Investing Insights from Medicine

Recently, I was invited by Bangalore Investor Group to make a presentation.

My presentation was based on two books — The Laws of Medicine and Risk Savvy.

Both these books were few of the best ones I read in 2018.

Two primary ideas that I share in this talk are — Benford’s Law and Mathematics of Cancer Screening. Here’s the video version of the talk.

Please click here if you can’t see the video.

Looking forward to your feedback.

Vipassana: 100 Hours of Mind Debugging

If you’re not a programmer then debugging may be a new word for you. It means cleaning out the bugs, i.e., fixing your software program so that it does what it’s supposed to do and more importantly doesn’t do what it’s not supposed to do.

A debugger is a tool that makes the computer slow enough so that a human can see what’s brewing inside that computer’s mind. More specifically, you can mark the lines in your program (called breakpoints) where debugger will halt the execution temporarily and wait for you to press the continue button. And while it’s paused, you can literally scour the computer’s mind and see what it’s up to.

Put simply, in debug mode you freeze the computer’s brain to sneak a peek.

… Continue Reading 

Unnerving Words of an Idiosyncratic Genius

Greek mythology has a story about a bandit called Procrustes. His name means “the stretcher.” True to his name, Procrustes was a rogue smith who would abduct travelers, treat them with a lavish dinner and invite them to spend the night in a special bed.

He wanted the bed to fit the traveler to perfection, writes Taleb in his book The Bed of Procrustes, “Those who were too tall had their legs chopped off with a sharp hatchet; those who were too short were stretched.”

Nobody ever fitted the bed exactly and Procrustes’ reign of terror continued until he was captured by Theseus who “fitted” Procrustes in his own bed.

A Procrustean solution is thus the practice of forcefully fitting reality to the rigid containers of theoretical models and preconceived structures. This post is a compilation of my highlights and notes from The Bed of Procrustes — Taleb’s lesser known book.

… Continue Reading 

The Men Who Built America

The new year started with someone tipping me off about a documentary named The Men Who Built America. What followed was a six-hour binge watch. The history channel docudrama chronicles the lives of five American business titans — Vanderbilt, Carnegie, Rockefeller, Morgan, and Ford. What fascinated me about this series wasn’t just how the industrial innovations and business empires of these five individuals revolutionized modern society, but also how their paths crossed more often than I would’ve imagined.

History doesn’t repeat itself, said Mark Twain, “but it often rhymes.” The capitalistic rivalry among the 19th-century tycoons has an uncanny similarity to present day standoffs between business honchos. Which means, there might be crucial insights hidden in these century-old events which would give you a more informed perspective on how the modern business stories could unfold and their impact on society at large.

… Continue Reading 

The Epiphany

“See, when you want to reverse the car to left, you have to turn the steering wheel to the left,” I told my wife. She was learning reverse parking and I was her self-appointed driving coach.

“But when I turn left, the car is going towards right!” she exclaimed.

… Continue Reading