Reading & Listening notes

August Reading&Listening

Today, we’ve got a chain of events to unravel, as I do enjoy noticing the links between events & ideas and build a mind map of how something has influenced me. I’m not terribly good at it though -> there’re many facts and ideas in my head that I can’t attribute to anything in particular, but I feel I’ve learned it from one of the recent books or podcasts. Here I’m happy to be able to trace an awesome book and super interesting podcast to random Youtube link click more than a month ago.

In July I somehow started watching Millenial Money by CNBC on Youtube, and I have to admit that most likely it was because I have clicked on something like “How a 23-year-old making $172,000 a year in New York City spends his money”. (what a clickbait title, and it worked!). I normally don’t spend much time on Youtube (excuses) and only watch travel shows, but I’m quite interested in personal finance. I’ve watched some more videos from the Millenial Money series and through that have discovered Graham Stephan who was both on the show and made a lot of reaction videos to the show.

In a nutshell, his 2 channels represent a mix of videos of real estate investing, reactions to Millenial Money, and similar videos about how people spend money, and he reacts to what he thinks they should improve (with a strong bias towards spending and investing and living frugally).

//I’ve watched more of his videos that I’d like to admit, it’s my guilty pleasure recently 🙂

Now we’re getting to the main content. 5 days ago Graham has published a video going over “How to Get Rich (without getting lucky)” – a twitter thread by Naval Ravikant (entrepreneur and investor in the tech industry) that’s worth checking out as-is, I won’t attempt to derive anything from it. I’ve also checked out his website – Naval does podcasts on a variety of topics, and duration ranges from 1 minute to 3.5 hours. The first one I’ve listened to was on “How Innovation Works” with Matt Ridley, who’s an author of quite a few books.

So here there’s a branching -> the podcast referenced few books of Matt Ridley that sounded interesting and now I’m reading “Genome: the Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters”. The book so far is an intersection of popular science and history of science and discovery, and it’s full of the spirit of discovery from the era of the Human Genome Project. Pretty excited to discover & read the book!!

Coming back to Naval’s content I’m currently listening to “How to get rich” (and it’s not as cheesy as the title sounds). In a nutshell, we’re talking about wealth creation (that’s a positive-sum game) over status games (that’s a zero-sum game). Tech industry is definitely in the stage of wealth creation with a huge upside. Though there’s a clever notice that as soon as something works it stops being called tech – at some point in time oil companies were “tech” companies, during the Rockefeller era, so that means software and internet companies might be considered boring and “old-school” in not-so-distant future.

About reading

I loved the topic of reading brought up. “Reading is faster than listening, doing is faster than watching”. Today a lot of content moves towards audio and video because they are effortless. But reading is a huge differentiator. “Read What You Love Until You Love to Read”. I think I sometimes force myself too much to read useful things instead of pure pleasure reading, but when I do it just feels great.

One interesting idea was about selecting what to read. Obviously today there’re too many books to read, and many of what’s written are bullshit. Naval claims that you’d be better off reading more fundamental books.

He claims this that things that you read first will program you brain, and later things you read would be judged (accepted/rejected) based on what you’ve learned previously.

There’s actually sound scientific reasoning behind it, outlined by Daniel Gilbert in “How mental systems believe” paper, so it pays off so start with fundamentals in every field, and build on top of them. // In the spirit of tracing ideas I think I’ve read this paper because it was referenced in Black Swan by Taleb.

Both reading and listening are in progress, so as one of my favourite childhood cartoons used to say – “To be continued …”

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