Candlesticks

Candlesticks are the most widely used method of looking at financial time series data.

So widely used, in fact, that it is sometimes easy to forget that the map is not the territory. Candlesticks are just one transformation of the underlying data that happens to be easy for humans to digest. But a computer can digest the raw tick data even better than the candlestick representation.

We often think that our view of reality is reality itself. But the process of evolution filtered for survival and reproduction. We only see (and hear, touch, smell) a reality that is limited by the evolutionary need for efficiency.

Consistency Over Intensity

Yesterday I watched Firas Zahabi on the Joe Rogan Experience.

The most interesting segment of the episode was Firas talking about how one should never be sore after working out. Being sore reduces your motivation and can prevent you from working out the next day. In the long run, if you train every day with a bit less intensity, you will get more reps in than someone who trains less but with higher intensity.

This concept has also been brought up by BJ Fogg when discussing habit formation. He says that, for example, if you want to create a habit of flossing, you should just floss one tooth to start out. Make it so easy that you can definitely do it every day. If you want to meditate, your goal is to meditate for 1 minute every day.

Where in your life are you making the mistake of choosing intensity over consistency?

We Are Already Cyborgs

Our use of technology has undoubtedly changed our brains.

Because of Evernote and Things, my brain is free from having to store all of the information that I have offloaded onto those tools. And with Google, anything in the long tail of knowledge and not requiring time-sensitive application can be safely forgotten.

But these changes are not all for the better.

Endless push notifications have trained us to seek that dopamine hit that comes from the ping and vibration in our pockets. We have lower attention spans because of the entertainment available at all times. Social media has us looking at the experiences that we have through the lens of whoever will see what we capture.

Every technology you use effects you. Choose carefully.

Why Bitcoin Will Win

Lindy Effect – Bitcoin is the oldest cryptocurrency.

Tyranny of the Intolerant Minority – Bitcoin Maximalists will use Bitcoin but no other altcoins whereas Altcoiners will use both altcoins and Bitcoin. 

Network Effects – Bitcoin has the most developers and users by far.

Illegibility – Bitcoin, while not being “elegant” (synonym for legible), is the simplest system that works. From that, complexity can be added on top according to the needs of the community.

Prioritizing Health

I’ve been sick in bed the past two days and it’s been miserable.

But it did serve as a stark reminder that without your health, you can’t do much else.

80/20 Actions for Good Health:

  • Sleep
    • Room as dark as possible
    • Same bedtime every night
    • No electronics 1 hr before (or use blue-blocker glasses)
  • Eat
    • No sugar, bread, industrial oils
    • Only eat when the sun is up
    • Large salad and fresh fruit every day
  • Move
    • Walk as much as possible
    • Lift heavy
    • Sprint

Simple, Not Easy

Losing fat: Replace carbs with vegetables and protein

Building muscle: Lift heavy and eat more

Getting a job: Build useful skills and network

Meditating: Observe your thoughts

Writing one blog post every day: Just do it

Repetition, Repetition, Repetition

It’s easy to think that if you say something once, you don’t have to say it again. And that’s true, if you don’t want to be persuasive.

It turns out that if you want a message to be heard and internalized, it’s best to say it over and over again.

Donald Trump uses this to great effect. During the last election, he would repeat the same points over and over again, most notably, “we need to build a wall–a big, beautiful wall.” There wasn’t a single person who didn’t know what he stood for.

Geoff Woods at The ONE Thing is someone else who knows the power of repetition. “Most people fail because they are unwilling to endure the monotony of success,” is just one of many sayings that gets repeated in nearly every podcast episode. “You don’t decide your outcomes. You decide your habits and your habits determine your outcomes,” is another.

Personally, I’ve seen my own father achieve results with repetition as well. He mentors traders and always hammers home the same points. Sometimes it takes even 10 times before they truly internalize what he is saying. And when they hear it after that, they often say it is a good reminder.

So if you have a point to make, don’t be afraid to say it again. And again. And again.

P.S. The best primer on the topic of Persuasion I’ve come across is Scott Adam’s Winning Bigly. Follow that up with Robert Cialdini’s books.

Accept the Fact You’re Already Dead

I watched Band of Brothers for the first time in the last week. Absolutely phenomenal.

One particular quote stood out to me:

“The only hope you have is to accept the fact that you’re already dead. And the sooner you accept that, the sooner you’ll be able to function as a soldier’s supposed to function. Without mercy, without compassion, without remorse. All war depends upon it.”

What does one have to accept for them to function as they are supposed to? Certainly that they will die eventually.

But also domain-specific items. For trading: that the market can do anything and you cannot control it. This frees you up to only focus on what you can control: how you read the market and your own trading.

P.S. Yes, I missed a day yesterday. Just slipped my mind. But I’m not too concerned as long as it doesn’t happen frequently.

It’s All in the Setup

Continued from yesterday’s post.

“You can also use the armdrag as a setup. If they know the armdrag is coming, when you get the grip, they’ll rip their arm away. Once again, you can use their momentum to move forward and attack what is now undefended: their leg.”

“Stay in good position and set things up until they are in bad position. Then attack.”

P.S. Here’s what I’ve been working on perfecting in BJJ most recently: https://youtu.be/qyl5VLxpNiM
(specifically the deep half and x-guard entries)

Strength Against Strength

Last week in Jiu-Jitsu class, my coach was teaching the armdrag, a fundamental off-balancing technique.

I’ve never been good at the armdrag. I have small hands which makes it difficult for me to get a solid grip. It also doesn’t help that I’m usually weaker than my opponent as well.

When I told my coach this, he said, “Being a smaller guy, you can’t use strength against strength. If you try to force it, you’ll lose. Use their momentum against them. Push and they’ll push back. Then hit the armdrag.”