Unpopular optimisation

As an erstwhile music director and qualified journalist, I recognise that Pandora and Twitter are, respectively, the best radio station and newspaper for me. In previous lives I’ve had to professionally manually compile both music and news for others, in a one-size-fits-most fashion.  Having been paid to perform such duties, I have very little interest in becoming an amateur; instead I’m quite happy to rely on automated solutions to fulfill my needs. It occurs to me, though, that most people don’t appreciate the sweet spot provided by these systems.

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The Rest

Thus I reached the final stage of my month off, where I was actually able to enjoy myself, unperturbed by the necessities of stress removal, problem solving and philosophical pursuits. Part of me still knows how to have a good time, it just takes a few weeks to get there.

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Deep South

I write with some delay, having frankly had better things to do. The novelty is at times overwhelming but addicting nonetheless, and I have comfortably slipped into the routine of alternating between exploring and resting, with little time for deliberate reflection in between.

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Rilassato

It took a week of Italian coastline to do it, but I’m back in equilibrium. Agreeing to go back to Australia at the end of this month is another matter entirely. In any case, my resolve to not work Julys has been strengthened. There’s little in tonight’s cool breeze and endlessly lapping sea to convince me otherwise.

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A boy went back to Napoli

It’s July, so I’ve abandoned civilisation for adventure once again and set off for a month in Italy. I haven’t been here in 10 years and even then it was a Contiki-level assay of the state, which took about three days including at least one day spent getting lost chasing a girl through the countryside outside Venice.

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12 month outlook – March 2016

Cash

Cash remains a reasonable place to park assets for liquidity purposes ahead of further deployment into other asset classes. Other asset classes with positive expected returns are more compelling from an investment perspective.

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Postcard from New York

I’m here for a week or so on a working holiday. My first New York winter is proving academically cold, subzero Celsius but the kind where you don’t feel chilly because you’re wearing six layers of clothing to stave off frostbite or imminent death. The Waldorf Astoria has amenity but is trading a little too heavily on its cachet and is in need of a nip and tuck.

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The year we went to the beach instead

It’s Sunday morning in Sydney, on the first day that hasn’t been raining in as long as I can remember. It’s perfect beach weather, and most people have sufficiently recovered from Christmas to return to some semblance of a normal sabbath. On television, four men in suits are discussing the dilemmas facing Australia’s economy and the commensurate political agenda to be expected for this year given the return of the shouty chamber this week. Suffice to say, I don’t think anyone was paying attention. How can we improve our plight in an environment of indifference?

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What I learnt from my mechanic

Back in the early 2000s I drove a Nissan Exa. It was this fun little underpowered hatchback thing that had roof panels that came out and made you look either cool or ridiculous, depending on who you asked. Anyway they weren’t particularly good cars and mine spent more time in my mechanic’s workshop than on the road. 

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