For companies, debt is even more interesting, because in corporate finance you'll find that debt is subsidised through tax rates. It sounds a bit weird but it's true, and so there is an incentive to take on debt. In some countries due to the tax systems, this applies to individuals too, e.g. for mortgages, the cost of debt reduces effective income and thereby reduces tax liabilities further than if you saved up first and then bought the house without debt, such that in some countries people did not pay off their mortgages because deductible interest payments were attractive.
Debt sucks, I know, I hate the debt culture as much as anyone and as a European the American creditcard industry is something I pity, but the discussion on debt today is extremely one-sided.
"I do not speak of merchants buying and selling on credit, or of those who buy on credit in order to turn the purchase to a profit. The old Quaker said to his farmer son, "John, never get trusted; but if thee gets trusted for anything, let it be for `manure,' because that will help thee pay it back again.""
work-averse or income-challenged maybe. Or underpaid or poor.
While I don't think it's true that "most westerners can't imagine not having a credit card", I don't have a sense of how much other Western countries use credit cards as compared to debit-based systems. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/5380718.stm from 2006 says that UK has the most credit card debt of any European country. "The average British resident owes £3,175") while "The average European owed just £1,558 in unsecured debt."
The more recent http://www.thepennyhoarder.com/how-does-our-credit-card-debt... from 2012 says:
> Most other countries tend to be more cautious with their credit, opting instead to use debit cards (like in the UK and France) or online bank transfers (like in Germany) rather than to charge up a card. And when it comes to charges calculated per year, Europe makes us look like we spend with abandon; French people charge less than $300 each on their credit cards each year, on average. And Germans seem to eschew the “buy now, pay later” mentality as well, only charging an average of $158 per person per year to their credit cards.
That makes it seem like credit card use and debt more a US issue than a more generally Western issue.
I can see how it all appears to be a silly game if you never actually need credit, however there are material benefits (cash-back, rental car insurance, etc) of playing the game. In some cases the benefits you receive are nonsensical until you realize they are subsidized by irresponsible individuals paying huge sums of interest. There's a special kind of smug pleasure reserved for those who are financially responsible in America.
Personally I have enough practice that I treat my credit cards no different than I would treat my checkbook—it's not that hard to avoid trouble if you just have the mentality of only spending money you already have. In other words, I personally don't think cancelling the credit card is necessary, but YMMV.
Rather, that's one of the biggest differences I can think of between those two regions, with respect to personal finance.
But I can't figure out what the mechanism might be, so it's more an idle conjecture than something substantial.
First, there is a fundamental law, from which no one—neither the great nor the small—is exempt. In substance it is: "Every 'Standard Oil' man must wear the 'Standard Oil' collar."
This collar is riveted on to each one as he is taken into "the band," and can only be removed with the head of the wearer.
Here is the code. The penalty for infringing the following rules is instant "removal."
1. Keep your mouth closed, as silence is gold, and gold is what we exist for.
2. Collect our debts to-day. Pay the other fellow's debts to-morrow. To-day is always here, to-morrow may never come.
3. Conduct all our business so that the buyer and the seller must come to us. Keep the seller waiting; the longer he waits the less he'll take. Hurry the buyer, as his money brings us interest.
4. Make all profitable bargains in the name of "Standard Oil," chancy ones in the names of dummies. "Standard Oil" never goes back on a bargain.
5. Never put "Standard Oil" trades in writing, as your memory and the other fellow's forgetfulness will always be re-enforced with our organization. Never forget our Legal Department is paid by the year, and our land is full of courts and judges.
6. As competition is the life of trade—our trade, and monopoly the death of trade—our competitor's trade, employ both judiciously.
7. Never enter into a "butting" contest with the Government. Our Government is by the people and for the people, and we are the people, and those people who are not us can be hired by us.
8. Always do "right." Right makes might, might makes dollars, dollars make right, and we have the dollars.
This is good advice?
Mind you - I have worked with very senior people who would avoid putting things in writing and then a few months later always have a notably different account of conversations than I did. At first I thought I was actually forgetting things until I realised it's a trick used by overly political types.
