As with all innovations, we went from deprived to entitled in a relatively short period of time. The age of not knowing became the age of knowing in a few short years, all thanks to astonishing innovations in service of making the world a better (but never perfect) place.
Just as we come up with ever-newer ways to combine materials into new goods and services, people are constantly coming up with new ways to combine sounds into music.
By the time the talent reaches our eyes and ears, the hard work is done. We see only the finished product. In our attempt to discern the difference between their level of awesome and ourselves, we reach for the easiest answer: the person must have been born this way. It just comes naturally.
The death of Lagerfeld does not mean the certain and forever death of elegance. His death might shock us all into a new sensibility that helps us all see what he saw: if we want the world to be beautiful, we have to make it so.
Want to become a champion of liberty? Eschew historicism. Be suspicious of grand millenarian eschatologies. Learn to love the little things in life. Celebrate every individual’s right to choose how they live their lives. Smile when you think of every box of chocolate given and received this February 14th.
And so what do we do with this thing we call time? We make the best of it. We make it matter. How much? As much as we can comprehend. The mechanical clock, by dividing the thing we call the second into two parts, tick and tock, allows us to discern that our life is limited, that we cannot waste it, that the clock will go on long after we too pass from this world.
The American economy will continue to improve only if markets are left sufficiently free to overwhelm the innumerable obstructions, diktats, and other burdens that governments, at all levels, inflict on us as we attempt to peacefully pursue our commercial and household affairs.
Baseball teams are judged on wins and losses, and firms in the marketplace are “judged” by profits and losses. Since performance is objective, there is far more pressure on participants to put aside their prejudices and personal preferences.