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Ideas I frequently invoke:

- Philip Guo on silent technical privilege

- Bryn Hammond on silenced history

- Duncan Watts on cumulative advantage and MusicLab, in my top ten scientific experiments ever

- AnimeFeminist for their critiques and season guides

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“Fischer Black thought that got the right price within a factor of two about 90 per cent of the time… I knew Fischer pretty well, and he didn’t throw numbers like those around lightly; he thought long and hard about them, even though they sound like the kind of rough figures other people would come up with quickly. We argued quite a bit about them, and I pushed for ‘within a factor of two about half the time’.” —Aaron Brown

*Financial Risk Management for Dummies* chapter 4 = 🔥

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“Taking less risk than is optimal is not safer; it just locks in a worse outcome. In competitive fields, doing less than the best often means failing completely. Taking more risk than is optimal also results in a worse outcome, and often leads to complete disaster.”
—Aaron Brown, “Red-Blooded Risk”

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Overheard: “As a poor college student I’d make my contact lenses last twice as long by wearing just one at a time.”

Overheard kids: “maybe we really are aliens. And will start growing tentacles when we turn eighteen”

And it’s not just financial assets. Real estate isn’t any kind of sure bet either. Wealthy daimyo who didn’t back Ieyasu lost a lot of lands during the Tokugawa takeover. The Kulaks and Japanese-Americans are only two groups who lost land and businesses (and more) in a long list.

An immortal would probably have to start from scratch every few decades like the rest of us.

(A immortal shape-shifting fox might have a few extra tricks though.)

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Above quote: Nassim Taleb, “Fooled By Randomness” (2001), chapter 8. Taleb, like people tend to do, went off his rocker a few years back during the ascent of Trump but his earlier work has really shaped me. I think about his poor grandfather buying lira-denominated bonds all the time.

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“the fate of those who, in place of spending their money buying expensive toys & paying for ski trips, bought Lebanese lira denominated Treasury bills (as my grandfather did), or junk bonds from Michael Milken (as many of my colleagues in the 1980s did)… imagine the accumulator buying Russian Imperial bonds bearing the signature of Czar Nicholas II & trying to accumulate further by cashing them from the Soviet government, or Argentine real estate in the 1930s (as my great-grandfather did).”

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This trope, that immortal people would be rich (“My Roommate is a Gumiho” but also “My Love from the Star”, avoided in “The Old Guard”), is Wrong.

I get it—compound interest is the strongest force in the universe.

But remember: all assets eventually go to zero.

Our century has had dozens of currency/debt collapses. Tsarist Russia’s booming stock market became worthless via Bolsheviks. It’s Hard to know what to invest your savings in.

999 year old gumihos would on average be ~middle class.

is many things, including many not good things, but its depiction of poverty, and the mental and physical stress it causes, resonates with me.

See this introduction to Dr Bruce Rabin’s work on income/race-induced stress and it’s medical impact:


These tigers (folding paper screens circa early 1900s Korea) look like two bosses I once had. or (because URLs are shit), “Tigers and leopards with magpies 까치와 호랑이• 표범” San Francisco Asian Art Museum object number 2002.21

That mental calculation of how old a young coworker was during 2001 tech bubble collapse, to know how much context to give.

(Background—my beloved kouhai: "Oh, there was there a tech bubble in 2001?")


Not sure where I first read this but it cited the Dalai Lama as tending to emphasize the *posture* and what a great impact it has on the quality of breathing.

And it's totally true. A slight adjustment of my neck or upper back in can make my inhales go from slightly ragged and resistant to buttery smooth in and out.

I now tend to make small adjustments here and there to check the quality of breath till it feels like cold lightning consistently entering my lungs.

‘“I had an email from a parent of an eight-year-old girl who said she’d seen me on television and didn’t realise that women could be scientists, and now she wants to think about being a scientist.” So far, so inspiring? Not quite. Gilbert thought, “Well, what on earth have you been teaching her? For heaven’s sake.”’

Dr dropping 🔥

22 boosted

@resist1984 I'd like to add: you don't need to be perfect with the boycott, reducing the amount of support for amazon (i.e. buying something) by 90%-99% will help enabling alternatives. Un-Default Amazon! Look for alternatives!

Aha, that Vice News article about Big Daddy Xi’s speech ↑ was by the great who also wrote that great piece on {the milk-buying idol-voting TV show that was canceled by censors} that I mentioned a couple of months ago 😂

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Western media’s ineptitude at translation (cue laments of complacent monolingualism and easy imperialism) has been implicated in causing deep problems before.

My Arabic professor Dr Allen Clark wrote a book, “Crisis of Translation in the Western Media: A Critical Discourse Analysis of al-Qāʿida Communiqués”, and he accused bad translation as the direct cause of tragic policy mistakes in handling our last great imperial war.

(The ʿ above encodes Arabic’s ʿain, that back-of-throat sound.)

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My spouse insisted this ↑ was NYT taking some idiom or ancient literature reference too literally. And of course that’s the case:

“The president used a common Chinese phrase, comprising four characters… The idiom is used in everyday conversations and writings in China to describe someone’s battered condition following a fight or accident… Many English-language media outlets have adopted its literal, bloody meaning.”

But the found-in-translation terror metal image was 👌.

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Crypto, scams, academic research, archiving 

I first heard the original hour-long podcast but after deciding to transcribe it, replayed it at 2x speed to clean up the egregious errors—fix spellings of people, coins, acronyms, etc. I initially tried cleaning up the "um"s that AWS Transcribe left but it was too time-consuming.

So it probably took hour~ish to make that "transcript".

I'm getting a sense of the labor involved with archiving my sources. Hour here, 30 minutes for an Atlantic piece, 🤔.

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Crypto, scams, academic research, archiving 

I've been meta-thinking about archiving sources, since between Mastodon, Day One, Pinboard, and disk backups, my external memory is messy.

and others were interviewed on a podcast, "What actually are scams in the world of cryptocurrency"—I love scams and "finance" and Dr Swartz brings a fresh new angle to it:

I AWS Transcribe'd the audio and put the cleaned up output at

Take a hear/read—

Big Daddy Xi will “break their heads on the steel Great Wall built with the blood and flesh of 1.4 billion of Chinese people” 😳

You know what fuck it

Reading this article, how lawyers have to spell out the author and title of a Tiktok video they want to cite—fuck it

Instead of relying on others to sort things out, to take the risks

I took 30 min to look at and clean up the Atlantic's (sensible) HTML, make local copies of the images, and document it all—to create my local onsite archival copy to share with you, my followers




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