Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Carter Cast on the "Drama of Comparative Living"

Matt McCall at VC Confidential was nice enough to post some paragraphs about comparative living from a speech given by Carter Cast.  I hold myself as lucky to have at least spoken with both Matt and Carter at different points when working on a project and they are both impressive guys.  Since Carter is the one that gave the speech, I will point out that he was a swimmer at Stanford, CMO of Blue Nile, CMO of eBay, and CEO of

I'm not going to copy the entire piece from Matt's post, you can read that by clicking here; I will, however, excerpt this portion:
. . . there exists a kind of anxiety gap between what is and what we think should be. “I should have a PhD like Rob Wolcott.” “I deserve to be as wealthy as Ben Elowitz, because I was instrumental in building the Blue Nile business.” This is the drama of comparative living. Bertrand Russell, in The Conquest of Happiness, calls it “worry fatigue.” He says, “Envy is a form of vice which consists of seeing things never in themselves, but only in their relations.” He had a great example: “Napoleon envied Caesar; Caesar envied Alexander; Alexander I daresay envied Hercules, who didn’t exist.”

I am fairly certain that the destructive emotion of envy has increased in the age in which we are living.
Everyone should read the entire portion that Matt posted on his blog . . . . probably more than once.

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