a new theory of life

The Big Short and Demolition: where to go from here

I want to share some thoughts on two movies I’ve watched recently.

The Big Short – a comedy that’s based on real stories during the housing crisis in 2007, and

Demolition – a story about a young and successful PE executive who took a radical turn in his life in search of his true passion and meaning of life after his wife had died in a car crash.

These two movies resonate well with me at a personal level. I studied finance and banking as a undergraduate, and pursued my PhD in Economics in graduate school. In my 3rd  year as I was deciding on my dissertation topics, the housing crisis took place in the U.S. and spread out to the rest of the world. For the first time, I was forced to question what I believed – a path to a good life that promises personal and career success, built on top of rock-solid quantitative reasoning, all of a sudden seemed to me like a highly intelligent crime, a fraud, than anything else.

Fortunately, I was able to complete my dissertation after meeting my academic advisor Dr. Raj Deb when I shifted my research focus from finance to value of life, health investment, and consumer choice within neoclassical economic theory.

This shift has brought me both pain and joy as a researcher in health economics and health outcomes. In this experience, I was enabled to discover my true passion, the meaning of my work and life satisfaction. I consider it my WIN from The Big Short. 🙂


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