One Philosophy on Philanthropy: Kiva, ROI, and solving the knowledge problem

For some time I have been struggling to come up with a personal philosophy toward donations and philanthropy. Growing up, I always felt some sense of social obligation to be donating to the guy on the corner, the Red Cross, poverty in developing countries, or one of a million things. But how does one choose?

April 2010

Lessons from Buffett: Investing

Buffett's actions draw a strong distinction between a speculator and an investor — the former trying to cash in on short-term fluctuations and emotional movements of stock price, the latter interested in the underlying quality and long-term prospects of a company. These observations are drawn from the book Buffett, by Roger Lowenstein.

March 2009

Lessons from Buffett: Running a Business

While their businesses face a host of different incentives — Berkshire Hathaway a publicly owned company and Koch Industries privately held — their principled approach to business echoes many similarities.

November 2008

Economic Freedom and GDP per capita - Gapminder-style

For a while now I've shared common hopes to have the Economic Freedom data take new forms. The relationship between Economic Freedom and GDP per capita for example is not hard to imagine, however there is always something a bit more compelling about a nice visualization.

April 2008

Book Review: Fooled by Randomness

"Reality is far more vicious than Russian roulette. First, it delivers the fatal bullet rather infrequently, like a revolver that would have hundreds, even thousands, of chambers instead of six. After a few dozen tries, one forgets about the existence of a bullet, under numbing false sense of security," says Nassim Nicholas Taleb. He refers to this as the black swan problem.

January 2008

Book Review: Why Wages Rise

At a talk this Fall, Charles Koch mentioned that the book Why Wages Rise by F.A. Harper was an influential book in his career. Curious of the subject and the inspirations of such a successful man, I decided I best read it myself.

February 2007