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Being a Grown-up Can Suck


In choosing, the wise consider both the seen and unseen consequences. It makes life seem harder. Art Carden, reacting to a hurricane-induced spike in the price of gasoline, gives an example:

2. The supply curve has shifted, so I'm moving along my demand curve for gas: I would go to the office this morning, but you know, gas prices. So I'm working from home. But this means that instead of gas to get to the office, I'm paying for electricity to power my computer, coffee pot, and air conditioner. So maybe I should work with a pen and paper and lay off the coffee. But pens and paper require resources to produce and I'd just have to retype it later anyway, and no coffee means lower productivity. It doesn't look like I can win, so maybe I should just turn everything off, crawl back into bed, and cry myself to sleep.

We all wish there were no hurricanes, that gas was free and that people didn't pollute. But that's not how it is.

Adulthood is recognizing facts and making your best choice. This requires trade-offs and compromise. Naïve idealism ends in either violence or tears.