"Whenever a company leans on its strengths as a business, there’s an opportunity for a competitor to turn the tables by focusing on dominating areas where the leader is weak. Ries and Trout cite a trap that companies often fall into: trying to be better when they should be trying to be different."
Wow. Thank you. "While his philanthropy is out of business, its influence reverberates worldwide thanks to its big bets on health, science, education and social action. Where did $8 billion go? Feeney gave $3.7 billion to education, including nearly $1 billion to his alma mater, Cornell, which he attended on the G.I. Bill. More than $870 million went to human rights and social change, like $62 million in grants to abolish the death penalty in the U.S. and $76 million for grassroots campaigns supporting the passage of Obamacare. He gave more than $700 million in gifts to health ranging from a $270 million grant to improve public healthcare in Vietnam to a $176 million gift to the Global Brain Health Institute, a partnership program between Trinity College Dublin and the University of California, San Francisco."
Understanding those who support Trump while seemingly contradicting their own beliefs. As a minority myself, this reading presents a couple of nuances I hadn't considered.
"Although a portion of Trump voters are self-identified racists and proud of it, many of them will vehemently claim that they’re not racist — and they’re probably right, at least in the same way that many white Democrats are not cognitively aware of being racist even though they use structural racism to their advantage and exhibit an unconscious bias toward nonwhites."
"Trump supporters feel alienated, and this feeling is compounded when the left dismisses their complex feelings as pure racism and/or unvarnished white nationalism. By denying and failing to validate the existence of “white pride” — not in the white supremacist sense, but in a more basic sense of alienation and disenfranchisement — the Democrats have handed Trump and the Republican Party a powerful tool of emotional persuasion similar to Hitler’s power over alienated Germans in the wake of World War I, a power that pulls at the core identity of voters and takes logic and factual persuasion totally off the table."
"If Democratic leadership understands what’s going on, they haven’t yet figured out how to successfully address “white pride” and empower a significant number of Trump supporters to vote Democrat without also having to fight a rear-guard action against others on the left who accuse them of not being anti-racist enough."
"Don’t get me wrong — I’m not suggesting the Democratic Party appeal to (or accept) actual self-identified racists and white nationalists. They are strictly Republican garbage. What I’m saying is that millions of white Americans understand themselves as neither racist nor nationalist, and right now they’re voting for President Trump despite his significant failures and shortcomings simply because Democrats haven’t figured out how to connect with them emotionally."
"I see a darker side. These rallies, marches, hashtags, and posts on social media are largely performative — used to soothe white guilt and paint the door frame with lambs blood at a time when bigoted people are being canceled left and right. "
"...what if the strong economy arises precisely because banks are weak? Rather than the positive sum relationship typically brandished – “a strong economy needs strong banks” – what if Germany exploits a more zero sum relationship, in which value is actively transferred from banks to the wider economy?"
And an interesting hypothesis about fraud in the extra readings section. Is there an optimal amount of fraud?
"We can’t check up on everything, and we can’t check up on nothing, so one of the key decisions that an economy has to make is how much effort to spend on checking. This choice will determine the amount of fraud. And since checking costs money and trust is really productive, the optimal level of fraud is unlikely to be zero.”
"A fair starting salary, with annual wage increases that match those for Swedish government workers, vacation time, even a pension, and the job is yours for as long as you do it. So what’s the job? Anything you want."
The poll of 2,200 U.S. residents in late June showed that a third of Americans grew herbs and vegetables and did their own sewing and clothing repairs. Equally significant, 60% of Americans expect in a fully reopened economy to do more for themselves, instead of paying for services.
The Papalagi questioned the Western concepts of time and labor, and “the serious sickness of thinking” that “makes people old and ugly in little time.” It aimed its critique at a society whose obsession with money had created social inequalities, abysmal working conditions, pollution, and consumerism.
Ishii Miso Brewery in Matsumoto makes soft cream with their miso. In Kyoto, you can find yuba, ice cream flavored like the skin over boiled soy milk. And Hakodate, Hokkaido’s southern tentacle, slaps visitors with black squid ink.
"Why haven’t other industries and disciplines — particularly media and entertainment IP emanating out of Hollywood — made efforts to introduce an open source approach to their work? ... Imagine an open source approach to franchises like “Star Wars,” with each storyteller bringing their own perspective and aesthetic to the property. They would also be able to focus on telling engaging stories rather than fighting for a single position to repeatedly tell the same story each year."
On the one hand, I understand copyright holders wanting to protect and dictate the direction of their IP but on the other hand, this could be an efficient jumpstart in dismantling the lack of diversity and representation in media.
In one example [showcasing GPT-3's 'intellect'], Twitter employee Paul Katsen tweeted “the spreadsheet function to rule them all,” in which GPT-3 fills out columns by itself, pulling in data for US states: the population of Michigan is 10.3 million, Alaska became a state in 1906, and so on.
Except that GPT-3 can be a bit of a bullshitter. The population of Michigan has never been 10.3 million, and Alaska became a state in 1959.
Language models like GPT-3 are amazing mimics, but they have little sense of what they’re actually saying.
“In living memory, things like being gay or using marijuana could ruin your life or even land you in jail. And today neighborhood kids march in the Pride Parade as it snakes past the cannabis dispensary. All of this came about due to countless acts of both personal bravery and unintentional disclosure, so there’s reason to believe a one-shot “extinction event” level leak would cause an avalanche of short-term panic, but also some longer-term positive transformations.”
Interestingly enough, this seems to be the consensus among the multiple experts interviewed for this piece. Would everyone really realize and accept that we're not all perfect and as a result, we're not all that different?
“We have a history in our country of not paying the real cost of food,” said Karen Bornarth, head of workforce development at the East Harlem nonprofit bakery and business incubator Hot Bread Kitchen, when we spoke last July. “And I think that those of us who love to eat out and enjoy our food need to wake up to that, and realize that maybe we have to pay a little bit more for that dinner out so that we can create a more equitable system that works better for everyone, business included.”
New insights into Covid-19. "Covid-19 is like a burglar who slips in your unlocked second-floor window and starts to ransack your house. Once inside, though, they don’t just take your stuff — they also throw open all your doors and windows so their accomplices can rush in and help pillage more efficiently."
A fun retrospective on ringtones and their surprisingly profound influence on the smartphone and the smartphone ecosystem. "At the time, observers proclaimed the ringtone to be the new single, and hailed the trend as “an industry shift no less important than the shift from the radio to the internet”."
“Herman Cain got the coronavirus after attending Trump’s indoor Tulsa rally without wearing a mask nor social distancing. Then he died. Now people are using his Twitter account... to claim the virus isn’t very deadly... This is just so wrong.”