Business

The Question of Masks

Despite the overwhelming evidence in favor of wearing a mask we are still arguing about the efficacy of wearing one. The science is clear, but science-haters abound. The pandemic death toll is frightening, but not to a lot of Americans who don’t even believe the numbers. And finally, there is always one person willing to contest anything. This is the flat-earth phenomenon, an intelligent and well-educated person who, despite all evidence to the contrary, refuses to believe.
This from AIER.

Source: The Question of Masks

Xi Jinping’s speech at Davos 

Ladies and Gentlemen,Friends,History is moving forward and the world will not go back to what it was in the past. Every choice and move we make today will shape the world of the future. It is important that we properly address the four major tasks facing people of our times.The first is to step up macroeconomic policy coordination and jointly promote strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth of the world economy. We are going through the worst recession since the end of World War II.

Source: Full text: Xi Jinping’s speech at the virtual Davos Agenda event – CGTN

Legally Speaking, is Digital Money Really Money?

What makes currency? And does it really matter?

By Catalina Margulis and Arthur Rossi Countries are moving fast toward creating digital currencies. Or, so we hear from various surveys showing an increasing number of central banks making substantial progress towards having an official digital currency. But, in fact, close to 80 percent of the world’s central banks are either not allowed to

Source: Legally Speaking, is Digital Money Really Money?

You Can Learn By Failing

Failure is sometimes the best education. Justin Kan tweeted these remarks regarding the failure of a startup. It seems he learned a lot.

  • Start with the mission . It is very hard to write the mission after the fact. You should start with a clear reason to exist and filter early hires for believers.
  • Start remote. SFBA is over for startups: the cost of housing and rent gives you much worse operating leverage. Many talented people choose jobs they want to be flexible re: location. Remote is better at this time in the market. I wrote that before COVID, now it’s extra true.
  • There is no skipping of the R&D phase of a company – if you try to skip this you miss the part where you are forced to develop something differentiated. Very hard to solve this with money.
  • Don’t build a services company. It’s more work to manage everyone and the reward isn’t there at the end of the day.
  • Only work on things where you have intrinsic motivation. If you don’t, you’ll lose motivation when times are hard or your own goals change.
  • The more people you have, the harder it is to bubble up feedback or turn the ship. The emperor has no clothes effect is real.
  • Adding more money to a situation of lack of product market fit rarely works.
  • Start with the mission . It is very hard to write the mission after the fact. You should start with a clear reason to exist and filter early hires for believers.
  • Start remote. SFBA is over for startups: the cost of housing and rent gives you much worse operating leverage. Many talented people choose jobs they want to be flexible re: location. Remote is better at this time in the market. I wrote that before COVID, now it’s extra true.
  • There is no skipping of the R&D phase of a company – if you try to skip this you miss the part where you are forced to develop something differentiated. Very hard to solve this with money.
  • Don’t build a services company. It’s more work to manage everyone and the reward isn’t there at the end of the day.
  • Only work on things where you have intrinsic motivation. If you don’t, you’ll lose motivation when times are hard or your own goals change.
  • The more people you have, the harder it is to bubble up feedback or turn the ship. The emperor has no clothes effect is real.
  • Adding more money to a situation of lack of product market fit rarely works.
  • Ability to frame strategy and communicate it is rare and requires experience.
  • Should have asked “who are we building for?” much more specifically and ruthlessly iterated for them.
  • Create market situations wherever possible and avoid “fake markets” where it seems like a market but isn’t. I.e. you employ someone and they kind of have to use your software — this is a fake market.
  • Build in a space where the iteration time of your product can be very fast.
  • The culture is set early and very hard to change.

Wages for top 1% grew 160% since 1979, outpacing bottom 90%

Wages are not the only thing disappearing for the bottom ninety percent; net worth has collapsed. The rich buy real things, like houses and second homes. They buy stocks and invest in profitable ventures. They build wealth with the wealth they are growing from the inequality they have created. They also grow more wealthy by making sure that our leaders are focused on their needs.

The middle class is in a state of confusion and decline. They vote against their better interests out of the conviction that the rich and powerful are looking out for them.

It is a grotesque lie. The world that capitalists on the right envision gives short shrift to anyone who is not rich, and not connected. The single greatest accomplishment of the right has been to convince the working class that the left wants to make them poor, and that the rich are their salvation.

In this Joe Biden faces a big challenge. He must convince those solidly in the camp of Donald Trump that the rich and powerful have done nothing for them. It is a belief that has been perpetuated by the right since Ronald Reagan. It will not of itself go away.

This from Fast Company

The data shows a steady trickle-up effect in worker income.

Source: Wages for top 1% grew 160% since 1979, outpacing bottom 90%

A Proud Boys Lawyer Wanted to Be a Nazi Terrorist

This from Vice points out how integrated into our society the lunatic right has become. They have a disturbed idea of democracy and their place in the grand scheme. Donald Trump has done nothing to curb the views of these people; in fact he has emboldened them.

A conservative I know is convinced that there is going to be an uprising, a revolution of sorts, as soon as Joe Biden is sworn in as President. The Trump right believes that this election has begun a sequence of events that will not end with Rudy Giuliani and his legal attacks on the election system. A violent upheaval awaits. In the strange world of extremists, there is the feeling that they have been called to defend liberty against the forces of socialism. Or some variation of that argument.

We ignore these people at our peril.

But the Base, a terror group that has been the recent recipient of a lot of FBI attention, turned him down.

Source: A Proud Boys Lawyer Wanted to Be a Nazi Terrorist