Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Dorsey Ouster Was DNA Damage At Twitter

One can argue the service never really recovered from it. There is just something to the Founder CEO.




Gigabit WiFi: Aereo: Starry: Chet Kanojia

Aereo founder takes on ISPs with millimeter wave wireless internet

Starry aims to deliver broadband-level wireless internet to your home with tech used by the military.
Aereo dared to take on the broadcast industry by streaming over-the-air TV channels on the internet -- that is, until the Supreme Court ruled that its technology was illegal. Now that company's founder, Chet Kanojia, is taking on yet another established industry: Internet service providers. Today at a New York City launch event he unveiled Starry, the first consumer company to use millimeter wave technology to deliver wireless internet access. Up until now, that's been a technology mainly used by the military for radar and other purposes. .......

Kanojia claims Starry's network, which runs in the 38Ghz unlicensed wireless band, will be able to deliver gigabit speeds to homes wirelessly for far less than traditional broadband. There also won't be any data caps.

........ 70 percent of Americans have no choice when it comes to their home ISP, while 20 percent don't have any access to broadband at all. ...... The underlying technology behind Starry isn't new -- the military has been using it for decades -- but it's never been used for a widespread consumer product before. Starry has the potential to be as groundbreaking as Aereo, I'm just hoping it sticks around longer.




The founder of Aereo is promising to bring gigabit internet to every home
as it attempts to leverage unlicensed bands of spectrum. ...... Kanojia wants to deliver extremely high-speed internet over the air using millimeter waves, which don't travel very far and aren't very good at penetrating obstacles — not even water in the air. ........ Starry will need to set up broadcast points in very close proximity to its customers or use some sort of mesh technology to improve its reach. ...... "What are millimeter waves you ask? It’s a little bit like witchcraft," Kanojia says. The company keeps repeating a dense list of technologies — OFDM modulation, MU-MIMO, active phased array — which apparently add up to a solution. Kanojia acknowledges that no one has attempted internet delivery over millimeter waves before because it's difficult to get a connection from outside to inside of a house. But Starry has supposedly figured out a way to "steer" the signal using a bank of tiny antennas that increase the connection's power and accuracy. "People historically assumed fiber was the answer at all times," Kanojia says. Starry's approach, he claims, is "the most meaningful, scalable architecture anyone has proposed to this point." ........ it's difficult for new competitors to enter the space. Laying wires is expensive, as is launching a more traditional wireless network, so Kanojia is once again in charge of a company taking an unconventional approach in an attempt to quickly enter and disrupt an established market. ...... Millimeter wave won’t go through a window
























What is Starry? An Internet service and router unlike anything else

Super high-speed Internet can be beamed to your home with millimeter waves. Bridget Carey explains Starry and its helpful (but pricey) Wi-Fi hub. Also: Facebook is ending the Like as we know it.
The same technology that scans through your clothes at the airport can bring you Internet service.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Inequality

Twitter Board Diversity
How Do You Explain This? Brain Power?
Big Sitting Cash
Paul Graham's Social Essay
The Bernie Fuss
Taxation And Political Innovation To Less Inequality
The Planet? Or The Republican Party?

I believe Bill Gates has a pretty good program. He is getting billionaires to voluntarily give away money and prevent revolution. That is a great way to protect members of one's class.

On Bernie, I am just trying to understand what the guy is up to.







Economic Inequality
Since the 1970s, economic inequality in the US has increased dramatically. And in particular, the rich have gotten a lot richer. ....... by definition, if a startup succeeds its founders become rich. Which means by helping startup founders I've been helping to increase economic inequality. If economic inequality is bad and should be decreased, I shouldn't be helping founders. No one should be. ........ How can economic inequality not be bad? Surely it's bad that some people are born practically locked into poverty, while at the other extreme fund managers exploit loopholes to cut their income taxes in half. ...... economic inequality is not just one thing. It consists of some things that are very bad, like kids with no chance of reaching their potential, and others that are good, like Larry Page and Sergey Brin starting the company you use to find things online. ........ if you actually want to fix the bad aspects of it—you have to tease apart the components. And yet the trend in nearly everything written about the subject is to do the opposite: to squash together all the aspects of economic inequality as if it were a single phenomenon. ....... critical aspects of inequality, like the role of technology in wealth creation ......

the pie fallacy: that the rich get rich by taking money from the poor.

...... multiple ways people become poor, and multiple ways people become rich ....... Before Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook, his default expectation was that he'd end up working at Microsoft. The reason he and most other startup founders are richer than they would have been in the mid 20th century is not because of some right turn the country took during the Reagan administration, but because

progress in technology has made it much easier to start a new company that grows fast.

.......... there are a lot of people who get rich through rent-seeking of various forms, and a lot who get rich by playing games that though not crooked are zero-sum, there are also

a significant number who get rich by creating wealth

......... variation in productivity is accelerating.

The rate at which individuals can create wealth depends on the technology available to them, and that grows exponentially.

The other reason creating wealth is such a tenacious source of inequality is that it can expand to accommodate a lot of people. .......... as long as you leave open the option of getting rich by creating wealth, people who want to get rich will do that instead. ....... Most people who get rich tend to be fairly driven. ....... determination is the main factor in the success of a startup ...... a lot of the new startups would create new technology that further accelerated variation in productivity. ....... Variation in productivity is far from the only source of economic inequality, but it is the irreducible core of it, in the sense that you'll have that left when you eliminate all other sources. ....... Startups are almost entirely a product of this period. And even within the startup world, there has been a qualitative change in the last 10 years. Technology has decreased the cost of starting a startup so much that founders now have the upper hand over investors. Founders get less diluted, and it is now common for them to retain board control as well. ........

The acceleration of productivity we see in Silicon Valley has been happening for thousands of years. If you look at the history of stone tools, technology was already accelerating in the Mesolithic.

....... The evolution of technology is one of the most powerful forces in history. ...... an exponential curve that has been operating for thousands of years, I'll bet on the curve. Ignoring any trend that has been operating for thousands of years is dangerous. But exponential growth especially tends to bite you. ....... And to get rich now you don't have to buy politicians the way railroad or oil magnates did. The great concentrations of wealth I see around me in Silicon Valley don't seem to be destroying democracy. ....... a good number are merely being sloppy by speaking of decreasing economic inequality when what they mean is decreasing poverty. ...... Closely related to poverty is lack of social mobility. I've seen this myself: you don't have to grow up rich or even upper middle class to get rich as a startup founder, but

few successful founders grew up desperately poor.

....... There is an enormous difference in wealth between the household Larry Page grew up in and that of a successful startup founder, but that didn't prevent him from joining their ranks. It's not economic inequality per se that's blocking social mobility, but

some specific combination of things that go wrong when kids grow up sufficiently poor.

