Thursday, July 19, 2018

Is texting making you dumber ? What about taking selfies ?

Did you know there are studies that show your "smartphone" may actually make you dumber.

From Psychology Today: "Cognitive capacity and overall brain power are significantly reduced when your smartphone is within glancing distance—even if it’s turned off and face down—according to a recent study. This new report from the University of Texas at Austin, 'Brain Drain: The Mere Presence of One’s Own Smartphone Reduces Available Cognitive Capacity,' was published in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research." -Christopher Bergland, June 25, 2017

What about texting ?

Texting all the time is another sign of a feeble mind.

The Wall Street Journal had an article last weekend on how a "sexting scandal",The Sexting Scandal That Toppled One of America’s Most Powerful Lawyers" toppled a prominent lawyer, William Voge, who was Chairman at Latham and Watkins LLP. A woman toppled a man with whom she has never had a physical relationship.
The woman (Andrea Vassell): "You are insane if you think I am not coming after you with everything I have," Men abuse and exploit women and then the church that is dominated by the male Elders steps forward and tells the women to forgive. That stupid shit-stops with me!" 
"Don't you think we both could be at fault ?"

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Max Cantor Q&A -Watch out for the Silicon Valley mongoose

Interviewer: He, he, hey. This is [Bleep], your bond trader and Max fan. Lock up your daughters and horses, cause we have Max Cantor today for you. Max, thanks for doing a Q&A with me today. This is our third, isn't it ?

Max Cantor: It is. It is the third in two-and-a-half years (2016, and 2017, here). Thanks for doing it on Friday the 13th.

Interviewer: I can't believe it is Friday already. When I talked to you earlier today, you said you had an announcement to make. I just hope it isn't about Yoda.

Max: Why not ? You brought up Master Yoda, and I'm happy to talk about him.

Interviewer: Really ? Is that your announcement today ?

Max: No, but you've brought him up, it's the aperitif in your interviews. So Yoda came to me.

Interviewer: He did ? How ? He came to you into your dreams or on a spaceship ? What are you saying ?

Max: He came to me in a vision. And told me about a great secret, called "Sitting In a Tight Bush".

Interviewer: Ok. Can you elaborate ? I'm sure your readers want to know everything about it, even if it involves drinking 4 oz. of dry scotch.

Max: This is a technique Master Yoda uses, every morning. He goes out, finds a bush, then sits there with his eyes closed until he has the vision of him sitting in a tight bush.

Interviewer: I see. And that takes a lot of imagination.

Max: He told me that's his technique. Now, when he goes to sleep he'll have the same dream, "Sitting in a Tight Bush".

Interviewer: Marvelous. You can paint the sky blue with that. What else would you like to tell your readers today ?

Max: Thanks all for being a loyal reader ! What you're reading is the best, no holds-barred, personal power blog in the world. There's nothing out there that comes even close. And watch out for a dangerous animal called the Silicon Valley mongoose. Let's watch this video together:

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

At VEP bet on intelligence tests, not GPAs or GMAT

In a Wall Street Jornal article today entitled  Secret Formula, Intelligence Tests Fuel Buyout Firm Miriam Gotfried and Laura Cooper detail some procedures behind Vista Equity Partners's hiring and operating. VEP is a highly successful software buyout firm. (for a list of the biggest PE firms in the world, head over to PEI 300).

"Vista primarily hires job applicants who do well, often young people with modest credentials or experience. These are its “high performing entry-level” workers, or HPELs."

If what is said holds true. this may be the one firm that doesn't hire M7 (Magnificent Seven) graduates on autopilot and doesn't grade people on their connections. The test is not just for new hires, but for employees of the acquired companies as well.

On the operations side, we are told they have an in-house ops shop (their own consulting business, VCG) which implements a set of standards of "110 directives known as Vista Best Practices." My guess is the niche of software is predictable enough to scale.

Quote of the Day: "Man needs entertainment simply to hide his madness. If he was perfectly sane, he would not need entertainment. He could just sit and watch this bamboo grow. He does not really need entertainment." -Sadhguru

Friday, July 6, 2018

In entirely random phenomena, people will see a negative event

MOI (Manual of Ideas) Global is an invitation-only events and member publications for the value investing community.

Yesterday WSJ published a front-page article about the performance of Greenlight Capital, David Einhorn's hedge fund. The Fund lost 18.7% through the year.

Daniel Gladies from MOI also published an article same day, The Roles of Skill and Chance. (which is an excerpt from a letter of Vltava Fund, a global equity investment fund)

There are a few salient points in this article:

If someone replaced the classic coin toss for a portfolio manager's returns, guess what ?

Assuming heads as + (good year) and tails (-) bad year, 9 bad periods in a row!

