Saturday, March 12, 2016

Trade Offs

There are economies of scale. It can be done better bigger. There are diseconomies of scale. It is harder or can't be done at scale. There are economies of experience. You have to put the time in to understand the subtleties and earn the grey hair and wrinkles. There are diseconomies of experience. Once you know something, it is hard/impossible to ununderstand it and see that things have changed. There are economies of wealth. It is easier to make money when you have capital and connections. There are diseconomies of wealth. The more you earn, the further you are from financial freedom if the goal is to sustain 'the lifestyle to which you are accustomed'. A simple life can be empowering. Obscurity can allow maximum creativity.

I am travelling through some of the best cities in the world. I have come from Chicago and Seattle. I am in Vancouver. I am going to Victoria, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas before returning to London. The truth is that there are advantages and disadvantages to every stage of every city. The United States is famously creaky when it comes to its infrastructure. The trains are not a swish as the almost new Gautrain in Johannesburg. Some are, but in a lot of cases they are eeking out the last few drags on a cigarette stub lying in the gutter. King Shaka International Airport (Durban) is far easier to navigate than many of the 'first world' airports. The early bird gets the worm. The second mouse gets the cheese.

King Shaka International Airport gets the cheese

New lets you learn lessons. Old lets you leverage lessons. New frees you from legacy issues. Old opens doors with its reputation. New lets you wander the world looking for the best ways to do things and start from a clean canvas. Learning from old makes me question being to focused on what we are aspiring to. The idea of progress. The idea of goals. I am not anti-dreaming but sometimes that makes you ignore what you have. It makes you ignore the good bits about how things are. The advantages you already have.

There are always trade offs. 'You give something up for everything you gain' sang Bob Dylan. That doesn't mean you should, or can, stop moving. It does mean you should try enjoy the walk.
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