Diplomacy and Power

Diplomacy and power are not discrete activities. They are linked, though not in the sense that each time negotiations stall, you resort to force. It simply means that the opposite number in a negotiation needs to know there is a breaking point at which you will attempt to impose your will. Otherwise, there will be a deadlock or a diplomatic defeat. That point is dependent on three components: the possession of adequate and relevant power, tactical willingness to deploy it, and a strategic doctrine that disciplines a society’s power with its values.

– Henry Kissinger

Process Integrity and Self-Discipline

When attractive opportunities are plentiful, value investors are able to sift carefully through all the bargains for the ones they find most attractive. When attractive opportunities are scarce, however, investors must exhibit great self-discipline in order to maintain the integrity of the valuation process and limit the price paid. Above all, investors must always avoid swinging at bad pitches.

– Seth Klarman

Note Taking

I’ve never taken notes. I never kept notes when I was a student. I just read what I please when I feel like reading it, and I think what I think when I feel like thinking it. And that’s my system. I don’t think it’s the right system for everybody, but it seems to have worked well enough for me to enable me to get by.

– Charlie Munger

Good Statistics

Useful statistics have two features. First, they are persistent, which means what happens in the present is similar to what happened in the past. If the job you do is predominantly a matter of skill, you can expect to be able to repeat your performance reliably.

Good statistics are also predictive of the goals you seek. Let’s say that we keep track of the percentage of shots that a player makes in a basketball game, and the goal of the team is to score points when playing offense. We see that, all things being equal, the higher percentage of shots a player makes, the more points he produces…This is an obvious case, of course, but not all relationships between cause and effect are as clear.

– Michael Mauboussin