Earlier this year I realised: I don’t want to receive birthday gifts or Christmas gifts any more. Below: the words of an old friend as inspiration and explanation. I add a couple of personal comments to the end.
Nominally, “The Alchemy of Finance” is about understanding markets and making better investing decisions. If that is all one learned it would be a crying shame, because the book is actually about understanding reality and making better decisions. To restrict it to the markets is a serious mistake and not one Soros makes.
I’ll write more soon, but just a quick tease: I am very excited! I have made great progress so far and the I foresee a future so shiny I shall have to wear shades. Tasteless, tacky shades!
I don’t know about you, but when I reflect on my life I find it impossibly full. Family. Work. Friends. Reading. Learning. Thinking. Writing. Project. DIY. Exercise. Chores. Shopping. Meditation. Fun. Relaxing. I only just remembered fun and relaxation and I’m sure I’m missing other major items from this list.
And that’s a problem. When, not if, new things are forcibly wedged in then other stuff always gets squeezed or squeezed out. And life is not like carbon. Putting it under pressure does not create diamonds. I know from painful past experience that relationships don’t harden but disintegrate when placed under excess pressure, and for that matter nothing else gets better either. Which is why I’m excited by an almost magical solution to the problem of an over-full life, one that has emerged accidentally in 2014Q4 from a long running and almost pathologically frenetic attempt to organise, plan and goal set my life.
Making New Year’s resolutions work is legendarily difficult. For me at least they had always been gestated on the spur of a desperate moment, often through a haze of alcohol.
On the other hand, just using a daily todo list was a disaster in slow motion. The problem? I was always really busy, but I never did anything important.
Now it has taken me a while to find a solution, and it might not work for you, but on the off chance it does, here it is. Caveat: It wasn’t what I was expecting.
Of everything that I gained from studying at Oxford, my friendship with Alex, Akshat and Xiao is one I truly treasure. When we were all in one place it was incredible, and now that we’ve scattered ourselves across 3 or 4 time zones I still look forward to our monthly video chats with excitement. One recent weekend, we all met to talk about a single novel. What was going on?
Julian Baggini’s “Do They Think You’re Stupid” is a light, amusing read with a serious meta-lesson tucked away inside. Presented as a list of 100 common argumentative fallacies and why they’re wrong, it can actually be interrogated as a guide to good analysis. Continue reading