2nd meaningful vote

I usually avoid writing about politics. I guess this is an exception to the rule.

Yesterday, the Parliament turned down the ‘amended’ deal [I do not think there were significant amendments in the first place.]

Parliamentary democracy works by the people who vote for an individual amongst themselves to represent them and make decisions on their behalf in the Parliament. The assumption here is the elected individual will act in the interest of its people.

But, the people we elect are bound by the same biases like the ones of the electorate and yesterday’s vote showed how terrible the Parliamentarians are at decision making. They are trying to seek certainty when there is none! Life is a game of Poker – incomplete information, half-truths, uncertainty, chance/luck – and not Chess – define rules, objectivity and determined outcome – and our elected leaders are trying to turn Poker into Chess. This is never going to happen. With the deadline approaching, we are just getting ourselves into more trouble and increased uncertainty.

I voted during the referendum – most of the people who have opinions and are vocal have not voted! I voted to remain, I made the decision based on the fact that if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. Also, the alternative campaign To Leave was playing with unsubstantiated claims. It was not playing with the facts. [Remember, I said, the people we elect are bound by the same biases. The Leave campaign proved it.] I have since changed my decision [Scientists do this very often. If the underlying data change, change your thesis. Data is the one that guides the premise, not the other way round.]. After seeing the way EU is treating us at the negotiation table, I would rather be out than stay. I also see it from the EU’s perspective; they do not want to make it easy for members to leave. It will be bad for its existence.

Knowing that leaving the EU was not simple, knowing that in life, there are no certainties; our Parliament should have shown bias towards action, should have tried to move the process to the negotiations step instead of trying to delay the consultation and in favour of getting more certainty.

I am surprised, in this day and age, the Parliament is unable to access its electorate’s judgement. We have real-time voting for talent shows! We do not need to that quick – talent shows need to determine the vote count in hours – we can give ourselves a couple of days. In the 2 years since the start of Article 50, and during meaningful votes, the people should have had numerous votes in an electronic form. I believe, Britain has enough brains and technology to create a system based on NI number and creating Government IDs – there is already a system in place for your tax returns, visa application, etc. People should have had to vote on crucial aspects of Brexit including the 1st meaningful vote. You do not really need the archaic way of paper ballots. It is high time for electronic ballots and a regular check with the electorate on critical reforms.

To sum it, the electorate has sent people to the Parliament who are no better than themselves. And these elected politicians have failed to serve the greater good.

Who is responsible – parents or the Government?

Vaccination is proven science. So it is sad to see when the religious beliefs of parents come to undermine their children’s health. I am sure; this is not intentional. The parents who do not want their children to be vaccinated do care about their children and their well being.

This is a classic case of strong beliefs strongly held. The presence of new evidence does not lead to the parents questioning their religious beliefs. And this is not happening in the so-called ‘a third world country’ this is the US! As the unvaccinated children come in contact with other children when they go to public places (childcare centres or schools), the unvaccinated children put others health at risk.

The question then arises, is the Government allowed to make an informed decision to overrule the religious beliefs and ensure the kids are vaccinated? It is where the greater good and safety of other children – the majority – take precedence over religious beliefs of the few or the minority.

I am for it. As harsh as it may sound, I always let science to change my predisposition.

Being a science student, I will always put science before religion. I do not see the reason to keep hold of a belief which is disapproved by new data. Just does not make any sense to me. It makes my earlier decision uninformed and that I made a mistake, but so what? My previous position does not make me any less as an individual. I erred, I made a bad judgement call. Now that I know the new data and understand it, I changed my point of view.

Other may not be this pragmatic and not hold strong beliefs loosely, which is sad indeed.

Qauntity or quality?

In life, personal or professional, one needs to make a choice. Are you going to run for the quantity or you will go slow and steady but will not compromise quality? You can always strike a delicate balance, but otherwise, these two are mutually exclusive. You can only have one.

Monster featuring its new swipe gesture to apply or to pass job applications.

Above is a screenshot of an email I received from Monster. They are a job portal, and from what it appears they now have a swipe gesture which allows you to swipe to apply for a job or to pass it.

Fair choice. Tinder brought this innovation to life. You swipe pictures left or right to choose a potential date. It’s fun. The question is, does it serve the purpose of finding a partner? I do not know the answer. I found my partner the ‘old’ way — a friend of a friend.

