The Retirement Gamble

Firing up a new spreadsheet tonight after watching this guy.

Frontline: The Retirement Gamble {pbs}

Interesting to learn that the tax-deferredness of 401(k)s was an accident and was “never intended to be available to everyone.” It was designed by rich guys as a way to not have to pay taxes on their income.

Now I think this blog is officially about everything and nothing at the same time.

Two Media Picks

1. Seth Godin’s interview with Christa Tippett {On Being podcast}.

Fantastic interview with prolific blogger and business thinker Seth Godin, one of my favorite people-I-don’t-know-in-real-life ever. Seriously listen to this now.

Seth: [Your podcast] will never have better ratings than the Jersey Shore. But that’s not what the purpose is. It’s not what the point is. It’s not why we do our work. What works is does it matter? And is it possible to make a living doing something that matters? And the answer is, yes. Is it possible to make the maximum amount of money? Probably not. But that’s playing by a different set of rules.

That what the Internet is saying to us is you don’t need a building, and you don’t need an FCC license, and you don’t need 10,000 employees. So when I strip those away and I get to the nub of what I can be and what I can do, it turns out it’s not that expensive for me to put my art in the world. So I can make more mistakes. I can take bigger risks. And I can make a bigger impact. Not to a lot of people. Like I’m thrilled that almost everyone I meet has no idea who I am and what I do. Because I don’t want lots of people showing up and saying, I read this, I read this, I read this. Can I have your autograph? That’s not the point. The point is will someone come up to me and say, based on what I learned from you I taught 1o other people to do this, and we made something that mattered.

2. The Untouchables {frontline}.

Great Frontline documentary that attempts to answer the question everyone has about the financial crisis: how come hardly any bankers went to jail? Features some incredible interviews with everyday “due diligence” workers who were told to ignore red flags like a waitress with a reported salary of $12,000 a month.

Fast Times at West Philly High

Great Frontline episode from earlier this year about a high school in West Philly who entered a hybrid car in the X Prize competition.

Here’s Simon Hauger, the high school teacher who helped organize this event, speaking on the educational value of real-world projects like this:

“The basic assumption is that if you give students a problem to struggle with, something that’s real and relevant, it gets them thinking about what they’re passionate about and interested in,” says Hauger, who pushes his students to solve real-world problems through hands-on learning. “They take ownership over their learning. They get excited about it. They create a vision for themselves, moving forward as a learner, and that’s really what we want.”