(Bi)Weekly Learning Journal 4 (14/09/2020)

Hi RIP readers,

welcome to the RIP (Bi)Weekly Learning Journal.

Holy crap, if I let the material accumulate for two weeks the sheer amount becomes unhandleable!

I don’t want to leave anything out, so I’m going to make two lists: the best stuff, each one accessible from the table of content, and the “others”, i.e. just a list of other stuff I’ve read/watched/listened that didn’t make it into the first list.

Next episode on Monday September 28th 🙂


Paul Graham’s 2006 essay “How to do what you Love” (10/10)


Best article ever. This is a 10/10. It flipped my brain so many times! This should be a mandatory read in high schools!

It’s a pragmatic approach to personal success, in terms of finding and doing what you love.

I took notes/highlights. I wanted to drop them here, but they’re very long. Take a look if you want.

Here follows the passages that hit me harder. I tried to cut them down to the bare minimum, but it’s still very long. I hope you enjoy it.

First one about the dangers of being a “good parent”:

The most dangerous liars can be the kids’ own parents. If you take a boring job to give your family a high standard of living, as so many people do, you risk infecting your kids with the idea that work is boring. Maybe it would be better for kids in this one case if parents were not so unselfish. A parent who set an example of loving their work might help their kids more than an expensive house.

Work is not just “making a living”:

It was not till I was in college that the idea of work finally broke free from the idea of making a living. Then the important question became not how to make money, but what to work on. The definition of work was now to make some original contribution to the world, and in the process not to starve.

Hedonism is not the way:

But the fact is, almost anyone would rather, at any given moment, float about in the Carribbean, or have sex, or eat some delicious food, than work on hard problems. The rule about doing what you love assumes a certain length of time. It doesn’t mean, do what will make you happiest this second, but what will make you happiest over some longer period, like a week or a month.

Testability of a happy endeavor:

To be happy I think you have to be doing something you not only enjoy, but admire. You have to be able to say, at the end, wow, that’s pretty cool. This doesn’t mean you have to make something. If you learn how to hang glide, or to speak a foreign language fluently, that will be enough to make you say, for a while at least, wow, that’s pretty cool. What there has to be is a test.

So one thing that falls just short of the standard, I think, is reading books. Except for some books in math and the hard sciences, there’s no test of how well you’ve read a book, and that’s why merely reading books doesn’t quite feel like work. You have to do something with what you’ve read to feel productive.

Against prestige:

Prestige is especially dangerous to the ambitious. If you want to make ambitious people waste their time on errands, the way to do it is to bait the hook with prestige.

Against money, when combined with prestige, i.e. Hooli:

The other big force leading people astray is money. Money by itself is not that dangerous. […] The danger is when money is combined with prestige, as in, say, corporate law, or medicine. A comparatively safe and prosperous career with some automatic baseline prestige is dangerously tempting to someone young, who hasn’t thought much about what they really like.

The problem with parents’ advice:

The advice of parents will tend to err on the side of money. It seems safe to say there are more undergrads who want to be novelists and whose parents want them to be doctors than who want to be doctors and whose parents want them to be novelists.

All parents tend to be more conservative for their kids than they would for themselves, simply because, as parents, they share risks more than rewards. If your eight year old son decides to climb a tall tree, or your teenage daughter decides to date the local bad boy, you won’t get a share in the excitement, but if your son falls, or your daughter gets pregnant, you’ll have to deal with the consequences.

On finding to find the work you love:

It’s hard to find work you love; it must be, if so few do. So don’t underestimate this task. And don’t feel bad if you haven’t succeeded yet. In fact, if you admit to yourself that you’re discontented, you’re a step ahead of most people, who are still in denial.

Sometimes jumping from one sort of work to another is a sign of energy, and sometimes it’s a sign of laziness. Are you dropping out, or boldly carving a new path? You often can’t tell yourself. Plenty of people who will later do great things seem to be disappointments early on, when they’re trying to find their niche.

Is there some test you can use to keep yourself honest? One is to try to do a good job at whatever you’re doing, even if you don’t like it. Then at least you’ll know you’re not using dissatisfaction as an excuse for being lazy. Perhaps more importantly, you’ll get into the habit of doing things well.

Another test you can use is: always produce. For example, if you have a day job you don’t take seriously because you plan to be a novelist, are you producing? Are you writing pages of fiction, however bad? As long as you’re producing, you’ll know you’re not merely using the hazy vision of the grand novel you plan to write one day as an opiate.

