Reminds me of
Here’s a talk from Charlie Munger. He’s Warren Buffett’s very close business partner who Warren would never have been as successful without. I’ve read and listened to a lot of what he’s written and said. He is extremely smart in that he’s able to notice things other people might now, and he’s also well-educated so that he has a lot of raw material to work with.
Watch this and take to heart what he says.
And here’s a summary of it thanks to The Motley Fool.
Also, here’s something that strikes me as relevant, probably due to the use of incentives, and the fact that it’s a good example of systems thinking, and Charlie would like it:
In 1986, new federal legislation, the Toxic Release Inventory, required U.S. companies to report all hazardous air pollutants emitted from each of their factories each year. Through the Freedom of Information Act, that information became a matter of public record. In July 1988, the first data on chemical emissions became available. The reported emissions were not illegal, but they didn’t look very good when they were published in local papers by enterprising reporters, who had a tendency to make lists of “the top ten local polluters.” That’s all that happened. There were no lawsuits, no required reductions, no fines, no penalties. But within two years chemical emissions nationwide had decreased by 40 percent. Some companies were launching policies to bring their emissions down by 90 percent, just because of the release of previously withheld information. — Thinking in Systems, Donella Meadows
Jevons Paradox says that as a resource can be used more efficiently, more of it ends up being used overall. That is, the better the deal you’re getting, the more you’re interested in buying.
This example of real-world compounding reminded me of another example: software. There’s an interesting quirk about software — the more you have of it, the more you need.
Let’s trace through one recent path of the software industry. We start with a website.
A website is a great idea. Websites (code) make it easy to distribute information. There’s so much information that people create dynamic websites (more code).
Dynamic websites are useful, but once you’ve got dynamic data, you want the data available via API (even more code) so that outside developers can build applications (lots more code).
To help with this, you build an API management layer (tons more code), which produces information about all these other applications.
You want that data combined in a dashboard (still even more code) alongside data from all of the other software that relates to your business (which is even more code than all of the other code so far).
Anything that cannot go on forever must stop. But there doesn’t seem to be any reasonable end in sight. This is one small piece of the software industry that points to a bigger trend, which seems to contradict common sense. People intuitively understand supply and demand. But here, supply creates more demand.
It’s a good time to be a programmer.
I’ve always liked this picture.
Life is but a dream and I’m sitting all alone
Looking for the day when I’ll, make it home
Make it on my own, so I’m off to roam
Another place’s past, Paris, London, and Rome
Old blue eyes, that’s what I’m'nna be
Cuz I did it all alone, me is my team
Can’t escape the past, so I’m betting on my future
Cuz today’s wasted and tomorrow’s such a creature
Like you never seen, idea, or a dream
Gotta skim along, searching for the cream
Of the crop, of wheat, of fields of gold
When the sky parts open, and you’re standing all alone
Your people done left cuz they ain’t right
And the sky done broke, and you’re empty, and the night
Is all that remains, and the pulse in your ears
Beats in your head, drumming up your fears
Gonna beat this how? Dunno
Tin for a heart, and on my back, clothes
Not rags, not riches, something in-between
As I look back on what I’ve never been
If it was all a dream, then I hope I never wake, but I’m
Shooting for tomorrow, tryin’a kill yesterday
Tryin’a kill father time, I must be crazy
Facing my future, tomorrow’s just a baby
And it’s time for a change, something kinda smells
Thoughts clearer now, ringing of a bell
I won’t look back, salt for regret
Heavy is my heart, not tin but lead
Can’t stand not to fly, won’t get dragged down
And in my lead safe I know that I will
June 3, 2012
[He] imagines his garbage regularly not being emptied in his office, and when he asks the janitor why, he gets an excuse: The locks have been changed, and the janitor doesn’t have a key. This is an acceptable excuse coming from someone who empties trash bins for a living. The janitor gets to explain why something went wrong. Senior people do not. “When you’re the janitor,” [he] has repeatedly told incoming VPs, “reasons matter.” He continues: “Somewhere between the janitor and the CEO, reasons stop mattering.” That “Rubicon,” he has said, “is crossed when you become a VP.”
Final rehearsals were held on the day before the premiere, in the presence of members of the press and assorted invited guests. According to Stravinsky all went peacefully. However, the critic of L’Écho de Paris, Adolphe Boschot, foresaw possible trouble; he wondered how the public would receive the work, and suggested that they might react badly if they thought they were being mocked.
…there is general agreement among eyewitnesses and commentators that the disturbances in the audience began during the Introduction, and grew into a crescendo when the curtain rose on the stamping dancers in “Augurs of Spring”. Marie Rambert, who was working as an assistant to Nijinsky, recalled later that it was soon impossible to hear the music on the stage….The demonstrations, he says, grew into “a terrific uproar” which, along with the on-stage noises, drowned out the voice of Nijinsky who was shouting the step numbers to the dancers…
Monteux believed that the trouble began when the two factions in the audience began attacking each other, but their mutual anger was soon diverted towards the orchestra: “Everything available was tossed in our direction, but we continued to play on”. Around forty of the worst offenders were ejected, either by the police or by the management. Through all the disturbances the performance continued without interruption. Things grew noticeably quieter during Part II, and by some accounts Maria Piltz’s rendering of the final “Sacrificial Dance” was watched in reasonable silence…
The critic Michel-Dimitri Calvocoressi…failed to observe any direct hostility to the composer—unlike, he said, the premiere of Debussy’s Pelléas and Mélisande in 1902. Of later reports that the veteran composer Camille Saint-Saëns had stormed out of the premiere, Stravinsky observed that this was impossible; Saint-Saëns did not attend.
It’s really hard to believe claims about the decline of civilization and the harm of art on culture when history is filled with things like this, yet we’re still here.
Here’s a link to Stravinsky’s The Rite Of Spring on Spotify. Listen to this riotous music!
I think I just added another person to my “I want to eat a meal with” list: Nathan Johnson. I’ve always dug sound production things, and I like how he talks about the music and it’s connection to the film, and people’s feelings when they hear the music.
Not to mention I’m excited about Looper — it has phenomenal reviews.