Lately I have been thinking a lot about economics—the theoretical aspects of it, supply and demand curves, the behavior of markets. I very nearly flunked macroeconomics in college (the professor, a young hotshot who got stellar course evaluations, turned me off with his shiny arrogance and so I skipped class a lot) and I kind of regret being so cavalier about the class and dropping that course of study, given the market-driven nature of nearly every aspect of post-millennial life.
One of my favorite Twitter personalities these days is, actually, an economist—Umair Haque, who I found because he was being all doom-and-gloom about the culture industry a few weeks ago. (“We should be VERY worried that what tech did to news and books and music it will do to fashion, style, and art,” he said on Friday.) He writes for the Harvard Business Review, but unlike so much of the business literature that made my eyes glaze over when I was reviewing management tomes at a long-ago job, his work is clear-eyed and thoughtful, with a particular emphasis on how the current economy is broken in such a way that it’s causing people to sacrifice their happiness in too many ways.
Lately he has been waxing particularly poetic on the subject of love, making brash declarations that stick out from the rest of my Twitter timeline like giant iron spikes. “Your job is to live an extraordinary life. That has little to do with money, sex, stuff. It has everything to do with Big Love.” “Love isn’t happy puppies. Nor is it just good sex. It’s transformation. And so it takes suffering. [...]