“Always produce” is also a heuristic for finding the work you love. If you subject yourself to that constraint, it will automatically push you away from things you think you’re supposed to work on, toward things you actually like. “Always produce” will discover your life’s work the way water, with the aid of gravity, finds the hole in your roof.

Mindblowingly right about “someone has to do the shitty job”:

Another related line you often hear is that not everyone can do work they love—that someone has to do the unpleasant jobs. Really? How do you make them? In the US the only mechanism for forcing people to do unpleasant jobs is the draft, and that hasn’t been invoked for over 30 years. All we can do is encourage people to do unpleasant work, with money and prestige.

If there’s something people still won’t do, it seems as if society just has to make do without. That’s what happened with domestic servants. For millennia that was the canonical example of a job “someone had to do.” And yet in the mid twentieth century servants practically disappeared in rich countries, and the rich have just had to do without.

So while there may be some things someone has to do, there’s a good chance anyone saying that about any particular job is mistaken. Most unpleasant jobs would either get automated or go undone if no one were willing to do them.

On making a living while finding and doing what you love:

There’s another sense of “not everyone can do work they love” that’s all too true, however. One has to make a living, and it’s hard to get paid for doing work you love. There are two routes to that destination:

  • The organic route: as you become more eminent, gradually to increase the parts of your job that you like at the expense of those you don’t. (RIP Note: the FIRE Spectrum)
  • The two-job route: to work at things you don’t like to get money to work on things you do. (RIP Note: the side hustle)

The organic route is more common. It happens naturally to anyone who does good work.

The two-job route has several variants depending on how long you work for money at a time. At one extreme is the “day job,” where you work regular hours at one job to make money, and work on what you love in your spare time. At the other extreme you work at something till you make enough not to have to work for money again. (RIP Note: This is FIRE)

The two-job route is less common than the organic route, because it requires a deliberate choice. It’s also more dangerous. Life tends to get more expensive as you get older, so it’s easy to get sucked into working longer than you expected at the money job. (RIP Note: it looks like The Optionality Trap)

Which route should you take? That depends on how sure you are of what you want to do, how good you are at taking orders, how much risk you can stand, and the odds that anyone will pay (in your lifetime) for what you want to do.

Don’t decide too soon. Kids who know early what they want to do seem impressive, as if they got the answer to some math question before the other kids. They have an answer, certainly, but odds are it’s wrong.

A friend of mine who is a quite successful doctor complains constantly about her job. In high school she already wanted to be a doctor. Now she has a life chosen for her by a high-school kid.

Pro Optionality:

Unless you’re fairly sure what you want to do, your best bet may be to choose a type of work that could turn into either an organic or two-job career.

That was probably part of the reason I chose computers. You can be a professor, or make a lot of money, or morph it into any number of other kinds of work.

Anti Optionality:

Most people would say, I’d take that problem. Give me a million dollars and I’ll figure out what to do. But it’s harder than it looks. Constraints give your life shape. Remove them and most people have no idea what to do: look at what happens to those who win lotteries or inherit money. Much as everyone thinks they want financial security, the happiest people are not those who have it, but those who like what they do. So a plan that promises freedom at the expense of knowing what to do with it may not be as good as it seems.

Get Awesome Slowly:

Whichever route you take, expect a struggle. Finding work you love is very difficult. Most people fail. Even if you succeed, it’s rare to be free to work on what you want till your thirties or forties. But if you have the destination in sight you’ll be more likely to arrive at it. If you know you can love work, you’re in the home stretch, and if you know what work you love, you’re practically there.

Print this essay out, and distribute it in every high school in the world!

Paul Graham’s 2004 essay: “How to Make Wealth” (8/10)


This essay was strongly connected to the previous one. I had unquantifiably high expectations, and it was inferior in quality (but still a solid 8, or 8.5). It’s a startup manifesto. Entrepreneurship mindset. No room for other kind of wealth.

Here follows few (few, promised!) passages. Emphasis mine.

Startup = fast track to FIRE:

Economically, you can think of a startup as a way to compress your whole working life into a few years. Instead of working at a low intensity for forty years, you work as hard as you possibly can for four. This pays especially well in technology, where you earn a premium for working fast.

