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P.S. You Should Know... | Issue #311
When there's a run on your bank, run.
my story 🚀
i’ve been thinking 💭
The talk of the town the past few days has been Silicon Valley Bank’s sudden collapse. It’s a classic “run on the bank” scenario and we’ll need more time to see how it plays out. There are many lessons to learn from this experience. One in particular that will forever imprint upon me: when there’s a run on your bank, run.
Despite having some banking relationships with SVB, we didn’t have to run because of the FDIC insurance for cash balances < $250k. While I’m generally a fan of small government, I’m also a fan of this particular regulatory imposition.
Also I’m quite impressed by this person who highlighted the riskiness of SVB’s balance sheet publicly in January (and disclosed a short position).
fun facts 🙌
Sweepstakes parlor. I just learned about these backdoor gambling operations (the industry might not agree with this characterization). “They began to appear in the Southern United States some time around 2005, and quickly proliferated. Purchased entries are redeemed using computers at the establishment, which contain specialized software that presents whether a participant has won a prize.” ~ learn more
The USDA’s treasure trove of agricultural data. Here’s one example, the Broiler Market News Report. It is a 4 page summary of the market for “broiler” chickens. ~ learn more
How Citadel harnessed the weather to claim hedge fund crown. “In 2018 Ken Griffin’s Citadel hired a group of scientists and analysts whose weather forecasts were more accurate than those of most meteorological offices. … The bold bet on raw materials has paid off, helping Citadel make a record $16bn in 2022 to displace Bridgewater as the most successful hedge fund of all time, according to research by LCH Investments.” ~ learn more
Are aircraft carriers obsolete? “In a recent post, I made the assertion that aircraft carriers were still the queens of the ocean and that long-range anti-ship missiles would become less relevant due to inexpensive countermeasures. Many disagreed, specifically citing some posts by Steve Hsu. I'm sure Steve is smarter than me, but I probably know more redneck engineering. Let's look at a carrier example.” ~ learn more
oh, austin 🤠
2 years into Austin’s Project Connect, is the light rail still on track? I finally read up on this project. It’s big and expensive and seems a long way away from reality, despite voter approval a couple years ago. “By April 2022, project leaders announced cost estimates for the light rail portion had jumped from $5.8 billion to $10.3 billion, due to the rising prices of acquiring land, construction costs and some design changes.” ~ learn more
tech, startups, internet ⚡
Fad or trend. “Reflecting on 2 years worth of hype while building a startup.” ~ learn more
Life Copilot, an impressive hackathon project. “Life Copilot is an AI assistant that can understand text + images & control a browser to surf the internet using @MultiON_AI to do things for you!” Don’t get tooooo excited, as it’s certainly still rough around the edges. ~ learn more
Everything you know about computer vision may soon be wrong. One step closer to the Matrix. “Computer vision could be a lot faster and better if we skip the concept of still frames and instead directly analyze the data stream from a camera. At least, that’s the theory that the newest brainchild spinning out of the MIT Media lab, Ubicept, is operating under.” ~ learn more
better doing 🎯
Buffett, value investing and four filters innovation. An 8 minute video where Buffet explains how he’d approach the problem of needing to invest $1 million into local businesses within 7 days. ~ learn more
Why everyone feels like they’re faking it. “If we reclaim the impostor phenomenon from the false category of “syndrome,” then we can allow it to do the work it does best, which is to depict a particular texture of interior experience: the fear of being exposed as inadequate.” ~ learn more
to your health ⚕
The most plausible explanation for teenage unhappiness. “Honestly, it's probably the phones…” ~ learn more
under the microscope 🔬
There's growing evidence that vitamin D supplements can protect your brain from dementia. “Researchers found 40% fewer dementia diagnoses among the 4,637 participants who took vitamin D supplements, compared to the cohort that did not. Interestingly, the study also found that vitamin D supplements seemed to benefit a few subsets of participants more: women, those with normal cognition as opposed to mild impairments, and in people who did not carry the APOE-e4 gene.” ~ learn more
Study finds mushrooms magnify memory by boosting nerve growth. “Extracts from these so-called 'lion's mane' mushrooms have been used in traditional medicine in Asian countries for centuries, but we wanted to scientifically determine their potential effect on brain cells," Professor Meunier said. ~ learn more
on the blockchain ⛓
Multicoin Capital’s hedge fund lost 91.4% last year. Before you go shedding any tears: “Despite the massive drawdown, Multicoin’s hedge fund remains up 1,376% net of fees from its inception through 2022. As the broader crypto market rebounded from last year’s lows, Multicoin reported the fund gained 100.9% in January 2023, bringing the fund’s inception-to-January return to 2,866%.” ~ learn more
It’s hard to un-publish things these days. Way back in September 2022, when FTX was a brand more reputation than notoriety, Sequoia Capital published this fawning spotlight on Sam Bankman-Fried. “The founder of FTX lives his life by a calculus of altruistic impact.” They have since removed it from their site, but it lives on anyway. ~ learn more