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Pepsi Riots, the Hot Hand, and 33 Pieces of Advice

Another of my emerging favorites at Medium talks about the great Pepsi Filipino riots of the early 1990s. Unbelievable story. It's unbelievable because (i) it happened, and (ii) I'd never heard of it.

The gist of the story: Pepsi wanted to close the gap between it and Coke, who held a huge lead in the Phillippines, so it sponsored a $40,000 giveaway. If you bought a bottle with the winning number, you won $40,000. There'd be two winners. A contractor, however, printed the number on 800,000 bottles ($32 billion worth). Pepsi couldn't pay. They reneged. There were riots.

Does the "Hot Hand" exist? For years, the experts have assured us it's merely a myth. Well, it might be a real thing. Great podcast at Econtalk. "Journalist and author Ben Cohen talks about his book, The Hot Hand, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. At times in sports and elsewhere in life, a person seems to be "on fire," playing at an unusually high level. Is this real or an illusion? Cohen takes the listener through the scientific literature on this question and spreads a very wide net to look at the phenomenon of being in the zone outside of sports. Topics include Shakespeare, investing, Stephen Curry, and asylum judges."

Another good piece from Ryan Holiday: 33 Favorite Pieces of Advice. I'd say 25 of them are very good, five are good, and three don't really make sense to me. So he's batting .900. Not bad. Sample:

PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel said, “Competition is for losers.” I loved this the second I heard it. When people compete, somebody loses. So go where you're the only one. Do what only you can do. Run a race with yourself.