418 Matching Annotations
  1. May 2022
    1. Twitter is the conversation layer of the internet.

      No -- it's the shortform conversation layer for popular opinions driven by virtue signalling.

    2. building the preeminent tool for active and demanding readers.

      Aligning with power-users implies lacking engagement.

      Their curator" system and social feed seemed cool from the outside, but apparently it didn't work as expected.

    3. think it should be possible to view the public conversation about any piece of content in the tool you use to read it.

      Using Twitter as social layer instead of their own.

    4. are excited to develop features to help with prioritization, resurfacing, and decay.

      Ties back to their "Spotify for reading" idea -- recommending content from the sea that exists.

    5. read-it-later is a good heuristic!

      I disagree somewhat. Why do so few users open their read-it-later app to read stuff in their queue?

    6. it reflects a narrowing of focus on our core

      Pivot means they are having problems.

    1. Either way, our world is witnessing a grand experiment that’s now underway: China and the West, facing very similar societal problems, have now, thanks to Wang Huning, embarked on radically different approaches to addressing them.

      Experiments with similar starting conditions. Visible results. Either way this turns out, we will learn from it.

  2. Apr 2022
    1. Investors rarely try to break through a poison pill threshold, securities experts say, with the caveat that Mr. Musk rarely abides by precedent.

      I love this sentence. It's the best compliment you can give him.

  3. Mar 2022
    1. Yet Russia is likely to have deployed air-defence and electronic-warfare systems around the column, making it harder for Ukrainian aircraft to approach.

      Aha, here may be the reason for bringing extensive air defence units! Did Russia know about its aging military equipment and subsequent vulnerability of supply lines?

    2. Russia’s repetition of that mistake may be a function of deeper military dysfunction.

      I would be careful to jump to systemic conclusions while we're still seeing the situation unfold. I assume there are smart people thinking about this on both sides of the war.

    3. Russian units are far heavier on artillery and air-defences than their NATO counterparts.

      I wonder what's the strategy behind this. Maybe playing on the should-be strength of a organised army that can afford such support units? (should-be because it's evidently a weakness)

      Or anticipating foreign interference in the air?

      • The Verge has a unique mission statement: see technology through the culture it creates, optimistically. How many high quality writing is a product of such deliberate mission statements (incentives setting)?
    1. Thinking of technology as a kind of writing brings the idea of agency back to the foreground. The same methods of thought you (hopefully) learned to read critically and consider whether or not you agree with a piece of writing can be applied to tech.

      I only recently learned to read critically (through web annotations). This analogy is powerful, but how many people are going to understand it?

    2. Technology itself is culture, and a phone or a laptop or an algorithmic feed is in itself a cultural object just as worthy of analysis, critique, and serious attention as any piece of artwork or fashion trend.

      See technology more critical -- it shapes culture more so than anything else these days. And every tech product is deliberately designed to be the way it is.

    3. I created a tiny app for tracking my studies and adding marginalia to digitally scanned quotes.

      He's an annotations fan!

    4. We founded The Verge with some grand ideas about how to do technology journalism differently. We started with the thesis that technology — especially consumer technology — creates culture.

      That's interesting. I like The Verge articles / videos for their high quality, and did notice they often address deeper topics than just news reporting -- but never connected this back to their mission statement.

      Or it's a result of their awesome staff? Maybe both influence each other?

      • The alleged rationale for invading Ukraine is not new. What's different now is the complete lack of popular support combined with unrelenting violence -- disregarding reality.
      • Putin is modifying this rationale to fit his own goals.
    1. to undo the Bolshevik nationalities policies that laid the foundations for the contemporary state system of Eurasia

      Meaning what specifically?

    2. Such a flexible concept allows for a meshing of Russian state interests with claims to be acting to protect a diversity of ethnic and linguistic communities outside Russia. It also negates the idea of other legitimate national communities that could underpin states in the region.

      Flexible explanations or motivations are bad -- they can justify nearly anything and undermine contrary arguments.

    3. The idea that Russia has a particular responsibility for the Russian communities outside Russia became a core part of the identity of Moscow’s foreign policy elite in the early 1990s and has been a key driver in the evolution of Russia’s approach to its neighbourhood.

      The alleged rationale for invading Ukraine is not new. What's different now is the complete lack of popular support combined with unrelenting violence -- disregarding reality.

    4. Faced with the challenges and complexity of engaging with such diverse communities, in the 2000s Russia adopted a largely pragmatic and instrumental approach to the issue.

      Pragmatic in the sense of not being idealistic?

    5. Russia taking a strong stand on the issue in the late 1990s and early 2000s, notably with respect to the rights of Russians in Latvia and Estonia as the Baltic states moved towards EU and NATO membership.

      To clarify, this "strong stand" meant Russia argued "we're already supporting Latvia and Estonia, so no reason to join NATO"?

    6. The legacy of the expansion of the Russian Empire and the development of Soviet nationalities policies was a complex mosaic of different communities scattered across Eurasia with historical ties to Russia.

      Not "one Russia", but many unique cultures loosely associated with it.

      • Russia and Ukraine DO have a shared culture and origin, but all people have that actually. Both cultures (plus Belarus) shaped each other, it's incorrect to say that any one was once part of the other (the "ancient Rus" were not today's Russians).
      • Putin fits his ideas of a strong Russia into the historical context with disregard for actual facts.
      • In that he leaves the Ukrainians no choice of their own culture or power to shape it, which short-circuits (invalidates) the entire discussion.
    1. This shows just how much propaganda infuses all of this ‘history’; nowhere in his writings on the subject does Putin allow for Ukrainian subjectivity – for the possibility that Ukrainians might have their own opinion about who they are.

