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Friday 12 February 2021

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. If you like this collection, consider forwarding it to someone who you think will appreciate it.

Bubbles are not always bad!

The dot-com bubble laid the tracks for the Internet as we know it today. A large number of tech start-ups with seemingly good ideas went out of business after the dot-com flameout. But that era planted the seeds for the next wave of innovation that occurred, which gave us services like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Airbnb and Google. Some people create life-changing levels of wealth during manias. Others lose their shirt when the bubbles pop. Yet all bubbles are not bad in and of themselves. The silver lining from a bubble is society often benefits from the sheer amount of money that pours to invest.



The problems of putting everything online - poisoned water at home

Hackers remotely accessed the water treatment plant of a small Florida city last week and briefly changed the levels of lye in the drinking water, in the kind of critical infrastructure intrusion that cybersecurity experts have long warned about.

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri of Pinellas County said at a news conference on Monday that the level of sodium hydroxide — the main ingredient in drain cleaner — was changed from 100 parts per million to 11,100 parts per million, dangerous levels that could have badly sickened residents if it had reached their homes.

The authorities said the plot unfolded last Friday morning, when an employee noticed that someone was controlling his computer. He initially dismissed it because the city has software that allows supervisors to access computers remotely. But about five and a half hours later, the employee saw that different programs were opening and that the level of lye changed.



You should not be very rich - for the sake of your children

Growing up in a family where your father’s pretty wealthy is much more complicated than growing up in a family where your father is not wealthy. When your family is not wealthy, you’ve got to really achieve something or you’re not going to get anywhere. You’re on your own.

Whereas my own children, and the children of families like mine, I think have a bit of a disadvantage. As a general rule of thumb, the people running the world are people from blue-collar families who are lower middle class. It’s rarely the case that somebody whose father was a billionaire turns out to be better than his father, becoming a multibillionaire or running the world.



Learning from sports applied in business or investing

There are many connections, similarities, and common underlying principles between sports, war, and business. The main connection between the three is that they represent instances of peak human competition and rivalry. And when there is competition, there are winners and losers. One of the key aspects that differentiate winners from losers, and one we can learn from, is mentality and psychology. However, athletes are some of the greatest peak performers in the world, and they are both alive and have made many mistakes we can learn from. They have many more opportunities for iteration and feedback loops than the rest, which is why sports psychology is highly interesting.



10 Insane Facts From Bill Bryson’s “The Body”

The stratum corneum or the outermost layer of the skin is made up of dead cells. All that which makes us look good — our beauty — is literally dead. The global beauty industry estimated to be worth over $700 billion, is essentially for decorating deceased tissue. Our vanity, confidence, self-respect, ego, self-worth…is a sliver of dead skin.

Race is literally skin deep. Technically, it’s a few millimetres of the epidermis. It isn’t biologically significant or defined. Millimetres of dead skin and an intuition driven brain are the root causes of racism, socio-economic disparity, discrimination, bias, violence, eugenics, caste and slavery.


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