Y Combinator’s Paul Graham has an excellent essay titled Keep Your Identity Small. The key idea is that the more a particular issue is wrapped up in your identity, the harder it is for you to think clearly about it.
I don’t know if Smil does this intentionally, but his intense privacy and frugal lifestyle seem to me like signs that he is trying to protect his ability to think clearly.
The cure — as far as I can tell — is to hold fame and financial success in low regard. In fact, it might actually help to look down on people who are interested in getting rich and getti…