Nassim Taleb and the key to success

If you want to better understand success, you must read Nassim Taleb. It’s something that I have been doing for years without realizing it. Nassim describes a system that is anti-fragile. It is a system that thrives on uncertainty. Let’s say the chance of a success S is 1% if you randomly engage in any one action A. This S is a positive event such as say you get 10,000 dollars. Now the key to a good system is to maximize the quantity of A, so that you maximize the probability of S occuring. But for each action A, there is a cost C. As long as C < 100 dollars, then chance is on your side.

The key to a good system is to either 1) minimize C, 2) increase the chance of X, or 3) increase the payoff from S.

3) is one of the things I use most frequently. The idea is that by maximizing the payoff from S, sooner or later, when S occurs, you get a huge payoff in the millions of dollars.

Now, in order to increase 2), is very simple. Each time you engage in A, you gain experience, and skills. This will increase 2). In addition, every time S occurs, you increase your audience, and thus 2) is also increased.

Read the full article here: https://www.edge.org/conversation/nassim_nicholas_taleb-understanding-is-a-poor-substitute-for-convexity-antifragility

Why YouTube?

The time of user generated content is now. Blogs are taking off, and now YouTube is dominating. The benefit of YouTube is simple: A YouTube video can be embedded into any post, any news media, or around the web very easily. Comparatively, a blog post cannot be “embedded” without lengthening the content.

Therefore, YouTube is great for completeness of any article. Any article you write, including a YouTube video will immediately increase the value of your article. By the way, if you didn’t know what YouTube is, you can find out by watching this video:

See? So I didn’t have to write a long winded explanation of YouTube, and I didn’t waste your time by making you read that explanation. I gave you the choice of watching a YouTube video. Great for writers, and great for audiences.

The real reason for zoning laws

Don’t believe anything the government tells you. Because they’re manipulative, they’re lying, and they rarely have your good in mind. Zoning laws are a great example.

Lets start with the agricultural land reserve. The government tells you that it was started to “protect farmland”. Because the Fraser Valley is home to the most fertile land in BC, theory is that protecting farmland is good for BC’s economy. That’s total BS. Today, 45% of the ALR is sitting empty. If farmland was actually so important, farmers would be farming on these lands. If it was so important, they would put this land to use even without an ALR regulation. But with farming technology so advanced, we can farm almost anywhere, and if the government tells you we’re going to run out of food, it’s a fear tactic.

The government tells you that zoning laws are meant to keep unsuitable practices away from each other, such as factories and houses. More BS. Now they’ve changed their story and say that zoning is needed to keep the character of the neighborhoods. That’s closer to the truth. 

There are two things that governments like: they like money, and they like to stay in power. The ALR, and zoning laws help them achieve both. Zoning laws are nothing but supply side restrictions. Their purpose is to restrict the uses for land, and they restrict the land available for possible use. The lack of supply drives up property prices, and as you know, property taxes are calculated using property prices. The lower the supply, the higher the value of properties, and the more revenue is generated.

But even more importantly, the government earns money by giving exemptions to their laws. This is known as crony capitalism, and it makes the government a lot of money. Have you wondered why developers are the biggest donors to any municipal political party? Crony capitalism at work. When developers want to take a piece of land zoned for single family housing, and build something bigger, they have to pay up. These fees account for a significant part of a city’s revenue. In some cities, developer fees account to almost 50% of their revenue. These zoning laws now act as a tax, and the tax revenue is so ginormous that it is impossible for cities to give it up. 

Second, governments want to stay in power. They want to protect the interests of the people who elected them. These people are wealthy homeowners, who want to keep their housing prices high. They don’t want a huge supply side injection, because this would drive down the prices of their homes. Towers in residential areas is a big no-no.

Update: January 6-
I just read this article regarding zoning laws from 1922. I was right. Note #2 and #6: http://discoveringurbanism.blogspot.ca/2012/05/edward-murray-bassett-and-origins-of.html

The great Peter Thiel

The way that Peter Thiel speaks is inspiring. It is exciting. It is like he has bottled enthusiasm. There is only one other person who spoke like him: steve jobs. Peter has a reality distortion field stronger than almost anyone in the world. Elon Musk comes close. He is powerful, and he is smart. The way he speaks makes him even more smart. He is my idol, and if you want to become a success, he should be yours too. Steve jobs was my idol, and here is an example of Steve Jobs speaking in a similar fashion to Peter Thiel: Peter has high functioning autism. He isn’t diagnosed, but I know he does. Because I know how people act when they have high functioning autism. And if you watch his speech at the republican national convention, it is clear that he has autism. I do too, and that’s why in my videos I also speak with bottled enthusiasm. I also induce a sense of nostalgia in my videos. This is what makes me, peter, and steve different. We create a reality distortion field.


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Note: January 5, 2017:

Listen to how Peter Thiel answers this question about recreating the next Silicon Valley. He really gets it, and it is amazing.

Are we really seeing global cooling?

Science is in serious danger. Science is in grave danger of falling to politics. But as science dies, it is crucial to make sure people understand what caused its demise. 

The majority of science is trapped in a bubble. They have relied on their models-models that take hundreds of parameters. Just figuring out the weather tomorrow there is only a 60% certainty (ask your local meteorologist). Figuring out the average temperature of planet earth right now there is a 1% certainty. Figuring out the effects of CO2 on the average temperature on the weather in 5 years. . . there is a 0% certainty. 

Predictions only work when the parameters that are used are unambiguous, measurable, and clearly observable. Sun spots are one of these parameters. The number of sun spots, their intensity—these are things that are directly observable. Not only that, there is a clear relationship between the sun spots, and global temperature. 

The idea that humans increased the global temperatures over the last 50 years is probably right. Because the global temperature is observable, and it is clear that the increase was not caused by nature. By elimination, humans caused the temperature increase. But to figure out what exactly caused the increase—was it CO2, was it something else—is based entirely on speculation. And add to that, global warming might be good for the world! And add to that, scientists have already developed ways of temporarily cooling the world down, by emitting sulphur into the atmosphere. So, not only isn’t there a problem, if there was a problem humans would figure out a way to solve it. 

Now sun spots are an entirely different animal. We might now be in a period of global cooling. And science points to it. So science is in trouble. Because as they will find all of their predictions fail, and they will blame the inaccuracy of their models. But then their core beliefs and core values will fall, and they will find that in their last 20 years they fell into a mass delusion greater than the world has ever seen. And then that will open a glimpse in to the world, that your IQ doesn’t mean you understand more. In fact, people with higher IQ’s are more susceptible to mass delusions. It’s about your awareness, about your control of your emotions. 

It will be amazing to see this transformation, and it is an amazing time to be alive, because we are about to realize that planet earth is not the centre of the universe, and global warming was a mass delusion.

How to stay young

I recently spoke to a guy who blew my mind. He was 35 years old, but he didn’t look a day older than 25. He looked like he was fresh out of college. Of course, he was much more mature, and much more experienced than a college grad. He had very good knowledge, and a very good bullshit filter, something that 99% of college students lack. I asked him his secret to staying young. It was simple. After he turned 25, he stopped counting his years. He stopped celebrating birthdays, and he stopped thinking about himself getting older. So I started to do the same. If today you ask me how old I am, I will say that I “just turned 16”. If in three years you ask me how old I am, I will say that “I just turned 16”. There is no point arguing with people over your age. You should take control of your age. Don’t let the day you came out of  the womb determine your age. You should decide how old you want to be. Take control of your age, and take control of your life.

The best way to train autistic kids

Many parents do themselves a disfavour when they label their kids “autistic”, and subsequently give their kids special treatment. Their kids are sent to schools with individual care, minimal interaction with other students, therapy sessions with pointless questions, and “learning techniques” that don’t work. Segregation is not the solution. The most important thing to give an autistic child is interaction with other kids of their age. This is not “forced” interaction where the kid is forced to play games designed for NT’s, such as make belief. Even I have trouble doing this. Instead, have them participate in structured activities where imitation is necessary, and easily developed. In the video above, the autistic kid is engaged in activities with 20 other kids. The parachute is a great activity. This activity is simple, easy to follow, and is designed to encourage imitation. The kid just has to see that all the other kids are holding to the parachute, standing up, falling down, and she just has to follow suit. Today, there are too many therapy sessions that teach reading, writing, speaking, or rules that are individual. Kids don’t learn individually; they learn by mimicking other kids. Temple Grandin did not go to a segregated school, and she learned how to interact. If an 10 year old autistic kid is behind in a subject, say speaking. If you put the kid in a class with other 10 year olds, it will drag the class behind, and it will be impossible for the autistic kid to catch up. It’s akin to putting a 5 year old child in a class full of 10 year olds. Instead, you put the autistic kid in a classroom with 6 year old kids. The skills that they learn will be the same, and they will move at a similar pace. If the same 10 year old excels at math, you put the kid a math class with 16 year old students. This way, the kid is challenged, and can move at the same pace as the class. This is what Jacob Barnett did, and this is why he has excelled. Individualized learning doesn’t mean one-on-one learning. Individualized learning means matching the kid’s skills in each subject to skills of other kids. In fact, the more kids there are, the easier it is to imitate other kids, as long as the environment is structured. Another important rule to teach autistic kids is that other people’s feelings matter. There might not be a reason why doing X will make someone mad. But autistic people must learn that making a person mad, angry, or upset is not OK, and therefore they must not do X.

The problem with most business advice

In the last five years, if you’ve read any business book, blog, or speech, you’ve heard many pieces of contradictory advice. You’ve probably heard a version of this:
Business is all about taking risks
or this:
To succeed in business, you must first fail
These sayings are probably true. Almost every successful entrepreneur has gone through many More

Making hard choices

Because you are a smart person, you’ve heard sayings that you must take control of your own life, rather than let the world dictate your life for you. You must make decisions, and once you have, move decisively towards that direction. Yet in our society, you know that we are taught to evaluate decisions using reason and logic. We More

The biggest lie that school taught us

I was finishing an assignment for a world history project and showing it to my grade 6 teacher. “Is this good enough?” “Well, since you asked if its ‘good enough’, then it obviously isn’t.” More
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