ten! You, woman, are not cold at all – you are inspiring!!!

      Reply
    • Kathy Abell January 7, 2017, 8:50 pm

      Using shredded paper made from junk mail as kitty litter. BRILLIANT!

      Reply
  • The Second Law December 1, 2016, 12:10 pm

    “An underground conduit to run some solar-heated water between the main house and some external collector, or an off-grid charger for an electric car, because nobody makes these things cost-effectively on the real market and they should be doing it.”

    Aside from solar water heater accessories and an off grid charger what renewable energy products do fellow MMM readers wish were on the market? Asking for a friend who might have to come up with a renewable/clean energy research and/or capstone project for grad school in the next couple of years… :)

    Reply
  • I'm afreud to say December 3, 2016, 8:47 am

    Efficiency as a “Canadian” value
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Efficient_Society

    Reply
  • Chris N December 4, 2016, 12:56 pm

    While efficiency can be beauty, the key factor you ponit out 3/4 of the way through is that it must be sought at the individual level, for efficiency has also imposed tragedy and suffering on people when carried out on an institutional level (dangerous working conditions, income inequality, environmental degredation, and even genocide!). On an ecological and social level, any system that doesn’t have any “slack” (or inefficiency) built-in is inherently unstable! When a stressor like drought or famine comes along, the system collapses.

    I know this isn’t what Pete was getting at, but worth keeping in mind before blindly worshiping this concept.

    I’d say the key is striving for efficiency as individuals, especially when doing so benefits society and the Earth (leaving below our means) while increasing our adaptability as a society. But do be weary of efficiency is the name of concentrating profits, increasing resource extraction, and otherwise screwing up the world!

    Reply
  • Jason December 5, 2016, 7:42 pm

    Thanks MM

    I think striving for efficiency is totally underrated. We have it all wrong!

    At the moment we see consumption as providing meaningul work which pays dividends when in actual fact efficiency does both more effectively in the end.

    Examples of this are too numerous to mention but theTesla disruption is one. Who would you really rather work for, Tesla or Ford?

    Reply
  • Sharon December 6, 2016, 6:22 pm

    Wonderful post especially for this time of year. I don’t want to comment on any specific responses but generally say that I’ m puzzled that some people find MMM elitist.

    I found this blog a little over two years ago, well into a few decades of adult life. I can’t turn back the clock and start out as a full-on mustachian on day one post- college, nor would I want to. I’ve had a great time so far, lived abroad for a decade, traveled, changed careers a few times, spent a good while self-employed. All along though, I’ve followed a lot of the MMM principles – paying attention to energy consumption, spent many years with no car, walking to work or using public transport, etc. and have the lucky attribute that I don’t feel pressured by conventions and traditions. My origins often surprise people. I grew up in one of the poorest counties in the US and attended a public school. So essentially I started at zero and went from there. And yet I appreciate and have really responded to many of the nudges from MMM.

    I applaud MMM for having the smarts, drive and clarity of thought to focus on saving and efficiency very early on and achieve early retirement. Really cool! I also appreciate the time he spends on the thoughtful blog posts like this one and the kicks in the pants that are often provided. I can’t apply everything immediately but have been slowly righting my financial ship since I started reading the blog and am way better off a little more than two years later. My punch list:
    – had a commuting job for one year. Quit and found a telecommute position – yay!
    – got rid of the clown car and bought a used Volt, and use it sparingly
    – went through a review of every single recurring expense to trim down: ditched Verizon for the cheapest Republic plan, cut cable (keeping a package that has a few channels but is not more expensive than internet only), reconfigured my homeowners and car insurance, paid off and chopped up two credit cards (last one still being worked down), finally cut my land line (my spouse was the hanger-on for that), switched electricity providers.
    – bought a used bike on Craigslist and actually ride it sometimes!
    – sold stuff I no longer needed on Craigslist (any kids stuff I gave away and it was much appreciated)
    – did NOT get a dog. Why was I even thinking about that? Really owe you for that post!
    – refinanced my mortgage to 2.625%
    – increased the size of my garden, started composting, got a few backyards chickens
    – oh and of course cranked up my savings rate another few notches

    When I started reading the blog the only weak spot in my otherwise great life was a small-to- medium amount of financial worry. While I ‘m still not quite able to jump into retirement I now have a firm grasp on expenses and am sleeping soundly at night.
    For this I’am thankful to you MMM!

    Reply
    • Aimee December 14, 2016, 10:22 am

      Aww, adopt a dog and save a life! It will improve the quality of yours as well :)

      Unless of course, it won’t, then don’t……..but saving a dog from a shelter is awesome!

      Reply
  • Jason December 7, 2016, 1:09 pm

    Typo in second to last paragraph (extra “to”) – you can delete this comment.

