FTWW #30: Opportunity cost, Inception, Life compounding and a jewel thief

My dear intellectually curious friends,

This is For Those Who Wonder (FTWW) #30 and this week my thoughts floated upon the concept of complaining. I’ve developed a much more firm grasp of the notion that, by and large, people tend to only care about their own problems. Even folks tasked with caring about the issues of others still have their own problems to contend with. There is a reason the saying “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” came about.

Faced with an intractable problem, where one is powerless to influence the outcome, raise hell. How do you think small-time issues become hot-button topics? It’s not by the affected constituents keeping their heads down and mouths shut. It’s about being the squeakiest wheel at the right time and the right place.

However, there is an art to complaining — it’s all about taking your problems and making it the problem of someone else with the power to influence change. You have nothing to lose by speaking up because if you don’t no one will notice and you will go on bearing the burden.

Complaining will not make you lose face. Seeing a problem and taking action is not complaining, it’s called speaking up. Speaking up shows you have self-respect.

Sharing is caring — forward this to a friend, like our page on Facebook or follow along on Medium.

I appreciate and encourage all responses and will do my best to respond to as many as possible. Together our ideas can change the world. So for those who wonder, here goes.

“It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.” – Isaac Asimov

[FINANCE] Ben Carlson and Seth Godin on deconstructing the differences between urgent and important. Something I think few of us do, leaving us chasing our own tail with ever increasing speed.

Important means: long-term, foundational, coherent, in the interest of many, strategic, efficient, positive…

If you take care of important things, the urgent things don’t show up as often. The opposite is never true.

Short-termism is not just something we should avoid for personal improvement, but something corporations need to keep in mind as they build our economy. Wachtell Lipton argues the ritual of quarterly reports distracts companies from long-term results.

Why and how do Munger and Buffett “discount the future cash flows” at the 30-year U.S. Treasury Rate? An interesting take on understanding your personal risk tolerance level and opportunity cost, while avoiding the inherent biases present during investment decision-making.

And while we are on the topic, a quick video of what Charlie Munger has to say about success.

[SCIENCE] Beyond the software / tech space, innovation and productivity is stagnant. This WSJ article doesn’t really tell us why, but starts by asking some interesting questions. The reasons could be a focus on safety or sustainability, or just plain bureaucracy.

The question in my mind, is it lack of innovation or a lack of adoption and willingness to try new things?

Video of CUNY Graduate Professor Michio Kaku on the science of dreams. Key takeaway — the movie Inception is not totally hogwash.

Gravitational waves have finally been discovered, opening up the doors for a new era in astronomy. A recap of how it all happened. NDT must absolutely giddy.

Why can’t you remember your future? Physicist Paul Davies on the puzzlement of why we experience time as linear. It’s mind-bending to think about — “As our lives tick on, gradually robbing the future of potential and robbing the past of relevance, we trudge along the arrow of time dragging with us this elusive curiosity we call aself…”

[PHILOSOPHY] We ought to give thanks for all fortune: if it is “good,” because it is good, if “bad” because it works in us patience, humility, & hope. — C. S. Lewis

Some may not fully appreciate the difference between mindfulness and concentration. It may seem like semantics, but if you begin to think of concentration as a magnifying glass and mindfulness as the decision of where to point that magnifying glass, your perspective may begin to shift.

Marcus Aurelius on mortality and the key to living fully. “The only thing that isn’t worthless: to live this life out truthfully and rightly. And be patient with those who don’t.” Death is actually quite a beautiful concept as it puts things into perspective rather quickly as it cleaves the meaningful from the meaningless in our lives.

INFOGRAPHIC: 7 Definitions of success (and 6 things that get in the way). It’s not always about the money and the fame. 1% a day compounds. “Money compounding” is one thing. “Life compounding” is everything.

[TECH] The Raspberry Pi Foundation is looking to break down the barriers to learning about computers. Please meet #PIZERO, the $5 computer.

At 83, Donald Rumsfeld decided to develop an app and write a blog post about it! Always active, always involved, always thinking. Yes it’s a game of solitaire, but look at the bigger picture. I will admit that I haven not been able to beat it yet.

A venture capitalist’s perspective on investing in artificial intelligence. The possibilities, opportunities, applications and landscape of AI.

And finally, for those of you who like lists: 500+ resources for programmers.

[MISC] The only 7 things you should do before 7AM. #1 is “Get right out of bed.” You’ll love #7. This will show all those productivity hackers how to do it right! #dropthemic

Lawyers in America will do anything for the right price, even launder money for an African dignitary. Watch this 60 Minutes report where hidden cameras capture New York lawyers working in their client’s best interests.

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown. Act III, Scene 1, Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part II, reminds CEOs that there is support out there.

America’s best jewel thief is an 85-year-old woman. A personal story of a woman who enjoyed life to the fullest stealing jewelry with Southern charm and a 20-page rap sheet.


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