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a topic that is lately on my mind is short-termism.
it is a modern disease.
i can explain many problems in my life, and society in general, using the fact that humans prefer short-term to long-term. too much so.
global warming? short-termism! wall-street meltdown? short-termism. the way political campaigns are run – short-termism. why kids do less reading and studying (and if they do it is with an ipod, TV and PC turned on), short-termism.
of particular blame in my mind is McDo (that’s how the french call McDonald’s). they taught an entire generation that toys are to be used for 10 minutes max, and you have to have the entire collection. so quality vs quantity is a highly related issue to short-termism. when i was a kid i would get about 2 toys a year and would play with them till they break-down, and then i would have to find ways to fix them or patch them. Lego would never break. but boy, some of my bricks had round corners from use and re-use. of course, today’s generation are more brilliant and are better at multi-tasking.
i am still fascinated by high utilization and resource sharing. when i cut lime into my soda water, i use the lime not just for one glass, but for two. what am i saving here? i will still throw away the unused lime that i am sparing.
i guess i am from the long-term clan. last of the mohicans. (actually, the mohicans are still around, and the claim that the last one died was a short-term impulse. read here. boy, that was a hard book to read. never finished it)
when i was a kid, when my older brother and i would get a box of bon-bons, i would save the best for last. He would go for best first. short-termist. what’s the result? i would get the very bad stuff first and the bad, but not very bad for last.
this year i decided to stop with delay of instant gratification. (thus, sold two companies that were short-term optimization [and now seem like a good decision]) . i guess that is one reason i am here at yale. stop delaying pleasure and start consuming. the power of now.
the piece of chocolate just melted away
happy new year!
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