4/1/21 Power Five

1. Leaf blower Legislation – “Two-stroke gas-powered engines are so exceptionally polluting that they have been banned in almost all applications except lawn equipment. Simplest benchmark: running a leafblower for 30 minutes creates more emissions than driving a F-150 pickup truck 3800 miles.” !!!!

2. The Truth About Newton’s Productive Plague – “Suitably distant from the nearest town, it was where, in near total solitude, he would invent calculus, create the science of motion, unravel gravity, and more. The plague created the conditions in which modern science could be created. Or so the story goes.

3. Effort – “If someone’s much better than you at something, they probably try much harder. You probably underestimate how much harder they try. I’m not saying that talent isn’t a meaningful differentiator, because it certainly is, but I think people generally underestimate how effort needs to be poured into talent in order to develop it. So much of getting good at anything is just pure labor: figuring out how to try and then offering up the hours. If you’re doing it wrong you can do it a thousand times and not produce any particularly interesting results. So you have to make sure you’re trying the right way.

4. The OODA Loop – “Developed by strategist and U.S. Air Force Colonel John Boyd, the OODA Loop is a practical concept designed to function as the foundation of rational thinking in confusing or chaotic situations. “OODA” stands for “Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act.”

5. The Back Office Blunder That Cost Citigroup $500 Million – “What the employees didn’t realize that Tuesday evening was that by failing to check two boxes in the byzantine software Citigroup uses to execute payments, they’d authorized the entire principal on the loan—about $894 million—to be paid to the creditors with the bank’s own money. Wire transfers of that size require the approval of three people, but no one handling the Revlon payment became aware of the mistake until hours after it had been distributed. “Bad news,” the Citigroup manager in Delaware wrote in a Skype chat to his superior the next morning. “Principal out the door when it was supposed to be sent to wash for Revlon structure.”

Justin Wolfers