Monday, April 10, 2017


"Nature smiles at the union of freedom and equality in our utopias. For freedom and equality are sworn and everlasting enemies, and when one prevails the other dies. Leave men free, and their natural inequalities will multiply almost geometrically, as in England and America in the nineteenth century under laissez-faire. To check the growth of inequality, liberty must be sacrificed, as in Russia after 1917. Even when repressed, inequality grows; only the man who is below the average in economic ability desires equality; those who are conscious of superior ability desire freedom; and in the end superior ability has its way. Utopias of equality are biologically doomed, and the best that the amiable philosopher can hope for is an approximate equality of legal justice and educational opportunity. A society in which all potential abilities are allowed to develop and function will have a survival advantage in the competition of groups." -Will and Ariel Durant (The Lessons of History)

I'm a week late to a couple of thought-provoking reads from last week; the second of which I was waiting to link to until I tracked down the paragraph above: 1) PHILOSOPHICAL ECONOMICS: Diversification, Adaptation, and Stock Market Valuation; 2) The 1 Percent Rule: Why a Few People Get Most of the Rewards - By James Clear

The second article above also reminded me some wisdom from Peter Kaufman, as told via the East Coast Asset Management Q4 2014 letter:
I highlighted last quarter that Peter Kaufman, Editor of Poor Charlie’s Almanac and CEO of Glenair, presented an important insight during a talk to our Security Analysis class last fall. Peter shared his belief that there is one principle that explains the progress of inorganic (physical universe - compounding), organic (biology - evolution) and human systems (human achievement). He concluded the answer was Dogged Incremental Progress Over A Long Period of Time
Why Your Financial Adviser Can’t Be Conflict Free - by Jason Zweig (LINK)

When Warren Met Jorge Paulo: Buffett and Lemann Recall Their First Deal [H/T Matt] (LINK)

Grant's Podcast -- Episode 7: Free speech for bears (audio plays) (LINK)
Marc Cohodes, famed short seller, shares his approach to investing and a few actionable ideas with Grant’s.
How I Built This podcast -- Instacart: Apoorva Mehta (LINK)

Bill Gurley on This Week in Startups (audio/video) [H/T @trengriffin] (LINK)

The Walt Mossberg Brand - by Ben Thompson (LINK)

Scott Adams on the Art of Charm podcast (LINK)

To Be a Genius, Think Like a 94-Year-Old [H/T @maxolson] (LINK)
When I asked him about his late-­life success, he said: “Some of us are turtles; we crawl and struggle along, and we haven’t maybe figured it out by the time we’re 30. But the turtles have to keep on walking.” This crawl through life can be advantageous, he pointed out, particularly if you meander around through different fields, picking up clues as you go along. Dr. Goodenough started in physics and hopped sideways into chemistry and materials science, while also keeping his eye on the social and political trends that could drive a green economy. “You have to draw on a fair amount of experience in order to be able to put ideas together,” he said.
Book of the day (recommended by Bill Gurley his interview above): Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure