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Negotiating in Vietnam is a strange, strange thing

First off, quick refresher - what is negotiation?

Good negotiation is about discovering things you value a low amount that the other party values a high amount, finding things they value a low amount that you value highly, and exchanging. I wrote about this in "How to Avoid Exchange-Based Relationships" -

A lot of people don’t understand good negotiating. They think it’s about getting the best price – no, no, no. Good negotiation is about figuring out what you can offer that’s worth more to the other person than you, and what they can offer that’s worth more to you than them.


it’s okay to have pure exchanges sometimes, like if you’re just buying something once. But if you can transcend that, move it beyond the exchange and into looking out for each other, that can be a beautiful thing.

Socially Conscious Investing

On Flourish

Around New Year's, my thoughts often turn to investing.

There is value in exchanges. If a person can specialize, and trade with their neighbor, everyone is generally better off than if there are no exchanges. There are limits to this, and self-sufficiency in some areas can be a useful goal and/or hobby. But more exchanges of goods and services provide more opportunity for people to contribute creativity, talent, and work to better society.

There is a significant caveat: exchanges of unsustainable goods and services must be considered against the resources they are consuming. Two entities might have a nice thing going, maybe mining ore and trading it in exchange for an improved finished product. But, if the ore is going to run out, they had better be looking for alternative technologies. In the case where exchanges are unsustainable, the resource being consumed may be considered as being "borrowed" from the future. We have the ore now, if we take it and use it it had better be in a way that a person in 2100 or 2200 will find worthwhile.

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