“I [suspect] we are throwing more and more of our resources, including the cream of our youth, into financial services, into activities that generate high private rewards disproportionate to their social productivity. I suspect that the immense power of the computer is being harnessed to this ‘paper economy’, not to do the same transactions more economically but to balloon the quantity and variety of financial exchanges…I fear that, as Keynes saw even in his day, the advantages of liquidity and negotiability of financial instruments come at the cost of facilitating nth-degree speculation which is short sighted and inefficient” – James Tobin (1984)
This observation of Tobin was prescient and prophetic considering he wrote it in 1984! Personally I love this picture – it is so tongue-in-cheek. It highlights the absolute absurdity of our cycle of consumerism we are lead to believe is life. Study so you can get a good job, so you can earn a good salary, so you can buy lots of stuff and supposedly be happy. Then work harder to get a raise so you can have kids and send them to good schools, so that they too can earn a good salary and buy lots of stuff. Bleh. How is it that smart people can’t see straight through this? Often it is the smartest people that seem to be the most driven to succeed (as defined by our materialist culture).
I suspect the winds of change, they are a’blowing…
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
-William Ernest Henley
I love this picture! It captures so much in such a short quip. I think it resonates with me for two reasons:
- I study Economics and we have analysts that recommend all sorts of things
- I am sometimes overly clinical when considering dynamic things – which obviously presents a problem
It’s this second point that I want to talk about for a bit here. I’m not sure if it’s because of my genetic makeup (or is it make-up?), my upbringing, my education or more probable than any one of these alone, a combination of all of them, that I over-think things. I think about conversations long after I’ve had them [how did this person interpret what I said?], I think about the choices other people make [would I make different decisions? What made them decide that? How will this affect them?] I think about lots of things (mainly consciously, however I’m sure that there’s lots going on sub-consciously as well). One of these things is my future wife. I can just imagine some obnoxious economist meeting a girl and saying ‘my analyst thinks you’re a good idea’ – douchbag! People can work on paper and yet flop in reality, just like an idea can be perfectly laid out on paper and yet fail perfectly in reality…
I have always liked Alice in Wonderland and thought that it has many profound insights. The Queen’s comments above are quite comical and yet thought provoking. Why is it that we base our entire notion of religion and belief on faith in God and yet proof and reason are needed for any other form of belief? If we are to believe in others, we demand a reason for that confidence. If we are asked to believe in, and support a notion/cause/group we require that they give us ample reason to do so. While I don’t think that any of these these are necessarily wrong, I think it does warrant a rethinking. Often we try to apply the principles of reason and logic to God because that is how we operate with everything else in the world. However, after our eyes have been opened to the greater reality of God and we have received the gift of faith, surely our point of reference should also change? No longer do we bow and scrape to the god of rationality – demanding that everything must make sense or else it is hogwash. Perhaps I should believe in someone based purely on the sense inside me that tells me (in that most indefinable, unsystematized, nonclinical way) to believe in them. How often do we step off that venerated branch of reason, logic and rationality into the unknown world? If I am honest, not very often…
“Precision is not reality” – Henri Matisse
So this is the start of my blog, which will be a selective collection of thoughts about my reality, the reality of others and anything else I think is interesting or note-worthy. I will endeavor to include one picture with every post to keep it visually interesting…I hope you like it…
Posted in Me
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times“. Welcome to my blog. I love people, books, movies, Jesus, quotes, Economics, pictures and many other things. This is a blog about my thoughts on reality, my own and others’ and anything else I find interesting. I hope you like it…