Books 02 (Nov 08 - Nov 09)

Re: Books (Nov 08 - Aug 09)

Postby millionairemind » Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:00 pm

Wrapped up on The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. It's written coherently and allows the reader to follow the author's line of thought. I have read BLINK by the author. As in BLINK, Gladwell typically strings together alot of information and articles from various places in an attempt to piece together the central theme of his book - What makes social trends tip into becoming a widely accepted phenomena.

In the opening few chapters, he argued persuasively on what constituted the reduction in crime in NYC during the mid 90s (y the crime rate tipped). While I think it makes interesting reading, I prefer the explanation set forth by Steve Levitt in his book Freakconomics. His analysis and arguments were even more persuasive. Read that book if you want some out of the box ideas :D

Tip is available from NLB.

The Tipping Point - Central Theme

Tipping point is that moment in an social interaction when ideas or social behaviours spread like epidemic. You get to know only after it happens. A post-facto analysis may reveal some superficial reason for that particular event. But then the superficial reason could be applied anywhere. Why then did some other idea or trend not cross similar threshold?

Malcolm Gladwell has analyzed such social trends in depth and seems to think there are three rules that govern such epidemic:

a) The Law of the Few - Unique characteristics of the first few is an important factor
b) The stickiness factor - Pertains to the quality of the message
c) The power of context - Right environment and critical numbers

Gladwell explains these three rules in great details and explains how they can be used to explain rapid spread of trends.
"If a speculator is correct half of the time, he is hitting a good average. Even being right 3 or 4 times out of 10 should yield a person a fortune if he has the sense to cut his losses quickly on the ventures where he has been wrong" - Bernard Baruch

Disclaimer - The author may at times own some of the stocks mentioned in this forum. All discussions are NOT to be construed as buy/sell recommendations. Readers are advised to do their own research and analysis.
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Re: Books (Nov 08 - Aug 09)

Postby LenaHuat » Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:15 pm

Hi MM

Thank Q for the generous sharing.
I'm hitting the books too :lol: :lol: OK, reading alot of trashy stuff too.
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Re: Books (Nov 08 - Aug 09)

Postby millionairemind » Sun Aug 30, 2009 3:15 pm

Wrapped up on OUTLIERS: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell.

I have read all three of his books - Blink, The Tipping Point and Outliers and I enjoyed Outliers the best :D

He argued passionately that outliers (the Black Swan, in cases of market crashes :lol: ) of success is a result of hard work meeting opportunity. That opportunity can be in terms of demographics changes, family wealth or date of birth.

The book is split into several articles, with one chapter on Bill Gates which I enjoyed. There is also a chapter on Y there is a high incidence of Korean jetliner crashes in the 90s (I agree with his explanation) and Y pro hockey players are usually born in the 1st quarter of the year.

There is an interesting chapter on Y Asians excelled in Mathematics. Although the hardwork part of the analysis is correct, I did not fully agree with him that it was due to our "rice paddy planting" background. I do more believe that it was because Asian parents take a very serious view and attitude towards their children's education.

This book is available from NLB.

Here's a review from NYT, in case you are interested.
Chance and Circumstance

By DAVID LEONHARDT
Published: November 28, 2008
In 1984, a young man named Malcolm graduated from the University of Toronto and moved to the United States to try his hand at journalism. Thanks to his uncommonly clear writing style and keen eye for a story, he quickly landed a job at The Washington Post. After less than a decade at The Post, he moved up to the pinnacle of literary journalism, The New Yorker. There, he wrote articles full of big ideas about the hidden patterns of ordinary life, which then became grist for two No. 1 best-selling books. In the vast world of nonfiction writing, he is as close to a singular talent as exists today.

Or at least that’s one version of the story of Malcolm Gladwell. Here is another:

In 1984, a young man named Malcolm graduated from the University of Toronto and moved to the United States to try his hand at journalism. No one could know it then, but he arrived with nearly the perfect background for his time. His mother was a psychotherapist and his father a mathematician. Their professions pointed young Malcolm toward the behavioral sciences, whose popularity would explode in the 1990s. His mother also just happened to be a writer on the side. So unlike most children of mathematicians and therapists, he came to learn, as he would later recall, “that there is beauty in saying something clearly and simply.” As a journalist, he plumbed the behavioral research for optimistic lessons about the human condition, and he found an eager audience during the heady, proudly geeky ’90s. His first book, “The Tipping Point,” was published in March 2000, just days before the Nasdaq peaked.

