You don’t like my plan? That’s good. Give me another plan, but don’t tell me we’re backing out!
The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain…
Happiness is based on a just discrimination of what is necessary, what is neither necessary nor destructive, and what is destructive.
So much for endings. Beginnings are always more fun. True connoisseurs however, are known to favor the stretch in between, since it’s the hardest to do anything with.
What they don’t understand about birthdays and what they never tell you is that when you’re eleven, you’re also ten, and nine, and eight, and seven, and six, and five, and four, and three, and two, and one. And when you wake up on your eleventh birthday you expect to feel eleven, but you don’t. You open your eyes and everything’s just like yesterday, only it’s today. And you don’t feel eleven at all. You feel like you’re still ten. And you are –underneath the year that makes you eleven.
Like some days you might say something stupid, and that’s the part of you that’s still ten. Or maybe some days you might need to sit on your mama’s lap because you’re scared, and that’s the part of you that’s five. And maybe one day when you’re all grown up maybe you will need to cry like if you’re three, and that’s okay. That’s what I tell Mama when she’s sad and needs to cry. Maybe she’s feeling three.
Because the way you grow old is kind of like an onion or like the rings inside a tree trunk or like my little wooden dolls that fit one inside the other, each year inside the next one. That’s how being eleven years old is.
Craig Malkin explains the confusion of a narcissist’s drama with a lover’s passion simply and clearly from a psychological point of view which is to say, as he does, “Romantic uncertainty often turns us on.” (If you doubt it, just watch a re-run of Sex and The City and watch the chemistry between Mr. Big and Carrie.) His point is that we get aroused by feelings of jealousy, anger, and anxiety—and it may not, from a physical point of view, feel all that different from the arousal of passion. (Mind you, this is emotional arousal, not the sexual kind.)
It’s unclear when dependence became a dirty word and the idea of a perfect relationship became two self-sufficent planets circling each other. As the work of Brooke Feeney makes clear, when people are securely attached, dependence on another person actually increases their independence and ability to expand and grow. Dependence can be healthy instead of enabling.
In short, yesterday China’s trade mostly took place with developed markets, was comprised of low-valued-added goods, and was priced in dollars. Tomorrow, China’s trade will be oriented towards emerging markets, focused on higher value-added goods, and priced in RMB.
This would mark a profound change from China’s old development model: keeping its currency undervalued, inviting foreign factories to relocate to the mainland, transforming 10-20mn farmers into factory workers each year, and triggering massive labor productivity gains—gains which the government captures through financial repression and redeploys into large-scale infrastructure projects…
But the coming years may prove more challenging for unskilled workers as robotics and automation continue to gather pace. Over the coming decade, cheap labor may not be the comparative advantage it was in the previous decade, simply because the cost of automation is now falling fast (see The Robots Are Coming)… For decades we have had machines that could perform simple repetitive tasks; now we have machines that can be reprogrammed easily to perform a wide range of more complicated functions…
One consequence of cheaper and more flexible automation is that some manufacturing that fled the developed world for cheap-labor destinations like China may return to the US, Japan and Europe, as firms decide that the benefits of low-cost labor no longer outweigh the advantage of better logistics and proximity to customers.