Thursday, November 16, 2017

Links

"I have always thought that one man of tolerable abilities may work great changes, and accomplish great affairs among mankind if he first forms a good plan and, cutting off all amusements or other employments that would divert his attention, makes the execution of that same plan his sole study and business." - Ben Franklin

A Conversation with David Swensen [H/T @jasonzweigwsj] (LINK)
Related article: Yale's Swensen Sees Low Volatility as `Profoundly Troubling'
Lessons Learned from The Outsiders & How Intelligent Fanatics are Different (LINK)

Pension Actuaries: The Joke is On Us - by Rick Bookstaber (LINK)

Is the Business Cycle Dead, Or Just Hibernating? - by Frank Martin (LINK)

Why Sales Quotas Ruined Wells Fargo (LINK)

Will Amazon disrupt healthcare? (LINK)

Sebastian Junger: "Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging" | Talks at Google (LINK)

Long-lost da Vinci painting fetches $450.3 million, an auction record for art (LINK)

How the Zombie Fungus Takes Over Ants’ Bodies to Control Their Minds - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Life Without Guts - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Book of the day [H/T @jasonzweigwsj]: The Quotable Darwin

"I have steadily endeavoured to keep my mind free so to give up any hypothesis, however much beloved (and I cannot resist forming one on every subject), as soon as facts are shown to be opposed to it. Indeed, I have had no choice but to act in this manner, for with the exception of the Coral Reefs, I cannot remember a single first-formed hypothesis which had not after a time to be given up or greatly modified. This has naturally led me to distrust greatly deductive reasoning in the mixed sciences. On the other hand, I am not very sceptical,–a frame of mind which I believe to be injurious to the progress of science. A good deal of scepticism in a scientific man is advisable to avoid much loss of time, but I have met with not a few men, who, I feel sure, have often thus been deterred from experiment or observations, which would have proved directly or indirectly serviceable." - Charles Darwin

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Full Interview: Mark and Jeff Bezos

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and brother Mark give a rare interview about growing up and secrets to success


Link to video

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Related previous post: Jeff Bezos on multi-tasking

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Links

Asking the Right Questions (LINK)
The smaller the company and the more illiquid its currency, the more the investment process becomes an art and less of a science. Just like with any art form, whether it’s music, acting, painting, etc it just takes a lot of time and experience to do it well. The art of investing in small companies is evaluating management teams. If you don’t believe that management is important when investing in small companies like microcaps, just wait a little longer. You will.
The Generalized Specialist: How Shakespeare, Da Vinci, and Kepler Excelled (LINK)

The Rot That Lies Beneath Some Index Funds - by Jason Zweig (LINK)

Investors Playing ETF Rout Pushed Junk Bonds to Brink of Chaos [H/T Rick Bookstaber] (LINK)

Camouflage and dope in a Bull Market - by Sanjay Bakshi (LINK)

Kyle Bass predicts investors are getting ready to pour billions back into Greek economy (LINK)

Stitch Fix and the Senate - by Ben Thompson (LINK)

Robert Sapolsky Explains How Religious Beliefs Reduce Stress (article and video) (LINK)

Monday, November 13, 2017

Links

Changing the Culture at a Large Company (LINK)

Re-Reading Seth Klarman: Excerpts from 2 OID issues [H/T Linc] (LINK)

Isaac Newton Learned About Financial Gravity the Hard Way - by Jason Zweig (LINK)

Michael Lewis on Charlie Rose (video) (LINK)
Related article: "Inside Trump's Cruel Campaign Against the U.S.D.A.'s Scientists"
The 1990s Telecom Bubble. What Can We Learn? - by Tren Griffin (LINK)

Exponent Podcast: Episode 131 — Head-on is Hard (LINK)

Y Combinator Podcast: Tencent’s Chief eXploration Officer, David Wallerstein on WeChat, QQ, and Gaming (LINK)

Automotive News -- Bob Lutz: Kiss the good times goodbye (LINK)

Brian Grazer on The Tim Ferriss Show (podcast) (LINK)
Related book: A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life
Oliver Sacks on the Three Essential Elements of Creativity (LINK)
Related book: The River of Consciousness 
The Hipster Ninja Bats That Sneak Up on Their Prey - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Links

"An investor who has all the answers doesn't even understand all the questions. A know-it-all approach to investing will lead, probably sooner than later, to disappointment if not outright disaster. Even if you can identify an unchanging handful of investing principles, we cannot apply these rules to an unchanging universe of investments—or an unchanging economic and political environment. Everything is in a constant state of change and the wise investor recognizes that success is a process of continually seeing answers to new questions." -John Templeton

15 Questions to Ask Management Teams [H/T @iancassel] (LINK)

Are regional fulfillment centers the new U.S. job-creation engine? (LINK)

Bryan Cranston Gives Advice to the Young: Find Yourself by Traveling and Getting Lost (video) (LINK)