"Such a portfolio manager would probably be out of work for a long time, because his or her clients would have concluded that the manager’s investment abilities are miserable. Ha! In a coin toss, which is an activity where skill plays no role, tails appear 9× in a row and we consider it common fluctuation, whereas we regard an investor’s nine bad periods to be automatic proof of incompetence."

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

How many friends should you have ?

I have five friends (including two mentors), 30 close-circle relationships (I drop ex-girlfriends like flies)  including family and perhaps as many as 50 other "significant" acquaintances. 5000 enemies and counting (Hello, there !). Question: Should I turn some of these enemies into friends, because I seem to be friend-poor ?

How many friends should you have ?

Lifehacker last March wrote about the concept of Dunbar's number and Dunbar's layer.

Accordingly, "humans could likely only maintain social relationships with an average of 148 individuals due to the size of our brain’s neocortex, or what’s known as Dunbar’s Number. More social information processing demands requires more cognitive resources, and we only have so much brain power. Basically, we tend to top out at having 150 meaningful relationships in our lives, whether they’re family, friends, or casual acquaintances. Your Facebook might have hundreds or thousands of “friends,” but a good chunk of them, if not most, are out of mind." -Lifehacker
So, are you within the 150 number of "meaningful relationships" or way beyond that ? (As you can see, that is not my problem. I seem to be well below it so I am cultivating some powerful enemies).

Suggestion 1: If you are over the number, perhaps you need to speed up your hold-and-drop rate. That's what I call the time a person stays on the list. As you move on into the world, some people need to be left behind. Some people will have more "staying power" than others.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

How To Spoil a Girl Party - Guest Post

A year ago I opened the blog to comments. And what a faithful day that was. Today we will be featuring our first guest writer, Tom. Tom won a reader's poll against Bill, a pro golf trainer, who was standing by to submit his golf tips. When I asked Tom what his full name was, he said he Knows-a-Lot. Tom Knows-a-Lot is a professional party promoter. In his capacity, Tom gets hired mostly by rich and spoiled girls...But NOT tonight. No, tonight he will be working for YOU. If you are interested in submitting an article, email me your topic and your Resume for consideration. I don't care if you've written before or not, but what I do care the article be original. It has to be 100% novel. Do not regurgitate your blog posts.
Oh, the smell of summer. The dog days of summer are here. It is the perfect time for girls to jazz it up and party. Since you're getting invited, you need to know a few party tricks to spoil a girl's party. That, or be her lapdog.

How do you spoil the girls party and not throw up into your own mouth ?

How do you do the deed but not the punishment ?

1. Say Hello to my little friend. My little lifelong friend in health. Its name is garlic. When I go to a party, I stock 4-5 raw garlic cloves in my pockets. (it will pass security, if they ask anything just say you're superstitious). Whenever you have anything meaty being served, crunch on the garlic too. If the girls ask why do you eat raw garlic, tell them it's for your heart. Offer them some too, as your mouth stinks to heaven. They will surely refuse you. Ask her: "Don't you want a Big Heart, too ?
Related: If you smoke, remember to smoke in the girl's face. If you smoked outside, before you come back indoors rub the cigarette butt into your hands. When you're back, shake her hand or pat her on the shoulder with the smoky hands.

2. Since everyone is on Instagram/FB, I had some tips here, but will withheld those for untold reasons. Max said we can't play with technology.

3. When you're running in a circle of ladies, play their age. What that means: As you talk to the older lady, let's say she is 28 years old, make her feel old and inferior to the youngest in the group. Similarly, when smooching with the youngest in the group (19 years old), make her feel inferior for being younger: i.e. Is anything sexier than experience ? It reminds me of my teacher...I like it when class is in session.

4. Girls have a fetish for their shoes. Find a way to ruin a girl's shoes, and that girl is done. Do not ruin a girl's outfit, she can easily replace it. She can go home and change, or easily borrow on the spot.

So, go for the kill: the shoes. The plastic tip on the heels's end is the most vulnerable part.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Why do people change their minds

I recently started following BBC Future and I found an interesting article on the "Surprising Reason Why People Change Their Minds."

"Kristin Laurin of the University of British Columbia examined people’s attitudes before plastic water bottles were prohibited in San Francisco. The ban wasn’t favoured by everyone, but was introduced nonetheless. Just one day later, her team again tested public attitudes. Already, views had changed: people were less opposed. There hadn’t been time for people to change their behaviour to adjust to the practicalities of the ban. So it seemed their mindset itself had changed. 
...we rationalize the things we feel stuck with. It’s as though we free up brain space to get on with our lives by deciding it’s not so bad, after all. Laurin likens this to a 'psychological immune system'. "
Quote of the Day: "The secret of being a bore is to tell everything." -Voltaire

Next one up, a 2014 article on The Best Way To Win an Argument

"Recruiting a sample of Americans via the internet, they polled participants on a set of contentious US policy issues, such as imposing sanctions on Iran, healthcare and approaches to carbon emissions. One group was asked to give their opinion and then provide reasons for why they held that view. This group got the opportunity to put their side of the issue, in the same way anyone in an argument or debate has a chance to argue their case.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Treating women and men equally is the solution

I am strong believer in the equality of rights between men and women.

