Explanations, Boom Times and What Now?

Your weekly 5 things from the mind of Miles Lasater

Happy Saturday! Here are your 5 things from the mind of Miles for this week.

  1. Boom Times? We’ve touched on the high price to earnings ratio in the public markets. But lest you think I’m all pessimism, I present a financially literate argument why prices are reasonable. Consider stock prices in light of implied equity risk premiums (higher than average range) and interest rates (very low). And here is a collection of good news financial data points for households and companies. Plus I found you an argument why we are set for boom times.

  2. Born, Made or Lucky? Following up on last week's book Genetic Lottery, please read my Venture Patterns on Entrepreneurs - Born, Made or Lucky. What’s the mix? 

  3. Expectation Prisons. I’ve been thinking recently about how reality and even people match our expectations. Not in a magical way but in a series of ironic ordinary causes. For example, consider 18th or 19th century western Europe. If society expects women to be incapable and therefore does not educate them or let them take jobs, then no surprise if women without the support of a man are in a bad way. Where am I expecting too little from myself or others and therefore limiting potential?

  4. Pinkers New Book. I’ve mentioned Enlightenment Now before and how much I liked it. Have I gushed about what a Pinker fan I am? I am so impressed with his breadth of understanding, reading and his writing style. His new book Rationality delivers. The book is a romp through Bayseian reasoning, logic, probability, cognitive biases, signal detection and more. Overall, it is a good review or introductory text. That said - I agree with Brett Hall that I wish Pinker would focus more on Popper and Deutsch’s philosophy of science. Let’s define knowledge as a good explanation (resilient and useful) rather than “justified true belief”. We know that any explanation of the world is incomplete or wrong in some circumstances. If we claim knowledge is “justified true belief” then we’re left either dogmatically asserting truth when people can see the emperor has no clothes or choosing relativism. I’m confident Pinker doesn’t want readers walking down either path.

  5. What Now? In the US, it seems many agree we have a horrible legacy of racism. The disagreements seem to come in what to do now. Read White Fragility and Woke Racism and please let me know what you think we should do now? I’m moved by the argument we should decriminalize (most?) drugs and ensure we teach all children to read well. But you already knew that.

I’ll be taking a week off. Catch you in two weeks,

Miles