........... let's attack poverty, and if necessary damage wealth in the process. That's much more likely to work than attacking wealth in the hope that you will thereby fix poverty ....... if there are people getting rich by tricking consumers or lobbying the government for anti-competitive regulations or tax loopholes, then let's stop them. Not because it's causing economic inequality, but because it's stealing
What Paul Graham Is Missing About Inequality
It is good that Paul is wrestling with the question of income inequality, as Silicon Valley as a whole should be. ..... We have to understand what’s wrong with the world as it is, because only then can we envision the world we want to create, and think about how to get there. ....... we need to take a closer look at how one of Silicon Valley’s most treasured tools for creating wealth for employees — the stock option — has played an unexpected role in increasing income inequality. ...... even Thomas Piketty argues that

increased productivity and better diffusion of knowledge create more wealth for society and are among the forces that reduce income inequality.

........ on average, one group of people is becoming significantly richer, while another is becoming significantly poorer ...... the growth of the financial industry is central to the inequality discussion. ..... Financial markets have been extracting a larger and larger slice of the entire economy. ...... Around the turn of the century, financial markets provided capital to business and consumers at a cost of about 2% of the total economy. By 2013, that cost was up to 9%! (By contrast, the entire internet sector is about 5% of GDP!) ......  the size of the financial sector has increased at the same time as the role it plays in financing innovation and productive investment has decreased! ......

I think you have to ask yourself how much this “financialization of the economy” is also a major contributor to the Silicon Valley wealth that you celebrate in this piece.

........ Google increased US economic activity in 2014 by $131 billion dollars. That means that value created for other businesses in 2014 was more than double Google’s own $61 billion in annual 2014 revenue. (Note that the value creation number from Varian’s study is US only, while the revenue figure is worldwide.) Given that Larry and Sergey founded Google in 1998, you can count the cumulative economic impact in the trillions of dollars. And the consumer surplus provided by free access to vast amounts of online information has to be far larger. .......... As long as the startup creates more value for society than it takes out for itself, it can actually decrease inequality, rather than increasing it. ....... those services did indeed result in increased revenues for those 1.8 million Google business customers. As for the users of the Google search engine, we also participated in an exchange of real value, receiving free search services, navigation, office applications, and much more, in exchange for clicking on some of the advertisements that those paying Google customers placed via the service. ........

Financial markets are very different than the market of goods and services

....... The price of a stock is fundamentally a bet on the future. ...... When a company fails to deliver value that lives up to that bet, but still cashes in through IPO or acquisition, the wealth that is gained by startup founders and early investors is taken from public market investors. This is a risk that both sides of the bet willingly take, and it has provided enormous fuel for innovation as it encourages innovators to take risks in hope of future rewards. But in over-excited markets, it’s too easy for many startups to aim to cash out with “dumb money” while the getting is good with no real plan for ever delivering real revenues or profits. ......... As it turns out, the value that Larry, Sergey, and other early insiders have realized from Google through financial markets roughly matches the share of Google’s profits they could have claimed as owners of a private company. But that isn’t always the case. ....... financial markets have increasingly gone from being a source of capital for companies to a kind of giant betting pool, in which winning and losing is much less correlated with underlying economic activity. ...... In an economy where financial instruments are increasingly unmoored from the real market of goods and services and profits derived from those services, it’s possible for many people to reap rewards that weren’t actually earned. I’m not just talking about bubble-inflated stock-based compensation that has made many people in Silicon Valley so rich, or the excesses of Wall Street banks which nearly wrecked the economy in 2008, but the entire structure of executive compensation. .........

stock options, which have paid such a large role in Silicon Valley wealth, have been misused, and have become a key part of the problem of income inequality.

...... in 75% of VC-backed start-ups, the entrepreneur gets zero. If becoming rich in Graham’s world means making $100 million (pre-tax), then 0.4% of entrepreneurs make the grade. .......... It reached the destructive extreme when the CEOs of banks, whose liabilities are guaranteed by taxpayers, began getting most of their compensation in options. ..... “Starting in the 1970s and accelerating in the 1980s, most CEOs and other top executives began to receive the bulk of their compensation in stock options, rather than as ordinary income. And in 1993, a well-intentioned law pushed by President Clinton limited the ordinary income that could be paid to top management, with the unintended consequence that even more of the compensation moved to stock options. The intention was to align the interests of management with the interests of shareholders, but is often the case, those good intentions were derailed by poor implementation. ......... Congress allowed a huge loophole in the accounting treatment of stock options — unlike ordinary income paid to employees, value paid through options need not be charged against company earnings. It is thus a kind of “free money” for companies, invisibly paid for by dilution of public market shareholders (of whom a large percentage are pension funds and other institutional shareholders representing ordinary people) rather than out of the profits of the company. As a result, executive compensation soared, to the point that

in one outrageous 1999 case, the CEO of retailer Abercrombie and Fitch received $120 million in option pay (not charged to the P&L), while in the same year, the company had only $150 million in earnings

........... Meanwhile, there is an incentive to cut income for ordinary workers, because that still shows as an expense on the P&L. Cutting wages drives up net income and thus the price of the stock in which executives are increasingly paid. ....... there are strong incentives for financial maneuvers like stock buybacks, which too often replace productive re-investment in the underlying business ......

the use of stock options and other financial instruments led to a widening gap between the pay of executives and ordinary workers. In the 1960s, CEO pay was 20x that of the average worker. Now, it is 300x that of the average worker. This is a major driver of inequality.

...... Silicon Valley companies are actually better than many other companies, because they offer options to virtually every employee, but even there, those options are overwhelmingly weighted towards top management, with each lower rank of workers typically receiving a full order of magnitude less in value. ....... In the case of companies like Walmart and Amazon, productivity gains may also be given to consumers in the form of lower prices, as a way to expand the market share of a business. Or in the case of Google and Facebook, given to consumers as free services, paid for by advertisers. ......

we have forgotten the hard fought lessons of the 20th century, that workers are also customers, and that unless they receive a fair share of the proceeds, they will one day be unable to afford our products.