These two stories about Gladwell are both true, and yet they are also very different. The first personalizes his success. It is the classically American version of his career, in that it gives individual characteristics — talent, hard work, Horatio Alger-like pluck — the starring role. The second version doesn’t necessarily deny these characteristics, but it does sublimate them. The protagonist is not a singularly talented person who took advantage of opportunities. He is instead a talented person who took advantage of singular opportunities.

Gladwell’s latest book, “Outliers,” is a passionate argument for taking the second version of the story more seriously than we now do. “It is not the brightest who succeed,” Gladwell writes. “Nor is success simply the sum of the decisions and efforts we make on our own behalf. It is, rather, a gift. Outliers are those who have been given opportunities — and who have had the strength and presence of mind to seize them.”

He doesn’t actually tell his own life story in the book. (But he lurks offstage, since he does describe the arc of his mother’s Jamaican family.) Instead, he tells other success stories, often using the device of back-to-back narratives. He starts with a tale of individual greatness, about the Beatles or the titans of Silicon Valley or the enormously successful generation of New York Jews born in the early 20th century. Then he adds details that undercut that tale.

So Bill Gates is introduced as a young computer programmer from Seattle whose brilliance and ambition outshine the brilliance and ambition of the thousands of other young programmers. But then Gladwell takes us back to Seattle, and we discover that Gates’s high school happened to have a computer club when almost no other high schools did. He then lucked into the opportunity to use the computers at the University of Washington, for hours on end. By the time he turned 20, he had spent well more than 10,000 hours as a programmer.

At the end of this revisionist tale, Gladwell asks Gates himself how many other teenagers in the world had as much experience as he had by the early 1970s. “If there were 50 in the world, I’d be stunned,” Gates says. “I had a better exposure to software development at a young age than I think anyone did in that period of time, and all because of an incredibly lucky series of events.” Gates’s talent and drive were surely unusual. But Gladwell suggests that his opportunities may have been even more so.

Many people, I think, have an instinctual understanding of this idea (even if Gladwell, in the interest of setting his thesis against conventional wisdom, doesn’t say so). That’s why parents spend so much time worrying about what school their child attends. They don’t really believe the child is so infused with greatness that he or she can overcome a bad school, or even an average one. And yet when they look back years later on their child’s success — or their own — they tend toward explanations that focus on the individual. Devastatingly, if cheerfully, Gladwell exposes the flaws in these success stories we tell ourselves.

The book’s first chapter explores the anomaly of hockey players’ birthdays. In many of the best leagues in the world, amateur or professional, roughly 40 percent of the players were born in January, February or March, while only 10 percent were born in October, November or December. It’s a profoundly strange pattern, with a simple explanation. The cutoff birth date for many youth hockey leagues is Jan. 1. So the children born in the first three months of the year are just a little older, bigger and stronger than their peers. These older children are then funneled into all-star teams that offer the best, most intense training. By the time they become teenagers, their random initial advantage has turned into a real one.

At the championship game of the top Canadian junior league, Gladwell interviews the father of one player born on Jan. 4. More than half of the players on his team — the Medicine Hat Tigers — were born in January, February or March. But when Gladwell asks the father to explain his son’s success, the calendar has nothing to do with it. He instead mentions passion, talent and hard work — before adding, as an aside, that the boy was always big for his age. Just imagine, Gladwell writes, if Canada created another youth hockey league for children born in the second half of the year. It would one day find itself with twice as many great hockey players.

“Outliers” has much in common with Gladwell’s earlier work. It is a pleasure to read and leaves you mulling over its inventive theories for days afterward.
It also, unfortunately, avoids grappling in a few instances with research that casts doubt on those theories. (Gladwell argues that relatively older children excel not only at hockey but also in the classroom. The research on this issue, however, is decidedly mixed.) This is a particular shame, because it would be a delight to watch someone of his intellect and clarity make sense of seemingly conflicting claims.

For all these similarities, though, “Outliers” represents a new kind of book for Gladwell. “The Tipping Point” and “Blink,” his second book, were a mixture of social psychology, marketing and even a bit of self-help. “Outliers” is far more political. It is almost a manifesto. “We look at the young Bill Gates and marvel that our world allowed that 13-year-old to become a fabulously successful entrepreneur,” he writes at the end. “But that’s the wrong lesson. Our world only allowed one 13-year-old unlimited access to a time-sharing terminal in 1968. If a million teenagers had been given the same opportunity, how many more Microsofts would we have today?”

