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Circle of Competence Issue #80


"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." - Mahatma Gandhi


The threat to limit capital flows to China and pending impeachment conflict: next logical steps in a classical dangerous journey, a comparison to 1935-1945 (Ray Dalio)

Ray Dalio's latest piece comparing current geopolitical conditions between China and the US to the early 1930's is an interesting comparison although there is one subtle difference that comes to mind. In the early 20th century through WWII, imperialism was rampant among both Axis and Allied nations, which set nations on an almost-guaranteed collision course. In a 21st century context, I wonder whether this imperialism exists in an economic sense rather than militaristic sense? Will this result in a similar collision course or will there be hardball negotiations that will be resolved with diplomacy? These questions aren't easy to answer, specifically because they involve not only geopolitics but national culture and psychology. Kudos to Dalio for putting forth such lucid thoughts on such a hard situation to predict.

Dan Carlin's Hardcore History: The Celtic Holocaust (Hardcore History)

Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill (Candice Millard)

I've thoroughly enjoyed Dan Carlin's lengthy podcast episodes describing various wars, conquests, and militaristic histories and highly recommend them if you are at all an aspiring history buff. What strikes me as noteworthy are the parallels between Carlin's episodes on Caesar's conquest of Gaul, Japan's imperial conquests prior to WWII, and the British Empire's reasoning behind the war with the South African Boer peoples. For those interested in Churchill's young adult life, the book above reads like a novel but is in fact historical. While the barbaric customs of the Roman Empire have long since faded, Rome's imperialistic norms in 1st century BC were not so different from those of the UK, US, Japan, and Germany in the 19th and 20th century.


TOP READ: How to think of startup ideas (Paul Graham)

Chris Leithner's latest letter (Leithner & Co.)

Blue Origin and Lockheed Martin think a space race is almost here (PitchBook)

How to invest in a low growth environment (Absolute Return Partners)

Bubble yet? (The Brooklyn Investor)

US equities: resilient force or case study in denial? (Aswath Damodaran)


TOP LISTEN: Jim Collins - keeping the flywheel going (The Knowledge Project)

The China mirage with Chris Balding (Real Vision)

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