      That's the core of the matter, and a short-circuit which invalidates Putin's entire reasoning.

    2. However, this assertion does not make sense if Ukraine and Russia are the same.

      Why doesn't it make sense according to his reasoning? This would simply be a territorial dispute if you incorrectly believe that cultures are static (that Ukrainians are carbon copies of Russians). In that case the Soviet Union would have carved Ukraine out of Russia's territory, and after the fall of the Union Ukraine continued as a separate nation without reason.

      That's of course ignoring the historical fact that Ukraine was not actually Russian territory (as described above).

    3. The whole topic is clearly a personal idée fixe for him: back in July 2013, and before the annexation of Crimea and the war in eastern Ukraine that followed during the subsequent year, he gave a speech in Kyiv stating that all of Ukraine was historical Russia.

      Integrating Ukraine into Russia is not a new idea. How many other people inside Russia believe this (disregarding effects of propaganda)? Putin can't be the one who invented it?

    4. Ukrainians, Russians and Belarusians have all used Rus’ as part of their compound name at various times; but this only means they are kin, not the ‘same people’. Putin’s argument that the Ancient Rus’ were ancient Russians is, therefore, only one possibility out of four.

      Ukrainians, Russians, and Belarusians DO have a shared culture -- but that simply means they are similar to each other. No two people are exactly the same.

    5. Putin ignores what happened when Ukrainians and Russians lived in separate states – actually for a longer period than when they lived together.

      Putin is bending historical facts to fit his idealistic claims. Which means his goal is implementing that static ideal of a strong Russia, not adapting it to allow for progress.

      That takes us back to before the scientific revolution.

    1. Such cooperation, he said, three years into his presidency, would be “a great investment in strengthening Europe’s stability.”

      And now he stopped valuing that stability?

    2. are halting deliveries to Russia to comply with sanctions.

      Interesting, at least some of the companies pausing business in Russia are forced to do so through the sanctions by the US government.

    1. The Ukrainian government that so recently seemed mired in corruption and division has been outstanding

      I wonder where this change comes from. Corruption means people care more about themselves than for principles, while bravery means the opposite.

    2. “There is a profound difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest.”

      How does the quote apply in this context? Putin sees this war as a liberation (hence it's justified for him), when it's actually a conquest.

    3. Although we in the West sometimes lose faith that our values are universal, Putin certainly believes they are. Otherwise, why attempt to conquer a country to prevent it from succeeding?

      Is there's a difference between "universality of values" and "universality of their spread"? Putin is acting against the second form through force and tightly controlled news media.

      We should not see all our values as "universal" in the sense of imprinting them on others. That's not "loosing faith", but giving people of different cultures their own choice and identity.

    4. This is what free societies converging on an idea looks like.

      Or political pressure being applied to every company (from people, not the government). Suspending business in Russia costs less than the repetitional hit of continuing there.

      Though arguable that's the same as a "free convergence on an idea" -- since such pressure only exists when many people agree on something.

    5. Conquering Ukraine will require unspeakable brutality
      • "Restoring the Russian empire" requires an easy victory over Ukraine, as it's meant as a "liberation" from the western "empire of lies".
      • The fierce resistance by the Ukrainian people invalidates this premise. Their national identity is strengthened through the resistance in this conflict.
      • This means Putin pushed Ukraine further away from Russia, rather than integrate them.
      • If he extracts political concessions from Ukraine (e.g. that they won't join NATO), the only way to enforce them is through intimidation. The effectiveness of economic sanctions may prevent this from working longer term
    1. The Russians may still conquer the whole of Ukraine. But to win the war, the Russians would have to hold Ukraine, and they can do that only if the Ukrainian people let them. This seems increasingly unlikely to happen.

      Maybe at this point, just the appearance of victory is enough for Putin?

    2. The president who refused to flee the capital, telling the US that he needs ammunition, not a ride; the soldiers from Snake Island who told a Russian warship to “go fuck yourself”; the civilians who tried to stop Russian tanks by sitting in their path. This is the stuff nations are built from. In the long run, these stories count for more than tanks.

      Individual acts of bravery that shape people's cultural identity.

    3. But the Russian despot has told his lie so many times that he apparently believes it himself.

      Does Putin even see the population of Russia as real people? Particularly the activists. Maybe he thinks that most people need to be told what to do ("freed from the empire of lies").

      • Cultural change is a choice, not purely defined by historical trends (e.g. "war is inevitable").
      • For one of the first times in history, we see war not as a way to make progress. Intellectual progress can't be conquered like raw resources can. Global cooperation is worth more than a bigger country.
      • But this is again subject to our choice. If Russia's war is successful, we will see more wars (since it will be a viable method for political change). It's not just about preventing atrocities in Ukraine.
    1. A return to the jungle would also undermine global co-operation on problems such as preventing catastrophic climate change

      Hopefully the usefulness of global cooperation also hinders the "return to the jungle" of zero-sum games?

    2. In recent decades governments around the world have felt safe enough to spend an average of only about 6.5% of their budgets on their armed forces

      Or even less for most western countries. The USA spends 3.7%, China 1.7%, Germany 1.4%.


    3. For thousands of years, military expenditure was by far the biggest item on the budget of every prince, khan, sultan and emperor.

      Connected to them seeing wars as the method of "progress".

    4. In the past few generations, however, for the first time in history the world became dominated by elites who see war as both evil and avoidable.

      I wonder why he specifically wrote "elites". Do other people not think about war as avoidable, or are they just dominated by popular thoughts?

