The aughts were quite a shock after the “remarkable air of unreality” that perfumed the end of the last century—but we may have actually learned something, Alan Murray writes. “Unlike the Hollywood-scripted decade that preceded it, this one turned out to be more like the reality-television shows that proliferated during its span. They showed us that not everyone can sing, not everyone can dance, not everyone can stay on the island.” That sort of self-knowledge is pretty helpful, Murray writes in the Wall Street Journal.
“For a time, at least, experience will trump hope. We won't assume that technology can solve all problems, that markets will cure their own excesses, or that one person can overcome the failures of the many.” From Enron to Bear Stearns to 9/11, it was a decade marked by "greed, envy, hatred, ignorance, corruption." But the '00s "offered ample reminders that even with imperfections, human beings are capable of great triumphs." For a taste of the new paradigm—quick, before it’s gone—just look at Susan Boyle. After all, “you don't need fantasy to create success.”