Afghanistan

I just watch this documentary that National Geographic created following a group of Green Berets in Afghanistan. The soldiers are very intelligent and motivated people who sacrificed themselves after 9/11 to join and fight for the people in our country. The American people and our elected leaders are the true idiots. We have wasted hundreds of thousands of lives in Afghanistan (both Americans and Afghans) needlessly. I think that we were right to overthrow the Taliban, but the way we have tried to pacify the country after that is totally wrong. The Romans showed 2000 years ago how you can control the known world when you only have one Roman citizen to each of hundreds or thousands of other people. the Romans were able to bring the Pax Romana, 300 years of peace to the world, through much more effective strategies than we use today. We use a stupid strategy called winning the hearts and minds which will never work when those hearts and minds are afraid of being shot by Taliban. A better strategy would be with the Romans did when one of their soldiers were killed, they killed a hundred locals at random and they told the locals to hunt down and prevent any more Romans from being killed. Afghan locals would then have a choice of for SURE getting killed by American bombs and troops if one of us died or MAYBE being killed buy a low tech Taliban supporter. The local villages would push out all of the Taliban and fight for us. Afghanistan would be at peace now with only a few thousand dead instead of hundreds of thousands dead. Ignorant short-term compassion cost enormously more lives in pain by not following the hard but right long road.

House of Representatives

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/11/09/opinion/expanded-house-representatives-size.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

America’s founders originally intended us to have 30k people per House representative. Currently, we have over 750k per representative.

We could go back to 30k per representative if we had them meet online for the most part maybe? Or just use a conference center to meet.

Firing Sessions is Horrifying

Jeff Sessions was Donald Trump’s strongest supporter from the start of the campaign. Sessions was rewarded with the cabinet position for this.

In a move that reminds everyone of fascist dictatorships, Trump fired Sessions because Sessions put country over personal loyalty.

America is turning into North Korea. Its just a matter of time till Trump has people gunned down with anti-aircraft guns.

Economic Laws Should Dictate More Public Policy

Basic economic law should dictate much more public policy. The laws of supply and demand, gains from specialization and trade, and other economic laws should make decision-making far simpler and public policy.

Affordable housing could be had for all with laws that allow for much more high-density housing, and permitting rules are much quicker and easier to go through. Developers would build tons more housing and drive prices down.

Healthcare, legal help, internet and many other areas could have far lower prices by removing the government issued monopolies (franchised monopolies). Government should not limit practice in any field by issuing licenses. People could rely upon private organizations that issue licenses instead. People are afraid that quality would go down under a system like this, however if you compare Yelp to government issued restaurant ratings you will find that the private review sites are far more accurate.

Processed Sugar Industry, Candy & Halloween

The health effects of processed sugar are well known by everyone:

Processed sugar (aka CANDY) is a poison to human beings. Pretty much every function of your body gets into trouble when you eat sugar.

So why is Halloween a giant holiday? Why does Halloween alone lead to $9 billion in candy (processed sugar) sales?

Why do parents who ordinarily take good care of their kids allow them to eat large amounts of poisonous processed sugar?

I don’t know… Halloween is fun and it is cute to see kids in outfits. I enjoyed that myself. But it was depressing that over half the kids who came to my door yesterday were obese… that is not their fault, but it will haunt them throughout their lives.

Joel’s Personal Philosophy

My personal philosophy is a compendium of ideas.

The more effort you put into life, the easier and happier life gets.

Here is a simple list of what I think will most impact your life happiness and success. I think you should avoid being envious of others people’s supposedly fabulous lives, and focus on improving your own.

A good marriage is a superpower. You merge with your partner to an extent and both of you become more than you were individually.

Daily blender drinks are a key to good health.

We live in a winner take all world, so accumulative advantages are hugely important for each of us to move ahead.

Modern life is very good, light years better than any other human time period. Life is good for all of us now.

I believe in pursuing self improvement. It makes me much happier. I don’t like the drug store style self improvement, rather I focus on fitness, business, mental, etc.

Work is vital to life satisfaction.

How daily tracking of my life goals helped me rocket ahead.

How to prevent burn out when working 7 days a week.

I think college is a bad decision for most people now that we have the internet.

Caffeine is dangerous, but not as dangerous as alcohol.

Watching football is unethical, but I do enjoy it. I think humans love watching all forms of competition.

Behaviors that improve productivity.

Routine is good.

Build your life so you don’t need to use an alarm to wake up.

I wish there were self ban registries  for addiction. It would be much easier to stop behaviors that are hard to control with something like this.

Running extends your lifespan and makes you happier.

I am a fan of BEING in new places, but not transporting myself there.

We should not sell tomorrow for today, nor today for tomorrow.

Death is a terrible tragedy and if we can find ways to fight cell decomposition, that would be good. However, until we do that, I like this surgeon’s view on death.

Some good life advice from Sam Altman.

My investment principles.

How early poverty affected my mindset in business.

Regularly make time to reflect on your own personal history.

Joel’s Business Philosophy

My philosophy on business is that each company needs to take care of its stakeholders. Stakeholders include team members, customers, shareholders, and the world at large. A business must profitable and be very careful about debt and cash flow issues or it will not be able to take care of stakeholders.

The four levels of employee productivity – try to reach level 4.

Systematization of business processes is required for any business to scale. Internal tool building adds efficiency and makes for great improvements.

Motivation is key to monitor, maintain, and grow for team members.

I have written previously on basic business advice.

How to tackle hard tasks.

A CEO who can program has superpowers over those who don’t.

Recruiting is an absolutely critical component of business and the top managers need to understand it thoroughly. And no, you are not a good judge of people.

