.@ProfGalloway – On the Value of Storytelling

  • $TSLA has painted an unbelievable vision.
  • $F sold 7M cars last year. $TSLA sold 80k. $TSLA has higher market capitalization than $F.
  • $TSLA is a bet on the promise, not the actual performance, thus far.
  • $TSLA is in the business of over promising and under delivering, and it is working because the vision is so INTOXICATING.

.@JoHenrich – ‘It is less about teaching people facts’

“Try to convince locally high status or prestigious individuals to adopt a practice, and then you’re more likely to get it to transmit and spread. Because it is about imitating or acquiring the practice, and sometimes the belief and understanding actually come after the practice has been acquired. It is less about teaching people facts. And so, one of the reasons that public health programs have been so unsuccessful at transmitting these behaviors is they assume a rationalist model. Where if we just say the facts and we assume you belief the facts, then you will change your behavior in response to the new information. That’s not how human psychology works.”

@JoHenrich is a professor in the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. His research focuses on evolutionary approaches to psychology, decision-making and culture, and includes topics related to cultural learning, cultural evolution, culture-gene coevolution, human sociality, prestige, leadership, large-scale cooperation, religion and the emergence of complex human institutions.

Insight from the @NYUStern Token Summit

Cryptocurrencies provide a mechanism to flip that around. Maybe what happens is the people who power the applications end up with all the money, and the person who created the application ends up with very little of it. Check the link for more from the @Nyustern Token Summit.

#bitcoin #ethereum #cryptocurrency #kik #socialnetworking #socialmedia#economics #insight #fredwilson #usv #nyustern #tokensummit #facebook

Update – Python Tutorial: MACD (Moving Average Convergence/Divergence)

Download the accompanying IPython Notebook for this Tutorial from Github. 

I received a question from Sam Khorsand about applying the Python Tutorial: MACD (Moving Average Convergence/Divergence) Tutorial   to multiple stocks. The code below will produce yesterday’s MACD Crossover for a list of stocks. Also, by adding ‘to_string(index = False’), you can clean up the date formatting. Enjoy!

import pandas as pd
from pandas_datareader import data as web
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import datetime as dt
%matplotlib inline

def MACD(stock, start, end):
    df = pd.DataFrame(web.DataReader(stock,'google',start,end)['Close'])
    df = df.reset_index()
    df['30 mavg'] = pd.rolling_mean(df['Close'], 30)
    df['26 ema'] = pd.ewma(df['Close'], span=26)
    df['12 ema'] = pd.ewma(df['Close'], span=12)
    df['MACD'] = (df['12 ema'] - df['26 ema'])
    df['Signal'] = pd.ewma(df['MACD'], span=9)
    df['Crossover'] = df['MACD'] - df['Signal']
    return stock, df['Date'][-1:].to_string(),df['Crossover'][-1:].mean()
    

stocks = ['FB', 'AAPL', 'GOOG', 'AMZN', 'TSLA']

d = []

for stock in stocks:
    stock, date, macd = MACD(stock, '1/1/2016', dt.datetime.today())
    d.append({'Stock':stock, 'Date':date, 'MACD':macd})
    
df2 = pd.DataFrame(d)
df2[['Date', 'Stock', 'MACD']]
Date Stock MACD
0 249 2017-09-20 FB -0.211440
1 249 2017-09-20 AAPL -0.828956
2 249 2017-09-20 GOOG -0.069812
3 249 2017-09-20 AMZN 1.028655
4 249 2017-09-20 TSLA 2.287354

 

’20-something bro-grammers trying to crack our attention spans?’

The New York Times with commentary on our cultural  adaptation to the information economy.

Memorable Quotes

“Honestly, have we abdicated our purpose just because of these insistent micro asks? Have we just completely ceded our center, completely ceded clarity, and it was all just based on 20-something bro-grammers trying to crack our attention spans?”

“What the world today faces ‘wicked problems,’ unprecedented and complex, that require creative solutions, the kinds that are most likely to come not from staid meetings in conference rooms but rather from “non-ordinary states.”

“All of these undertakings were in the service of honing a crucial element in flow, what Mr. Wheal refers to as ’embodied cognition’: integrating our whole minds and bodies through specific exercise, based on the science showing that physical movement directly affects how we think and feel.”

