The picture below was taken on Valentine’s Day 1990 by Voyager 1.  Notice the tiny blue dot in the sunbeam…

Pale_Blue_Dot.png

I’ll let Carl Sagan take it from here…

We succeeded in taking that picture, and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there – on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light.

[…] To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

Advertisements

Naval Ravikant is one of my favorite thinkers.  I put him right up there with Buffett and Munger (among others).  His original podcast with Tim Ferriss (link) is one of my all time favorites.

Lucky for us, Naval is back with another great podcast – this time with Shane Parrish on the Farnam Street Blog (link).

Like his interview with Tim Ferriss, this interview is long (2 hours), wide-ranging, and full of interesting nuggets that will make you think.

Enjoy.

Farnam Street Blog: Naval Ravikant on Reading, Happiness, Systems for Decision Making, Habits, Honesty and More

giphy-facebook_s

Agnotology – culturally constructed ignorance, created by special interest groups to create confusion and suppress the truth in a societally important issue. It is especially useful to sow seeds of doubt in complex scientific issues by publicizing inaccurate or misleading data.

See Also:

  • Big Tobacco
  • Iraq has WMD
  • Global Warming is a Hoax
  • Vaccines cause Autism

Sources:

http://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-06-27/culturally-constructed-ignorance-wins-the-day

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnotology

Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground” is a gospel blues song written and performed by American musician Blind Willie Johnson and recorded in 1927. The song is primarily an instrumental featuring Johnson’s self-taught bottleneck slide guitar and picking style accompanied by his vocalizations of humming and moaning. It has the distinction of being one of 27 samples of music included on the Voyager Golden Record, launched into space in 1977 to represent the diversity of life on Earth.”

I heard somewhere that this is Jack White’s favorite blues song.  I bet Blind Willie Johnson never imagined his song would be recorded on gold and sent to the heavens.  Nice work NASA.

 

The_Sounds_of_Earth_Record_Cover_-_GPN-2000-001978The_Sounds_of_Earth_-_GPN-2000-001976Voyager

The Voyager 1 probe is currently the farthest human made object from Earth. Voyager 1 has reached interstellar space, the region between stars where the galactic plasma is present.[3] Like their predecessors Pioneer 10 and 11, which featured a simple plaque, both Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 were launched by NASA with a message aboard — a kind of time capsule, intended to communicate to extraterrestrials a story of the world of humans on Earth:

This is a present from a small, distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts and our feelings. We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours.

— President Jimmy Carter
***
poorcharlie
An Investing Principles Checklist

Risk – All investment evaluations should begin by measuring risk, especially reputational

  • Incorporate an appropriate margin of safety
  • Avoid dealing with people of questionable character
  • Insist upon proper compensation for risk assumed
  • Always beware of inflation and interest rate exposures
  • Avoid big mistakes; shun permanent capital loss

Independence – “Only in fairy tales are emperors told they are naked”

  • Objectivity and rationality require independence of thought
  • Remember that just because other people agree or disagree with you doesn’t make you right or wrong – the only thing that matters is the correctness of your analysis and judgment
  • Mimicking the herd invites regression to the mean (merely average performance)

Preparation – “The only way to win is to work, work, work, work, and hope to have a few insights”

  • Develop into a lifelong self-learner through voracious reading; cultivate curiosity and strive to become a little wiser every day
  • More important than the will to win is the will to prepare
  • Develop fluency in mental models from the major academic disciplines
  • If you want to get smart, the question you have to keep asking is “why, why, why?”

Intellectual humility – Acknowledging what you don’t know is the dawning of wisdom

  • Stay within a well-defined circle of competence
  • Identify and reconcile disconfirming evidence
  • Resist the craving for false precision, false certainties, etc.
  • Above all, never fool yourself, and remember that you are the easiest person to fool

“Understanding both the power of compound interest and the difficulty of getting it is the heart and soul of understanding a lot of things.”

Analytic rigor – Use of the scientific method and effective checklists minimizes errors and omissions

  • Determine value apart from price; progress apart from activity; wealth apart from size
  • It is better to remember the obvious than to grasp the esoteric
  • Be a business analyst, not a market, macroeconomic, or security analyst
  • Consider totality of risk and effect; look always at potential second order and higher level impacts
  • Think forwards and backwards – Invert, always invert

Allocation – Proper allocation of capital is an investor’s number one job

  • Remember that highest and best use is always measured by the next best use (opportunity cost)
  • Good ideas are rare – when the odds are greatly in your favor, bet (allocate) heavily
  • Don’t “fall in love” with an investment – be situation-dependent and opportunity-driven

Patience – Resist the natural human bias to act

  • “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world” (Einstein); never interrupt it unnecessarily
  • Avoid unnecessary transactional taxes and frictional costs; never take action for its own sake
  • Be alert for the arrival of luck
  • Enjoy the process along with the proceeds, because the process is where you live

Decisiveness – When proper circumstances present themselves, act with decisiveness and conviction

  • Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful
  • Opportunity doesn’t come often, so seize it when it comes
  • Opportunity meeting the prepared mind; that’s the game

Change – Live with change and accept unremovable complexity

  • Recognize and adapt to the true nature of the world around you; don’t expect it to adapt to you
  • Continually challenge and willingly amend your “best-loved ideas”
  • Recognize reality even when you don’t like it – especially when you don’t like it

Focus – Keep things simple and remember what you set out to do

  • Remember that reputation and integrity are your most valuable assets – and can be lost in a heartbeat
  • Guard against the effects of hubris and boredom
  • Don’t overlook the obvious by drowning in minutiae
  • Be careful to exclude unneeded information or slop: “A small leak can sink a great ship”
  • Face your big troubles; don’t sweep them under the rug

In the end, it comes down to Charlie’s most basic guiding principles, his fundamental philosophy of life: Preparation. Discipline. Patience. Decisiveness.

Source: Poor Charlie’s Almanack via Value Investing World