Ah, skipped too many weeks, so many links.
Why competitive advantages die (complacency)
The benchmark is "my family are alive, safe and healthy" - everything else is a luxury.
More men cook now, which means more cooking gadgets
Software eats the world
"Perpetual" clock, so far
Spend less than you earn
Perception is reality
Profile of Nathan Myhrvold
Profile of Donald Glover
Berkshire Hathaway 2017 Annual Letter to Shareholders
How we learn
Boondoggles with Harvard's endowment
Ellen Pompeo on her career growth
The right kind of hedge fund
Really great tape
Trump in Davos
Bill Belichick + Nick Saban are friends!
Re: Jordan Peterson
Compelling take on the rule of law
Lessons from Phil Knight (Nike)
Compelling take on modern finance theory
Profile of D.E. Shaw (black t-shirts + cargo shorts)
Future of bananas at risk
We care so much about fresh but never apply it to spices
Netflix not only recommends shows, but selects cover art based on what you're most likely to click
Growth mindset in action
Dolphins are really smart (2003) via Julia Galef
Swiss Central Bank is doing OK
Many, many things I didn't know about Sammy Hagar
Penn Station is pretty, pretty bad
Variable rewards are powerful
What matters when you're buying eggs
African immigrants are great via Marginal Revolution
This book is true to it's name - it is in my pantheon and will join Meditations, Lessons of History and How To Win Friends and Influence People as the books I would give any high school graduate looking to better themselves. Filled with great summaries of cognitive fallacies and biases, math, physics and systems thinking - a fantastic overview of models and concepts that can be applied throughout life to great benefit.
A few favorite passages (quoted directly from the book):
- Warren Buffett says on being informed of bad news: "We only give a couple of instructions to people when they go work for us: One is to think like an owner. And the second is to tell us bad news immediately - because good news takes care of itself. We can take bad news, but we don't like it late."
- From Charles Munger: "I've gotten so that I now use a kind of two-track analysis. First, what are the factors that really govern the interests involved, rationally considered? And second, what are the subconscious influences where the brain at a subconscious level is automatically doing these things - which by and large are useful, but which often misfunction. One approach is rationality - the way you'd work out a bridge problem: by evaluating the real interests, the real probabilities and so forth. And the other is to evaluate the psychological factors that cause subconscious conclusions - many of which are wrong."
- Charles Munger tells us about the Navy model - a rule with net benefits: "If you're a captain in the Navy and you've been up for 24 hours straight and have to go to sleep and you turn the ship over to a competent first mate in tough conditions and he takes the ship aground - clearly through no fault of yours - they don't court martial you, but your naval career is over. Napoleon said he liked luckier generals - he wasn't into supporting losers. Well, the Navy likes luckier captains. [...] It doesn't matter whether it was your fault or not. Nobody is interesting in your fault. It's just a rule we happen to have - for the good of all, all effects considered. [...] Considering the net benefit, I don't care if one captain has some unfairness in his life. After all, it's not like he's being court marshaled. He just has to look for a new line of work.
I have not read a lot of literary fiction, but that said, East of Eden will stick with me and is one of the best books I've ever read, in that genre or otherwise. Steinbeck strikes a balance between the concise style of Hemingway and Cormac McCarthy (which I love) and the more typically wordy language you find in most literary fiction (which I like much less) and overall it was very enjoyable to read. I pushed through the first 20% (which in hindsight did a great job setting up everything else) and the rest was easy. I think most people will find this book deep and thought-provoking, which appears to have been his intention. I would recommend to anyone (probably most relevant to people that grew up in America vs. elsewhere), though I think people would appreciate it the most after their twenties, when they've gotten over any teen angst and early twenties naivete, and become more attuned to the reality of the world. Towards the end, provides as perfect a description of Americans as you could find.
A spartan lifestyle in rural Maine
Things you didn't know about Kendrick Lamar
Misdirection the mainstream press employs about the new tax bill
You're not thinking outside the box
Cajun navies everywhere
Computer teaches itself chess in a day and has the best moves, but not so fast
The hot hand is real
Invert, always invert
Index funds rule the world, except for the stocks they ignore
52 interesting things this person learned
Conventional wisdom on Japan is wrong
Student loans are the real bubble
The Amazon machine