Sunday, July 13, 2008

Oscillations

From Donika:
"It seems like lately I've been debating a lot of people over whether intelligence dooms you to a life of misery. It seems most people agree on this, citing 'ignorance is bliss' and arguing that you have a greater capacity to appreciate how miserable life is if you're really smart. I find this to be insanity. If an intelligent person has a greater capacity for sorrow, then it stands to reason that they also have a greater capacity for joy."

Perhaps I've been smoking too much lately because when I saw this very nice post from Donika, I couldn't help but think of it in this format:
















Weird, huh?

When I first started studying economics I thought it was insane that in a competitive marketplace over the long run there is 0 economic profit. Makes complete since of course: when a market is profitable, new firms enter and drive down the profit till it reaches an equilibrium. When a market isn't profitable, firms exit and the profit stabilizes to the equilibrium. Up down up down up down. Simple, but the idea was still jarring to me.

I've seen the idea replicate itself everywhere ever since. Empires, sports teams and now Joy and Sorrow. For whether you experience only mild sorrow or extreme joy, you'll always keep touching back to the equilibrium where you are just you. Soon enough the oscillations shorten, flat line and then it's over. No real impact. Just a small firm in a never ending market.

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