I seldom read novels; in fact, I almost never read novels. I am too easily disappointed and have found myself underwhelmed by some of the most celebrated titles like Melville‘s “The Moby Dick,” Kurt Vonnegut‘s “Cat’s Cradle,” and even Gabriel Garcia Márquez‘s “One Hundred Years of Solitude.” I hated F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s “The Great Gatsby.” It’s not that any of those novels are bad – it’s just that they’d leave me feeling a bit empty, like I just spent a few hours of my life reading something that didn’t do much in terms of teaching me anything important; they didn’t expand my horizons.Continue reading
Category Archives: Something completely different
Theranos scandal: the six encouraging lessons (part 3 of 3)
This is part 3 of the 3-part series on the Theranos scandal. Part 1 contrasted the standard media narrative about Theranos with a more realistic interpretation of the conspiracy (yes, it was a conspiracy, that’s not disputed – the only question remaining is who was behind it. Part 2 examines the probable agenda that spawned Theranos and connects it to today’s public health events. Here we’ll focus on most important part of this story and the very reason why I believe it’s worth telling. A video report covering all three parts is at this link.Continue reading
Theranos scandal: the REAL story (2/3)
This is part 2 of a 3-part article. In Part 1 I contrasted the standard media narrative of Theranos with an alternative interpretation based on publicly available information. The implausible standard interpretation is that Theranos founder, Elizabeth Holmes herself launched the venture, defrauded everyone involved and kept up the fraud for over 12 years. In this part we’ll take a closer look at this network’s likely agenda with Theranos. A video report that condenses the whole 3-part story is at this link.
POWERS BEHIND THE STAGE
It is far more likely that Holmes was recruited to be the front-woman of Theranos while the project’s real power brokers remained behind the stage. Her real qualifications were her youth, unbridled ambition, lack of any scruples about deceiving her own employees, investors and the public, and her willingness to advance her goals over people’s lives. She also had that sense of her family’s greatness which might have enabled her to set aside all legal and ethical considerations in pursuing her grand mission. Another plus would have been her supposed fluency in Mandarin, since future health challenges were expected to come from China.Continue reading
Theranos scandal: the REAL story (1/3)
This is a rather lengthy article, so I broke it up in three parts. You can also get the full story in a fairly packed and fast-paced 43-min. video report below. Part 2 is here, and Part 3 here.
PART 1: MEDIA NARRATIVE VS. THE REAL STORYContinue reading
Alex Krainer interview: Financial-Expert.co.uk
Recently, my 2016 book, “Mastering Uncertainty in Commodities Trading” received the honor of topping Financial-Expert.co.uk’s list of “The 5 best books on commodities for traders and investors.” I must say, it is gratifying to receive such recognition from people who actually read books.
On the occasion, I gave an interview to Financial Expert’s Simon Oates:Continue reading
No, I did not win the lottery. “100 million” refers to an idea I’ve meant to share for a while now. If you are like me, you may be a bit frustrated seeing the many ways our world could be a better place for us all, if only we took better care of it. We could have less of what we dislike – things like pollution, poverty, lies, wars, alienation and disenfranchisement, and more of things we long for like clean air, clean water, safe streets, kindness, community, family, security, time to connect, to enjoy life and one other… Continue reading
Today I break my rule to only post on my own articles at this blog. The following article by a person who preferred to remain anonymous struck me as such a disturbingly powerful punch in the gut, I decided to post it here amongst my scribblings. A different style, different imagination… stuff that makes the writer in me slightly jelaous… It is a first-person account written fom the viewpoint of Bill Browder, the protagonist of my book “Grand Deception” (which was twice stricken from Amazon by Bill Browder’s lawyers). Here goes:
On Monday, 13th August I received a notice that my book, “Grand Deception” got banned on Amazon (a-gain). At the time I was in Monaco. Two days later I made the planned 800 kilometer drive to Croatia to rejoin my children who were spending their summer vacation at their grandparents’ house. At breakfast next morning I had a chat with my parents about this and that and mentioned that my book was again banned. Later that day I saw some drawings my boys had made, among them this one: Continue reading
The magical power of “I can’t.”
Words can be very powerful – especially the words we tell ourselves. I recently made a startling discovery about this.
One of the things I told myself through life was that I couldn’t draw. I can doodle – make geometric shapes on paper, circles, squares, etc… But I couldn’t draw – this I knew about myself.
One day however, I was unable to tell myself this.
That day my son asked me to draw him something. Hmm… I’m his dad. I can’t tell him that his dad can’t draw. I’m supposed to be the strongest, smartest, most capable man in the world. Tellinig him that I couldn’t draw was out of the question. Continue reading
In 1893 Mahatma Gandhi went to South Africa, expecting to stay there for just a few months. He ended up staying 21 years as he took up the struggle to restore the dignity and rights to a subdued, disarmed, and enslaved Indian community.
During those years, his chief political opponent was General Jan Christian Smuts who, as the Colonial secretary and later the Secretary of the Interior was responsible for implementing some of the repressive laws against the Indians.
When Gandhi finally left South Africa in 1914, Smuts wrote, “The saint has left our shores, I hope forever.”
Years later, an exasperated Winston Churchill asked Smuts – who had meanwhile served two terms as South Africa’s prime minister – why he had not killed Gandhi while he had the chance. Smuts replied, “How could I do this to a man who made sandals for me with his own hands when I imprisoned him.”
In later years, remembering Gandhi Smuts wrote: “… I have worn these sandals for so many summers since then, even though I may feel that I am not worthy to stand in the shoes of so great a man.”
I posted this story a few years ago in my blog, “The Jubilee.” It was related by Niloufer Bhagwat in her article, “The Political Relevance and Global Impact of Mahatma Gandhi.“ I believe it bears relevant lessons to today’s social and political struggles.