Friday, March 16, 2018


"When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it." -Henry Ford [H/T @vitaliyk]

Amazon Strategy Teardown [H/T Market Folly] (LINK)

Why America needs to invest in its future: Lessons from the U.S. steel industry’s demise (LINK)

Jeremy Grantham on the [i3] Podcast [H/T Abnormal Returns] (LINK)

Adventures in Finance Podcast -- Commercial Break: What the Ad industry’s struggles say about the economy (LINK)

Exponent Podcast: Episode 145 — Qualcomm, Patents, and Innovation (LINK)

The Predictable March of Corpse-Eating Microbes - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Book of the day [H/T @vitaliyk]: The Virgin Banker: My Life in Finance - by Jayne-Anne Gadhia

Thursday, March 15, 2018


U.S. Airline Industry: A Rorschach Test for Investors (LINK)

Ironies of Luck - by Morgan Housel (LINK)

The Man Behind the DC Rainmaker Gear-Review Empire [H/T @pkedrosky] (LINK)

Contract Interpretation 2.0: Not Winner-Take-All But Best-Tool-For-The-Job - by Lawrence Cunningham (LINK)
To illuminate its importance and value — call it contract interpretation 2.0 — this Essay turns to Warren Buffett’s contracting philosophy and practices. The famous investor and businessman is also a polyglot teacher, and his approach to contracts, especially acquisition agreements and employment arrangements, illustrates the imperative of using the right tool for the job.
Audit transparency disclosures give investors new tools [H/T @jciesielski] (LINK)

What a psychiatrist learned from 87,000 brain scans (video) (LINK)

Daniel Amen: "The Brain's Warrior Way" | Talks at Google (LINK)

An Older Origin for Complex Human Cultures - by Ed Yong (LINK)

A Twist in Our Sexual Encounters With Other Ancient Humans - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Why Earth's History Appears So Miraculous - by Peter Brannen (LINK)

No, space did not permanently alter 7 percent of Scott Kelly’s DNA (LINK)
Scientists studying Scott found that much of his gene expression changed while in space, and about 93 percent of his expression levels went back to normal when he got home. However, 7 percent of his genes related to the immune system, DNA repair, bone formation, and more were still a little out of whack when he returned. These genes are referred to as the “space genes,” according to NASA. 
That’s still a cool result, but it doesn’t mean his genetic code is significantly different. “To have 7 percent of his gene expression changed after the spaceflight does not mean that 7 percent of the DNA changed, or that those changes were necessarily due to mutations,” Nichole Holm, a geneticist at UC Davis who did not work on the Twins Study, wrote to The Verge in an email.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


"One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don't throw it away." -Stephen Hawking

The Power of Detachment (LINK)
Piramal Enterprises has the rare distinction of generating annualized shareholder return of 30% over 29 years till 2017. And the architect behind this stunning performance is Ajay Piramal.
Theranos and Silicon Valley's 'Fake It Till You Make It' Culture (LINK)

Billionaire Raises His Bet on Containerships (LINK)

Not a Single Japanese 10-Year Bond Traded Tuesday (LINK)

WorkLife with Adam Grant (podcast): The Team of Humble Narcissists (LINK)

Jordan Peterson on taking responsibility for your life (video) (LINK)
Related book: 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos
What a Giant Soda Stream Reveals About the Fate of Corals - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Stephen Hawking (1942–2018) (LINK)

The Universe and Beyond, with Stephen Hawking [aired 10 days ago] (video) (LINK)
This year’s season finale of StarTalk on National Geographic TV was Neil deGrasse Tyson's interview with Stephen Hawking. In memory of his passing, and in celebration of his life, we offer that episode for you here, now, commercial free.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


Elon Musk's interview at SXSW 2018 (video) (LINK)

Qualcomm, National Security, and Patents - by Ben Thompson (LINK)

Bill Gates chats with Jorge Aguilar, the superintendent of the Sacramento City United School District (LINK)

The Knowledge Project Podcast -- Company Culture, Collaboration and Competition: A Discussion With Margaret Heffernan (LINK)

Invest Like the Best Podcast: World After Capital, with Albert Wenger (LINK)

How Psychopaths See the World - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Monday, March 12, 2018


"I'm curious. I want to know how things work. And even more importantly, I want to know what's going to happen. And what's going to happen is often related to what has happened." -Seth Klarman

BPIAA 2017 Distinguished Alumni Honoree Video: Seth & Michael Klarman [H/T ValueWalk] (LINK)

3 Tips from Warren Buffett on Becoming a Better Person (LINK)

Half Life: The Decay of Knowledge and What to Do About It (LINK)

Latticework of Mental Models: Benford’s Law (LINK)

Making it Look Easy is Hard Work - by Ben Carlson (LINK)

The Best and Worst Performing Stocks Since the March 2009 Start of this Historic Bull Market [H/T Abnormal Returns] (LINK)

Audience vs. Traffic - by Scott Galloway (video) (LINK)

The Quest to Bring 3-D Printed Homes to the Developing World [H/T Linc] (LINK)

Britain's housing crisis is caused by the wrong kind of regulation - by Matt Ridley (LINK)

Freakonomics Radio Extra: Satya Nadella Full Interview (LINK)

Three Key Questions About Donald Trump’s Summit with Kim Jong Un - by Evan Osnos (LINK)

Supervolcano Goes Boom. Humans Go Meh? - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Saturday, March 10, 2018

What made Leonardo da Vinci a genius?

From Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson:
What made Leonardo a genius, what set him apart from people who are merely extraordinarily smart, was creativity, the ability to apply imagination to intellect. His facility for combining observation with fantasy allowed him, like other creative geniuses, to make unexpected leaps that related things seen to things unseen. “Talent hits a target that no one else can hit,” wrote the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. “Genius hits a target no one else can see.” Because they “think different,” creative masterminds are sometimes considered misfits, but in the words that Steve Jobs helped craft for an Apple advertisement, “While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do. 
What also distinguished Leonardo’s genius was its universal nature. The world has produced other thinkers who were more profound or logical, and many who were more practical, but none who was as creative in so many different fields. Some people are geniuses in a particular arena, such as Mozart in music and Euler in math. But Leonardo’s brilliance spanned multiple disciplines, which gave him a profound feel for nature’s patterns and crosscurrents. His curiosity impelled him to become among the handful of people in history who tried to know all there was to know about everything that could be known. 
There have been, of course, many other insatiable polymaths, and even the Renaissance produced other Renaissance Men. But none painted the Mona Lisa, much less did so at the same time as producing unsurpassed anatomy drawings based on multiple dissections, coming up with schemes to divert rivers, explaining the reflection of light from the earth to the moon, opening the still-beating heart of a butchered pig to show how ventricles work, designing musical instruments, choreographing pageants, using fossils to dispute the biblical account of the deluge, and then drawing the deluge. Leonardo was a genius, but more: he was the epitome of the universal mind, one who sought to understand all of creation, including how we fit into it.

Friday, March 9, 2018


The Greatest Mentor-Mentee Relationship Ever - by Ian Cassel (LINK)
Related book: Edison As I Know Him - by Henry Ford
Buybacks & the Instant Gratification of Financial Engineering - by Frank Martin (LINK)

Amazon's Checking Account Push Shows Next Target: Swipe Fees [H/T Matt] (LINK)

Adventures in Finance Podcast: Blue Steel: Tariffs, Trade and Trump (LINK)
Related books: 1) The Accidental Superpower; 2)  The Absent Superpower
Jim Grant on the Macro Voices Podcast [The Grant segment starts around the 14-minute mark] (LINK)

Exponent Podcast: Episode 144 — 90s Alt Forever (LINK)

Wei’s Wisdom: How to read broadly (LINK)

Book of the day (to be released next month): The Warren Buffett Shareholder: Stories from inside the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting


"Most of economics is perceived to be incentives and disincentives. So, skin in the game would be to incentivize people if they do well, and also disincentivize them. But that's not it. No. Skin in the game for me is about filtering. It's evolution. You cannot have evolution if you don't have skin in the game. In other words, you are filtering people out of the system. And I give the example of bad drivers. Now, why is it that on a highway, when I drive on a highway, you don't, I don't really encounter people who are, you know, go tapioca and drive crazily, kill 30 people? Why doesn't it happen? Well, it doesn't happen because bad drivers kill themselves. Partly because they kill themselves, and also partly because, okay, we catch them....we filter them out of the system by taking away their driver's license. And we're good at doing that, for those who have survived. So...this is filtering. Filtering is necessary for the functioning of nature. Necessary for the functioning of anything. And that's called evolution." -Nassim Taleb (Source)

Thursday, March 8, 2018


Ideas That Changed My Life - by Morgan Housel (LINK)

Bill Miller on Philosophy: An Interview (LINK)

The Tim Ferriss Show (podcast): Joe Gebbia -- Co-Founder of Airbnb (LINK)

Freakonomics Radio (podcast): Here’s Why All Your Projects Are Always Late — and What to Do About It (LINK)

A star is about to plunge head first toward a monster black hole. Astronomers are ready to watch. - by Phil Plait (LINK)

Leopards that live in cities are protecting people from rabies (LINK)

Hawaii: Where Evolution Can Be Surprisingly Predictable - by Ed Yong (LINK)


"He who fears death will never do anything worthy of a man who is alive, but he who knows that these were the terms drawn up for him at the moment of his conception will live according to the bond, and at the same time will also with like strength of mind guarantee that none of the things that happen shall be unexpected. For by looking forward to whatever can happen as though it would happen, he will soften the attacks of all ills, which bring nothing strange to those who have been prepared beforehand and are expecting them; it is the unconcerned and those that expect nothing but good fortune upon whom they fall heavily. Sickness comes, captivity, disaster, conflagration, but none of them is unexpected — I always knew in what disorderly company Nature had confined me." -Seneca, "On Tranquility of Mind" 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018


"You don't necessarily get it right the first time.... Henry Ford, as you may know, failed twice before he started the Ford Motor Company in 1903. The test isn't whether you get the greatest business idea in the world the first time out. The test is whether you keep learning as you go along what your strengths are, what you can do for your customers, what you can bring especially to the party. And to do that, you need...a genuine desire—day in, day out—to delight the customer." -Warren Buffett

The Micro PE Reality Check - by Brent Beshore (LINK)

Latticework of Mental Models: Thinking From First Principles (LINK)

Pretenders and Ghosts: Stealth promotion network exploits financial sites to tout stocks (LINK)

KPMG Acts Globally But Keeps Scandals Local ($) (LINK)

Masters of Scale Podcast: How To Do Good And Do Good Business with Starbucks' Howard Schultz (LINK) [The Schultz part really starts around the 11:40 mark.]

People Don't Actually Know Themselves Very Well - by Adam Grant (LINK)

Everyone Is Going Through Something - by Kevin Love (LINK)

What tennis and philanthropy have in common - By Roger Federer  (LINK)

The Fish That Makes Other Fish Smarter - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Do Adult Brains Make New Neurons? A Contentious New Study Says No - by Ed Yong (LINK)
It’s the latest chapter in a century-long debate about whether neurogenesis continues throughout humans’ lives.

Warren Buffett - Advice for Entrepreneurs

February 13th, 2018: Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway CEO, talked about his personal experience in business and gave advice to small business owners.

Link to video

[H/T Vishal]

[And for members of the Intelligent Fanatics website, there is also a transcript of this talk HERE.]