The Market is ruthless:
ten thousand programs struggle for market share.
The Consultant is ruthless:
his loyalty to his clients is purely mercenary.

The Market, with its ups and downs,
acts much like a bellows.
Although it generates nothing, it is inexhaustible —
the more it moves, the more it blows.

Researching, analyzing, day trading —
this is not as good as holding to the center.

The Market is another element that is not present in the original Dao De Jing.

Generally, I take a skeptical approach to the Market here; I will have more to say on this in the future (or if you want to check out the chapter notes in the spoilers).

chapter notes:

The first verse in the original is not popular among the self-help set, as it recommends a ruthlessness appropriate to the practical political philosophy of governing a state, but not to interpersonal relationships. Fortunately, it is fine for my purposes.

This is the first place where I have introduced “the Market”, standing in for “Heaven and Earth” (i.e., the entire world) in the original.