    Reply
  • Neighbor Christina December 7, 2016, 4:57 pm

    I recommend you put an arty twist on your Home Depot discussions. I had a Hover St HD employee follow me around the store as I talked with him about my seemingly never ending project to make a 5′ backlit address sign. He helped me match materials they had in store to what I had in my mind, and he asked me to come back with pictures. :)

    Reply
    • Matt (Semper Fi) January 3, 2017, 9:29 am

      I’ve had some awesome experiences at HD, too, Christina. In fact, if it weren’t for the extremely knowledgable former electricians and plumbers working in those store depts, I wouldn’t have gotten very far on the addition I built on my house. They were incredible resources.

      Reply
  • b December 10, 2016, 8:39 am

    Well put. Completely agree. Example is more important than “mansplaining” whatever that means. Good for you for walking the walk. You have motivated me to do more.
    b

    Reply
  • david s December 10, 2016, 4:39 pm

    Hi,
    I have one third as much as we need to be FI. We’ve set up the path to FI, saving 64%, now we are waiting for it to grow.
    With kids on the way I would love to take a few years off from life and be with them; in short being FI in 8 years will be less important than doing so now.
    According to my calculations, it would cost us hundreds of thousands in the long term for me to take off this time and be full time dad, before reintegrating into workforce. This would derail the current FI track and get on more of a 20 year journey.
    Do you know of an analysis of this dilemma?
    Thank you,

    Reply
  • Erica December 12, 2016, 11:53 pm

    I did it! I read through all the posts before my 2nd baby was born!

    Thank you for doing this. Sharing your story, reader stories. Every word was productive and useful. Getting me through this bed rest, inspiring me to move our lives along. We’re planning on selling our car and going car-free. We have an inexpensive but localist/low-waste wedding on the horizon and plans to get a condo (actually cheaper than renting in this area as it turns out) and sticking in our little corner of the world while we plow forward to FI.

    I look forward to more, and the forums! Thank you!

    Reply
  • Ji December 15, 2016, 2:33 am

    Saw this article about scarcity and abundance and thought it was a good fit for MMM.
    https://bankunderground.co.uk/2016/12/13/mind-over-matter-is-scarcity-as-much-about-psychology-as-it-is-economics/

    Reply
  • Matt (Semper Fi) January 3, 2017, 9:36 am

    I had a curious and somewhat disheartening conversation with a friend yesterday. We were talking about cars, and I steered the conversation towards efficiency, since I’m considering eventually buying a used Leaf. My friend almost became hostile, saying that he wouldn’t buy one of those POS even if it got 6,000 mpg. His main reason? He thinks they’re ugly, and he wants to look good while driving around. He has his eye on a Charger, or similar “muscle car”. Sigh. Those big cars are pretty awesome, but I think about how much longer he is extending his mandatory labor just to “look good”.

    Reply
    • Doug February 7, 2017, 10:18 am

      It obviously depends on what your priorities are. Being a mustachian type who reads this blog, I think my portfolio looks good because I’ve had cheaper cars all my life. Because of being able to retire earlier, I look good because I’ve left the stress of getting up early, fighting traffic commuting, and dealing with bitchy bosses and coworkers behind. I have more time now to exercise and that also makes me look good. I’m 56 years old, and have heard many people say I look about 8 years younger than my actual age. I also figured I looked good travelling, such as on a rented motorcycle in Thailand or travelling the Iceland Ring Road in a rented Toyota Corolla, among other places I’ve been.

      Reply
  • grisly_atoms January 7, 2017, 4:43 pm

    Mister Money Mustache,

    This one – THIS ONE! – is your most beautiful post. You finally struck to the very root of civilization, of humanity. And you said it well. Very well.

    To be honest, after reading this post, I pictured you in my mind, on a stage, with a microphone. In front of 120,732 people. When the last line of the final paragraph drained out of my brain, I pictured you holding the microphone in front of you, shouting into it “I’m Out!” and then dropping it to the floor as you turned ’round and glided off stage.

    Well done.

    Reply
  • Alison S January 8, 2017, 4:15 pm

    Dear MMM,

    I just started going through your archives on the recommendation of a friend and it has been thoroughly entertaining and enlightening so far. I think the most important thing I’ve learned here is that everything I’ve heard so far about consumption in the USA /necessarily/ being an order of magnitude above what I consider normal is simply false. I was afraid that I was going to fall into a high-spending lifestyle against my will!

    I am 18 years old, originally from the Caribbean, and am accustomed to third world frugality. A lot of my entertainment reading this has come from realising that, by implication, most of what you recommend is /strange/ to Americans!

    My first hint that something fishy was going on was when I was studying in Canada in 2015 on a scholarship. The scholarship included tuition, a dorm room, and $1700 CAD per four-month semester. I was rather confused when the international students’ adviser told me that I would probably need at least a few extra hundreds from my parents. What actually happened is that I spent what I considered a decent sum and then brought 70% of the allowance back to my family in cash at the end of the first semester. (I didn’t finish the degree for reasons that the margin of this comment is too small to contain.)

