Artificial plants are getting more and more life-like.
We all yearn for a home with southern exposure. We'll even pay extra knowing that our precious house plants and floral bouquets will get enough sun to thrive. My wife, Kate, and I love our apartment, but its windows face north, so any attempt to promote photosynthesis on our windowsill, like a skunk crossing I-95, ends in sorrow. This is why we keep a few stylish, hyper-realistic artificial plants around the house. Who needs to keep a real fern alive when Pottery Barn sells a simulacrum that will never require anything of you? Fake plants really can be as good as the real thing. Yes, you should always surround yourself with the best things, but when you must settle, make sure it's at least the next best thing.
walter: I made my living as an economic forecaster and as an expert witness and cross-examiner in finance at public hearings. Here are some facts: 1. No person can accurately predict the financial future. If they could, they would own the whole world. 2. At every adversarial public hearing in which I was the cross-examiner, I always asked the following question, first, of my opposition witness; "Isn't it correct that your testimony is your opinion, and not fact?" They always had to answer 'yes'. And I always wanted that on the record. 3. Anyone who tells you that they know, with certainty, what the economy will do tomorrow, next week, or next year is lying to you. 4. In every single stock or bond transaction that takes place, the seller of the asset is convinced that the asset will soon devalue. And the buyer is certain that the asset will soon increase in value. And in each such transaction, one of them is wrong. Or, sometimes, both of them are wrong, and the asset's value remains unchanged.