This Week I Learned #28
Wise: "The good is mostly in the absence of bad" - Ennius; As Charlie Munger commonly cites, it's about avoiding the stupid things.
Wise: The CIA World Factbook is a great repository of information to learn about the general characteristics of any country. They have some quick facts on economics, social and political climate of each country and its been a great way to get a quick grasp on the country. - https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ca.html
Wise: A 30-min documentary on Venezuela, the latest case of modern hyperinflation and a view into how poor government regimes can ruin even the most naturally gifted countries. An informative look into the current corrupt climate in the country and it's neighbouring South American nations. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qdO2pFoGgw
Wise: On valuation of companies by Aswath Damodaran. Companies of different life cycles have to make the financial decisions that fit where it is at in its current life cycle. What that also means is that it needs to have the right management team for the right moment in its life cycle as well. After the startup phase of where a visionary CEO may be enough, the company will soon need to get a COO or new CEO who is a more operationally minded person who can focus on building the company. After which, as the company matures and gets older you will need a CEO who can think about the right way to return capital back to the shareholders.... startups need a good investment financing plan, young growth.early maturing companies need ways of proper financing... then mature companies need ways of returning capital back to the shareholders. A young startup has the story lead the valuation.. there isn't much to show for it... but as it matures you have the numbers lead the valuation for you can't make up the characters from scratch in chapter 34 of a 40 chapter book. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c20_S-QgvsA
Healthy: Just really suffering from jet lag since coming back from Asia and I spent the whole morning looking for remedies to reset my circadian rhythm. The most common remedy was immediate exposure to sunlight and morning exercise. Vancouver in December is anything but sunny so that's been a challenge but morning walks have been noted as something I should focus on. Many of the remedies related to jet lag are all factors focused on resetting the circadian rhythm and includes saunas, cold showers, and minimizing blue light at night. These were part of my daily routine prior to the extended trip to Asia and as I get back on this system I'm oping to see some improvement. The rule of thumb is 1 day per time zone and as I've been 14 time zones away I'm expecting 14 days to fully adjust. If I can adjust faster than I'll know the remedies had an additive effect.
Wise: Fireside chat with Nassim Taleb and Naval Ravikant. A rare sight with 2 smart folks. Key learnings were on the 1) minority rule and 2) static vs. dynamic decision making. The minority rule dictates how when you have an unyielding minority, the majority in the middle will conform to meet the minority if the perceived cost is low. It's like how people will drink kosher beverages or halal meat even if they don't care for it. Yet, those products are widely available to adhere to the minority. Psychologists tend to look at decision making as static where you look at averages to determine rationality/irrationality and this is where the notion of loss aversion arises to describe people as irrational. However, a paranoia for loss may actually be a rational action because, sequentially, if you were to go all bust in the casino then you're out. There is no "next turn" since you haven't survived. Hence, surviving is priority and a paranoia for loss is required to limit risk to allow for continuous survival to fight another day. This is considered irrational in psychological literature but in context, it is the rational move https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Da0aXfshlxM&list=PL8kDDEoXpSRX73I9vMfSLjH1Ez_WK_f7k&index=22&t=0s
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