“They are tapping into spiritual intelligence that before now was only really talked about in a religious context.”

Hack Your Flow: Understanding Flow Cycles, with Steven Kotler

Before, we believed Flow was binary, like a light switch. You were either in the zone or you were out of the zone. As it turns out, based on research from Herb Benson, Flow is  actually a four part cycle.

  • Struggle
    • This is a loading phase. You are loading, then overloading the brain with information. For a baseball player this is learning to swing a bat at a ball. For a writer planning a new book. This is when you’re doing interviews. This is when you’re reading, it’s when you’re diagramming structure and things like that. It’s very unpleasant as a general rule. So even though flow may be the most desirable and pleasant state on earth, the actual flow cycle itself starts with a very unpleasant state known as struggle.
  • Release
    • This literally means you want to take your mind off the problem. So what happens in flow is we are trading conscious processing which is slow, has very limited RAM for subconscious processing which his extremely fast and is very energy efficient and has pretty much endless RAM. So to do that you have to stop thinking about what you were trying to think about. You take your mind off the problem, you go for long walks, gardening works very well, etc.
  • Flow
    • Heightened awareness. Full engagement in the present moment. Loss of sense of time, loss of sense of ego. Peak experience.
  • Recovery
    • This is really, really, really critical. So you go from this amazing high of flow to a very deep low that shows up in recovery. A lot of this is that all those feel good neurochemicals have drained out of your system.

So…

If you really want to hack flow you need to learn how to struggle better and you need to learn how to recover better. And one of the most important things in recovery is you have to – you need some emotional fortitude, some grit. You have to basically hold on to your emotions, not get stressed out at the fact that you know longer feel like Superman. And the main reason – well two reasons for this is one, if you get too stressed out and feeling low you’re going to start producing cortisol. A little bit is fine, too much of it blocks the accelerated learning that comes with flow. So you will actually get the short term benefit of the flow state itself but you won’t get the long term benefit, the accelerated learning that you get in flow. The other problem is if you have to move from recovery back into struggle and you’re bummed out at no longer being in flow during the recovery phase, it’s very hard to get up for the difficult fight of struggle that follows.

The Purpose of Purposelessness

 

The following excerpt is from Bernard De Koven’s The Well-Played Game.

The Purpose of Purposelessness

We are adults. We lead purposeful lives. We maintain our adulthood through our display of purposefulness. Not through playing with purpose but rather through displaying purpose.

We strive to become important–to do important things with other important adults. When our lives lack purpose there seems to be no reason for our continuing to live. When our purposes have been frustrated, when we are not able to accomplish what we have set forth as our goals, we scream in righteous indignation, in pain.

We seek purpose so strongly that when our purposes are finally, ultimately fufilled–when we even come close enough to see that satisfaction is inevitable–we create, as swiftly as we can, other purposes.

Thus we ask ourselves what is the purpose of this purposeless activity. To what other, nobler end is this well-played game? Do we grow as a result? Do we become better at something else than the game? Do we earn status? Money? Wisdom?

It seems, when we think about it, that for all our striving for purpose, we spend a great deal of time and energy doing and pursuing things without purpose.

There you are, caught in a moment of idleness, walking backward down the street. There you are, looking in store windows, not because you’re interested in buying anything but because you want to be looking in store windows. There you are, kicking stones off the sidewalk. There you are telling jokes. There you are, just playing.

Why? What purpose does it serve? Why is this purposelessness so valuable to you? Why does it feel so good?

You’re being playful. You like being playful. It feels good. As a matter of fact, you’re very playful.

You play whenever you get the chance. You doodle. You listen to music. You twiddle your thumbs. You do nothing. You dream. You play with ideas. You toy with things. You turn everything else off, even the sense of purpose, and you just merely play.

It’s as though you have a switch, somewhere, that lets you shut off the very force that gives you meaning, and you just play, without purpose, without meaning anything.

But why do you turn that switch?

If you could, you would play forever. Why do you turn the switch again? Why do you stop playing?

