Monday, October 24, 2016


As I catch up on readings from while I was away, the nicest surprise for me was certainly Peter Bevelin's interview over at Farnam Street. Most of the readers of this blog have probably read it by now, but it was the first interview Peter has done since the interview he did here in 2009 and, as expected, it was full of insight. While the interview is full of wisdom, one answer that especially stood out to me, and that I plan to look at frequently as a reminder from the wise, was the answer on filters, a topic I've mentioned here several times before:
And as the years have passed, I’ve found that filters are a great way to save time and misery. As Buffett says, “I process information very quickly since I have filters in my mind.” And they have to be simple – as the proverb says, “Beware of the door that has too many keys.” The more complicated a process is, the less effective it is.
Related to that topic, and in the same interview answer, Peter mentioned a great quote from Richard Feynman:
“A great deal of formulation work is done in writing the paper, organizational work, organization. I think of a better way, a better way, a better way of getting there, of proving it. I never do much — I mean, it’s just cleaner, cleaner and cleaner. It’s like polishing a rough-cut vase. The shape, you know what you want and you know what it is. It’s just polishing it. Get it shined, get it clean, and everything else.”
That quote about perfectly summarizes the process of refining the file of thoughts and reminders I mentioned at the end of a post on fundamentals, and the process of refining the memory palaces I mentioned in the post on memortation. And in the end, it summarizes the progress one makes in continuing to refine both one's investment and overall life philosophies as well. 


Now onto the rest of the links...

Walter Isaacson sits down with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, number one on Vanity Fair's New Establishment List (video) (LINK) ["The thing for companies is you need to be nimble and robust. So you need to be able to take a punch, and you also need to be quick and innovative and doing new things at a high speed. That's the best defense against the future. And you have to always be leaning into the future. If you're leaning away from the future, the future is going to win every time. Never, ever, ever lean away from the future."]

Essay from Michael Mauboussin et al. - Capital Allocation: Evidence, Analytical Methods, and Assessment Guidance (LINK)

The Motley Fool talks with Michael Mauboussin (LINK)

25iq: A Dozen Things I’ve Learned about Multi-sided Markets (Platforms) - by Tren Griffin (LINK)

Bill Gates on Warren, Bridge, Business Analysis and Tennis (LINK)

In Rare Interview, Ted Weschler Says He Likes Apple’s "Subscription Element" (LINK)

The $108 Billion Man Who Has Beaten the Market - by Jason Zweig (LINK)

Buffett’s Three Categories of Returns on Capital (LINK)

How Did Walmart Get Cleaner Stores and Higher Sales? It Paid Its People More [H/T @TheSovaGroup] (LINK)
Related quotes (from several years ago I believe): 
“We pay much better than Wal-Mart. That’s not altruism. It’s good business.” –Jim Sinegal, Costco 
“Our attitude has always been that if you hire good people and provide good wages and good jobs and more than that—if you provide careers—that good things will happen to your company.” –Jim Sinegal, Costco
FT Alphachat podcast: The life of Alan Greenspan (LINK)
Related book: The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan - by Sebastian Mallaby
Horizon Kinetics: 3rd Quarter 2016 Commentary (LINK)

An Insight from Allan Mecham on Understanding Industrial Distribution Companies (LINK)

The Knowledge Project podcast Episode 13: Morgan Housel on Investing and Life (LINK)

Real Vision TV audio replay of a conversation with Kyle Bass, which originally aired on July 1, 2016 (LINK)

The IT Era and the Internet Revolution - by Ben Thompson (LINK)

Exponent podcast Episode 093: The Disruption of Everything (LINK)

Video: Jordan Ellenberg on the power of uncertainty and contradiction (LINK)
Related book: How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking
The World's Happiest Man Wishes You Wouldn't Call Him That [H/T @safalniveshak] (LINK)
Related book: Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill
Released last week, one of those books I'm most excited to start reading this week: The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living