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Daniel Kahneman

Psychology Today - February 2005 Issue, The Peak End Rule

"How happy we are with our lives is a judgement we make based not on actual experience but on remembered experience time-sampled at the peak and at the end of an event." 

David Hand

"In general, when building statistical models, we must not forget that the aim is to understand something about the real world. Or predict, choose an action, make a decision, summarize evidence, and so on, but always about the real world, not an abstract mathematical world: our models are not the reality."

Ray Dalio

LinkedIn Post on 9/10/19

"Whatever your nature is, there are many paths that will suit you, so don't fixate on just one. Should a particular path close, all you have to do is find another good one consistent with what you're like.

But most people lack the courage to confront their own weaknesses and make the hard choices that this process requires. Ultimately, it comes down to the following five decision:

1. Don't confuse what you wish were true with what is really true.

2. Don't worry about looking good - worry instead about achieving your goals.

3. Don't overweight first-order consequences relative to second and third-order ones.

3. Don't let pain stand in the way of progress.

5. Don't blame bad outcomes on anyone but yourself."

Annie Duke

Thinking In Bets

"Life like poker, is one long game, and there are going to be a lot of losses, even after making the best possible bets. We are going to do better, and be happier, if we start by recognizing that we’ll never be sure of the future. That changes our task from trying to be right every time, an impossible job, to navigating our way through the uncertainty by calibrating our beliefs to move toward, little by little, a more accurate and objective representation of the world. With strategic foresight and perspective, that’s manageable work. If we keep learning and calibrating we might even get good at it."

Peter Kaufman

2018 Speech to the Ca Poly Pomana Economics Club

"Every statistician knows that a large, relevant sample size is their best friend. What are the three largest, most relevant sample sizes for identifying universal principles? Bucket number one is inorganic systems, which are 13.7 billion years in size. It's all the laws of math and physics, the entire physical universe. Bucket number two is organic systems, 3.5 billion years of biology on Earth. And bucket number three is human history... Those are the three largest sample sizes we can access and the most relevant."

Alain de Botton

"The chief enemy of good decisions is a lack of sufficient perspectives on a problem."

Elon Musk

Interview with Kevin Rose

"I think it's important to reason from first principles rather than by analogy. So the normal way we conduct our lives is we reason by analogy. We are doing this because it's like something else that was done or it is like what other people are doing. And it's mentally easier to reason by analogy rather than from first principles. First principles is a physics way of looking at the world and what that really means is you boil things down to the most fundamental truths and say, "Ok, what are we sure is true?" and then [we] reason up from there."

Shane Parrish

The Great Mental Models Volume 1

"Our inability to learn from the world because of our ego happens for many reasons... First, we're so afraid about what others will say about us that we fail to put our ideas out there and subject them to criticism. This way we can always be right. Second, if we do put our ideas out there and they are criticized, our ego steps in to protect us. We become invested in defending instead of upgrading our ideas."

Peter Bevelin

"I don't want to be a great problem solver. I want to avoid problems - prevent them from happening and doing it right from the beginning."

Naval Ravikant

"A company's DNA is set by the founders, and its culture is an extension of the founders' personalities."

Aytekin Tank

Bootstrapping Guide: How to Start a Business With No Money

"Remember that 'overnight success' is a myth

51: That's how many games Mikael and Niklas Hed created before they launched Angry Birds, which saved their company Rovio, from bankruptcy.

25: That's how many publishers rejected Tim Ferriss' The Four-Hour Workweek before Harmony books offered him a contract. The 2007 title has now sold over 1.3 million copies to date. 

9: That's how many months Anna Wintour spent at Harper's Bazaar before she was fired, apparently for producing photo shoots that were "too edgy." Wintour went on to become one of the most powerful women in fashion, serving as Vogue magazine's editor-in-chief for over 40 years."

Aytekin Tank

Bootstrapping Guide: How to Start a Business With No Money

"Investor and Y Combinator co-founder Paul Graham says the most successful business ideas share three common features: They're something the founders themselves want, that they themselves can build, and that few others realize are worth doing."

Edsger Dijkstra

"Simplicity is the hallmark of truth - we should know better, but complexity continues to have a morbid attraction. When you give for an audience a lecture that is crystal clear from alpha to omega, your audience feels cheated and leaves the lecture hall commenting to each other: 'That was rather trivial, wasn't it?' The sore truth is that complexity sells better."

Morgan Housel

Why Complexity Sells

"Samuel Williston was a 19th-century paleontologist who first noticed a historic trend in the reduction of body parts. Primitive animals often had many duplicate body parts, then evolution reduces the number but increases their usefulness. 'The course of evolution has been to reduce the number of parts and to adapt those which remain more closely with their special uses, either by increase in size or by modification of their shape and structure,' Williston wrote in 1914." 

