Weekly Update 15th May 2022

What I've been reading, listening to and watching this week, ft. The Great Depression (again), Sugar Island, Eva Cassidy and my trials in running.

In a format totally lifted from Tim Ferriss:

What I'm Reading:

* The Great Depression: A Diary - Benjamin Roth (edited by James Ledbetter, Daniel B Roth) - finally finished; first mentioned here

A great overview of the Great Depression and several contrasting economic theories.

A few of my main takeaways:

1. Cash is king in a depression, but the mindset you need to make a killing in depression is extremely counterintuitive.

2. Buying securities on a margin is what can wipe you out.

3. You never really know when the bottom is here.

4. The history of paper money (including the Gold Standard) is really interesting; I learned a lot from these videos by ExtraCredits when I needed to figure out what was going on when Roosevelt took America off the Gold Standard.

5. When people are out of work and luck, gambling goes up.

6. "A major risk should not be taken for minor profit. Real skill appears in appraising the risk."  

* The Firekeeper's Daughter - Angeline Boulley

Inspired by Boulley's own Anishinaabeg tribe ('Original People' - usually used to refer to settlements from around the upper Great Lakes), the Ojibwe from Sugar Island near Sault Ste. Marie (pronounced Soo-saint-Marie) in Michigan, this is the story of Daunis Fontaine, whose 18th year is mirred with three tragic occurrences that launches her into being a confidential informant for an FBI investigation.

I am really, really enjoying this one so far - the setting is refreshing, and the descriptions of the town and surrounding nature are extremely visceral. While reading, I can almost feel the crisp air and the woody atmosphere while reading. It's been raining a lot recently here in Hong Kong and being curled up on the sofa reading this has been a lovely comfort.

Who I'm Listening To:

Music
* Eva Cassidy, Live at Blues Alley (1997) A hidden gem; perfect for Sunday mornings.

What I've Been Thinking About:
* I didn't make time to write about any mental models this week, despite saying I wanted to last week. I'm going to try a new twice-a-week writing routine and see how that works (once in the morning or evening during the week, and once on Sunday). To help with my accountability, I'm going to say now that I'll write about Regret Minimisation this week - min. 200 words on what it is and how to use it. In line with my 'projects feel easier to conquer' thinking; I will try doing this for 4 weeks.

* I'm on week 4 of a new running routine (the None to Run 5k - an alternative to Couch to 5k), and I am begrudgingly enjoying the runs, even looking forward to them. That got me thinking about what it is about some routines/projects I can stick to. With this running routine, I think it's 2 things:

  1. I know it's 12 weeks, and counting down the weeks is satisfying.
  2. The program gets you to repeat the routines (e.g. in the first week you run for 30 secs and walk for 2 minutes for 25 minutes in total) many more times than in other programs - which means that when you're ready to move to the next stage, your body is actually ready to do so as well.

In the past, I think I scuppered my chances of following through by pushing myself more than I needed to (e.g. I'll run non-stop on my 3rd week), which led to a combination of injuries and disappointing results. At the end of my 6th week (halfway), I'd like to do a write-up.


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