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Showing posts from January 19, 2017

Mental Models I Find Repeatedly Useful

Around 2003 I came across Charlie Munger’s 1995 speech, The Psychology of Human Misjudgment, which introduced me to how behavioral economics can be applied in business and investing. More profoundly, though, it opened my mind to the power of seeking out and applying mental models across a wide array of disciplines.

A mental model is just a concept you can use to help try to explain things (e.g. Hanlon’s Razor — “never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by carelessness.”). There are tens of thousands of mental models, and every discipline has their own set that you can learn through coursework, mentorship, or first-hand experience.

There is a much smaller set of concepts, however, that come up repeatedly in day-to-day decision making, problem solving, and truth seeking. As Munger says, “80 or 90 important models will carry about 90% of the freight in making you a worldly‑wise person.”

This post is my attempt to enumerate the mental models that are repeate…

If Racism Is the Sin of White America, Irresponsibility Is the Sin of Black America

There is always a sense of safety when we blame someone even if we are the ones on the wrong. Blame game is usually a self-protective response which is normally aimed at protecting our under-performance. Humans use it to shield themselves from repercussion. Considering the above definition, will I be justified to say that one of the plagues eating America is blame game? The whites are pointing their fingers at blacks while blacks are pointing at whites. Because of this counterproductive approach to sensitive matters, the bridge between white and black Americans continue to widen every other day. Surely, if racism is the sin of White America, irresponsibility is the sin of Black America.

The Revolutionary war in 1770s gave the nation a chance to reach for independence and freedom.

The reason why we went to war in the 1770s was to fight injustice, unfairness and oppression. Britain passed laws which gave them power to milk money from their colonists including America. In 1763 the French a…

Voting - Your Civic Duty

Fifty years ago, voting was a right worth dying for by those who were being denied. Many of us were reminded of this when we watched the movie "Selma" earlier this year. Yet, here we are at the beginning of the biggest election season, and the issue of voter participation is still relevant. However, every year we are confronted with the issue of voter participation in our government. Today, voting has become the forgotten right, but when I think of this in terms of what has been done to secure this right. A right that has long stood to signify the epitome of civic duty. I am convinced that in the 21st century - Duty is the new Right.

I had the privilege of casting my vote this week. I was struck with the significance of the event as I sat and made my selections. I thought of the images from the movie Selma. I thought of how many of our forefathers had a very different experience at the polls. Unlike me, they were not greeted with a smile and some last minute voting informatio…

'He Is Going to Test Our Democracy as It Has Never Been Tested'

Sometime early last fall, John Dean says he began having nightmares about a Trump presidency. He would wake in the middle of the night, agitated and alarmed, struggling to calm his nerves. “I’m not somebody who remembers the details of dreams,” he told me in a recent phone call from his home in Los Angeles. “I just know that they were so bad that I’d force myself awake and out of bed just to get away from them.”
Few people are more intimately acquainted than Dean with the consequences of an American presidency gone awry. As White House counsel under President Richard Nixon from 1970 to 1973, he was a key figure in the Watergate saga—participating in, and then helping to expose, the most iconic political scandal in modern U.S. history. In the decades since then, Dean has parlayed that resume line into something of a franchise, penning several books and countless columns on the theme of presidential abuses of power. These days, he’s finding his subject matter more distress…