Polarity-of-opinion trap

We all have opinions.

But – many of us fall into the trap of thinking that what we believe in is the CORRECT side of the equation and that the other needs to be WRONG.

Many of us fight tooth-and-nail to hold our opinion against other.

Isn’t that a trap?

Why should our opinion on one thing make the opposite of it false?

For eg, take focus vs multi-tasking.

In my circle, I see people having strong opinion on one or other (mostly in favor of focus). That is fine and reflects our belief. But, should that mean the other is wrong? If you are a focused person, is multi-tasking an evil to avoid? Not necessarily, right?

I am trying to follow this principle these days – earlier I used to defend my stance strongly. Now a days, I see both of us could be right in our own ways and hence, let it be. At least, try to.

My arguments against bitcoin & other digital currencies

I have been following BitCoin and few other digital currencies for a while.  The prices continue to hit stratospheric levels – today I sat down to note down my own thoughts on it. Of course, am no currency expert, treat everything with a pinch of salt.

What is a currency?

A store of purchasing power. Simply put, its a middleman for a transaction in a society.

Qualities of a good currency:

  1. widely accepted
  2. can be stored safely (unlike salt, which too was once a currency 🙂 )
  3. reasonably stable in value and doesn’t fluctuate too much
  4. retains purchasing power over long periods
  5. when all else fails, the currency itself has some value

In olden days we used gold, silver as currency which satisfied all the points above. Most rulers issued gold & silver coins. But, when Nero in Rome had only x amount of gold coins and his expenses were high, he simply reduced each coin by 20% to make more coins. Effectively, he was among the earliest guys to introduce currency related inflation.

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Money, banking & economy – 2

I have been trying to understand how money, our economy and banks work on a deeper level.

I had written previously about it here.

Today, I found an excellent video that attempts to explain the concepts in a very crisp manner. How the economic machine works by Ray Dalio.

Watch it. You wont regret spending 30 minutes on it. I watched it twice.

PS: Usually, one thing leads to another. I noticed a lot of people talk highly of “Principles” – the manual Ray wrote to share his life and business management principles with his employees. I found it here and here (Kindle). Will be reading it soon.


Letters from a self-made merchant to his son – 2

This is the 2nd part of my notes from the book “Letters from a self-made merchant to his son”. You could read the first part here.

Graham on the art of selling:

A salesman has to talk, but before that he ought to know when to talk.

A real salesman is one-part talk and nine-parts judgment; and he uses the nine-parts of judgment to tell when to use the one-part of talk.”

Never badmouth competition, never give up your dignity. Yet, be humble enough to sell.

Never run down your competitor’s brand to them, and never let them run down yours. Don’t get on your knees for business, but don’t hold your nose so high in the air that an order can travel under it without your seeing it. You’ll meet a good many people on the road that you won’t like, but the house needs their business.”

3 steps to making it big in sales.

First—Send us Orders. Second—More Orders. Third—Big Orders.

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Letters from a self-made merchant to his son – 1

Recently, I casually picked up a free Kindle copy of “Letters from a Self-Made Merchant to His Son” when I was feeling bored. Boy, I kept it down only after I finished it.

It’s a brilliant book – witty, simple, wordly advice from a wealthy father (Howard Graham of Graham & co, a meat packing company) to his son Pierrepont. It covers nearly everything that a man goes through in his life – management, business, money, education, college, women, love, work, speculation, etc. Most of it is solid advice applicable even today.

I realized late that this was actually written by George Horace Lorimer and there never was any Howard Graham. Still, every page is realistic and on the money.

Must read!

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Money, banking & economy

Of late, I have been reading quite a bit on economics, inflation, banking, etc. Am listing out a few that I found useful.

1. The mystery of banking

A good resource I recently found also happens to be free (which makes us value it lesser – I have read only 1 book and few other, I just scraped through).  Those are the ones from the Ludwig Von Mises institute – which is a strong proponent of the Austrian school of economics.

Amongst a pile of free books there, I enjoyed reading Murray N Rothbald’s book – The mystery of banking. And I recommend it highly.

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I went to find the pot of gold

That’s waiting where the rainbow ends.

I searched and searched and searched and searched

And searched and searched, and then—

There it was, deep in the grass,

Under an old and twisty bough.

It’s mine, it’s mine, it’s mine at last….

What do I search for now?

— Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

The Coracle Man

It was dark. The rain poured like there was no tomorrow. The river, like an angry wife, displayed its tantrums in full flow.

A lone candle cut through the darkness.

The Coracle Man sat in his filthy hut at the river bank. As he had always done for the past 35 years, awaited patiently for passengers to ferry across the bank.

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Breaking free from consumerism

I was always am a restless guy.

Always in search of better, more and self-gratifying stuff. Like most of you might know already, that is a never-ending search.

Last few months, I have been reading (actually trying to read, rather) Thoreau, esp Walden. And I stumbled upon Richard Proenneke few days back and have managed to read 2 books and watch few videos about him.

I should admit, I truly admire Proenneke now – his craftsmanship, work ethic, simplicity, self-sufficiency and his ability to break free from societal confirmity. Importantly, being at peace with himself all the while, nonchalantly.

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Thick skin

People will say nice things about you (your startup).

People will say bad things about you.

At times, no one will ever say anything about you.

You will make mistakes.

Things will be up. Things will be down. (Actually, that’s better than things being average).

Just have a thick skin through your journey!