Losing touch


It’s easy to lose touch.

The buyer of this $200,000+ Mercedes Maybach sedan will think little of paying another $5,000 for a fancy sunroof. (The Magic Sky Control roof will let you change its opacity from fully opaque to clear in a matter of seconds.)

It’s easy for me to cast stones. Recently, Heather and I got new phones that cost way too much. (Our kids have been giving us a hard time, and justifiably so.) Compared to $5,000 for a fancy sunroof, new phones that we use every day for tons of productive (and not so productive) things seems to be sensible.

But when I think about kids in developing countries going hungry – and that a fraction of our monthly phone bill could feed several, I can’t justify this extravagance.

To the Maybach owner, extravagance means one thing. To me, another. But we both need to step back and see the bigger picture. We’re both losing touch.


Stop vs. Yield

stop-signIn England, there are fewer stop signs per intersection than in the USA. I wish America would follow the UK in this area.

If you see no drivers coming, it saves time for you and the people behind you if you slow down, rather than coming to a complete stop. Slowing down also saves fuel, compared to completely stopping and then speeding back up.

Maybe it boils down to trust. The driving test in England is much harder than in the US. Drivers in the UK are required to be more qualified to be behind the wheel. (There are 2-3 times fewer traffic fatalities per capita in the UK compared to the US.) When I took the driving test in England, it was much harder.

The only downside to having fewer stop signs would be the loss of revenue from traffic tickets. Perhaps local governments could come up with a less predatory way to raise funds.


Beauty is pain

shoes-of-ms-pradaJust looking at this photo* caused me pain.

What great lengths people go to in pursuit of beauty – and have done for the scope of human history.

The vast majority of good things come with a cost.

Even enjoying a beautiful flower along the path requires you to take a moment to stop.

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*This is an excerpt of a photo taken by Craig McDean. It appeared in the November issues of WSJ magazine.

Footnote: The pain Miuccia Prada must experience while wearing these shoes must make her feel beautiful – enough to put up with the pain of wearing them.



Cab armchair by Mario Bellini“Everyone has one.”

Tom Kundig, a famous architect said that about his Cab armchair by Mario Bellini. I did a quick Google search and discovered it costs about $5,500. For one chair.

The full quote is just as priceless: “It’s almost embarrassing to admit that [I own one] because everyone has one.”

Then I had to ask myself, when do I make assumptions about others? Quite often.

  • They look like that because they have no sense of taste.
  • They are struggling with that health problem because they refuse to exercise.
  • They keep failing at relationships because they…

You get the point. It’s too easy to assume things without knowing the bigger picture.

Photo by vetustanova on Tumblr.