Tall Poppy Syndrome

Tall Poppy Syndrome

"There is unevenness, you know, when some objects rise conspicuous above others," Seneca wrote in Letters From a Stoic.   I'm pretty fascinated with a concept that is known as Tall Poppy Syndrome and is often strongly expressed in Australia and New Zealand (so I understand - I haven't been there myself to experience the … Continue reading Tall Poppy Syndrome

Conspicuous Consuption

Conspicuous consumption is probably one of the most damaging aspects of American society. It involves using our purchases to serve as a way to show off a particular aspect of who we are want to be. As Kevin Simler and Robin Hanson write in their book The Elephant in the Brain, "the idea that we … Continue reading Conspicuous Consuption

Lets Consider Our Standards for Life

In Letters From a Stoic┬áSeneca writes, "Let us try to maintain a higher standard of life than that of the multitude, but not a contrary standard; otherwise, we shall frighten away and repel the very persons whom we are trying to improve."   On an initial quick read, this quote seems to be saying, live … Continue reading Lets Consider Our Standards for Life

A Failure to Connect During Bad Times

Adam Smith lived from 1723 to 1790 and is best known for his economic principles and writing. A quote from him, on the nature of humanity, is included in Ryan Holiday's book Ego is the Enemy┬áto open a chapter that immediately follows a page with some simple art and the words, "To whatever failure and … Continue reading A Failure to Connect During Bad Times

Pride and Ego

Ryan Holiday describes pride in his book Ego is the Enemy as a force that "takes a minor accomplishment and makes it feel like a major one." It is the piece of us that ascribes our success to some essential character of ourselves and hyper-inflates that piece around us. It is the sense that we … Continue reading Pride and Ego