Money is not Wealth

Wealth is not the same thing as money. Wealth is as old as human history. Far older, in fact; ants have wealth. Money is a comparatively recent invention.

Wealth is the fundamental thing. Wealth is stuff we want: food, clothes, houses, cars, gadgets, travel to interesting places, and so on. You can have wealth without having money. If you had a magic machine that could on command make you a car or cook you dinner or do your laundry, or do anything else you wanted, you wouldn’t need money. Whereas if you were in the middle of Antarctica, where there is nothing to buy, it wouldn’t matter how much money you had.

Wealth is what you want, not money. But if wealth is the important thing, why does everyone talk about making money? It is a kind of shorthand: money is a way of moving wealth, and in practice they are usually interchangeable.

Money is a side effect of specialization. In a specialized society, most of the things you need, you can’t make for yourself. If you want a potato or a pencil or a place to live, you have to get it from someone else.

People think that what a business does is make money. But money is just the intermediate stage, just a shorthand, for whatever people want. What most businesses really do is make wealth. They do something people want.

There is not a fixed amount of wealth in the world. You can make more wealth. Wealth has been getting created and destroyed (but on balance, created) for all of human history.

A couple of chapters are spent on the fact that in huge companies your hard work is not proportionate to your reward, and you’re not incentived to work harder and faster.

To get rich you need to get yourself in a situation with two things, measurement and leverage. You need to be in a position where your performance can be measured, or there is no way to get paid more by doing more. And you have to have leverage, in the sense that the decisions you make have a big effect.

An example of a job with both measurement and leverage would be lead actor in a movie. Your performance can be measured in the gross of the movie. And you have leverage in the sense that your performance can make or break it.

CEOs also have both measurement and leverage. They’re measured, in that the performance of the company is their performance. And they have leverage in that their decisions set the whole company moving in one direction or another.

I think everyone who gets rich by their own efforts will be found to be in a situation with measurement and leverage.

But you don’t have to become a CEO or a movie star to be in a situation with measurement and leverage. All you need to do is be part of a small group working on a hard problem.

Measurement, similar to the”testability” of the essay above!

The essay moves on saying that a sufficient condition for measurement is smallness (a startup), and a sufficient condition for leverage is technology. Fund or join a Tech Startup is the way to go! Mind that this essay was written in 2004.

But it’s not all roses… there are few catches:

Unfortunately there are a couple catches.

One is that you can’t choose the point on the curve that you want to inhabit. You can’t decide, for example, that you’d like to work just two or three times as hard, and get paid that much more. When you’re running a startup, your competitors decide how hard you work. And they pretty much all make the same decision: as hard as you possibly can.

The other catch is that the payoff is only on average proportionate to your productivity. There is, as I said before, a large random multiplier in the success of any company. So in practice the deal is not that you’re 30 times as productive and get paid 30 times as much. It is that you’re 30 times as productive, and get paid between zero and a thousand times as much. If the mean is 30x, the median is probably zero. Most startups tank.

How to mitigate them? You should plan your exit by getting acquired. How? By being profitable and getting users:

I think it’s a good idea to get bought, if you can. Running a business is different from growing one. It is just as well to let a big company take over once you reach cruising altitude. It’s also financially wiser, because selling allows you to diversify. What would you think of a financial advisor who put all his client’s assets into one volatile stock?

How do you get bought? Mostly by doing the same things you’d do if you didn’t intend to sell the company. Being profitable, for example. But getting bought is also an art in its own right, and one that we spent a lot of time trying to master.

What it all comes down to is users. You’d think that a company about to buy you would do a lot of research and decide for themselves how valuable your technology was. Not at all. What they go by is the number of users you have.

 Users are the only real proof that you’ve created wealth.

A good essay, even after 16 years, if you plan to create wealth via entrepreneurship.

It’s not a 9 or 10 for me because I’m a bit too old for this stuff… or… aren’t I?

Mark Manson on Philosophy (9/10)


I fell in love for Mark Manson more or less a couple of years ago, while reading The Subtle Art of not Giving a Fuck. Then after 3 months of binge reading his entire blog I felt he started repeating himself.

But after having read a few Philosophy rebuttals from the guy above, this post was a refresher.

There’s a lot of value in studying Philosophy today, not everything is lost!

I took notes and extracted some highlights:

  • We individually face the three basic questions of philosophy at one point in life, that we call Existential Crisis (There’s a nice The School of Life video about it):
    • What is true? – Metaphysics
    • Why is it true? – Epistemiology
    • How should I live based on what’s true? – Ethics
  • Because human understanding is limited, we must be careful about what we choose to accept as true. Not only is it more accurate to remain uncertain of most issues and circumstances, but it’s also more beneficial to you and the people around you. Unfounded certainty breeds tyrannical, narcissistic behavior. Unfounded certainty alienates you from the perspectives and beliefs of others. Unfounded certainty prevents you from learning and growing from your failures.”
    • My Note: an ode to Skepticism!
  • If it is impossible to definitively answer the question, “What is true?” Then the next best question is, “What is worth believing?
  • Once you begin to question the significance and veracity of everything that happens in your life, you will begin to realize that much of what you believe and value was not determined by you—it was determined by the people and culture around you.
    • My Note: I like the celebration of skepticism, and the acceptance that values are something we choose to believe. But I’m missing the part where Mark says that there are things that are hard to believe intentionally, like Religion, or Santa Claus for example 🙂
  • Mark mentions the Übermensch concept by Friedrich Nietzsche, saying that an Übermensch question the values, all of them, including good and evil. And it’s a free thinker. “He is not only willing to face social rejection or ridicule but in many cases, he welcomes it because it is merely further evidence of his willingness to define values for himself
    • My Note: I’ve always had prejudices about Nietzsche and Übermensch, because of how he’s been associated to the politics of “extreme right”. Maybe I should reconsider it.
  • For Sartre, “those who failed to consciously choose what they valued in their lives lived an inherently inauthentic life
    • My Note: interesting thought, but my impulsive answer would be that it’s hard to self assign values when you know that the meaning of life is absurd. Maybe I should read more before having an opinion though.
  • This conscious choosing of one’s beliefs and values not only has repercussions for one’s own mental and emotional well-being, but it also determines the kind of footprint you leave in the world. In fact, as we’ll see, the people who make the greatest footprints tend to have clearly defined philosophical belief systems for themselves.
    • My Note: this is so true! I’m seeing myself in these words. Now I realize that a good writer writes something that the reader can identify with. Maybe I’m fooling myself thinking this piece of writing is important and relevant because it talks about me… maybe it’s just that Mark is good at writing.
    • My Note: but also… I had existential crisis, quit the job, re-evaluating my values, not there yet. Still too much worried by money… When I’ll quit this other job I’ll be free to work on what aligns better to my today’s values, which is writing and helping others. It also determines the kind of footprint you leave in the world. Why am I opposing so strongly to my true calling?

David Silver’s 2015 lectures “Introduction to Reinforcement Learning” (8/10)


That’s what I’m doing for work now: taking classes!

Audio quality sucks. Take a look at this 2018 course, with (but not only) David Silver, still held by DeepMind guys 😉

Same topic: 3Blue1Brown‘s playlist on Neural Networks. Link (9/10). Less academic, but holy shit how much I like Grant Sanderson!

Guys, what a time to be alive! All the knowledge in the world is a click away, really!

James Jani’s MLM documentary (7/10)


I’ve already mentioned James Jani in my Fake Gurus post. I like his documentary style.

This is a good video about a topic that triggers me: Multilevel and Network Marketing. I’ve lost a couple of ex friends who went all-in into this shit, and lost a lot of money.

Please, take a look at James video. And while you’re at it, also at this John Oliver’s 2016 Last Week Tonight episode.

Spencer Cornelia about why music industry is broken (8/10)

Link, Link

Spencer Cornelia is a YouTuber I recently discovered. He’s into exposing scams and contrepreneurs.

I’d say he’s less entertaining compared to Coffeezilla and Mike Winnet, but more factual. A nice discovery!

I binged his content for an entire evening. Take a look at exposing Amazon Dropshipping gurus (Link), why athletes go broke (Link), about happiness and fake gurus who tell you to quit 9to5 jobs (Link).

I also like his “Authentic or Charlatans” series: Robert Kiyosaki (Link), Tai Lopez (Link), Dr Oz, Graham Stephan, Caleb Maddix, Dave Ramsey, Dan Lok…

Apparently exposing fake gurus is becoming profitable. Here a breakdown of how much Spencer earned recently (Link). Good job, well deserved!