After a decade — and, really, a generation — in which this country has done fairly little to build up the institutions that can foster success, Gladwell is urging us to rethink. Once again, his timing may prove to be pretty good.
"If a speculator is correct half of the time, he is hitting a good average. Even being right 3 or 4 times out of 10 should yield a person a fortune if he has the sense to cut his losses quickly on the ventures where he has been wrong" - Bernard Baruch

Disclaimer - The author may at times own some of the stocks mentioned in this forum. All discussions are NOT to be construed as buy/sell recommendations. Readers are advised to do their own research and analysis.
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Re: Books (Nov 08 - Aug 09)

Postby LenaHuat » Mon Aug 31, 2009 4:23 pm

LenaHuat wrote:I've thumbed thru almost half of this book and gleaned some very good points from it.
It's available from OnePage, the bookstore at VivoCity. Some 4 months ago, I asked them to import this book from Beijing:

http://www.amazon.cn/mn/detailApp/478-5 ... bkbk834200


Completed this book and harvested 2 good points :-
(1) Work on your breathing. Most of us complete 1 cycle of breathing in and out in 2 seconds. Test yourself.
Try lto engthen it to 6 seconds.
(2) Thumping your chest lightly near the heart is good for us :lol: Work on this meridian point.
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Re: Books (Nov 08 - Aug 09)

Postby iam802 » Mon Aug 31, 2009 4:35 pm

LenaHuat wrote:
LenaHuat wrote:I've thumbed thru almost half of this book and gleaned some very good points from it.
It's available from OnePage, the bookstore at VivoCity. Some 4 months ago, I asked them to import this book from Beijing:

http://www.amazon.cn/mn/detailApp/478-5 ... bkbk834200


Completed this book and harvested 2 good points :-
(1) Work on your breathing. Most of us complete 1 cycle of breathing in and out in 2 seconds. Test yourself.
Try lto engthen it to 6 seconds.
(2) Thumping your chest lightly near the heart is good for us :lol: Work on this meridian point.


Hi Lena,

What is the benefit of lengthening the breathing cycle?

The only time I lengthen my breathing cycle is when I am running. Around 3 seconds (or around 3-4 strides breathing in).
1. Always wait for the setup. NO SETUP; NO TRADE

2. The trend will END but I don't know WHEN.

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Re: Books (Nov 08 - Sep 09)

Postby LenaHuat » Mon Aug 31, 2009 4:39 pm

Hi iam802
Wow, I gonna fish out the book. I'll try and post it in Mandarin so as to get the significance right.
I'm very slow with the Chinese hanyu translator. But I'll get it done hopefully b4 end of 2day :lol: :lol:
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Re: Books (Nov 08 - Sep 09)

Postby LenaHuat » Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:04 pm

要符合营气和卫气的流动, 要慢呼气,6。4seconds是正长的。
呼气放慢,我们脉搏也放慢。人的生命进程也放慢,寿命就长。

I'm certain U will next ask : What's营气和卫气? :lol:
Pl buy the book from One-Page at Vivocity. It's only a $12/50 investment for longevity.
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Re: Books (Nov 08 - Sep 09)

Postby iam802 » Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:11 pm

Thanks very much.

Here's a quick link to that might explains what is 营气, 卫气.

http://zhidao.baidu.com/question/53470135.html

--

From my limited understanding.

营气 = Pretty much about nutrition etc. So, if your system is efficient in absorbing nutrients, that should be good.

卫气 = Defense system.

--

But, don't trust my words. I fail my Chinese before.

Better still, as Lena has suggested, invest in the book. Read it in its entirety .
1. Always wait for the setup. NO SETUP; NO TRADE

2. The trend will END but I don't know WHEN.

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Re: Books (Nov 08 - Sep 09)

Postby LenaHuat » Wed Sep 02, 2009 9:55 am

Hi iam802
Thanks a million for this. U are right.
Least readers think that's all that's in the book. Rest assured that there are more good stuff in the book.
But these are the only 2 items I will practice. I've discarded the other ideas because of religious and "I juz can't do this" reasons such as "food to avoid, food to take, meditation etc".
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Re: Books (Nov 08 - Sep 09)

Postby kennynah » Fri Sep 25, 2009 11:21 pm

Title : Illustrated Principals of Pool and Billiards
Author : David G. Alciatore


There are sufficient pictorial illustrations to explain the fundamental and complex concepts... i thought the topics were well organized and written....
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