random end of march thoughts.

Lacking the clarity to focus on a specific topic, I’ll blog the randoms in my head:

1) When I moved to SF, one of the things that I was most stoked about was being surrounded by ridiculously smart, ambitious people. One of those people is Ramit. To compound his already ridiculous awesomeness, he just released his book. How did it do? Well, on its first day he got it to #1 on Amazon. If you think your personal finances could use a little improvement, look no further than his book. If you’re unsure if you’ll like his book, check out his finance blog.

2) I went skiing on Thursday for the first time since 2000. What an awesome experience. Two things were interesting: one, it reminded me of how it important it is to find good teachers. My teacher, Milt, was able to move me from “awful skier” to “marginally incompetent.” He had great patience, a joy for what he was doing, and was very motivating. In every part of our lives we need great teachers: in school, at work, at play, etc. Second, I was struck by how great it is to do new things that you suck at. While it is ridiculously frustrating, it is also memorable and rewarding as you make progress. I probably spend 99% of my time on pretty routine stuff. I wonder how much more rewarding my life would be if I could even just shift that to 95% routine / 5% new. It’s such a low bar, but I know it’ll be hard.

3) There’s some crazy stuff going on. We’re in the middle of crazy deflation. And in the middle of an attempted hyper-inflation? The signs of deflation are everywhere around us. A huge list of companies are doing paycuts, no more bonuses, raises, layoffs, etc. Massive losses in household wealth from the stock market crash, housing crash, no new credit, etc. People have less money and so they spend less. Go to almost any store and see one of two things a “closed” sign or a “SALE!!!” sign. Cars aren’t selling and are being discounted. Money isn’t moving, so the price of everything is going down. This is deflation. On the other side, the US (and most other countries) are printing massive amounts of money. In it’s simplest, they can do this by “buying” debt issued by the treasury with dollars that they’ve just printed. This is all mind boggling stuff. When I take this and a bunch of other stuff together, I want to go move to the beaches in Goa for the next decade or so and just write.

OK, I’m trying to read this. And now I just spent the last 20 minutes surfing sites about Goa and indulging my escapist fantasies about moving there. So I’m going to end this pointless entry and remind you to buy ramit’s book.

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