    5. nuclear weapons have turned war between superpowers into a mad act of collective suicide, forcing the most powerful nations on Earth to find less violent ways to resolve conflict.

      Cultural change "forced" through technical progress, not moral arguments.

    1. Intervention pathways, once established, will provide state and state-sponsored actors with additional tools for controlling public dialogue.

      This slippery slope is probably more real than it appears, in our polarised political situation.

    2. Russia has reportedly been trying for years to “unplug” from the internet so it can completely control communications in the country. Internet providers shouldn’t help the Russian government, or any government, keep people within an information bubble.

      Any good article on this, and on Russia's propaganda machine in general?

      Are they trying to emulate China, or did they arrive on this on their own?

    3. The European Union, in an unprecedented move, has decided to prohibit the broadcasting and distribution of content by these outlets throughout the European Union

      Example of censorship done by our western institutions. The reasoning here is to prevent the spread of one-sided, fact-misrepresenting propaganda -- but it's still censorship.

    4. Also like most people, we are not experts on military strategy or international diplomacy.

      Interesting question: should non-experts debate a topic they care about?

      Pros: Thinking more and consuming less, valuing the topic by talking about it, maybe morals are personal and can be debated by everyone? Cons: Easy to overstate confidence and be misinformed, supporting existing views may be more useful overall.

    1. “Twitch’s leadership is uncomfortable with mid-level and lower level employees pushing for change,”

      Please name one larger tech company where questioning leadership is encouraged.

    2. “It’s really hard to help Emmett understand anything qualitative,” one former employee says. “It has to be quantitative.”

      Does running a community require qualitative decision making?

    3. “We went down the Silicon Valley route—hiring from Facebook, from Twitter,” he says, adding that many recruits had little understanding of gaming or livestreaming and were “unwilling to learn what this community was, why it was special.”

      Interesting argument that to build unique products, you need to hire people uniquely interested in the mission.

    4. The exodus began last year, when more than 300 employees left, and so far 60-plus people have walked out the door in 2022, according to a Bloomberg analysis.

      Note that for huge tech companies like Amazon that's not necessarily unexpected. About 15% of people change their job every year.

    5. Twitch, the popular site where people go to watch other people play video games

      That's an oversimplification -- even video game streamers spend a lot of time just talking to their audience or watching videos.

      Twitch provides on-demand, human connection (like radio or TV before it).

  4. Feb 2022
    1. If you put a bunch of research into designing a really great product and it succeeds but gets effectively copied by low-cost clones, you’ll be sad. I am not sure how to defend this, and I think it is probably the weakest point of this business model;

      By getting to economies of scale faster than other people can?

    2. Coelux makes a high-end artificial skylight which certainly looks awesome, but it costs upwards of $30k and also takes a lot of headroom in the ceiling.

      Where is this $30k going towards? Maybe creating artificial daylight isn't as easy as chaining together existing LEDs?

    3. I have already put 6+ hours into researching this idea

      I wouldn't consider one day of research to be long, many new businesses take years to work well at scale.

    1. “We think there will be a need to rethink the whole security situation if these Russian troops and weapons are here to stay [in Belarus] as they appear,”

      Was Belarus allying itself to Russia really that unexpected?

    1. But if you look at [the demands Putin made of the west before invading], it’s not just Ukraine.

      Putin's stated goal isn't even about Ukraine directly, just about preventing its shift to the west politically. https://youtu.be/1qS6J-WbTD8?t=1364

    1. The degree to which “incomplete” applications leverage the underlying software platform for execution of all business logic may ultimately prove to be less important than the degree to which these new internet-based organizations land on effective organizational scalability models.
    2. contract theory
    3. Applications built on Ethereum transitively inherit the “completeness” of the underlying platform
    4. One answer
    5. What about “incomplete” projects? Their need for dynamic, human, subjective inputs to ongoing operations makes them difficult to computationally verify and automate.
    1. Argument that popular modern dictionaries are taking the wrong approach by defining words as plainly as possible. That makes it no fun to use them except for definitions.

      For writing at least, using something like the original Websters dictionary is a great help to improve your style.

    2. You read the dictionary’s thesaurian list of synonyms

      This is what I often do, and I'm frequently frustrated there aren't any alternative words for many expressions that capture the same thing.

      Like the author here, it never occurred to me that a good dictionary would be a solution, since I never saw one.

    3. Who decided that the American public couldn’t handle “a soft and fitful luster”?

      It depends on the goals of your writing, in general, using uncommon words makes you harder to understand.

      I also suspect not all people find joy in expressive language, or don't even notice it as non-native speakers online.

    1. Intruguing argument about how to allow more tinkering with software -- making it really easy to contribute, not just possible.

      I think for example the note-taking community is on a path towards that -- a lot of the fun is about finding your own worflow and contributing to editor plugins you like.

    2. “Well, it’s Open Source, I guess I could go download the source code… but… meh, it’s so far out of my way, not worth it,” and the urge fizzles out. I think that a lot of potential human creativity is being wasted this way.

      This reminds me of physical tinkering, like building or fixing your own small furniture. That's also hard with the products we often buy today -- it's difficult to fix minature electronics which are meant to be replaced.

      But with software (esp. open source) it could be easier, as everyone can have the same tools. I very much resonate with the idea of tinkering more and using less standards.

    3. Making changes or additions to the standard library was as easy as making changes to my own code

      For many people, making changes to code at all is hard. The few times I remember actually forking a library to add functionality, it meant hours reading into the codebase and polishing my change to commit it upstream.

      I like the author's argument, but it's not not just the friction to view source code -- many technical architectures are also needlessly complex or non-standard.

