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Newsletter – March

I’m thinking about switching from this medium over to Notion for all things. I like the design better: https://www.notion.so/marawaca/March-65b0576d14784a7b83ed5bf042680b39. It’s also easier for me to make🤷‍♂️ Feedback is as always appreciated. 

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Milton Friedman was the man who found out that companies should maximise shareholder value. If the companies made their investors good money, more money would flow to the market, businesses would have access to more capital, and you’d get a more competitive and efficient market. Good stuff, right? Maybe not. If you look at the reality of the situation you’ll find that the companies that followed this the most ain’t doing so good these days. GE and Jack Welsh was the ones who followed it ruthlessly. Today they are a shell of what they used to be. It did go really well for them when Milton published his findings, late 1970s. However it was implemented in bull markets. Everyone was winning. So I submit that the bull market might have covered up a bad strategy. A rising tide lifts all boats.
And now we aren’t even touching on how short term investor gains mangels long term innovation and what its actually like to work at such a company.

Everything comfortable is about removing feeling. A pillow is used to remove an uncomfortable position. A blanket is used to remove the feeling of cold.

A recounting of the love story between Anna and Fyodor. I like the part where she talks about how he treated her as if they were meant for each other. A little love goes a long way.

Throughout my life it has always seemed a kind of mystery to me that my good husband not only loved and respected me as many husbands love and respect their wives, but almost worshipped me, as though I were some special being created just for him. And this was true not only at the beginning of our marriage but through all the remaining years of it, up to his very death. Whereas in reality I was not distinguished for my good looks, nor did I possess talent nor any special intellectual cultivation, and I had no more than a secondary education. And yet, despite all that, I earned the profound respect, almost the adoration of a man so creative and brilliant.

Anna Dostoyevskaya on the Secret to a Happy Marriage – Brain Pickings – Pocket

Both conversations are good. The second one is real interesting. One investor close to zuck talks about him and how FB is dangerous. Good interview. Can Facebook Save Itself From Ruin? – Inside the Hive with Nick Bilton

Haha, turns out Sam had him over as well a few weeks later! #152 – The Trouble with Facebook – Making Sense with Sam Harris

NSB changed name and my friend Marius has some thoughts on it.

Screen_Shot_2019-03-13_at_8-ade87544-ae7e-42ff-ad76-99ed3e04cdf1.08.07_PM.png

In a later comment he adds:

Screen_Shot_2019-03-13_at_8-12a21ac6-4df5-4275-9db0-5bea9d9608a2.09.27_PM.png

How Norwegian politics work…
Pølsefesten avslørte problematiske vennemiljøer. Hva vil redaktørene gjøre med det?

Dax talks to John Gottman. They talk about how to communicate in relationship. John is a scientist known for having found with a 90% certainty if a couple will seperate or stay together. 1-5 negative to positive things the relationship is optimal ratio. Highly insightful. Pair with Alains talk to On Being – https://onbeing.org/programs/alain-de-botton-the-true-hard-work-of-love-and-relationships-aug2018/

EXPERTS ON EXPERT: John Gottman – Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard

Interesting when they talk about English and how it might develop in the future, considering there will be 1b Chinese people learning English. Paul Romer on the Unrivaled Joy of Scholarship – Conversations with Tyler

The reason we hate professional outrage is because they prey on the good intention of people who care about them and they can’t see it.

You don’t have to cover your webcam
On Covering Webcams

Joe talks to Twitter people about free speech and how modern media is setting determining what’s free speech and not. Very important conversation as you get to see what twitters bosses thinks about it. They talk about many spesific instances, and it’s clear that Twitter has a hard job in front of them. The discussion on whether Twitter has a political bias is very interesting, hint they do – is that a problem, I don’t know🤷‍♂️ firs hour is great, last hour is meh. Holler at me on this one. #1258 – Jack Dorsey, Vijaya Gadde & Tim Pool – The Joe Rogan Experience

I’m changing jobs. Also why didn’t my parents want me to go pro?

  • A family in London is seeking a nanny to teach their two young boys to become professional soccer players.
  • They said they could pay an $96,000 a year.

A family in London is offering $96,000 a year to someone willing to live with them and help turn their 2 sons into professional soccer players

The World’s Longest Continuous Walk?

Is This The World’s Longest Continuous Walk? Cape Town To Magadan

Omar Aqil is recreating Picasso digitally. Its cool.

Omar. Aqil on Behance

A cure for all public transport? Free food if you avoid rush hour.

