Weekend readings - 23 Apr, 2021 : Edition 38
A compilation of few interesting, multi-disciplinary reading links from the internet
[The last week has been a tough one (and light on my reading) as India is passing through the worst phase of the pandemic. The scenes at hospitals, crematoriums, pathological labs and homes are heart-wrenching. Many young(and old) lives are being lost for want of basic facilities like medical oxygen, plasma, medicines and ventilators. Nevertheless, hope prevails. We have this situation to survive and learn our lessons for the future!]
Section 1 - Investing & Personal Finance
(a) Jason Zweig is one of the finest writers in finance around today. His latest column signify the theme of keeping calm even when things are going out of hand in the financial markets. Avoiding stupidity, after all is much easier than seeking brilliance!
Section 2 - Economic Trends & Themes
(a) A piece in the WSJ caught my attention on an epic series of goof-ups (or potentially more malign?) from a mutual fund that has seen it lose nearly half a billion USD by “misvaluing” its derivatives portfolio. The Journal, academics and traders have worked through the fund's filings and found valuations of investments that in at least three instances were incorrect or inconsistent with market conditions. Hope this is not going to get more messier!
Section 3 - Personality study & Development
(a) After over a year of WFH, a new condition between depression and hopelessness is arising. Languishing is a sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as if you’re muddling through your days, looking at your life through a foggy windshield. And it might be the dominant emotion of 2021. This article from NY Times this week fully encapsulates this emotion as people struggle from the long haul of the pandemic.
Languishing is the neglected middle child of mental health. It’s the void between depression and flourishing — the absence of well-being. You don’t have symptoms of mental illness, but you’re not the picture of mental health either. You’re not functioning at full capacity. Languishing dulls your motivation, disrupts your ability to focus, and triples the odds that you’ll cut back on work
Section 4 - Business History & management
(a) Last year we all had seen disturbing visuals of pandemic aftermath from developed countries like US, UK, Spain, Italy, etc. We had seen how the pandemic had exposed the fault lines of the healthcare system in those countries. The most unfortunate part is that despite getting more than nine months of lead time (since the second intense wave hit the developed world)… we in India, failed to develop inadequate basic health infrastructure to handle the emergency. Rather, at many places the infrastructure already built last year to manage the crisis was either diluted or completely dismantled. The anger towards government is palpable at this moment but if history is anything to go by, we have seen this many times over.
This article by Jeff Thomas takes us back into history of how various empires - Persian, Spanish, Tang Dynasty ended. This quote stayed with me:
“Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.” – Thomas Jefferson
Section 5 - Reading & Entertainment
(a) Roger Kreuz and Richard Roberts book “Changing Minds: How Aging Affects Language and How Language Affects Aginga" tell us a fascinating concept of FAS (Foreign accent Syndrome). This excerpt from the book deals in depth with interesting phenomenon!
What is it that makes individuals suffering from FAS sound like foreign speakers of their native language? A common element is that the prosody of their language production has changed in some way. Prosody refers to the rhythm, pitch, and intonation of a language as it is spoken. In a language like English, flat intonation is used for statements of fact (“I owe you twenty dollars”), whereas questions are accompanied by rising intonation (“I owe you twenty dollars?”)
Scuttlebutt interaction with Start-ups
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Plans for a Global Minimum Tax Revolution, Explained
Why I won’t be getting a Covid vaccine?
Now watching : Umeed kahaan se laati hun?- Pallavi Mahajan
That's it for me. Have a great weekend ahead. Stay safe and mask up!
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