I have seen a lot of technology for the blind, and I can safely say that the iPhone represents the most revolutionary thing to happen to the blind for at least the last ten years. Fifteen or twenty years brings us back to the Braille 'n Speak, which I loved in the same way, so have a hard time choosing the greater. In my more excitable moments, I consider the iPhone as the greatest thing to have ever happened to the blind. The touchpad offers the familiar next/previous motion which the blind need, since speech offers one-dimensional output. Adding the ability to touch anywhere on the screen and hear it adds a whole other dimension, literally. For the first time, the blind can actually get spatial information about something. In the store, mom could say "Try that button" and I could. Blind people know what I mean. How many times has a sighted person said "I see an icon at the top of the screen?" For the first time, that actually means something.
There is no such thing as a canon — what you should read or want to read or will read out of obligation is determined as much by your history, your loves, and your daily reality as by the objective merits of certain works. If anything, the homogeneity of the responses to Freedom proves only the homogeneity we have in people discussing books in the U.S. It would take me, I’m guessing, four days to read Freedom, four short days out of my life. But here I am, refusing out of principle. I might think the book is a work of genius, the book of the century, but I’m willing to risk that loss, because the book I don’t read in place of Freedom might also be that book. I have always been bored by mysteries after I’ve figured out the ending, the who-done-it. The mystery of Freedom is solved: It’s a masterpiece. And so I’m bored.
Did Franzen write the most important book of the century? Of course not. A series of circumstances…put him where he is.
A few lessons are:
1. Compounding works, Compounding works, Compounding works.
2. In a long life of investing there will be ups and downs. You invest when you have money, and you sell when you need money. However if you need money in 2011 Jan that money is in bank fixed deposits or money market mutual funds. If you need money in 2031 that money is in equities. Immaterial of whether the index is 8k, 12k, 24k or 43k. It is just a number.
3. Value, Growth are all confusing words. Either sit and learn about equity markets or do a SIP in a well managed equity fund – Indexing is not working in India. When Prashant Jain, Naren Sankaran, and others underperform the index, we will shift to the index. No hurry now.
4. If you are young REJOICE when the market goes down, if you are 85 REJOICE when the market goes up. When BUYING you want markets to be LOW, when selling you want markets to be HIGH.