Postcard 4: Instincts
Welcome to the fourth edition of the weekly postcard. I hope you've had a great week. This week is all about trusting your gut.
I have spent a lot of time thinking and reading about instincts, intuition, and gut feel. A great resource, the book "Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious" by Gerd Gigerenzer, has opened my eyes a bit to the fact that we rely less and less on our gut in a world that is increasingly throwing too much bad information at us. But our gut was designed for less-is-more rules of thumb decision making that in many scenarios is superior to logic-based or "data-driven" decisions which can be good for optimization or maximizing local maxima.
“An intuition is neither caprice nor a sixth sense but a form of unconscious intelligence.” — Gerd Gigerenzer
Instincts and intuition get sharpened by experience, but they are also already inside of us. A theory that our instincts might be older than us, like a genetic algorithm that's been pre-trained by our ancestors with the problems they faced. Then passed down to us so we can make better decisions. We have to learn to listen to and trust our gut.
I've got a few great articles and tweets I've come across this week.
The top 3 tweets:
You might have already seen this tweet, but I still felt valuable to include for anyone who didn't. The lessons from Suhail here are worth repeatedly reading for anyone starting a startup or joining one.
Codie Sanchez is slowly becoming a hero of mine because the insights she keeps dropping about business, the markets, and work are phenomenal. For many years, she was at Goldman, climbing the ladder, and has since made millions starting and buying small cash flowing businesses.
In that thread, she explains how something as boring as owning a few Laundromats can net you 900k a year with 10 hours a week of work.
A great thread with ten lessons from Steve Jobs; each has a short video from him and is definitely worth watching. My favorite was lessons 5, 7, and 9.
Top 3 Articles
12 Things Lee Kuan Yew Taught Me About the World by Farnam Street
Lee Kuan Yew was called the Warren Buffett of Singapore by Charlie Munger
One of my favorite lessons from the article was this: "We are fundamentally competitive. “Human beings are not born equal. They are highly competitive. Systems like Soviet and Chinese communism have failed, because they tried to equalize benefits. Then nobody works hard enough, but everyone wants to get as much as, if not more than, the other person.”"
Thanks for the Bonus, I Quit! by Mad Ned
An amazing article about how bad incentive programs can hurt employees and teams. This is from one of the great tech companies that disappeared in the 1990s and was trying to find ways to move faster. They established a bonus program that did more harm than good.
How People Get Rich Now by Paul Graham
A fun read by Paul Graham who analyzed how people get Rich in the early 1980s and how people get rich now. There is a lot of talk about inequality today, but 60 of the richest people in 1982 inherited their money; in 2020, it's 30 of the richest. On top of that, much of the riches of the past came from controlling resources pulled from the earth such as oil.
My Most Recent Article
Life is beautiful, but it is also Savage.
This week I wrote about the Savagery I have witnessed throughout my life and attempt to categorize and classify it and talk about the type we need to try and avoid at all costs.
Because the modern World has become so adept at concealing its Savagery from us, we need to rely on our instincts more than ever. Savagery often defies logic so being smart isn't enough.
Thank you again. Don't forget to reach out if you want to discuss any of these articles, ideas, or any of my other writings. My inbox is open; feel free to reply.