Carl Sagan on the Power of Books and Reading as the Path to Democracy (LINK)

"I conceive that pleasures are to be avoided if greater pains be the consequence, and pains to be coveted that will terminate in greater pleasures." -Michel de Montaigne

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Jeff Bezos on multi-tasking

I thought the comment below from the Jeff Bezos interview was important, especially given some of Charlie Munger's comments on multi-tasking over the last few years, so I wanted to highlight it separately in this post: 
On phone addiction and multi-tasking: Mark says his brother Jeff is surprisingly present, and rarely distracted by his phone. Jeff explains that “When I have dinner with friends or family, I like to be doing whatever I’m doing. I don’t like to multi-task. If I’m reading my email I want to be reading my email” with his full attention and energy. Jeff exhibited this resistance to multi-tasking early in life. At Montessori school, he’d refuse to move on to the next task as the day progressed, so the teacher would literally pick up him and his chair and move him to the next project. Instead of constantly switching back and forth, Jeff says he sequentially focuses. “I multi-task serially.” 

Links

Jeff Bezos’ guide to life [H/T @BrentBeshore] (LINK)

A Q&A with renowned investor Lou Simpson [H/T Market Folly] (LINK)

Buffett 1972 Letter to See’s Candies - by John Huber (LINK)

Never Do That Again - by Morgan Housel (LINK)

Steven Eisman presentation: Will Technology Prevent the Next Economic Bubble? (video) [H/T George] (LINK)

Will China Bring an Energy-Debt Crisis? (LINK)

Warren and Pamela Buffett give 'emotional' interview on cancer center for CBS (video plays) [H/T Linc] (LINK)

A Hedge Fund Pioneer Is Making Some of the Best Goat Cheese in America [H/T Jim] (LINK)

The Case of Wilbur Ross' Phantom $2 Billion (LINK)

Why AI Is the 'New Electricity' [H/T Linc] (LINK)

Tim O'Reilly on The Tim Ferriss Show (podcast) (LINK)
Related book: WTF?: What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us
Review of “The Square and The Tower” by Niall Ferguson (LINK)

Kids, Would You Please Start Fighting? - by Adam Grant (LINK)

Santa Fe Institute Community Lecture - Nick Lane - Energy and Matter at the Origin of Life (video) (LINK)
Related book: The Vital Question: Energy, Evolution, and the Origins of Complex Life
Washington, D.C., Is Home to America's Largest Collection of Parasites - by Ed Yong (LINK)

A Dying Boy Gets a New, Gene-Corrected Skin - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Links

Inside Trump's Cruel Campaign Against the U.S.D.A.'s Scientists - by Michael Lewis (LINK)

NPR Fresh Air podcast -- Michael Lewis: Many Trump Appointees Are Uninterested In The Agencies They Head Up (LINK)

Stop Bashing the Halo Effect, It’s Actually Good For You - by Sean Iddings (LINK)

Invest Like the Best podcast: Chris Burniske - How to Value a Cryptoasset (LINK)

"60 Minutes" (video): The 12-year-old prodigy whose "first language" is Mozart (LINK)

Oliver Sacks: A Journey From Where to Where (podcast) [H/T @brainpicker] (LINK)
Related book: The River of Consciousness 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Neil deGrasse Tyson With Walter Isaacson: What Makes a Genius.


Link to video

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Related book: Leonardo da Vinci

Links

Power Laws: How Nonlinear Relationships Amplify Results (LINK)

Can Fund Manager Bill Miller Use Earthquakes to Predict the Market? - by Jason Zweig (LINK)

Ray Dalio on the Recode Decode podcast (LINK)
Related book: Principles: Life and Work
Apple at Its Best - by Ben Thompson (LINK)

Detroit: From Motor City to Housing Incubator [H/T @morganhousel] (LINK)

Dennis Rasmussen on EconTalk discussing his book The Infidel and the Professor: David Hume, Adam Smith, and the Friendship That Shaped Modern Thought (podcast) (LINK)

Dinosaur mass-extinction let mammals come out in the day (LINK)

The Elegant Mathematics of Vitruvian Man, Leonardo da Vinci’s Most Famous Drawing: An Animated Introduction (LINK)

If you're an Audible member, my favorite audiobook so far this year, Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage, is free for today only as part of Audible's 20th anniversary celebration.

Quote of the day (the book was first published in April 2007, so this was likely written sometime in the 2006-early 2007 timeframe):
“Likewise, dictatorships that do not appear volatile, like, say, Syria or Saudi Arabia, face a larger risk of chaos than, say, Italy, as the latter has been in a state of continual political turmoil since the second war. I learned about this problem from the finance industry, in which we see “conservative” bankers sitting on a pile of dynamite but fooling themselves because their operations seem dull and lacking in volatility.” –Nassim Taleb, The Black Swan