...... when we saw that many members of society were no longer able to afford the products our companies have on offer, we encouraged workers to borrow money at high credit card interest rates so that they could maintain the illusion of middle class wages, and even encouraged them to take on student debt so that they could retrain themselves for the jobs of the future that we were busy stripping away. And of course, when the government stepped in with a safety net to support those who could no longer afford even the bare necessities of life, businesses gratefully accepted the economic boost from their spending of government benefits, but claimed that those we no longer paid enough to live without that assistance were freeloaders. ........ the way that we allocate profits from increased productivity to top managers versus ordinary workers, or the way that our tax system favors capital gains over income earned by labor ..... You have to ask yourself, though, whether a Silicon Valley startup is more like the woodworker who made five chairs, or more like the high frequency trader. It’s clear that many startups are like the woodworker, but in bubble times like these, there are a lot of startups that are more like the high frequency trader. ...... we’ve figured out how to have machines make many of the products that we used to pay people to make. And we’ve figured out how get people on the other side of the world, in countries that are much poorer than ours, to accept much lower wages and much worse working conditions as a way to increase the profits of our businesses. ....... Doing this has actually increased the wealth of people in those other countries — income inequality has decreased worldwide, with fewer and fewer people living in abject poverty, and hundreds of millions of others beginning to enter the middle class. But in formerly rich countries, many people who used to be paid well for their work now have to compete for lower-paid jobs, while those who already own meaningful capital take a larger and larger share of the pie. .......... All it takes to increase income inequality is for there to be more companies practicing the “degenerate case” than practicing the virtuous kind of capitalism that creates more value than it extracts. ........ If you couldn’t successfully analyze a situation with statistics, half of the internet startups you celebrate wouldn’t exist! ..... If you’d spent as much time talking to people who work at today’s low-wage jobs, you might have a very different perspective. ....... you underestimate the increased role of financial markets in how entrepreneurs are compensated, so that even many companies without real profits can reap enormous stock gains. You have to realize that Zuck, like Larry and Sergey, is an outlier, in that he created an extraordinarily profitable business. .......

When a startup doesn’t have an underlying business model that will eventually produce real revenues and profits, and the only way for its founders to get rich is to sell to another company or to investors, you have to ask yourself whether that startup is really just a financial instrument, not that dissimilar to the CDOs of the 2008 financial crisis — a way of extracting value from the economy without actually creating it.

...... I call today’s economy “The WTF Economy.” It fills us with wonder, and it fills us with dismay. I’ve been working hard to understand what we need to change if we want to create a Next Economy that will preserve the wonders of innovation but also addresses the dark futures that we face unless we put people first. Let’s work together to harness the power of technology to decrease income inequality rather than increase it! 

WTF?
 the entire internet economy, which does not all belong to startups, is 3.4% of GDP





Paul Graham “Clarifies” Again.
The median US household net worth is about $80k. ...... It’s common for the stock of a successful startup founder to be worth a hundred times as much, and not unheard of for it to be worth ten thousand times as much. ..................... To continue with my global warming analogy, no one gives a damn about one or two fires. Or even a thousand. They care about the planet’s temperature. ...... the aggregate measurement of “economic inequality” is no more influenced by wealth of any individual tech millionaire — even Bill Gates — than global warming is by one really, really hot fire somewhere. .....  a fire is a lot hotter than the much more ample air around it — not that that thing influences the planet’s temperature as a whole. ...... The successful ones do well. It is completely, radically, insanely uncommon for any tech founder’s stock to be worth a hundred times as much. The successful ones are, yes, successful. Most of them are not. Just like every other job. ...... Maybe you think Tech is good, and therefore tech millionaires are A-OK in your book (I would agree with you). ...... On the Forbes 400 richest people in the US list — the very one Graham mentioned: thirteen percent of the richest people (53) in America made their money in tech. The share of people who made their money via investments (aka hedge funds and the like), by comparison, is 24%. .......

those tech billionaires on the Forbes 400 control $515 billion between them. The top 1% of the United States controls just shy of twenty eight trillion dollars.

The Forbes 400 as a whole controls around $4 trillion. ....... There aren’t enough tech millionaires out there to make much of a dent in economic inequality. .......

How many millionaires has tech made? A million? Not even close. How many millionaires are in the United States? More than six million (and I am using the conservative definition, which excludes primary residences).

....... You know how many millionaires there are in California? 777,000. But most of these aren’t tech millionaires. Los Angeles, being the 14th largest population of millionaires in the world, has 126,000 of them. San Francisco doesn’t even make the list. ........

The startup world could triple the number of millionaires it has made, and it would still be a drop in the bucket when it comes to economic inequality.

....... Microsoft made 12,000 millionaires. Google made 1,000. Facebook made 1,000 (to be fair,they’ve probably made one or two thousand more since their stock is killing it). Twitter made 1,600. Atlassian has made 100. I worked at a unicorn. It sold for a billion plus. I’d be shocked if it made more than 20. ........ Wonder where all that money went. Oh right. The VCs. And the 2 or 3 co-founders. ......

Every single person on that Forbes 400 list from tech was a founder, co-founder or a VC. Not a single early employee among them.

...... San Francisco isn’t in the top 20 cities on earth for millionaires. Or multi-millionaires. But you know what list it is on? Billionaires. San Francisco on its own, ignoring the rest of Silicon Valley, ranks #16 in the world for billionaires. ....... Tech startups are great, sure. But they have nothing to do with economic inequality. The funding structures of startups do. ............. The more you think about it, the more you realize that Paul Graham is trying to claim that startups are essential to our society (agreed) and the only way people will build startups is if we do it exactly as we do right now, and the top three people in a startup can get super super rich, like global elite rich, and everyone else in the company doesn’t. ....... It seems to me that people will still start just as many startups with less economic inequality in the world, just like they have in the past. ....... how upset the 99% of the Bay area would be if tech IPOs still made the number of millionaires as they did with Microsoft.
Tech Startup Equity Distribution


We need to, or voters and politicians need to, think of political innovation, and policy innovation the same way we think of technological innovation. What was 1776? Was that like launching Windows? What was it? Why did innovation stop at launching Windows? And who is responsible?

My Five Trillion Dollar Plan To Reduce Income Equality
  • Put one trillion into solar.
  • Put one trillion into physical infrastructure: roads, bridges, drones for broadband, schools, hospitals.
  • Put one trillion into microfinance for people who can not offer collateral. Collateral is stupid.
  • Put another trillion into solar.
  • Give one trillion to a world government. On 1% interest. Do the Bond thing. Money is growing. Why are you complaining? 
I feel bad about snatching money away from rich people. I guess I am not Che. But what is so obvious to me is, money should not sit. Money should work. Labor can sit, but not money. The market should attack the problem. There should be a company looking at the sitting trillions and saying, let me put that into bullet trains across Africa, and you get a 10% return for 100 years. 10 is more than zero.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Twitter Board Diversity





