Showing posts with label crypto. Show all posts
Showing posts with label crypto. Show all posts

Saturday, June 10, 2023

10: AI, Biotech, Crypto

City of Yokosuka adopts ChatGPT after favorable trial results . But the city also noted that about half of its staff surveyed said they were dissatisfied with the accuracy of responses given by ChatGPT......... To improve skills, the city will seek experts’ advice and hold case competitions on how to create effective prompts for the chatbot to get precise responses.

The existential question about Putin’s mercenary boss Yevgeny Prigozhin is seen as useful to the Russian leader in various ways ....... Putin wants to keep Prigozhin in the wings as a counterbalance against something he, Putin, fears even more than an uppity mercenary: the Russian Army. ........ In his early years in power, the argument goes, Putin struggled to assert control over the brass. And as a former KGB man who thinks only in potential threats,

he now worries that as his war against Ukraine drags on, a military putsch becomes more likely.

Good, therefore, to have Prigozhin around to embarrass the army and keep them in line. ........ In February, however, Putin, trying hard to avoid another unpopular mass mobilization, prohibited Prigozhin from recruiting more prisoners. Now the Russian Army hires them directly. So Putin has in effect throttled the supply of Wagner troops just as he may or may not have withheld ammunition. Prigozhin remains completely dependent on Putin and both men know it. ........ The other reason Putin doesn’t fear Prigozhin is the mercenary’s motivation. Prigozhin actually wants to get his men out of Ukraine, which represents a loss leader for him. He instead needs them in lucrative places like the Middle East and Africa, where Wagner hawks its violence services to any warlord who asks. In return, Wagner gets the rights to exploit local resources — such as oil in Syria, diamonds or rare earths in Africa. ........ Putin likes these Wagner operations for their side effects. By spreading mayhem and unbearable human misery in regions like the Sahel, Wagner also causes mass migration to the European Union, which Prigozhin and Putin want to destabilize. ......... One reason why countries outsource some warfare to the private sector is plausible deniability. The soldiers of fortune do the state’s bidding, but the government can claim it’s not responsible. For Wagner, however, that veneer of separation from the state is now gone. The whole world knows that Wagner is an extension of Putin’s regime. ........ And Russia is far from the only culprit. America used contractors almost as enthusiastically in Iraq and Afghanistan, as do drug cartels, warlords, extremists and insurgents elsewhere.

Barely noting war in public, Putin acts like time is on his side

‘The creative process is fabulously unpredictable. A great idea cannot be predicted’ In 2019, Jony Ive left Apple to cofound a creative agency, LoveFrom, with his friend and long-time collaborator Marc Newson. LoveFrom is a small collective, with some 40 employees, but it works with some very notable companies and people, including Airbnb, Ferrari, and the new King of England, Charles III. ........... what a CEO must do to foster great design, the fragility of new ideas, and how group dynamics both inhibit and propel creation ............ The products that we develop and bring to market require a collection of people with expertise in a whole range of different areas, and there’s a process for creating and developing products and solutions with such a group. .......... To make that idea material and relevant, they need to work with a collection of people. But the nature of ideas and the creative process is so particular and unusual. It’s an activity that doesn’t naturally or easily sit within a large group of people. ............ When you gather a large group of people, they generally want to be able to relate to one another and to be sociable. But any process that is unpredictable does not sit comfortably or naturally in a large group setting. So people come to value activities that are predictable............. when you’re trying to create in the context of a large group of people with a whole range of different expertise, people tend to want to gravitate to those attributes or characteristics of a product that you can measure easily .......... If you’re trying to relate to a group of very different people and you want to appear sociable and engaged and connected, it’s much easier to talk about something that you can measure with a number. That’s why we choose to talk about schedule or cost or speed or weight. Given our very different backgrounds, that’s a comfortable and easy conversation. I completely get it. ............ But the really important conversations and preoccupations and concerns are very hard. Because you can’t assign a system of numbers to make the relative judgments that need to be made. ......... I used to think that this kind of conversation was a personal attack, or an affront to the practice of creating .......... the creative process is fabulously unpredictable. A great idea cannot be predicted. .......... You can increase the probability of having a good idea, which is the reason I pay so much attention to the creative process. It’s also partly for my sanity, to deal with that feeling of, “Oh, I’m here again, and I’m staring at a blank piece of paper.” I take enormous encouragement, and massive solace, in reminding myself how many times I’ve been in this position, where I feel that there are no ideas and I feel horribly stuck, and I keenly feel the burden and responsibility of the people that are waiting. ............... For me, I’ve personally coped with it by paying huge attention to the process, to the biography of an idea, to the tools that seem to make a difference. Ever since college, I’ve been obsessed with how we think, how to give body to a thought. ............ You’ll often find creatives are obsessed with process and tools. A primary tool for me is that I write an awful lot. I write because I realized at art school that you can only draw a small percentage of the attributes of an object. ............. Writing helps me frame the problem. A lot of mistakes are made when you frame a problem, because you could already be dismissing 60 percent, 70 percent of the potential ideas. ........ If you’re terrified that you’re never going to have another idea, it makes you think, How did I have previous ideas? So you pay attention to the conversations, the walks, the writing, the drawing, the models, the prototypes—all that helped you before. ........... I love the idea that there is, on one day, no idea. On Tuesday, there’s no idea. But on Thursday, there’s an idea. And the terrifying thing is, which Thursday? .............

