The ​2018 Year in Review

Supported by Greenhaven Road Capital, finding value off the beaten path.

In 2018 we passed 500 posts which is important if you live in a society with base ten numbers. 🎉

But it was a milestone because the podcast I admire most is Russ Roberts’s EconTalk. I don’t listen to every episode and it’s rarely my favorite of the week but Roberts has been professional, thoughtful, and has provided good arguments for a decade! Roberts’s episodes from 2007  include Sunstein, Michael Munger, Cowen, Taleb, Michael Lewis, Dan Pink, Taleb, Kevin Kelly, and Bogle. Multiply that lineup by a decade and you’ll get a partial sum of Russ Roberts’s work. That’s something to aspire to.

ICYMI these were the most popular posts for the year. Surprising to me these were longish ones. We’ve got more of that coming.

Books & Learning. In addition to deep books, we did a book list on China, and in the second month of the year a post on how to read more books. Fittingly, in the second to last month of the year, we did a post on not reading books. There was a warm response to each of these.

Podcasting. The medium matters and what makes a good podcast is still a work in progress. That said, I agree with what people enjoyed listening to. David Ogilvy’s work ‘rules‘, An Attitude of Factfullness, Skimm’d Lessons, and Making it in America were all episodes I enjoyed making and well received. The podcast is available on iTunes, Overcast, or Soundcloud.

Reflections. One. of my favorite books this year was Finn Murphy’s The Long Haul. ‘A Trucker’s Tales of Life on the Road’, is a view of America and the American Dream. One part of being a ‘bed-bugger’, a mover, that appealed to Murphy was the work. He could be proud of the clean trailer in the morning and he could be proud of his full trailer at night. Here’s one part:

“I discovered that moving suited me perfectly becuase I could lose myself inside the work. Many young male neurotics find out early that hard labor is a salve for an overactive mind…Hard work temporarily shut down the constant movie running in my brain that looped around in an endless cacophony of other people’s expectations, obligation, guilt, anger and rebellion.”

For context, Matthew Crawford, who wrote Shop Class as Soul Craft blurbed Murphy’s book. And both get at the shortfall of blogging. In one year there are 100x more readers than all my students in eight semesters of college instruction but the impact is reversed.

College is a deluge. This online thing is a drip. So maybe like compound interest or Wansink’s 500 extra calorie idea, the small steps we take add up to quite a trip.

The physical is easiest to see; I’ve gained/lost weight this year. The financial is next easiest to see; my account has grown/shrunk this year. The intellectual is most difficult; I’ve learned much/some this year. But eventually, after more than a decade of podcasts, the change is there and it’s easy to see. Thanks for reading.

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