What are succesful people reading? That is a question I would like to answer some day. Until then, I am documenting, here links that I find interesting. And that you would find interesting. They are terribly organized, but they are unedited.
Be quiet, work hard, and stay healthy.
It’s not ambition or skill that is going to set you apart—notice I didn’t mention those things a single time. It’s safe to assume you’ve already got them covered. What will set you apart, what is rare, is humility, diligence and self-awareness.
One last thing. You can always email me (as many of you have taken it upon yourself to do). I’ve been there. I’m still there in some ways. But like I said, I’ve been through this ringer more times and with more riding on it than most people. I’m happy to help.
This week we feature Bill Irvine, author of the popular and influential A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy.
In one of my favorite novels, The Moviegoer by Walker Percy, Aunt Emily is famous for asking a question. It’s a simple one, but I think an eye-opening one. Aunt Emily, the wisest character in the book, likes to ask,
a blazing fire makes flame and brightness out of everything that is thrown into it.
It was Heraclitus who said that character is fate. Or character is destiny, depending on the translation. What he meant was: Character decides everything. It determines who we are/what we do. Develop good character and all will be well. Fail to, and nothing will.
But the reply surprised him. Because there wasn’t any of that. Instead, Will waved those concerns off. “My whole theory about life,” Will told his beloved nephew and son, “is that glory and accomplishment are of far less importance than the creation of character and the individual good life.”
ackwards as they plot is fit for the kingdom of God. Even before Jesus, Cato the Elder—the great-grandfather of the Stoic Cato the Younger—wrote in his only work, On Agriculture, “The forehead is better than the hindhead.” Meaning: Don’t look back. Look forward.
What is Scarce?
To put the question in the bluntest possible way, let’s say that machine intelligence helps us make a lot more things more cheaply, as indeed it is doing. Where will most of the benefits go? In accord with economic reasoning, they will go to that which is scarce. In today’s global economy here is what is scarce: 1. Quality land and natural resources 2. Intellectual property, or good ideas about what should be produced. 3. Quality labor with unique skills Here is what is not scarce these days:
Unskilled labor, as more countries join the global economy
Money in the bank or held in government securities, which you can think of as simple capital, not attached to any special ownership rights (we know there is a lot of it because it has been earning zero or negative real rates of return)
Tyler Cowen, Average is Over
Zequenz Classic 360 soft bound Journal Writing Notebook Medium Red 5" x 7" 140 sheets / 280 pages Blank thick paper