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Friday, 6 December 2019

Weekend Reading

Reading across disciplines is one of the best ways to improve our investment acumen. Here is a summary of some of the best articles I read this week.


E-Sports (competitive video games) is big business
China now boasts a gaming population of over 500 million, and competitive gaming has become big business. Esports-related sales in China hit 51.3 billion yuan ($7.3 billion) during the first six months of 2019 and are on track to top 100 billion yuan for the year.
There are more than 5,000 gaming teams operating in an industry that now employs 440,000 people.
Depending on their contracts, trainees are paid about 10,000 yuan per month, while mid- to upper-ranking gamers earn around $50,000 annually, according to Li Xinyuan, the team manager. Top-tier gamers can earn over $90,000. Those rates mean even trainees make more than average factory workers in Shanghai, whose initial monthly take-home pay is typically around 4,000-5,000 yuan per month.


Vinod Sethi's prescription to becoming a better investor
Mr. Sethi believes that formal education is a necessity but not sufficient. He believes that education doesn’t teach you about hunger, relationship, courage, inner voice – listening to yourself, feel the present moment and many other aspects. There are many other aspects and skills which one requires in investing business and daily life.
Mr Sethi reads at least one annual report a day. He might read an annual report of a private company in Europe where he won’t be even able to invest. According to him, an annual report is a summary of collective human effort. Hence, it shouldn’t matter what annual report you are reading. One makes money where one sees financial efficiency, an alchemy or something stands out. There is no need to read an annual report to the last line. Over time one can develop sense as to what to read and what not to read. Also, according to him, speed reading helps.
Only way to meet very smart people is by making yourself very smart. No one would give you time unless you give more than they gave you. If you start every meeting thinking I must give more than what I am expected to gain, then you achieve a very high level of evolution at personal level.
Three things are a must do for a good investor:
Pay attention to the Market, Read & Research and Introspect

Can mirrors do the trick?
A typical large steel mill might burn through 1.5 million metric tons of coal in its furnaces in a year. It hasn’t been possible to run that type of industrial process on renewable energy, because of the extremely hot temperatures required, making nearly a quarter of global emissions hard to eliminate. But new technology—which concentrates solar thermal energy to 1,000 degrees Celsius for the first time—could transform some of the most polluting industries, including steel, cement, and petrochemical production.
The technology, from a California-based startup called Heliogen, uses an array of mirrors to reflect sunlight.


Machine learning determines ghost writer writing for Shakespeare
Literary analysts have long noticed the hand of another author in Shakespeare’s Henry VIII. Now a neural network has identified the specific scenes in question—and who actually wrote them.
For much of his life, William Shakespeare was the house playwright for an acting company called the King’s Men that performed his plays on the banks of the River Thames in London. When Shakespeare died in 1616, the company needed a replacement and turned to one of the most prolific and famous playwrights of the time, a man named John Fletcher.
The new approach is straightforward in principle. Machine-learning algorithms have been used for some years to identify distinctive patterns in the way authors write.
The technique uses a body of the author’s work to train the algorithm and a different, smaller body of work to test it on. However, because an author’s literary style can change throughout his or her lifetime, it is important to ensure that all works have the same style.
Once the algorithm has learned the style in terms of the most commonly used words and rhythmic patterns, it is able to recognize it in texts it has never seen.


Podcast: Replacing faulty body organs
Laser-printing organs and vascular systems to give everybody another chance has incredible value. It changes the dynamics of how to handle endemic diseases like diabetes and many other organ issues, liver, kidney and maybe eventually very complex systems like the nervous systems inside our bodies.

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