One of my favorite YouTube channels, Half As Interesting, did an explainer about the founding of Oakridge, Tennessee. It was founded in 1942 as part of the Manhattan Project. [Read more…]
Francois Chollet recently wrote an essay on “What worries me about AI”.
He argues that the big worry about AI for the near & medium term future is not AI itself – but how companies & governments will put AI to use. Humans are open-books and very vulnerable to manipulation. I love his section on key “vulnerabilities” of the human brain. [Read more…]
I love the Internet. I remember the first time that I saw a webpage load. It has changed my life in every way.
But the Internet is a tool. And like any tool, it amplifies both the good and bad that any one person can do.
Amplifying bad human behavior has always been around since the beginning. But the tool is increasingly rewarding bad human behavior.
We are adapting to the tool rather than adapting the tool to our needs.
It’s a complex idea. But I found a tweetstorm from Naval Ravikant that sums it up in a way that must be archived. Here it is in its entirety, copied with the permission he gave in replies to credit the original. [Read more…]
There’s an old adage that says “what gets measured gets managed” – ie, you can’t manage a problem until you measure it. [Read more…]
John Grisham has written an entire book every year for the past 10 to 15 years. I’ve always assumed that he was either superhuman or he worked with a team of ghostwriters.
Turns out that it’s not that complicated. He has a process and the discipline to follow the process.
Here’s his short talk to Random House on how he writes. [Read more…]
All this might seem a little underhanded, but it’s nothing compared to some of the design features currently showing up on Snapchat. Of these is the one causing the most concern, and uses elongating red lines to display the number days of since two users interacted. According to Adam Alter, this design feature is so effective that he’s heard of teens asking friends to babysit their streaks while on vacation.
“It’s clear here that the goal—keeping the streak alive—is more important than enjoying the platform as a social experience,” he says. “This is a clear sign that engagement mechanisms are driving usage more than enjoyment.”
The Internet is a wonderful, beautiful tool. Opt-out of anything that doesn’t make your life better.
Today is my last day working for Nebo Agency. I’ve been with Nebo for over 2 years. It’s by far and away been the most intense period of professional growth in my entire career.
I came to Nebo in 2013 after running my own freelance consulting business for 2 years prior. At the time, I wanted to join an elite team at an elite agency to specialize in a single field of digital marketing. At that point in my career, I knew enough to be dangerous. I knew I could bring a lot to a team, and that I could grow 10x as part of a team. Thankfully Nebo thought the same thing and gave me a shot.
And for me in hindsight, that certainly turned out to be true. I’ve been able to work with, learn from, and build relationships with my teammates. I also got to be challenged by interesting & diverse clients. I got to be exposed to all the intangibles of working around ambitious, talented people in a diverse, growing city. [Read more…]
Big choices & events in life almost always set the stage for the vast majority of love, happiness, wealth and overall quality of life. But it’s also interesting to me how marginal, incremental improvements can compound over time to product extraordinary improvements as well – aka the snowball effect.
I started cataloging some of my small daily habits and actions to notice little changes that made a big difference in my quality of life…
The best career advice book I’ve ever read is How To Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame). One of his core arguments is that every skill you acquire doubles your chance of success (ie, Bill Gates was an incredible developer AND incredible at business).
Hopefully that argument is true because by both necessity and planning, I’ve done a lot of stuff and acquired a lot of skills before hitting 30. Although I can’t compete with the likes of my friend Matt Moore went it comes to number of jobs had, I have a lot of people ask exactly how many projects/jobs I’ve done over my career.
So here’s the list of every job I’ve ever had, and every money-making project I’ve ever had a “solid go” at and what I’ve learned at each as of December 2014. [Read more…]
June 4th, 2014 was the 25th anniversary of the Tienanmen Square protests/massacre in China, immortalized by the Tank Man photo. It was one of the pivotal moments in the 20th Century where, unlike other Communist regimes in Europe, the Chinese Communists were able to keep their hold on power.
The massacre is immortalized everywhere…but China, where it has been actively censored and suppressed to the point where people will literally run away before talking about it.
The Internet was supposed to kill censorship, but China has the “Great Firewall” and one of the most ambitious censorship operations in the world. I had always heard that China actively and successfully censors the Internet, but never understood exactly how it works or what it would feel like to live in a completely censored world a la 1984.
China has banned Twitter because they will not grant access to the sensors, so they have a homegrown version – Sina Weibo. It has 500 million users – including me, an American citizen living in Atlanta, GA.
Yes – unlike some Chinese sites, anyone can sign up for Weibo, granted that you agree to their terms of service (ie, the Chinese government can revise your account).
I’ve had an account for a couple years, but had never used it…mainly because Google Translate has a very hard time with Mandarin Chinese. I have 9 followers (you know the type of people who follow everyone, mixed in with a couple bots).
But on June 4th, I thought I’d do a test of China’s censors. And see exactly what happens. [Read more…]