How To Stay Curious (#150) | Jim O’Shaughnessy on The Danny Miranda Podcast

Check out The Danny Miranda Podcast episode page

Key Takeaways

  • Technology is an extension of our potential – all the tools you need to start a company are on a smartphone
  • The Great Reshuffle: We have collapsed time, space, and geography – curiosity, technology, and creativity have no boundaries
  • “When there is a modicum of truth, you fall so easily into dogma. Dogma is the death of thought. The death of thought is the death of you” – Jim O’Shaughnessy
    • Claude ShannonThe amount of information humans can take in has limits, when we reach our limits we seek simple explanations
    • Curiosity is the secret to remaining unbiased and fluid with ideas, the antidote to controlling narratives
  • Jim O’ Shaughnessy’s Life Lessons for Curiosity:
    • It’s ignorant to believe that everything we know as truth now cannot one day be false; there’s no progress in tying your ego to your certainty
    • It’s very powerful to understand what you do and don’t want, people will love you more for being you
    • Be persistent and always ask
    • Be aware of your lucky moments and take advantage of them
    • Activity: Take an hour-long walk and simply write down everything that comes to your mind, be aware of your own curiosities
  • Sometimes we forget that America is overall good and generous
    • If your car breaks down on the side of the road someone is probably going to pull over to help out

Intro

  • Jim O’Shaughnessy (@jposhaughnessy) is an author, investor & founder of O’Shaughnessy Asset Management, and is also the host of the Infinite Loops podcast. Jim and Danny discuss life advice for remaining curious in a rapidly changing technical environment and how to survive a war on information.
  • Host: Danny Miranda (@heydannymiranda)

Technological Curiosity Topics

  • Jim is 61 years old but is extremely well-read on technology and fluent on Twitter – check out his profile
  • “Beginner’s mind” – When you come to new subjects in technology, explore purely and negate your bias and comparisons
  • Technology is an extension of our potential – all the tools you need to start a company are on a smartphone
  • The Great Reshuffle – check out Jim’s Podcast Notes on the topic
    • We have collapsed time, space, and geography – curiosity, technology, and creativity have no boundaries
    • Opportunities will expand past societies incontrollable disadvantages
  • Opinion: Biotech could have some massive home runs in the near future

Twitter and Information Danger

  • Twitter is a Schelling Point – a solution that people tend to choose by default in the absence of communication
    • “Twitter is the new university” – Jim O’Shaughnessy
  • Claude ShannonThe amount of information humans can take in has limits, when we reach our limits we seek simple explanations
    • In times of weakness, incorrect narratives and propaganda can spread quickly, as we see on social media
    • We quickly self-identify with this information to assimilate and defend our social media tribe
    • “When there is a modicum of truth, you fall so easily into dogma. Dogma is the death of thought. The death of thought is the death of you” – Jim O’Shaughnessy
    • People need things to believe in, we are too easily tempted to grab the lowest hanging and often incorrect fruit
    • The Bit Player – Movie/Documentary on Claude Shannon. Jim believes he should be as recognized as Einstein.
  • Sometimes we forget that America is overall good and generous
    • If you break down on the side of the road, probably someone is going to pull over to help out
    • The media has monetized the doom narrative that only accurately represents a small fraction of our population

Jim’s Life Lessons for Curiosity

  • Jim sent out 65 proposals for his book and only had two positive responses
    • Invest Like the Best by Jim O’Shaughnessy
    • Be persistent and always ask, the worst thing someone can do is say no
    • Always be comfortable saying ‘I don’t know’ because then you can always ask ‘why’
      • It’s ignorant to believe that everything we know as truth now cannot one day be false, there’s no progress in tying your ego to your certainty
      • It’s very powerful to understand what you do and don’t want, people will love you more for being you
  • In 1999, Jim wrote an article titled The Internet Contrarian which claimed the internet is the biggest bubble ever and even the winners like Amazon would lose 95% of their valuation
    • Ironically, Jim was wrong and founded an internet company called Netfolio
      • Hold your opinions loosely
      • Be aware of your lucky moments and take advantage of them
  • Activity: Take an hour-long walk and simply write down everything that comes to your mind, be aware of your own curiosities
  • Try to unstick yourself from time, you’ll be far more willing to analyze reactions rather than events
    • You can’t control events, you can control your reactions (to an extent)

Jim O’Shaughnessy’s Grandfather’s Story

  • Born in 1885, 13th child in an Irish-Catholic family in Stillwater, Minnesota
  • Jim’s great-grandparents were successful shoemakers and ensured all their children went to college:
    • He and his friends were expelled from St. John’s University for skipping an important prayer service and having a keg party in the woods instead
    • Didn’t tell his parents and sought admission to The University of St. Thomas (in St. Paul)
      • Unknowingly spoke with the president where he confessed he had no excuses and every right to have been kicked out of St. John’s – he was admitted immediately
      • His friends applied first with all the excuses and denied wrongdoings, they were all rejected
        • Honesty can go a long way
  • Jim’s grandfather became an extremely successful oil wildcatter
    • Gave away 95% of his wealth
    • “Money is like manure, if you pile it all in one place it stinks to high heaven, but if you spread it around it is a great fertilizer” – Jim O’Shaughnessy quoting his grandfather
    • Taught Jim that your reputation is who you are
The Danny Miranda Podcast : , , ,
Notes By Drew Waterstreet

More Notes on these topics

Top Insights and Tactics From

31 Best Podcasts of All Time

FREE when you join over 12,000 subscribers to the
Podcast Notes newsletter

No Thanks