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The age of average.

Hello, Apexians, and welcome to another wonderful week filled with the best money links two fellas can find. Jim and I are always scouring the web for the best stories in personal finances so that we can share them with you, our loyal readers. Let’s start today with a recent installment from one of my favorite newsletters, Douglas Tsoi’s “Money and Meaning”:

An outer solution never solves an inner problem. [Money and Meaning] — “Blaise Pascal believed that ‘all of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone’…We hate, more than anything, being bored. A University of Virginia study showed that almost 50% of college students would rather shock themselves with electricity than be silent and without distraction for 15 minutes. Crazy, right, but what do you do when you’re bored?”

A four-day workweek reduces stress without reducing productivity. [Scientific American] — “Working four days instead of five—with the same pay—leads to improved well-being among employees without damaging the company’s productivity. That’s the recently reported result of a four-day workweek test that ran for six months, from June to December 2022, and involved a total of 61 U.K. companies with a combined workforce of about 2,900 employees.”

A 15-minute “awe walk” can help kill stress and build happiness. [Inc. magazine] — “Awe is the feeling of smallness and wonder you experience when you stand before something vastly bigger than you. It’s what astronauts feel when they look down at Earth from space or the rest of us feel looking up at the countless stars in the night sky. A significant body of psychology research shows awe helps us feel less anxious, more connected, and generally happier.”

The age of average. [Alex Murrell] — “The interiors of our homes, coffee shops and restaurants all look the same. The buildings where we live and work all look the same. The cars we drive, their colours and their logos all look the same. The way we look and the way we dress all looks the same. Our movies, books and video games all look the same. And the brands we buy, their adverts, identities and taglines all look the same. But it doesn’t end there. In the age of average, homogeneity can be found in an almost indefinite number of domains.” Yes! This!

I’ve been complaining about the homogeneity of American culture for years. It’s boring. It’s why I’m drawn to cars and furniture and people with character. (I love my Mazda Miata in part because it looks like nothing else on the road. Same with my previous car, a Mini Cooper.) I think the rise of the internet is the primary driving force in the sameness of everything.

Okay, that’s it for today. I’ll be back tomorrow with more. See you then.