#93 Thomas Thornton (The past, present and future of Hedge Funds)

  • 00:00:30 Thomas’ experience at Wall Street (including running his own hedge fund and an insider trading investigation while working with Steve Cohen) and why he started his latest firm Hedge Fund Telemetry?
  • 00:18:40 How Thomas selects themes and timeframes for his daily newsletter?
  • 00:24:25 What Thomas thinks of the crypto bubble?
  • 00:35:44 Is deflation or inflation the bigger issue right now? Should low income jobs be made redundant?
  • 00:46:32 What it means to be a hedge fund manager? Should we aspire to become a Hedge Fund managers? How hedge funds prop up nascent ‘strategy managers’?
  • 01:05:02 Why and how should retail investors be exposed to as many financial instruments as possible?
  • 01:08:02 What fund managers does Thomas admire?
  • 01:14:02 What character types does the financial industry attract?
  • 01:29:38 Why are negative (or extremely low) yielding bonds of interest to investors?
  • 01:36:22 Thomas’ secret love for the Grand Tour/ Top Gear shows.

You may watch this episode on Youtube – #93 Thomas Thornton (The past, present and future of Hedge Funds).

Thomas Thornton is a former portfolio manager, senior trader, and technical analyst with Level Global Investors and Galileo Capital. Thomas is writing a daily investment newsletter at Hedge Fund Telemetry.

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#92 Peter Voss (How and when will we build really intelligent machines?)

  • 00:00:30 How did Peter get started studying intelligence and how he envisions computers and AI should become more intelligent?
  • 00:06:31 What better approach can we take to build a thinking machine?
  • 00:12:18 When will we have machines that can build and improve themselves?
  • 00:16:50 How will the third wave of AI look like?
  • 00:19:06 Is GPT-3 like magic or is it a failure?
  • 00:21:06 Will we need to create a ‘Free Will’ to create an intelligence machine?
  • 00:34:10 How self awareness and abstract concepts are a necessary predecessor to real intelligence?
  • 00:39:49 Is overly logical thinking a hindrance in modelling ‘social functions’ in computers?
  • 00:45:41 Can ‘real intelligence’ be an emergent property of ‘dumber algorithms’?
  • 00:49:09 How aigo.ai is creating a chatbot with a brain?
  • 00:59:03 How does aigo.ai learn from customer interactions?
  • 01:12:15 Will we all live the lifes of kings soon? What abundance can we expect from the Singularity?
  • 01:21:15 How much money should be allocated ‘Third Wave AI’?

You may watch this episode on Youtube – # 92 Peter Voss (How and when will we build really intelligent machines?).

Peter Voss is a serial entrepreneur and currently runs aigo.ai. The company implements a ‘Third Wave of AI’ with deep understanding of natural language, have short- and long-term memory, learn interactively, use context, and are able to reason and hold meaningful ongoing conversations.

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#91 Harley Bassman (How to become a Convexity Maven?)

  • 00:01:00 What is Convexity and how does it express itself?
  • 00:02:59 Why startup founders usually enjoy positive convexity. Why bonds often come with negative convexity?
  • 00:08:33 Why taking a flat fee is a good idea for money management?
  • 00:14:03 Did Softbank create a ‘Gamma Melt-up’ buying an extraordinary amount of call options in 2020?
  • 00:21:45 How to profit from increased interest rates? How to open up the upside without taking all the downside?
  • 00:32:14 How the time horizon of investments has shrunk so much?
  • 00:34:10 What is the state of productive carry-trades on right now? Should people look at Turkey, Mexico or Brazil?
  • 00:37:43 What is ISDA and why it offers amazing way for financial contracts unavailable to retail investors.
  • 00:42:59 How can retail investor get exposure to CDS (Credit Default Swaps) options through Simplify?
  • 00:47:45 How big is a structural risk for a ‘risk drawdown event’?
  • 00:58:51 Will the Fed be able to inflate out of the current deflationary scenario?
  • 01:00:17 Will the rapid rise of technology allow us to grow out of the high debt level (just after WWII)?
  • 01:03:12 How much are growth rates influenced by social and political attitudes?

You may watch this episode on Youtube – #91 Harley Bassman (How to become a Convexity Maven?).

Harley Bassman looks back at a checkered career of 35+ years at Wall Street and also runs Convexity Maven. Harley currently works with Simplify.

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#90 Esther Sternberg (The science of the body and mind connection)

00:00:23 How Esther got started working on the intersection between mind and body and healthy living?
00:13:32 What impact Ether’s research has on the ability to improve living conditions with autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Are we getting to few germs and viruses so that our immune system turns on ourselves?
00:21:11 How stress and our environment impacts our body and mind and how we can model it.
00:28:01 How do we identify environments that makes us calm? Why is a view of nature seen as a ‘paradise’ universally?
00:37:13 How chronic stress impacts us? Why do right amount of stress response is so important to function?
00:40:00 What is the differential between an average performance and a properly stressed (healthy stressed) individual?
00:54:33 How does chronic stress impact life expectancy and ‘chromosomal aging’?
and much more!

Esther Sternberg, MD, is internationally recognized for her discoveries in brain-immune interactions and the effects of the brain’s stress response on health: the science of the mind-body interaction. Dr. Sternberg is a Professor of Medicine in the University of Arizona College of Medicine.

She is the author of several books including Healing Spaces: the Science of Place and Well-being as well as The Balance Within: The Science Connecting Health and Emotions.

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#89 Bill Ottman (How to build and run a ‘free speech social network’?)

00:00:34 What drove Bill to start minds.com back in 2011? Why minds.com is fundamentally different than other social networks?
00:07:31 Why did the ‘legacy’ social networks get so big?
00:11:22 Is there a better engagement algorithm? How ‘manipulative’ is the current engagement algorithm?
00:14:20 Why social networks all have such a similar business model and why they all struggle to keep you on the site (through emotional manipulation).
00:18:15 Are conservative media outlets really at an disadvantage on social media platforms? Why some make it and some don’t?
00:23:01 Is banning ‘offensive accounts’ by Facebook/ Twitter a good business decision?
00:29:48 How does minds.com run their backend? Can they easily be shut down by one cloud provider?
00:34:35 Could you run a whole website based on ‘blockchain web services’?
00:37:50 What should be the content moderation policy of a free speech social network like minds.com? Should ‘hate speech’ be a bannable offense?
00:52:06 Will we continue to put ‘social layers of separation’ between us?
01:02:46 Why are we all still on Facebook if we feel it is so bad for society?

Bill Ottman is the CEO and co-founder at Minds.

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#88 Joe Henrich (WEIRD people and what drives a culture’s success?)

  • 00:00:34 What drove Joe to research and write his latest book – The WEIRDest People in the World and what it suggests about the timeline of human development
  • 00:08:10 What made us these WEIRD people? Why and how did the nuclear family emerge? How did marriage rules contribute to this? How did public markets evolve to support the growth of WEIRD people?
  • 00:13:46 What role did the Catholic Church contribute to the rise of the WEIRD people? How did the Orthodox Church help develop a similar approach?
  • 00:17:16 How early Christianity spread mostly through women in urban areas.
  • 00:20:10 What actually drives the dialectic between pleasure and moral behavior? How are religions modifying our behavior to cooperate more and behave ‘less sinful’?
  • 00:25:59 Is Jared Diamond (Guns, Germs, and Steel) right? Did we (the West) simply get lucky?
  • 00:30:31 What should we keep in mind if we set up a new society from scratch?
  • 00:34:47 What role should institutions play in a cultural development? Can they define the ‘ought’ but can they leave the ‘how’ open?
  • 00:38:35 Why did other religions not copy the successful innovations of the Catholic Church? Is religion developing in a similar way of ‘creative destruction’?
  • 00:44:10 Does more people (with diverse backgrounds) in the same space produce the most productivity?
  • 00:49:29 Is our declining birth rate a bug or feature? Doesn’t it slow down or rate of innovation greatly?
  • 00:52:45 What roles does polygamy and religion have in the birth rate?
  • 00:59:01 is freedom a central part of a success of a civilization?

You may watch this episode on Youtube – Joe Henrich (WEIRD people and what drives a culture’s success?).

Joe Henrich is a professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University (and formerly a professor of psychology and economics at the University of British Columbia).

He is particularly interested in the question of how humans evolved from “being a relatively unremarkable primate a few million years ago to the most successful species on the globe”, and how culture shaped our species’ genetic evolution.

