Here are two surprising facts: the number of people who have moved across state lines is down 51% since the mid-20th century; the number of business owners under the age of 30 is down 65% since the 1980′s.1
Watch the news and you’d get a different impression. Why is dynamism falling?
I’ve added Tyler Cowen’s book to my Goodreads list.
From The Complacent Class by Tyler Cowen.↩
My first levain sourdough loaf. It’s the hybrid Pan de Campagne from from Ken Forkish’s book Flour Water Salt Yeast.
I started fermenting the sourdough culture on June 20th.
I mixed the first dough on June 25th.
That dough went into the oven in the morning of June 26th.
There was a tang of sourness, but it was light and airy. A great sandwich bread.
The next batch is coming tomorrow.
This is my favorite story about show business.
Glenn Miller’s orchestra, they were doing some gig somewhere, they can’t land where they’re supposed to land because it’s winter, a snowy night.
So they have to land in this field and walk to the gig.
And they’re dressed in their suits. They’re ready to play. They’re carrying their instruments. So they’re walking through the snow, and it’s wet and it’s slushy, and in the distance they see this little house.
And there’s lights on in the inside, and this billow of smoke coming out of the chimney. They go up to the house, and they look in the window, and in the window they see this — this family.
There’s a guy and his wife, and she’s beautiful. And there’s two kids. And they’re all sitting around the table. And they’re smiling, they’re laughing, they’re eating. And there’s a fire in the fireplace.
And these guys are standing in their suits, and they’re wet and they’re shivering and they’re holding their instruments. And they’re watching this incredible Normal Rockwell scene.
This one guy turns to the other guy and goes, “How do people live like that?”
“My son, my loyal and affectionate boy, some day it may be yours to know the pain, the unreasonable pain that comes over a man to know that between him and his boy, and his boy’s friends, an unseen but unassailable barrier has arisen, erected by no human agency; and to feel that while they may experience a vague respect and even curiosity to know what exists on your side of the barrier, you on your part would give all—wealth, position, influence, honor—to get back to theirs! All the world, clumsily or gracefully, is crawling over this barrier; but not one ever crawls back again!” A 1908 letter from John D. Swain to his son, a student at Yale.1
I think about this paragraph often.
As I turn 28, I think about how I’m now sitting at the top of the wall. I can see both sides, feeling like I can fall backwards or forwards.
And when I look forward, I see a courtyard. It’s a beautiful garden, with birds and benches and green ivy.
I see a courtyard because I now understand how much time is required to achieve the important things in life. You have to be consistent, every day, over a long period of time in order to cultivate happiness, and peace, and health.
Reading about the collapse of Europe ahead of World War II. Running every single morning. Choosing to prepare your own salad. Knowledge, health, and wellness.
These are the things that money can’t buy.
Only time can buy them.
And it’s what I imagine doing in my courtyard, every day, so that my garden becomes beautiful - slowly, and over time.
What does it mean? Where did it come from? Why have we all adopted it as a conversational tic?