The Limits of Rationality

A Misunderstanding When I was living in Tokyo, I once tried to purchase tickets for a sumo wrestling tournament at my neighborhood 7-Eleven.* The ticket machine was only in Japanese, and I ended up requesting the assistance of a young female employee who happened to speak a bit of English – a find nothing short […]

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More Than a Moment

I had a conversation once that I recognized was profound only in retrospect. She was a casual acquaintance – we had met through a dating site, and though there was no attraction on either side, we were lonely enough expats even after that mutual recognition to meet up two or three times for the friendly […]

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A Sunday

Telling a drunk story entails risk. For those who weren’t there, who weren’t involved, the recounting is never as enjoyable. Their appreciation – if it is to be found – derives not only from the merits of the story , but from how the story plays off their knowledge of the storyteller. Yet, even with […]

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Man in the Mirror

A few years ago when I was living in Boston, my friend Jim and I ran into a mutual acquaintance on the train. Neither of us particularly liked this guy. He was the stereotype of an Ivy Leaguer: too confident in his own intelligence, too eager to let the world know. As we ran in […]

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By the Lake

I should experience the summer, I’m told. This in fact has been an almost universal refrain from denizens in Geneva, with the implicit – and sometimes not-so-implicit – suggestion that the other seasons are generally forgettable here. Quiet. Sleepy. Boring. It’s the general thrust of the city’s reputation. A colleague who has lived around the […]

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The Other Side of 30

The physical symptoms are obvious. My back is more sensitive. My legs get sore. My balding exists – persists. I have to be more vigilant: about my sleep position, about not overexerting myself physically, about avoiding a room full of mirrors. My body needs more attention than ever before, and for the first time in […]

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