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The Need for Change

I talked with my seatmate Rachel on the flight to Singapore. She was 6G, I was 6H—Cathay Pacific Business Class. I was sitting up front thanks to my Platinum status and a big stash of Frequent Flyer Miles. Rachel was up front thanks to the global bank she worked for, which after a brief display of frugality was now back to flying even its junior employees in Business. Rachel was the same age as me. She had traveled to much of the world, but hadn't really seen anything. It was always running back and forth, flying to meetings, going to business dinners, arriving late at night back in the big Asian city where she was based before getting up early for more meetings.

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Beware of Life

From January to September 2009, 21,833 people died in my home state of Oregon. Just like that, each one of them left the world—here one day and gone the next. Several weeks ago, three hikers also died on our nearby Mount Hood in a tragic accident. After their deaths, there was the usual pontification about what they could have done differently. Despite the fact that they were all experienced climbers, and despite leaving for the hike when weather conditions were good, some people blamed their “risky behavior” and suggested various reforms that wouldn’t have made any difference in their case.

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