Diminishing Returns

That’s the modern version of the saying “everything in moderation.”

In any area of life, you can look for optimization until the search for optimization takes over life itself.

On the other hand, it does not make sense to do things the hard way when there is a better alternative.

The point of diminishing returns is the boiling temperature for optimization.

When the effort expended in creating improvement is greater than the effort required to endure the situation without improvement, it’s time to stop, and reevaluate the situation.

Painting: Sisyphus, by  Vecellio Tiziano


Part of what’s fun about of writing these daily essays is finding the right picture to publish alongside.

In a world of Facebook and Twitter and Instagram posts, of 24-hour news channels, it’s easy to forget that with a simple online search, we can look at hundreds of classic paintings.

Thirty years ago, these works were only accessible to a handful of connoisseurs with the means to travel around the world and visit the (sometimes private) galleries that hosted them. A book filled with replicas of a fraction of these works would be very expensive – too expensive for someone who merely wished to dabble, to enjoy.

We’re ever drowning in a flood of new information, new works, new products. The new, after all, is what sells. It is very difficult to make a profit by maintaining a free online art gallery with thousands of works. Keeping a Facebook page dedicated to the beauty of classical art doesn’t get the likes flowing.

But still, these two things exist; and many more like them.

A more beautiful life is within reach of anyone with an internet connection.

This is something worth being thankful for.

Painting: Minerva and the Nine Muses, by Hendrick van Balen.