Saturday, May 19, 2012

Weekend Reading

Gary North about the collapse of centralization. "The economies of scale no longer favor centralization. They favor decentralization: in manufacturing, in education, in urban development, in finance, in politics, and even in military affairs. [...] For those of us who dread the centralization of anything, our boats have begun to come in."

Willpower: "Once you realize that will power is just a matter of learning how to control your attention and thoughts, you can really begin to increase it."

What happened to Flickr? "The same thing that happened to so many other nimble, innovative startups who sold out for dollars and bandwidth: Yahoo."

Falky on dimwits in the C suite: "I know a lot of guys in business who became executives this way. Invariably, they rarely spoke extemporaneously, had little understanding of the business and were quite defensive around people who liked to 'talk shop', but were masters at managing relations with others and forming bonds with the right people."

Fructose, omega3s, and the brain. "Eating a high-fructose diet over the long term alters your brain's ability to learn and remember information. But adding omega-3 fatty acids to your meals can help minimize the damage."

Piotroski and So demonstrate "that the glamor effect (the tendency for expensive stocks to disappoint investors) like the value effect is driven by fundamentals."

Sports as stress relief. "Biking is split-second fast and rock-climbing painstakingly slow, but both practices silence the noise of the mind and render self-consciousness blissfully impossible. You become the anonymous hero of that old story, Man versus the Universe. Your brain’s glad to finally have a real job to do, instead of all that trivial busywork. You are all action, no deliberation. You are forced, under pain of death, to quit all that silly ideation and pay attention. It’s meditation at gunpoint."

Was reading an old article about traveling wave reactors, which Bill Gates likes: "Depleted uranium is widely available as a feedstock. Stockpiles in the United States currently contain approximately 700,000 metric tons of depleted uranium, which is produced as a waste byproduct of the enrichment process. TerraPower has estimated that the stockpiles present at just the Paducah enrichment facility represents an energy resource equivalent to $100 trillion worth of electricity. Company scientists have also estimated that wide deployment of TWRs could enable projected global stockpiles of depleted uranium to sustain 80% of the world’s population at U.S. per capita energy usages for over a millennium."

Dalio in Barron's: "Deleveragings go on for about 15 years. The process of raising debt relative to incomes goes on for 30 or 40 years, typically. There's a last big surge, which we had in the two years from 2005 to 2007 and from 1927 to 1929, and in Japan from 1988 to 1990, when the pace becomes manic. That's the classic bubble. And then it takes about 15 years to adjust."

Paradigm-busting inventions "are easy to see coming because they’re already lying there, close at hand. 'Anything that’s going to have an impact over the next decade—that’s going to be a billion-dollar industry—has always already been around for 10 years,'"

VP Post: How To Pick Net-Nets: Two Philosophies From Geoff Gannon And Gurpreet Narang I like the Michael Burry quote, that you should buy at prices "so low that a potential acquirer proposing them would be laughed out of the boardroom". This reminds me of CHK. Hawkins wants the company to consider selling but anybody would get laughed at if they offered the current market price.


  1. Re: Willpower. What are your thoughts on the theory of willpower/self-control as a finite and "depletable" resource? More specifically, how that relates to the poor making bad financial decisions (or avoiding making good financial decisions, as it were).

  2. Someone told me this was interesting:

    Also, I did a post a few weeks ago that is relevant to your question: