Into the Wild -- the movie and the book IntoTheWild

The movie version has a nice emphasis on the failure due to misplanning. Our protagonist wants to go it alone in the summer wilds of Alaska. He does this by exercising a bunch, buying a book on edible plants, and asking people how to field dress killed animals.

However, despite those plans, he dies because he imports a suburban leisure lifestyle into a resource-restricted area. Instead of preparing things before he needs them, he spends his time essentially barking at the moon. He intends to kill a large animal, field dress it, and preserve its meat by smoking; however he waits until he kills a moose before trying his preservation technique. He would not have lost all the meat had he tried preserving a small kill earlier. He intends to eat edible plants, yet he doesn't identify the local edible plants until his hunger has bested his mind.

Early on in the film, our doomed lifestyle warrior says something to the effect of "they're not free; they have something to lose". Implying that he doesn't think one can control possessions (in soviet suburbia, they control you ;). Had he believed that he could control his mind, he would have said, "they're not free, they have something they don't want to lose".

So, how does a smart (Emory grad) person come to have this fatal belief about wealth? We can laugh and point out that he didn't play enough strategy games (is that resource worth fighting over, or should you just bail?). However, we should be asking ourselves whether we have any beliefs that have killed other people? Were those beliefs worth dying for?