Oct, 2020

The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi

The Big Idea: If you wish to control others, you must control yourself first.

You can only fight the way you practice.
To know ten thousand things, know one well.
Know your enemy. Know his sword.
Get beyond love and grief. Exist for the good of man.
If you wish to control others, you must control yourself first.
Do nothing that is of no use.
Step by step, walk the thousand mile road.
Immature strategy is the cause of grief.
All things entail rising and falling. You must be able to discern this.
There is timing in everything.
Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.
Examine your environment.
There is more than one path to the top of the mountain.
Respect Buddha and the gods without counting on their help.
A thousand days of training to develop. Ten thousands days of training to polish.

Money by Jacob Goldstein

The Big Idea: Money is made up. But as long as people believe in it, it’s as real as anything else. Money has evolved over time and will probably continue.

Money did not evolve from barter. The evolution of money, roughly: communal giving => informal credit systems => commodities and metal coins => paper IOUs => paper currency.

Writing was probably invented by accountants for accounting, similar to the programs for Chartered Accountants you can find online.

Metal coins evolved in ancient Greece, ancient Turkey, and ancient China.

Medieval Europe used gold and silver as money, although Marco Polo reported that paper currency was being used in China.

Kublai Khan, the Mongol emperor, created paper money in China, backed by nothing, centuries before it appeared in the west.

John Law, a professional gambler and convicted murderer, brought modern money to France (and destroyed the country’s economy).

According to a stocks broker, the modern stock market started in Amsterdam by the Dutch for trading ownership notes in the Dutch East India Company.

Fractional reserve banking started when goldsmiths issued notes for gold stored. They then started making loans without the gold to back the notes.

When people lose belief in the current form of money, the world gets very ugly very fast.

The gold standard was the root of the problem during the Depression. Going off the gold standard obviously didn’t end the Depression, but it was the essential turning point.

“The only thing to fear is fear itself.” — FDR responding to loss of faith in the US dollar.

If you live in a country where the banks are unreliable, where your national currency is unreliable, you put $100 bills in your drawer. That is your savings.

Another thing pretty clearly people are doing with $100 bills is crime. There are more $100 bills in circulation than $1 bills.

Before the Federal Reserve, the United States had many different forms of currency, with variable levels of legitimacy.

Modern Monetary Theory, MMT, posits that the government should print money to accelerate the economy and tax the public to slow it down.

The cypherpunks, a group of radical libertarian computer programmers, paved the way for bitcoin. Bitcoin is currency with trust built into the currency.

Definition of money: it’s the thing you pay taxes with. Currency is given legitimacy purely because it’s the legal tender for paying taxes.

Government is so central to money in the modern world that it’s hard to imagine the government letting go of that power and allowing Bitcoin to become money.

Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins

The Big Idea: Out of every hundred men on the battlefield, ten shouldn’t even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters…and one is a warrior.

Only you can master your mind, live a bold life, and become that warrior.

“Do you know who you really are? I’m sure you think so, but just because you believe something doesn’t make it true. Denial is the ultimate comfort zone. Don’t worry, you’re not alone.”

I didn’t get there overnight, and I don’t expect you to either. Your job is to push past your normal stopping point.”

You are giving up instead of getting hard!

If you look into the Accountability Mirror and you see a fat person, don’t tell yourself that you need to lose a couple of pounds. Tell the truth. You’re f fat!! It’s okay. Just say you’re fat if you’re fat. The dirty mirror that you see every day is going to tell you the truth every time, so why are you still lying to yourself?

You will have to defeat your own demons before you can take your opponent’s soul.

The ticket to victory? It “often comes down to bringing your best when you feel your worst.”

We need to CONSTANTLY “callous our minds” to pain—doing what needs to get done whether we feel like it or not.

I put in work. It’s a lot more than mind over matter. It takes relentless self-discipline to schedule suffering.

Over time, after thousands of reps, my palms built up thick callous as protection. The same principle works
when it comes to mindset. Life experience, especially negative experiences, help callous the mind. But it’s up to you.

Decide to be the HERO of your own story rather than the VICTIM.

The reason it’s important to push hardest when you want to quit is because it helps callous your mind.