In Monster’s case, if I were the product leader, my focus would be matching the right candidate for the role. And you only need one candidate to fit! You may interview 4-5 candidates, but that is about it. So my focus would be geared towards the quality of the applicants and matching their abilities with what the hiring company is looking for. Gathering as many CVs/applicants as I can never be on the top of my agenda. It is a waste of time for all the parties involved.

It is not about being right or wrong. You need to find your purpose. I share mine all the time on this platform. 😇

It’s always the people.

I saw this quote in our local Costa Coffee.

It is never about the business. It’s always about the people. People driven by purpose. Working together as a team. Profits are always a by product.

If you focus on finding a purpose. Hiring people who align well with your purpose. Have processes that support the people. Then you will have an a rewarding business. A profitable business which is an integral part of the community.

FaceID

Apple’s FaceID is cool. Just as a fingerprint, it scans the contours of your face. Maps it and uses it as your password.

It’s very secured. So much so that the £30 per transaction limit on contactless payments.

FaceID creates a scan/map of the contours of your face; hence, Apple can be sure it’s you; it is intelligent enough to distinguish between a picture and a live face. And as a result, you can pay using Apple Pay without any restrictions.

What surprises me is that FaceID does not work in landscape mode. Sure it is a map; and a map is a map, irrespective of its orientation.

Mental Model – 30 tools to master logic and productivity by Kevin Wagonfoot

Charlie Munger talks about inversion and mental model – an abstraction or simplification of a system. These are the two core tenets to which he credits his wisdom.  I  am yet to read a comprehensive book on inversion, but I stumbled upon this book in one of my booklists on Amazon.

I have been reading on Options a lot lately, as a result, have been unable to post any books that I have read recently. I believe the options post in the future will contain the couple of books I have read and reading as I type.

The Mental Models book is an easy and a short read by Kevin Wagonfoot and gives you a flavour of how mentals models can help us form an informed view about the world.

The book covers themes such as

  • Decision making
  • Dealing with others
  • Explaining and understanding
  • Creativity
  • Reasoning
  • Negotiating
  • Learning
  • Business

The below passage from the book summarises what the book is about.

Each model is a simplified version of some aspect of reality we want to learn more about. Imagine a map, it is a simplified abstract way to understand physical space.  The map isn’t exactly like the land it represents, but it can tell us valuable information area it represents.

The Signs Were There – Tim Steer

This book was an impulse purchase based on Amazon’s recommendation. Amazon’s algorithms know what I am more likely to buy based on my purchase history. And needless to say, the algorithm was spot on.

The book does not disappoint. Most of the books are focused on the American companies whereas this one is focused solely on the UK companies. The book is up to date and features the recent – from an investing time horizon perspective – Carillion. Tim Steer does a splendid job to explain the accounting shenanigans to people with a limited accounting background and build a foundation to read financial statements.

Signs of failure are present provided you know where to look. And this book lists a decent number of symptoms which a prudent investor should be aware of.

Personal highlights

  • Cash is king; everything else is an opinion.
  • Read annual reports back to front.
  • Turning costs in assets by way of intangible assets!
  • Costs which are capitalised are kept out of the income statement and as a results earnings per share goes up.
  • Exceptional costs if the occurs more than once may not be exceptional at all.
  • IPO prospectus has more details than any other document in the future.

A long and informative read about plastic and how it affects our everyday life. This is a sad reality and we need to tackle this problem head-on.

History will remember Prime Minister May in a bad light.

This is a second post on politics. The lack of leadership and indecisiveness is the reason for my thoughts are focused on Politics. These thoughts are kept private, but I deem, when I look back in time, this period will be essential, and my view should be clear.

We are in a mess and it down to one thing and one thing only – lack of leadership, pragmatic approach and saying one thing but doing exactly opposite; Thank you PM May. When you are different groups of people with varying ideologies under one roof, the best way to succeed is finding the middle ground — having strong beliefs that are held loosely. PM May failed to do this. Did not bring different parties under her confidence. Her ‘my way or the high way’ is the reason for this chaos.

My point of view is brilliantly summarised in 16th March 2019 issue of The Economist

It is tempting to blame the EU’s though negotiating stance for the mess. Yet the real culprit was Mrs May’s incompatible goals. She wanted to leave the single market and customs union, to have no hard border in Ireland and to imporse no new barriers between Northern Ireland and the British mainland. But an independent trade policy and open borders are incompatible. Refusal to accept the trade-offs inherent in leaving the EU bedevils the whole process, no matter who is incharge of it.