    1. Paul Graham argued in 2005 (just before starting YCombinator) why venture capital is traditionally unfriendly to founders, and how it sets itself bad incentives.

    2. The puffed-up companies that went public during the Bubble didn't do it just because they were pulled into it by unscrupulous investment bankers. Most were pushed just as hard from the other side by VCs who'd invested at high valuations, leaving an IPO as the only way out.

      Aren't IPOs by definition about diversification for existing investors?

    3. Google survived enormous VC funding because it could legitimately absorb large amounts of money.

      What's an example of a company that can't absorb large amounts of funding? I assume Google used it to improve their infrastructure to support an incredibly large userbase. Uber for example used most of its funding for marketing and kickstarting their marketplace. The general ethos of "hypergrowth" seems to be trying to get to scale as fast as possible.

      So the argument here is not to chase scale by throwing money at it, but only invest when it's required? Does the second case actually exist outside of boostrapped startups?

    1. Learnings: - Take a lesson from good hill climbing algorithms, and drop yourself in unfamiliar situations to find your career maximum. - Progress in artificial games (e.g. career ladders) is fun, but you're likely to miss the bigger picture.

    1. In a display of pure steam-punk nerdiness, Amish hackers try to outdo each other in building pneumatic versions of electrified contraptions.
    1. Yak Shaves

      Definition: "Yak shaving refers to a task, that leads you to perform another related task and so on, and so on — all distracting you from your original goal. This is sometimes called “going down the rabbit hole.”"

      Intuitively I assumed the term meant to stay lean and frequently reduce all complexity down to the bare minimum, but it's somewhat of the opposite :) This idea in general might also be called serendipity.

    1. You need to become your most intelligent critic and have the intellectual honesty to kill some of your best-loved ideas.
    2. The difference between the people who do the work and the people who just reel off memorized opinions is huge.
    3. Doing the work counteracts our natural desire to seek out only information that confirms what we believe we know.
    4. “I can hold this view because I can’t find anyone else who can argue better against my view.”
    5. I never allow myself to have an opinion on anything that I don’t know the other side’s argument better than they do.— Charlie Munger
    1. Very interesting intro to financial programming at large banks. Basically, these systems replace Excel spreadsheets and thus treat everything as data with a minimal deployment process.

      It's bad that it diverges so much from normal Python programming. We can learn from some of these approaches, and so can they.

      For more context: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=29104047

    2. In order to deploy your app outside of Minerva you now need to know something about k8s, or Cloud Formation, or Terraform. This is a skillset so distinct from that of a normal programmer (let alone a financial modeller) that there is no overlap.

      Those technologies are not as hard to learn as it sounds. Also you'll have custom deployment abstractions inside large companies.

    3. Thousands of people work on - or rather, inside - these systems but there is not a lot about them on the public web. When I've tried to explain Bank Python in conversations people have often dismissed what I've said as the ravings of a swivel-eyed loon. It all just sounds too bonkers.
    4. Anyone can put a job into Walpole - you need only a small ini-style config file explaining what time to run your script, where your main function is and your entire application is deployed with no further negotiation. This is a big deal because negotiating anything in large bank is an exercise in frustration
    5. Investment banks have a one-way approach to open source software: (some of) it can come in, but none of it can go out.
    6. Dagger is a key technology to get financial models out of Excel, into a programming language and under tests and version control.
    7. Financiers are able to learn Python, and while they may never be amazing at it they can contribute to a much higher level and even make their own changes and get them deployed.
    8. If the change was very urgent, they might sign off your change sight unseen, based on your reputation alone. As soon as they clicked that "vouch" button - bang - your new change was in prod
    1. Learnings: - It's easy to assume people in the past didn't care or were stupid. But people do things for a reason. Not understanding the reason for how things are is a missed learning opportunity, and very likely leads to unintended consequences. - Similar to having a valid strong opinion, one must understand why things are as they are before changing them (except if the goal is only signaling).

    2. all-too-common belief that previous generations were bumbling fools, stumbling around, constructing fences wherever they fancied
    3. It may be an illogical or inconsequential reason, but it is a reason nonetheless.
    4. Sometimes an outside perspective is ideal for shaking things up and finding new ways. Even so, we can’t let ourselves be too overconfident about the redundancy of things we see as pointless.
    5. It’s best to assume they knew things we don’t or had experience we can’t fathom, so we don’t go for quick fixes and end up making things worse.
    6. fences are built by people who carefully planned them out and “had some reason for thinking [the fence] would be a good thing for somebody.”
    7. If you’re engaging in a bad habit, it’s admirable to try to eliminate it—except part of why many attempts to do so fail is that bad habits do not appear out of nowhere.
    8. the peacock’s tail is not about efficiency. In fact, its whole value lies in its inefficiency. It signals a bird is healthy enough to waste energy growing it and has the strength to carry it around.
    9. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.” To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.”
    10. Second-order thinking will get you extraordinary results, and so will learning to recognize when other people are using second-order thinking.
    11. When we seek to intervene in any system created by someone, it’s not enough to view their decisions and choices simply as the consequences of first-order thinking
    1. Rebel Wolves said it will be a studio built on “the foundations of fairness, teamwork, and openness [...] unified by the mission of putting the team first —ALWAYS— [...] they believe that happy people create great games

      You can't help but notice the shade thrown over CD Project Red with this statement. The development of The Witcher 3 was notorious for its crunch, I can only imagine it was worse for Cyberpunk 2077.