Zuck, Free Basics, India
FourSquare: What Has Become Of You
















How Diversity Makes Us Smarter

Being around people who are different from us makes us more creative, more diligent and harder-working
Decades of research by organizational scientists, psychologists, sociologists, economists and demographers show that socially diverse groups (that is, those with a diversity of race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation) are more innovative than homogeneous groups. ...... It seems obvious that a group of people with diverse individual expertise would be better than a homogeneous group at solving complex, nonroutine problems. It is less obvious that social diversity should work in the same way—yet the science shows that it does. ...... This is not only because people with different backgrounds bring new information. Simply interacting with individuals who are different forces group members to prepare better, to anticipate alternative viewpoints and to expect that reaching consensus will take effort............. The first thing to acknowledge about diversity is that it can be difficult. ....... you would not think of building a new car without engineers, designers and quality-control experts—but what about social diversity? What good comes from diversity of race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation? Research has shown that social diversity in a group can cause discomfort, rougher interactions, a lack of trust, greater perceived interpersonal conflict, lower communication, less cohesion, more concern about disrespect, and other problems. So what is the upside? ........ The fact is that if you want to build teams or organizations capable of innovating, you need diversity. ..... Diversity can improve the bottom line of companies and lead to unfettered discoveries and breakthrough innovations. Even simply being exposed to diversity can change the way you think. This is not just wishful thinking: it is the conclusion I draw from decades of research from organizational scientists, psychologists, sociologists, economists and demographers. ....... People who are different from one another in race, gender and other dimensions bring unique information and experiences to bear on the task at hand. A male and a female engineer might have perspectives as different from one another as an engineer and a physicist—and that is a good thing. ....... on average, “female representation in top management leads to an increase of $42 million in firm value.” They also measured the firms' “innovation intensity” through the ratio of research and development expenses to assets. They found that companies that prioritized innovation saw greater financial gains when women were part of the top leadership ranks. ........

Racial diversity can deliver the same kinds of benefits.

...... For innovation-focused banks, increases in racial diversity were clearly related to enhanced financial performance. ...... companies with one or more women on the board delivered higher average returns on equity, lower gearing (that is, net debt to equity) and better average growth.
......... Large data-set studies have an obvious limitation: they only show that diversity is correlated with better performance, not that it causes better performance. Research on racial diversity in small groups, however, makes it possible to draw some causal conclusions. Again, the findings are clear: for groups that value innovation and new ideas, diversity helps. ........ The groups with racial diversity significantly outperformed the groups with no racial diversity. Being with similar others leads us to think we all hold the same information and share the same perspective. This perspective, which stopped the all-white groups from effectively processing the information, is what hinders creativity and innovation. ....... When a black person presented a dissenting perspective to a group of whites, the perspective was perceived as more novel and led to broader thinking and consideration of alternatives than when a white person introduced that same dissenting perspective. The lesson: when we hear dissent from someone who is different from us, it provokes more thought than when it comes from someone who looks like us. ......... Democrats who were told that a fellow Democrat disagreed with them prepared less well for the discussion than Democrats who were told that a Republican disagreed with them. Republicans showed the same pattern. When disagreement comes from a socially different person, we are prompted to work harder. Diversity jolts us into cognitive action in ways that homogeneity simply does not. ......... papers written by diverse groups receive more citations and have higher impact factors than papers written by people from the same ethnic group. Moreover, they found that stronger papers were associated with a greater number of author addresses; geographical diversity, and a larger number of references, is a reflection of more intellectual diversity.
......... Diversity is not only about bringing different perspectives to the table. Simply adding social diversity to a group makes people believe that differences of perspective might exist among them and that belief makes people change their behavior. ............

people work harder in diverse environments both cognitively and socially. They might not like it, but the hard work can lead to better outcomes.

........ diverse juries were better at considering case facts, made fewer errors recalling relevant information and displayed a greater openness to discussing the role of race in the case ........ This is how diversity works: by promoting hard work and creativity; by encouraging the consideration of alternatives even before any interpersonal interaction takes place. The pain associated with diversity can be thought of as the pain of exercise. You have to push yourself to grow your muscles.

Twitter Making Second Big Mistake On Jack Dorsey
Brazil On Twitter
Twitter, FourSquare: Mobile Web Thingies
Brazil And Twitter
Twitter Vision
Chris Dixon On Twitter: Not Impressive
Twitter DM: Make It Usable
Twitter Is Massively Complex
Twitter Has To Scale The Signals
Twitter Does The Deed: Ads
TCC: Twitter Community College
Executive Change At Twitter
Twitter Need Get Work Done
Twitter Acquires Tweetie: The Drama
Facebook And Twitter: The Only Two That Count
Twitter Needs To Eat Into Its Ecosystem
Can Tweet Google, Can't Tweet Twitter
Google Should Get The Twitter Firehose
Monetizing Twitter: A Few Ideas
If You Are Twitter
Dorsey's Second Snub At Twitter?
Space, Time And Twitter: Are There Plant Twitters?



Google Falling Behind Twitter?
Twitter Is Not Micro
What Gmail/Yahoo Mail/Hotmail Can Learn From Twitter
My Twitter Suspension Lifted
I Got New Twitter Now
Mitch Kapor Now Following Me On Twitter
Facebook And Twitter Suck When It Comes To Searching Their Own Sites
Going Backwards: FoodSpotting, FourSquare, Twitter, Facebook
Jeff Jarvis, Me And Twitter
The Depth Of Your Friendships At Twitter
Twitter Top 0.1%
Eminem: The Relapse: Twitter
The Best Follow Friday I Ever Received On Twitter
Twitter Asks
Twitter Number 115 In New York City

Air Bonsai

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Big Sitting Cash




Why Are Corporations Hoarding Trillions?
Collectively, American businesses currently have $1.9 trillion in cash, just sitting around. Not only is this state of affairs unparalleled in economic history, but we don’t even have much data to compare it with, because corporations have traditionally been borrowers, not savers. ....... it is probably earning only about 2 percent interest by parking that money in United States Treasury bonds. These companies would be better off investing in anything — a product, a service, a corporate acquisition — that would make them more than 2 cents of profit on the dollar, a razor-thin margin by corporate standards. And yet they choose to keep the cash. ........ if you buy a share in Alphabet, which has sold for roughly $700 lately, you are effectively buying ownership of more than $100 in cash. ......

General Motors is perhaps the most extreme: It now holds nearly half its value in cash. Apple holds more than a third.

....... If the companies spent their savings, rather than hoarding them, the economy would instantly grow, and we would most likely see more jobs with better pay. ....... the 1990s were a period of low unemployment and high growth. Remarkably, the United States government was able to tax all that productive corporate behavior so much that it came close to paying off all its debts for the first time in 160 years........

holding on to cash and carefully shifting it among subsidiaries, especially foreign ones, is a great tool to shrink your tax bill.

....... Google buys about one company a week, on average ..... Companies like Google and GM are holding on to far more cash — many times more — than could possibly be explained by emergency funds and tax efficiencies and M.&A. intimidation put together. ...... finance economists agree that there is a puzzle here ..... a large cash hoard is a sign of an unhealthy company. Maybe its whole industry is doing so poorly that there is nothing worth investing in ....... Corporations, it seems, may have amassed at least a good chunk of that $1.9 trillion in mysterious savings because the stock market is rewarding them for it. ........ both the executives and the investors in these industries believe that something big is coming, but — this is crucial — they’re not sure what it will be. .....

