Weekly Roundup 177: A Curated Linkfest For The Smartest People On The Web!
Handpicked to satisfy your intellectual curiosity!
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Via Stu’s Views
Miguel Barbosa & Jeffrey Towson talk about global value investing & the investment methods of Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal – via SimoleonSense – Shamless Plug!
A Case Study in Financial Brilliance:Dr. Henry E. Singleton of Teledyne Inc – via NYSSA- The presentation will profile the strategy of the late founder of Teledyne, Inc., Dr. Henry E. Singleton. In particular, it will review Dr. Singleton’s corporate and share buyback strategies.
Dan Ariely’s Latest Podcasts – via Itunes
The Situation of Perceived Time via thesituationist.wordpress.com – When do people feel as if they are rich in time? Not often, research and daily experience suggest. However, three experiments showed that participants who felt awe, relative to other emotions, felt they had more time available (Experiments 1, 3) and were less impatient (Experiment 2). Participants who experienced awe were also more willing to volunteer their time to help others (Experiment 2), more strongly preferred experiences over material products (Experiment 3), and experienced a greater boost in life satisfaction (Experiment 3). Mediation analyses revealed that these changes in decision making and well-being were due to awe’s ability to alter the subjective experience of time. Experiences of awe bring people into the present moment, which underlies awe’s capacity to adjust time perception, influence decisions, and make life feel more satisfying than it would otherwise.
Science With Religion Can Save More Lives – via Learn Science at Scitable – Religion and science have been largely portrayed as enemies by fundamentalists from both camps. The divide has only furthered in recent times with the rise of denialists and so-called religious terrorists and extremists. It is perhaps surprising then to find religious and scientific endeavors in Sub-Saharan Africa complement one another in their united quest-one that sets out to save the lives of women and babies.
Video: Ted Talk – Marco Tempest: The electric rise and fall of Nikola Tesla – via TED.com – Combining projection mapping and a pop-up book, Marco Tempest tells the visually arresting story of Nikola Tesla — called “the greatest geek who ever lived” — from his triumphant invention of alternating current to his penniless last days.
Interview with Howard Marks – via www.valueinvestingworld.com – Interview with Howard Marks – by David Merkel
Ed Thorp on Trend Following – via Abnormal Returns – For those who aren’t aware of Thorp’s long career, it encompasses as Schwager writes “an extraordinary number of first achievements.” Although Thorpe is no longer actively managing money I found his thoughts on trend-following to be of great interest the Abnormal Returns’ readers.
Mary Meeker’s Presentation about The State Of The Web – via Business Insider
Share Repurchase from All Angles: Assessing Buybacks, No Matter Where You Sit – via By Michael Mauboussin – In his latest strategy piece, Share Repurchase from All Angles: Assessing Buybacks, No Matter Where You Sit, Michael Mauboussin discusses the sometimes misused and misunderstood importance of share buybacks to maximize long-term value for shareholders from four distinct points of view: companies, shareholders, prospective shareholders, and the media.
Impact Algorithms: Strategies Remarkable People Use to Accomplish Remarkable Things – via calnewport.com – I’ve been writing recently about the impact instinct — the ability to consistently steer your work somewhere remarkable. We know that diligently focusing on a single general direction and then applying deliberate practice to systematically become more skilled, are both crucial for standing out. But true remarkability seems to also require this extra push.
11 ways scientific thinking can help with money management – via Mind Your Decisions – One of the things I try to do in my life is apply critical thinking. I resist the urge to take popular advice at face value. In fact, it is the popular advice that I am most skeptical about.
10 things economics can tell us about happiness – via Atlantic – Can Money Buy Happiness?
CSI: Housing Bust – via the Atlantic – In this business, the best employees are the most paranoid ones. Alpan (whose name has been changed, as his company’s policy forbids unauthorized employees to speak to the media) spends eight hours a day at this desk in Digital Risk’s office building in suburban Maitland, Florida, reconstructing the exact circumstances that led so many Americans to buy houses they couldn’t afford. The cases he has seen reveal a country gone berserk: a woman in Ann Arbor who refinanced her home five times in five years but neglected to tell her lender that she had quit her job; a concrete finisher in Las Vegas who applied for 15 mortgages in one week; pastors—dozens of them—who doctored bank statements, bought houses they couldn’t pay for, and then filed for bankruptcy. “The nice thing about pastors is that their church shares information when asked,” Alpan says. “Pastors are always an easy [fraud] claim.”
What You Know Matters More Than What You Do – via calnewport.com – I recently had an interesting conversation with some colleagues. We were talking about a young researcher in our field who happens to be absurdly productive — typically publishing four or five important results each year. In other words, this is someone with a highly-developed impact instinct.
Why Do You Hate Psychology? – via The Psych Files Podcast – Why do so many people have strongly negative feelings about the field of psychology? I think there are a handful of reasons and in this episode I talk about two of them: the so-called “self-esteem movement” and the “positive thinking” movement. Are psychologists responsible for why “kids today” appear to be so self-centered? Do psychologists think that changing yourself is as simple as just changing the way you think? Hear one psychologists opinion on this and my explanation on two reasons why I think maybe you hate psychology.