when you have an idea, there are no absolutes except all the problems that the idea implicates.

........ The difference between an idea and a product is that you’ve solved the problems. When someone says to me, “Well, you can’t do this for these reasons,” all it means is that there are problems to be solved. If they can be solved, the idea transitions into becoming a thing. If they can’t, it remains an idea. .............. I love working with people who are curious. I can work very closely and very effectively with anyone who’s curious. ........... If you’re not curious, if being right is more important than learning, you’re going to have a very hard time building and maintaining any sort of momentum. ............ I always felt very fortunate at Apple when we got to design the third or fourth version. Because if you’re paying attention, the third or fourth one is the beneficiary of an awful lot of learning. ......... I pay most attention to the creative process and the path and journeys of ideas. I’m really more broadly interested in history. ....... I just start with people, and I’m very clear about my place and my contribution. I like this idea that what I do is in service to humanity, to culture, to people. It’s a place I find very comfortable. Our motivation is not only what defines us in terms of our values but also our fuel for what we do. I can’t think of a more profoundly powerful fuel than realizing that what I’m doing is for other people, not for myself. .......... All I care about is trying to honor the species, trying to make things better. That’s what I care about. That’s something you cannot measure with a number, and you certainly can’t measure it with sales. It’s a really tough one to apply a metric to. But it’s very clear in my own head.

‘Find the smartest technologist in the company and make them CEO’ As an entrepreneur, Andreessen launched Netscape, whose IPO was the bellwether event of the first internet boom, and Opsware, an early cloud and software-as-a-service (SaaS) company. He then cofounded Andreessen Horowitz with Ben Horowitz, building it into one of the world’s premiere venture capital firms. ............ it’s useful to think about where we were around the global financial crisis, around 2007, 2008, 2009. It was a really strange time. It felt like everything might be collapsing. There was a financial crisis, a consumer recession, a giant pullback in funding. People worried that this was 2000 all over again, and the press was tripping all over itself to call this “Bubble 2.0.” ......... But it turned out that this was a point when we had just discovered a bunch of new hills. There were smartphones. There was mobile broadband. Residential broadband hit critical mass. Web 2.0 and social networking hit, with Facebook and Twitter hitting critical mass. And it was also the rise of SAAS. It turns out that five or six of the hills [had been found], and companies started climbing them. It was actually a very magical time, and these giant booms were in the process of forming. ................ Some of the hills that we’ve discovered over the past 15 years are still being climbed. But we’re also in search mode. And we think the search has turned up three extremely promising new hills, which, conveniently, line up in the acronym ABC. ............... Artificial intelligence [AI] is the A. .... Biotech is the B ......... the C, is crypto and Web3 ......... which is a revolution around distributed consensus, building trusted networks on the internet, and all the things that follow from that. ............. The core thing that we do is track talent flows. And the thing that we know for sure is that the smartest people in the world, the smartest kids graduating from college, and the smartest industry professionals are flooding into those three sectors. There’s an incredible wave of talent in the form of top-end engineers, scientists, executives, and founders flooding into those three sectors. In our world, that’s not completely predictive, but that’s as predictive as you can get. ............. The original laptop computer was the size of a briefcase that weighed 40 pounds. And it had, like, a four-inch screen. And an early review in the New York Times said, basically, This is a niche product. Who on Earth is going to carry a 40-pound brick home? The guy actually wrote, “I can’t imagine the average user taking one along when going fishing.” They just didn’t envision the engineering that would shrink it into what we have today. .......... when really good entrepreneurs pair with really good engineers, they start companies, they build products, and they tend to make what they’re working on a lot better. So they too are predictive. ............ the stereotypical example of the Harvard MBA. The newly minted, elite, master of business: super talented, really knows how to tear a spreadsheet apart and rebuild it, really knows how to do brand marketing, right? Those people are complete, 100 percent heat seekers in the very best way. ............ back in the ’90s, we had these two industry categories: B2C and B2B. B2C was business to consumer, and B2B was business to business. When the crash happened in 2000, we still had those terms, but they got redefined: B2C became back to consulting. B2B became back to banking ........... There’s a finite number of super-smart engineers who know what to build. These people go to the companies that take them the most seriously. They go to companies where they think leadership really understands what they do and understands how to build a first-class technology development culture. They go the places where they think they’ll be appropriately rewarded but also where they’ll be taken seriously, listened to, and respected. And they want to be in a place where people like themselves form a critical mass. ............. The problem that big, classic Fortune 500 companies have is the same problem they had 20 years ago. I thought the problem would shrink over time, but I’m not sure it has. That problem is that the true technologists inside so many big companies are not the primary people at the company. They’re not treated as first-class citizens. ................. at Tesla, the engineers working on self-driving cars are the most important people at Tesla. Elon talks about them all the time, he talks to them all the time, and they’re basically the leaders in the company .............. Tesla is run by the technologist who envisioned the entire thing and knows every aspect of how a self-driving electric car works. The big car companies are run by people who have more classical business training, who are not inherently technologists. ............ The minute tech stocks get hit, a lot of big companies basically say, “Oh, thank God, we don’t have to take this stuff as seriously.” This happened in a huge way after 2000. One of the reasons why Amazon took off is because all of the traditional retailers, after 2000, said, “Oh, thank God, we don’t have to worry about this e-commerce thing anymore.” ............. Warren Buffett just had his annual meeting in Omaha, and he went on a very extensive condemnation of this entire category of technology. This is a guy who’s a genius investor and a wonderful guy. He always said he’s the guy who doesn’t understand technology. But there’s something about this technology that he feels he must condemn. .................... Even in the tech industry, a lot of established tech companies are just full-on, “Talk to the hand. This stuff is stupid, it’s fake.” It’s way beyond the initial negative reaction to the internet, way beyond the initial negative reaction to almost any other area of technology. ............... One possibility, of course, is that they’re right. You always have to concede that the critics may be right. There’s a possibility that the future of the economy is See’s Candies, not blockchain. ............. But maybe crypto sets people on edge because it involves money. It’s so fundamental. When people think, “it’s this new form of money,” or “it’s these new theories about money,” or even, “it’s this new form of technology that involves money,” they get emotional. That’s maybe the most obvious observation in the world: money makes people emotional. ................ I think this is a foundational technology change, a new architecture for building an entirely new generation of computing systems. We have become convinced that Web3/blockchain/crypto is foundational. It’s a big hill. It’s as foundational an architecture shift as the ones from mainframes to PCs, from PCs to web, from web to mobile, or from traditional software to AI. It’s a fundamental shift and building this out is a 25- to 30-year process. .......... The internet was the first network that was untrusted, open, and permissionless, where all kinds of people could create on it. That unleashed all the excitement. ............ The most concrete example is that there was no internet money. ............. You still can’t do micropayments. Why is there advertising all over the internet? Because there are still no micropayments for content. .......... Blockchain/Web3/crypto is that second half of the internet. It layers trust on top of the untrusted network. And as you layer trust on top, you get to pull all of the other economic activity online that you haven’t been able to get online. That’s the big thing. ................ At this point, I don’t think I’ve convinced anybody of anything in my life. I don’t think anybody wants to be convinced. People hold onto their ideas like they’re their children. They get intensely threatened if you tell them that they’re wrong. ............ entrepreneurs who were Web 2.0 entrepreneurs and have decided in the past couple of years to become Web3 entrepreneurs. .............. the big-company thing. I do sessions all the time with big companies where I go through my whole spiel [about crypto and blockchain and Web3]. I see everybody around the conference room with their increasingly skeptical looks. They’re all trying to calibrate each other. Are they going to feel like a fool if they’re the one who expresses excitement when everybody else thinks it’s stupid? ........... I assumed that by now more big companies would be more open to these new ideas. But there’s something in their culture, something in the structure of how these companies are constituted. They’re still not anywhere near the level that I would have assumed they would be. ............

