‘Abundance Without Attachment’

Arthur C. Brooks, writing for the New York Times:

I learned this lesson once and for all from my son Carlos. Five years ago, when Carlos was 9 years old, he announced that all he wanted for Christmas was a fishing trip — just the two of us, alone. No toys; no new things — just the trip. So we went fishing, and have done so every year since. Any material thing I had bought him would have been long forgotten. Yet both of us can tell you every place we’ve gone together, and all the fish we’ve caught, every single year.

Second, steer clear of excessive usefulness.

Our daily lives often consist of a dogged pursuit of practicality and usefulness at all costs. This is a sure path toward the attachment we need to avoid. Aristotle makes this point in his Nicomachean Ethics; he shows admiration for learned men because “they knew things that are remarkable, admirable, difficult, and divine, but useless.”

An uncommon perspective.

‘The Guerrilla Tactics of The Racket, and How It Almost Upended Journalism’

Mat Honan, writing for Wired:

“We outsourced Thomas Friedman to an Indian content farm, where they produce for pennies a word, any kind of material you want. Really, it’s terrible and I felt kind of guilty after I did this. But you hire them to write a blog post or an article, and I hired this company to write ten stories about globalization and the economy. I basically told them I wanted them to write a Thomas Friedman article, I told them I wanted then to write an article about globalization and its effect on the workforce that’s positive about globalization, speaks about the challenges, but in the end works out for everyone. I told them to quote a cab driver. I just gave them Friedman’s theses, and asked them to write 800 words, and they did.”

“The joke here is that Thomas Friedman is always talking about the benefits of globalization,” says Taibbi.

“And so instead of paying Thomas Friedman whatever the New York Times pays him, I paid a couple hundred bucks and got a month’s worth of columns,” said Pareene.

“To show the effects of globalization,” laughed Taibbi.

“Exactly!” agreed Pareene.

“We can have Thomas Friedman for 1,000 times less the cost,” said Taibbi, with his brow furrowed seriously now.

I love it.

Sad that The Racket didn’t make it!