Masters in Business: Ray Dalio

I was listening to this on a trip to the airport and found it to be one of the best interviews I’ve heard on Masters in Business. I went back to rewatch this and write down my notes.

  • Formed Bridgewater in 1975
  • Big US loans to Latin America, thought there would be a debt crisis
  • Mexican default, thought it was the beginning of the end but he was wrong
  • Fund crashed and burned
  • Let go all 8 people, had to borrow $4000 from father
  • Rebooted Bridgewater in 1982 after he messed up and lost a lot of money for investors
  • Started thinking about “how do I know I’m right?”
  • Rebuilt with an idea meritocracy
  • Deal with risk and challenge all ideas and assumptions
  • Write it down
  • Write it down when you’re right and wrong, do it clearly
  • Once you write it down, you can codify it.
  • Ray calls them recipes
  • Helped engineer Chicken McNuggets, the hedging for feed prices and chicken prices
  • Everything is a cause and effect in the markets and live
  • Whenever he got surprised it was because it didn’t happen in his lifetime but it happened before.
  • Once you understand this, you can write your rules for dealing with reality
  • If we don’t spend time on the cause and effect, we just argue until we’re blue in the face
  • With technology, you can apply these rules all over the world
  • Was surprised (didn’t know) that when USA abandoned USD to Gold peg, thought the market would go lower. It went higher
  • Then learned about money breakdowns and realized that markets go higher
  • Must become a student of history, studies everything that happened in the last 500 years
  • Always write things down, do this diligently. It will help you codify your principals
  • Idea meritocracy = meaningful work/goals + meaningful relationships + radical truthfulness + radical transparency
  • Think differently than the consensus and be right

The biggest takeaway for me is that writing it down is KEY! Ray writes everything down, the good the bad and then reflects on it. Writing it down is one thing, learning from it is completely another thing. That’s the key!

I keep a work journal (Medium toll gate) and been doing it for years, but I’ve never thought about writing down my mistakes and successes and then reflecting on it. I should apply that to all my aspects of personal and work life. Wow, mind expanded. Thanks Ray!

When is it not busy?

Dear Friend,

It’s been a busy year up till now, and that’s ok with me. I closed down my consultancy and joined a new firm in September. I went from being busy to super busy, and that’s ok.

Being busy means that I need to be hyper aware of my time. I need to be on point with work and with my family life. I need to invest my time in people and myself. Time is the only resource that is not renewable. One it’s gone, it’s gone.

Invest your time

There is no bank or mutual fund where you can invest your time in and get more time back. There is no way to stop the flow of time once it’s begun for us at conception. There are ways to capture it, to use it, but it all leads to once place. The future.

The most precious thing you can give any person is your time. As a parent, I spend a lot of my time with my children. I invest my time into them so that they become a better human being than me.

I invest my time with my wife so the I may have a deeper and loving relationship. Building a life with someone and ‘grow old’ with them is a wonderful thing.

I invest my time writing, reading, and tinkering. It is so that I can better myself. A better man. A more informed citizen. I invest my time working so that I may earn a living and prepare for the golden years.

Waste your time

I try not to waste time.

I try not to waste time on useless meetings and frivolous
work. I try not to waste my time on people that are negative and lack compassion.I try not to waste my time getting angry.

I try not to waste my time on things that don’t interest me.

I try not to waste my time, period.

Start today

Why am I spending time thinking about time?

It might be because my mortality is starting to stare me in my face. When I was in my 20’s, my body stayed the same for years. There was no noticeable change from 21 to 22 to 23, and so on.

Once I turned 40 I began to notice a change from year to year. A little more hair loss, an aging face, a bit too much weight around the belly. Add in family and work life, and I felt like time is accelerating.

In my 20’s, there was too much time. In my 40’s, there’s not enough. I’m reminded by the Rush song, “Time Stand Still.”

Summer’s going fast
Nights growing colder
Children growing up
Old friends growing older

Thank you

I want you to think about your time. It’s all you got and it’s not ‘all the time in the world.’

Do you feel the urgency yet?

I hope you do.

Thank you for reading. I hope that I did not waste your time.

London 2018

I’m in London for work and managed to take a few photos walking around this weekend.

London at Night

I managed to meet an old work colleague in London for a few drinks. It was strange but I only knew him for 4 months back 25 years ago, but we hit it off.

Sure Facebook helped reconnect us, but we’re both fathers now and have gotten older and perhaps a bit wiser.

We had several drinks, spoke of politics, life, old friends, and parenthood.

Just before we left he said that it’s quite possible we’d never see each other again. He’s right, we might not.

Nothing is guaranteed in this life. Nothing.

Don’t wait to call your parents.

Don’t wait to say you’re sorry.

Don’t wait to tell that girl or boy you like them.

Don’t wait.

If the opportunity presents itself, you should take it.

A Photography Guide to Shooting Film

This is a rant piece that aims to be somewhat informative, ideally. Right now there are so many “film” shooters selling courses or workshops on how to shoot film. They opine on how much better film is than digital, how it’s purer experience, etc. It just pisses me off and I figured it was high time that I share my 15+ years shooting print and slide film. As a disclaimer, I’m a 90% digital shooter now and I will explain why later in the rant piece.

Digital to Film

Here’s my biggest piece of advice. Start out shooting digital. Just do it. Make you’re mistakes, see them on the screen. Learn about aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and all the other technical things that you’ll need to know as a photographer or hobbyist. It costs a lot of money to buy and develop film (see below), so make your mistakes on digital and don’t repeat them on film!

Shooting Film costs Money

There’s no way around this, if you want to shoot film it’s going to cost you money. You have two big expenses, buying film and developing film. You can argue about storing film in freezers both require a freezer and electricity but let’s not be a wiseass, ok?

My guess is that you’re going to start with 35mm film camera and a roll of film. I suggest starting out with some 400 ISO film to get your feet wet and and a roll of Kodak Gold 400 – 24 exposures is going to cost you $6.49 without tax. That’s $0.27 per frame without development.

Depending on where you go, it could cost you between $11 to $39 to process **and** scan your images. Don’t give me any sass about the scanning part, you’re going to want to share your film photos on social media anyway. I usually get my film processed and scanned here.

Let’s say you go with with the large scans, that’s $19 and puts you back an additional $0.79 per frame. Total cost is *$1.06* everytime you click the shutter. Tired of the lame Kodak Gold film and want to shoot some nice Portra 160 or Ektar 100with 36 exposures? That’ll be $11.28 per roll or $0.31 per frame. Add in the development…you get the picture. It’s $1.10 everytime you press the shutter.

But…but…you need a computer and LightRoom and storage for digital! Right you are but you’ll need the same + plastic sleeves + physical storage if you want to post your masterpieces online.

Film slows me down

Oh shut up with this. You can shoot a roll of film just as fast and get shit. Whether I shoot digital or film, I take my time. Have I shot a lot of fuckups on film, you bet! I have I messed up digital, you bet. Cameras are like a hammer – a tool. An experienced carpenter can build you a house but a rookie can just make holes in drywall. Go as slow or fast as you want, don’t say film is superior because it’s not true.

Film gear is really cheap now!

The majority of it is but because of these Film nuts enthusiasts, really good cameras and lens are pretty darn expensive. I’m a big fan of the Ricoh street cameras and they go for about $500 on ebay now. WOW. I can get a Canon 50d for half that price!

If you really want to shoot film

Buy film in bulk, store it in a freezer, find a good lab that will develop and/or scan your images, OR buy a scanner.

You could always learn how to develop black and white, which makes a lot of sense IMHO. You can cut down your costs that way as well.

End notes TL;dr

Start with digital, make your mistakes and learn from them, then move to film. Save your money from “I love Film” courses. Go out and take pictures.


Dear Friend,

I wrote three (3) out of the ordinary posts on my Machine Learning blog. I wonder if that was a wise thing to do.

I started THIS blog as way to explore what I’ve been feeling lately. To write about things that make me feel alive.

I CREATED this blog as a way compartmentalize my life. To make a professional and personal box.




I can’t compartmentalize my blogs any longer.

