Links for Thought -- March 23, 2012

It's Friday again, that means it's time for more links for thought!

Jonah Lehrer and the New Science of Creativity (Why We Reason) -- If you read one article from this post, this should probably be it.  It's points are so widely applicable and relevant to everyone.  The post takes is a book review on Jonah Lehrer's new book called Imagine: How Creativity Works and takes look at the creative science behind Bob Dylan plugging.

Please Stop Apologizing (NY Times) -- Bill Maher tells everyone to chill out and stop apologizing. He also proposes that we "make this Sunday the National Day of No Outrage. One day a year when you will not find some tiny thing someone did or said and pretend you can barely continue functioning until they apologize."  Great points from Maher about how hyper-sensitivity has been taken way too far in general, and has simply become a distraction from the real, important questions in life.

The Man Who Broke Atlantic City (The Atlantic) -- Awesome article on Don Johnson, the man who won $6 million playing blackjack in just one night, and over $15 million in a short time.  There are many lessons to take from this article, particularly from an investment perspective.  Any investor should do as Johnson did, and seek to stack the odds in your favor, while those same investors should never do what the casino did in desperately seeking a way to make a buck.  

5 Things that Surprised Me About A Career on Wall Street (Ritholtz) -- As a lawyer turned investor, this really struck a chord with me.  Barry Ritholtz too comes from the same background, and he takes a stab here at some of the real shocks of entering the investment world.  Point #1 in particular should hit EVERYONE on Wall Street real hard, because it is just so damn true: "Surprisingly few people rolled up their sleeves and thought deeply about why things in market are the way the are."

A Stock is a Business (Oddball Stocks) -- This is something I say and will continue to say often, "a stock is a business."  It is not a line on a chart, it is not a spreadsheet of ratios, it is a real, vibrant business.  Oddball Stocks takes a good look here at why that's an important point and how it impacts investment analysis.