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Who is to blame for inflation?

Hello, Apexians, and welcome to Friday. I am swamped over here in J.D.-land, but I’ve managed to collect three interesting stories for you today. Here they are:

What’s the deal with all those weird wrong-number texts? [Read Max] — “The fact that these scammers never include the pitch in their opening texts makes them seem confusing and mysterious. But the scam itself is an old and obvious one. If you respond (with ‘wrong number’, say) the scammer will attempt to draw you into conversation.” Never respond to a wrong-number text. In fact, I generally block the sending number immediately.

Finding balance between internal and external benchmarks. [Morgan Housel at Collaborative Fund] — “I have no idea how to find the perfect balance between internal and external benchmarks. But I know there’s a strong social pull toward external measures – chasing a path someone else set, whether you enjoy it or not. Social media makes it ten times more powerful. But I also know there’s a strong natural desire for internal measures – being independent, following your quirky habits, and doing what you want, when you want, with whom you want. That’s what people actually want.” This is a great article.

Who is to blame for inflation? [The Big Picture] — “People seem to like simple, binary answers to complex questions. Econ-Twitter will tell you ‘It’s the Fed’s fault; Blame Biden, no, it’s Trump’s fault.’ But the world is a much more complicated place, not easily broken into clear black and white answers — at least, if you value accuracy. Over-simplified faultfinding is more suitable for ideological slogans that fit on bumper stickers than actual economic analysis.”

o wrap things up for the week, here’s an eleven-minute video that explains how primitive building videos are staged. If you’re unfamiliar, there’s a popular genre of YouTube videos in which people build stuff using primitive technology. Apparently many of the most popular channels are blatantly lying about their accomplishments. Take a look:

That said, I’m pleased to see that my fave (and the O.G.) primitive technology channel — Primitive Technology — is completely legit. It’s the folks trying to ride his coattails that are making shit up. (As a bonus, here’s Primitive Technology making bricks. So soothing and fascinating at the same time.)

Jim will be back on Monday to share more great money stories. See you then…