Their hoarding of it hints that they think the next transformative innovation could be just around the corner.



These trillions should go into Clean Energy and Global South infrastructure. There will be solid if not sexy returns. A 10% annual growth beats zero. A trillion going into clean energy makes global warming talk mostly history.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Computers Create Jobs






The Automation Paradox

When computers start doing the work of people, the need for people often increases.
automation as a cause of the slow recovery from the Great Recession and the “hollowing out of the middle class.” Others see white-collar automation as causing a level of persistent technological unemployment that demands policies that would redistribute wealth.

Robot panic is in full swing.

.......... It turns out that workers will have greater employment opportunities if their occupation undergoes some degree of computer automation. As long as they can learn to use the new tools, automation will be their friend. ......... While electronic discovery software has become a billion-dollar business since the late 1990s, jobs for paralegals and legal-support workers actually grew faster than the labor force as a whole, adding over 50,000 jobs since 2000, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The number of lawyers increased by a quarter of a million. ....... Something similar happened when ATMs automated the tasks of bank tellers and when barcode scanners automated the work of cashiers: Rather than contributing to unemployment, the number of workers in these occupations grew. ...... Automation reduces the cost of a product or service, and lower prices tend to attract more customers. Software made it cheaper and faster to trawl through legal documents, so law firms searched more documents and judges allowed more and more-expansive discovery requests. Likewise, ATMs made it cheaper to operate bank branches, so banks dramatically increased their number of offices. So when demand increases enough in response to lower prices, employment goes up with automation, not down. And this is what has been happening with computer automation overall during the last three decades. It’s also what happened during the Industrial Revolution when automation in textiles, steel-making, and a whole range of other industries led to a major increase in manufacturing jobs. ....... desktop publishing systems have meant fewer jobs for typographers, as graphic designers took over their work. Computerized phone lines meant fewer jobs for telephone operators, but more jobs for receptionists ...... Workers with computers frequently substitute for workers in non-computerized jobs. ........ Computers create about as many jobs as they eliminate. In other words, automation is not causing persistent unemployment. ....... only about 5 percent of jobs are at risk of being completely automated in the near future. The main effect of automation for the time being will not be to eliminate jobs, but to redefine them—changing the tasks and the skills needed to perform them. ..... bank tellers have become more like marketing specialists, telling customers about bank loans, CDs, and other financial offerings. .....

the jobs that get transferred to other occupations tend to be predominantly low-pay, low-skill jobs, so the burdens of automation fall most heavily on those least able and least equipped to deal with it

..... some community colleges are collaborating with local employers to create work-study programs that allow trainees to learn on the job as well as in the classroom ..... These are the kinds of policies that can help overcome the real burden of automation. They deserve more attention than any panic about a supposed robot apocalypse.





The Enhanced Human






Bionic advances to defeat death
People have long dreamt of extending the human lifespan from the biblical “three score years and 10” (70) to reach Methuselah’s 969 and beyond. ....... In reality, average life expectancy in biblical times was not 70 but about 35 years. In Britain this rose to about 50 in 1900, 76 in 1990 and 82 today. ...... Ageing is such a complex biochemical process that there is no simple route to a healthy life lasting well past 100 years old. ...... Individual organs or parts of our body can also be enhanced or rejuvenated to counteract failures due to age or disease.


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Reimagining Big Cities

The Ultimate Megacity: 100 Million People
A City In The Amazon
Cities Can Be Much Larger



So you turn Boston to DC into one megacity, connected by a bullet train, or even a hyperloop, such that it doesn't matter where you live. Chances are you are doing a lot of telecommuting. But when you do have to show up, it is no different from getting on the subway in NYC from one end to another. Sometimes it's 30 minutes, what if it is 60 minutes? It's not like you are driving. You are making yourself useful. Maybe you are meditating. Maybe you are reading. Maybe you are checking email.

When self driving cars and semis take over, and when we can grow 100 times more food with 10 times less land, we could afford to have an Amazon size forest in America. How would that be a bad thing? There would be the ultimate megacity in the northeast, and there would be other big cities. And they would all really be one big city, because hyperloop speeds are mind boggling. 760 miles per hour. Coast to coast travel would not be a major undertaking. You probably would not want to live on one coast and work on another, but what if you did not have to show up at the office every day? What if there was this one day when everybody showed up for in person meetings, but other four days they were telecommuting mostly?



How Do You Explain The Rejection Of Good Ideas?






Great ideas, by definition, are not obvious. Precisely because most people can't think it, they are great.

Pinterest was rejected by pretty much everybody in the Valley. It had to become a hit in Iowa first, of all places.

BG = Before Google

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Productivity And Political Innovation Going Hand In Hand

English: The Communist States
English: The Communist States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A lot of Silicon Valley types, when they talk about massive increases in productivity they see before their eyes coming in the near future, forget to realize that there will have to be accompanying political, social and policy innovation. There has to be. Imagine every part of your body grew, but not your thumb. Your thumb got stuck at age one. That won't be pretty.

If we could grow 100 times as much food, maybe it will make sense to give everyone food stamps. Everyone who wants them can have them. Why not? We can already give everyone free internet access. Nanotechnology should do the same to housing. It should become super cheap to build houses. You could be buying houses like you buy computers today. It is not a 30 year plan. It is one simple transaction.

Maybe we will end up communist. Like China, a communist country, has ended up being uber capitalist, or "socialism with Chinese characteristics." To each according to his/her need, at least for the basics of life, like internet access, food and shelter. Even a minimum basic income. If your accessing the internet is making people money, maybe you should get a cut. You should definitely get a cut for your personal contribution to Big Data. We as people are more indispensable to the Internet than computers and routers. The Internet is dead without us.

Eric Schmidt On AI

Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen on Technology in 2016
The next generation of artificial intelligence (AI) promises to have an impact as big as the mobile revolution or the Internet revolution before that. ...... It can detect patterns that humans can neither see nor anticipate. English speakers can make phone or video calls to speakers of Hindi or Chinese. But the next leap will be Inventive AI—machines trained on a given data set that can tackle a wider range of problems. As society grapples with the increasing volume and complexity of information, more-flexible AI will play a key role in helping us. Eventually it will be possible to give a computer unstructured data—say, spreadsheets used to manage business records—and receive quality advice on improving operations. All it will take is a training data set that is large enough, computers that are big enough and algorithms that are adaptable enough. ..... AI does not have the complex emotions that guide human decisionmaking, so it could avoid most if not all of these inherent biases. .....

Under our control, it can take the drudgery out of work and free up many more hours for creative pursuits. And applied collaboratively, AI could help bring about solutions to the world’s most complex problems.


