What matters isn’t what a person has or doesn’t have; it is what he or she are afraid of losing

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Employees are more risk averse, they fear being fired more than contractors do being sued.

A company man is someone who feels that he has something huge to lose if he doesn’t behave as a company man –that is, he has skin in the game

An employee is –by design– more valuable inside a firm than outside of it, that is more valuable to the employer than the market.

There is a category of employees who aren’t slaves, but these represent a very small proportion of the pool. You can identify them at the following: they don’t give a f*** about their reputation, at least not their corporate reputation.

  1. One type is the salesperson whose resignation would cause the loss of business, and, what’s worse, he can benefit a competitor by take some of the firm’s client there.
  2. The other one was the trader about whom only one thing mattered: the profits and losses, or P/L. Firms had a love-hate with these two types as they were unruly –traders and salespeople were only manageable when they were unprofitable, in which case they weren’t wanted.

Freedom is always associated with risk taking, whether it led to it or came from it.

Those who have more to lose are more fragile.

? what if ai takes over, drives out humans, and then in an effort for sustainability “evolves” into something protohuman w/high networking function

energy efficiency of the human brain is like 1000x that of computers.



the cooperation capability the human brain is like 1 GB/s (internally) and much less externally… so cooperative nature of computers is their super strength

source: https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-total-input-and-output-bandwidth-of-the-human-brain

It is important to be able to flex downwards

Companies that get “greedy” and do unethical things do so because they can’t shrink.

They are either unwilling to fire people or unable/unwilling to forego revenue. Thus they can’t compress and have to stretch (ethically) to get more.

  • Free to play games – why can’t they shrink? hyper competitive market + customer transience. This results in a land grab “get it while you can mentality” and the influence of single interaction game theory (aka single shot/single stage).
  • Oil and Gas, Tobacco – stock price pressures + CEO tenure/board tenure dynamics. What company wants to see their stock price go down? Who wants to be the leader that will “refound” the company and wade through the valley of death? Why not take the easy path and accrue wealth (risk reward issues with current compensation structures)

A thought experiment – one loaf of bread and you are starving

  • just you – you can live for some time
  • you + family of five – you’ll be more open-minded to taking some other family’s bread
  • you + another hunter – you’re not worried about bread

The way to escape this conundrum is to either (A) make yourself flexible downwards (in the various areas of your life, but particularly personal finance) and (B) focus on opportunities.

This reduces to the very simple “experiment and kill failures”, but the expansion was useful for me.