Mustachian Videos

One of you suggested I should create a video recommendations section, similar to the books section. So if you find some interesting bite-size videos in the areas of economics, finance, technology, sociology or psychology, then please post it here and hopefully we can discuss them further.

But first, I thought I would share some of my favourite YouTube channels:

  • CaspianReport - reports on geopolitical situation of countries and regions, made in a very serious tone
  • ColdFusion - a peek into the future of tech, and past of largest companies, cool music and video editing
  • Half As Interesting - some random absurdities and peculiarities of the World, in a bit sarcastic tone
  • Joe Scott - a guy talks about science and tech in a very casual and funny way
  • Kurzgesagt - a very cool animated series about science, technology & biology
  • PBS Space Time - a guy goes into detail about most complex topics in physics, not an easy watch
  • PolyMatter - an animated series about tech companies and other random topics
  • The School of Life - psychology, philosophy understanding yourself, mostly animated
  • Tom Scott - cool places and stories from around the World from a very approachable guy
  • VisualPolitik - politics, with slightly annoying music
  • Wendover Productions - some peculiarities from politics and economics, with a focus on aviation
  • What I’ve Learned - guy gets into detail about nutrition and psychology

Thanks for the list! It’s a great idea. If I may add to it, regarding the science bit:

  • Mark Rober - Science with a funny twist from an ex NASA JPL employee
  • SmarterEveryDay - Get smarter with detailed explanation and great examples of how stuff works
  • Veritasium - Fantastic videos about science and technology, explaining complex scientific principles with ease

And if you want to express the Ron Swanson in you by doing things yourself (is there anything more mustachian than this?)

  • I Like To Make stuff - Learn how to… make stuff, with wood and simple electronics, a little bit of metal working
  • Primitive Technology - As in, how to build stuff in the wilderness. Also, very soothing videos (turn on the subtitles for instructions/explanations)
  • Alec Steele - How to make stuff with metal

Fuck you money [pls excuse the language, but that’s what it’s called] by JL Collins:


So here is a video I just finished watching that fits perfectly into our latest discussions.

It’s about how when we read or watch or hear something, we think we got it, but a few hours later we don’t remember much from it. It goes on about how we’re bombarded with data and notifications, and how truly understanding something needs a lot of effort. I really recommend it, because that’s what I’ve been feeling recently. I feel like I’m consuming all this smart content, but then when I try to explain it to a friend, I’m struggling to recall the key points, and I suddenly feel mentally impaired!


Excellent video that explains well one of our contemporary problem : we live in a sea of knowledge, but that doesn’t mean that we understand the world.
The recall technique and the Feynman technique the guy mentions are very good. Another technique I like to use to try to understand and remember a subject or a book is the 5 Why technique.

For instance, if I am reading Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond and I want to explain why human history evolved as it did :

  1. Why did Europeans end up colonizing the new world and not the other way around - for instance Incas colonizing Europe ?
    Because Europeans had Guns, Germs (like smallpox) and Steel and Incas did not. (Smallpox killed hundred times more Incas than Spanish swords)
    2)Why did Europeans had Guns, Germs and Steel and Inca did not?
    Because they had society based on specialization
    3)Why did they have such a society?
    Because they had switched long ago from hunter gatherers to agriculture and animal domestication, that allowed storage of food surplus and specialization of individuals (and european germs came form the animals they had domesticated)
    4)Why did Europeans manage to domesticate animals?
    Because there species available in Eurasia that met the following criterias: being able to breed in captivity (bye bye cheetah), not being picky eaters (bye lions, i don’t want to feed you tons of meat everyday), they must be docile by nature (bye buffalo, american bison, zebra and hippopotamus) and they must reach maturity quickly compared to humans so they can be put to work quickly, and bred quickly as well (bye turtles and elephants).
    Actually not many animals have been domesticated for work/food production : only dogs, sheep, goats, cattle, pigs, horses, camels; all others animals failed one or many criteria.
    5)Why were domesticated animals not available in the New world?
    Because when the first Sapiens arrived in America 11’000 years ago (and in Australia 40’000 years ago), they killed all the big mammals that were living on these territories (these were the first of many human led extinctions)

I should do the same 5 whys technique to explain why some civilizations were able to be farmers to cultivate cereals and not others (at the time the only cereal available was corn in Mexico, that was not suited to grow on other latitudes in America), but you see the picture :

In general, it is my experience that you will not be able to remember the explanation past the third “why”. So this technique helped me understanding what I am reading/seeing.

Another important point mentioned in your video is how modern internet platforms only provide facts without us being able to connect the dots. We don’t want just facts (shallowness), we want to be able to explain them and understand the world (deepness). That’s why :

  • reading a good book on a subject will be one hundred times better than looking at news related to the subject or even blogs, because it will enable you to dig deeper in the principles
  • we need, as advocated by Charlie Munger, a latticework of mental models to be able to quickly and effectively connect facts to how the world works.

And thus, I switched to a low-information diet and used the freed time to read good books instead.
Once again, it is very important to not get trapped into the attention economy.

EDIT: your video mentioned Barbara Oakley there is a very good farnam street podcast with her about learning how to learn.


Great video, @Bojack, thanks for sharing. Hopefully I’ll still remember what it’s about when I finish posting this. :stuck_out_tongue:

I was reminded of something I read in a Wait But Why article:

As we’ve discussed before, knowledge works like a tree. If you try to learn a branch or a leaf of a topic before you have a solid tree trunk foundation of understanding in your head, it won’t work. The branches and leaves will have nothing to stick to, so they’ll fall right out of your head.

I guess that’s why the 5 Why technique works, it forces you to work your way back to the trunk.


JL Collins: “The Simple Path to Wealth” | Talks at Google

Author and financial blogger JL Collins brings his refreshingly unique and approachable take on investing to Google.

The author of “The Simple Path to Wealth: Your Road Map to Financial Independence and a Rich, Free Life”, JL offers easy-to-understand, effective tips and resources to understand investing with confidence.

In this interview with Googler Rachel Smith, JL Collins discusses money and investing, including: how to think about money and investing to build wealth, how to avoid debt, how to simplify the world of 401(k), 403(b), TSP, IRA and Roth accounts, TRFs (Target Retirement Funds), HSAs (Health Savings Accounts) and RMDs (Required Minimum Distributions).

He also talks about what the stock market really is and how it really works, How to invest in a raging bull, or bear, market, and specific investments to implement financial strategies.

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An interesting view on the financial sector.

Some key points:

  1. Economy grows when it produces added value. What is the added value of the financial sector?
  2. At law, there is no such a thing as deposit. You just give the bank a loan.
  3. At law, banks are not lending money, they are in the business of purchasing securities
  4. The banks purchase your loan contract with money they created out of nothing.
  5. In a system, where the banks create as much money as there are goods, there is no inflation.
  6. If this money goes into non-productive activity, you get inflation and bubbles
  7. Solution: ban bank credit for financial transactions. No loans for speculators.
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Burton Malkiel Wrote “A Random Walk Down Wall Street” In ‘73. Have His Views Changed?

Key point:

The thesis that I had suggested in 1973, I believe in even more firmly then when I first wrote it.

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If you don’t have 26 minutes to spare, here’s the summary: “Buy VT”.


I’ll add it to my post :smile:

There are two more talks I will put here, but only after watching them.

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Burton Malkiel & me <3 VT ETF

I’m starting with his book. A lot of pages to read :smile:


Criticism of self-help books by a guy who used to make video summaries of them. Basically he says that most self-help books are written by phonies, self-proclaimed experts, and the books are bloated and repetitive. You could sum it all up on one page, but of course then you couldn’t sell a book…


This guy is posting too much for me, like 2-3 videos every day. On a first look, he seems like your typical “the crash is coming” prophet, who is wrong for years until he’s finally “right”. However, the economic indicators and market news that he presents, are pretty compelling and something that I’ve seen mentioned on this or that page already.

So in this video he presents the UNRATE and U6RATE, which predicted all recessions since WW2.

I’ve been sitting on cash for a while now. And I really don’t know what to do now. Invest, or wait…

Paying attention to this probably is not worth the cost of rising cortisol levels shortening your life.


Where do you guys find time to watch all these videos? All of them could generally be summarized within 3 bullet points which take 10 seconds to read.

For your daily dose of doom and gloom, just read Zerohedge. They post the same graphs almost on a daily basis. All this can easily get on your mind so apply a sane dose of skepticism. Once you learn to read between the lines, Zerohedge is a very useful resource.

I’m also worried about high valuations of US stocks which is why US is probably <25% of my overall portfolio. I chose to buy the most battered markets which is why I invested in Turkey (ITKY) and China (CNYA) last year. This has proven hugely successful.
Starting this year I got some Argentina and Colombia (ARGT, GXG) and in February I bought Nigeria and Pakistan (NGE, PAK). I’m buying some Greece (GREK) this coming Monday.

I also bought single stocks battered by disappointing earnings (GE, BATS, AMS AG). Heck, I even bought some shares of Kraft Heinz (KHC) yesterday …


I watch YouTube videos in my free time to relax. This has been suggested to me by YouTube. I don’t watch all his videos. Just this one I thought was worth sharing. I’m not sure how reading Zerohedge should be less time consuming.

What we’re looking at are some macroeconomic indicators that give us a general feeling about the whole economy. What you’re describing are really details stock picking operations, each of which probably required a long analysis and then tracking for as long as you hold it. Not sure how is this supposed to save time?

I would like to just buy VT and forget about it, but the indicators are really bad. The stock prices can only go up as long as the money keeps being printed. And it cannot go on forever.

Easy. Reading is significantly faster than listening to someone spell the same thing out.

I do it in my free time :smile: and find it highly satisfying. Time saving? Who knows, maybe it will eventually save me years to achieve FIRE.

I expect a short term dip but the money printing is already starting again. For some reason the FED thinks they should end their balance sheet reduction?!

Okay then, more free money for me.