I'd like to think that the old robber-barons could still teach the current generation a thing or two about how to run a ruthless business.
They just have smarter PR and image protection from their big media brethren.
The trick is just figuring out who, what, where, and on which band....
But I think it's mostly survivorship bias. The very few things from long ago that we still read, are still relevant today. That's why we know about them! Take a random book from from most periods of history, and it will be uninteresting, if not outright unintelligible, to a modern audience.
I don't think so.
Have you seen who wrote this piece?
I'd say it is a classic case of the Barnum effect.
I'd be very interested in doing in doing just that. How would I go about it? Weighted by popularity in that era would be fine, but not weighted according to current popularity.
Librarians are fantastic for this kind of thing. Tell them what you're trying to do, and they're marvelous and helping you find a way to use books and other resources to help you.
0 - https://www.google.com/googlebooks/about/
While "teachable moments" in most contexts aren't fatal, the overall point that it's better to learn from other people's mistakes remains the same.
From my experience on this planet, purely theoretical teachings tend to be forgotten in favor of things you've actually used and done.
I've had plenty of times where I lacked both the theory and the scraped elbows (creating shared state clusterfucks that seemed clever at the time), and times when I was missing the theory alone (mechanically reaching for the OO hammer because there was a nail-shaped screw in front of me).
In all programming instances I can think of where I had the theory but not the experience I knew that there was a lot I didn't know and read about the implementation issues and went and bothered smarter people about it. Of course I wr[i|o]te plenty of shitty code in various contexts. I guess we can say that's the experience happening, but that's a bit unsatisfying as a model.
With the theoretical learning you get measurably better: if you've literally never even heard of time complexity, or read the latency numbers everyone should know, you're more likely to write some code with some garbage performance. Once you know about it you're unlikely to write grossly nested loops making unnecessary un-batched requests to servers 12 timezones away, or if you do you'll at least feel gross about it and it will be a (bad) choice not a mistake.
With experience with a particular technology you do as well. Knowing the Widget API inside out and knowing which Widget calls are lazy vs eager and which get cached or whatever are going to improve your code and get it written faster, but the gains are much more marginal than the theoretical knowledge. With enough practice learning new APIs gets easier. Remembering arbitrary incantations is something everyone eventually gets fairly good at. I think most of HN would do very well at Hogwarts. Assuming you already know how to program, I bet just reading something like Clean Code is likely to improve your JS quality more than an equivalent time spent churning out new JS (even though the example language in CC isn't JS so any benefit would be ported through theory).
It's very cheap to implement theoretical concepts in practice and I think a lot of dismissiveness towards "theoretical" things are defensive insecurities and/or lazy, probably at the same rate that "premature optimization" is utilized in such causes. Software has a very narrow gulf between practical and theoretical.
In domains where experience and theory are farther apart I propose that it's not so much experience being better than theoretical knowledge, rather the theoretical knowledge is frequently just plain wrong or extended beyond its applicability.
Look at the FBI's terrible high-school surveillance program that was linked here recently. It's based off of really garbage pseudo-science concerning extremist radicalization. There is better, more modern research on the subject, which should be used instead, but even then caution should prevail and less theoretical and more informed logic and experienced based decisions might ultimately be wiser. In a healthy field of study and practice, as time goes on and more data gets accumulated theory increasingly approaches reality.
Now consider the math courses you take at college for example. Here the important part is to learn and understand deeply abstract concepts, but then you explicitly need to practice in order to tie them together so you are actually able to use this knowledge.
I think both aspects of assimilating knowledge are absolutely crucial in all domains, but often one of them is naturally the default, while the other requires some effort.
"In this eye-opening account, Cal Newport debunks the long-held belief that "follow your passion" is good advice.
Not only is the cliché flawed-preexisting passions are rare and have little to do with how most people end up loving their work-but it can also be dangerous, leading to anxiety and chronic job hopping."
Paraphrasing, it means "do what you you're naturally good at"
"Unless a man enters upon the vocation intended for him by nature, and best suited to his peculiar genius, he cannot succeed".
