When I was young, I felt a much greater affinity for my fellow Americans.
Was it because I belonged to a simpler, less selfish, more patriotic time?
I grew up in the 80’s. While there’s no hard data on how much people sucked back then, I don’t think it was any less than today – and perhaps much, much more.
But that didn’t matter. There was one unifying force that overwhelmed our differences and brought all Americans together.
Any guesses on what it was?
The Soviet Union was an Orwellian-level villain, and loathing them unified us like only a common enemy can.
I don’t know what lurks deep in our DNA that requires us to find – or even invent – enemies, but I know it’s real. Give people untold success and every source of happiness but no one to hate, and they’ll fight each other like dogs. Give them a common enemy, and they’ll bond like family.
And nowadays we don’t have much in the way of common enemies. Even things that we should be unified in fighting (e.g., covid-19, the squirrels in my backyard) are serving as sources of division instead.
While it is disturbing to see how much our fellow citizens hate each other, we should take heart that we’re only one outer space alien invasion away from being on the same team again.
Speaking of common enemies, our entire book club was united that Robert Shiller’s Narrative Economics was a total dud. Check out our latest review here, and rid yourself of the notion that winning a Nobel Prize guarantees your book won’t suck.
And if you’re thinking, “Man, Paul’s book club has legs!” you’re right. So far we’ve reviewed:
- Narrative Economics by Robert Shiller
- Atomic Habits by James Clear
- American Kingpin by Nick Bilton (story of the Dark Web Silk Road criminal enterprise)
- Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell
Next up: The Goal by Goldratt, recommended by me. This one is a classic, and I’ve actually already read it. But the young’uns haven’t and I’ve forgotten most of it anyway. Stay tuned!
The Market for President
This thing is pretty much a wrap, right? Every poll and pundit keeps citing Biden’s huge lead and treating his election as our next President as a fait accompli.
And the betting markets seem to match that.
So Trump supporters should despair, and Biden supporters should put some bubbly on ice.
Just for fun, let’s see how much of an absolute slam dunk this election is going to be by looking at the betting odds from last election.
While I think betting markets are superior to nationwide polls on the odds of winning, they (clearly) aren’t infallible. And Trump’s chances are far better today than they were four years ago.
The good news is that after November 3 we can stop politely campaigning for our preferred candidate and just go back to being good friends and neighbors with each other. Just after the alien invasion, that is.
Happy Friday everyone!
1 thought on “TGIF: Who Is Your Enemy?”
Paul, I love the blog! And I love your book club choices. Some great reads on that list! Very interesting to see the odds of the presidential candidates now that the election is over. Keep up the great work!