His latest book is now available on Amazon – The WEIRDest People in the World: How the West Became Psychologically Peculiar and Particularly Prosperous.

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#87 Jeff Barr (The amazing story of Amazon Web Services)

  • 00:00:35 How Jeff got started with Amazon Web Services in the place and how innovation has been moving along briskly with Amazon AWS.
  • 00:06:15 How did it feel to promise an Internet File System and promise not to loose any data? How does AWS deal internally with failure and downtime?
  • 00:11:24 How did Amazon add so much transparency to their IT department?
  • 00:15:46 How did EC2 get so good so quickly between 2006 – 2011?
  • 00:19:35 Why Amazon AWS works without any free support for customers. Why does support cost extra?
  • 00:22:25 Where is the biggest growth and excitement with AWS right now?
  • 00:24:06 Why is traffic and core CPU so much more expensive with AWS (up to 1,000 times more).
  • 00:29:59 How does AWS Activate work and how does AWS support start-ups with free credits (up to one million dollars!)?
  • 00:41:26 What is Jeff’s prediction how the cloud will develop in the next 10 years?

You may watch this episode on Youtube – Jeff Barr (The amazing story of Amazon Web Services).

Jeff Barr is the Chief Evangelist for Amazon Web Services (AWS) and has been its chief promoter since 2004.

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#86 Marc Faber (Gloom Boom & Doom)

  • 00:00:36 What great investors does Marc admire?
  • 00:05:20 Why the world’s policy to print money (in Japan, Europe and the US now) is misguided and prohibits innovation?
  • 00:13:32 Is the ‘socialist utopia’ upon us? What will happen to inflation? Why do we need a ‘Central Bank’ in the first place?
  • 00:23:48 Will we be able to escape the current malaise with exponential technology growth?
  • 00:28:45 Is there a ‘revolutionary period’ on the horizon?
  • 00:35:01 Will we see a massive bank failure like Lehman Brothers again?
  • 00:42:33 How China got so successful relative to the US and Western Europe? Will these powers clash in the foreseeable future?
  • 00:53:42 Is America’s influence in the world a positive or negative force? Why it should lead more by example.

Marc Faber is the publisher of the GLOOM BOOM & DOOM report and is a world famous investor known for his ‘contrarian’ investment approach.

You may watch this episode on Youtube – #86 Marc Faber (Gloom Boom & Doom).

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#85 Matthew Karch (The video game industry and will we all live in immersive simulations soon?)

00:00:35 How Matthew got started in the video game industry?
00:03:58 How the video game industry has evolved since Matthew started?
00:15:43 How video game studios elect plans for a new game?
00:21:06 How much revenue is there in video games really? Is the demographics of users changing?
00:30:23 Given the addictive potential of video games – should we emphasize the skills users learn from video games more?
00:53:49 Will we live in an ‘all simulated’ world? Is that a good or bad thing?

Matthew Karch is the CEO and co-founder of Saber Interactive (now part of Embracer).

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#84 Thomas Power (The Power of Social Networks)

  • 00:00:14 The origin story of Ecademy – the original social network for business.
  • 00:05:19 How social networks helped us get more connected but also made us more lonely at the same time. How can we find real trust and intimacy?
  • 00:12:03 How the way we ‘make connections’ has changed so much. Is Clubhouse a good tool to improve on that?
  • 00:16:06 What Social Media could have been? What went wrong in the last 10 years?
  • 00:28:28 What ‘free energy’ and ‘free software and hardware’ will change the marketplace.
  • 00:34:13 How a few ‘bad actors’ have hacked the Twitter and Facebook algorithm.
  • 00:42:53 Is loneliness a ‘treatable side effect’ of how we encounter our new ‘social normal’?
  • 00:48:01 How our life’s got easier but lonelier voluntarily. Is it all related to the changes in the Facebook algorithm in 2014?
  • 00:59:22 Why ‘all the upside’ of my life came from an Internet?! Would Nietzsche have been a more positive person with the Internet?
  • 01:10:52 Hear Thomas’ take on the ‘Fermi paradox’.

Thomas Power is a serial entrepreneur and independent Board Director based in the United Kingdom.

You may watch this episode on Youtube – #84 Thomas Power (The Power of Social Networks).

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