Is The Path to Glory Is Paved With Hierarchy? – via pss.sagepub.com – wo experiments examined the psychological and biological antecedents of hierarchical differentiation and the resulting consequences for productivity and conflict within small groups. In Experiment 1, which used a priming manipulation, hierarchically differentiated groups (i.e., groups comprising 1 high-power-primed, 1 low-power-primed, and 1 baseline individual) performed better on a procedurally interdependent task than did groups comprising exclusively either all high-power-primed or all low-power-primed individuals. There were no effects of hierarchical differentiation on performance on a procedurally independent task. Experiment 2 used a biological marker of dominance motivation (prenatal testosterone exposure as measured by a digit-length ratio) to manipulate hierarchical differentiation. The pattern of results from Experiment 1 was replicated; mixed-testosterone groups achieved greater productivity than did groups comprising all high-testosterone or all low-testosterone individuals. Furthermore, intragroup conflict mediated the productivity decrements for the high-testosterone but not the low-testosterone groups. This research suggests possible directions for future research and the need to further delineate the conditions and types of hierarchy under which hierarchical differentiation enhances rather than undermines group effectiveness.
Interview with Gary Becker on Rational Choice Theory – via ejpe.org – The potentials and limitations of rational choice theory: an interview with Gary Becker
Ted Talk -How to air-condition outdoor spaces – via TED.com – During the hot summer months, watching an outdoor sports match or concert can be tantamount to baking uncomfortably in the sun — but it doesn’t have to be. At the TEDxSummit in Doha, physicist Wolfgang Kessling reveals sustainable design innovations that cool us from above and below, and even collects solar energy for later use.
How cities are responding to climate change – via ihrrblog.org – This video introduces research from a project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council on examining the ways in which cities around the world are responding to climate change. The Urban Transitions Project is led by Prof Harriet Bulkeley, a researcher at IHRR and the Dept of Geography at Durham Universiy. The project is looking at how climate change innovations are being shaped, how responsibilities for addressing climate change are being allocated, and how issues of socio-environmental justice enable and constrain the possibilities for rapid urban transitions in response to climate change.
Neuroskeptic: This Is Your Brain On Ethics – via Really – The task was called “Your Pain, My Gain”. The participants were put in the MRI scanner and given £20 at the start of the experiment. Then they could spend some of the money to help save another person from getting electric shocks. The more they spent, the less severe the pain administered to the victim. Video footage of the victim receiving the shocks was then played to the decider, and the process repeated.
Everyday Sociology Talk: Guns, Rap, and Crime – via www.everydaysociologyblog.com – Karen Sternheimer interviews Jooyoung Lee, a sociologist at the University of Toronto and author of the forthcoming book
Why don’t people like markets? – via www.cognitionandculture.net – People do not love markets – there is a lot of evidence for that. Is it relevant that, well, to put it bluntly, people do not seem to understand much about market economics?
“Qatar: A Modern History” (Georgetown UP, 2012) – via newbooksinhistory.com – Going beyond the common focus on Qatar’s oil economy, Dr. Fromherz discusses Qatar’s formation as an independent state, the effect of its large percentage of expatriate workers, the interaction of the various tribes that govern Qatar, and how the Al-Thani tribe emerged as the top amongst equals. Dr. Fromherz argues that there is far more to the past, present, and future of Qatar than its massive oil wealth. Although it is a small nation with a small native population, Qatar has frequently played an influential role in international affairs. Dr. Fromherz details the many ways in which Qatar has exercised influence around the Middle East in the past, and how they continue to do so now. His book fills a large void in the scholarly literature on Qatar, and is a must-read for anyone interested in the forces that have shaped the history of the Middle East, and how they will influence its future
Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America – via Economic History Services – Richard White’s Railroaded is a professional tour de force. This book provides an overview of the development of railroads in United States west of the Missouri River. The timeframe covered is the last third of the nineteenth century. The volume invites reflection on how the nineteenth century experience is related to the travails of our twenty-first century market economy.White’s thesis has several distinct themes. The first, and most prominent, theme is that there was no economic rationale for building even one railroad between the great valleys of the west coast and the Missouri basin. (Or course, the federal government might well have entertained political, and what are now called national security, considerations in the decision to create a transcontinental railroad system.) In the era of transcontinental railroad building between roughly 1865 and 1895, local populations in this vast region were too small to generate much in the way of paying freight. At the same time, California’s central valley and the Willamette in Oregon were adequately served by steamships and purely local railroads.
How Much Does It Cost to Raise Children? It Depends on What You Count – The Numbers Guy – via WSJ – “For most parents, the total benefits of children likely outweigh the financial costs,” said Lonnie Berger, associate professor of social work at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. “At the same time, parents may think about economic costs when making decisions about having children, especially with regard to timing and number of children.”Cutting off the calculation “leaves out college expenditures which have grown enormously in recent years,” said Nancy Folbre, an economist at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. “It also leaves out the other forms of support that parents provide to their young offspring between the ages of 18,” which could include housing, health insurance and help buying a car or home.
Infographic: The History of Computers – via Blog of the Long Now – When we think about the development of computers, we often think into the future: we imagine (or work on developing) new software, ever larger capacities for data storage, and ever smaller, sleeker hardware design.
Infographic: When You’re Gonna Die – via Chart Porn – We’ve all got it coming. What’s interesting is that your life expectancy changes as you get older.
Infographic: The Global Sociology Blog – via The Visual Du Jour – The Good Life – A quick overview of the annual OECD Better Life Index, a really neat data set on a variety of social indicators, summarized in a very visually attractive form (the video works better at full screen setting):
Infographic: America Revealed – via Chart Porn – Prepared for a PBS-UK television show (also available on DVD), these visualizations are stunning:
Infographic: The Global Sociology Blog – via The Visual du Jour – Peace – The annual Global Peace Index for 2012: