Circle of Competence Issue #106

April 11, 2020

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

 

“The Christian evidence for Christ begins with the letters ascribed to Saint Paul. Some of these are of uncertain authorship; several, antedating A.D. 64, are almost universally accounted as substantially genuine. No one has questioned the existence of Paul, or his repeated meetings with Peter, James, and John; and Paul enviously admits that these men had known Christ in his flesh. The accepted epistles frequently refer to the Last Supper and the Crucifixion…. The contradictions are of minutiae, not substance; in essentials the synoptic gospels agree remarkably well, and form a consistent portrait of Christ. In the enthusiasm of its discoveries the Higher Criticism has applied to the New Testament tests of authenticity so severe that by them a hundred ancient worthies, for example Hammurabi, David, Socrates would fade into legend. Despite the prejudices and theological preconceptions of the evangelists, they record many incidents that mere inventors would have concealed the competition of the apostles for high places in the Kingdom, their flight after Jesus’ arrest, Peter’s denial, the failure of Christ to work miracles in Galilee, the references of some auditors to his possible insanity, his early uncertainty as to his mission, his confessions of ignorance as to the future, his moments of bitterness, his despairing cry on the cross; no one reading these scenes can doubt the reality of the figure behind them. That a few simple men should in one generation have invented so powerful and appealing a personality, so lofty an ethic and so inspiring a vision of human brotherhood, would be a miracle far more incredible than any recorded in the Gospel. After two centuries of Higher Criticism the outlines of the life, character, and teaching of Christ, remain reasonably clear, and constitute the most fascinating feature of the history of Western man.” - Will Durant, The Story of Civilization, Vol III: Caesar and Christ

 

 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

 

One Solitary Life

 

"He was born in an obscure village

The child of a peasant woman

He grew up in another obscure village

Where he worked in a carpenter shop

Until he was thirty

He never wrote a book

He never held an office

He never went to college

He never visited a big city

He never travelled more than two hundred miles

From the place where he was born

He did none of the things

Usually associated with greatness

He had no credentials but himself

He was only thirty three

His friends ran away

One of them denied him

He was turned over to his enemies

And went through the mockery of a trial

He was nailed to a cross between two thieves

While dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing

The only property he had on earth

When he was dead

He was laid in a borrowed grave

Through the pity of a friend

Nineteen centuries have come and gone

And today Jesus is the central figure of the human race

And the leader of mankind's progress

All the armies that have ever marched

All the navies that have ever sailed

All the parliaments that have ever sat

All the kings that ever reigned put together

Have not affected the life of mankind on earth

As powerfully as that one solitary life."

 

- Anonymous

 

Your heroes don't have to have a cape. Most of the time, the true heroes are anonymous, effecting positive change in the world through their actions more than their words. Easter is a time I like to reflect on my hero's life, death, and ministry - and how it has effected literally billions of peoples' lives over two millenia. This weekend, even if you aren't a Christian, take time to think about who your heroes are, what they stand for, and how (or whether) they're making a real difference in the world. Mine continues to impact lives after two millenia and will be for generations to come.  

 

Happy Easter!

 

 

LINKS

 

Investing

 

Highly recommend this lecture by Dr. Ole Peters on ergodicity and optimal leverage over time (Gresham College, H/T @david_perell)

 

Michael Burry of ‘The Big Short’ Slams Virus Lockdowns in Tweetstorm (Bloomberg)

 

US 2020 Real Estate outlook (UBS)

 

It's always darkest before the dawn (GMO Whitepaper)

 

Universa letter to shareholders - +4,144% in one year! (Universa)

 

What next? (Morgan Housel)

 

Wimbledon paid pandemic insurance for almost 20 years. Now it’s getting $141 million (SB Nation)

 

Calibrating (Howard Marks)

 

The high cost of low interest rates (Frank Martin)

 

The most profitable trade: 'oil all over the oceans right now' (Bloomberg)

 

Project Zimbabwe (Adventures in Capitalism)

 

Fundsmith's 2020 annual meeting (Fundsmith)

 

Not a good look: Arcadia pitched up to 175% returns based off leveraging government SBA loans (Reuters)

 

Technology

 

Masayoshi Son's exclusive interview with Forbes (Forbes)

 

Geopolitics

Yuval Noah Harari: the world after coronavirus (Yuval Noah Harari)
 

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