    1. Out there in the multiverse is a reality where the web is a complete borefest. Information is the only driving factor to visit a “web page” and PWAs have never come to exist. Custom styling, fancy interactive animations and single-page functionality isn’t even something that can be implemented. The web is just a system of HTML/plaintext documents sharing information and data. Users browse the web in quick bursts to satisfy their queries or read something interesting. Then, they return to real life.
    2. My livelihood depends on software requiring custom UIs and properly audited UX flows. By suggesting this change I am throwing myself under the bus and putting myself out of work. All my experience would become worthless and the world of software design would cease to exist. I would be okay with that. If it meant the web as a whole was a better place - so be it.

      That's a strong positions to make this argument from. I'm bad at design, so it'd be easy for me to argue that it's not important.

    3. Interesting thought argument about a "boring web" where the attention grabbing design & content doesn't exist.

      There's obviously a middle ground. Right now it feels like consumer products need to be "addictive" to do well - but maybe it doesn't have to be that way?

    1. V. Conclusion60. Based on the foregoing, your affiant submits that there is probable cause to believe that ILYA “DUTCH” LICHTENSTEIN and HEATHER MORGAN violated 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h), which makes it a crime in relevant part to conspire to conduct or attempt to conduct a financial transaction involving the proceeds of specified unlawful activity, knowing that the property involved in the financial transaction represents the proceeds of some form of unlawful activity, and knowing that the transaction is designed in whole or in part to conceal or disguise the nature, location, source, ownership, or control of the proceeds of specified unlawful activity. For purposes of this section, specified unlawful activity includes wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343, and computer fraud and abuse, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1030. 61. Your affiant submits there is also probable cause to believe that ILYA “DUTCH” LICHTENSTEIN and HEATHER MORGAN violated 18 U.S.C. § 371, which makes it a crime in relevant part for two or more persons to conspire to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof, in any manner or for any purpose, and to do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy.

      They're arresting them because they moved and sought to hide the movements of funds gained from an unlawful activity, not because they actually engaged in the original unlawful activity.

    1. The cloud advantage was one of the main pillars upon which the Stadia business was built, and there just isn't any evidence that this theoretical benefit is working to Google's benefit in real life.

      Has better latency != can have better latency. If there's demand for Stadia I assume they could use more of those data centers. But not sure the performance of Stadaia is the problem here, it's far far easier to use Stadia than Gefore NOW. Yet, people don't use it.

    2. "The fundamental benefit of our cloud-native infrastructure is that developers will be able to take advantage of hardware and power in ways never before possible, and that includes taking advantage of the power of multiple GPUs at once."

      Notably, this goal has been stated before, I believe by Microsoft for the Xbox 360? Running demanding workloads in the cloud elastically makes a lot more sense than buying hardware you rarely use.

    3. Google killed SG&E about one year after Stadia launched, before the studio had released a game or done any public work. In a blog post announcing Stadia's pivot to a "platform technology," Stadia VP Phil Harrison explained the decision to shutter SG&E, saying, "Creating best-in-class games from the ground up takes many years and significant investment, and the cost is going up exponentially."

      I suspect Google wanted faster, more measurable results than is possible with game development. There's a reason why tech companies are vastly more profitable than game companies.

      I don't particularly see the shame in changing a strategy that isn't working. As an early user of Stadia I do see the lost potential though, maybe that's where this is coming from.

    4. With Stadia's consumer model going down the drain, Google announced it would pivot Stadia to become a behind-the-scenes, white-label data center service that the company will reportedly re-brand as "Google Stream."

      I think that makes a lot of sense. Google doesn't want to do the "platform building" Microsoft and Sony excel at, and it doesn't have to.

      Imagine playing or trying out video games simply on the developers website.

    5. For Nvidia, the speed of the 3080 package makes for a solid sales pitch: This cloud PC is probably faster than your home system, so cloud gaming is worth it. Cloud gaming will always present a latency tradeoff, but that latency is easier to accept if you're getting otherwise-unattainable graphics quality along with it.

      Smart strategy by Nvidia.

    6. One of the many problems the platform faces is that Stadia hardware is only good for Stadia. It can't run anything other than Stadia, so Google is reluctant to invest in this single-use hardware and keep it up to date. The Stadia computer you're renting from Google is pretty outdated.

      I would love some sources on this.

    7. Stadia certainly isn't available in "over 200 countries." It's available in just 22 countries, or about 10 percent of the scale Pichai heavily implied Google could work at.

      Do the other countries have sufficiently fast internet infrastructure to make streaming work well for many people? Is there demand for Stadia there? What's the criticism regarding this exactly?

    1. First, there is the life insurance rationale. Although the chance of a planet-wide calamity extinguishing our species is low, it is not zero.

      Notably Steven Hawking (and others) warned about this year ago already. Not to take away from Musk's achievements, but he's not the first to recognise and work on this problem.


    2. For the first time in 4.5 billion years, a creature living on Earth has the ability to do something about this threat by helping humanity to become a spacefaring species.

      Classic article about the topic: https://waitbutwhy.com/2014/05/fermi-paradox.html

    3. What, we discussed, were the headlines from the event? No one was sure, as we agreed that Musk had not really broken any news.

      I noticed the same about the presentation. It seemed like Musk is becoming more adept at adept at selling his vision (e.g. addressing "why invest in space" criticism), but shied away from any concrete information about SpaceX's plans.

      He even joked about "it's not done yet" so many times I suspect there isn't much to report at the moment. I wonder what's the reason for this update now.

    4. At times, however, Musk was frustratingly vague. After the speech, I felt no more confident about when the massive Starship vehicle will actually make an orbital launch attempt. For those who follow SpaceX closely, this came as a disappointment, especially as this talk marked SpaceX's first substantial Starship update in more than 28 months.

