When I got back here in 1997, I was looking for more room, and I found an archive of old Macs and other stuff. I said, 'Get it away!' and I shipped all that shit off to Stanford. If you look backward in this business, you'll be crushed. You have to look forward.
Monthly archives of “July 2017”
Choosing Words Carefully
If words, designations, concepts are not right, judgments are not clear; works do not prosper; punishments do not strike the right man, and the people do not know where to set hand and foot.
Therefore the superior man chooses words that can be employed without doubt, and forms judgments that can be converted into actions without fear of doubt. The superior man tolerates no imprecision in his speech.
Dining At The Buffet
The workings of free capital markets require that in order to overcome investors’ innate aversion to risk, seemingly riskier investments must offer the possibility of higher returns providing “risk premiums.” But when risk aversion is at cyclical lows, risk premiums needn’t be generous; people will invest anyway. Too many people trying to dine at the buffet simultaneously can lead to a disorderly process and skimpy portions. I recommend that you look twice at the cost of admission and – if you do decide to partake – proceed carefully.
Non-Consensus and Right
The Teleological vs Optionality
Both governments and universities have done very, very little for innovation and discovery, precisely because, in addition to their blinding rationalism, they look for the complicated, the lurid, the newsworthy, the narrated, the scientistic, and the grandiose…Simplicity, I realized, does not lead to laurels.
– Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Antifragile
Thinking and Intellectual Independence
What is it that characterizes the thinker? First of all, and obviously, vision…The thinker is pre-eminently a man who sees where others do not. The novelty of what he says, its character as a sort of revelation, the charm that attaches to it, all come from the fact that he sees. He seems to be head and shoulders above the crowd, or to be walking on the ridge-way while others trudge at the bottom. Independence is the word which describes the moral aspect of this capacity for vision. Nothing is more striking than the absence of intellectual independence in most human beings: they conform in opinion, as they do in manners, and are perfectly content with repeating formulas. While they do so, the thinker calmly looks around, giving full play to his mental freedom. He may agree with the consensus known as public opinion, but it will not be because it is a universal opinion. Even the sacrosanct thing called plain commonsense is not enough to intimidate him into conformity. What could seem nearer to insanity, in the sixteenth century, than the denial of the fact—for it was a fact—that the sun revolves around the earth? Galileo did not mind: his intellectual bravery should be even more surprising to us than his physical courage…Einstein’s denial of the principle that two parallels can never meet is another stupendous proof of intellectual independence.
It is a deeply held conviction within economics that our world can be reduced to models that are founded on the solid ground of axioms, plumbed by deductive logic into rigorous, universal mathematical structures. Economists think they have things figured out, but our economic behavior is so complex, our interactions are so profound that there is no mathematical shortcut for determining how they will evolve. The only way to know what the result of these interactions will be is to trace out their path over time: we essentially must live our lives to see where they will go. There is no formula that allows us to fast-forward to find out what the result will be. The world cannot be solved; it has to be lived.
Financing A Business
The accounting equation, a fundamental identity of accounting, states that: Assets = Liabilities + Owner’s Equity A business converts debt (liabilities) and equity (owner’s equity) into assets that generate cash flows. Those on the right side of the equation make…