Probably the best strategy is to select something within the venn diagram of things you like and things that are lucrative.
> The inordinate love of money, no doubt, may be and is "the root of all evil," but money itself, when properly used, is not only a "handy thing to have in the house," but affords the gratification of blessing our race by enabling its possessor to enlarge the scope of human happiness and human influence. The desire for wealth is nearly universal, and none can say it is not laudable, provided the possessor of it accepts its responsibilities, and uses it as a friend to humanity.
> So in regard to wealth. Go on in confidence, study the rules, and above all things, study human nature; for "the proper study of mankind is man," and you will find that while expanding the intellect and the muscles, your enlarged experience will enable you every day to accumulate more and more principal, which will increase itself by interest and otherwise, until you arrive at a state of independence.
> When a man's undivided attention is centered on one object, his mind will constantly be suggesting improvements of value, which would escape him if his brain was occupied by a dozen different subjects at once. Many a fortune has slipped through a man's fingers because he was engaged in too many occupations at a time.
The poor spendthrift vagabond says to a rich man:
"I have discovered there is enough money in the world for all of us, if it was equally divided; this must be done, and we shall all be happy together."
"But," was the response, "if everybody was like you, it would be spent in two months, and what would you do then?"
"Oh! divide again; keep dividing, of course!"
When you spend money, it doesn't disappear. It's just moved.
Increasing inequality does in fact encourage deflation. Redistribution in forms of common services and education (for um.. jobs) is very necessary.
I know it's still a gross oversimplification, but I think the general truth encoded in the parable should be appreciated for its own sake in general terms.
Except that it does - up to a certain point.
That's one of the few repeatable, tested, and validated economical principle from the XX century. Counter intuitive as it is, there's just no point denying it.
The only difference between theft and charity is your personal moral inflection.
I am an advocate for charity. But redistribution through taxation feels like stealing to me.
If there's a good reason to think that redistributing wealth will improve people's ability to mitigate risk and make good decisions, then your feeling would really be irrational and should be ignored.
I think that they aren't really socialist countries, I would point to places like Sweden and France as closer to actual socialism than North Korea, which is really a Fascist dictatorship explicitly modelled on pre-second world war Japan.
Vietnam is an odd one out here because having suffered a total catastrophe in the years running up to 1975 (as in the complete physical destruction of the state, mechanisms of production and the labour force via being killed in large numbers) the Vietnamese state has made huge progress to become relatively prosperous. There is a lot to be admired in terms of economic gain, although not much to be admired about freedom and safety for those with contrary views.
Redistribution increases the total wealth, and it is not a small effect at all.
But only up to a certain point. Complete communism still completely sucks.
It's been revised and remodeled several hundreds of times, if you want to search Google Schoolar or something like that, look for "demand side" theories, or crisis of "aggregated demand". Also, if you search for NGDP, the biggest share of the papers will be about this.
There are many other terms that will lead to less results. It's a really widespread concept.
The idea that producers are only incentivized monetarily is false.
An obtuse mischaracterization of the poor; a more typical "sin" would be failure to hop over the ever-rising bar that denotes the ability to secure money by threatening to withhold labor.
Circulation goes both ways and it isn't the ability of producers to secure profits that seems to be most endangered at the moment.
Why do you think it's a characterization of the poor at all?
The working poor are themselves producers.
Because they're the ones who the type of policy we are discussing would actually be intended to benefit. Voicing that side of the argument through a "spendthrift vagabond" is disingenuous at best.
> The working poor are themselves producers.
I was using the term with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek, I thought it would be clear enough from context that I was referring to capital-holders.
No. To be a spendthrift is a symptom of many problems. One of which means lack of respect for money or the effort required to earn it. Other wise one wouldn't be throwing it away.
"It is part of the age-old habit of using new means for old purposes instead of discovering what are the new goals contained in the new means."
"Money" was backed by commodities of finite quantity.
I live in a society that has in effect a basic income (not very efficiently run, but that is another topic) and it allows the ultra rich and famous to walk around without fear. I have on more than one occasion met billionaires on the street who were wandering around without bodyguards or security. Once you have everything money can buy this is priceless.
Least of all, if one believes in the ability of capital to be reinvested to create more capital, it is obvious that the second case need hardly injure an economy while still helping the people who are broke.
The former case, of continual wealth division, of course may fail--luckily, that's not how UBI works.
I think an even stronger statement holds true: if you don't actively redistribute then you're effectively making an open-loop amplifier which will amplify noise (who happened to be in the right place at the right time) in preference to signal (effort input) -- which is just as harmful to the cultivation of a beneficial incentive landscape (i.e. one that promotes effort input, since that's tautologically all anyone ever gets to decide) as a failure to reward success would be.
Alternatively: it's often better to reduce the transition-state energy than to improve the final reward, which is exactly the opposite of what happens when decisions are made by people who have 1 metric shitton of money to invest in building a moat with the aim of returning 2 metric shittons of money.
Read about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism
There's a similar phenomenon with the word liberal. Liberal once referred to, and in some contexts still does, politics that advocates for human freedom from all kinds of government coercion. At least in the US, it has taken on a different meaning over the last hundred years. Now it refers to social-democracy.
Its one of the meanings that the word socialism has come to denote through quotidian usage in media and within Amercian society. Democratic Socialism would likely be a more precise term for these common usage scenarios.
see Usage Discussion of socialism at: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/socialism
> Americans are not wrong to abhor the specters of socialism and big government. In fact, as a proud Finn, I often like to remind my American friends that my countrymen in Finland fought two brutal wars against the Soviet Union to preserve Finland’s freedom and independence against socialism. No one wants to live in a society that doesn’t support individual liberty, entrepreneurship, and open markets. But the truth is that free-market capitalism and universal social policies go well together—this isn’t about big government, it’s about smart government.
In the UK, welfare as we know it here originated from the Liberal Party, in fairness. Nationalisation (attempted socialism by reform) was the hallmark of the Labour Party, not heavy welfare spending.
Since Thatcher, the Tories have a knack for presenting themselves as the thrifty party - in effect, living within our means. Except household budgets are not so analogous to government budgets. It just so happens that this line resonates with the everyday voter in times of economic woe and it's all too easy to paint the social democrat as a boundless spender.
An example: in 2007 the Tory Party's shadow chancellor, George Osborne, said he would match Labour's spending plans. Recession hits, tax revenues drop and they harped a very different tune.
It's honestly just politics.
And yet, the big stories of the last decade or two have noted a trend: more value being generated by fewer people with fewer capital expenditures (prime example being MSFT > Google > Facebook > Instagram/Whatsapp/Minecraft). The majority of "capital" in those cases (VC money, if applicable) is spent on engineering salaries.
Meanwhile, oil companies are dying, communication networks are barely profitable (cisco?), and "hard industry" is an industry no one optimizing for profitability wants to get into unless it's to break it up and sell it off. Of course you can point to the recently ended energy bonanza during which Exxon became the most valuable company in the world; explaining the drivers of that is beyond the scope of this comment but it's not about energy being a fundamentally awesome business to be in (but briefly, BRIC growth + monopolistic practices to really juice income).
So the interplay between brain capital, industrial equipment, and various other types of capital is more complex than "the public should own the means of production". Some of it yes, most of it no. And I'd argue the brain capital trend is going to continue while heavy industry jobs are going to keep disappearing, forcing us to resolve the "interplay between capital" question in a way that doesn't collapse our entire economy, doesn't cause a civil war (and/or avoids one), and doesn't end up with the public (or a small group calling themselves "the public") being able to shake down any success story simply because they figured out how to make more money than the next guy.
There is some particularly crazy thinking in philosophy on self-ownership, which may interest you:
Cécile Fabre, Whose body is it anyway? Justice and the integrity of the person
The knowledge economy wouldn't exist without physical objects to express it through, and they all have to be produced.
Consider a trivial example -- the affect that the post ww2 public housing boom did to the US construction industry. Government procurement rules transformed and forced consolidation of the brick industry. On the east coast it went from hundreds of geographically diverse companies to 4-6, all in the south.
