Swell is the Life


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El recinto de los albinos

Entramos al pequeño recinto sin saber que seres que hablaban extrañas lenguas ya nos esperaban dentro. Las coordenadas de transportación que ordenamos eran distintas de aquellas que ordenaban los que ya habitaban el cerco. Una vez dentro, las ferrosas puertas se cerraron y sentimos un fuerte temblor. Después todo negro, no quedaba nada de luz. Nuestro equipo estaba formado por tres exploradores y el de ellos por seis. Antes de que el último rayo de luz se extinguiese dentro del perímetro llegamos a observar que sus pieles eran muy claras, casi transparentes. Al no entender su lengua nos era difícil saber si pretendían entablar relaciones amigables. Éramos numéricamente inferiores a ellos en aquel pequeño contorno, el cual estábamos obligados a compartir, ojala en buenos términos, por un tiempo indeterminado. Nuestro secretario de relaciones diplomáticas disparaba a la oscuridad palabras amables que parecían rebotar en las metálicas paredes del recinto sin llegar a hacer ningún tipo de impacto sobre los destinatarios albinos. Su silencio no nos confortaba; al revés, nos conducía a pensar que pronto empezaría una lucha por el poco oxígeno restante del lugar. Seis de ellos contra tres de nosotros.

Después de una tregua silenciosa en la oscuridad, se rompió la calma con los mascullados de los invasores. Nuestro secretario de relaciones diplomáticas nos informó que aquellos dialectos eran ajenos a su conocimiento. ¿Será que estaban preparando su ataque? Lentamente, tomé por los brazos a mis compañeros y los guié hasta la fría pared de metal del espacio invadido. Nuestras espaldas ya se recargaban contra los masivos muros y quedamos frente a un abismo oscuro de no más de 2 metros de ancho. No sabíamos si las armas de los invasores se meneaban a escasos centímetros de nuestros cuerpos, no sabíamos si ellos mismos ya tenían sus bocas frente a nuestras caras listas para devorarlas, no daban señal de vida, no se oía nada. El ataque era inminente.

El propio miedo a la muerte, ya sea por asfixia o por un sangriento ataque de los invasores, nos llevaba a oír voces de esperanza. ¿O sería que ya estábamos muertos? Imposible, no veíamos ninguna luz al final del túnel. A través de las puertas llegábamos a escuchar frases como “No pierdan la esperanza” o “Ánimo”. En esta verdaderamente adversa situación nuestra imaginación nos llenaba de anhelo. El calor nos hacía alucinar y nuestras gotas de sudor comenzaban ya a inundar aquello que poco a poco se convertía en la celda que encerraba nuestras peores pesadillas. Moriríamos pronto y nuestras cabezas no lo percibían. El miedo nos había abandonado. Es probable que gracias a no haber sentido miedo de parte nuestra, los invasores hubieran concordado en detener el ataque. Nuestra valentía impregnaba el ambiente del recinto.

De repente la luz de nuevo llenaba el lugar, el aire empezó a circular y un buen hombre que se identificó con el nombre de “técnico de ascensores” abrió las puertas.


Luis Menocal

París, 12 de mayo de 2014

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Open letter to Old Finance Pigs

I agree, the title of this article might be on the offensive side, and for that I am sorry. I hate insulting (even though I used to do it quite often while stuck in Mexico City’s traffic). The reason as to why I chose to insult these old finance pigs is because I can’t find a job and I am unjustly blaming them for what’s happening to me based solely on my own experience. I do hate inductive reasoning, believe me.

My experience, a mere soul without finding a job, cannot possibly constitute a strong argument for insulting a whole generation of people in the finance sector and have readers agree with me. In fact, whenever people discredit a company or other people based on past experience, I usually blow them off and think of them to be ridiculous. For example, last time I flew to Italy with easyjet, we had a two hour delay before our departure. “This is the worst airline in the world!” said a lady standing in line next to me, “The last time I flew with you I had to spend three hours doing nothing at the airport and now I have to go through it all over again and you won’t even give us food passes”. Saying that easyjet is the worst airline in the world and basing her argument on one personal experience seems not only ridiculous but also a bit exaggerated. Many other people might have had incredibly great experiences with easyjet; therefore, through her declaration, the lady was not only being selfish but also unjust. Simply because of her ill-based inductive reasoning, her word becomes a standing order and all of the other experiences people had with easyjet do not count.

Through my insulting title, I fear coming across like the “anti-easyjet lady”. I worry that people might think of me the way I thought of her. Therefore, I will no longer use my own personal experience as an accurate argument to support the fact I think of the baby-boomer generation in finance to be pigs. Nor will I talk about Massimiliano’s experience: a bright yuppie who graduated with honors in economics and finds himself jobless after working like mad for three years at Morgan Stanley as a derivatives trading analyst. That too, seems to be unjust inductive reasoning. 

Another constraint that works against my title is the fact that there are thousands of really nice finance professionals from the baby boomer generation that do not deserve to be insulted by the title of this note. As of now, if I were to formally structure my reasoning, it would be as following:

1. The baby-boomer generation in finance shunned young people from their future through unsustainable, unruly, and selfish business practices.

2. Other than representing the animal, the word “pig” represents a versatile insult to describe people that behave selfishly and in an unruly manner.

3. All of the baby-boomer generation in finance are pigs.

As you can appreciate, the conclusion of my reasoning is far from truthful mainly because the premises are wrong and weak. John Vickers’s famous conclusion that all swans were white simply because all of the swans he has seen are white is tremendously wrong. Therefore, even if I were to say that all of the finance professionals I have met are pigs (which is not even true because I have met really nice people in finance), my reasoning would be quite erroneous. 

Now that I have established that my insulting of a whole generation of finance professionals is poorly supported, I must, none the less, confess that insulting them is give me a tremendous amount of satisfaction. If I were to restructure the premises of my argument in order to make them stronger and true, my argument will be more precise:

1. Some people in the Baby-boomer generation working in finance shunned young people from their future through unsustainable, unruly, and selfish business practices.

2. Other than representing the animal, the word “pig” represents a versatile insult to describe people that behave selfishly and in an unruly manner.

3. Some people included in the baby-boomer generation in finance are pigs.

Now my readers may agree with me through a better conveyed reasoning and may be therefore convinced of the fact that some people in the finance sector are pigs. Again, if I choose to leave the title of the note unchanged, it is because of the great satisfaction I gain from insulting them. However, the first premise of my renewed argument remains weak in its truthfulness. Saying that young people have been shunned from their future is incorrect for two main reasons. One, because many young people I know have a job and are growing professionally; and two, because my own pride will refuse to acknowledge that a whole generation of pigs has shunned my wife, my friends and I from a future. If anything, they have made it harder for our generation.

The purpose of this note is therefore to let the old pigs know that a call to arms has been enacted. We, the young, creative and entrepreneurial, will do anything to place our future back on our hands. We will work sustainably, unlike you. We will keep away from wars, unlike you. We will never fail to keep in mind that that the future is more precious than money in the pocket, unlike you. Moreover, we will never forget to forgive. We will forgive, not forget. You had your chance, you blew it, and now our future is no longer in your hands. We forgive because we are not like you.

I unjustly called you pigs; take this as an opportunity to be forgiving.


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Some French dudes sponsored by Oxelo went rippin in India. Cool video.

Permalink | 0 notes cool picture my mate took while waiting for the train in Surrey
Permalink | 0 notes A vintage photobooth from the sixties took this picture. We found it in the basement of Le Bon Marché in Paris. It still accepted one dollar coins.