Wisecrack about “Nihilism in Rick and Morty & BoJack Horseman” (8/10)


This video made me start watching Rick and Morty. I binge watched all 4 seasons in 2 weeks. What an amazing series!

The video is about Nihilism and Existentialism as shown in those two adult animated series: Rick and Morty and BoJack Horseman. Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Sartre… I’m getting dangerously close to those philosophies while experiencing my ongoing existential crisis. Is it just because of ageing, atheism, and disillusionment or I need to explore more?

Marc Andreessen interview on Productivity (7/10)


If you haven’t read yet, I suggest you read his 2007 personal guide to Productivity (Link) before this interview.

Weird how 180-degreey he turned in a decade! From “no schedule at all” to “schedule every waking minute” 🙂

The strange thing is that I agree with both his strategies! It actually makes all sense: you want freedom when you’re in entrepreneur/creative mode, and rigid structure when you’re in CEO mode.

It’s not only an interview about productivity, also about goals, systems, books, reading, learning, contrarian thinking, improvement, motivation, and more.

Best passage in my opinion:

Q) how do you read so much?

A) I’ve really read all the time since I was a little kid, it’s been a lifelong thing. It’s basically trying to try to fill in all the puzzle pieces for the big discrepancies.

A great term is “sense-making”. Essentially, what the hell is happening and why? The world’s an incredibly complex and erratic place and trying to figure that out is kind of a lifetime occupation.

The thing I’ve tried to do the last few years is really “barbell” the inputs. I basically read things that are either up to this minute or things that are timeless.

More To That on Creativity, Knowledge and Experience (8/10)

No link 🙁

More to That is digging deeper into creativity with his latest posts. The following is an extract from his latest thoughts on his mailing list.

Knowledge or experience is a prerequisite to creative expression. Without any inputs, you get no outputs. Pretty intuitive process there.

However, when we desire knowledge solely for the sake of creativity, we lose something in the process. We start reading for the purpose of writing. Learning for the sake of teaching.

If everything we absorb is viewed for its utility, then we lose our curiosity. Pure curiosity is an end in itself; it exists simply for the sake of exploration. To cultivate it properly, let go of the desire to make something out of everything.

This touched base with me. I’ve always considered creativity and curiosity two interleaved ingredients for growth and self actualization.

He also recommends the book Creativity by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (the author of Flow). Need to read Flow first though.

Big ERN’s response to Financial Samurai’s 0.5% SWR (6/10)


I don’t like posts where the thesis is easy to demonstrate, and where I find myself agreeing all the time, unchallenged.

It all started with Financial Samurai, a blog I used to follow before it became clickbait and provocative on purpose, published that given current low yields, the Safe Withdrawal Rate for early retirees should be 0.5% (Link). Provocative, but not a bad post though. He’s not trolling.

Anyway, Big Ern dropped few facts and the debate is over. This is still a blog about FIRE, so I couldn’t have skipped this debate. Draw your own conclusions.

David Cain on how to feel better when you don’t know how you are doing (7/10)


Inside the door of my breakfast cupboard I taped a list of activities that reliably make me feel better: journaling, meditation, cleaning something that’s been dirty for a long time, reaching out to a friend, reading a real book, and half a dozen others.

Whenever I feel down, aimless, unproductive, or lost, I open the cupboard, pick the most appealing item on the list, and do ten or twenty minutes of it. Read on the front stoop. Send off a few “Hey what are you up to?” texts. Take a fifteen-minute jog around the neighborhood.

This is very actionable, I love that!

Italian – Astutillo Smeriglia on how to suicide quickly and funnily (8/10)


Penso di non dire niente di nuovo se dico che ogni persona consapevole preferirebbe non essere mai nata, giusto?

Do I need to add more?

Ok, you’re welcome:

Le persone inconsapevoli si deprimono solo quando capita loro qualcosa di brutto, invece le persone consapevoli si deprimono appena aprono gli occhi la mattina e si rendono conto che anche stavolta non hanno avuto la fortuna di morire nel sonno.

Do not judge before reading.

Smeriglia is one of finest essayist in Italy, and he’s not an essayist.

Duncan Sabien’s 2017 Dragon Army experiment (8/10)

Link, Link

I love Rationality and the community around lesswrong. But sometimes the rationalists are weird people.

I also like to fantasize about intentional community, and techno-villages.

