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I came across the word “transmogrify” today and wondered if the author first learned it reading Calvin & Hobbes, as I don’t recall ever seeing the word before that. Luckily for us denizens of the 21st Century, we can ask Google’s Ngrams the popularity of a word back a few centuries: Turns out no, the word isn’t new to Calvin & Hobbes. It was used to describe...

Africa’s population patterns

1.4 billion people live in Africa. But that population is far from evenly distributed. The southern edge of the Sahara is clearly visible in West Africa, as is the enormous population in Nigeria. Then over in East Africa it is even denser in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and over into Rwanda around Lake Victoria and Lake Kivu, and yet denser still down in Malawi. See the original post on www...

The Snowball, another Buffett biography

If you want to understand the history of Berkshire Hathaway there are two good books to choose from. Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist by Roger Lowenstein, which I summarized six months ago, or The Snowball by Alice Schroeder, summarized below. The main difference between the two tellings is that Lowenstein focuses more on the Buffett Partnership and then Berkshire Hathaway as a...

Why Not?

Other people, see things and . . . say ‘Why?’ . . . But I dream things that never were– and I say: ‘Why not?’ – George Bernard Shaw This has shown in my 30+ year career repeatedly. Most recently a few months ago, when pondering the “Missing Middle” of capital for startups in general, and SMEs in Africa specifically. Why? Why is it taking so long for...


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