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The Detour Is The Path

“In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety.” Abraham Maslow (1908-1970), creator of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.


If you are new to these essays, welcome! My name is Paul. I am a writer and investor. I wrote the book Raising a Thief about being a parent. You may have seen my writing in The Wall Street Journal. For many years I was at Bridgewater Associates, an investment firm. If you read my stuff, you will better understand money and a number of other topics as well. Feedback: I read every note and learn from them all.

The Value of Counting

Today, I want to talk about the value of counting, applied to your own life and China. While the two topics might seem unrelated, they aren’t. In both, the simple act of counting anchors perception.

Detonating Illusions

Human beings easily create illusions that, like Santa Claus, we later grudgingly reassess. This phenomena is particularly obvious in financial markets but shows up in less measurable forms in every sphere of human endeavor. Today’s essay is about a few contemporary illustrations of this timeless theme.