Thursday, December 14, 2017

Links

GMO's Q3 2017 Letter (LINK)
The 3Q2017 GMO Quarterly Letter features Ben Inker’s “What Happened to Inflation? And What Happens If It Comes Back?” and Jeremy Grantham’s “Career Risk and Stalin’s Pension Fund: Investing in a World of Overpriced Assets”
Bitcoin: Currency of the Future or Investment Mania? Bill Miller’s Transformative Innovation Case (video) (LINK)

CNBC's full interview with Stanley Druckenmiller (LINK)

What’s Eating Bill Ackman? [H/T Daniel] (LINK)

How I Built This Podcast: Live Episode! Black Entertainment Television: Robert Johnson (LINK)

a16z Podcast: Scaling Healthcare (LINK)

The Knowledge Project Podcast -- Warren Berger: Improve Your Life by Improving Your Questions (LINK)

Are You a Listener or a Reader? (LINK)
Related book: Management Challenges for the 21st Century - by Peter F. Drucker
40 Years Later, Some Survivors of the First Ebola Outbreak Are Still Immune - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Links

10 Questions for Todd Combs [H/T Market Folly] (LINK)

Inside Texas’s largest furniture store [H/T @NicoleFriedman] (LINK)

Ray Dalio on Bitcoin (LINK) [This video was a clip from the Milken conference a few weeks ago, of which you can find more videos from that event, as well as last week's London event, HERE. The full Conversation between Ray Dalio and Michael Milken is HERE.]

Mark Cuban In Conversation With Kyle Bass | Real Vision Video (LINK)

The implosion in digital media. What are the implications? (LINK)

A New Kind of Soft Battery, Inspired by the Electric Eel - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Turning Piglets Into Personalized Avatars for Sick Kids - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Book of the day [H/T @farnamstreet]: A Crack in Creation: Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power to Control Evolution

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Links

Jim Simons, the Numbers King (LINK)
Algorithms made him a Wall Street billionaire. His new research center helps scientists mine data for the common good.
Disney and Fox - by Ben Thompson (LINK)

Stan Druckenmiller on CNBC (video) (LINK)

The Force Behind Bitcoin’s Meteoric Rise: Millions of Asian Investors ($) (LINK)

Invest Like the Best Podcast: World Without Mind, w/ Franklin Foer (LINK)

Grant’s Podcast: Is China a Ponzi scheme? (LINK) [This starts off discussing The Steinhoff Saga, which was also mentioned by Druckenmiller, and worth listening to.]

Tribe of Mentors Podcast: Jocko Willink - Discipline Equals Freedom (LINK)
Related book: Discipline Equals Freedom
The drip - Seth Godin (LINK)
Change, real change, is the result of focused persistence. 
It's easy to get a bunch of people sort of excited for a little while. 
The challenging part, and the reason that change doesn't happen as often as it should is that we get distracted. Today's urgent is more urgent than yesterday's important. 
The concept of breaking news and the crisis of the day proves my point. If the world ended every time Wolf Blitzer implied it would, we would have been toast a long time ago. The organizations that actually change things are the ones that have a time horizon that's longer than 36 hours. 
There are very few overnight successes. Very few entrepreneurs, freelancers, non-profits, candidates, spiritual leaders, activists or people in a successful relationship that got there with thunder and lighting. It happens with a drip.
TED Talk: Adventures of an interplanetary architect | Xavier De Kestelier (LINK)

TED Talk: Lessons from a solar storm chaser | Miho Janvier (LINK)

Matt Ridley on the BBC's Blue Planet II (LINK)

Stopping the Rise of Superbugs by Making Them Fight For Food - by Ed Yong (LINK)

The Wasp That Paints Its Nursery In Bacteria - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Geminids 2017: How to See One of the Year's Best Meteor Showers (LINK)

Monday, December 11, 2017

Links

A couple of complementary articles with some timeless comments worth revisiting: 1) Benjamin Graham, the Human Brain, and the Bubble - by Jason Zweig; 2) Warren Buffett brilliantly explains how bubbles are formed

Index Funds Rule the World, But Should They Rule You? - by Jason Zweig (LINK)

Benoit Mandelbrot’s Ideas about Investing and Markets (Made as Simple as Possible, but not Simpler). - by Tren Griffin (LINK)
Related book: The Misbehavior of Markets
The Motley Fool Interviews Trupanion Founder and CEO Darryl Rawlings [H/T @Connor_Leonard] (LINK)

Ken Chenault's Parting Warning: Banks Made Big Error on Payments [H/T Will] (LINK)

Jocko Willink On the Power of Discipline (LINK)
Related book: Discipline Equals Freedom
Recent a16z videos: 1) Decrypting Crypto: From Bitcoin and Blockchain to ICOs; 2) AI: What’s Working, What’s Not

Why do asteroids explode high in the atmosphere? (LINK)

Book of the day: The Friendly Orange Glow: The Untold Story of the PLATO System and the Dawn of Cyberculture

Friday, December 8, 2017

Links

"It has been my experience that there is no substitute for time where thinking is concerned. Why is it so? The answer seems to be that in many cases to think means to be able to allow the mind to stray from the task at hand. The mind must be able to be 'elsewhere.' This needs time." - Eric Hoffer

Peter Kiewit – The Story of Warren Buffett’s Mentor (LINK)
Related book: Intelligent Fanatics: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
Ray Dalio talks with Barry Ritholtz (podcast) (LINK)
Related book: Principles
The regulatory case against tech giants: What path will lawmakers choose? (LINK)

