I’ve spent the last couple of years downsizing, and trying on the idea that a simpler life can be a happier life for me. I’ve turned to finding small pleasures and treasures to be thankful for, and to not basing my actions on always wanting more. This flies in the face of much of my upbringing and culture, so even with this conscious effort I am still far from ascetic. But in spite of the ways that this change in outlook have challenged me, I have to say it has been a joyful journey.
But is it always bad to want more? How about more love? More kindness? More simple decency? More popcorn?
Read the entire post on my y1 blog at When is it time for “More”?
He got me thinking. There are two ways to approach any competition. One is to take every advantage that you can. Soccer players writhing in imagined pain hoping to inflict a foul on the other team are an extreme example of this. In this world, the savvy player tries to play everyone, and get away with everything possible. The only goal is to win.
The other approach is cooperative only in the sense that one of the goals is to get the calls right. Players believe that points should be scored and games won with good rules that are fairly applied.
What do you think happens most often in a close competition between a team or person taking the first approach and one taking the second? Yes, you’re right. I believe we call it “nice guys finish last.”
Read the entire post on my d4 blog at “Of baseball, tennis and predatory lending.”
In 2007 I took over managing all the money my husband and I had saved over our lifetime, even though I knew nothing about investing. Most of the money was in a 401K plan with my employer. I got laid off, was damned sure I didn’t want to keep that company’s stock, and so I had to do something else with it. We’d already had bad experiences with professionals too busy to answer the questions of folks with our meager level of savings, and twice we’d been directed into investments clearly not in our own best interest. There wasn’t going to be a third time. Not when everything we had was on the table.
So I spent the rest of 2007 figuring out how to buy stocks myself and, hopefully, how do it well. The jargon was overwhelming and the websites intimidating and the calls from other people who wanted to handle my money for me were relentless. I think it was the tenacity of those who wanted to get their hands on my savings that pushed me to persevere. I mean, if they were all that eager to do this, it couldn’t be that good for me, right? Then, well…..
I guess you all heard about what happened to the economy in 2008, didn’t you?
Read the rest of the story on my d4 blog at “The Big Short”: a review and a look at modern investing.
It is hard to believe. Whatever happened to the idea that the ultimate in happiness was lounging on a tropical beach, umbrella drink in hand, while island music wafted by on a soft ocean breeze? Wait, that was the ideal vacation. What about the ideal life?
Read the entire post at on my y1 blog at If you want to be happy move to a cold country?
Every so often an artist captures a complex problem in a simple way. I’m in awe of the photo or sketch that conveys nuances in a glance, and of the poem, song or piece of flash fiction that evokes layers of meaning in its few words. The best of popular music manages this, I think. I put the song “I Need A Dollar” by Aloe Blacc in this small group.
Read the entire post at “I Need A Dollar.”
“Really?” Ariel asked. “Is he getting some sort of insider information?”
“Not that quickly, he isn’t. And not on every stock traded. His parameters deal with trends. It’s more like he has a minute-to-minute sense of what whole segments of the market are going to do. He still needs us, our machines and our software, to make the millisecond trades, but the faster he can direct that software, even on a second-by-second basis, the better he does. We give him a few more seconds of speed and he starts to beat out everyone else past any statistical probability.”
Ariel’s funny feeling about Baldur Hákonarson was growing. “Jake, do you believe that somebody can, I don’t know, sense the future?”
“You mean like be some kind of psychic? No, I don’t. What I mean is that I didn’t used to believe in that kind of thing, at all. But facts are facts. I just don’t know how else to explain what this man can do.”
Read this full excerpt and two more at d4: synopsis and my 3 favorite excerpts.