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Investing Goat Farmers, Why Protests Work and a Mystery in Mozambique

Plus, a sardonic book review, a hint of linguistics, and my favorite books right now

Photo by BAILEY MAHON on Unsplash
  1. How A Goat Farmer Built A Doomsday Machine That Just Booked A 4,144% Return by Antoine Gara — A strange mix of my organic farmer and day trader friends, Mark Spitznagel comes right out of the Big Short. While I wish this article went into more depth about his investing philosophy, it’s a great introduction to his life and work.
  2. I Was Wrong About Why Protests Work by Zeynep Tufekci — Zeynep pulls at the fascinating difference between scale and longevity in the work of social change. Today’s protests are bigger than ever before, but why are they having less impact?
  3. Mozambique’s Mysterious Insurgency by Simon Allison — I came across this story while reading the excellent slatestarcodex story Sort by Controversial. According to that article, the mysterious insurgency is explained by a mysterious algorithm built to create division using the depths of Reddit.
  4. Logogram Alchemy by Paul Bricman — Paul never fails to deliver great thinking. In this article (written when he was 20!) he connects mobile gaming, the Chinese language, and linguistics as a whole.
  5. Book Review: Four Thousand Weeks by Sasha Chapin — One of my favorite books of all time reviewed in one of the more unique ways I’ve ever seen. Sasha Chapin’s review is hidden in an essay, written from the perspective of someone who is ignoring all the lessons of the book. Fascinating.


Since I’ve started tracking my reading progress each day, I’m reading a little bit more each day. The results are compounding, leading me to read a lot more each week and month. Thus, a little bonus this week is some of my favorite books so far.

  1. How Europe Underdeveloped Africa by Walter Rodney — Not only the best historical perspective of Africa I’ve read, some of the best economic theory I’ve ever read. This book connected lots of dots.
  2. Numbers Don’t Lie by Vaclav Smil — Ever since reading Growth Smil has been a favorite. This is some of his best work. Short, pithy chapters that tackle huge problems as they relate to climate change and world growth in general. Bonus points for an excellent international perspective.
  3. Street Smarts by Norm Brodsky and Bo Burlingham — A handy little book that, though outdated, teaches you the basics of running a business. As someone who’s always wanted to but never has, this book blew my mind.
  4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte — Hands down my favorite classic, even as I do love Pride and Prejudice. The only book that might top it is the prequel, Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, which sounds entrancing.



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Jimmy Cerone

Jimmy Cerone

I dig up the interesting stuff so you don’t have to