So when I discovered on The Zvi’s website (Link) that there’s been an experiment in cohousing among rationalists with ambitious goals, the rabbit hole couldn’t be stopped.

I’ve read both the Duncan Sabien’ articles linked above, and the one written by The Zvi. If you want to walk that way, read them in the following order: Duncan1, The Zvi, Duncan2.

The first one by Duncan is about launching a call to action to set up a cohousing project, with strong commitments to devote time and give up some freedom. I know, it seems the pitch of a guru, but I trust the rationality of the intentions.

The second one is a post-mortem of how i went. It didn’t go well enough to call it a success.

Intentional communal living is hard!

Discovered the Stag Hunt metaphor, which is a generalized Prisoner’s Dilemma.

I learned about personality types like White Knight, Red Knight, Black Knight, and Ghost. How to spot them. How they can destroy harmony for reasons that are hard to detect at first.

After having read all the material, my respect for astronauts on the ISS grew exponentially!

Anyway, this debate broke the rationalists community, and that’s a good thing: rationality is not deterministic 🙂

One tactic I’ve learned via reading about Dragon Army that I’d like to try out is the Effort Exchange:

We started doing “effort exchange,” which is loosely based on a much-less-politically-correct thing you can ask Andrew Critch about.

During EE, pairs of Dragons would spend ~30min being minions for a third Dragon, who would then serve as minion for each of them in turn.

So, for about half an hour or so, you would have access to 3x your usual brainpower, 3x your usual amount of experience and perspective, 3x your usual number of hands.

EE was awesome; it is by far the highest contender for continued use in future versions of Dragon Army.

Maybe this is something we can try in our mastermind group? 🙂

Morgan Housel: save like a pessimist, invest like an optimist (7/10)


A good article on how Optimism and Pessimism can coexist.

I like Morgan’s articles, he tries to view finance from the point of view of other disciplines, usually in the psychology field.

He also wrote his first book: The Psychology of Money.

Maybe I’ll check it out.

Tech Lead on Millionaire Mindset (8/10)


Tech Lead is a successful entertainer who’s FI many times over, and a bit workaholic.

His earlier videos were funny but a bit superficial. Recently he’s going deeper. I like him much more. Even though there’s enormous cultural gap (western vs eastern approach to life), I find his content to be very relatable to where I am in life.

The main difference is that he’s really free. And it’s not because he has a lot of money and a minimalist life, but mostly because he doesn’t think in scarcity mindset. He’s born an entrepreneur. That’s what I’m missing in my life: some trust in myself that I will make it without a traditional 9to5. Without “Certainty”, embracing “Uncertainty”.

Anyway, this video is about Habits, with many mentions to the book Atomic Habits by James Clear.

Which is a book I should read.

How to make friends with a Swiss Person (Gruezi/10)


Pretty hilarious (and accurate)!

Also from the same guys: How to find Humor In Switzerland (Link).

And finally… a Swiss nightmare (Link)!


Here follows a list of other resources I’ve consumed over the last two weeks 🙂

Numberphile about number 569936821221962380720, and the sum of cubic numbers. Link.

3Blue1Brown about number 808017424794512875886459904961710757005754368000000000, and group theory. Link.

(The two above are part of a #MegaFavNumbers challenge on YT – Link)

3Blue1Brown old video about limits. Link – yep, a mini math rabbit hole after the 3Blue1Brown’s video on Neural Networks (see above).

Nat Eliason about listening to Podcasts, and audio highlights. Link – we’re close to be able to highlight and extract notes from audio sources. PKM on steroids.

Jordan, former voice of The Axis of Awesome, sings The Song That Doesn’t End for 5 hours and half, world record. Link – Lyrics: This is the song that doesn’t end. Yes it goes on and on my friend. Some people started singing it not knowing what it was and they’ll continue singing it forever just because. (repeats forever)

Hank Green interviews Bill Gates. Link – a good dose of rationality.

ITA – Marcello Ascani video on what you can buy with 1 Euro in Rome. Link – Very good! Nostalgia “to the shovels” (a palate)… I also used to hunt for cheap places in Rome 20 years ago 🙂 Btw, Marcello, come doing a similar video in Zurich. I wrote the script for you: you wandering among shops, astonished of “what? 5 Euros for a coffee??“, and it ends with you sadly sitting on a bench, eating a piece of bread 😀

Mike Winnet‘s Contrepreneur Bingo with Tai Lopez. Link – what a disappointment, Tai! You can do better than that 😉

The Plain Bagel video on on Forex Trading. Link – at the end Richard says the video has been made to contrast the spreading of “fake news” about the expected return of forex trading, according to the fake guru in this field. Good job!

