It’s another excellent week of personal finance gold in this edition of the Dreamcatcher.
A heartfelt introspection about why awesome people sometimes get stuck in jobs that were once as awesome as they are, but now not so much. This one hits home for me in a lot of ways — the boredom, hitting a job ceiling, going through the motions because It’s Fine. (I don’t have the boss issues Piggy has, thankfully.) Inertia can really take a lot of swagger out of your step. Then you have to find the will to fight the inertia and get it back. As you may notice, this sort of thing is a recurring theme around these parts …
“Entering the airport for a long trip, my wife and I have luggage, baby gear, and children draped off our bodies, like some bizarre camouflage worn for an invasion of Babies R’ Us.” That line almost sent iced tea into my monitor. Having spent the better part of my adulthood traveling with children — starting with 8- and 10-year-old boys over a decade ago to now a 5-year-old girl and occasionally the now 18- and 21-year-old
boys men semi-autonomous individuals — I can relate to many of these stories. With my new foray into travel hacking, we’re hoping to ramp up the trips even more. Dr. Curious reminds me to take it in stride and enjoy the ride — even if it involves vomit.
I could listen to JL Collins talk about money all day. He’s a sensible guy who is quick to point out that his methods are good for him based on his risk tolerance, goals and mindset at the time. To the extent you don’t match up with him on those things, you should change your approach accordingly. The ChooseFI guys do a great job teasing out information and then getting out of Jim’s way so he can expand. This episode is almost a month old, and it’s been on my iPod that long, but I’ve got a backlog of 150 podcasts on there that I’m slowly making my way through, and new ones keep coming up! If you haven’t heard JL Collins before, this is a great listen. Then you should go check out the other podcasts he’s appeared on that go even deeper into his investing philosophy.
Malcolm Gladwell examines the desegregation of American public schools in a different light than it is often portrayed. He makes a compelling argument that the way desegregation unfolded, it disproportionally harmed black students, as well as teachers, and negative ripples are still being felt today. This isn’t a line of thinking that’s been brought to my attention before, and I find it quite interesting, especially since Brown v. Board of Education is a well-known, oft-taught case in both high school and college courses. I like reasonable people making arguments that challenge my understanding of things.
Speaking of challenging my understanding of things, I finally got around to listening to this Freakonomics two-part interview with Charles Koch from late June. For all the ways Koch is vilified by left-leaning organizations and activists, I thought he had some very sound reasoning for his stances that was informed by solid sources. I don’t agree with many of his stances, but then again I don’t need to agree with anyone 100% to find value in part of what they say or believe in. Stephen Dubner did a great job in these two parts of challenging Koch to explain himself without being confrontational. He didn’t shy away from big topics and elephants in the room. At the same time, Koch comes across as principled, reasonable, and practical. If you’ve often heard (and since ingrained) the notion that the Kochs are evil puppet masters using their vast wealth to screw over the little guy, I highly suggest you give this a listen. I know I was surprised with my reaction given what I expected to feel going into it.