Newsletter #51

Bull Market, How To Think, Fulfilling the Promise of CI/CD, Does Amazon Know What It Sells?, Everlasting Options, Elon Musk’s New Rocket, and Play Your Own Game

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Bull Market

How To Think

“No skill is more valuable and harder to come by than the ability to critically think through problems. Schools don’t teach you a method of thinking. Thinking is one of those things that can be learned but can’t be taught.

When it comes to thinking the mind has an optimal way to be operated. When operated correctly you’ll find yourself with plenty of free time. When operated incorrectly, most of your time will be consumed correcting mistakes.

Good decisions create time, bad ones consume it. Good initial decisions pay dividends for years, allowing abundant free time and low stress. Poor decisions, on the other hand, consume time, increase anxiety, and drain us of energy.”

Fulfilling the Promise of CI/CD

“CI/CD (continuous integration and Continuous Delivery/Deployment) is part of the fabric of our lives. We go to conferences about CI/CD, we write articles and blog about CI/CD, we list CI/CD on our LinkedIn page. Nobody even debates about whether it’s the right thing to do or not. We are all on the same page. Right? 

Except … if you listen closely to what people are saying, they aren’t talking about CI/CD at all—they may say “CI/CD,” but they are only talking about continuous integration. Nobody is talking about (or practicing) continuous deployment. AT ALL. It’s like we have all forgotten it exists.

Don’t get me wrong, it is wonderful that we have gotten better at CI over the past decade. But it’s not enough. It’s not even half the battle. The point of continuous integration was never to feel smug about the syntactic and logically integrated correctness of our software, although that’s a nice bonus. The point of CI is to clear the path and set the stage for continuous delivery, because CD is what will actually save your ass.”

Does Amazon Know What It Sells?

“Of Amazon’s top 50 best-sellers in “Children's Vaccination & Immunisation”, close to 20 are by anti-vaccine polemicists, and 5 are novels about fictional pandemics. This poses two questions. First, how much content moderation should a universal bookshop do? Second, does Amazon really know what it sells?”

Everlasting Options

“This paper introduces a new type of derivative, the everlasting option. Everlasting options give traders long-term options exposure without the effort, risk, or expense of rolling positions. We derive a simple no-arbitrage pricing model for everlasting options which extends to all funding-fee-based perpetual derivatives, including perpetual futures.”

The Profound Potential of Elon Musk’s New Rocket

“But there is more. Starship won’t just give us the ability to send human explorers to Mars, the moon, and other destinations in the inner solar system, it offers us a two-order-of-magnitude increase in overall operational capability to do pretty much anything we want to do in space. That includes not only supporting a muscular program of probes to the outer solar system, and making all sorts of experimental investigations in Earth orbit economical, but enabling the construction of giant space telescopes. Much of our knowledge of physics has come from astronomy. This is so because the universe is the biggest and best lab there is. There is no better place to do astronomy than space. The 2.4-meter Hubble Space Telescope has made extraordinary discoveries. What might we learn once we are able to build 2.4-kilometer telescopes in deep space? The possibilities are literally inconceivable.”

Play Your Own Game

“So here’s my advice.

1. Judge less.

At least half the people doing things with money that you disagree with are playing a different game than you are. You probably look just as crazy in their eyes.

2. Figure out what game you’re playing, then play it (and only it).

So few investors do this. Maybe they have a vague idea of their game, but they haven’t clearly defined it. And when they don’t know what game they’re playing, they’re at risk of taking their cues and advice from people playing different games, which can lead to risks they didn’t intend and outcomes they didn’t imagine.”