THOUGHTS ON ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY, SOCIAL JUSTICE & SECURITY
HABITS BECOME DESTINY
Here’s a great quote from one of my all-time favorite leaders, the “Iron Lady” herself. There are other variants to this particular quote, wherein the word “character” was interchanged with the word “values.”
“Watch your thoughts for they become words.
Watch your words for they become actions.
Watch your actions for they become habits.
Watch your habits for they become your character.
And watch your character for it becomes your destiny.
What we think, we become.” (Margaret Thatcher)
It’s going to be the New Year in a few weeks. Many of our friends and readers will pull out last year’s list and recite all the things that they were not able to follow through. If that happens, it was probably because the resolutions were too cumbersome. Simplicity has a beauty all its own. Here’s a great list compiled by the Business Insider about the habits of successful CEO’s. Do not let the title CEO intimidate you in any way. Think of yourself and your life as an important enterprise. For you are, quite literally, the CEO of your own self. So, may we suggest that you not wait until the end of the year to begin a new set of resolutions. Start today.
Six daily habits by successful CEO’s according to Business Insider:
CARD EDGE SORTING
When the case arrived at the High Court of England and Wales, it was already being touted as a Bond thriller. It had a cast of fascinating characters including a Chinese woman who serves as the protagonist’s lucky companion at card games. There were special demands that required exceptions including wearing a lucky hat, a special brand of cards and a particular way of shuffling the cards for luck. There were headphones and eye glasses that appeared normal but elicited suspicion among the casino’s pit bosses. It didn’t help that the muse from the orient who accompanies him to games had been banned from different casinos.
It is widely accepted that odds are disproportionately tilted in favor of casinos. Individuals can take home some winnings, as many have. But over a long period of time spanning several visits, the player often loses. What baffled experts is that that the ten-time winner of the World Series of Poker has been able to win millions from several different casinos.
The case arrived at the High Court in London after Plaintiff Phil Ivey filed action alleging that Defendant Crockfords, one of the oldest casinos in the Mayfair district, had withheld $12.4M in winnings. He had beat the casino resoundingly in a game of punto blanco, a baccarat-like card game. In their defense the casino stated that the plaintiff had been operating a scam by reading cards, in effect, cheating the casino of millions. Justice Sir John Mitting’s inquiry into the matter was simple – Did the plaintiff cheat, or did he not?
The controversy revolved around a technique called “edge sorting.” It is a technique whereby the player tries to identify the value of the card through the imperfections perceptible, if only slightly, on the cards when they are faced down. For instance, in a card deck with diamond-shaped patterns, the card may have subtle variations caused by the ink bleed on the edge of the card. This may be caused by the printing or the cutting of the deck. If the player is able to identify the value of the cards before they are dealt, they can adjust their bets accordingly. Part of the cunning is in discerning whether the card is a high or low number. Mathematically, there is a higher likelihood of being dealt a card with a suit (Jack, Queen & King). Hence, knowing what the next card on the deck is can push the advantage in the direction of the edge sorting player.
The High Court concluded that Phil Ivey had been committing a technique that was not legitimate in the eyes of the law. It also ruled that the casino need not pay Ivey his casino winnings. The plaintiff’s legal team sought permission to appeal but was denied by the court. Whether or not they plan to renew their application directly to the Court of Appeal is not known at the moment.
In reaction to the court’s unfavorable decision, Phil Ivey said:
“As I said in court, it is not my nature to cheat and I would never do anything to risk my reputation. I believe that what we did was a legitimate strategy and we did nothing more than exploit Crockfords’ failures to take proper steps to protect themselves against a player of my ability.”
PILOTED DRIVING CONCEPT
In the days of the early American Pioneers, the push towards the west was a dangerous undertaking. Aside from the elements and wild creatures abound that could wreak havoc upon their lives, there were also hostiles – the gun-touting bandits and bow and arrow packing Indians. They searched the vast lands of the Americas to find a trainable beast that could be commanded to deliver provisions to far places and then return to them for another load, again and again and again. They figured, an animal without a rider would not catch the attention of would-be scalpers and bandana wearing robbers intent on taking their precious belongings. They found that there was no such animal.
That was then. This is now.
On October 19, 2014, Audi AG demonstrated their version of piloted driving concept – a self-driven car. The company selected the Hockenheimring to showcase the capabilities of a specially modified Audi RS7, which negotiated the fabled track at race speeds without any direct driver input. In fact, there was no driver at all. Using satellite-based technologies, a forward-looking camera and pre-loaded algorithms, the car hit unconfirmed speeds of 220km/hr (136MPH) powered by its 560hp engine. The video made available by the company showed the car taking optimum racing lines around the track and hitting braking points at the precise moment.
The future is here.