After leaving school, I travelled around Europe for about six months. In Denmark, I thought that was my chance to get an amazing haircut, so I went to what I thought was a great hairdresser. It turned out to be the car wash of hairdressers, and I walked out sporting yet another pudding bowl, but this time with a stripe bleached down the centre.
Even as I pursued a doctorate in the history of ideas in my native Denmark, I realized I had neither the encyclopedic training nor the passion for cool logic - not to mention the nerve - to follow in the footsteps of classical liberal philosophers and economists such as Robert Nozick, Friedrich Hayek, and Milton Friedman.
When people evaluate their life, they compare themselves to a standard of what a successful life is, and it turns out that standard tends to be universal: People in Togo and Denmark have the same idea of what a good life is, and a lot of that has to do with money and material prosperity.