you are so rich, how come you are not smart!? :)

Paul Krugman has argued that the rich embrace Republican economic policies both because they want more money and they’re more inclined to buy into theories that justify their wealth. In a May interview with Reuters, Krugman said that rich people “want the world to praise them for their wealth, so they want economic theories that praise rich people as the salvation of the rest of us.”

I agree with Krugman. I lived in Turkey and continue to spend part of my time there, and know a lot of rich people, some of whom are my relatives. Almost without exception, every single one of them is practically begging for praise and recognition. Guess what: They are not getting it from me! In fact, whenever I catch an occasion, I tell them about Nassim Nicholas Taleb and his uncanny question “you are so rich, how come you are not smart!?” 🙂

Bright versus Gifted ..

A Bright Child knows the answers, is interested, attentive, has good ideas, works hard, answers the questions, performs in the top group, listens with ease, needs 6-8 repetitions for mastery, understands ideas, enjoys peers, grasps the meaning, completes assignments, is receptive, copies accurately, enjoys school, absorbs information, is a ‘technician’ of sorts, is a good memorizer, enjoys straight forward and sequential presentations, is alert and is pleased with his/her own learning.

A Gifted Child asks the questions, is highly curious, is mentally and physically involved, has wild and silly ideas, plays around yet tests well, discusses in detail and elaborates, is beyond the group, shows strong feelings and opinions, already knows, 1-2 repetitions for mastery, constructs abstractions, prefers adults, draws inferences, initiates projects, is intense, creates a new design, enjoys learning, manipulates information, inventor, good guesser, thrives on complexity, is keenly observant, and is highly critical.


Richard Russell reports ..

Many years ago, when I was still living in NYC, I had a subscriber, a Swiss man named Jay Pfister. Jay owned a chemical company. During the early 1930s Jay sold his company to American Cyanamid. That sale made Jay quite wealthy, and he had a home in NYC and one in La Jolla. It was Jay who first told me about La Jolla. Jay suggested that I leave Manhattan and enjoy “a better life” in La Jolla. I thought a lot about Jay’s advice. In 1961 I followed his advice, and it proved to be one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received.

One day I met Jay at the Plaza Hotel on 59th Street. We were sipping coffee, when Jay said, “I want to tell you an interesting story. My apartment overlooks the Hudson River. Last Sunday I was looking out over the Hudson, and I saw two large boats heading towards each other. They continued to close in on each other, and I said to myself, ‘This is ridiculous’. The captains must be drunk. If they continue on this path, they’re surely going to crash.”

I looked wide-eyed and asked Jay, “So what happened?”

Answered Jay, “The ‘impossible’ happened. The two boats continued toward each other, and they crashed.”