There are so many purposes, real purposes to attend to, survival, personal survival, survival of your family, of your home, of your country, your world; achieving excellence, achieving the ultimate victory, achieving wisdom, truth, enlightenment, a raise in pay.

In this book we’ve been creating yet other purposes. Our play community is purposeful, intentional. All that we do together is for the sake of something else. We want to play well together. We want to achieve excellence in something that ultimately doesn’t even matter. And yet, when we reach that high together, we discover that we can have no other purpose left to except to stay there forever.

Why? Why do we make it our purpose to be without purpose? Why do we create games that give us purpose only so we can, by playing them well together, be released from all purpose?

It is a balancing act. It is a dialog–a play between. On the one hand there is silliness, on the other seriousness. On this side confusion, on this clarity. Here delight. Here, despair. It is neither work nor play, purpose nor purposelessness that satisfies us. It is the dance between.

The game offers us a purpose. It says: Win. And we study the game, we learn the rules and regulations, the strategies that will help us win. Given the purpose, we seek the means.

Play offers us purposelessness. It says: Play! We can’t even play for the purpose of enjoyment. We can’t even play to have fun. We can have fun, we can enjoy ourselves while we are playing, but that is payoff, it isn’t purpose. Purpose interferes with play. When we play for any purpose, when we detect purpose in someone else’s play or in our own, we lose balance, we become distortions. When we play for praise, for grades, for trades, we find ourselves not really playing.

Odd, isn’t it? Paradoxical. Apparently without solution. Is play the completion of game, or is the game completion of play? Uncomfortable, this consideration. What else can one do at such a time, facing such a profound problem?

Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin

This year may be remembered as the year of Cryptocurrencies. While Cryptocurrencies have been around for some time, I would argue it was in 2017 when they reached a ‘tipping point’, becoming something more than a niche, alternative investment.

Where’s the proof? Year to date, Bitcoin has increased 370%, Ethereum has increased 2940%, and Litecoin increased 1650%. Comparatively, the S&P 500 has increased 10%. Produce returns +30X the benchmark and Investors take notice.

So how might you invest in Cryptocurrencies? I recommend using Coinbase and its sister exchange GDAX.

On both sites, you may purchase Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. Coinbase charges a brokers fee, though locks in the price at the moment of transaction. Using limit orders on GDAX, you can avoid the brokers fee, though you will be subject to the changing market price as the order is filled throughout the day. For individual investors, both Coinbase and GDAX limit the amount you may purchase within a given a week, which could be seen as a drawback.

Curious to learn more, check the videos below.

Ideas are like Acorns

Excerpt from David J. Schwartz’s The Magic Power of Thinking Big.

‘Each year an oak tree produces enough acorns to populate a good-sized forest. Yet, from these bushels of seeds perhaps only one or two acorns will become a tree. The squirrels destroy most of them and the hard ground beneath the tree doesn’t give the few remaining seeds much chance for a start.

So it is with ideas. Very few bear fruit. Ideas are highly perishable. If we’re not on guard, the squirrels (negative-thinking-people) will destroy most of them. Ideas require special handling from the time they are born until they’re transformed into practical ways for doing things better. Use these three ways to harness and develop your ideas.

  1. Don’t let ideas escape. Write them down. Every day lots of good ideas are born only to die quickly because they are not nailed to paper. Memory is a weak slave when it comes to preserving and nurturing brand new ideas. Carry a notebook or some small cards with you. When you get an idea, write it down. A friend who travels a lot keeps a clipboard beside him so that he can write down an idea the instant it occurs to him. People with fertile, creative minds know a good idea may sprout any time, any place. Don’t let your ideas escape; else, you destroy the fruits of your thinking. Fence them in.
  2. Next, review your ideas. File these ideas in an active file. The file can be an elaborate cabinet, or it can be a desk drawer. A shoe box will do. Build a file and then examine your storehouse of ideas regularly. As you go over your ideas, some may, for very good reasons, have no value at all. Get rid of them. But so long as the idea has any promise, keep it.
  3. Cultivate and fertilize your idea. Now make your idea grow. Think about it. Tie the idea to related ideas. Read anything you can find which is in any way akin to your idea. Investigate all angles. Then, when the time is ripe, put it to work for yourself, your job, your future.