      A tour of their facility a few months ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t705r8ICkRw

    1. One source described the Q&A as an ultimately unsuccessful attempt at extracting some kind of accountability from Stadia management.

      There is no accountability to people inside corporations, only to results. Which is working as intended, companies are meant to make money by serving customers, not employees.

      The simple "truth" here is that these Stadia games likely wouldn't have been successful without a lot of additional investments.

    2. We will confirm the SG&E investment envelope shortly, which will, in turn, inform the SG&E strategy

      That's corporate speak for "prepare for budget cuts". If nothing would change, they'd have said so directly.

    1. the hefty hurdle we’re racing to clear and the festering fear keeping us up at night, worried that we’ll never make it
    2. But no matter how intense the pressure, I wasn’t ready to launch. Common practice would be to "throw it out there and see what sticks,” which may be fine after a few months of effort when the sunk cost is low. But the “launch and see what happens” method seemed irresponsible and reckless to me — especially given the years that that we had invested.
    3. You can always feel when product/market fit is not happening. The customers aren't quite getting value out of the product, word of mouth isn't spreading, usage isn't growing that fast, press reviews are kind of ‘blah,’ the sales cycle takes too long, and lots of deals never close. And you can always feel product/market fit when it is happening. The customers are buying the product just as fast as you can make it — or usage is growing just as fast as you can add more servers. Money from customers is piling up in your company checking account.
    1. It is worth reflecting on the strange fact that the five most valuable companies in the world are headquartered on the Pacific coast between Cupertino and Seattle. Has there ever been a more powerful region in the global economy?
    2. And with that centralization, five giant platforms have emerged as the five most valuable companies in the world: Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook.
    3. “Any Web 2.0 vendor that seeks to lock in its application gains by controlling the platform will, by definition, no longer be playing to the strengths of the platform,” O’Reilly wrote.
    4. Twitter ran as a service for which many companies created clients and extensions within the company’s ecosystem. Twitter delivered tweets you could read not just on twitter.com but on Tweetdeck or Twitterific or Echofon or Tweetbot, sites made by independent companies which could build new things into their interfaces.
    5. Nowadays, (hyper)linking is an afterthought because most of the action occurs within platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and messaging apps, which all have carved space out of the open web.
    1. It’s the number of iterations that drives the learning curve.
    2. We’re evolved for small victories all the time but that becomes very expensive. That’s where the crowd is. That’s where the herd is. So, if you’re willing to bleed a little bit every day but in exchange you’ll win big later, you will do better.
    3. For example, everyone’s into mental models these days. You go to Farnam Street, you go to Poor Charlie’s Almanack, and you can learn all the different mental models. But which ones matter more? Which ones do you apply more often? Which ones matter in which circumstances? That’s actually the hard part.
    4. There’s no actual skill called business, it’s too generic. It’s like a skill called “relating.” Like “relating to humans.” That’s not a skill, it’s too broad.
    5. they’re trying to help you pattern match by throwing lots of data points at you, but the reality is, you will never understand them fully until you’re actually in that position yourself. 
    1. Profit is the ultimate flexibility because it buys you the ultimate luxury: time.
    2. Unlike companies that reinvest all or most of the money back into the company every year, we take money (profit) out every year in the form of distributions (we’re an LLC). This means every year we take risk out of the company. Companies that keep reinvesting keep adding risk to their companies. If the shit hits the fan one day, and the company ceases to exist, we’ll have enjoyed the upside as we went

      Diversifying personal rewards.

    3. companies are products too
    1. I was single-focused obsessed with being a successful musician from age 14 to 29 — crucial years when many of my friends were feeling lost.
    2. I’m wary of anything that feels like addiction. Whether drinking, phone/internet use, playing games, or whatever — if people tend to get an unhealthy addiction to it, I avoid it.
    3. All of my current creative and learning goals can be achieved with these existing tools, so I avoid that time-sinking habit of looking for new ones.
    4. I prefer talking on the phone to hanging in person
    5. I’ve optimized my life for creating and learning. I’ve cut out most things from my life that most normal people do — (like hanging out or media consumption) — in pursuit of my bigger goal.
    6. I hate to waste a single hour. I feel the precious value of time, most of the time. I imagine my time as worth $1000 an hour, and ask myself what’s worth $1000. Watching a TV show? Absolutely not. (“Game of Thrones” was 70 hours, so would have cost $70,000 to watch.) Social media? Absolutely not. Focused learning or creating? Yep! Being with my kid? Always.
    7. I’ve always had an uncommon approach to life, mostly shaped by my ambition. But when I read a book on Stoicism I realized I wasn’t so unique. My own self-created philosophy lined up almost exactly with this ancient philosophy.
    8. I got online in 1994, so I watched many companies — companies that people were completely dependent on — go out of business, and watched everyone’s uploaded stuff just disappear. So I don’t trust companies, I avoid the cloud, and run everything myself on my own server.
    1. The “separation of powers” is hardly the most efficient form of government

      Separation of political power is a way of being robust to unexpected events.

    2. “These events were unexplainable, but intelligent people thought they were capable of providing convincing explanations for them—after the fact,” Taleb writes in “The Black Swan.” “The more intelligent the person, the better sounding the explanation.”
    3. “Decision-makers must act swiftly,” the authors conclude, “and avoid the fallacy that to have an appropriate respect for uncertainty in the face of possible irreversible catastrophe amounts to ‘paranoia.’ ”
    4. an antifragile country would encourage the distribution of power among smaller, more local, experimental, and self-sufficient entities

      Being robust to random events, and even gaining from some of them, and then applying them everywhere (antifragility).

    5. In a way, focussing on his January warning distracts us from his main aim, which is building political structures so that societies will be better able to cope with mounting, random events.
    6. “If it can spend trillions stockpiling nuclear weapons, it ought to spend tens of billions stockpiling ventilators and testing kits.”
    7. “managing without buffers was irresponsible,” because “fat-tail events” can never be completely avoided
    1. This is another example of standard-raising, but it’s actually something more Socratic than that. “What the hell were you thinking?” is a really important question that sets the stage for a lesson you’ll never forget. With Michael, bad execution isn’t just fixed, it’s also scrutinized.
    2. The fluidity with which Michael can remember specific anecdotes and facts about companies he’s advised years ago, then transition from thinking about those companies as atomic units to groups of companies (with varying specificity across different dimensions), and do that with a sensitivity to time (the world changes quickly in Silicon Valley), while zooming in and out to varying levels of detail… it’s crazy to experience.
    3. If you’re going through YC, or you have the opportunity to be advised by any YC partner, you can expect certain things: First, If you’re prepared with questions, you’ll get a lot of questions back. You will be expected to have answers. Then, you’ll get advice that may very well transform your company. The advice will, almost always, be direct and unambiguous – but sometimes the answer will be more like a heuristic. It will feel like drinking from a fire hose, and by that I mean it will be fast-paced and you’ll cover a lot, quickly. You’ll leave with a clear set of goals, a sense of urgency, and feeling of hopefulness and excitement.
    4. I touched on this earlier, but YC office hours follow a general format. You come in with your questions, and you get asked questions back. You get great advice and the whole thing flies by. You leave and you usually feel pretty excited and good.
    5. Michael’s advice can often feel more like “And so it was told: Michael Seibel has spoken.” His ability to suppress his sense of fallibility and hit you with some blunt “do this”-type advice is sometimes exactly what you need.
    6. Learnings

      • Mentorship really helps, to get perspective from people who have seen your problems many times already. It's about reflecting what really needs to get done.
      • When making a mistake, think about what led you to make the mistake.
      • Have the courage to be the unconventional at what you do. The best people in any industry are not copying from others.
    7. To say Michael “grills” you would be an understatement. The moment a question leaves Michael’s lips, the clock starts ticking. And less than two seconds later, you already can feel it and see it all over Michael’s face: “Does this idiot really not know how many unique visitors he’s had in the past two weeks?”
    8. I truly feel like Michael cares about his YC founders in the way a teacher cares about their students. He wants us to win, and he wants us to succeed, and it would be amazing if that meant winning and succeeding together. But if winning meant shutting down our company, or succeeding meant quitting and doing something else, that would be OK, too.
    1. The question “What if two programs did this?” is also helpful in evaluating a feature or a design request. Combining this with “Imagine if this were possible” leads to an impressive one-two punch. Here are a few examples:
    1. Our personal spaces also suffer from decreasing attention spans and instant gratification from social media. Asking our audiences to jump from a social media app to our websites can already be too much friction. That’s an unsolved problem.
    1. Americanism: Using money you haven’t earned to buy things you don’t need to impress people you don’t like. —Robert Quillen
    2. “If I Had More Time, I Would Have Written a Shorter Letter”.
    3. The ease of use of the UI on Twitter seems to broadly make it a platform for “fast” posting which can too often cause ruffled feathers, sour feelings, anger, and poor communication.
    4. Perhaps it would help more people’s contextual thinking if more sites specifically labeled their posts as fast and slow (or gave a 1-10 rating)?
    1. As a tumultuous 2020 roiled American politics, Chinese people began turning to Wang’s America Against America for answers. And when a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol building on January 6, 2021, the book flew off the shelves.

      Effect of the 2021 US Capitol attack in China -- seeing it as emblematic of the west's societal problems.

    1. I’m not sure when exactly this trend truly took off—I blame The Witcher 3’s “Gwent”—but every expansive open-world RPG these days apparently has to feature an in-universe board game of some sort.

      Lending immersion to small acarde-like games by including them inside a larger video game.

    2. You leave your mount at one end, then call it to you again…a whole two seconds later. How’d you get here, buddy?

      Example of small immersion features features worked on (or not) by big-budget games.

    1. Amid seemingly intractable problems here on Earth, a vision of the future can resemble a life raft, and in the absence of viable alternatives, substanceless promises of space travel, crypto-utopias, and eternal life in the cloud may become the only things to look forward to.

      Is that a bad thing, to have something to look forward to? It implies that new technological inventions are the only way to make progress, but it is undeniably progress. Not everyone will hold this view, and no one should force it upon you. So why are people constantly criticing "techno-utopia" views instead of creating and moving towards their own visions of the future?

    2. his talk proved to be one of many ideas worth spreading. “This is by far the most interesting and challenging thing I’ve heard on TED,” one commenter posted. “Very glad to come across it!”

      That's the problem -- making it easy to feel good about consuming content passively.

    3. This previously undiscovered branch of math would, he said, “create inexhaustible free energy, end all diseases, produce all food, travel anywhere in the universe, build the ultimate supercomputer and artificial intelligence, and make obsolete all existing technology.” He got a standing ovation. The video went largely unnoticed until 2012, when a handful of science bloggers found it and pilloried Powell’s claims. The talk, they said, was constructed entirely out of meaningless jargon. In an online forum, a theoretical physicist said that Powell was “either (1) insane, (2) a huckster going for fame or money, or (3) doing a Sokal’s hoax on TED.”
    4. speaks about how each of us can, like her, become a creative genius

      Is this the ultimate form of culturally accepted bragging? How many people discover they can be vaguely "inspiring" instead of delivering substance? Maybe that's what's wrong with the world.

    5. Anderson insists anyone is capable of giving a TED-esque talk. You just need an interesting topic and then you need to attach that topic to an inspirational story.
    6. “This American Life” and “Radiolab,” and maybe narrative podcasting as a form, are inspiresting.

      I agree -- they're larely without substance but "interesting" and "inspiring". Which is not necessarily a bad thing.

    7. Suddenly, degrees aren’t worth anything. Isn’t that true?

      It is becoming to be true.

    8. as if he could see his own bright future unfolding before him.

      He did see a bright potential before him, and that's precisely why he had a change at succeeding. I don't like the latent criticism about innovation in this article, it feels mostly like envy to me.

    9. The coming decades would not be about gatekeeping or rigid disciplinary boundaries or exclusivity, Anderson said. The future was about openness, connection, democratization of knowledge, collectivity.

      Was it not? I broadly see 2000-2010 as exploring the early potential of the internet, without major cultural problems (but ending with the financial crisis).

    10. he grew tired of TED and, in 2001, sold it to Chris Anderson, a British media entrepreneur who made a fortune building websites (including the popular video game site IGN)

      Wikipedia mentions "The IGN website was the brainchild of media entrepreneur Chris Anderson", but I can't find any accurate source on how much he was actually involved with their operation (maybe only responsible for the website)?

    11. The primary function of TED, by contrast, is to predict the future.

      Are you sure about that? Even if that were its mission, it doesn't have to be TED's primary function or effect. I suspect most people listen to be inspired (as entertainment), not to actually see the future.

    12. and I felt hopeful about the future

      Isn't that the actual (positive) purpose of TED? The whole self-delusion about how talks create progress felt tacked-on at least to me, like the mission statements of any large company. Did people really take it seriously?

    13. Amid wildfires and the Delta surge, its theme was “the case for optimism.”

      Talking not doing.

    14. “short books to feed your craving for ideas.”

      Newnewss for the sake of Newness. "Empty information calories".

    15. For their ideas to become realities, they merely need to be articulated and spread as widely as possible.

      I agree with the criticism on this. For actual change you need to do things instead of talking about them.

      Many TED speakers may be credible on the topic they talk about (like Bill Gates, who does spend his time funding public health projects), but even then the value of talking about their achievements could be limited. Those talks may inspire listeners, but that cannot come at the expense of actually doing the work, or thinking that solely articulating ideas creates progress.

    16. But, Gates adds, the future might turn out okay. He has an idea.

      What's the alternative? Telling people that the future is not ok? Would people listen to talks like this?

    17. I agreed and put together a talk

      He're another perspective on preparing for a TED talk (most people memorize every single word they say): https://waitbutwhy.com/2016/03/doing-a-ted-talk-the-full-story.html

    18. TED 2015

      For reference, here are the "the most popular talks of 2015": https://www.ted.com/playlists/320/the_most_popular_talks_of_2015_1

    1. empathize with the person to whom you’re speaking

      That should be done for any type of communication. How does the "curse of knowledge" relate to this specifically?

    2. How exactly did this go wrong?

      You have a different political belief than the one who you're supposed to write the speech for. This isn't related to knowing or not knowing something?

    1. We’re actively looking for the learning guide of the future.

      Has something changed since 2018?

    2. with inline discussion with other learners

      Ha, web annotations to the rescue!

    3. You don’t need to read a whole link to get the main point, you want to curate little bits and pieces of open resources: 30 seconds of this podcast, a minute and a half from this youtube video, just these 4 paragraphs from this article.

      Then why not summarize these important content fragments into a single post learners should read?

      I disagree somewhat with only curating parts of content or endless remixing of content. The value of reading original sources is that you form opinions and see connections yourself -- learning instead of memorising.

    1. Cicero had reigned supreme as the model and arbiter of good speech in Europe. Characteristically, Cicero’s sentences unfold slowly, building steam through a series of subordinate clauses toward a central idea.

      Meaning this speaking style is mostly meant to overwhelm and persuade you, not permit to make your own conclusions from the presented facts?

    2. Anyone who has ever glanced at a facsimile edition of even the most canonical writers of the English language—say Milton or Shakespeare—will be familiar with the wilder gardens of early modern usage.

      English vocabularly standardized more gradually than other languages -- with larger differences between writings.

    1. your optimal city is where you have the best chances of finding your tribe

      You can also find your "tribe" on the internet -- many people (including me) find that much easier than in real life. You have many more opportunities for connections and can drop things that don't work.

      Maybe the author's point is more about the serendipity of being in an environment with people of your interests?

    2. If you still live in the same city you grew up in, you should probably move.

      I'd be wary of making general statements like that. For me, moving not just cities but countries has been the best thing I ever did -- but to get away from a comfortable environment, not into one as the article describes here.

    1. A Pareto improvement occurs when a change in allocation harms no one and helps at least one person

      We should only do changes like this. Innovation instead of looting.

    2. when an economy has its resources and goods allocated to the maximum level of efficiency

      What exactly is "good allocated to the maximum level of efficiency" supposed to mean? We're always producing new wealth that can be applied somewhere.

    1. According to Freeman, this is why games (in spite of their undeniable successes) have yet to achieve the same widespread market penetration as movies or television - because the emotional complexity of gaming is not up to the standard set by more conventional entertainment media.

      A prediction from 2003 why video games are less successful than movies or TV. I wonder what's the popular sentiment on this today.