Josh Wolfe

August 2019 Masters in Business Podcast with Barry Ritholtz

"Different cells in your body are different ages and there are markers on those cells that can tell how old it is. So, the Purkinje cells in your brain are probably 25 years old.

The gut and skin cells you have are maybe days, at most, weeks old. So, different parts of your body are basically regenerating and growing and dying at different times. You’re not like — there’s not one battery, right? You’re made up of lots of different things at different ages.

And so, being able to do a body clock to understand those different things is important. Second, it turns out, of course, we have circadian rhythms, right? You get tired at night. You have different levels of hormones at different times of the day."

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

"Nature does not ask your permission, she has nothing to do with your wishes, and whether you like her laws or dislike them, you are bound to accept her as she is, and consequently all her conclusions." 

Morgan Housel

The Laws of Investing

"When volatility and out-of-favor periods are guaranteed, it's hard to diagnose whether your investing strategy is broken or merely requires patience. Most other things in life aren't like that. Most things are like cars - there's no ambiguity that something is wrong."

Morgan Housel

The Laws of Investing

"'Special' is defined by a story, and the undefeated Pulitzer Prize-winning storyteller inside your own head is always yourself. The story that sounds the best is typically:

What you want to be true. The incentives for being right in investing are so big that it's hard to think clearly about your analysis without getting distracted by the potential rewards. Predict the right weather and you get to wear the right clothes. Predict the right investments and you get to retire on the beach. High stakes cause fuzzy thinking because they push you to desperately want something to be true even if it's not. 

What you've personally experienced. Familiarity is a doppelganger of accuracy in your brain. The two can be hard to tel apart. Stuff you've experienced personally is way more realistic that what you merely read about, and two equally smart investors with the same data an come to opposite conclusions, swayed only by the differences in their unique life experiences."

Bill Gates

"Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose."


"History is philosophy teaching by example."

Robert Greene

The Laws of Human Nature

"By connecting to the reality of death, we connect more profoundly to the reality and fullness of life. By separating death from life and repressing our awareness of it, we do the opposite."

Robet Greene

The Laws of Human Nature

"We can deduce two important lessons from [generational patterns]: First, our values will often depend upon where we fall in this pattern and how our generation reacts against the particular imbalances of the previous generation. We would simply not be the same person we are now, with the same attitude and ideals, if we had emerged during the 1920s or the 1950s instead of later periods. We are not aware of this critical influence because it is too close to us to observe. Certainly we bring our own individual spirit into play in this drama, and to the degree that we can cultivate our uniqueness, we will gain power and the ability to direct the zeitgeist. But it is critical that we recognize first the dominant role that our generation plays in our formation, and where this generation falls in the pattern.

Second, we notice that generations seem capable only of  reacting and moving in an opposing direction to the previous generation. Perhaps this is because a generational perspective is formed in youth, when we are more insecure and prone to thinking in black-and-white terms. A middle way, a balanced form of choosing what might be good or bad in the values and trends of the previous generation, seems contrary to our collective nature."

Warren Buffett

From Guy Spier's book The Education of a Value Investor

"When you get to my age, you’ll really measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually love you.  I know people who have a lot of money and they get testimonial dinners and they get hospital wings named after them.  But the truth is that nobody in the world loves them.  If you get to my age in life and nobody thinks well of you, I don’t care how big your bank account is, your life is a disaster.  That’s the ultimate test of how you have lived your life.  The trouble with love is that you can’t buy it.  You can buy sex.  You can buy testimonial dinners.  You can buy pamphlets that say how wonderful you are.  But the only way to get love is to be lovable.  It’s very irritating if you have a lot of money.  You would like to think you could write a check: I’ll buy a million dollars’ worth of love.  But it doesn’t work that way.  The more you give love away, the more you get."

Shane Parrish

Twitter - July 27, 2019

"Writing for clarity and persuasion...

1. Grab the reader with the first sentence.

2. Remove unnecessary words.

3. Keep things simple (write for a grade 8).

4. Short sentences are better.

5. Active voice is easier to process than passive."

Bhagavad Gita

"The very texture of life is of duality - pain and pleasure, success and defeat, birth and death."

Daniel Kahneman

"Whenever we are surprised by something, even if we admit that we made a mistake, we say, 'Oh I'll never make that mistake again.' But, in fact, what you should learn when you make a mistake because you did not anticipate something is that the world is difficult to anticipate. That's the correct lesson to learn from surprises: that the world is surprising."

