Links for September 2018

“This week, on Hidden Forces, Jonathan Haidt joins us for a conversation on trigger warnings, safe spaces, and how good intentions and bad ideas are setting up the iGeneration for failure. Jonathan and Greggory Lukianoff’s latest book, The Codling of the American Mind, is now available in bookstores nationwide. ”

“Studies show that unstructured play time is crucial for the healthy development of a child. So, why have parents been forcing more and more structure onto their children? @JonHaidt @glukianoff discuss the science behind the need for more independence.”

“Bradley Campbell @CampbellSocProf Sep 6
The Three Great Untruths, from @JonHaidt and @glukianoff’s new book The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure”

D.A. Wallach: music, medicine, cancer screening, and disruptive technologies. Interesting conversation begins around 50min on music and continues into medicine. (EP.06) :

“Mark Penn, author of Microtrends Squared, The New Small Forces Driving the Big Disruptions Today, joins the podcast to breakdown the trends that are driving the modern world. Microtrends and countertrends often make up only one percent of the American public, but create massive social movements capable of changing the commercial, political and social landscapes.”

Thinking About Thinking: My Interview with Tyler Cowen — On this episode of The Knowledge Project, I chat with Tyler Cowen, economics professor, author, and creator of the wildly popular blog, Marginal Revolution. We tackle lots of interesting topics, including tech advances, the changing labor market, and upgrading your thinking process to accommodate the information age.

Exponential Energy trends:

Elon Musk:

Bineural beats (use stere headphones for full effect, good for meditation):

Most likely to succeed: Preview of a great documentary on education

A different take on the US housing bust, unlike the credit boom/bust narrative:

The FIRE/ERE movement gets some mainstream coverage:

Cullen Roche’s reaction:
“The FIRE movement – a good set of goals and aspirations that are probably unattainable or unrealistic for most of us.”

Coverage of ‘Bullshit Jobs’ and the connection to increasingly intangible work:,

Its getting better


Linkfest August 2018

The Rise of AI

Ray Dalio’s Principles:

What the future of medicine could look like. A fascinating and wide ranging interview that looks at the role of technology, new tests, and much more:

Data should be seen as labor rather than capital (Glen Weyl):

Next generation interfaces:
View story at
“Forget what you’ve heard about brain implants — that’s too invasive and, frankly, pretty scary. The future of brain-machine interfaces is non-invasive. Instead of surgical implants, CTRL-labs uses state-of-the-art signal detection and machine learning to read your neurons from outside the body. The first step will be technology precisely picking up the signals from inside your body to control devices outside of it with little more than natural gestures. The next step — and we are already closer than most people realize — will be reading the intention directly from your brain.”

Got Privacy?

Privacy and algorithmic governance

Andrew Yang on Universal Basic Income:

Interesting series on trade:
05/25/2018 – This Is How the World Ends, Part V

Banks have a monopoly on credit creation, and use that monopoly power to invest mainly in the purchasing of existing assets (land,etc) rather than new tangible capital formation.

Past Kaggle (Data Science) Competition Solutions:

R Finance Past Presentations:

Andrew Scott on “The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity”
“Jim welcomes Professor Andrew Scott, Professor of Economics at the London Business School, and co-author of The 100-Year Life. Professor Scott notes that with every new decade, lifespan is now increasing by 2-3 years, and a child born in 2007 has a 50% chance of living to 104 years old. They discuss how the traditional Three Stage Life (education, work, and retirement) is ending, and we may soon be looking at a 50-70 year working career. There are many risks ahead as well, as the emergence of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence will threaten millions of jobs in the future. There will also be tremendous challenges for society and especially government, as greater longevity will put even greater strains on the government to care for those unable to support themselves in extreme old age. Professor Scott emphasized the importance of people in their 60’s and beyond developing the ability to deal with change and adapt to new ideas.”

I’ve watched the FIRE (Financial Independence and Retire Early) / ERE (Early Retirement Extreme) movements for the last year. I think given long lifespans, the whole system will have to be re-thought. Returns from investments will probably be lower than most people except and some DB pensions will come under pressure in the future. However, I do like the idea of focusing what you can control (high savings rate) and also diversifying your income streams for increased resilience.
I also enjoyed Michael Kitces diagram on different approaches to retirement:


Stream Radiohead and DMB

I saw Radiohead and Dave Matthews Band live in Toronto in the last few weeks, they were great shows!

