A life in vita.
Posts tagged with success
It’s much easier to destroy than to build. I can destroy not just one £30,000 car, but all the £30,000 cars in a car park, with a little planning and maybe a few hundred expenditure. And I could do a decent job of destroying a car with only £20.
Nothing in his pockets but knives and lint.
Same with houses—fire for example is a very effective tool per-effort for ruining lives. Four skinny pirates with a modicum of guns & ammo can hijack a vessel that cost $10 million or $100 million to build.
Despite it being so easy to destroy, where I live things are quite peaceful. Nobody slashes all the tyres in a car park, for example. Why? Economic theory says that when the cost of something goes down we’ll see more of it. Shouldn’t this be true as well for the destruction of other peoples’ lives & property?
by Isabel Sawhill, Scott Winship, and Kerry Searle Grannis
SWG define the US middle class as 3 times the poverty level. That’s
Middle age they take to begin at 40.
You can also see the 40% who do not make it to the middle class in Catherine Mulbrandon’s picture:
SWG find “rungs” on the ladder to prosperity, such that within their dataset,
(The weakest link is from basic reading & maths skills + social & emotional skills → to high school graduation + non-criminality. The strongest link is from acceptable pre-reading & pre-maths + school-appropriate behaviour → to basic reading & maths + social-emotional skills.)
That is a Markov or AR(1) at each step, but changing 2×2 matrices (pass-through probabilities) each time.
The poor outcomes for low-birthweight black poor youths are then understood, within the paper, as the composite effect of passing through the several gates.
For example low birth weight, poor parents of the wrong race starts the child off in the disadvantaged category. 40% of those are off track when school starts. Then 55% of (not just the
0-disadvantaged ∩ 1-disadvantaged, but all of the) stage-1-disadvantaged continue to advance to the next stage on the losing track.
In this way the eventual low success-rate of the adults from poor families is seen as the product of a succession of gates.
In matrix terms each 2×2 matrix “shuffles beads from gate to gate”. For example the first matrix is
and the product (composite) of the first two is this matrix product:
In the product matrix the red entry is the fraction of babies born disadvantaged (
0-loser) who end up
2-disadvantaged after 2 matrices
M₁bull;M₂ have been applied—entering middle childhood.
If you wanted to compute the overall numbers from the bar chart at the top you would need also a starting vector
X₀ saying how many babies start off already at a disadvantage. (The fraction who don’t start off disadvanaged is not a free parameter.)
I had a Managing Director tell me years ago … that the best strategy to succeed in investment banking was to keep your seat. Success would come, and success would go, but you could never enjoy the fruits of good luck or a heated market if you weren’t in a position where you could get paid. Young and naïve as I was, I remember finding this advice rather cynical and dispiriting. Surely you kept your seat and made lots of money for your firm because you were really good, because clients respected and trusted you, because you gave them great advice. Because you were better than anybody else. This was stupid on my part. He was right.
Nobody is indispensable in my industry. Nobody. Ever. For every hotshot trader or investment banker glorying in her run of luck and outsized compensation, there are twenty waiting in the wings who could do just as good a job. And a hundred who would be willing to work for half pay to prove they could do so too.
I’ve said it a billion times: in investment banking or sales and trading, you’re only as good as your last deal or your last trade. And your last deal or your last trade had much more to do with you being in the right place at the right time—being in the right seat—than with your charm, skill, or intelligence. And none of us know when the right deal is going to hit.
[T]here is nothing about your charm or intelligence that will distinguish you from the line of a hundred identical eager valedictorians waiting outside our hiring office. If anything, they’re probably hungrier and more naïve (hence more malleable) than you. Intelligence is table stakes.
The Epicurean Dealmaker (@EpicureanDeal)
Mega admire him for saying this.
A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.
You know what I notice when I watch street performers?
Besides the feats of superb human achievement, I mean.
I notice the way they handle crowds. The way they maximise their take for the same performance.
Not only do these successful street performers really have their economics down, they undermine the frequently repeated business advice or economic viewpoints “Work hard and you will succeed”.
According to this professional you need to be wily to survive in the real world (3:30), to keep your head above water (5:50):
We can measure the success of these street performers by their paycheques and we can measure their hard work by the fact that they perform impossibly hard feats.
Talent doesn’t sell itself. Skill doesn’t sell itself. Value doesn’t sell itself. Beauty sometimes sells it self, but not for the maximum profit that could be achieved by branding it well or tying it to something else that’s being sold.
That’s why when people equate hard work with money, I don’t see it.
#CollegeMajors4Liberals Class Warfare - syllabus includes denigration of hard-working rich people and lionizing of lazy takers.— Ryan Patrick (@Amabonovella)
You could easily do all of the training to
and never make any money from it.
Some people create a lot of value without receiving a reward.
And some people receive a lot of reward without creating value.
Some people realise that becoming the CEO of a $30B company doesn’t actually require a technical college degree; it requires doing a lot of other stuff, trust in background being necessary but the background itself not being necessary.
We could argue philosophically about the definition of “value" and of "work”, but the street performers make it clear that you can do something really hard, be excellent at it, and make drastically more or less money—not based on your talent or skill, but based on your ability to extract dinero from a situation.