Aggregation of marginal gains

A rant on black tax

  • Redesigned the bike seats to make them more comfortable.
  • Rubbed alcohol on the tyres for better grip.
  • Riders were asked to wear electrically heated overshorts. This maintained ideal muscle temperature while riding.
  • Used biofeedback sensors to monitor how each athlete responded to a particular workout.
  • They tested various fabrics in a wind tunnel and had their outdoor riders switch to indoor racing suits. The indoor racing suits were lighter and more aerodynamic.
  • Tested different types of massage gels to see which one led to the fastest muscle recovery.
  • Hired a surgeon to teach each rider the best way to wash their hands to reduce the chances of catching a cold.
  • Determined the type of pillow and mattress that led to the best night’s sleep for each rider.
  • Painted the inside of the team truck white. This helped them spot little bits of dust that would normally slip by unnoticed but could degrade the performance of the finely tuned bikes.

Here’s how the math works out: if you can get 1 per cent better each day for one year, you’ll end up thirty-seven times better by the time you’re done. Conversely, if you get 1 per cent worse each day for one year, you’ll decline nearly down to zero. What starts as a small win or a minor setback accumulates into something much more. — James Clear.

Which brings me to today’s rant. Yes, today I get to rant.

A rant on black tax

Picture this: You have this relative. A very close relative for that matter. Not those cousin of the cousin of the uncle related through marriage. Nah, blood relative. You have tried to help. By providing monetary support. Enough to start a small sustainable business. You have also supported in other non-monetary ways to the best of your ability. Sometimes to a point of denying yourself luxuries in order to do so.

’Tis well,’ he continued, ‘to assist those that are in trouble, ’tis well to help those upon whom fate has laid a heavy hand. ’Tis well to help those who are starting that they may progress and become valuable citizens. But help must be given wisely, lest, like the farmer’s ass, in our desire to help we but take upon ourselves the burden that belongs to another.

If you desire to help thy friend, do so in a way that will not bring thy friend’s burden upon thyself. — Excerpt from The Richest Man in Babylon.

To help effectively, don’t give money you have budgeted for investment. Don’t give away your future. You are your number one responsibility. But I have to say that this is easier said than done. But we have to learn.



Your voice of reason before you blow all your money this weekend!

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