Taking The Opposite View - Deepstash

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Good Things Taken Too Far

Taking The Opposite View

  • In the field of investing, Contrarians take the opposite view, akin to cynicism, and think of the collective mainstream view as a kind of mass delusion.
  • Occasionally, a contrary view is welcome, but if it is done every time, then the good times when one has to simply ride the wave are missed, leading to bitterness.

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Good Things Taken Too Far

Good Things Taken Too Far

https://www.collaborativefund.com/blog/good-things-taken-too-far/

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Key Ideas

Too Much Of A Good Thing

Good and effective things are helpful at one level but when taken too far, can be destructive.

In 1946, Sir Alexander Fleming, a renowned microbiologist, stated that antibiotics (like penicillin) were so effective that it will be abused by the masses, resulting in bacteria mutating and becoming drug-resistant. His prophecy came true, and this new, mutated bacteria is a reality.

Balancing Optimism

  • A positive attitude has the power to change our thinking and facilitate good things in our lives. Optimism surely beats pessimism as a worldview, when one has to pick a side.
  • Too much optimism turns into a delusion and eventually complacency. One starts getting out of touch with reality and lives in the mode of denial.

Being Open-Minded

  • As truth is complicated in this day and age, being open-minded takes us out of the bubble we develop around us, based out of our good and bad life experiences.
  • Being too open-minded robs us of our basic checks and balances, making us get lost in a rabbit hole full of contradictions.

One has to take a firm stand on their views to make concrete decisions.

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Antibiotic resistance
Antibiotic resistance

Antibiotics may lose their ability to treat bacterial infections.

Scientists have been warning us about the alarming rise in drug-resistant bacteria, but it can be curbed.

Penicillin
  • Penicillin was the first widely-used antibiotic. It was discovered in 1928 by Alexander Fleming, a bacteriologist.
  • He noticed that the staph cells he'd been studying in a petri dish had died, and an unusual mold was growing in it.
  • The mould was purified and tested in 1940, and later mass-produced.
  • By 1943, the US was supplying all the Allied forces with this miracle drug, which gave them an advantage in treating injuries.
Existing antibiotics found in the dirt
  • An agriculture student-turned-microbiologist, Selman Waksman, tested 10,000 soil samples over the years.
  • In 1943, he identified streptomycin, a broad-spectrum antibiotic effective against tuberculosis.
  • Drug companies caught on to it, and commissioned pilots, explorers, and foreign correspondents sent back soil samples as they traveled, collecting dozens of new antibiotics.
  • By 1970, researchers found themselves discovering the same molecules over and over.

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Some downsides are unavoidable
Some downsides are unavoidable

Life is a little easier if you expect a certain chunk of it to go wrong no matter how hard you try.

Smart people screw up. Good people have bad days. Nice people lose their temper....

How we think about risk and opportunity

It’s impossible to think about risk and opportunity without a reference point. And ours is at most incomplete (if not totally wrong).

Everything we think about risk and opportunity is shaped by our own specific situation and personal experience. So everybody has a view of risk shaped by narrow experiences but applied to the broad world.

Long-term and short-term thinking

Long-term thinking is difficult to put in action because the long run is a collection of short runs that have to be handled, displayed, and used as information to gauge whether a long-term reward still exists.

Short-term thinking can be the only way you’ll survive long enough to experience long-term results.

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Permanent Assumptions
Permanent Assumptions

In this world of uncertainties, nothing but death and taxes are sureshot in our lives.

There are however some assumptions that withstand the test of time. These assumptions take in...

The World We Live In
  • People generally want to solve problems than to create harm, but those who want to harm get a lot more attention.

  • While people can be taken advantage of, it can’t be done for an infinite period of time.

  • Every ten years or so, there has to be some economic, political, military or social breakdown, according to historical data.

Human Behaviour
  • Stories are more engaging than statistics. A thousand people dead evokes different emotions than the death of that one person whose story we all know.
  • The only thing constant is change, and nothing good or bad stays that way, ever. However, one can never find out what or when the change would be.
  • Incentives can make people do good and bad things. While a group of people can be made smarter, they cannot be made more patient, less greedy during uncertain periods.

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