Find the smartest technologist in the company and make them CEO.

............ But the problem is that it’s like an orchestra conductor trying to teach me how to conduct a symphony. I’d be, like, “Yeah, you wave the stick and then, I guess, the musicians play.” It would take me 30 years of going back to school and learning music theory and composition and all this stuff to actually be able to do anything. But it’s too late, I can’t do it. This is why big companies end up with a digital department and why they have one person on the team who’s a technologist. .................. Step one is where an existing product becomes a software product. Then comes the step where the company that builds the thing becomes a software company. And then there’s the final battle, where the best software company wins. .............. The car companies run infinite numbers of TV commercials. Tesla has still not run its first TV commercial. Tesla has not spent a dollar on advertising. Why? Because it’s got the really-good-technology car. It’s got the actual, really good product. ................ When people ask, “Who invented the lightbulb?” the answer, of course, is “Thomas Edison and his engineers.” But who helped it become a “thing?” Who helped it become a widely adopted thing? Who helped people understand its importance? Who helped Edison set up a company that could scale and really deliver this invention to the world? That was J.P. Morgan. I think of him as the venture capitalist for what was called the Second Industrial Revolution, 100, 120 years ago. .................... Our goal is to be the node in the network that is the best place for the ideas, people, money, and business to come together. ............. When I first started, it was still pretty weird to go to a young company that might be some fly-by-night thing. People used to worry about career risk, right? “If it doesn’t work out, can you go back to IBM?” ............. succeeding as a start-up is as hard as it’s ever been, because the same fundamental dynamic is in play. You’ve got some idea of why the world should change, but the world doesn’t want to. People are too busy to hear another pitch from another start-up. People are happy in their jobs and don’t want to leave for your start-up. People are happy with the tech they use and don’t want to buy your new product. ............. Because of the COVID experience, we finally have the ability to expand outside any single geography. There’s people all over the world who are part of the Valley, its mindset and network, without being geographically part of it. It’s bigger than ever. And with that comes the fact that big areas of the industry, including a lot of the big tech companies, are quite resistant to new ideas. .................. As things get big and successful, they tend to close down. They don’t want to rock the boat. They want to keep the current thing working. So, yes, there is resistance. ............... There’s the mistake of commission, in which you invest in or go work for a company that fails. And then there’s the mistake of omission, in which you don’t invest in Google or don’t go to work at Facebook in 2005. ................ the mistakes of omission are much, much worse ............ you found some way to talk yourself out of it. You listened to your parents. ............ A lot of people have very intelligently and rigorously talked themselves out of really good ideas. That includes us. ............. With a mistake of commission, the company goes away and you don’t have to hear about it anymore. But when you make the mistake of omission, you have to read about that company climbing to new heights of success for the next three decades. That’s horrible, right?

What’s ahead for biotech: Another wave or low tide? .

Tuesday, July 05, 2022

5: Benjamin

5/8/23 Update: Goshen (NY) puts Third World corruption to shame, thanks to greedy, corrupt, unethical lawyers like Andra Dumais. ..... I toppled a Third World dictator and German Radio called me Robin Hood On The Internet. I am not going to get intimidated by some small-town racist. Andrea Dumais is a small-town racist. ....... You are treating me worse than the people 2,000 years ago.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

News: May 29