Monday, September 2, 2019

September 2nd Links

  • They used the technology on hand in the 50s; vacuum tubes, telephone lines and CRTs. They didn't postulate any significant breakthroughs in order to get 'er done. They made do with what they knew was possible As such, the path to success was obvious. Engineering genius came along the way. If you don't have manageable pieces, you don't have a real project: you have a wish. What are the manageable pieces needed to make "nanotech" or controlled nuclear fusion a reality? What are the manageable pieces needed to make quantum computing or deriving all electrical power from the sun a reality? I don't know, and I don't know of anybody else who does: therefore, such things do not count as legitimate long term projects. [Scott Locklin]
  • In linguistics, a hapax legomenon is a word that only appears once in a given context. The term comes comes from a Greek phrase meaning something said only once. The term is often shortened to just hapax. [link]
  • Zoox is a five-year-old company worth over $3 billion, having raised $800 million from some of the best venture capitalists out there. One early backer, the firm Lux Capital, recently raised a $1 billion fund based on the company's success as a crown jewel in its portfolio. It's one of a number of companies — including Aurora, GM's Cruise, Alphabet's Waymo, and even Tesla — betting on the super-intelligent Mr. Magoo theory of self-driving cars. Like Mr. Magoo, their vehicles experience technical hitches due to near-sightedness and a stubborn refusal to admit the problem. Their hope is that if they jack up Mr. Magoo's brain to superintelligent power and have him circle the block a trillion times, his poor eyesight won't stop him, because the recognition algorithms running on his visual cortex will be able to identify the intentions of another driver from the faint blur of a mere handful of pixels, even at a 150 yard distance while traveling 60 miles an hour. [National Review]
  • Onstage, Kelton lamented, "There's so much pressure on candidates to pay for everything. I don't see anyone—I mean, I'll just be honest, I don't really see any Presidential candidates putting forward ambitious agendas and saying, 'We're not going to try to pay for any of this.'" [New Yorker]
  • There is a solution: be famous. You lose the ability to filter out who you want to talk to, but at least everyone starts the conversation with some context; you're outsourcing the extroversion to them. Fame is hard, and it has other costs. But there's a second alternative: be microfamous. Microfame is the best kind of fame, because it combines an easier task (be famous to fewer people) with a better outcome (be famous to the right people). [Medium]
  • I find it so useful to keep my thoughts on each subject together, because I can see my past thoughts and current thoughts in one place. I can see how my thoughts on this subject have evolved or keep repeating. Sometimes I think I have a new thought on a subject, so I open up the file and write it down, then afterwards I see I had that same thought a year ago and had forgotten about it. If you care about your thoughts, keep them. [Sivers]
  • Once you know your TRUE Hourly Wage (calculate it here), you need to change your mindset and begin to automate or delegate every task that can be executed at a lower hourly wage. It has taken me a long time, probably too long, to come to this realization. There was always something in me that resisted hiring out tasks that I could do myself. I have always been a more frugal penny-pincher so spending money on something I can do myself seemed like I was spending money that I could be saving. However, over the past several years, I have realized that in order for me to grow financially and personally, I need to zero in my highest-value work and hire out everything else. [THW]
  • There was a top literary agent in New York, Morton Janklow, who Ovitz identified as having a good story pipeline. Janklow initially did not want to talk to Ovitz, so Ovitz called him every week for a year until Janklow agreed to a deal! Introverts and northern Europeans can't imagine doing something like that. But another example of a connector with incredible telephonic persistence was a literary agent named Irving Paul Lazar. One funny thing that Lazar would do is call his circle of important connections every day. People would get a daily call! [CBS]

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