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Moving VR Writeup












I Finally Tried Virtual Reality and It Brought Me to Tears
Trying VR at CES made me feel more connected to my 18-month-old son ...... Over the past four days at CES, I embraced every virtual reality (VR) experience I could get my eyes on. From the crude but accessible Google Cardboard to the much ballyhooed Oculus Rift, I tried them all. I stood alone on the deck of a shipwreck and looked a whale in the eye. I strapped into a wooden rollercoaster alongside dozens of other people and nearly lost my lunch. I climbed Mount Everest in sneakers and jeans. .....

Back here in reality, VR has me concerned about the future of everything: entertainment, travel, gaming, work — you name it. And I so badly want to go back in.

...... If I had to describe myself in three words, they would be: writer, father, grump. The first term is obvious, and for the second, I’m the proud dad to an inquisitive toddler. As for the third — and CES fatigue is influencing this — I can’t stand bright, flashing lights, loud noises, crowds, congested places, and most amusement park rides (especially roller coasters). Oh, and I don’t gamble, I never do drugs, and I can barely sip on a beer per week lest I fall asleep. Yet here I am in Las Vegas, a city that’s one giant sensory overload, for CES, the world’s most overwhelming trade show. As a technology writer, it’s a place I need to be in a city I should never visit. ....... In 20 minutes, I was able to explore Paris, tour a Carnival cruise ship, take in a catwalk view of Russia’s fashion week, and even enjoy an EDM concert (okay, “enjoy” may be the wrong word). ...... A high school senior can tour a college without trekking across the country. A wheelchair-bound music fan can get in the front row at a rock concert. And a relocating home buyer can view a new house from the comfort of their old one. ...... More than anything, I wished my wife could have been there to share the undersea experience with me. I wanted her to know this awe-inspiring beauty. I also wanted her to abandon a world full of mortgages, diapers, rush hour commutes, and grocery shopping, even if just for a minute. ....... Like a visit to the moon, it’s impossible to describe VR to someone who’s never been there. The technology isn’t just physically isolating — in some ways it divides us emotionally, too. ...... I couldn’t help but think about my son. At 18 months old, he’s just starting to make sense of the reality we all take for granted. Pushing buttons and opening drawers in Job Simulator was so delightful that it helped me understand why he loves opening and closing that one cabinet in our real life kitchen that I haven’t managed to safety latch. ...... Then my playmate, Erin, shot me with a shrink ray. Suddenly, not only were all the toys enormous to me, but Erin’s avatar was looming over me like a hulking giant. Her voice even changed as it poured through my headphones, entering my head with a deep, slow tone. And for a moment, I was a child again, with this giant person lovingly playing with me. It gave me such a profound perspective on what it must be like to be my son, that I started to cry inside the headset. It was a pure and beautiful experience that will reshape my relationship with him moving forward. I was vulnerable to my giant playmate, yet felt completely safe. ...... One reason the world is fascinated with millennials is that they never knew a world without the Internet. Post-millennials, like my son, will never know life without virtual reality. Because they can live in someone else’s virtual shoes, will they be more empathetic? ....... Will they stop watching and reading the news in favor of experiencing it? ...... I started to think of this reality (if Las Vegas can even be considered real) as a trick not unlike VR. Eventually, I made my way back to my hotel room.





Cities Can Be Much Larger







If you have bullet trains and hyperloops connecting to Penn Station, can New York City be much much larger? The affordable housing issue kind of goes away with that.

Urbanization is one of the solutions to climate change. More people living in big cities is a good idea from the environmental viewpoint.

The Ultimate Megacity: 100 Million People

San Francisco's Fog Over Growth
the advantages of agglomeration. Put lots of highly skilled, highly productive, highly innovative people together in the same place and the economic gains are huge. ...... on the whole it’s fair to say that San Francisco hasn’t exactly embraced the role of boomtown. There are voter-imposed limits on office construction, new housing developments usually face protests and litigation, and local politics boasts a strong contingent of “progressives” whose main goal seems to be keeping the city from changing. ..... homeowners favor zoning ordinances and other growth restrictions because they keep house prices up. ...... 65 percent of the city’s housing units are rentals, and 75 percent of those are subject to rent control. Most of the San Franciscans who oppose new development do so apparently not to maximize the value of their property but to minimize the odds that they will be forced out of their apartments or otherwise priced out of the city. ....... growth restrictions restrict growth not just locally but on a national level .......

lowering the regulatory constraints on new housing in just San Francisco, San Jose and New York to the level of the median city would lift U.S. gross domestic product by 9.5 percent

....... land-use regulations were also driving up inequality and reducing economic mobility

Marc Andreessen's For Profit Idea





Uber Disrupts The Curry Business

Monday, January 11, 2016

Ray Kurzweil

""We won't experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century — it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today's rate)"......... The Law of Accelerating Returns also explains exponential advancement of life (biology) on this planet. Looking at biological evolution on Earth, the first step was the emergence of DNA, which provided a digital method to record the results of evolutionary experiments. Then, the evolution of cells, tissues, organs and a multitude of species that ultimately combined rational thought with an opposable appendage (i.e., the thumb) caused a fundamental paradigm shift from biology to technology. The first technological steps — sharp edges, fire, the wheel — took tens of thousands of years. For people living in this era, there was little noticeable technological change in even a thousand years. ..... By 1000 A.D., progress was much faster and a paradigm shift required only a century or two. In the 19th century, we saw more technological change than in the nine centuries preceding it. Then in the first 20 years of the 20th century, we saw more advancement than in all of the 19th century. Now, paradigm shifts occur in only a few years' time. The World Wide Web did not exist in anything like its present form just a decade ago, and didn't exist at all two decades before that. As these exponential developments continue, we will begin to unlock unfathomably productive capabilities and begin to understand how to solve the world's most challenging problems.

There has never been a more exciting time to be alive."



Saturday, January 09, 2016

Welcome, Russia

This blog is getting more visitors from Russia than from the United States.


In The Tech News (3)

Ray Kurzweil’s Mind-Boggling Predictions for the Next 25 Years
By the 2020s, most diseases will go away as nanobots become smarter than current medical technology. Normal human eating can be replaced by nanosystems. ...... By the 2030s, virtual reality will begin to feel 100% real. ...... By the 2040s, non-biological intelligence will be a billion times more capable than biological intelligence (a.k.a. us). Nanotech foglets will be able to make food out of thin air and create any object in physical world at a whim. ...... By 2045, we will multiply our intelligence a billionfold by linking wirelessly from our neocortex to a synthetic neocortex in the cloud. ..... Ray’s “Law of Accelerating Returns” and of exponential technologies. ..... Each of these technologies DEMATERIALIZED, DEMONETIZED, and DEMOCRATIZED access to services and products that used to be linear and non-scalable.