I can’t keep them separate. It’s not right.

I can’t be Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

I am both.

I am analytical. I’m empathetic. I’m searching

I can’t compartmentalize my life any longer

What to do?

I don’t know. Maybe I’ll take a break from other blog. I’ve already pulled off any Google Ads.

I gave up making money there. Why?

I already make money. Why do I want more?


Everyone wants more, but more of what?

More money. More fun. More love.


I want contentedness. Peace. Centering.

I want to look out into my backyard and feel magic again.

>when he was six he believed that the moon overhead followed him
> by nine he had deciphered the illusion, trading magic for fact
> no tradebacks… *Pearl Jam*

This life is awesome.

The Donkey

Dear Friend,

I’ve been thinking a lot about the Donkey. The Donkey is like the Monkey but worse. The Donkey is a metaphor, no Donkeys were harmed in the writing of this essay.

Master Foyan

Zen Master Foyan said “In my school there are only two kinds of sickness. One is to go looking for the donkey while riding on the donkey. The other is to be unwilling to dismount once having mounted the donkey.”

The Donkey is you. It is the world.

The Donkey

We all ride on our Donkeys. We all have our attachment to things.






We ride on these Donkeys all our life, sometimes not realizing it.

Sometimes we realize the Donkey but we are too scared or comfortable to dismount the Donkey.

I am a Donkey rider too. I realize I’m on the Donkey, and I want to dismount.

It’s very hard to make the Donkey into a donkey.

I’m becoming a weepy middle aged man

The epiphany at 30,000 feet

Dear Friend,

Men don’t cry. We show no emotion. We have to be tough and unfeeling at all times.


I’m becoming a weepy middle-aged man.

We Measure Our Lives Through our Dogs

I was on a plane, somewhere over the United States at 30,000 feet. I started watching these 8-minute movies like commercials for Yeti coolers.

There was one about duck hunting and a Labrador retriever. It’s the story of a father and his son that would raise Labradors and go duck hunting. They have a dog named Sam.

Sam is getting older and they will retire her soon after she gets her best retrieve. She will then live out her life at home till her time comes.

She was a hard puppy to train, had her own way, tested her masters. She was loved and loved to retrieve.

The story cuts to the son, he’s chasing his daughter.

He can remember what dog he had when he graduated high school, college, got married, had his children. All different dogs.

“We measure our lives through our dogs.”

Her Best Retrieve

Cut to the father. He’s holding a collar.

“I wish they could live forever.” He is a weepy old man.

Sam is cremated and laid to rest. She rests by her favorite blind, where she had her best retrieve.

I cry on my United flight. I’m a weepy middle-aged man.


I was on a flight back from London when I watched the movie Nostalgia. It was generally an ok movie. It tried to convey an understanding of love and loss.

There was one part of the movie that caught me out of nowhere, the sudden death of Tallie.


Tallie is a bright girl about to graduate high school. Her Uncle visits the town to go through the estate of her grandparents. She asks her mother if she can go to the lake with her friends. After a few minutes of artful teenage wrangling, her mother relents. She says goodbye and tells her Uncle it’s good to see him again.

3 AM the Uncle’s phone rings. He is informed by his sister that Tallie was killed in a car accident. A drunk driver drove their car off the road.

It’s something we as parents dread.

That 3 AM phone call. Your child is gone.

Tallie’s mother breaks down. She is not a weepy middle-aged woman. She is a grieving mother.

They are not supposed to die. We are to die first.

I can feel her loss.

I cry on another United flight. I am a weepy middle-aged man.

I am a weepy middle-aged man?

Dear friend. I don’t think I am weepy.

I think weepy is not the right word. It does not get to the core of what I am feeling.

Yes, I am a middle-aged man but I think I’ve become more aware.

Aware of my place in the web of life.

I am a father.

I am a husband.

I am a member of my community.

I am a member of the world.

I feel. I have emotions.

Empathy. Compassion. Love.

It’s all really there.

It’s all really, really, there.

I am not weepy. I can relate to loss.

I can empathize and realize the gravity of loss. The fragility of it all.

I am human.