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No matter how senior you get in an organization, no matter how well you’re perceived to be doing, your job is never done. Every day, you get up and the world is changing; your customers are expecting more from you. Your competitors are putting pressure on you by doing more and trying to beat you here and beat you there.
For the longest time, I was just playing music and not really expecting any success – just kind of doing it because I liked doing it. While doing that, I went on a lot of shitty tours, playing to nobody, so I think it makes me appreciate it. Our band the New Pornographers have been popular for a few years now, but it still shocks me. I remember thinking we were hugely popular when we sold 15,000 records, and now this one sold 30,000 in two weeks. I’m grateful for the whole thing.
At the end of the day, you just have to focus on winning. No one can take a win away from you. That’s what I focused on. Life is not fair, so I don’t go out there expecting it to be. I don’t think any of us should go out expecting life to be fair. I think that’s expecting too much, and I remind myself of that sometimes. You can get on with your life after that.
Jorge Luis Borges was lamenting a variety of Orientalism that was used to measure the alleged authenticity of Argentine and Latin American writers in the midcentury. The Argentine literary tradition was believed by many, including many Argentines, to be concerned with a national imaginary in which the gauchos and the pampas and the tango were fundamental tropes. Borges, in part to legitimize his own Europhilia, correctly pointed out that expecting writers to engage with these romantic nationalist tropes was arbitrary and limiting, a genre that was demonstrative of its own artificiality.
As bank customers, we tend to believe that we can have both perfect security for our money, drawing on it whenever we want and never expecting it not to be there, while still earning a regular rate of return. In a true free market, however, there tends to be a tradeoff: you can enjoy a money warehouse or you can hope for a return on your investment. You can’t usually have both. The Fed, however, by backing up this fractional-reserve system with a promise of endless bailouts and money creation, attempts to keep the illusion going.