As promised, here is the first of what will hopefully become a weekly post sharing the best content I found on the internet the week before. The plan is to share a maximum of five articles (or videos or tweets or podcasts and so on). I may from time-to-time exceed this limit if I am inspired. This is my blog, not secondary school. The main criterion for selecting content is that it has to be something which I felt was worth the time it took for me to engage with it.
With that, here is what we have for this week:
By now I hope you’ve had the time to read former FBI Director James Comey’s written testimony to the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee. If you haven’t, do so now. You will struggle to find better writing anywhere this year. Mr Comey writes wonderfully descriptive passages without wasting words, a stark contrast to how most of us were taught to write in Nigeria. This is a great analysis of that testimony. You will also do well to watch the actual testimony he gave on the Hill. He is concise, clear, and an absolute joy to listen to.
You have to realise that we are all out of our goddam minds in this country. Yes, I am mad. How else do we explain this aptly-named post by Cheta Nwanze about tribalism in the Nigerian Catholic Church. The intrigues and shenanigans put Lagos APC primaries to shame. Things have gotten so heated that the Pope has had to step in and set things straight in Nigeria. And here is a charming letter from some parishioners, addressed to the Catholic Archdiocese of Benin City. Bini people don’t mince their words, read:
Your Lordship, it has become clear that you saw in your appointment as administrator of the Archdiocese, an opportunity to fulfil your life-long ambition of entrenching your tribesmen in the plum offices of the Archdiocese. In plotting and executing this unholy assignment Your Lordship, we are particularly piqued that you resorted to telling lies and deception in order to achieve your desires
This is an article on investing which explains how the journey to an investment outcome can heavily influence how we think about it. Say you have two investors, Femi and Aisha. Femi invests N100,000 and after one year receives N110,000, no drama. Aisha invests N100,000 and 6 months in sees her investment drop to N50,000 (half the original amount). She sticks it out and the investment eventually recovers to end at N110,000 at the end of the year. They both made the same amount of money and neither is better or worse off than the other financially. But I have to think that Femi will be inclined to think that investing is easy while Aisha will tell her people that it is not a beans.
This has many consequences. For instance, it helps to explain why quite a few people prefer investments in property to financial securities such as shares. If you buy a property in Lekki and are taking in rent, no one tells you the daily price of your property, it does not trade. You rest easy in the knowledge that you have some sort of wealth that is ‘growing.’ But if you invest in GT Bank shares there is a veritable tornado of sources telling you how your ‘portfolio’ is doing every second. Small drops in price cause emotional pain while small increases give you a sense of happiness. These two investments are not fundamentally different: You hope that you’ll get growth in your investment amount and some income (for property that is rent, for shares, dividends). But the experience of owning these two investments is night and day. [There are things like liquidity which make them different, but please ignore these for now.]
Here is an interesting secret document from the British Colonial Office during the time of the Willink Commission (a commission which was setup to consider the issue of the minorities in the soon-to-be independent nation of Nigeria). The minority issue is becoming more relevant given the growing agitation for greater independence from Abuja. It is a short document and an interesting look into how so many of the issues of today were anticipated as far back as 1950s.
This is a thread about the absurdity of men policing the dressing of women because they (men) are unable to control themselves. Here is a passage which kinda summarises the WTFishness of this whole business:
I think you should wear something else, because seeing your skin makes me feel aroused. And that arousal is strong and I haven’t learned how to appropriately manage it. So please change your clothes.
To borrow the words of the author, this is completely BONKERS!
Have a great week.