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David Foster Wallace on Life and Work. Updated Sept. 19, 2008 11:59 p.m.

David Foster Wallace on Life and Work

ET There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, "Morning, boys, how's the water? " And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, "What the hell is water? " If at this moment, you're worried that I plan to present myself here as the wise old fish explaining what water is to you younger fish, please don't be. I am not the wise old fish. A huge percentage of the stuff that I tend to be automatically certain of is, it turns out, totally wrong and deluded. People who can adjust their natural default-setting this way are often described as being "well adjusted," which I suggest to you is not an accidental term. Related Articles David Foster Wallace knew better than most of us how champions triumph when they exist solely in the moment and how hard it can be to escape the prison in your own head.

Life Learning Today. You Don’t Need Six Figures: The Financial Realities of Living in Iowa (The Simple Dollar) At various points, readers have seemed quite surprised to find out that I live in Iowa and that I can see cornfields in two directions from the back porch of the house I’m about to buy.

You Don’t Need Six Figures: The Financial Realities of Living in Iowa (The Simple Dollar)

By sheer numbers, many more people live in urban environments than live in an environment like this, and many of those can’t even imagine living in such an area. Obviously, there are some disadvantages to living here, chief among them cultural. I have few opportunities to experience large cultural events in Iowa (though there are many interesting small ones) and cultural trends often take a very long time to reach here. Also, the population is very sparse – every time I visit an urban center, I have an almost overwhelming sense of too many people, even when I’m in a suburban area. Another disadvantage is salary; dollar for dollar, jobs simply do not pay as well here as they do elsewhere. But there are huge financial and cultural advantages to living in Iowa that often aren’t taken into account. Overwhelming Evidence: Good Old Days Are Now (

Overwhelming Evidence: Good Old Days Are Now The chart above is from a 1995 Reason Magazine article "The Good Old Days Are Now," by W.

Overwhelming Evidence: Good Old Days Are Now (

Michael Cox, senior vice president and chief economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Forget what you've heard in the media about "working harder and getting further behind. " Most Americans today have both more leisure and better goods than they did even 10 or 20 years ago, and most of us certainly live at a much higher standard of living than our grandparents or great-grandparents, despite the fact that many people today mistakenly think their standard of living is declining. Exhibit A: Look at the evidence in the chart above, and consider that further improvements have been made since 1990.