I write a lot about “looking back”. (A lot: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 21 more posts, plus “looking back” has another 17 posts.) I clearly believe—I really do—that looking back is best for assessing things.

And yet… stress, unhappiness. (Important: Words left unsaid.)

By all objective metrics, I’m as successful today as I could hope to be a decade ago. I’m happily married, well inside the richest 1% globally, have found my tribe and earned some respect in it. I should be able to relax and take some satisfaction in my current situation. And yet the thought that in 5 years my life will look exactly like it does today fills me with dread.

~ Jacob Falkovich from,


My title is a nerdy reference to a small detail in the article. But it’s also a nerdy reference to how I feel that everything I write is simply derivative. Nonetheless, I’m looking back. I’m assessing my progress. I’m making some plans and I’m cutting red tape.