Nassim Taleb

"In Pharaonic Egypt... scribes tracked the high-water mark of the Nile and used it as an estimate for a future worst-case scenario. The same can be seen in the Fukushima nuclear reactor, which experienced a catastrophic failure in 2011 when a tsunami struck. It had been built to withstand the worst past historical earthquake, with the builders not imagining much worse - and not thinking that the worst past event had to be a surprise, as it had no precedent."

Morgan Housel

The Psychology of Prediction

"It is hard to think of the history of the twentieth century, including its large social movements, without bringing in the role of Hitler, Stalin, and Mao Zedong. But there was a moment in time, just before an egg was fertilized, when there was a fifty-fifty chance that the embryo that became Hitler could have been a female. Compounding the three events, there was a probability of one-eighth of a twentieth century without any of the three great villains and it is impossible to argue that history would have been roughly the same in their absence. The fertilization of these three eggs had momentous consequences, and it makes a joke of the idea that long-term developments are predictable."

Morgan Housel

The Psychology of Prediction

"Predicting the behavior of other people relies on understanding their motivations, incentives, social norms and how all those things change. That can be difficult if you are not a member of that group and have a different set of life experiences. 

A decade after World War I the League of Nations declared 'aggressive war' to be an illegal crime against humanity. A year later the Kellogg-Briand Pact got 61 countries to renounce war as an instrument of national policy. 'Deeply sensible of their solemn duty to promote the welfare of mankind... the peaceful and friendly relations now existing between their people may be perpetuated,' read the letter.

Among the signatories of both documents were Germany and Japan, who would commit some of the most aggressive warfare in history within a handful of years.

It's hard to predict what's going to happen next if you don't fully understand the cultural motivations and influences of people whose experiences and goals are different than your own." 

Morgan Housel

The Psychology of Prediction

"It's crazy to think you can impartially judge a prediction if the outcome of that prediction will impact your wellbeing. This is especially true if you need, rather than merely want, a specific outcome."

Morgan Housel

The Psychology of Prediction

"Credibility is not impartial: Your willingness to believe a prediction is influenced by how much you need that prediction to be true.

If you tell me you've found a way to double your money in a week, I'm not going to believe you by default.

But if my family was starving and I owed someone money next month that I don't have, I would listen. And I would probably believe whatever crazy prediction you have, because I'd desperately want and need it to be right."

James Clear

Twitter, July 18, 2019

"How to Be Unhappy:

-stay inside all day

-move as little as possible

-spend more than you earn

-take yourself (and life) too seriously

-look for reasons why things won't work

-always consume, never contribute

 resent the lucky and successful

-never say hello first

-be unreliable"

James Clear

Twitter, May 13, 2019

"Major drivers of human behavior:

-Self-interest: How does it serve the person?

-Status: How does it improve their standing?

-Convenience: What is the path of least resistance?

-Signaling: What does it signal to others?

-Social norms: How does it help them fit in?"

Donella Meadows

Leverage Points: Places to Intervene in a System

"If you want to understand the deepest malfunctions of systems, pay attention to the rules, and to who has power over them."

Josh Wolfe

North Star Podcast

"The best measure of risk is more of a philosophical one. Which is more things can happen than will. So, there you're starting to imagine all of the things that can happen. We have a quote here at Lux that is, 'Failure comes from a failure to imagine failure.' So if you can anticipate all of the ways that things can go wrong, maybe you can throw time or money or talent to kill those risks. Similarly, people say, 'Well, entrepreneurs are these great risk takers,' and I say, 'BS! They are risk killers.' They identity a risk and they want to kill it, they want to prevent the bad thing from happening, and so really great entrepreneurs are the ones that stay up all night so that I can sleep soundly knowing that they are worrying. And every time that they kill risk, I call this almost like a scientific principal with the first law of thermodynamics - energy is not created or destroyed, risk and value just change form."

Li Lu

Discussions About Modernization Part 2

"Homo sapiens, the last major species to appear on Earth, first emerged on the African savannas near the equator some 100,000 to 200,000 years ago. Homo sapiens is not only a social animal, but also an individualistic one with a highly developed brain. There is no other species on earth that is simultaneously both highly social and highly individualistic. It was exactly the unique combination of these traits that allowed human beings to set themselves apart from the other primates who came before them and create civilizations of unprecedented sophistication within such a short span of time."

