I finished Asimov’s Foundation yesterday and I really enjoyed it. I had zero expectations, I knew it was something about sci-fi but that’s all. I have heard from Asimov before but never had the change or interest to read anything from him as sci-fi wasn’t one of my favourite topics in the last years. But I am glad I did. To be honest, I didnt have the feeling that it was sci-fi. It seemed to me that all the issues plotted in the book (that was written in the 40s) belonged our current time. It is a small book and hook you quickly. I am planning to read the rest of the books and see how it goes.

Another thing it impressed me was the amount of books (nearly 500) he wrote in his life based in the intro and wikipedia. He was really focus in his craft!

A Solas

A very good friend recommend me this book. And I actually needed to read something about it. Being alone is normal for me. It is one of the reasons I can do all I want at the end of the day. But still, I am a human being and you need some interaction. The last months have been tough because work, lockdown and my lack of communication skills. But mainly work.

This book has been a reminder from others books I have read from Rafael Santandreu that really changed a lot of thing about me. It was really helpful. It got me to my next stage in life.

But again, sometimes you have to remember why you believe in what you believe. Being alone, being solitary in general is seen as something bad/negative by society directly or indirectly (family, friends, books, movies, music, etc) And then we add our own judgement.

I need to recognize my main reason to be alone is the fear of rejection. Mainly with girls.

But in the last years I learned to love myself as I am, to be happy as I am, to be comfortable as I am, to be content with my life, to be content to be alone.

I have read in many places that if you are not happy with yourself, how you can be happy with somebody else? I truly believe in that.

And once those concepts took hold me, I felt better and even managed to find a girlfriend and live together! Difficult to believe some time ago, but happened. And it happened because I was comfortable being alone, I was enjoying my life. Again, I am not the most sociable person, and I used to punish me for that. But I accepted that is nothing wrong with that, you remove a lot of negative from you. Then you walk lighter.

And this book’s focus in being alone and relationships. And for me it is very clear that I prefer to be alone that in bad company. But I need to make the effort to open up, not being afraid.

So it is a question of balance, extremes are rarely good.

And this is the book all about: find the pleasure being alone, love yourself and whatever comes, it comes.

Stock Operator

This book was recommended by last employer CEO. It is based on the life of a stock trader Jesse Livermore from the early XX century.

One of the first shocking things in the book is in the introduction. This is a book about speculation.

That tells you a lot what was the market before, and what is today.

He made millions trading, lost them, recover, and at the end commit suicide. Still the book has good points for a trader point of view. I will never be a trader, because long term, very few, win.

I like his beginning in the trading world. He was very good at the bucket shops and he was forbidden to trade once he beat the house each time. Like in a casino.

One thing I realised about his trading in bucket shops is, his actions didn’t have impact in the market so it was a very reliable technique. But when he moved to the real market, he struggled. It is like the Schrodinger’s cat, until you dont trade, dont know if the stock is going to go up or down. And the other one, is the execution time. Low latency in those times were via telegraph lines, and they were critical. It is seems Western Union started in that business. If you have to buy many shares, very likely you will not buy all of them at the same price (it will go up, so it will be more expensive for you) and it will take some time. So for that period of execution, you are a bit at the mercy of the “market”.

There are many references to other early grate traders, scandals, crisis, etc. It was interesting how the American Civil War was financed by selling bonds to the European markets and then how during the WWI, all Europe gold came back to USA to finance all the arms needed for the war.

War is business. And then, they tell you is patriotic.

Another curious thing, is the trade of cane sugar. There was so much sugar that it was needed a market for it so it wouldn’t crash… then it was invented our “sugary breakfasts” and the chocolate bars!

At the end, I noticed that the whole trading experience could be repeated in our days without much difference. Maybe without the excess like the Wolf of Wall Stree movie/book.

Our Planet

This week finished a book from David Attenborough. It is impressive how much the population of the planet has increased since he was born (1937) until 2020. Based on the book is from 2.3 billion people to 7.8 billion. And how much the wildnerness has decreased in the same period (from 66% to 35%). Keeping mind we had two WW in XX century…

The first two parts are quite pessimistic with all the damage we have caused. But then he offers option for the present to save the future.