More To That twit on Happiness and Enough. LinkHappiness is the difference between what you have, and your definition of enough.

Half As Interesting about Belgium being without a government for 621 days (and counting). Link – are governments necessary?

PBS NewsHour video on Health Care in Switzerland vs US. Link – has Switzerland the best health care system in the world?

Coffeezilla about Fake guru Kevin David who plagiarizes other fake gurus. Link – Cmon, bro… plagiarize Sam Ovens? Seriously? There’s no dignity nowadays…

A Purple Life quit her job! Link– congrats Purple! Happy FI for you 🙂

Wendover Production on how to cross US-Mexican border illegally. Link – the most elegant rebuttal of the border wall I’ve seen. Factual and human. Addressing the causes, not the symptoms.

ITA – Giopizzi on US 2020 Election. Link – metrics don’t lie! But you can’t sponsor Gimme faiv 🙁

Ben Carlson about “how much is Enough”, and the story of McDonald’s. Link – Why only one of the two McDonald’s brothers had a famous burger with “Big” as a prefix named after him? That’s unfair! Anyway, great story!

Michael Batnick on Year 2020 all in one. Link – it’s been a rough year, isn’t it? And it’s not over yet!

Nick Maggiulli on the Robinhood Effect. Link – He claims that the army of “small traders” are not the cause of the market going vertical. Counterintuitive…

Ben Carlson on the two factors that drive stock prices. LinkFundamentals: dividends and earning growth. Emotional: P/E Ratio. Apple is going nuts, it’s trading at PE 40!

Ben Carlson about his own portfolio. LinkIt’s fascinating to see what professional investors own. “...Disappointed in my holdings in foreign, emerging market, small cap, mid cap and value stocks. They haven’t kept pace with the broader U.S. stock market and have been trounced by the tech sector“. I’m with you Ben, I’m with you.

Ben Carlson (yes, my friend Ben published many interesting posts lately, including one focused on the economy of parenting) about his own struggles while becoming a parent. Link – Never ask someone why they don’t have kid yet. Never fucking ever!

ITA – Istituto Liberale interview with Frank Merenda. Link – Merenda is probably a Fake Guru. I had ZERO expectations, actually negative ones! I wanted to watch just a few minutes and get triggered… but the interview was actually good! Frank is not self promoting all the time, chapeau. He talked about liberalism and entrepreneurship. Bad language aside (a swear words every 10 seconds), an interesting “monologue” by Frank Merenda. “Schools teach you to become an employee“.

That’s all for this week 🙂



  1. Wow. This is scary! About 2 weeks ago, I started that exact 2015 RL course (with a view to doing the similar 2018 course afterwards). Unfortuantely, I’m doing this for my own interest and not on work time. Here your first link speaks to me: RL could well be the field of my dream job, but I’m not yet brave enough to chart a path from where I am today to doing that dream job.

    1. Karsten, your post is amazing, and it got a mention in the “best” section, not the “other”!
      It’s just that I rank the material by how much they challenge my brain, and I was just nodding all the time while reading yours 🙂
      Debunking Financial Samurai’s posts is the writing equivalent of stealing candy from children.

      Thanks for stopping by!

    1. Can you elaborate on this?
      I follow him from his beginning and I have mixed feelings. He’s monetizing too aggressively for my taste, but I think there’s a lot of entertaining value in his video, and sometimes even good value for wannabe software engineers.

    2. He’s not a fraud. It’s mostly entertainment, but there’s also some golden nuggets of advice within the sardonic humour. It’s also a warning not to be too dimensional and focus on money/career at the expense of family.

      1. I think he’s a good example of a successful person I don’t want to become: always thinking about money, broken family, living with his parents, monetizing the hell out of his life, deeply depressed behind his impenetrability curtain.

        And he’s undoubtedly successful!

        The problem is that the path to misery and happiness are so fucking close together, and both so rational…

    1. Thanks, fixed!
      I’ve watched his podcast with Mad Fientist, David Perell, and also attended his live webinar on the CFA Institute website 🙂
      I like Morgan Housel writing, but I guess I’m going to pass on his book.

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