Archive for September, 2013

Ray Dalio on the economic machine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHe0bXAIuk0.

Nice anime. Is this the best use of his time?

PS: Worth keeping in mind that he doesn’t have an orthodox economic training.


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A lot have happened over the past 3 years since my last post. I got a new job, moved to a different country, and got married. I’ve read/listened/watched many books/podcast/movies/videos. I’ve traveled to many more places as my wealth increases. This year so far I’ve been to over 20 cities in 7-8 countries, some for work and some holidays, more than half of which I’ve never visited.  Backpacking in Yunnan was a particularly memorable trip. I met many interesting people and saw different ways of living.  Here‘s an article on why some urban Chinese are moving to Yunnan. I’ve started Muay Thai lessons to stay fit and to learn some self-defense skills. To my surprise it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made this year. I enjoy the physical challenge as well as the 30 mins solitary time walking back home around midnight.

What has changed

Even though I’m 30 years old I don’t feel much different from my teenage student self. This is probably bias thinking on my part. Even though I think people’s personality tends to be quite stable after certain age, my thinking and priority in life have likely evolved. I used to be more ambitious, think more about the meaning of life type of questions, and try hard to figure out what I want to do in life. These questions still linger in my mind, but they become less relevant as I age. Priority in life also seems to have changed. Money, power, and fame seem less important now, while autonomy, self-satisfaction, and relationship more.

Why I resume blogging

I worry that as I grow older, I’ll become less able to feel excitement in life. I read that time seems to pass by faster after certain age because people tend to live a more routine/mechanical lifestyle and there tend to be less new surprises and experience (This is also a reason why I prefer to live in a different countries after several years). By recording my thoughts in this blog, I hope to capture more of my experience and create meaning and memories that would not have otherwise existed. It should also help slow me down to be more mindful on what’s happening around me and to reflect more on the vast amount of information I consume. It’s also a good way to track my thinking over time, keep me motivated, and expose to more serendipity.

This post from Scott Sumner resonates with me.


Knausgaard is talking about childhood, but in my view “meaning” drains out of our lives in two steps.  Age 0 to 6 is the years of magic, 7 to 35 is the years of meaning, and 36 to the end is the years of nostalgia.  For little children, places seem enchanted and parents are like gods.  Even as young adults we are still visiting new places, and life seems a bit of an adventure.  Other people are charged with mystery, allure, or danger.  I mean other young people of course; the old don’t really exist for young adults.  They are just shadows.  And then you reach a point where you are just revisiting places. Even places you’ve never been before seem like someplace else you recall.  People become just people.  You watch your children experience meaning, and remember. Of course you know more, and your increased ability to cope with life takes the edge off growing old.  But the meaning gradually slips away.  (Peak happiness is supposed to occur at ages 23 and 69.)

Here’s Knausgaard again:

As your perspective of the world increases not only is the pain it inflicts on you less but also its meaning.  Understanding the world requires you to take a certain distance from it.  Things that are too small to see with the naked eye, such as molecules and atoms, we magnify. Things that are too large, such as cloud formations, river deltas, constellations, we reduce.  At length we bring it within the scope of our senses and we stabilize it with fixer.  When it has been fixed we call it knowledge.  Throughout our childhood and teenage years, we strive to attain the correct distance to objects and phenomena.  We read, we learn, we experience, we make adjustments.  Then one day we reach the point where all the necessary distances have been set, all the necessary systems have been put in place.  That is when time begins to pick up speed.  It no longer meets any obstacles, everything is set, time races through our lives, the days pass by in a flash and before we know what is happening were are forty, fifty, sixty . . . Meaning requires content, content requires time, time requires resistance.  Knowledge is distance, knowledge is stasis and the enemy of meaning.

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