“We should not be concerned about wealth; we are rich enough, but we should be very concerned about robustness.”


16 Aug 2010

“We should not be concerned about wealth; we are rich enough, but we should be very concerned about robustness,” said Nicholas Nassim Taleb, author of The Black Swan, in a recent interview with The Guardian.

This is very true. Happiness studies show that people don’t get much happier from making more money or having more stuff, beyond a level of income that’s about half of what the average American makes. Life expectancy levels off even sooner, with countries where people make about a quarter of average US income living about as long as Americans do. (Those stats are from The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger, which I highly recommend.)

bookshelf

books I've read on failure & grace

The World Without Us
The Last Oil Shock: A Survival Guide to the Imminent Extinction of Petroleum Man
Zeitoun
A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster
Hell and High Water: Global Warming--the Solution and the Politics--and What We Should Do
The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl
The Tipping Point
Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace... One School at a Time
The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity and the Renewal of Civilization
Out of Poverty: What Works When Traditional Approaches Fail
The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History, 1300-1850
Confessions of an Eco-Sinner: Tracking Down the Sources of My Stuff
Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future
The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World


Mason's favorite books »

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