Breakfast Notes #32 (Enjoy Being Wrong, Finding Touchstones, Being A Hero)
Good morning friends.
Last night, I watched Kumar Locks Down, an R18 stand up comedy show performed by Kumar. An hour and a half of unabashed raw humor earned roaring laughter and, occasionally, a few wild cackles from the crowd. I don’t give ratings, but I would recommend this performance.
As the crowd dispersed for the night, it dawned on me that we perhaps have truly arrived at the new normal.
Here is the 32nd serving of Breakfast Notes.
Enjoy Being Wrong
Charlie Munger loves destroying his own ideas.
He even went on to say that,
Any year that you don't destroy one of your best-loved ideas is probably a wasted year.
How can one enjoy being wrong? What kind of masochist would that take?
But it turned out I got it wrong.
When we are proven wrong, we have been presented the opportunity to get it right this time. We have the chance to work towards becoming the homo economicus that all economists extoll.
The best anecdote I have found to date was Daniel Kahneman explaining to a bewildered Jason Zweig why he, a Nobel-Prize Winning Economist, was more than happy to spend a whole night rewriting a chapter because an unsolicited email told him he was wrong.
His explanation - ‘I have no sunk costs.’
How do you determine that the gold you have in your hands is pure?
You use a touchstone. The process requires you to compare marks made by rubbing a sample of gold of known purity to marks made by the gold of unknown purity. If the marks on the touchstone are similar, voila, you have good gold on your hand.
In the same way, I often conduct a similar test for my writings.
If I match the style, coherence and clarity of my writing to the likes of Ryan Holiday (my unofficial intellectual touchstone), am I anywhere close?
For now, I am still far away.
Visualisation Of The Day
Silat is a combative art of self-defence and survival rooted in the Malay Archipelago. We can trace it back to the early days of the ancient Hindu-Buddhist kingdom- the Langkasuka Kingdom.
Silat today is a refined artistic practice of physical combat. After watching Iqbal’s full (gold-clinching) performance, I am wowed by his fluidity, grace and coordination. In my opinion, such artistic combat sports do not get enough respect and shine. If modern culture can appreciate the sport of bodybuilding, we can also afford appreciation for such sports.
Fun Fact: The Mortal Kombat character, Baraka, has his animations modelled after Silat.
How To Be The Best Villain (or Hero)
I love pro-wrestling.
I say this proudly because this business is all about storytelling. The audience, wrestlers and producers all know that whatever transpires on screen is choreographed and fictional. But, it is every bit as real as how JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series was real.
Pro-wrestling is the perfect classroom for anyone interested in telling stories that can grab the audience by the collar.
Here is a soundbite from Mike, aka ‘The Miz’, on what makes him as a heel/villain compelling.
The reason why I am such a great heel is because I feel like I have motivation behind it. Sometimes, people do things just to do things but I don’t. The reason why I dislike Rey Mysterio (a hero), is because he gets cheered when he cheats. But when I do it, I get booed.
A compelling character is always motivated by reasons the audience can empathise with. To quote the award-winning writer David Corbett, ‘Compelling characters are not cogs in the machine of your plot; they are human beings to whom the story happens.’
If you have the time, watch the video below, and you will instantly get what I mean.
Thank You for reading!
May the sun shine upon your face,