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Friday, October 21, 2011

Around the World in 80 Trades

Everything we do, and I mean everything, is the result of a trade. So let's just admit it and get on with the trading.

Except for being embarrassed by our parents and other family members, mankind's personal interactions have always been driven by two things:
  1. "Hey, what say we go over behind that rock and cuddle? Trust me, I'm not like all the other guys you see hanging around the cave. Plus afterward, I'll go kill us something to eat."
  2. "The old cavelady is complaining about my hunting skills. She says the little troglodytes are cold and hungry. How 'bout we trade some of these fine Sabre-tooth Tiger teeth I have for some of those Wooly Mammoth hides and shank steaks?"
You can occupy Wall Street or the basement of your mom's house all you want, but eventually you're going to trade something you have for something you want. You, my friend, are a Capitalist. Whether you admit it to yourself or not.

That being said, I really dislike television. Well, I love the concept of television and the way it lets me waste all that time between dinner and bedtime. But, I don't like to watch other people get murdered, or even the solving of said repugnancy. I'm also not interested in dull comedies that pretend they are funny while they insult me. Pretty much when one of my teams' games isn't televised my life sucks. Except for this neat little gem of a TV show I found last night called Around the World in 80 Trades. Check your local listings.

Conor Woodman, in the Sudan,
finds he is not such a good camel trader
It's a couple of years old but a lot of things around me are older than that, so, whatever. Basically, the show is about a smug British guy who was a commodities trader in London (who doesn't love smug British guys, except maybe smug French guys?).  He quits his job, sells his flat (I like to call them 'apartments') and takes his liquidity to trade for things for profit as he travels around the world. This is a fascinating look at the third or fourth most basic human function, and I am riveted by it.

It is a fascinating look at travel, culture and the basic need we all have to get something we want by giving away something we have, with the hope of making a little extra in the process.

What I mostly take from this is the realization that Information Age humans are completely disconnected from what makes life fun and interesting. It's the one-to-one relationships we develop in our daily efforts to survive and better our lot in life that makes life interesting and fulfilling. Sitting in traffic after arguing with the wife about who paid the electric bill and then sitting in a cube hoping the next eight hours of your life will pass by so you can go home and watch re-runs of "Friends" is probably not what we were put here for. The same might be said for camping out in a city park because you have nothing else to do and well, everything sucks anyway.

I'd give you the link to watch the shows for free but I'm not a fan of free content on the Internet. Instead, here's the link to the BBC homepage for the show: CLICK HERE. I'll just assume you'll do a Google search and find the free content yourself.

Check it out you little closet Capitalist you, you might be amazed at what you are missing (metaphorically and entertainment-wise).

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