The World in 2025: 8 Predictions for the Next 10 Years
In 2025, in accordance with Moore's Law, we'll see an acceleration in the rate of change as we move closer to a world of true abundance. ....... A $1,000 Human Brain .... A Trillion-Sensor Economy .... the IoE will generate $19 trillion of newly created value. ...... Perfect Knowledge ... you'll be able to know anything you want, anytime, anywhere, and query that data for answers and insights. ..... 8 Billion Hyper-Connected People .... Disruption of Healthcare .... this lucrative $3.8 trillion healthcare industry with new business models that dematerialize, demonetize and democratize today's bureaucratic and inefficient system. ....... Biometric sensing (wearables) and AI will make each of us the CEOs of our own health. Large-scale genomic sequencing and machine learning will allow us to understand the root cause of cancer, heart disease and neurodegenerative disease and what to do about it. Robotic surgeons can carry out an autonomous surgical procedure perfectly (every time) for pennies on the dollar. Each of us will be able to regrow a heart, liver, lung or kidney when we need it, instead of waiting for the donor to die. ........ Augmented and Virtual Reality .... The screen as we know it — on your phone, your computer and your TV — will disappear and be replaced by eyewear. Not the geeky Google Glass, but stylish equivalents to what the well-dressed fashionistas are wearing today. The result will be a massive disruption in a number of industries ranging from consumer retail, to real estate, education, travel, entertainment, and the fundamental ways we operate as humans. ........ Early Days of JARVIS ... In a decade, it will be normal for you to give your AI access to listen to all of your conversations, read your emails and scan your biometric data because the upside and convenience will be so immense. ..... Blockchain
The Internet Allowed Us to Learn Anything—VR Will Let Us Experience Everything
The Internet has liberated information from the constraints of the physical world and essentially made the sharing of information free and unlimited for everyone. From communicating with friends on free Skype calls to taking university-level classes on Coursera and Udacity, our current access and connectivity dwarfs anything we’ve seen before. ....... Massive open online courses have fantastic content, yet a very low percentage of students end up finishing them. It’s great to see my friend’s posts on Instagram and Snapchat, but nothing beats being together in person. And no matter how many times I’ve read about the Apollo 11 mission, I’ve never taken a step on the moon. ....... Just as the Internet and smartphones have enabled the rapid and cheap sharing of information, virtual reality will be able to provide the same for experiences. That means that just as we can read, listen to, and watch videos of anything we want today, soon we’ll be able to experience stunning lifelike simulations in virtual reality...... And just as the democratization of information reshaped society, this is going to have a massive impact on the way we work, live, and play......... one word: presence. Presence is the phenomenon that occurs when your brain is convinced, on a fundamental and subconscious level, that the VR simulation you are experiencing is real. ...... Want to watch the Super Bowl from the fifty-yard line? Be on stage at your favorite concert? Or just visit and explore a faraway country? Well, that’s exactly what Mark Zuckerberg wants you to be able to do on the Oculus Rift. ..... Using 360-degree video and light field technology, we can now capture real-life events and distribute them to anyone, anywhere. ...... Soon you’ll be able to explore every city, watch every sports game, and explore the universe in VR. Content plus presence is an extremely potent combination. ..... Part of the great sadness of the modern world is being able to text, call, and video chat with friends and family from all over the planet but never truly feel like you’re with them. Sometimes this ghost of a connection can paradoxically be worse than nothing, being just realistic enough to make you miss your loved ones without feeling the true warmth of their presence. ......... Multi-user virtual reality can enable a specific kind of phenomenon—social presence. ...... social presence can convince your brain to believe that the other people in the VR experience are really there with you. ...... An average Tuesday night in the VR future could include dropping into a professional conference with a coworker of yours, watching a football game with your father on the other side of the country, then hopping into a VR concert with your best friend from high school—all without leaving the house.......

The rise of the Internet was one of the most profound developments of the past century. The Internet famously allowed the futurist Ray Kurzweil to conclude that “A kid in Africa has access to more information than the president of the United States did 15 years ago.”

........ Can we finally create a digital university that surpasses the quality of our oldest and grandest learning institutions?
Six Technologies That Hit Their Tipping Points in 2015
A broad range of technologies reached a tipping point, from cool science projects or objects of convenience for the rich, to inventions that will transform humanity. We haven’t seen anything of this magnitude since the invention of the printing press in the 1400s. ........ The Internet and knowledge ... As of 2015, however, nearly half of China’s population and a fifth of India’s population have gained Internet connectivity. India now has more Internet users than does the U.S., and China has twice as many. ....... Smartphones with the capabilities of today’s iPhone will cost less than $50 by 2020. By then, the efforts of Facebook, Google, OneWeb, and SpaceX to blanket the Earth with inexpensive Internet access through drones, balloons, and microsatellites will surely bear fruit. This means that we will see another three billion people come on line.

Never before has all of humanity been connected in this way.

....... Workers in the remotest villages of Africa will be able to offer digital services to the elite in Silicon Valley. ...... Doctors in our pockets ... Our $100 smartphones are more powerful than the supercomputers of the 1970s—which cost millions of dollars. ..... With better sensors, we can develop sophisticated medical devices, drone-based delivery systems, and smart cities; and, with A.I., we can develop self-driving cars, voice-recognition systems, and digital doctors. Yes, I am talking about applications that can diagnose our medical condition and prescribe remedies.
........ Apple released a watch that, using a heart-rate sensor and accelerometer, can keep track of vital signs, activity, and lifestyles ...... sensors and A.I.-based tools to do the work of doctors. ......... Bitcoin and disintermediation ..

The blockchain is not useful just for finance. It is an almost incorruptible digital ledger that can be used to record practically anything that can be digitized: birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, deeds and titles of ownership, educational degrees, medical records, contracts, and votes. It has the potential to transform the lives of billions of people who lack bank accounts and access to the legal and administrative infrastructure that we take for granted.

........ Engineering of life ..... CRISPR gene modification .. an ancient system that protects bacteria and other single-celled organisms from viruses, acquiring immunity to them by incorporating genetic elements from the virus invaders. ..... to edit the genes of plants to produce more-nutritious food and require less water. ...... The drone age ... You can expect Amazon and Walmart to deliver your groceries and Starbucks to bring you your morning latte via drone. And they will monitor traffic and crime, perform building inspections, and provide emergency assistance in disasters. ...... These are an even bigger deal for the developing world. Large sections of Africa don’t have roads; remote towns and villages can’t get medical supplies; and large cities are clogged with traffic—much of it for delivery of small goods. Drones will solve many of these infrastructure problems and reduce pollution and traffic. They will also allow the constant monitoring of the Earth’s changing climate and wildlife ecology. ......... Saving the planet with unlimited clean energy ...... Solar and wind capture are already advancing on exponential curves, installation rates regularly doubling and costs falling. .......

