What I have Been Reading January 2019

A few weeks ago, I published a post titled ‘What I learnt in 2018’. It was a collection of articles and stories I found interesting over the course of last year. Subsequent to this post, a number of readers emailed me to request doing a similar style of post on a regular basis.

As such I have decided to do monthly posts on what I have been reading. Find below extracts from posts I have read in January 2019. Enjoy. 

People Don’t Buy Products. They Buy Better Versions Of Themselves.

“People don’t buy products because of what those products do, they buy products because of what they imagine they can do   with them.

Long-Term Predictions.

Computerization will undoubtedly continue onward inevitably. Computers have already made themselves essential to the governments of the industrial nations, and to world industry: and it is now beginning to make itself comfortable in the home.

The growing complexity of society will make it impossible to do without them, except by courting chaos; and those parts of the world that fall behind in this respect will suffer so obviously as a result that their ruling bodies will clamour for computerization as they now clamour for weapons.

Long-Term Thinking.

An investment of $1000 will be put in a legal trust for 500 years. Assuming a modest 4% annual return, the investment will be approximately 328 billion dollars in the year 2515, at which point it will be spent on scientific research and the construction of a time machine

Things Are Not As Bas As They Seem

“I don’t think we’re very good at mental time travel. When something goes wrong, we amplify it and catastrophize it – it starts to feel like it’s “the worst thing that ever happened to me” yet in rare cases it is. That’s stiff competition. For something to be the worst thing that ever happened to you of all the bad things that have ever occurred to you in your life – this has to be the worst. The odds are, it’s not the worst thing.”

Avoid Boring People

“The best advice I ever got was Jim Watson, who co-discovered DNA. Jim is brilliant, and as many brilliant people are a little bit crazy, and Jim has this admonishment which is double meaning, three words: ‘Avoid boring people.’ I love it, because what he’s saying is, ‘Stay away from people who are not interesting,’ avoid boring people, and, ‘Avoid boring people. Don’t be boring to people. Be interesting.’”
Avoid Boring People

The Creativity Of Cards Against Humanity 

More often, their efforts take the form of de novo, Dada-esqe happenings. They earned $180,000 selling bull excrement and another $500,000 selling Trump Bug Out bags. Most famously, they solicited $71,145 from their fans in return for…nothing. Another time they raised $100,000 to dig a giant hole in the ground as a response to existential ennui following the election of President Trump, all the while earning press from NPR, The Guardian, Engadget, CNBC, Time, Business Insider, Polygon, Daily Mail, The Huffington Post, Polygon, and many more outlets.

The Best Strategy Is One You’ll Stick With.

Or more correctly, the best strategy is the one that you’ll stick with and meets your objectives. There is no one way of investing that is suitable for everyone. There is only what’s right for you. Lots of things work. Buy and hold works. Value works. Momentum works. There are others too. Start with the evidence-based empirically-proven stuff. Find which one, or which combination works for you, in accordance with your timeframe, objectives, and investment horizon.

Always Wanting More

No one is happy with the amount of money they have, up and down the scale. The conclusion of the piece is that pretty much everyone says they’d be contented if they only had 2 to 3 times more wealth.

Now, of course, for people who don’t know where their next meal is coming from, this is a ludicrous proposition, but talk to those same people a year after winning a million dollar scratch off and I’d bet they’d still be grateful, and yet strangely unsatisfied like everyone else


In a Big Craze, Be the Arms Dealer

Whenever there is a market fad/phenomena with low or no barriers and a flood of entrants—the best strategy is often: Be the arms dealer.
The lowest profile players in high-profile, low-barrier industries are almost always the most profitable.
Don’t sell wine, sell barrels.
Don’t make movies, create animation software.
Don’t own restaurants, build the restaurant supply company.
Twitter – Brent Beshore

How The Internet is Changing Status

Old Status Symbols:

  • Luxury goods
  • Position of authority
  • Busy-ness
  • Endorsed by establishment

New Status Symbols:

  • Fitness
  • Position of influence
  • Flexible schedule
  • Creative Output
  • Self-actualization
  • Independent

Twitter – Eric Jorgenson

What Architecture Signals

“If you want to know what a given society believes in, look at what its largest buildings are devoted to.” — Joseph Campbell

Quality of Conversation Increases with Time

Rather than spending two or three hours with somebody, I prefer to spend two or three days with them. More, if possible. Time has the effect of pushing conversation deeper. After 24 hours, the smalltalk disappears, and after 48 hours, philosophizing is inevitable. The quality of conversation and the persistence of shared memories increases exponentially with time.
David Perell

Great Things Happen All The Time

A collection of 99 feel good stories from 2018. The world is not as bad a place as the news makes it seems. The world keeps improving each and every day and life gets better.