You don’t have to go to the show to enjoy live music.
If you join DMB’s mailing list, they will often announce live streams and have announce live streams for Friday’s in July.

Radiohead often has live streams via Periscope or other platforms. You can check out the following twitter feed for announcements:

Here is the setlist from the concert I went to in Toronto:

And some high-def videos from the Toronto shows (and others):

Good luck

The Ontario election is looming, and it does not look like there are any good choices. Perhaps the best choice is a minority government.

It looks like there is a high and growing probably of an Ontario recession next year due to a housing led weakness in ontario, and mid cycle slowdowns in US and China, our trading partners, along with growing trade uncertainty. We will explore this in a further post. Given this backdrop, perhaps counter cyclical government spending is a good idea if the private sector is retrenching.

Further relevant reading: Is Canada at risk of a balance sheet recession, or see my deleveraging page
Source: Is Canada at risk of a balance sheet recession?

In listening to each party’s taking points, it seems as though we are far from creating real solutions that society will need in the future. Solutions will require the best of what the left and right have to offer.
-Instead of talking about how many nurses are going to get fired, or how privatization is bad, why not look to examples like Singapore Health system, which only spends 4% of GDP with similar outcomes: “But Singapore isn’t a free market utopia. Quite the opposite, really. It’s a largely state-run health care system where the government designed the insurance products with a healthy appreciation for free market principles — the kind of policy Milton Friedman might have crafted if he’d been a socialist.”
-Use public spending to enhance infrastructure and fund long term projects with patient capital instead of creating bullshit jobs
-Roll out an unconditional basic income for everyone as a safety net (hint: we should have funded a sovereign wealth fund with oil/resource tax revenue that would pay this out)
-A speculation tax on housing? Potentially, how about a land value tax, or shifting the tax burden off of labour and income onto economic rents. Target unproductive investment and economic rent instead of just the wealthy for redistribution.
-Re-evaluate as as society the role of money and banking, and the monopoly power and privileged that commercial banks have to create credit. Minimize the use of credit for speculation on securities and bidding up the price of scarce land
-Eliminate monopolies and oligopolies, learn how we can win again
-Cut the waste, but restore the Commons
-Work towards establishing better Governance and Transparency: “A recent report by Transparency International ranked Canada and South Korea the lowest in the G20 for financial transparency. Since committing to increase transparency in 2014, Canada has not improved its regulatory framework, the report said.”

I know this all spans multiple levels of government, but just a few thoughts….


Update 2018/06/20:

Peter Zeihan on Canada: 06/20/2018 – I Think They Get It Now, Part Seven/Sept: Canada

“Canada has something other Bretton Woods members do not: leverage. Canada is directly adjacent to the United States. That means the Americans traded with the Canadians not only before Bretton Woods, but before the industrial revolution hit the North American continent. NAFTA is the only active trade deal the Americans have that was not a strategic swap of the Bretton Woods model.

That provides Canada a unique opening. Broadscale chaos in the global system will not overly harm the domestic American experience, but mild chaos in North America would. Unlike Japan or France or Italy or Germany or the United Kingdom, the Canadians have their claws into the American economy’s guts, giving Canada the option of hitting America where it hurts. When the Canadians talk reciprocal tariffs, it matters.

And the Canadians know what to do with that leverage, because Canada has something else the other Bretton Woods allies lack: insight. ”

“…But something most Canadians miss is that while their proximity to and close relationship with the United States does indeed grant them security and leverage and insight, that’s only an advantage if the Americans are distracted.

End America’s position as the global leader. Take most of those irons out of the fire. Contract America’s already small international economic footprint. Washington’s to-do list shrinks immeasurably. Purely by circumstance, Canada moves up. Way up.

Canada faces very real danger of national fracture without American attention. But if the American population or presidency perceives – rightly or wrongly – that Canada is part of the problem rather than part of the solution, then the full power of the American system can be brought to bear on its politically, economically and strategically fragile neighbor. ”

Potential U.S. Auto Tariffs: Canadian Scenario Analysis


How the economic machine works by Ray Dalio

Links for May

Douglas Murray, Author of the Strange death of Europe

Murray also recently released ‘The Suicide of Europe

Bret Weinstein on Identity Politics

Quilliam International founder, Maajid Nawaz accepts the 2018 Morris B. Abram Human Rights Award for his contribution to the cause of religious freedom, equality, pluralism and democracy and shares his story at the 2018 Gala Dinner in Geneva, Switzerland, May 7, 2018.