The main focus is recovering wildnerness in the world. We need to move to a more sustainable economy (it is not going to be pretty for the super rich and powerful countries) where growth can’t be the only measure (NZ has done something about it). We need to use less (the richest person is the one who has less needs said my grandmother), reproduce less (hello religions!!!). We need to use clean energy. This is a hard topic. Batteries and solar panels need to be more efficient, cleaner to fabricate and recycle. Most of the components have to be mined…. But yeah, the sun energy is a big deal. How much we can get from deserts?

For Nature itself, recover the oceans with policies to avoid over fishing and let recover the wildnerness. The book give the example of Cabo Pulmo and Palau as examples and the benefits of doing so. Better fishing, more sources of income. Win-Win.

Reduce the farmland footprint and let the forests recover their strength (with all the fauna included). This focus in meat consumption. I dont believe becoming vegan is the solution but eating meat every day is not needed. Our grand parents didnt eat meat everyday, that was a luxury. And not long ago, you had to pay the Church for eating meat (“la bula”) So I strongly believe in eating more green (but not manufactured stuff….). I dont see the point of cutting more trees to grow soy for producing meat-life products instead of raising cows. It seems 60% of farmland is dedicated to only beef, crazy. This is quite connected to the global populations too. Imagine if India were a beef-eating country….

Improve agriculture with regenerative farming. I believe in this, although I feel quite naive and romantic about this subject. It is a dream to have your terrain with several types of fruit trees producing good products every year, depending on the season, having your vegetables growing among them, and bees!. And not using any pesticide. Dream. I am pretty sure the yield wouldnt be very constant but this is built for balance. You have several crops… In a world with less people and not based in extreme-capitalism (surplus surplus!!!!) it would work (I hope)

The book says we are reaching our population peak but I dont believe, because religions dont want that, nationalism dont want that. But this is one of the last shift and I guess more difficult one. Changing/adapting ourselves.

If we allow it, life finds a way, like in they city near Chernobyl. It has been recovered by the forests!

At the end of the day, it is always the same solution. Balance. The virtue is in the middle (it seems Aristotle said that).

This time is not different

I had this book in the pipeline. It is a bit technical but is interesting as it tries to provide data for several centuries about financial crisis. That is quite challenging not just because governments from middle age didn’t have much accountability but even nowadays the authors struggled getting hard number regarding domestic debt.

The book was written about the subprime crises in 2007-8 so that’s the main focus to proof that the event is not that different from other crisis. And it is remarkable how many crisis I have been through since 1980s without really noticing (but my parent sure they noticed…)

The book preface is super direct. The one common theme to most crisis is the excessive debt accumulation (governments, banks, corps, consumers). Even during a boom. So debt-fueled booms are not very healthy. And it was proved during the subprime that the financial markets dont correct themselves.

One of the most interesting points of the whole book is the evolution of default-prone countries (like France and Spain) to “stable” ones. This graduation process is long and hard, and not many pass the exam. As well, there are a lot figures about deb before 1929 crash, post WWII to put thing in perspective.

So it was interesting read mainly for the historic background and our psychological naivety during crisis times. At the end of the day, the economic is a cycle.


MM is one of the few people I read/folllow and his newsletter (and books) is one of the best in my opinion. And today I had a laugh about this week entry. I have never heard about the impact of CO2 with obesity but who knows. The funny part was the theory about the “world peace period” is mainly chased by the big corporations (McDonalds, Dell, etc) because war doesnt make profit for them. In one side, makes sense, USA-China are like a old married couple, standard war is not profitable. Just do it somewhere else.


I wanted to read this book for some time. It became a hit in its time and there was a movie. But to be honest I wasn’t sure what was about. So finally managed to get a copy and read it. I was surprise that it was a comic novel but really enjoyed.

I read it quite fast, it was engaging and when you finished, you wanted more.

But it clearly made me think. How was Iran before, during and after the revolution. What a curse can be the oil. How shit we are the western nations. How shit we are human beings. How the author had to go through so many different stages in life to find herself, find the connection, find your belonging.

