Bright Star

January 17, 2014 at 11:06 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

One of my favorite movies:

Which is unusual because i usually hate romance movies. I liked this one though. It’s intelligent people talking about intelligent things.

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What Dogecoin “is”:

January 8, 2014 at 10:28 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Someone on reddit (solar-ice) put it in a very good way:

Dogecoin’s users don’t tend to think it’s actually worth anything, in reality. That’s the beauty of it. Because they don’t think it’s worth anything, it skips the whole “everyone’s using it as an investment” thing that Bitcoin has going on, and people actually move it around very quickly (as they don’t see themselves as losing anything), which creates a community around it.

I think that’s likely the goal, and if not, it’s definitely how it’s worked out. It’s not a currency in the way the USD or the rupee is, because nobody thinks it’s worth anything. It’s almost precisely the opposite of Bitcoin in that respect.

It’s about moving around worthless values, much like Reddit to some people is about increasing worthless numbers. And it’s a great demo of the ability of cryptocurrencies.

A commentary on Mike Monteiro’s “Fuck you pay me” video

January 5, 2014 at 9:59 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

One of my entrepreneurship buddies turned me on to this video:

The video has (mostly) good advice, but it leaves out something very important: the problem of incentive bias in paid advice. That is, there’s a huge unconscious incentive for attorneys to NOT to embrace a quick-and-easy way of doing things. Technically, lawyers are supposed to be professional and act on the best interest of the client, but in the real world this is not often the case. The thing is is that since it’s a bias, the attorney doesn’t know realize it and fools himself into thinking his advice is more objective than it really is. Warren Buffet said it best: “always be wary of advice when it’s good for the adviser”

Another problem that this video conveniently left out is that lawyers tend to have “man with a hammer” syndrome. That is, if the only tool you have is a hammer, then you approach every problem as if it were a nail. Often times, alternative ways of resolving the dispute are cheaper and more effective than the legal route. But the more involved a lawyer gets into his profession the less likely he’s willing to try out other ideas – even if it’s cheaper and more effective. The attorney simply doesn’t “see it that way”. So lawyers tend to overprescribe, which gets expensive very quickly.

My criticism of the video is that it places too much emphasis on problem fixing over problem avoidance (which is much more valuable). You have to ask yourself which is preferable: putting yourself in a position where legal action is likely and then “fixed” by the “invaluable attorney” or never seeing the bad situation in the first place?

Remember: silent evidence does not draw your attention!

A great book on resolving disputes over the tradition adversarial (lawyer) method is Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher, William Ury and Bruce Patton. I might do another blog post on it. You can literally cut your need for attorneys by 90% by following the principles in this book.

Oh, and before you give me the straw man response of “oh, so you don’t need attorneys at all”, I’m not necessarily saying that. All I’m saying attorney’s recommendation is heavily heavily biased towards needless litigation.

Neo nazi demonstrators

November 11, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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This picture fascinates me, it’s the dividing line of a protest rally between German neo-nazi’s and their corresponding counter-demonstrators in germany.

This picture begs the question: what would this dividing line look like if these same people were born just 70 years earlier? dna-wise, they are identical. What effect does socialization have on a person’s belief system? I’m willing to bet that the crowd would be completely reversed.

Unlike most people, most of my concerns with the nazi movement don’t lie with adolf hitler. My concern lies with the crowds themselves and why why they thought it was such a bright idea to follow this guy. People, I suspect, just believed in him because other people were also doing it. This scares me. In a sense, I’m wondering if the same effect is taking place here. Are people’s beliefs more shaped by the culture in which they grew up in rather than through independent thought? It makes me wonder sometimes. Sociologists call this phenomenon called “social proof” meaning we have this huge bias towards mimic the crowd’s behavior when one is uncertain how to behave. So it basically the belief generally gets indoctrinated at a young age and then becomes dogma later in life.

You know what would actually impress me? If those same people defended this action when it was unpopular (ie back in the ’30s). It’s all to easy to walk around and tell people who anti-racist or how anti-nazi they are. It’s very “cheap signaling” for morality as far as I’m concerned.

People would rather be wrong in a group than right by themselves.

Edit: I re-read this blog post and I don’t want it to be construed as a pro-neo-nazi post, it isn’t. I usually put neo-nazi’s on the same level of malcolm x extremists (which isn’t very high). But in a weird way, I actually admire what the neo-nazies are doing in this instance. Not because I like adolf hitler (I don’t. . .). But I believe something much greater is going on here which is the willingness to defend an unpopular idea. 

Public libraries

September 22, 2013 at 5:56 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I’ve always been baffled by people who believe in strong intellectual property rights but have no problems with public libraries. When I point out that libraries can be looked at as “legalized intellectual property theft”, a rationalization usually comes out. Like “it helps poor kids” or “it creates a more education society” or something stupid like that. (?!?) When I hear things like that it makes me wonder if people really think through their morals or if they rather act first, then rationalize later.

Ronnie Teasdale facebook posts (“Mean Streets” CrossFit)

August 1, 2013 at 8:35 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Stay classy crossfit. . .

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A music video I hate

March 20, 2013 at 7:23 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Oh, and while I’m on the subject of music videos, I thought I would include a music video that I simply hated. Here:

I was going to write a long diatribe about it, but a random youtube reply summed up my feelings quite well:

QUESTION: when you see a music video of a rapper throwing handfuls of cash, putting on eight gold chains, and rapping about how rich he is, which of these two assumptions do you make? 1) this is a legitimate and insightful artist that works tirelessly to entertain his fans or 2) this person has gone to great lengths to literally insult his viewers by bragging about how superior he is to his viewers and how absurd it is that they pay him insurmountable amounts of money to make a career out of it.

Well said.

hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. . .

One of my favorite music videos

March 19, 2013 at 7:23 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This is one of my favorite music videos:

It’s not what this video overtly said that got me, it’s in what this video didn’t say. This music video respects the intelligence of the viewer by making him reach a little to connect the dots. I also like the slow, methodoligcal, meditative pace of the video, it makes you feel aware of time itself. In a way, it reminds me of the periods in my life when I was “in the moment” and fully aware of my environment. The video was skillfully directed, the song itself was very good, and the video made a point.

Most people would dismiss the video as being “boring and slow”, but I disagree. I think it’s beautiful.

Happy Valentine’s

February 14, 2013 at 7:24 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Happy Valentine’s.

I work in a headshot place, so i see a lot of photos. And of all the photos I’ve seen go through my lab, this is one is my favorite:

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Look how HAPPY she is.

I just love this photograph, I could stare at it all day.

How to Be a Genius

February 10, 2013 at 8:26 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Richard Feynman was an excellent thinker. I’m dying to read “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!“, but damn work prevents me from pursuing my intellectual interests. Maybe in the next few weeks.

Anyway, I read somewhere that Feynman’s IQ was “only” 120, yet he was able to accomplish so much. This just goes to show that good thinking practices is far more important than IQ when it comes to breakthrough ideas. Most scientists that I meet today approach science in completely the wrong way and it sickens me.

Anyway, here is Feynman’s advice on “how to be a genius”. This is somewhat similar to Charlie Munger’s multimodal approach to thinking:

You have to keep a dozen of your favorite problems constantly present in your mind, although by and large they will lay in a dormant state. Every time you hear or read a new trick or a new result, test it against each of your twelve problems to see whether it helps. Every once in a while there will be a hit, and people will say: ‘How did he do it? He must be a genius!’

 

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