I have been reading the Extinction book series at Laurel’s recommendation. It is a strange mix…. flat characters that are way over the top, and constant cheesy action that somehow keeps you in suspense and reading through them. Exhausting lol. I need to switch back to nonfiction again soon.
I have gotten back into chess lately and have even gone to a few tournaments at the LA Chess Club on Santa Monica Blvd. Chess is a highly addicting game!
I have been working on improving my game and have played with the chess.com tactic’s trainer and video lessons. My rating has risen to about 1300 now. I would love to get consistently to 1400.
We had our basketball game last night and though our team was down by 18 points at one point, we had a really nice comeback and tied the game. We went to triple overtime and sudden death and one of our team members fouled the opponent and he went to the foul line and made a free throw, winning it for their team. Frustrating, especially as I had a chance to win it at the end of the first overtime when a shot was missed and I got the rebound behind the basket with 1 second and jumped and missed into the back of the backboard.
I just got a membership to the new climbing gym Cliffs of Id near my workplace. I have taken about a year off climbing because my elbow was injured and I had frankly gotten tired of it. I am feeling more excited about it again now though!
Below is the list of what I believe to be the most important problems facing humanity in the future that we must solve:
- AI Safety – Artificial Intelligence is here and is rapidly surpassing human intelligence in many areas. We must figure out how to safely move forward into a world in which we create an apex predator above us. Superintelligence will be here in 5-15 years.
- Space colonies – one comet, one supervirus, one giant war potentially could send our entire species into extinction. We have been dependent on one planet for too long.
- Government – we have a ton of great science on what types of government and economies work best, why do some countries still have monsters like leading them like in Russia or North Korea? Why do we let unions with no true counterparty to negotiate back against them take more and more in the USA?
- Education - Billions of dollars are spent a year on education in America, ostensibly for teaching our children, but the entire structure is set up to protect teachers rather than the students. The whole model is upside down. This entrenchment has led to very little change in the way education is done since the Industrial Revolution even though the rest of the world is radically different.
The USA instituted a national minimum wage originally explicitly to protect white peoples jobs in the northern countries from the millions of unemployed black people in the South. The minimum wage continues to have the similar effects to this day.
Each little tweak you make to improve your life or business only makes a small difference at first. As the years go by, the little tweaks start to pile up into substantial change. Great achievements are rarely created instantly even if they appear that way.
Google was not built into a multi-billion dollar titan instantly. Larry Page had spent his childhood going to conferences and playing with computers and tech magazines with his dad who had a PhD in computer science. He went to elite high schools and then worked on a computer engineering degree from University of Michigan. He reverse engineered ink cards, made a printer of lego printers, and worked on many more engineering projects. He went on to a computer science PhD program at Stanford where he worked on understanding the math properties of the web. By the time he founded Google, he had built a lifetime of many small habits of working and learning about engineering and business.
Winning a sports championship is never an overnight phenomenon. The people who win these have a lifetime of athletic activity and practice. Many of them have focused on this since they were small children.
You do not have to be a child though to start building healthy habits that will lead to success. I have been trying to do so only since I was 17, and did not figure out serious ways to really improve until I was 25. Each little incremental improvement helps though.
Nicaragua had a serious earthquake in the 60s. US officials, in an effort to help, sent an enormous quantity of wheat to feed the people. Sounds good, right? Unfortunately, earthquakes don’t damage wheat fields. Over the next two years, the farmers of Nicaragua saw their agriculture businesses destroyed.
Be careful when a politician says “let’s pass a regulation to fix…”.
I grew up in poverty. My dad was an assistant pastor of a small church in a poor area making marginal income and my mom stayed at home to raise four boys. My grandparents are wealthy and showed me flashes of a much better life, and fortunately scooped me out of a bad situation when my parents lives fell apart when I was 14.
How has this background affected my mindset in business?
I live in fear of falling back into poverty, so I tend to be very aggressive when I feel something threatens my business. This can be positive as it motivates epic amounts of work hours, or negative when I am too harsh to my employees.
I am less willing to trust to spend money; I generally don’t pay contractors and only use full time committed people who’s work I can monitor.
I will always try to find a better or less expensive way of getting something done. I have spent the last year building custom programs for recruiting, training, and management feedback.
Even though I am financially independent now, I can never get rid of the haunting fear that it could all disappear at any time.
I am incredibly controlling in everything I do as I don’t want things to fall apart.