The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

The Power of Positivity

11/19/2016

Many of us were raised in austere, utilitarian households, where frivolity was discouraged.  Your life should also be austere and utilitarian.  There was little need for others in your life, aside from the obviously utilitarian value of procreation.   Hermits were respected.

Education also isolated us from each other by increasing our cynicism, especially the “scientific method.”  Words are not to be trusted, because they can either reveal or conceal, and you might misinterpret them.  The same is true for numbers.  They can either reveal or conceal.  Those of us in the investment business start from the premise that everybody is a liar, until proven otherwise.

The classic imagery of exitentialists is a forlorn individual stranded on an ice floe, floating down a deep and wide river of negativity.  Obviously, people can easily become isolated by negativity, and our society is full of it.

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend an NFL football game in a huge stadium, for which I had paid an obscene amount of money, to be surrounded by a hundred thousand strangers all screaming in support of the hometown favorite.  The point was not to watch grown men play a silly, frivolous game, with a funny shaped ball, that meant nothing.  It was neither austere nor utilitarian.  It was simply fun and positive.  A hundred thousand people paid an obscene amount of money, not to watch some silly game, but to briefly escape all the negativity and embrace positivity.

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