Instead of a worm, Tokyo’s early bird commuters could get free soba noodles with tempura if enough of them take part in a new plan to ease congestion on a busy line in the capital.

Tokyo Metro aims to ease morning rush hour overcrowding – with free soba and tempura | The Japan Times

Taschen with a new book. Massimo Listri has taken pictures of libraries and its beautiful. Cant see Trinity College in Dublin, but it should be in there.Massimo Listri. The World’s Most Beautiful Libraries – TASCHEN Books

Still excited for Taschen upcoming book “60 Years in Space with NASA” 450 pages with pictures from NASA. https://www.taschen.com/pages/en/catalogue/photography/all/01176/facts.the_nasa_archives_60_years_in_space.htm

Pau Buscató on the street. Some images are from Oslo.The Art of Finding a Good Situation by Pau Buscató

Ben Simon Rehn has taken some photos in the Arctic.Enthralling Visual Spectacles of Landscapes and Wildlife

Alexis Goodwin has made some good photos.Shanghai Dreams: Somewhere between Fantasy and Reality

Population growth – very interesting. Must read. The link has a little tidbit about Denmark vs Guatemala.

Especially when you add this counter argument:

Half a million of Danes emigrated to the USA. today , 1.5 million identify as Danish-Americans. The Kingdom of Danemark once comprised Is the Denmark population estimate corrected for emigration and territorial changes?

Half a million of Danes emigrated to the USA. today , 1.5 million identify as Danish-Americans. The Kingdom of Danemark once comprised overseas territories such as Iceland (300k). The most important change in Denmark’s borders is the Schleswig

Half a million of Danes emigrated to the USA. today , 1.5 million identify as Danish-Americans. The Kingdom of Danemark once comprised overseas territories such as Iceland. The most important change in Denmark’s borders is the Schleswig-Holstein region. On 1849, a millin Danes were conquered by Prussia . Only half of that region returned to Denmark after WW1. territories such as Iceland (300k). The most important change in Denmark’s borders is the Schleswig-Holstein region. On 1849, a millin Danes were conquered by Prussia . Only half of that region returned to Denmark after WW1.

Perhaps Guatemala population is still larger, anyway there are millions of Danes without Denmark’s citizenship.

The population explosion in the global South – Marginal REVOLUTION

Thoughts on economic hardships

So many stories these days with how many people live from paycheck to paycheck. 78 percent of Americans say they live paycheck to paycheck. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/09/shutdown-highlights-that-4-in-5-us-workers-live-paycheck-to-paycheck.html

The government shutdown in the US showed that savings is lacking. Norway is in the same situation. Unfortunately I can’t find the recent article stating that 1/3 (?) of us live paycheck to paycheck. Other sources that basically claim that we are in debt too: https://www.tv2.no/a/9530319/ https://www.aftenposten.no/norge/i/6n7LMe/Nesten-270000-nordmenn-har-ikke-nedbetalt-fjorarets-feriegjeld

In last months newsletter there was a podcast with Dan Carlin and Daniele Bolelli and they talk about a scenario that seems more real everyday now. If enough people are dissatisfied with their lot in life, they’ll rise up and claim what they need. To me it seems like we are at a precipice of some riots. There are already here with France and the yellow vest movement. It seems that people just want security in their life. Go figure… If you have a job, you should be able to pay for a worthy life. Worthy is a squirly word, but basically it means that if you have full-time employment, you should be able to eat, live, and thrive without being under subsistence levels – read up on FDRs thoughts on minimum wage/ a living wage when he introduced it.

[…]no business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country. By “business” I mean the whole of commerce as well as the whole of industry; by workers I mean all workers, the white collar class as well as the men in overalls; and by living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence level-I mean the wages of decent living.

  • Franklin Roosevelt’s Statement on the National Industrial Recovery Act. June 16, 1933

Ain’t to much to ask? If the populous don’t get that, they will riot – see any history book.

Thats where we are now. People are getting fed up and their target is capitalism. Which is the best way we have to organize our economy and society. Edward Burke should be read to gain some appreciation for the cost of overthrowing any system that works even when its not optimal.

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable – JFK

Lara takes cool photos

Through the Lens of Photographer Lara Zankoul

In the case of Picasso’s paintings, our econometric analysis shows that some colors are associated with high prices.

The impact of color palettes on the prices of paintings

This is a hotel in Shanghai built in a quarry. Looks cool.InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland

Stephen Mcmennamy with creative photos. Contains dogs. Dog + Human Combo Photos from Stephen McMennamy – Dog Milk

Newsletter – February

I’m somewhat unhappy with the design and look of the newsletter. This is how it looks to me on my personal wiki: https://www.notion.so/marawaca/February-56cea42ac7554386b559842aee8cb846
Its nicer right? Please give feedback:)

We didn’t see this coming
Billy G and Melindas annual letter. Even just reading the headlines is worth it.

Larissa MacFarquhar on Getting Inside Someone’s Head – Conversations with Tyler
Interesting conversation that spans many topics.

Poor Sleep Makes People Poor: The Costs of India Standard Time – Marginal REVOLUTION
Alex Tabarrok on sleep in India – interesting.

#1250 – Johann Hari – The Joe Rogan Experience 
Interesting interview with Johan Hari about addiction.

One fun story he tells is that anyone who has been to a hospital gets heroin, but everyone who has had a surgery does not end up being an addict. So its not the heroin that’s the addictive part. It’s the broken part of people that gets mended with drugs -that’s the addictive thing. The core of addiction is about not wanting to be present in your life because your life is too painful a place. The easy lessening of pain caused by a broken society that you have no control over.

The latter half is about the drug war, interesting with good stories, but if you’ve followed the drug war story before there is nothing new under the sun.

A good story from John Gruber on whether or you should cover your webcam. Hint: No need. On Covering Webcams

Timefulness: How Thinking Like a Geologer Can Save the World – Marginal REVOLUTION An unknown story about Marie Tharp. Never heard of her before this. The wikipedia site is worth a read.

2 interviews with Ryan Holiday – start with the one from Pete Holmes. If you like that one, the next one is great. Its a great conversation about how to live – philosophy literarily. Ryan Holiday – You Made It Weird with Pete Holmes
Ryan Holiday – ID10T with Chris Hardwick

Camus wrote, “after a certain age every man is responsible for his face” and Wilde said, “a man’s face is his autobiography”. So look happy?

https://cantunsee.space/
A little quiz game to see if you can spot iOS UX faults.

Are Animals Getting Better at Acting?
The title says everything.

Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins
The book was good, inspiring to see what the human mind is capable of overcoming.

The Japanese House with her first album – its everything you want it to be. Good At Falling

Is Ayn Rand Important? 5 points from Tay Tay Is Ayn Rand important? – Marginal REVOLUTION

Goldman Sachs: “Is curing patients a sustainable business model?” analysts ask in an April 10 report entitled “The Genome Revolution.” Goldman Sachs asks in biotech research report: ‘Is curing patients a sustainable business model?’

“Barbara Deckert has a new weapon in the war against airplane noise — and she’s not afraid to use it.” The new economics of complaining – Marginal REVOLUTION

Thoughts:

1. Best university for its students of best university for the world. There is a difference and its huge.

2. How should we look at deserved fame. Fame works as signaling and as an incentive. We tell people about Einstein in part because we hope it inspires them to be a better version of themselves. We call some jobs for heroes as they are important to society. So we collectively signal that this job can make you a hero if you do, and thats important.

3. Is it better to avoid mistakes or do good? Charlie Munger talks about how investing is more about avoiding mistakes than doing the right thing.
Can this apply to other things?

4. How would a historian look back at the fake news debacle?

  1. The people don’t trust the 4th estate.
  2. The news don’t trust the news.

The historian would surely claim that this is a deeply disturbed populace and that this is a troubled time. Yay modern life.

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Astrid asks a few good questions. What I wished the article also touched on is the question of the ultimate good. Given the false dichotomy inherit in the article – Is it better for a society to create more winners or less losers? Ja, det er forskjell på kjønnene

I like these buildings- no other point to make:)

https://weburbanist.com/2019/03/01/spiky-sustainable-black-tree-houses-rise-from-the-italian-dolomites
 

Dan Carlin doing Carlin stuff. Its great as always!
Show 62 – Supernova in the East I – Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History
Show 63 – Supernova in the East II – Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History

Dan and Danielle sits down and talks politics.
EP7 Hardcore History On Fire – Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History: Addendum

A picture of a failed building project in Turkey where funding dried up. It looks weird and somewhat dystopian.
Read more here: https://www.boredpanda.com/turkey-abandoned-villas-disney-castles

Ali / Novo Amor with a new EP No Fun / Lucky for You

Feedback is as always encouraged:)

 

Newsletter – January

Great conversation about technology, with a focus on the bad. Touches many topics. I still agree with Kevin Kelly’s 51% vs 49% view.
Nick bilton is also the author of one of my favorite books last year – American kingpin. A must read.Is Facebook Becoming Marlboro? – Inside the Hive with Nick Bilton

Tay Tay Cowen speaks with A16Z. Tyler is consistently asking the best questions and getting fantastic interviews. Also look for his podcast conversations with Tyler.
a16z Podcast: Talent, Tech Trends, and Culture – with Ben, Marc, and Tyler Cowen – a16z

If Tay Tay Cowen was born in the late 80s, he would be much like Paddy C.
All interviews with Patrick is worth reading, so is this podcast.
#353: Patrick Collison – CEO of Stripe – The Tim Ferriss Show

Josh Zeps talks to bettina Arndt about sex and modern sexuality.
Second half is very interesting where they talk about disenfranchisement/ loss of agency of young women and how they can’t be responsible with the path set forward by 3rd wave feminists.
Women losing agency over their sex life.
EP 138. IS CAMPUS RAPE WIDESPREAD? – #WeThePeople LIVE

Sam Harris and Peter Atia sits down for a chat about mindfulness.
An interesting thing that Peter said:

The inability to recognize how distracted we are are seems to be one of the greatest drivers of misery.

Which he follows up with 3 quotes spanning 1700 years.
Seneca: We suffer more in our imagination than in reality.
Shakespeare (Hamlet): for there is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so.
Pascal: Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for miseries and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries.”

Add this with another Pascal quote: sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room.

David Foster Wallace also had a good take on this

“To me, at least in retrospect, the really interesting question is why dullness proves to be such a powerful impediment to attention. Why we recoil from the dull. Maybe it’s because dullness is intrinsically painful; maybe that’s where phrases like ‘deadly dull’ or ‘excruciatingly dull’ come from. But there might be more to it. Maybe dullness is associated with psychic pain because something that’s dull or opaque fails to provide enough stimulation to distract people from some other, deeper type of pain that is always there, if only in an ambient, low-level way, and which most of us spend nearly all our time and energy trying to distract ourselves from feeling, or at least from feeling directly or with our full attention. Admittedly, the whole thing’s pretty confusing, and hard to talk about abstractly…but surely something must lie behind not just Muzak in dull or tedious places any more but now also actual TV in waiting rooms, supermarkets’ checkouts, airport gates, SUVs’ backseats. Walkman, iPods, BlackBerries, cell phones that attach to your head. This terror of silence with nothing diverting to do. I can’t think anyone really believes that today’s so-called ‘information society’ is just about information. Everyone knows it’s about something else, way down.”

Sam Harris, Ph.D.: The transformative power of mindfulness (EP.34) – The Peter Attia Drive

The third plate by Dan barber –
How the prairie was difficult to toil and how the story of John Deere of tractor fame and Lincolns homestead act are intertwined.
The book also talks about the correlation between soil nutrients and the military draft in WW2. The soils close to Mississippi was nutrient deficient and the soils in Illinois was richer. per 1000 drafted the former group had 400 unfit for duty and the latter had 200. An area in between had 300. Is there a modern parallel to the economy and poverty of the areas?

Stranger in the woods by Michael Finkel
was a really interesting book. It’s about a man who moved out in the woods when he was 20 and was found at 47. In those 27 years his only human interaction was with other humans was saying “hi” to a hiker in the 90s. The book tells two stories, both interesting – one about Chris Knight and the other about the science and history of hermits, nature, and solitude. Short and interesting look into a strange mans life.

Mythos and Heroes by Stephen Fry is interesting. I’ve always been interested in mythology in general and the greek ones are the big ones. The book reminds me of Neil Gaimans Norse Mythology in a good way. Fry writes, as always, in a funny and interesting way.

The convo about David Foster Wallace is great, it’s in the middle. But the whole thing is good.
Paul Conti, M.D.: trauma, suicide, community, and self-compassion (EP.15) – The Peter Attia Drive

Most people are waiting for someone to make the first move.

-Unknown

The United States is Underpoliced and Overprisoned – Marginal REVOLUTION

For a long time I’ve been a fan of putting on KEXP videos in the background when I do stuff around the house. It’s like putting on music, but the interviewer asks great questions and you’ll get a somewhat different take on the songs from the artist you like. Most of them are around 30 min. NPR Tiny Desk concerts are in the same vein.
A great place to start is with an evening with Ben Gibbard. Its longer than normal, but its special, you’ll hear why.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxU3Y1ot5yY

January is also when I have my birthday so here the toast:
The Farewell Toast

59 – Bjørn Lomborg – The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast
Discount rate on the future. Interesting mental model.
How important is the future? We do many things for the future to be better. But not a lot, we still want Starbucks and not lower our living standard. 1$-42$ the best future for all. Cost benefit analysis on climate change.

#147 – Stephen Fry – Waking Up with Sam Harris

The names says it all

PS: I want feedback!:)

Oslo City Flag

The city flag. All cities has a flag, just like all countries. Flags represent the history and identity of a country. It’s the symbol we rally behind.

The Norwegian flag was designed by Statesman Fredrik Meltzer. It used to look like this:

Norwegian flag from 1814-1821

If you look really close, like super duper close, a keen eye might see that it looks rather Danish. Norwegian history 101 – Loads of Danish and Swedish hostile takeovers and a few acquihires. So the flag needed to change.

Fredrik removed the lion, as it would not been seen on the ocean where the boats are far away from each other. We don’t want to be mistaken for Danish. Even to this day the gravest injury you can inflict a Norwegian is to confuse us with the Danish, so we needed a better flag. And Fredrik thought it should be red, white, and blue. It symbolised freedom. Red, white, and blue had united the Dutch, the British, the Americans, and recently the French had rallied behind the tricolor after the storming of Bastille. After several centuries of being having some very one sided mergers and acquisitions by Danes and Swedes, Fredrik thought the three colours was a nice tip of the hat to our previous owners and our national history, but more importantly to our future.

Flags are fashion. The Stars and Stripes are seen more often on clothes than on a flagpole. Geri Halliwell eternalized The Union Jack. But these are big national flags. What about city flags? Roman Mars makes the case for city flags. Have a look at 99% Invisibles Roman Mars TED Talk for an intro to city flags. It’s a great talk. It will entertain and give you a quick intro to vexillology, the study of flags.

Now that you know a bit about flag design. Imagine what incredible flag Oslo has. Norwegian capital, Scandinavian design etc. Just take two seconds to conjure up an image. Remember that image.

Lets jump back in time to 1924. Kristiania has just turned 300. Kristiania was Oslo’s old name, before we rebranded in 1925 for a better domain name and to attract more top talent. The flag is blue and white. Its pretty and simple, or pretty simple if you’d like.

Old Kristiania Flag

Its symbolic meaning is not known, but feel free to impose your meaning and logic.

Now letz zip forward to 2000, Y2K is over(phew!), and Oslo is getting another rebranding. Am pretty sure we rebranded this time because a consultancy agency said we needed to make our value proposition stand out and to change our brand portfolio – I mean, why not, it’s kinda plausible. The rebranding consisted mostly of Tigers and a new city flag. So what is this new beautiful flag?

The new Oslo flag

Its Oslo’s Patron Saint Halvards seal on a blue background… Yeah, I know it’s not a flag, it’s a seal on a blue background. And just so its mentioned: St Halvard is not from Oslo, he is from Lier in Drammen and died in the Drammen Fjord. It’s 30-40 minutes with car outside of Oslo. But I digress – What’s so wrong with the flag?

Now it’s the time to use the knowledge Roman gave you.

Lets see how the Oslo flag stands up to the 5 rules of Vexillology.

  1. Keep it simple
    Remember how Fredrik simplified the Norwegian flag, so it can easily be recognized from a distance. The current flag is not where near simple
  2. Use meaningful symbolism
    There is a lot of symbolism going on in the seal. Because its a seal.
  3. Use two or three basic colours
    The seal has 5…
  4. No lettering or seals of any kind
    Woops…
  5. Be distinctive
    Bad is distinctive right?

The Oslo flag is the same as Oslos manhole covers upon a blue background. A manhole cover is not a flag.

Manhole Cover in Oslo

There is only one good thing about Oslos flag. Its illegal. The flag is not legal. Yeah, not illegal. According to a law from 1933, flags on government property and buildings needs to be approved by the King. The Oslo flag is not approved. Which means that certain people in the Oslo government is eligible to a prison sentence up to 3 months. Which seams a little short considering how ugly the “manhole cover flag” is.

This information leads us to the ultimate question: what does it mean to be human. I mean: Can we have a nice flag please? Either take back the old blue and white or design a new one. Something we can actually use since it’s legal and has a good design. Something Geri Halliwell can wear.

As Roman said “All cities deserve a beautiful flag”. Even Oslo. Let Oslo join the Vexillonaire Club, an imaginary club for nice flags.

If we must have a seal on a blue background – I nominate this flag:

Seal on blue background