I get repetitive about the number one issue at my mind at any given time: how do I know if and when I know something? How to distinguish superficial from deep knowledge – and what to do to get from one to the other? I have posted this before and allude to it every now and then, and so does the brilliant Shane Parrish at uber-source Farnam Street Blog. His post on Richard Feynman’s famous TV special focuses on the part of truly knowing something.
Pretty good book list by Dealbook editor Andrew Ross Sorkin. I’d also recommend his own book on the 2007-08 crisis called “Too Big To Fail”, “The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons from Corporate America”, “When Genius Failed” and “Fooled by Randomness” as other can’t-miss books – and I know I am leaving way too many great books unmentioned, so there are a few links inside to previous “reading list” posts in Buysiders.com (and a bonus for those who click through).
New profile/interview with Dr. Chris Gibson-Smith, the subject of an April 2011 post here. His background is pretty interesting and I like the way he blends many disciplines, including History, into his “toolkit”. One quote I really like was also alluded to in last year’s interview: “I think the questions you ask are always the most difficult thing; answering the question is somehow easy if you’ve found the right question. There are 100 wrong questions for you to grab onto and completely waste your time with, but if at the beginning you can find the right question…”
I love getting reader suggestions, this one via LinkedIn and a first from this reader. Given the quality of the article, I hope for many more. His recommendation is an 2009 article by Jonah Lehrer at the New Yorker magazine about “that famous marshmallow study”. A great read and it raises interesting questions.
Farnam St. blog had an interesting, multidisciplinary reading list for the Northern hemisphere summer coming up. By now I hope readers have realized that I love these lists, but the usual warning applies: there’s only so much time in a day and reading should be prioritized according to your own long-term “strategic objectives”, while still allowing for fun, serendipity-type reading. Good luck with that!
What does an article about the fringes of Physics – that “unexplored territory where truth and fantasy are not yet disentangled” – have to do with investing? Not much, but that’s OK for this blog as long as there are some building blocks or models to be taken away. In this case, the importance of balancing both an abstract imagination and a rigorous experimental discipline seems to apply to investing as well as science.
DLD 2012 has started today in Munich and runs until Jan. 24th. In it, people as diverse as Sheryl Sandberg, Arianna Huffington, the Dyson family and Hiroshi Mikitani share their views on what matters to them. The themes are varied and the program is packed with interesting talks and panels. In the age of multi-disciplinary events, this is one of the best.
Today’s post is just an image, a scan of an Isaac Asimov 1971 short note to kids apparently getting a new library somewhere. It’s brilliant. We complement it with our post citing “anti-libraries”.
Today we have both a big, weekend-reading type article and a smaller one. The small one is a summary of Warren Buffett’s impressions about Japan, which he visited in another trip to an Iscar (IMC) plant abroad. The larger one is a New Yorker profile on Peter Thiel, the “dystopian utopian” VC/ hedge fund investor who founded Paypal and was the first outside investor in Facebook. No easy takeaways but he remains one of the most provocative thinkers in our realm.
Two follow-ups to recent posts: Not to be outdone by our recent post about reading lists, Booz & Co.’s Best Business Books 2011 feature is a sprawling selection of books covering Management, Economics, Marketing, Ethics and other business-oriented fields. And it appears that the speed of light is indeed in question, as recent studies were able to repeat the first experiment’s results.