The tarnished image of wealth

I’ve been trying to understand how the general American public can equate wealth with success, and simultaneously denigrate society’s wealthiest people. I find this combination very odd sometimes. A couple of friends have pointed me to that study suggesting a “perfect salary” beyond which happiness levels off, so perhaps our acceptance of others’ wealth lies similarly on a cliff? But I’m starting to think that what society really attacks is the publicity of wealth, and specifically the flaunting of it. I think this is how society reveals a buried, but core and widespread belief that too much accumulated wealth, in reality, is irresponsible. Continue reading

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History lessons anywhere else

I’ve just finished NYT reporter David E. Sanger‘s book Confront and Conceal and was interested by his mention of how differently students in different places learn the story of international relations. Everyone, whether we majored in it in college or abandoned it in grade school, is influenced by the specific strand of history we were taught. It just comes out enmeshed and entangled in other parts of our lives, even if rarely given the credit for such influence. Continue reading

What is real(ism)?

One amazing part of my time here has been meeting friends with really similar views of honesty and genuine friendships as me. It’s good fortune I met such people so fast. Another amazing part has been meeting people (and friends) with diametrically opposed views of life, specifically realism.

It’s a theory I studied in my very first international relations class, but seeing it lived out by peers is entirely different. Continue reading