I am happy my business Coalition has helped bring people together.

Some of my reflections on the differences between owner and manager mindsets.

I think I could provide a lot of value by being an Independent Director who sits on a board of directors for a public company.

Be willing to try lots of business ideas, some have unexpectedly been profitable.

Marketing is a force multiplier.

I love Dale Carnegie’s advice for handling people.

How to prevent burn out when working 7 days a week.

I think CEO pay packages today are simply theft from shareholders.

Old processes need periodic updating.

My investment principles.

How I built and sold a dropship business for $16,100.

I am opposed to patents, but that is more of a political issue. Same thing with copyright law. I think we could have limited patents (either they only last 7 years or abusive patents open the company who obtained it to damages lawsuits). Limited copyright would also be good (perhaps 10 years). After that, anyone can republish something as long as they link to / cite the original source. Both of these reforms would greatly encourage competition which would bring lower prices and better technologies faster.

Another issue that is a bit more politics than business is that I believe wealth should be taxed, not income.

Companies behaving badly need harsh organizational punishments in order to shift their incentives.

Business mergers should not happen nearly as frequently as they do. A lot of private equity in my opinion is destructive rather than constructive.

An interesting business measure I invented is Cost Per Unit of Productivity.

A historical business idea I had was that capitalism and oil may have actually ended slavery. Oil is a huge concern for the environment though.

Negative and positive reviews of my performance as CEO.

Managers, Directors, and Shareholders should be liable for company-scale fraud.

Why I think a cofounder could have sunk my business (although Jordan was pretty darn close to a cofounder).

Licensing boards should be shut down.

Avoid shady businesses. Also, here’s how to beat an East Texas patent troll.

Understanding business owners as clients.

 

Behaviors & Habits to Improve Productivity

I have tracked for five years a number of behaviors on a day to day basis. These range from what I am grateful for to what I worked on, how many hours I worked, how productive I was, how happy I was, what exercise I did, how happy I was, and other factors. I recently looked back upon this data to see what I could learn.

When I was running several miles a day, I had my highest work productivity and output levels. This correlates with a lot of recent research that shows that high intensity training and cardio does wonders for your brain.

Another big part of my successful periods was when I reduced my alcohol consumption or eliminated it entirely. This generally allowed for more high intensity workouts and more clear and focused work time.

 

Joel’s Political Philosophy

I want to try to summarize my political philosophy overall in one place with links to the subjects. I have thought about this for a long time from a lot of angles. Currently this is only a partial list.

All government should be guided by First Principles for Human Rights. We should also recognize that the world is becoming a much better place.

The less government tries to do, the better. Government should be responsible to protect the people’s rights mentioned above and not to do much more.

The most important issue of our time and possibly the scariest issue ever faced by humanity is the rise of Superintelligence. We need to be very, very careful here. Our world is rushing headlong towards this minefield as people fight their petty battles.

I do believe in America’s general system of government – checks and balances between legislative, judicial, and executive branches of government. I think these should have some fine tuning, but the basic mechanisms are good.

Sunlight is the best disinfectant and government should default to making all information easy and publicly accessible.

Scammy businesses need some sort of penalty. Perhaps the get-rich-quick types can be sued by a class of their customers or something. Stop predatory businesses.

Shut down unnecessary government regulations and agencies like TSA.

Our education system is badly in need of reform to modernize learning.

Pension reform for government employees is badly needed. People should not be able to just give themselves more and more benefits taken from their fellow citizens. Government unions should be disallowed for this reason.

Government should not create monopolies by issues licenses, such as those issued to doctors or lawyers or attorneys or many types of contractors to practice.

Healthcare needs to be set free of our insurance system. Doctors should be paid on outcomes, not procedures.

Borders should eventually be eliminated, as this would make for a vastly richer world. Global trade is very good. Immigration is good as it allows for labor to go where it is most needed.

Government should not restrict rents artificially, as this creates homelessness and shortages.

Taxation should be based on total property, not income. This makes sure that the most capable people control the flow of investment. We need to remove America’s oligarchy. Taxes should be as easy as possible for people to understand and file. Inheritance is generally an evil as it directs investment resources into the hands of people not capable of managing it.

We have a problem of taxation without representation.

Tax and voting records should be public to avoid fraud.

Companies should face harsh penalties for misbehavior. A bad company will quickly be replaced by a better company in a free market if it is dissolved. Corporations need limits.

Free market capitalism is a good thing for societies and gives more freedom to citizens.

We need reform for Social Security.

Patents, trade secrets, and copyright need to be dramatically rolled back or even eliminated altogether. Intellectual property rights are generally not a great idea.

CEOs and board members of public companies should be personally liable for performance of their companies.

Politicians should have a significantly higher standard for ethics and should face stiff prison sentences. There should be an independent agency that handles this.

White collar criminal penalties should be enforced. Thousands of people should be in prison for scams such as the 2008 financial crisis, essential oils, and other MLMs with false promises. Prisons should only be paid based on how well they rehabilitate prisoners and reduce recidivism. These probably should not be private. I think we need to be creative with prison alternatives.

Net neutrality is important to fight the natural monopoly that rises through internet connection companies.

The standing military should be limited to no more than 0.5% of GDP as our current situation creates a giant corrupt and ineffective military industrial complex.

Close the military academies as they are not cost effective.

Corporations over a certain size should not be allowed to merge. This just removes competition and lines of the pockets of fat cat financiers at the expense of investors.

Not as relevant in 2018’s high flying economy, but you are not unemployed if you refuse to accept a job you consider beneath you.

Personal finance should be mandatory to learn in high schools.

Gun control should be done intelligently based on data and clear principles.