And, as many times tell myself, how lucky like I am, although some times struggle with it.

There is a point in the book, when the Irak-Kuwait war in the 90s triggered a panic in Europe, like it was the end of the world (like with covid lately) and Marjane parents laugh at it because the war was so far from Europe and they have already went through several years of war.


I wrote an entry based on a blog from Seth Godin some months ago. I was curious about the guy and I subscribed to his blog and bought one of his books. I finished last night and it as good things.

You can take it as directed to marketing people but you can use it for nearly everything. At the end of the day, it is not talent. It is practice and attitude. This is a concept I have read in different ways from several books like flow, midset, etc. And with practice, at the end, the result takes care by itself. You focus in the practice. You have your goal, you know why you are doing it. You can’t guarantee the result, dont worry about it. Just put yourself in the hook. You can’t please everybody, know for whom you are doing it. Trust yourself, you dont need external validation (MBA, CCIE, etc)

If you take this from the bright side, it is great, you can achieve most things in life with dedication. You dont have to born with the skill, wait for the muse, have the holy inspiration. You can be the tortoise and still win a race. And, it is a stop to the excuse of “I am not smart”, “I am not beautiful”, etc. So, turn up, start moving, do the job, dont overthink it, dont wait for the inspiration. Simply, repeat. There are things we can control, and others not.

In part of the book, I wondered, how all this fit with the concept “work-hard”, “work long hours”, “work-life balance”. Sometimes got the feeling that all this denies to have “a life”. It is great to enjoy your job, it is so important for social, financial and psychological reasons. But does it have to be ALL?

Learning and education is not the same. Learning is voluntary, it can be ugly as it requires some tension and discomfort. If you get something done without effort, you dont enjoy it. Here personally, as per “flow”, it has a manageable difficulty, something that makes you grow. Drop by drop you fill the bucket. I dont need everything now.

Something that I liked a lot: “Play to play, not to win.”

Scarcity and creativity: Actually everything is out there and there is plenty, it is up to grabs. Determination (your practice) is what you need. This plays with the concept of “The fear of falling behind”. It is something the current society makes a believe: extreme capitalism, social media, etc.

it is a good book, you can take positive things from it.


I fancied something light to read. Oh, how enjoyed those memories when I wished to be an archaeologist like Indy. It was like watching the movie again. I didnt care I knew every twist. It brought me some smiles. Pity I devoured it so fast. Will get to the last one at some point.


I had this book in the pipeline after reading “mindset”. I dont know but some part of me always think that I am going to find my universal solution in a book. The good thing, the other part knows that is not possible. We are happy at the end. My goal is to reach a stable state of “contentment” and resilience enough to weather anything found throw life. Contentment is enjoying (different from pleasure) what I do: working, cooking, reading, sport, etc. In balance. The books explain the search for happiness in our world. How the materialistic approach doesnt work and why and how some people reach it. You need a challenge, effort, instructions, goals, feedback, etc. One quite important thing is the challenge has to be possible with our skills. So we can improve our skills and grow. If it is too much, you may not even try and if you try, you will fell worse. This is very important in the work environment where all of us spent most of our time. How would be your life if you enjoy your work? I have reached a point, that enjoying is the most important point. And yes, money is important, but is not all. It is a balance. But not all is work, so finding meaning outside work is important too. So as the author says, the goal is to have a “flow” life. There is no work-life, family-life. There is just one life. And we need to find the way to enjoy our work (life)

I was quite surprised with the section about “The Waste of Free Time”, just two pages, but hit me hard. How eager we are for having free time but then we dont use it properly. It is mainly for the entertainment industry benefit.

“The future will belong not only to the educated, but to who is educated to use her/his leisure wisely”.

Another section very close to me is “Solitude”. It remind me to a Rafael Santandreu book. In a society/world where everything has to be connected. To be alone, looks like a recipe for disaster. But it doesnt have to be that way. I am in that path. For that I think it is very important to put order in your mind, and avoid “chaos”. Again, it is putting your goals, getting feedback, instructions, etc. It is your meaning.