Jeff Bezos

"If everything you do needs to work on a three-year time horizon, then you're competing against a lot of people. But if you're willing to invest on a seven-year time horizon, you're now competing against a fraction of those people, because very few companies are willing to do that. Just by lengthening the time horizon, you can engage in endeavors that you could never otherwise pursue. At Amazon we like things to work in five to seven years. We're willing to plant seeds, let them grow - and we're very stubborn."

Michael Mauboussin

Columbia Business School Podcast - Overcoming Biases for Effective Decision Making

“Michael Mauboussin: If there is one bit of advice you could give to an investment professional, what would it be?

Daniel Kahnemahn: Go down to Duane Reade and buy a notebook for $2 and write down your decisions. Keep an investment journal. You will be amazed at what you thought. And you will be amazed for the times you did well for the wrong reasons and so forth.”

Li Lu

"I believe there are four basic competencies a good investor must constantly improve. They are: 1) the ability to understand competitive dynamics far into the future for particular businesses and industries because nothing impacts outcomes more than competition; 2) the ability to read through accounting reports and footnotes to develop an educated sense of the company, it's culture and businesses; 3) understanding the people who run the company; and 4) a habit of constant learning in the hope of occasionally finding some insights and skills to make one more trusted and admired by interesting people who can provide opportunities."

Ryan Holiday

32 Thoughts from a 32 Year Old

"You need a philosophy and you need to write it down. And re-write it and go over it regularly. Life is too hard (and too complicated) to try to wing it and expect to do the right thing."

Arthur C. Brooks

Your Work Peak Is Earlier Than You Think

"A few years ago, I saw a cartoon of a man on his deathbed saying, 'I wish I’d bought more crap.' It has always amazed me that many wealthy people keep working to increase their wealth, amassing far more money than they could possibly spend or even usefully bequeath. One day I asked a wealthy friend why this is so. Many people who have gotten rich know how to measure their self-worth only in pecuniary terms, he explained, so they stay on the hamster wheel, year after year. They believe that at some point, they will finally accumulate enough to feel truly successful, happy, and therefore ready to die.

This is a mistake, and not a benign one. Most Eastern philosophy warns that focusing on acquisition leads to attachment and vanity, which derail the search for happiness by obscuring one’s essential nature. As we grow older, we shouldn’t acquire more, but rather strip things away to find our true selves—and thus, peace."

E.M. Forster

"Death destroys a man, but the idea of Death saves him."

David Foster Wallace

This Is Water Commencement Speech

“Because here's something else that's weird but true: in the day-to day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship—be it JC or Allah, be it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles—is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It's the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you. On one level, we all know this stuff already. It's been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, epigrams, parables; the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness.”

Peter Thiel

Zero to One

"There are 2 kinds of secrets: Secrets about nature and secrets about people. Natural secrets exist all around us; to find them, one must study some undiscovered aspect of the physical world. Secrets about people are different: they are things that people don't know about themselves or things they hide because they don't want others to know. So when thinking about what kind of company to build, there are 2 distinct questions to ask: what secrets is nature not telling you? What secrets are people not telling you?"

Robert Fritz

The Path of Least Resistance

"Structure determines behavior! The way anything is structured determines the behavior within the structure. There are fundamental structures in your life which determine the path of least resistance. The structures that have the most influence on your life are composed of your desires, beliefs, assumptions, aspirations, and objectivity reality itself. Humans act in accordance with the underlying structures in their lives. Because humanity is part of nature, it should be no surprise that people act consistently with natural law. But for most of us, this is a new idea. In our culture we have been taught to ignore our relationship to nature, to treat nature simply as the stage or background that we use, adopt, tolerate, or oppose, as the case may be."


"Every man has two lives and the second starts when he realizes he has just one."

Naval Ravikant

Joe Rogan Podcast on June 4, 2019

"What is the meaning of life? You have to find your own answer. The beauty is, if there was a single answer, we would not be free. We would be trapped because we would have to live that answer, competing to fulfill that single meaning and signaling how good we are at it."

Ray Dalio


"Because of the different ways our brains are wired, we all experience reality in different ways and any single way is essentially distorted. This is something that we need to acknowledge. So if you want to know what is true and what to do about it, you must understand your own brain."

Robert Fritz

The Path of Least Resistance

"If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is a compromise."

Ben Graham

The Intelligent Investor

"At heart, uncertainty and investing are synonyms."

Robert Greene

The Laws of Human Nature

"No matter the type of culture, or how disruptive it might have been in its origins, the longer a group exists and the larger it grows, the more conservative it will become. This is an inevitable result of the desire to hold on to what people have made or built, and to rely on tried-and-true ways to maintain the status quo. This creeping conservatism will often be the death of the group, because it slowly loses the ability to adapt."

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