"The tax burden (measured by the Institute for Fiscal Studies in the form of total government receipts as a share of national income) started at just above 40 per cent in 1979, peaked at 45.4 per cent in 1982, then fell below 40 per cent in 1990."
What she did do was reduce the silly taxes on higher level of income - but those taxes were just imposed on poorer people.
She managed alone to prove that women can be as hateful and live destroyers as any men.
I know a lot of people from my circles, especially older people in the late 50's and 60's who have spent their lives in the socialist era endlessly expect elder brothers/relatives to provide for them. Any refusal to do so is taken to amount to some extremely bad kind of selfishness and greed. Keep alone the fact that they've barely done any work all their lives, or are any way serious even now with their spending habits. The basic idea is that they are entitled to be provided no questions asked and someone is supposed to make up for them. Refusing to comply is evil.
During 2014-2015 I've participated in a lot of share issues to provide cash for gold mining companies requiring capital to move into or expand production.
These are companies with a few hundred shareholders or so.
The profits I've made in the past few months from gold mining companies, I think is perfectly justified. I've done my research and invested in these companies when everyone else has shunned gold and gold related investments. These were companies whose market capitalisation were less than their projected cash flows for the next year. I've invested in these companies when few other people would.
These gains I've made, are completely backed by productivity. Without these latest round of share issues, many of the companies would have gone under, and there would be no gold coming out of the ground.
(You could argue gold has no value beyond being a good material and I'd respond, neither do paint or flowers. With gold, people can use it as an asset without counter party, and provides zero interest, guaranteeing capital during times of negative interest.)
Gold has a value purely due to it being vital in many technologies. That said I can't imagine the price we pay for mined material, gold or otherwise, even comes close to reflecting the cost of what it will take to repair the damage we are doing to our environment during the extraction of these materials.
Regarding productivity there are many instances of financial products which are not even remotely linked to any kind of productivity. If the stock market was strongly linked to productivity the down cycles it experiences would be minor in comparison to what they are.
The down cycles and bubbles are pumped up by central banks. When the stock market isn't doing well central banks lower interest rates, encouraging people to take out loans, to buy houses and stocks, and if they didn't, the central bank would lower the interest rate until they did.
It is market intervention that is exacerbating the phenomenon you're talking about. A small down cycle is a healthy event that cleans up all the almost productive companies and reallocates their capital through liquidation. It is zombie companies propped up by government subsidies and central bank intervention that is causing the rot in America's economy. It is akin to a forest fire burning all the weeds so the forest can rejuvenate.
I hope that's enough to refresh your memory? It's irrelevant to my original point though as capitalism is by definition hoping to get something from doing nothing (or making money work as the propagandists like to dress it up as).
> It's irrelevant to my original point though as capitalism is by definition hoping to get something from doing nothing
You have to be really stupid to think that, and deny all the benefits to our society that capitalism enables. Or, could you please explain how you would e.g. start an airline, or build a hospital, or your house's sewage system, without utilizing capital?
I never did that. I'm well aware of the benefits capitalism has brought society, just as I am aware of the damage it has also caused. I can guarantee you the majority of capital pumped into businesses does not come from the people who will do the work.
Well, it comes from the people that invest money (investors), others invest work/time, and they all get the benefits.
Funny enough, a large chunk of invested capital these days (both in equities/index funds, as well as hedge funds and PE/VC) comes from... drumrol: workers (or, more precisely, their pension funds)! In this case, I actually totally agree that it's stupid and unrealistic to expect a risk-free, forever-growing, >4% compound return by doing what everyone else is doing, but unfortunately, the whole pension system is flawed this way, there's not much we can do about it (individually).
This is all true, but it was not all obvious until I'd experienced four or five decades of life lessons. If you think this advice is at all dubious, ask and we'll see if we can explain...
Although I never had problems with paying the money back, I was paying a lot more money back to the bank, so when I finished paying the credit off, the car was worth half of the price I bought it, almost having paid double the price because of the credit interests.
But the worst part was that it didn't feel right.