Tim O’Reilly Presentation

Mit Media lab – if only banks funded places like this instead of just increasing the price of land

“Carlos Doesn’t Remember” is the first in a three-part Revisionist History miniseries taking a critical look at the idea of capitalization—the measure of how well America is making use of its human potential.

Conversation about Hashgraph, one of the leading alternatives for Blockchain 2.0

AlphaGo Zero: How to build your own AlphaZero AI using Python and Keras
“How to build your own AlphaZero

Firstly, check out the AlphaGo Zero cheat sheet for a high level understanding of how AlphaGo Zero works. It’s worth having that to refer to as we walk through each part of the code. There’s also a great article here that explains how AlphaZero works in more detail.”
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Health and Nutrition Links for April

And no this is not an April fools joke….

What the heck should I eat?
-A great overview of overall nutrition and the biases in food studies
-Eat unprocessed foods
-Eat mostly plant based diet, vegetables and fruit
-Get good fats
-Geonomics may be overblown

Ketosis vs Plant diet: A fascinating wide ranging discussion
– Also talk about fasting and Dr Longo’s fasting mimicing diet

The debate on Lectin’s in Plants:

Dr Longo on Fasting and the Fasting Mimicing diet
-New perspective on fasting
-Outlines a 5 day diet that isn’t full caloric restriction
-Doesn’t like 16 hr fasts (see previous post on lean gains/nutrition)

Longevity discussion from the venture capital firm a16z:

The scientific report guiding the US dietary guidelines: is it scientific?

Healthcare related links:

Evolution of Medicine
“For all too many dedicated physicians, stuck in a cycle of seven-minute patient visits and production line healing, medicine has become a frustrating vocation. Furthermore, the current epidemic of chronic illness demands a new care standard that can break down the existing structural barriers to full resolution. It requires functional medicine. The Evolution of Medicine provides step-by-step instruction for building a successful “community micropractice,” one that engages both the patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership focused on the body as a whole rather than isolated symptoms. This invaluable handbook will awaken health professionals to exciting new career possibilities. At the same time, it will alleviate the fear of abandoning a conventional medical system that is bad for doctors, patients, and payers, as well as being ineffectual in the treatment of chronic ailments. Welcome to a new world of modern medical care, delivered in a community setting. It’s time to embrace the Evolution of Medicine and reignite your love for the art of healing.”

DECODING SUPERHUMAN The Future of Healthcare with Dr. Zayna Khayat
“What we really have is a fundamental disequilibrium between the demand for health services by a population that’s growing in size, staying alive longer and accumulating illness and disease and a system that was designed not for that volume and scale and complexity and therefore it can’t meet the demands.
And so, when demand exceeds supply, it’s the perfect breeding ground to do things differently”
-What are the 3 big forces coming together to change healthcare
-Zayna’s six pillars or shifts for the future of healthcare

Dynamic Medicine-Yaneer Bar-Yam
“If the ongoing development of medical “sensors” — tests, monitoring, and imaging — is combined with an understanding of dynamic response, medical care would be dramatically improved. Instead of relying primarily on the outcomes of statistical studies of interventions and outcomes, individual medical care can be better guided by the real-time viewing of the effects of interventions. Moreover, dynamic response is a sensitive probe of the healthy state and susceptibility to systemic failure. The testing of dynamic response expands dramatically what can be known about a system and is an essential step toward true health care: Maintaining individuals in dynamic states that have lower susceptibility to disease and disability.”
– The nutrition debate probably won’t be solved until senors become commonplace

Other interesting viewpoints:
The Mindbody Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain

An interesting approach to scoring foods (pair with ANDI scores…):

Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia, 2nd Edition

“The internet already enables patients to seek online consultations when and where it suits them. You can take over-the-counter tests to analyse your blood, sequence your genome and check on the bacteria in your gut. Yet radical change demands a shift in emphasis, from providers to patients and from doctors to data. That shift is happening. Technologies such as the smartphone allow people to monitor their own health. The possibilities multiply when you add the crucial missing ingredients—access to your own medical records and the ability easily to share information with those you trust. That allows you to reduce inefficiencies in your own treatment and also to provide data to help train medical algorithms. You can enhance your own care and everyone else’s, too.”

Viome Microbiome Ebook

Also see my previous post looking at books I read in 2017