"To live as a poor man with lots of money"

I found a great quote the other day (attributed to Pablo Picasso, but who knows with the internet): “I’d like to live as a poor man with lots of money.”
What this gets at is the problem of the hedonic treadmill. As our standard of living improves, the story goes, we become less able to experience joy in small pleasures. It’s not just a ma… read more »

The Fine Line Between Stuff and Experience

As part of doing my research for All The Money In The World, I’ve been reading a lot of studies on money and happiness. It is a truism of this literature that experiences make us happier than things. We anticipate experiences, and enjoy replaying them afterwards. Repeated happy experiences also have the upside in that they are always slightly differen… read more »

Moving and Minimalism

This is my first blog post from my new home office here in the suburbs of Philly. The windows look out on the backyard, and since I haven’t unpacked much, the desk is shockingly bare. I don’t know how long that will last (my guess is not long at all) but it’s a bit like trying on a different personality for a day. What if I were the kind of person who… read more »

On The Sidewalks Of New York

On September 2, 2002, I moved to New York City. I was 23 years old, and had no idea what I would be doing with myself. I simply knew that I’d always liked New York, always knew I’d like to try living there, and that it was a good city for a would-be writer. I didn’t have a job, but I had a few freelancing leads. I had some savings, and I’d just si… read more »

All Work And No Pay: The Great Speedup?

I will start this blog post by saying that I once wrote an article on “white collar sweatshops.” I have lamented “overworked Americans.” I implored people to “take back your time.” I used to write about sleep-deprived moms and “the second shift” and all that. Then I discovered the fascinating field of t… read more »