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Interesting op-ed from the New York Times

From Monday's New York Times. This op-ed by psychologist Daniel Gilbert shows the effects that psychology can have on the escalation of violence, whether between siblings or between neighboring countries. I don't think that this solves the Israel vs. Hezbollah thing in any practical way, but it is a slightly different way of thinking about things.

While looking online for more information about Daniel Gilbert (I don't like to link to articles written by people until I at least know something about them, lest I link to articles written by serial killers or what-have-you), I discovered this. It's basically an ad for his book Stumbling on Happiness, but I found it to be a persuasive ad. If I had more time to read, I might even buy the book.

Deferred gratification is an interesting issue. I sometimes think about how hard it is for me to save even a small amount of money these days, and how quickly that small amount will be gone when it's time for the next big purchase, whether that is a $1500 vacation or a $5000 car or, I can't even really think about this now, a down payment on a house. It almost seems not worth it to save such a small amount, but since the only other option is to save a large amount, and that's not possible, I guess I have no other options. I guess I could foreswear all large purchases and just live in the moment, but that's not a realistic thing for me to do, either.
Although I do think that there is something to the "mindfulness" movement, something we could all stand to learn a lot from.

Saving money got a lot easier for me once I had direct deposit carve off a monthly amount into a netbank account - they have good interest rates and low minimums. I think the trick is to sock it away before it hits the primary checking account, because at that point it's still painless.

One tip I heard not too long ago: anytime you get a raise, increase your savings amount be the amount of the raise...
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