The conceptual framework for a man's search for meaning

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The Perfect Utopia

March 12th, 2013 by dimpledbrain

This post ought to beget more questions than answers because I am still thinking about the thinking.

The question at hand is on man’s search for life’s holy grail. So far I am satisfied with the finding that we are driven by one of these three – (a) Freudian’s will to pleasure (b) Nietzsche’s will to power and (c) Frankl’s will to meaning. (click here for the post).

Is there a perfect system in life? If the above three paths are the means, then perfect utopia must be the destination.

Strangely, we may most probably say no to the question above but our daily actions betray us to the core. We seek for the best in life, only to be frustrated in the process or fooled by randomness.

If so, is the conclusion of the whole matter this: that everything is meaningless and there is nothing new under the sun? (Read the book of Ecclesiastes if you would like to be depressed further). For your joy is your sorrow unmasked.

My simple mind tells me of the following:

(a) Forget utopia, think incrementalism. Perhaps the only thing worth learning from my corporate world experience is incrementalism. So much so that we mock McKinsey for her gross stupidity (sometimes unavoidable) and how all rules of thumb revolve around the McKinsey blue*. But to think of life in term of incrementalism, we may just break the very chain that in the dawn of our understanding, have fastened around our noon hour. Seeking for perfection is a futile attempt for success only requires one small step at a time.

(b) The Law of Ever Changing Cycles. (Read The Secrets of Professional Turf Betting by Robert L Bacon). “Racing is simple. Everything about the game is logical and common sense and elementary. All the figures and the mathematics and the mechanics of racing can be understood by a child in junior-high school. But the game is decked out in an endless number of minor contradictions and open switches and deadfall traps, in order to lure the average player into doing everything wrong.” Insert any fancy pursuit in life and substitute it for the word ‘racing’ above.

(c) Never lose your racquet. (Read the Education of a Speculator by Victor Niederhoffer). Have more than one contingency plan. The mouse that has but one hole is soon caught. Lose a point, a game or two if you must, but never lose your racquet or your right to play the game. A stop loss strategy is paramount. (Victor Niederhoffer is a hedge fund manager and a champion squash player, and is regarded in high esteem by George Soros. But he got busted twice during the 1997 financial crisis and finally went under.) These are his collective words and wisdom**.



*McKinsey blue is an all encompassing term to describe that whatever actions taken are deemed authoritatively correct if they are prescribed by the consultants. Literally, it means that for any corporate presentations to be successful, the form matters more than the substance and they must use the exact blue colour font decreed by the consulting firm. Incrementalism is a concept popularized by the consultants, although we self taught how to read from a distribution table.

** “The bottom line is that when you have an edge you should play a conservative game. When you do not have an edge, you need to take risks – Victor Niederhoffer.”




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