Unfortunately we see men toiling in the dust of the middle ages.

Men are afraid to call a spade a spade.

Men have been digging themselves into a hole, sometimes because of lack of character, and often times because of misunderstanding women. I will clear up some misunderstandings here.

Indeed, if only women were treated equally, the problems men and women experience would be negligeable.

Problem 1. Unearned goodwill

Unearned goodwill towards women is a misprobe. In the workplace, men place mistrusted empathy towards women. By making it easier for women, men create an untenable environment, prone to misunderstandings and abuse from both sides.

Problem 2. Women are "fragile."

No, they are not. They're just as qualified to do the hard work as men are. In fact, women are happier when they start with the hardest task at hand. When women ask for special treatment as they often do, they must be refused. It's equality for all, not just for some.

Problem 3. The "pyramid of needs" of women

Friday, June 22, 2018

Training yourself to forgive and forget

Forgetfulness is a high evolutionary trait in the alpha male. You've read it right: forgetfulness (not forginevess). Not a misprint.  If you know how to forget easily and often, guess what: you are evolving better and stronger.

The goal of this blog is betterment, evolutionary progress, strenght-building and self-actualization. Towards that, forgetfulness plays a major role.

Of course, forgetfulness includes forgiveness. Or is it forgiveness prods forgetfulness ? These two are not the same. We must understand the underpinnings of forgiveness, however, since forgiveness is a willing act of forgetfulness and reconstruction of memory.

In order to forget and forget, we must reconstruct the neural pathways of memory.

To put out the new (forgive) it is necessary to throw out the old (forget). Or is it the other way around ? Kind of a chicken-and-the-egg issue.

To forgive effectively, we must be good at forgetting.

According to a recent study by "Paul Frankland, a senior fellow in CIFAR’s Child & Brain Development program, and Blake Richards, an associate fellow in the Learning in Machines & Brains program, our brains are actively working to forget." -study cited in Forgetting can make you smarter

Quote of the day: "We are blessed with good fortune."-Agron to Spartacus, as thunder signals approaching storm upon Vesuvius.
Spartacus replies: "Good fortune ? Free men create their own" -Spartacus series

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Adaptability, emotional, intellectual quotients and more life lessons

A Silicon Valley entrepreneur sent me a link to an article on AEI  and said that is exactly how he hires people. What stands for the AEI initials ?
"Colloquially called 'the Qs,' the AEI tests three variables:
  • Adaptability quotient (AQ)
  • Emotional quotient (EQ)
  • Intellectual quotient (IQ)
While each 'Q' matters, the AEI weights AQ the most." -Fast Company .
 Related: Mensa IQ test
This seems to be the direction for smart hires. Awash and down the toilet goes EI (Emotional Intelligence).

And now, more and better lessons from the one (and only) yours truly.

1. It was about 4:30 in the afternoon. As I walked towards the elevator down the corridor a guy saw me and said casually: Hey, I thought I missed you, blah, blah, blah. Now this guy, yes, I knew him, but I didn't have an appointment with him or anything. Some greetings like that might have happened to you dozens, hundreds of times this year alone.

Question: What is wrong with this picture ?

Answer: The guy assumed that I was **on his time**. **He**thought. **He** missed me. Here's the thing, I'm not on that guy's time. Watch out, people will do this to you, subordinate you to them. Most people won't notice. Yes, he thought he missed me, but I didn't.  If I need you, I know how to get a hold of you.

2. Love is what dumb people feel when they've had too much dopamine to drink.

3. Life is like Pilates: 10s to the front, 4s to the back. (according to a TV commercial)

4. Romantic relationships bank skulduggery: men are looking for short-term loans, women for long-term loans. Here's what happens with loans, everybody and their brother know this: While short-term loans may have higher interest rates at first, long-term financing typically end up paying more in interest. That's because the long-term length allows interest to build up over time. Got it ? Once again, which one costs you more ?

5. In the game of life, you are either prey or predator, bow arrow or target. Either way, you have to move. You'll switch between the two roles many times, but there are only two roles. Guess who's luckier, prey or predator ? Idea: draw two columns, on the left-side column write what you're being a target of, and on the right-side column what is it that you are targeting. It's important to know on which side, left or right, you are on the different issues in your life.