On miscommunication and generational mismatches

by Jan 21, 2021Thinking outside the bottle0 comments

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Paulo Pinto

Alti Wine Exchange founding member

Dear reader,

I hope this post finds you healthy and optimistic about 2021.

We debate a lot between the founders of Alti Wine Exchange what is going on. If you remember, we are a group of people with a large history in finance, puzzled with the new reality of modern finance. We talk about money… over wine.

Money is a measure, a unit of account, a store of value and a medium of exchange.

Thomas Jefferson, when he created the dollar, said: “Let’s define the money unit of the United States”. This money unit in his mind was supposed to be an unchanged measure, just like the number of minutes in an hour, or the number of meters in a kilometer. We all know now he was wrong in the result, although probably not in his mind.

I imagine that anyone over 50 years old has already realized that what we say and what people perceive we are saying are two different things.

On our last post we talked about parenting — and, as a parent, communication is of upmost importance, but not only as a parent.

Talking is never a problem when we are young. It only seems to be a problem as we get older or have more responsibilities.

***

We will come back in a minute on this topic, but first let’s go back to our favourite subject: money.

The job we aim to do for you here at Alti Wine Exchange is simple to define: preserve your wealth over the coming decade of currency devaluation and debt implosion by buying fine and rare wine. You see, it is even simpler to achieve.

My personal goal is to consider a plan in view of even bigger threats, like the possibility of confiscation, the abolition of cash, or capital controls.

Back to parenthood, communication and miscommunication

***

I was wondering why, when young and upset with something, closest friends would also be upset. A sort of bond that makes what’s important to one also important to all, reacting like a wolf pack.

As we get older and facing similar issues, those same friends sometimes just seem not to get it. You get angry and they are dismissive. You have the camaraderie, but the wolf pack is not there anymore. The reaction? The closer the person is to you, the more it feels like a betrayal.

Parents are first in line. Why we do it? Probably because of lack of patience. You have your ideas, they have others.

 


 

Bottom line:

communicating is an art that needs to be practiced at all levels.

This is the reason we have been reflecting on this and on other issues.

At the basis of any conversation, there is a judgment on ideals, then vocabulary. You need a perfect understanding of the language in order to use the right words – and this is even worse going outside your native language. Even with all this care, what you are really thinking behind what you say will probably be not perceived the same way.

***

My son recently said in a conversation that I was too philosophical, proving that he was listening to a different thing that I was saying. And I wonder if, as parents, we learned how to sell them hope or learned to lie when we chose to focus on the potential they have to change the world.

The trend of the new generation seems to be one of simplifying things: oppressors or victims, immediate gratification, neglecting decisions they should be making. And we are supposed to say nothing, just be there and support.

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Maybe we can drink a glass of wine and talk how to organize our own families and our own budgets without pressure, over a bottle of common sense. Maybe we can try to understand why it is the ones we love more that are the recipients of our temper and our anger.

Civilization was created in the Mediterranean, and wine was turned into the most popular drink. The Greeks institutionalized wine drinking in their famous symposia drinking parties, and the Romans turned viticulture into a hugely successful business – becoming one of the most visible manifestations of cultural colonization sitting around the table with wine.

Wine allows people to talk and get civilized. Maybe for that reason some say wine is the most civilized thing in the world.

Until next time.

Paulo


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