    I’m writing now because I’m about to move to the USA and I want to hit the ground running, but I’m unsure what my first steps should be. I’m starting off at an initial disadvantage because I don’t have a degree and I’ll be ending up in one of the most expensive parts of the country (the San Francisco Bay) because everyone I know (including my girlfriend) is there.

    If you have any advice on what I should do, I’d greatly appreciate it. I will be legally able to live and work there, and I have no problem working hard or cheap – I just don’t have a degree or other certification (yet). I have no debts, around a $1000 in my own name, a credit card in the event of absolute emergency, and I can rely on moderate support from friends and family – but I’d rather not drain them. I’ll be living with my girlfriend’s family, at least initially, so rent isn’t an /immediate/ concern. She has a car but I can’t see myself needing it often – typically, I’ll walk a few miles if I want to get somewhere. (I don’t currently know how to bike, because I’m from a mountainous place with harsh inclines, but I intend to learn once I’m on flat ground.)

    If any other information would help you or other commenters come up with ideas for me, I’d be happy to provide it!

    Reply
  • mathstache January 28, 2017, 11:53 am

    I think it is easier to be more efficient when you are FI. Coming from a place with little stubble – 1st year of career – unfortunately I’ve got quite a few inefficient things packed into my day that I would otherwise eliminate if I didn’t have to work for a living. Car commute (sometimes e-bike), eating quick trader joe’s prepackaged meals (sometimes cook and bring meals).
    Thats no reason to throw in a towel and say I’ll be efficient only when I’m FI, but I think the consumer world is built to tailor to busy workers, with too little time. We try to be efficient with our time (faster to drive than bike) but lose efficiency everywhere else $$ and create more waste- (more expensive and garbage producing to eat a prepackaged meal then cook your own delicious food).
    Here’s to trying to be efficient on both fronts, time and $$! (Highly recommend an e-bike)

    Reply
  • MKE February 5, 2017, 9:31 am

    “While civilization has done much to improve the houses we live in, it has done little to improve the men who are to inhabit them. It was far easier to create castles and palaces than it was to create noblemen and kings.” – Henry David Thoreau

    That was a long time ago, and he is still right. (Might be off by a couple words. Doing it from memory). You can read Thoreau if you want to be all fancy-pants and classical, or MMM if you want to be more lowbrow yet au courant (I think?). People regarded Thoreau as pretty much of a nut. King of his own realm. Same message though.

    Reply
  • Geraldine April 25, 2017, 9:34 pm

    Great post. I was thinking about the exact same thing lately. Last week I visited the IKEA museum in Âlmhult (Sweden) and a huge part of the museum was about the origins of IKEA in Småland, a traditionally rather poor area of Sweden. People in Småland were so poor, they had to be efficient and frugal. So they utilised every bit of resource to the maximum, not wasting anything. If you know Astrid Lindgren, who by the way comes from the same part of Sweden, you can see that thriftiness, frugality, and efficiency are themes that come up again and again in her books.

    Looking at the way people lived in this area 150, 100, or even 70 years ago, made me realise how far off we have drifted from that course to the detriment of our environment and our own lifes. I found the visit very motivating to welcome this mindset back into my life, although I already live quite frugal, I’m not very good on the efficiency part. So thanks for the reminder.

    Reply
  • graduate student May 5, 2017, 1:08 pm

    Dear Mister Mustache,
    I agree with your life philosophy. I try to apply similar principles in life than you. Every day trough my science and the communication of it I try to build a more open world in which logic and well directed passion drive human endeavor. I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by scientists in which I can engage freely in conversation of many different topics were logic rather than irrational emotion dominates the discussion. At the same time I enjoy talking my view of life with other which are not in my field (biomedicine) or have different occupation, in order to learn new life perspectives and opinions.

    Things I don’t agree with are: I never tell a cover history, I find that in order to make a real impact in society you have to tell everybody what you think. Yes you will get undesirable answers, no answers or even insults. But, I think that being upfront and cultivating the patience to have a conversation is crucial to motive people and learn in every situation.

    Additionally don’t forget that by investing in the stock market you are sponsoring the companies that actually contribute to a close minded society, based in consumerism and irrational spending. So if used as tool to achieve financial freedom that then could allow to obtain other assets as property rental or/and a small owned business and stir aways from the market, later I thin it is o.k. But trying to change a world that we sponsor would be unproductive.

    Thank you for sharing your views.

    The graduate student.

    Reply
  • Hcat September 24, 2017, 2:48 am

    Sir, you should read Nassim Taleb, Antifragile. In the corporate world, “efficiency” often means extreme fragility. I propose the airlines as an example. Maybe your “efficiency” is not that. Also, I assume you are familiar with Thorstein Veblen, Theory of the Leisure Class, 1899.

    Reply
  • Kristin November 28, 2018, 6:52 pm

    A man after my own heart ‘stach.

    Have you read Ishmael by Daniel Quinn, about a telepathic gorilla that tries to save the planet from its living quarters in an office room? (Did I sell it well to you?) This post resonates well with it.

    Reply

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