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February 17th, 2005

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03:12 pm
I ran across this article while surfing today:

Crazy Rich -- Are Americans successful because they're nuts?

It has a very interesting premise -- that part of the American entrepreneurial streak which contributes greatly to our national character is due to our being a nation of hypomaniacs.

For those unfamiliar with what hypomania is, it is considered to be a relatively benign form of manic depression. It is seen in those who have full-scale manic depression as a phase of the mood cycling that is characteristic of that illness, as well as in those who are not diagnosed as suffering from the full effects of the disease.

What it basicly seems to boil down to, though, is that a hypomaniac is something of a pie-in-the-sky, over-achieving, risk-taking dreamer -- the kind of person who might have some workaholic tendencies, especially if s/he has a job that is absorbing and satisfying. A person with a vision. A person who is willing to do the work to make that vision a reality. In other words, someone who might become an entrepreneur.

Part of the article's premise is that we became this way as a nation because were were born that way, since we are a nation of immigrants. Immigrants who had to be a little bit crazy (read hypomanic) to believe that they could succeed in a new land. Natural selection at work, on a national scale.

Personally, I tend to agree -- only the most go-getting, cock-eyed optimists would have the guts to uproot themselves and their families and start over anew. If that isn't a classic case of risk-taking, gambler-like behavior, then I don't know what is.

Thanks Mom, Dad, Grandmother, Grandfather, Abuelo y Abuela!!!

Now I'll just go back to speculating in the stock market and buying junk bonds at depressed prices.

Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: "Spirit Waltz" by Green Crown

(Eat a pomegranate)

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