Saturday, December 5, 2015
What made him special was his insatiable curiosity about inventions. He began to read every new patent issued. "You read everything - that's part of the job," he said. "You accumulate all this trivia, and you hope that someday maybe a millionth of it will be useful."
-as written about Jack Kilby (who won a Nobel Prize in physics in 2000) in Walter Isaacson's The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
.................................................your understanding of physics?
Then check out Theories of Everything, Mapped. It is very cool.
"In ideologies there is not Jesus: in his tenderness, his love, his meekness. And ideologies are rigid, always. Of every sign: rigid. And when a Christian becomes a disciple of the ideology, he has lost his faith: he is no longer a disciple of Jesus, he is a disciple of this attitude of thought."
-Pope Francis, as excerpted from this read-worthy homily
Friday, December 4, 2015
William Shakespeare was born into a world that was short of people and struggled to keep those it had. In 1564 England had a population of between three million and five million - much less than three hundred years earlier, when plague began to take a continuous, heavy toll. Now the number of living Britons was actually in retreat. The previous decade had seen a fall in population nationally of about 6 percent. In London as many as a quarter of the citizenry may have perished.
But plague was only the beginning of England's deathly woes. The embattled populace also faced constant danger from tuberculosis, measles, rickets, scurvy, two types of small pox (confluent and hemorrhagic), scrofula, dysentery, and a vast amorphous array of fluxes and fevers - tertian fever, quartian fever, puerperal fever, ship's fever, quotidian fever, spotted fever - as well as "frenzies," "foul evils," and other peculiar maladies of vague and numerous type. These were, of course, no respecters of rank. Queen Elizabeth herself was nearly carried off by smallpox in 1562, two years before William Shakespeare was born.
-Bill Bryson, Shakespeare: The World as Stage
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
-Teddy Roosevelt, as excerpted from this speech delivered at the Sorbonne in 1910.
This quote was brought to mind by this post about the $20 Billion real estate development project at the Hudson Yards in Manhattan. Breathtaking vision combined with incredible ambition. Do scroll through it.
Twenty-three other images, some of which may have had some bearing on your faithful blogger's mostly successful college career.
Thursday, December 3, 2015
................................................may be as simple as this:
Sing along with Alfred E. Neuman here
Ben Carlson opines that the "Millennials" may be better than advertised:
"They’re entrepreneurial. They have great ideas. They want to make things better. They want to work with the right people. And they want to be able to go to bed at night with a clear conscience."
I'm guessing (and at the same time, hoping) he is correct.
"Living things tend to change unrecognizably as they grow. Who would deduce the dragonfly from the larva, the iris from the bud, the lawyer from the infant? Flora or fauna, we are all shape-shifters and magical reinventors. Life is really a plural noun, a caravan of selves."
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
“Taking a break. Been working solid for the last few hours, as opposed to working liquid, which is more drinkable. Can I pour you a glass of productivity?”
“Work. Don't Think. Relax.”
“Relax and be free. You don't have to prove anything.”
“The light music of whisky falling into glasses made an agreeable interlude.”
“Rest and peace should not be left until you're deceased. They are two vital life incredients everybody needs and seeks.”
“Your calm mind is the ultimate weapon against your challenges. So relax.”
"The time to relax is when you don't have time for it."
.....................................always bet on the optimist. Primarily because of their faith in human ingenuity. Bill Gates is willing to make a rather large bet on that ingenuity. God gave us fertile brains. For the past eight hundred or so years, we have been using those brains to consistently invent a new world. Would you bet against it happening again? Not me.
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
"It's not complicated. Ben Graham did it. Ben Franklin did it. And nothing could be more simple than to try and figure out what you find admirable and then decide that the person you really would like to admire is yourself. And the only way you're going to do it is to take on the qualities of other people you admire."
"It's natural that you'd have more brains going into money management. There are so many huge incomes in money management and investment banking -- it's like ants to sugar. There are huge incentives for a man to take up money management as opposed to, say, physics, and it's a lot easier."
"I think it's inevitable but terrible -- a disaster for the wider civilization. I'm somewhat ashamed… That I've profited from being shrewd with money is not by itself satisfying to me. To atone, I teach and try to set an example. I would hate it if the example of my life caused people to pursue the passive ownership of pieces of paper. I think lives so spent are disastrous lives. I think it's a better career if you help build something. I wish I'd built more, but I was cursed at being so good at stock picking. 'The man is the prisoner of his talents.' You can laugh, but I'll bet this room is full of people who are prisoners of their talents. It tends to be the human condition."
-Charlie Munger, as excerpted from here
..............at Princeton University certainly is interesting to watch. Us history majors know several things for certain; one is that context matters, another is that humans have the demonstrated capacity for tremendous good, as well as tremendous evil. Sometimes even within the same individual. It is not something we should forget.
If you are new to the story, this post from The American Interest is a decent starting point.
So in this sense, life is not like a novel. It’s not a movie. It’s a mess.
Unfiltered by social media, life is real. It is what it is.
It is also awesome.
We’ve just forgotten.
-as excerpted from this Ryan Holiday post on the "performance bias" of social media
Monday, November 30, 2015
Every person reading this today has access to more wealth than the last King of France did. An astounding array of choices, a bounty of available connections and emotions.
Don't let someone else scam you into being unhappy.
-Seth Godin, as excerpted from here
.............................of investing can be found here.
Like the original, there are eight saying "thou shall not" and only two saying "thou shall." From the cheap seats, it strikes me the two most important investing commandments are:
1. Just do it; and,
2. Start doing it as early as possible.
"The problem isn’t that life is unfair – it’s your broken idea of fairness." Oliver Emberton challenges us to re-think our notions of "fairness" and to align ourselves with how the world really works. Full post is here. Fun drawings here:
He concludes: "Most of us get so hung up on how we think the world should work that we can’t see how it does. But facing that reality might just be the key to unlocking your understanding of the world, and with it, all of your potential."
If you are one of those folks who seek to understand why things are the way things are, and if you do not study up on "demographics," your understanding will likely be incomplete. One version of the tale may be found here. Enjoy.
The Who...............................................Please, Please, Please
Please, Please, Please was written (in part) by James Brown and released in 1956. Surely you want to watch a 1964 video of one of the all-time great performers in the history of performing sing his own song.
“Respect is sweeter when you earn it; you loose respect when you demand respect.”
“I’ve demanded of myself to be more demanding of others.”
A handy list of demands from our college campuses may be found here.
"Some people regard private enterprise as a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look on it as a cow they can milk. Not enough people see it as a healthy horse, pulling a sturdy wagon."
-attributed to Winston Churchill
Sunday, November 29, 2015
I’ve found that making fewer decisions is one of the most important things you can do as an investor because the brain can get tired and overworked just like any other muscle in the body. Decision fatigue is a huge cause of unnecessary risk and avoidable mistakes in the market.
-Ben Carlson, as excerpted from here
14. You will never time for anything. If you want time you must make it.
32. One meets his destiny often in the road he takes to avoid it.
52. Don’t worry about what other people think; they don’t do it very often.
76. When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.