Category Archives: Reading

shwager. hf market wizards

Schwager: You have picked a lot of traders in your career. What do you look for when you hire a trader?

Platt: I want market makers, people who know that anything can happen. The type of guy I don’t want is an analyst who has never traded – the type of person who does a calculation on a computer, figures out where a market should be, puts on a big trade, gets caught up in it, and doesn’t stop out. And the market is always wrong: he’s not. Market makers know that the market is always right. You are wrong if you are losing money for any reason at all. Market makers have that drilled into their head. They know value is irrelevant in times of market stress; it’s all about positions. They understand that markets will trade against positions. They get it. It is built into their books. It colors the way they think. I look for the type of guy in London who gets up at seven o’clock on Sunday morning when his kids are still in bed, and logs onto a poker site so that he can pick off the U.S. drunks coming home on Saturday night. I hired a guy like that. He usually clears 5 or 10 grand every Sunday morning before breakfast taking out the drunks playing poker because they’re not very good at it, but their confidence has gone up a lot. That’s the type of guy you want – someone who understands an edge. Analysts, on the other hand, don’t think about anything else other than how smart they are.

platt: (my paraphrase) i don’t have tolerance for losing money. it is psychologically frustrating. it throws you off your game. you don’t want to take off your position right when the elephant is walking past and find yourself with no bullets ready to fire. 80% of your profits come from 20% of your trades. you want to always be on your game

roosevelt –> man in the arena

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

lewis. undoing

  • knowledge is literally prediction. knowledge is anything that increases your ability to predict the outcome. literally everything you do you’re trying to predict the right thing. most people just do it subconsciously

thomas – do not go gentle

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

from 101 things i learned in architecture school

Being process-oriented, not product driven, is the most important and difficult skill for a designer to develop.

1 seeking to understand a design problem before chasing after solutions;
2 not force-fitting solutions to old problems onto new problems;
3 removing yourself from prideful investment in your projects and being slow to fall in love with your ideas;
4 making design investigations and decisions holistically (that address several aspects of a design problem at once) rather than sequentially (that finalize one aspect of a solution before investigating the next);
5 making design decisions conditionally—that is, with the awareness that they may or may not work out as you continue toward a final solution;
6 knowing when to change and when to stick with previous decisions;
7 accepting as normal the anxiety that comes from not knowing what to do; 8 working fluidly between concept-scale and detail-scale to see how each informs the other;
9 always asking “What if . . . ?” regardless of how satisfied you are with your solution.

The most effective, most creative problem solvers engage in a process of metathinking, or “thinking about the thinking.” Meta-thinking means that you are aware of how you are thinking as you are doing the thinking. Meta-thinkers engage in continual internal dialogue of testing, stretching, criticizing, and redirecting their thought processes.

Three levels of knowing:
SIMPLICITY is the world view of the child or uninformed adult, fully engaged in his own experience and happily unaware of what lies beneath the surface of immediate reality.
COMPLEXITY characterizes the ordinary adult world view. It is characterized by an awareness of complex systems in nature and society but an inability to discern clarifying patterns and connections.
INFORMED SIMPLICITY is an enlightened view of reality. It is founded upon an ability to discern or create clarifying patterns within complex mixtures. Pattern recognition is a crucial skill for an architect, who must create a highly ordered building amid many competing and frequently nebulous design considerations

If you can’t explain your ideas to your grandmother in terms that she understands, you don’t know your subject well enough. Some architects, instructors, and students use overly complex (and often meaningless!) language in an attempt to gain recognition and respect. You might have to let some of them get away with it, but don’t imitate them. Professionals who know their subject area well know how to communicate their knowledge to others in everyday language.

All design endeavors express the zeitgeist. Zeitgeist is a German word meaning, roughly, the spirit of an age. The zeitgeist is the prevailing ethos or sensibility of an era, the general mood of its people, the tenor of public discourse, the fl avor of daily life, the intellectual inclinations and biases that underlie human endeavor. Because of the zeitgeist, parallel (although not identical) trends tend to occur in literature, religion, science, architecture, art, and other creative enterprises. It is impossible to rigidly defi ne the eras of human history; however, we can summarize the primary intellectual trends in the West as follows:
• ANCIENT ERA: a tendency to accept myth-based truths;
• CLASSICAL (GREEK) ERA: a valuing of order, rationality, and democracy; • MEDIEVAL ERA: a dominance of the truths of organized religion; • RENAISSANCE: holistic embracings of science and art;
• MODERN ERA: a favoring of truths revealed by the scientific method; • POSTMODERN (CURRENT) ERA: an inclination to hold that truth is relative or impossible to know.

Tzu. Art of War

  • He wins his battles by making no mistakes.
    Making no mistakes is what establishes the certainty of victory, for it means conquering an enemy that is already defeated.
  • Hence the skillful fighter puts himself into a position which makes defeat impossible, and does not miss the moment for defeating the enemy.
  • So, in war, the way is to avoid what is strong and strike at what is weak
  • Now a soldier’s spirit is keenest in the morning; by noonday it has begun to flag; and in the evening, his mind is bent only on returning to camp.A clever general, therefore, avoids an army when its spirit is keen, but attacks it when it is sluggish and inclined to return. This is the art of studying moods.
  • Disciplined and calm, to await the appearance of disorder and hubbub amongst the enemy:–this is the art of retaining self-possession.
  • To be near the goal while the enemy is still far from it, to wait at ease while the enemy is toiling and struggling, to be well-fed while the enemy is famished:–this is the art of husbanding one’s strength.
  • To refrain from intercepting an enemy whose banners are in perfect order, to refrain from attacking an army drawn up in calm and confident array:–this is the art of studying circumstances.

Horowitz. The Hard Thing About Hard Things

  • Darwin Project. 6 month sprint
  • “People always ask me, “What’s the secret to being a successful CEO?” Sadly, there is no secret, but if there is one skill that stands out, it’s the ability to focus and make the best move when there are no good moves. It’s the moments where you feel most like hiding or dying that you can make the biggest difference as a CEO.”
  • the struggle is where greatness comes from