The Digest #171

Published on October 27, 2023

Dear Readers,

This issue of The Digest contains a few articles and podcasts that you might find interesting over the weekend. I’m experimenting with sending out issues more frequently if I happen to accumulate enough interesting links to justify an email.

This week, I wrote an article about American Prometheus, the biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer that provided source material for the blockbuster film that earned $945 million in worldwide ticket sales. I view the surprising popularity of a very long movie on such an arcane topic to be a good sign for American culture. 

I also wrote a brief article about the resumption of Occidental Petroleum purchases by Warren Buffett. Berkshire now owns ~25.8% of Occidental’s common stock. Berkshire Hathaway is likely to report third quarter earnings on November 4 and I plan to send out an article to paid subscribers discussing the key highlights.


Share Cannibals by Conor Mac, October 24, 2023. This is an insightful article about share repurchases and the pitfalls investors should keep in mind when considering companies that routinely buy back shares. (Investment Talk)

We Are All Wet Cement — And Other Lessons from Berkshire Hathaway’s Todd Combs by Kingswell, October 24, 2023. The five most important lessons from Todd Combs’s recent interview on the Art of Investing podcast. (Kingswell)

Ben Graham and the Mother Who Toughened His Shell, October 26, 2023. Thoughts on Ben Graham’s complicated relationship with his mother. This is part of a series of articles written by Ben Graham’s granddaughter. (Beyond Ben Graham)

Risk is What You Don’t See Coming by Ian Cassel, October 25, 2023. “Successful investing isn’t about being right all the time; it’s more about the ability to identify when you are wrong quicker. Look for the first domino. Be prepared for a gut shot.” (MicroCapClub)

The End of the Extremely Online Era by Thomas J Bevan, October 23, 2023. Are we destined to be glued to our screens, doom scrolling away our lives? This is clearly the consensus prediction. This essay is a hopeful counterpoint. (The Commonplace)


Aswath Damodaran — Making Sense of the Market (Part 2), October 23, 2023. 1 hour, 21 minutes. Transcript“Aswath is a Professor of Finance at NYU Stern School of Business and is often referred to as The Dean of Valuation.” (Invest Like the Best)

Match Group: Swipe Right, October 24, 2023. 1 hour, 9 minutes. Transcript. Online dating has lost its stigma and is a huge market opportunity. But the field is crowded and churn is a challenge. This is an insightful discussion. (Business Breakdowns)

Lenny Rachitsky: How This Ex-Airbnb Project Manager Created a Top Newsletter on Substack, October 25, 2023. 1 hour, 33 minutes. Video. The author of Lenny’s Newsletter explains how he built an audience of 500,000+ subscribers. (How I Write)

The Economic Consequences of the Peace, October 26, 2023. 1 hour, 6 minutes. This is a discussion of The Economic Consequences of the Peace, a book written by John Maynard Keynes objecting to elements of the Treaty of Versailles(In Our Time)

Peter Attia on longevity, supplements, protein, fasting, apoB, statins, and more, October 23, 2023. 1 hour, 27 minutes. Show NotesVideo(The Drive)

Late Autumn Day in the Jægersborg Deer Park

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The Digest #171