Techies take weird, improbable visions, and make them realities: some BS pitch deck to a VC, mixed with money and people, really does turn into some novel thing.
Facebook & Co. can take on the most egregious disinformation examples, or efforts undertaken by identifiable state actors (maybe), but it will never be able to shut it down entirely.
Why do I feel confident in this assertion (that I'm sure will get trolled)?
Where'd that end up? Nowhere. We got GDPR, which is pointless, and if anything solidified FB/GOOG's position in Europe. Ditto CCPA.
If you sat down to a meal in the 80s, and took out a camera and took a photo of your food, while telling everyone you were sending copies to your friends, you'd have been locked up in an insane asylum.
The Beacon scandal that blew up FB in the late aughts now seems like a joke. People got worked up over that?
We'll read the current disinformation coverage the same way.
It's the bridge generation (looks in mirror) that's mostly freaking out about it.
We as a species are dumb. We don't learn anything, and only technical and scientific knowledge is cumulative.
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Current SF spending on homelessness: $380M
Projected revenue from Prop C: $300M
Number of SF homeless: 7,500
Post-C, that means SF will be spending $90k/homeless person.
That's $30K per year *more* than the median SF teacher salary.
I don't get SF.
Note that despite that massive spending, SF has one of the lowest 'sheltered rate' among big US cities. SF homeless isn't particularly high, per capita, but more of them are on the street than elsewhere (which is why the problem looks bad).
Within that context, Prop C is a vote to spend even more, to the point the city is paying (per homeless person) just under what Google pays (in cash) to new college hires. And yet these people are on the street somehow.
I don't claim to understand the dizzyingly complex urban policy issues around homelessness. But neither do most SF taxpayers, and I think they'd like to know just how we got here.
For some coverage on Prop C (where I got the spend numbers
\u201cMore of us are plac\xading pol\xadi\xadtics at the cen\xadter of our lives. Both sides increasingly be\xadlieve a grand so\xadlu\xadtion to our po\xadlit\xadi\xadcal dys\xadfunc\xadtion can be found in\xadside pol\xadi\xadtics. In the Weekend Essay, Sen. Sasse explains why he thinks this won\u2019t work\u201d https://t.co/dCpDjo96Rv— Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) October 13, 2018
This isn't a novel idea, and in fact more than one commenter has made some version of this point recently, without (apparently) this level of scorn.
This is a reaction to the author's politics, which ironically lends credence to the original argument.
Another negative reaction is: You're a senator. Do something!
And another point of the essay is that we can't rely on a political system to forge our communities or sense of belonging for us. That can only come from an engaged citizenry.
Thus, another very ironic reaction.
This critique is more self-aware. It's also a trendy post-modern deconstruction of the argument: everything is power relations, 'all politics is identity politics', etc.
In brief: Apolitical identity is impossible, and we're cursed to debate the meaning of small-town football games...forever.
Not the same ironic backhanded endorsement of the argument, but what a future that implies.
More from Tech
Some random interesting tidbits:
1) Zuck approves shutting down platform API access for Twitter's when Vine is released #competition
2) Facebook engineered ways to access user's call history w/o alerting users:
Team considered access to call history considered 'high PR risk' but 'growth team will charge ahead'. @Facebook created upgrade path to access data w/o subjecting users to Android permissions dialogue.
3) The above also confirms @kashhill and other's suspicion that call history was used to improve PYMK (People You May Know) suggestions and newsfeed rankings.
4) Docs also shed more light into @dseetharaman's story on @Facebook monitoring users' @Onavo VPN activity to determine what competitors to mimic or acquire in 2013.
The skill we look at is Adobe Flash, which @apple decided to no longer support back in 2010, which in turn caused demand/interest to plummet, as measured on @StackOverflow and in online labor markets, one of which is our empirical context
Despite the big fall-off in Flash jobs posted, very little else appeared to change in the market for Flash skills: wages for Flash jobs didn't fall, jobs didn't become easier to fill & openings weren't inundated with out-of-work Flash programmers
What happened was that (a) new entrants stopped specializing in Flash and (b) at least some existing Flash specialists started moving to other skills. In short, the demand shock quickly became a supply shock
At the level of the individual Flash worker, using a matched sample, we find (a) no fall-off in their wages, (b) some decline on-platform hours-worked. The most-focused on Flash workers had substantial increases in application intensity and a movement towards new skills
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2/ Marketplace startups have done incredibly well over the first few decades of the internet, reinventing the way we shop for goods, but have been less successful services. It's bc services are complex, subjective, fragmented, and often in real life. Makes it hard
3/ There's been 4 major eras at making the service economy work online. The Listings Era, the unbundled Craiglist era, the Uber for X era, and the Managed Marketplace era
4/ Each era has added more value than the last, and utilized technology innovations, from internet to social / "read/write web" to mobile. The "Unbundling Craigslist" era was particularly epic at generating startup ideas
5/ The problem is, all the low-hanging fruit has been picked off. The techniques that got us to here won't get us to the next phase. So we have to do some pretty different things. That's why "Managed Marketplaces" have been a big deal - hire folks as W-2s, certify quality, etc.
Sheryl got her MBA at Harvard. One of the most famous cases (Extra Strength Tylenol) in one of the most famous classes (Business History) she took: in 1982, someone put cyanide in Extra Strength Tylenol capsules and killed 7 people in Chicago.
What do you do when someone turns your product into a weapon? When they use the system you built to harm? James Burke, CEO of J&J, was shockingly open with the public, he pulled the product and made significant packaging changes to make product safer (but not tamper-proof).
He over-shared every step along the way re investigation, redesign, stood up as both CEO and human. The reintroduction of new Extra Strength Tylenol succeeded. Burke saved the brand.
But four years later it happened again. A killer put cyanide in the capsules, this time a woman in Yonkers died. Same CEO, Burke, pulled the product again, completely changed the form factor from capsule to caplet and relaunched *again*. It worked *again*. How'd they do that?
Burke (CEO) tapped J&Js goodwill bank account w/ the public. Two big withdrawals from that bank account in four years + 8 dead bodies! But his honesty, openness, humanity (choked up about the deaths more than once), humility kept the goodwill bank balance positive the whole time.
These are turn-based wargames for windows 3.x, sharing the same engine.
Battles in a Distant Desert is from 1992, and is based on the first Iraq war (Desert Storm)
and Battles on Distant Planets is from 1991, and takes place in SPACE!
I'm pretty sure this is the one I played as a kid.
They've got 3 options to play with:
* Player vs. Player
* Player vs. Computer
* Computer vs. Computer
So it's a 0-2 player game!
They also did a DOS strategy game called "STARDATE 2140.2: GALACTIC CONQUEST" in 1990, but it seems to be lost.
All the games share an experimental AI system based on neural networks.
Published a new essay: The red flags and magic numbers that investors look for in your startup’s metrics – 80 slide deck included!
This was a deck that I created on my (longish) interview process with @a16z. It was a long path, starting with meeting folks at the firm 10 years ago. But the purpose of the deck was to explain how I would use my superpower in an investing context
Here's what I explain in the deck. As investors (whether angel or VC) we're often confronted with an up-and-to-the-right graph. Is it going to go up? Or down?
One solution to forecast these growth curves is the Growth Accounting Framework, where you add up New+Reactivated and subtract churned users. In each time period that gives you the difference in monthly actives.
The problem with this is that it's a lagging metric, not a leading one. We need to go one level deeper and look at the underlying loops that drive these numbers, to understand the quality.