On The Shortness of Life

Jul 23, 2022 11:01 am

Hi everyone,

Thanks for joining me. My last update was in December, and what a ride it has been since then. I've started a new job as a lawyer, gotten married, and wrote my first article on a new project around tech and startups. This is probably an understatement, but my, life comes at you fast. And that's a theme that we will be covering today.

Let's get into it. 

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Interesting Articles I Found This Week

On the shortness of life: "It is mathematically certain now that about 99% of the time I will ever spend with my friends, in the rest of my life, I have already done so. It does not matter if I see them another 10 or 20 or 50 times, it is trivia in the scheme of things. Prior mental framework was "my boy is in town, maybe we can grab drinks if our schedules allow, if not, no problem, next time" New mental framework is: "tonight is one of your last 30 times you can see one of your best friends in your life"."

Twitter is often noise, but once in awhile you come across an insight like this that changes your life. How many of us put things off for another day, thinking that we still have time? Even if you're not a touchy-feely person, relationships are one of the most important things to hold on to. Here are more graphic and sharp vocalisations of the same idea, depending on what you prefer.

Obvious Things That Easily Escape Attention: "There is a bias toward excitement over sheer importance for both individuals and the professionals who help them. This is understandable: Helpers want an interesting career, and clients want advice on stuff that isn’t obvious to justify the cost. The result is that the obvious but important stuff is discounted and ignored to favor more exciting projects."

If you've followed me for awhile, you'd have realised that Morgan Housel is one of my favourite writers. This article is one reason why: it points out something that most of us unconsciously do but never notice. Life is short, and if we're not careful, we end up following a path that is shaped by the environment and other short-term incentives instead of what we truly desire.

Pay Attention to Deviation from Mainstream Incentives: The converse is of course true. If someone deviates from incentives, there is usually something there worth looking at again, whether it be a principal-agent problem, an unusual strength of conviction by an individual, or in Cedric Chin's case, money laundering by loan sharks. As someone who lives in Singapore, I had a lot of fun reading this.

Grab: One App To Rule Southeast Asia: I'm cheating here, but I'm including this because this is the first article I've written for my new project, which is a newsletter platform that covers tech and business in Southeast Asia.

I've always wanted to become a start-up founder or a venture capitalist, but it can be incredibly difficult to break in if you don't have the right background. But life is short, and this is the fastest way for me to go after what I want without permission from anyone else. I'll still update this site with personal updates along with more general thoughts, but join me there over at Math Not Magic if you're interested in reading breakdowns on tech and business in SEA (or if you just want to make my day).


As usual, thanks for joining me.

Talk soon,