So now my policy is to never buy anything with money that I don't have (yet). It makes you feel so much better, you feel a truly free person. I don't own my apartment, true, and the money I spend each month on rent could bring me closer to owning one, but I just don't see the point of it. But buying stuff for money you actually have makes your decisions so much better and closer to what you can really afford.
Also, there is another component to buying stuff with money you actually have. Recently, I decided to buy a scooter. Not a big "deal", but I didn't want to just spend any savings on it that I have so far, so I put aside money from some freelancing outside my daily job, sold some unused furniture and electronics, and only had to pay around 25% of the price of the scooter from my account. It felt so good, it felt like I deserved it, because I planned for it in advance and didn't have to "compromise" my savings. On the other hand, when I took the loan for the car, I felt bad, I almost felt miserable, as if I was doing something wrong. I can't imagine buying a house for someone else's money. You must feel like a slave.
For example, imagine you had taken a loan to buy the scooter, then used the money put aside to pay the installments instead. You might have paid somewhat more for the scooter, but on the other hand, you could actually own the scooter earlier, which might even save you money in the end (for example, if you drove a car instead and therefore spent more in gas and such).
Buying a house is similar; the "point" is that you end up saving money, since you stop paying for it, but never stop paying rent. Also, there are incentives (such as tax breaks) that make it cheaper still.
Does it mean that you have an extra obligation "tying" you? Sure. But that doesn't mean it's always a bad choice.
Comfort. Immense comfort.
I spend a lot of time in my car. I enjoy the car that I have now (a 2012 Honda Accord EX-L), but the only reason why I didn't take out a lease on something more expensive (like a 535i or an E-class) is because we're planning to move very soon and driving a luxury car in NYC makes no damn sense unless you are flush with money and can afford the inevitable body work.
When I went to Austin a few months ago, I decided to rent a BMW Z4. It was amazing. An absolute pleasure to drive. It wasn't the speed that did it in for me, though. It was the sheer comfort of everything.
Volume knobs? They're RIGHT THERE. You don't even need to move your forearm.
The seats? Plushy and comfortable (unlike my Accord; everything is great, but those seats are terrible).
Cruise control that actually works on downhills and actually slows down? Not a problem.
Me paying a few hundred dollars per month to not drive something much cheaper (and, likely, not as nice/comfortable) doesn't bother me at all. It's a debt, and debt sucks, but driving a low-grade econobox for a few years while I save up for something that will be worth 30% less than what I bought it for the minute I drive it out is much worse (for me).
(Same goes for my future house or apartment.)
That being said, building up my emergency spend and clearing up some debt that I've amassed is next on my priority list after moving.
- The parking brake is a PEDAL and the release is a totally separate lever.
- The button to disable auto start-stop is labelled "Eco" rather than a more standard VW/BMW "A" icon in a circular arrow.
- The gear selector is a weird stalk (drive is down, reverse is up, and park is a separate button you push inwards?!).
- The cruise-control always stayed -1km below what is set.
- The gearbox mode selection cycle in the order: Eco->Sport->Manual, i.e. in eco, you need to cycle to get to manual rather than being able to select it directly. Also, flipping up a gear with the paddle DOESN'T put it in to manual mode.
- The cruise control stalk is complicated and had an LED, which is out of view.
- No button on steering wheel to directly change radio station.
- You need to dig the brake pedal to enable the auto-hold.
- To wash the windscreen, you need to push inwards a small button on a stalk to the second level! The first level activates the wipers without water. I dry-wiped the windscreen a few times before realising.
But apart from all that, it was a nice drive.
That has two functions in one go: first of all it stops your potentially deranged passengers from pulling on the handbrake and second it allows for much more force to be applied to the pedal than you could ever achieve while pulling on a lever. This means that if you need the parking brake for it's backup emergency brake function it will likely have a lot more effect.
> The gear selector is a weird stalk (drive is down, reverse is up, and park is a separate button you push inwards?!).
Gear selector is a matter of taste, it's actually the same as it would be in some other EU cars (and even some ancient ones, the (original) DS for instance). The reason why park is separate is so when you reverse and you still have a little bit of speed you don't accidentally lock the wheels.
