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A Few Things: Galloway on America, Papic on Markets, Huberman on Lifestyle, Dalio and Rubenstein, Scott Wilson on Non-Traditional Endowment Investing, Doomberg on Europe, DALLE2, The Future of AI
October 5 2022
I am sharing this weekly email with you because I count you in the group of people I learn from and enjoy being around.
You can check out last week’s edition here: Commodities & Energy with Andurand and Currie, Discipline is Destiny, Dror Poleg on Maximizing Human Capital, The Secrets to Amazon's Success, Intelligence Trap, The Art of Living…
“The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.”
- H. L. Mencken
“The reward for conformity was that everyone liked you except yourself”
- Rita Mae Brown
"The great use of life is to spend it on something that will outlast it."
- William James
“Buy the ticket, take the ride...”
- Hunter S. Thompson (thank you Hank)
A. A Few Things Worth Checking Out:
1. The always thoughtful and entertaining Scott Galloway was on the Hidden Forces podcast discussing his new book Adrift: American in 100 Charts.
Scott looks from the past to the present to explain how America has reached its current state of economic and social crisis.
They cover the rise of the shareholder class, financialization, the attention economy. He then dives into our possible futures and what we must do to resolve our problems.
He suggests ideas such as:
Simplifying the tax code
Reforming Section 230
Rebranding Nuclear Energy
Reforming Higher Education
Investing in National Service
He comes across as hopeful in the end.
2. My favourite strategist Marko Papic was on the Bloomberg Odd Lots podcast on “What Markets Got Wrong About Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine”.
In his recent All Along the Clocktower piece for subscribers, his bottom line was:
We are at peak hawkish Fed hysteria. The US central bank cannot ignore the pain its monetary policy has imposed on its closest geopolitical allies and the US economy. This isn’t the 1980s or 1990s, where the Fed can spend months ignoring the carnage in emerging markets. In 2022, the US needs Europeans to fall in line on geopolitical policy towards Russia, but also other energy producing pariah states. But to do that, the US needs to throw the rest of the world a lifeline and adjusting its monetary policy may be the only way to do so. As such, we think that a Fed pivot is coming, potentially in the form of QTE if the current bond market carnage – which is truly of historic proportion – continues. Our conviction on the pivot would be much lower if we did not think that the CPI has peaked.
He dubs the combination of QE and QT - QTE.
3. Dr. Andrew Huberman is a Stanford professor of Neurobiology. In January 2021, Huberman started the "Huberman Lab Podcast", focused on neuroscience and science-based tools. In it, Huberman has interviewed physicians and scientists, including Robert Sapolsky, David Sinclair, Lex Fridman, Samer Hattar, Matthew Walker, Karl Deisseroth, Alia Crum, Anna Lembke, David Spiegel and Erich Jarvis…..
Key science based lifestyle changes below:
4. David Perell had some great pieces of life advice, my favourite are: 3, 5, 19 and 26.
5. David M. Rubenstein was interviewed by Ray Dalio at the 92nd Street Y. It’s an action packed discussion with lots of wisdom from Rubenstein, but Dalio isn’t a great interviewer.
6. Scott Wilson is the CIO of Washington University in St Louis, he was on the Invest Like the Best discussing Non-Traditional Endowment Investing. The endowment manages about $15bn and is known for being a large tech, EM and frontier investor.
Key highlights here:
[00:12:03] - Lessons learned about choosing good partners and doing it effectively over time
[00:16:17] - Why they spend so much time in frontier and emerging markets
[00:18:21] - Lessons learned from investing in China and thoughts on it today
[00:21:02] - Interests and red flags when it comes to investing in the venture space
[00:23:16] - The worst things he sees from venture investors
[00:27:55] - What percentage of investors in private equity are investors versus just involved to try and engineer returns
[00:28:59] - His impressions on hedge funds and the evolution of the hedge fund model
[00:34:20] - How he thinks about the sources of returns in the “other” portfolio category
[00:44:27] - Thoughts on how the macro environment influences allocating time and resources
[00:49:07] - The cultivation of a talented investment team and effectively teaching investing
7. No email can be complete without the latest from Doomberg on what is unfolding in Europe. This was recorded soon after NordStream 1 and 2 were sabotaged.
8. What do they say about magazine covers and markets?
They also say that you should be greedy when others are fearful. When I look around, I see a lot of people that are fearful.
9. This was a great weekend guilty watch:
B. The Tech and Crypto Section:
1. OpenAI’s Dall.E2 is now open to the public. It is a new AI system that can create realistic images and art from a description.
What does that mean?
Here is a 2-min video explaining what and how:
For example, here is my daughter asking for: “An Apple on a green Table with a purple background in Van Gogh style”.
DALL.E2 came back with 4 ideas, here are two of them:
Or how about this: “A Polar Bear painted by Monet”
These are completely new images, where the AI first understood what was being asked for, and then synthesised the images based on it’s understanding of what was being asked for.
You can quickly see what this does to creativity. Anything you can imagine can be created.
Try it out and send me the images you come up with.
OpenAI could be one of the most interesting technology companies of our time. Its mission according to its website: “is to ensure that artificial general intelligence (AGI)—by which we mean highly autonomous systems that outperform humans at most economically valuable work—benefits all of humanity.”
Their 1st project was GPT-3, which used deep learning models to understand and produce human like text.
2. Greylock (one of the top VC firms) had general partners Reid Hoffman and Saam Motamedi discuss the current state of artificial intelligence, including the most recent technological advancements; top areas for investment; and the ethical considerations needed to ensure tools are developed safely.
3. I was at a Web3 conference last week in New York, this was probably the best interesting company there: Colossal.
They are bringing the Wooly Mammoth back.
This always gives me goose bumps
Invictus by William Ernest Henley
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.