Nothing More Than Econ 101

May 12, 2021 5:29 pm

Hey there,

Thanks for joining me. There's nothing new going on in my life, which makes even the smallest things seem eventful. I went to the Singapore zoo with a couple of my friends just two days ago, and it struck me that things must seem normal to the animals within the enclosure even though the past year has been stressful for all of us. I gained a little more perspective on life, and got to relive a little of my childhood. Seems like I should be doing more of these activities.

An Article I Wrote

Nothing More Than Econ 101: Charlie Munger once said to take a simple idea, and to take it seriously. Focusing on one simple idea works because in the real world, we're not concerned with accuracy as much as we're with utility. Those who invoke the saying that "he who is good with a hammer sees everything as a nail" forget that this said person probably has built an entire career on this one narrow skill. We could learn a lot from this person.

Interesting Things I've Found

Crazy New Ideas: "Most implausible-sounding ideas are in fact bad and could be safely dismissed. But not when they're proposed by reasonable domain experts. If the person proposing the idea is reasonable, then they know how implausible it sounds. And yet they're proposing it anyway. That suggests they know something you don't."

There's a fine line between an idea that's groundbreaking and an idea that's just outright crazy. But in some situations you get clues that tell you which is which. I'll let you read Paul Graham himself to find out how.

Building General Skills: "People develop expertise that allows them to solve wide ranges of problems. How does this happen? A simple answer is that general skills are constructed out of narrow ones. The chess grandmaster has built an enormous library of patterns in chess, this gives her the ability to reason about board positions she’s never seen before, owing to their similarity to past games."

If you want to get to the general, start from the specific.

The Neuroscience of Busyness: “Defaulting to searches for additive changes may be one reason that people struggle to mitigate overburdened schedules, institutional red tape, and damaging effects on the planet.”

The natural wiring of our brains might be why we are always so busy. We just keep adding more things to our plate even as technology makes thing easier. I'm not sure what's the answer but perhaps we need to hack how our minds work by focusing on small behavioural changes.

The Daily Upside: If you're interested in business news, you'll want to check this newsletter out. They talked about Gamestop even before most investment bankers learned about it, so you'll want to get on board if you want to stay updated with all that's going on in Wall Street. It's completely free.

Other Thoughts I've Had

I started writing sometime ago, and I'd stop to make a few reflections on my journey so far. Check it out on Twitter if you're interested.

It's been four years since I started writing online. I've moved between several platforms. I've pivoted between different topics. I've achieved less than what I set out to do. Here're some of the lessons I've picked up along the way so you don't have to go through what I did.
1:05 PM · May 07, 2021


As usual, thoughts and comments are welcome.

Talk soon,