> Cruise control setting being 1 km below what you set is
Similar to the speedometer erring on the side of caution. In case of doubt, check with a GPS and adjust accordingly if you really feel like riding that fine line between a fine and a freebie.
> No button on steering wheel to directly change radio station.
First world problems ;)
> To wash the windscreen, you need to push inwards a small button on a stalk to the second level! The first level activates the wipers without water. I dry-wiped the windscreen a few times before realising.
> ...the same as it would be in some other EU cars
"some" (which, out of interest)?. Not anywhere near being a majority e.g. BMW, Audi, Ford, VW
> Similar to the speedometer erring on the side of caution.
I can do that. I can set it to 119 instead of 120. Leave me in control (OK, it's the cruise control feature, but still...)
Again, the parking pedal is unique(?) to Mercedes. Completely different to expected location and behaviour to most other cars.
Here is a picture of the gear shift lever:
That's a half-automatic gear box, so gears but no clutch! (Not bad for the early 60's, as well as hydraulic suspension, power steering and headlights that point where you're driving).
I've even seen it on some American cars. Eventually the shifter for automatics moved to the transmission tunnel (if you had one) as well but it wasn't always so.
I suspect the re-occurrence of this has to do with the mid console in high end cars now more and more occupied with electronics and infotainment rather than the drive train and associated levers.
It's one of the main selling points of BMW that everything is designed and engineered towards the driver - from the controls to the essence of the driving experience. It's something which is inherited in every successive model.
I can afford buying any of the new models, but rationally can't see what I'll get additionally, besides the ego boost and the quickly fading dopamine kick.
Maybe more efficiency and reliability?
Part of what pleases me is that you get the same level of comfort and experience for so little.
Wow, that couch is pretty convenient too, isn’t it? It is comfortable, enjoyable, convenient, and joyful to sit and lie on your couch. In fact, wouldn’t it be best to just lie on that couch all day? Forever? Yeah! Maybe you could even hook it up with a catheter and a bedpan, and a friend or robot could bring you all your food on the couch too. With each release, the latest iPad could be delivered to you, and you’d have the most convenient and comfortable and effort-free life ever.”
Also, having money by saving it is not simply sitting at home doing nothing; it’s about feeling secure:
If I had known that, I probably would've considered getting a slightly older 335i instead. That said, I don't regret my decision. I love our car (except for the driver's seat...boy is it bad), and owning a nice car here in NYC is a fool's errand unless you don't mind paying tons on body/wheel work.
If you don't understand it, then yes, you should avoid it. But if you do understand it, you can use it to help yourself.
Required reading for those considering a startup or a career.
The first rule for making money: never do it for the money.
A free download is available: http://www.tinaja.com/ebooks/ismm.pdf
> Some men have a foolish habit of telling their business secrets. If they make money they like to tell their neighbors how it was done. Nothing is gained by this, and ofttimes much is lost.
Nicely done, Mr. Barnum. I am honored to share a birthday with you.
I was recently reading in a London paper an account of a like philosophic pauper who was kicked out of a cheap boarding-house because he could not pay his bill, but he had a roll of papers sticking out of his coat pocket, which, upon examination, proved to be his plan for paying off the national debt of England without the aid of a penny.
However there's a hidden idea which equals wealth to happiness which I dislike heavily. That said we can rest assured that while wealth is not connected to happiness (too many things into play to achieve that state), debt sure as hell leads to miserable.
Also worth mentioning is "The Millionaire Fastlane" - the title is sleazy, but it had big impact on my mindset when I've read it.
BTW, the parts of the Patanjali Yoga Sutra, which gives practical advice about the practice - about necessity of an appropriate isolated place, diet, habits with emphasis on sleep cycle, proper state of mind, concentration and persistence - is the best universal advice to achieve anything in life that I am aware of. The word Yoga could be translated as "discipline", and has little to do with asanas, mats, and yoga pants.
I loathe books like How to Win Friends and Influence People that have some meandering and boring story before it gets to the point.
This is the 'how to start a startup' for business of the regular type, i.e. no ambition to get loads of capital and become the next Google. Read this once the tech bubble has burst!