Druckenmiller Explained, The Future of Amazon, Artificial Intelligence and NFTs.....

June 2, 2021

Welcome to the 100+ subscribers who joined from Ted Seides’ Capital Allocators. Thank you Ted.

“Life is short. That’s all there is to say. Get what you can from the present—thoughtfully, justly.”

- Marcus Aurelius

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”

- Henry Ford

“The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.”

- Henry David Thoreau

“To-morrow I’ll reform, the fool does say; To-day itself’s too late; - the wise did yesterday.”

- Ben Franklin

"A huge percentage of the stuff that I tend to be automatically certain of is, it turns out, totally wrong and deluded."

- David Foster Wallace

A. A Few Things Worth Checking Out:

1. I’m a Stanley Druckenmiller fanboy. This is a great twitter thread summarising Druckenmiller’s various recent media appearances.

And this one covers 10 investing lessons from him.

Both of these guys are must follows on twitter.

2. Brad Stone (who wrote the original book on Amazon: The Everything Store) has now written: Amazon Unbound: Jeff Bezos and the Invention of a Global Empire.

He was recently on the Acquired Podcast, discussing the making of the modern Amazon, and how it's morphed from the "flywheel company" of The Everything Store into a set of interlocking and self-reinforcing businesses that extended both wider and deeper into the global economy than anyone ever imagined.

Is Amazon the Standard Oil of our time?

3. Dan McMurtrie is one of the most original thinkers and all-round interesting people I’ve met on the Internet. He runs an investment partnership called Tyro Partners and was on the Howard Lindzon podcast discussing: Discuss Information Overload and Behavioral Investing.

I make sure to listen to everything Dan is saying, it’s like having cheat codes to the game of life.

A fun quote from this podcast: “Technology right now is being used to program people, not the other way around.” and why Chamath is the master of this.

4. If you are trying to navigate Inflation and Commodities, you will enjoy this Macro Voices conversation with Larry McDonald. They deep dive into Oil, Coal and Uranium. Thank you Sean for the flag.

5. The story of our longevity: The single unequivocal benefit that civilisation, science, and modern life has given us is: longer lives, on average.

Extra Life, a new book by Steven Johnson, investigates the origin of this gift. Johnson tells the story of our longer lives quickly, easily, with tons of news. Longevity is an enabling invention that has opened up many other benefits, and its story is important because this miracle has many parents and most of them were institutions.

The book has a good companion 4-part PBS miniseries (streamable) that summaries the story in the context of Covid-19 vaccines and current events

6. The truth about lying. Psychologists are zeroing in on methods that might actually spot a liar.

7. 10 bullets on effective writing from David Ogilvy.

8. Have you been following the UFO reports? Great Washington Post article.

9. When trying to understand what the world will look like in 1/ 10/ 100 years, there are factors that are often so big, so much in plain sight, that they can get overlooked.

Population growth, or decline, would fall into that category, with it being so fundamental to the future makeup of our planet and our species that we often just assume, given it's all we've known in our lifetime, that the trend of growth, that saw our population explode from around 1.6 billion in 1900 to 6 billion in 2000, will do nothing but continue to do the same.

Not so, and as this excellent long form in the NY Times explores, shrinking populations throughout the globe, especially in population drivers such as China, with its population expected to fall from 1.4 billion now to about 730 million in 2100, should be a concern that will have a huge impact on the world as we know it.

10. Great compendium of industry tidbits and observations. Thank you Nicolas.

My favourites:

B. Genius Makers

Finished reading Cade Metz’ Genius Makers.

Cade is a technology correspondent for the New York Times. It’s a story about the key players and advances in Artificial Intelligence.

It’s a deep chronological look at what has played out in AI/ML, which for most people is probably too much detail.

Here’s a quick 30 min intro he did on the AI podcast.

Here are the key types of Machine Learning you should know about:

How they work at a glance:

Seven minute video from Google explaining Machine Learning:

C. The Crypto Section

1. Did you read Goldman Sachs great report on Crypto Assets? Highly recommended.

2. Naval Ravikant demystifying NFTs:

3. Went down the NFT rabbit hole over the weekend:

a. great place to start: a16z’s NFT Canon

b. Chris Dixon at a16z on NFTs and Thousand True Fans

c. Linda Xie at Scalar Capital on A beginner’s guide to NFTs

d. Jesse Walden at a16z on how NFTs make the internet ownable

4. A little BTC / ETH humour. Thank you Yaser.

Year-on-year house prices in the US surged 24% in March, the biggest rise since 2005. There are now more real estate agents than properties available. Housing inventory is down 37% YoY, to a record low, and the typical home sells in just 17 days, another record low.

Almost two-thirds of homebuyers using the real estate site Redfin say they’ve bid on a home sight-unseen.

One prospective buyer included in her offer a promise to name her first-born child after the seller. She lost.