Scott Galloway on The James Altucher Show (podcast) (LINK)
Related book: The Four
Exponent Podcast: Episode 134 — Human Problems (LINK)

LinkedIn co-founder and Greylock partner Reid Hoffman on the Recode Decode Podcast (LINK)

Steve Keen on the FT Alphachat Podcast (LINK)
Related book: Can We Avoid Another Financial Crisis? [For my thoughts on the book, see the bottom of THIS post.]
StarTalk Radio (podcast) -- Cosmic Queries: Mysterious Cosmology, with Sean Carroll (LINK)
Related book: The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself
How to Tell If a Dinosaur Is Fake - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Today's Audible Daily Deal ($0.99): On Power by Robert A. Caro

Curiosity and Observation

From Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson:
CURIOSITY AND OBSERVATION  
In addition to his instinct for discerning patterns across disciplines, Leonardo honed two other traits that aided his scientific pursuits: an omnivorous curiosity, which bordered on the fanatical, and an acute power of observation, which was eerily intense. Like much with Leonardo, these were interconnected. Any person who puts “Describe the tongue of the woodpecker” on his to-do list is overendowed with the combination of curiosity and acuity.  
His curiosity, like that of Einstein, often was about phenomena that most people over the age of ten no longer puzzle about: Why is the sky blue? How are clouds formed? Why can our eyes see only in a straight line? What is yawning? Einstein said he marveled about questions others found mundane because he was slow in learning to talk as a child. For Leonardo, this talent may have been connected to growing up with a love of nature while not being overly schooled in received wisdom. 
...His curiosity was aided by the sharpness of his eye, which focused on things that the rest of us glance over.... The acuteness of his observational skill was not some superpower he possessed. Instead, it was a product of his own effort. That’s important, because it means that we can, if we wish, not just marvel at him but try to learn from him by pushing ourselves to look at things more curiously and intensely. 
In his notebook, he described his method—almost like a trick—for closely observing a scene or object: look carefully and separately at each detail. He compared it to looking at the page of a book, which is meaningless when taken in as a whole and instead needs to be looked at word by word. Deep observation must be done in steps: “If you wish to have a sound knowledge of the forms of objects, begin with the details of them, and do not go on to the second step until you have the first well fixed in memory.”

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Links

Bill Gates: Holiday Reading 2017 (video) (LINK)
The books: 1) Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City; 2) The Sympathizer; 3) The Best We Could Do; 4) Energy and Civilization: A History; 5) Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens
Howard Marks at the Goldman Sachs US Financial Services Conference (LINK)
Everybody who manages money has to end up somewhere on the spectrum between cautious and aggressive, and I don't see any encouragement for aggressiveness today. I'm not worried about missing opportunities today. I'm worried about losing money. And so in my opinion, that calls for caution. Not out of the market. Oaktree's mantra is and has been for a while move forward but with caution. Move forward means make investments. We're not terrified. We're not hesitant to make investments. We are, in most of our accounts, we are fully invested, but with caution. And we are a cautious firm, so that means more caution than usual. And fully invested with caution has actually been a good posture for the last several years. You look at last year, you look at this year, I think that in both years, the returns have come as a surprise. So the point is, we would've had a somewhat higher return if we hadn't been cautious, but our caution gave us the courage to be fully invested, which was the right thing.
Howard Marks says tax cut won't trickle down 'too much' to regular worker (LINK)

Muddy Waters Shorts OSI Systems on Bribery Concerns (video) (LINK)

How To Read Financial News - by Morgan Housel (LINK)

Mary Hull – One of the First Female Intelligent Fanatics - by Sean Iddings (LINK)

Andrew Lo on the Odd Lots Podcast (LINK)
Related book: Adaptive Markets: Financial Evolution at the Speed of Thought
Grant’s Podcast: Value Hunt (LINK)

Freakonomics Radio (podcast): Why Is the Live-Event Ticket Market So Screwed Up? (LINK)

Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman (podcast): Infinite Learner (Part I) — with IAC's Barry Diller (LINK)

Benedict Evans presentation: 10 Year Futures (vs. What's Happening Now) (video) (LINK)
This autumn I gave the keynote at Andreessen Horowitz's annual 'Tech Summit' conference, talking about the state of tech today and what's likely to happen in the next decade: mobile, Google / Apple / Facebook / Amazon, innovation, machine learning, autonomous cars, mixed reality and crypto-currencies. 
Max Tegmark: "Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of AI" | Talks at Google (LINK)

Apparently This Is What a Swimming Dinosaur Looks Like - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

François Rochon: "The Art of Investing: Analyzing Numbers and Going Beyond" | Talks at Google


Link to video

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Related link: Giverny Capital Letters To Partners

Practice and theory...

“Those who are in love with practice without theoretical knowledge are like the sailor who goes onto a ship without rudder or compass and who never can be certain whither he is going.... Practice must always be founded on sound theory.” - Leonardo da Vinci

(Source)

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Related previous post: Clayton Christensen and Charlie Munger on theory

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Links

Maker vs. Manager: How Your Schedule Can Make or Break You (LINK)

While he thinks it's possible though not probable, Thomas Peterffy warns that Bitcoin futures could cause a Lehman-style collapse [H/T Will] (LINK)

SEC Halts a Silly Initial Coin Offering (LINK)

Invest Like the Best Podcast: A Sober View on Crypto, with Adam Ludwin (LINK)

The Pollyannish Assumption - by Ben Thompson (LINK)

Matt Ridley‏ on the perils of confirmation bias (2012) (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)

The Desirability of Storytellers - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Book of the day [H/T @stevenbjohnson]: The Woman Who Smashed Codes