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WHO ARE WE? Angels, Devils, or Just Plain Animals?

WHO ARE WE? Angels, Devils, or Just Plain Animals?

Imagine you are living in Nazi Germany.  Who are we?  How do you and your friends answer this question? One answer an inconveniently large number of people – perhaps even a majority of citizens – give is “We are Germans, the master race destined to rule the world.” Even worse, a popular answer is “True Germans are Aryans.  Jews are not Aryans or genuine Germans.  Jews are a threat...

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WHEN THE BOAT TAKES ON WATER, JUMP!

WHEN THE BOAT TAKES ON WATER, JUMP!

Do you know the main reason why most people are not good investors?  It’s because they don’t jump at the first sign of serious trouble. In this post I’m going to introduce the Zurich axioms – a set of investment maxims which have tremendous power.  They were derived by a club of Swiss investors and traders on Wall Street after the Second World War.  There is a great book by Max Gunther...

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WHICH STRESS, UNCERTAINTY & RISK SHOULD WE ACCEPT?

WHICH STRESS, UNCERTAINTY & RISK SHOULD WE ACCEPT?

Last time, I argued that we should welcome uncertainty, risk, and even stress as essential for any worthwhile world or life.  Without stress, uncertainty, and risk our lives would be boring and our character would remain unformed and untested. Yet as with everything in life, the 80/20 principle tells us to be extremely selective.  It is only a small proportion of stress, uncertainty and risk...

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IN PRAISE OF RISK, UNCERTAINTY & STRESS

IN PRAISE OF RISK, UNCERTAINTY & STRESS

The shrinks and gurus are unanimous, and the medical establishment is nearly so – stress is bad for you, uncertainties should be reduced as much as possible, and risk-taking should be minimized.  In this blog post, I am going to present the opposite view. First, though, to make it harder for myself, let’s list some of the debilitating sources of worry and uncertainty.  What are the risks...

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HAVE YOU BEEN TRANSFORMED BY AN ORGANIZATION?

HAVE YOU BEEN TRANSFORMED BY AN ORGANIZATION?

“Personality, in our sense, is a Shakespearean invention.”  This week I came across this rather large claim, made by Harold Bloom of Yale in his book Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human.  Bloom’s argument is that Shakespeare was the first writer to describe the development – as opposed to the mere unfolding – of personality.  In Shakespeare, Bloom says, characters such as...

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THE REVENGE OF HISTORY & GEOGRAPHY

THE REVENGE OF HISTORY & GEOGRAPHY

This time, a new book, a new vision, and some valuable additions to my mental tool-kit, which as you know is rather deep but very small.  Something to celebrate and learn from, even though I think maybe half of the book is profoundly wrong.  The book is from “global strategist” Parag Khanna.  Called Connectography it has made me re-think my assumptions and views.  In many ways the whole...

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