Leverage is Bliss

I argued a few days ago that the old idea that “consumption is bliss” is shifting in our new century. We are moving towards “leverage is bliss”. I also made the claim that we get leverage in institutional arrangements.

To get a sense of this, consider an example. Can you imagine yourself on mars? I don’t know about you, but I can’t. No way man. But Elon Musk does imagine people there. And his vision is not just an abstraction. It has guided him to form the company SpaceX. He went from vision to building an institution to realize the vision. Indeed, he could not create the leverage to make this happen without such an institution.

The cool thing is that this is working. Musk has overcome quite a few mental barriers that folks have about being on mars already. First, why go? Because if we don’t we will be doomed as a species to being chained to a single planet. Not only is this boring, it is not very smart, given how fragile planets are in the cosmic scheme of things. Second, what is holding us back? Simple. Getting into space and traveling in space is too expensive. We need to reduce the costs.

Notice how the above builds a certain momentum towards achieving the goal. This is what I call leverage. You can also call it story development. It gets us into a “flow” mentality where we move forward instead of stand still, deeply engaged in navel gazing.

As Dan Kahneman says, this gets activates the “remembering self”. The one one that gives us meaning.

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