By, 2030, solar capture could provide 100 percent of today’s energy; by 2035, it could be free—just as cell-phone calls are today.

....... We are also seeing similar advances in battery storage. Combined with the advances in energy, large swaths of the planet that don’t presently have electricity have the potential to light up in the early 2020s. Having unlimited, clean energy will be transformative for the developing world—and the planet.
Stay Tuned for the Technological Transformation of Governance
Just as early waves of technological innovation in education and health care simply attempted to digitize old practices — putting an analog class into a MOOC or a patient’s file into the cloud — early forays into governmental technology involved bringing civil services online and enabling citizens to follow government protocols on websites instead of in buildings. .....

new governance technologies preparing to reroute lines of authority and change what it means to be a citizen in the 21st century.

....... Others are helping teams to build consensus and budget together, dynamically and elegantly. Still others are creating operating systems for political parties that are already winning seats in government. .....

Whether we're facing climate apocalypse on Earth or colonizing Mars, the deciding factor between human civilization being extractive and oppressive, or cooperative and generative, will be how much we as a species have practiced the skills of equitable collaboration on a day-to-day basis — hearing diverse viewpoints and synthesizing them, consciously understanding the flows of power dynamics, and designing in the key factors of human wellness.

......... Human beings have been sitting in circles listening to one another for millennia, but software and the internet allow us to scale up these practices in a way we never have before. ....... Cobudget for funding and Loomio for decision-making. ........ Many of the worst aspects of command-and-control, mechanistic, hierarchical governance are consequences of limited communications technologies. If we can make distributed cooperation just as efficient, the need for those old governance forms — which cause a lot of human suffering in the name of efficiency — could be obviated. ..... The key difference is: are you privatizing everything, or are you building the commons? The real distinguishing factor isn't the governing practices, which may be similar to a point, but the governing purpose. Are we building in service of the people and the community, deeply rooted in social values and human rights, or are we in service of private interests, which only answer to their own internal logic of profit and power? ....... Already, in our network, Enspiral, where we run businesses in service of positive social outcomes, we constantly have to 'hack' company structures to make them reflect how we actually want to work. We're sticking to the law, of course, but there's some legal gymnastics involved and we're constantly having to blaze a trail. Are we a community? A company? A charity? None of the current forms actually quite fit, and the distinctions seem contrived. ........ One of the protections against government corruption in democracies is that the moment of the vote is hidden and blind. ......

the very idea that our key moment of agency as a citizen is ticking a box every three or four years is the insane part

..... Our 'democratic' system is another example of something developed a couple hundred years ago because of very limited communications technology — election dates in the US are still determined by how long it took people to go on horseback between cities. ..... What's actually incredible is when you create a society where people not only feel safe being open about their political opinions, but they genuinely discuss them with different people, and their opinion can evolve through that interaction — they can change their minds.

When citizen deliberation is possible, that's when truly amazing solutions can emerge, from synthesizing different views.

......... What can users of SMS-enabled mobile banking in Africa teach us about how our apps could work? People in warzones and disaster areas know a ton about decentralized networks, because centralised infrastructure fails them. Activists threatened by oppressive governments have heaps to teach us about privacy, identity, and leveraging online communications tools for effective action and resistance. ....... most people in this space are running completely analog processes using technologies like neighborhood meetings and science-fair like exhibitions of citizen-generated ideas. They are willing to pound the pavement.
Cosmology Is in Crisis — But Not for the Reason You May Think
a growing zoo of subatomic particles...... We still have no idea what the vast majority of the universe is made of. We struggle to understand how the Big Bang could suddenly arise from nothing or where the energy for “inflation,” a very short period of rapid growth in the early universe, came from. But despite these gaps in knowledge, it is actually human nature — our tendency to interpret data to fit our beliefs — that is the biggest threat to modern cosmology. ....... explanations for the nature of dark energy range from proposals to scrap Einstein’s theory of relativity, the addition of a new fundamental field of nature, or even that

we may be seeing the effects of neighboring parallel universes

. ....... only those papers that agreed with the status-quo were being accepted by journals. ...... Blind analysis is the most straightforward and obvious thing to do ..... By using these three approaches — blinding, systems engineering and transparency — the next generation of cosmology experiments should be able to convince people that confirmation bias is not a factor in understanding the cosmos. Without them,

by looking to the heavens, the most interesting thing we may find is ourselves.

On the Origin of Truly Innovative Ideas
The day before something is truly a breakthrough, it's a crazy idea....... But few companies actually try crazy ideas — especially the most successful ones...... The same conditions that increase the rate of biological evolution also drive the greatest rate of idea generation. ...... "speciation" is very similar to "ideation," or the formation of new ideas. ..... High-pressure environments incentivize people to try crazy 'Hail Mary' ideas, and while most fail, if one works, it is usually a true innovation. ..... Place your "innovation team" outside the mother ship, far away from the hordes that will tell them how "crazy" their ideas are. True innovation is massively disruptive and the average employee hates disruptive change. Steve Jobs isolated his Macintosh team far away from the rest of Apple and proudly flew a pirate flag above the building.
The Recipe for Generating Crazy, Innovative Ideas in Companies
it's important for "ideas to have sex." ..... This is how new ideas are made — I merge your idea and my idea and it becomes something new and valuable. ...... if new idea generation is a function of "idea interaction," then the rate of people interacting matters a lot. ...... In the 1950s, 7% of the population lived in cities..... Today, a little over 38% of people live in cities.....By 2050, 70% of the world’s population will live in cities........

doubling a city's population drives a 15% increase in income, wealth and innovation.

...... Jobs was very particular about where the bathrooms were placed in Pixar's office because he wanted "serendipitous personal encounters" to occur. ...... ask people to pick a spot and sign up to give a 10-minute talk on any subject, personal or professional. ..... Make sure you have a communication outlet that allows ideas to bubble up from anywhere, across disciplines and layers of the organization. ....... when you ask them to deliver 10x performance, with severely limited resources (i.e. 1/10th the budget and 1/10th the time), it drives invention and innovation. ...... Musk did this with Tesla, creating an epic car company with no legacy, no unions, no old factories and no old approaches. ....... Create hyper-constraints on your team. Set a difficult goal driven by a powerful massively transformative purpose and incentivize them to try new ways of attacking the problems you want solved ....... if you want true innovation, give the hardest, craziest challenges to the youth (or at least youthfully minded) in your company. ...... At what age do you think most Noble Laureates do their prize winning work? Not win their medal, but actually publish the research? .... Turns out, it's in their mid to late twenties...... "The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible… and achieve it, generation after generation." ...... Where in your organization do you allow your teams to try crazy ideas?