Non-financial: October - December 2018 articles archive home
6th extinction
The current worldwide loss of biodiversity is popularly known as the sixth extinction: the sixth time in world history that a large number of species have disappeared in unusually rapid succession, caused this time not by asteroids or ice ages but by humans.
Friday, December 7, 2018 ... more
Thinking in bets
Every decision commits us to some course of action that, by definition, eliminates acting on other alternatives. Not placing a bet on something is, itself, a bet … A decision about a stock (buy, don’t buy, sell, hold, not to mention esoteric investment options) involves a choice about the best use of financial resources.
Friday, November 30, 2018 ... more
Struggle porn
Two messages that are regularly conveyed on entrepreneurship: 1) Entrepreneurship is hard, but work hard and you can succeed. 2) Struggling is good. In other words, you should be working long hours, failing for years, you shouldn’t be comfortable, because comfortable is death, or worse, mediocrity.
Friday, November 23, 2018 ... more
More like poker
The problem with using chess as a model for the kinds of decisions that we make in life is that chess is a very constrained problem, meaning there just isn’t a lot of uncertainty in it. There is a very little bit of luck and there’s no hidden information in the sense that you can see all the pieces sitting right in front of you.
Friday, November 16, 2018 ... more
Listen to what is being preached. Look at everyone around us … [how] they seek happiness and never find it. If any man stopped and asked himself whether he's ever held a truly personal desire, he'd find the answer. He'd see that all his wishes, his efforts, his dreams, his ambitions are motivated by other men. He's not really struggling even for material wealth, but for the second-hander's delusion - prestige.
Friday, November 9, 2018 ... more
Not only in peasant homes, but also in city skyscrapers, there lives alongside the twentieth century the thirteenth. A hundred million people use electricity and still believe in the magic powers of signs and exorcisms … Movie stars go to mediums.
Friday, November 2, 2018 ... more
Effort vs results
Dan Ariely tells a story: a locksmith is an apprentice, and unskilled at picking locks. It takes him a while to get people into their homes. His time and effort were evident, so clients tip well. As he becomes more skilled, he gets people into their houses quicker, with less effort. But his tips go down, because his skill makes it seem quick and effortless.
Friday, October 26, 2018 ... more
A question of ethics
The history of ethics is a sad tale of wonderful ideals that nobody can live up to. Most Christians did not imitate Christ, most Buddhists failed to follow Buddha, and most Confucians would have caused Confucius a temper tantrum. In contrast, most people today successfully live up to the capitalist–consumerist ideal.
Friday, October 19, 2018 ... more
Without consciousness
There is a lot of confusion about what artificial intelligence means or doesn't mean, especially in places like Silicon Valley. For me, the biggest confusion of all is between intelligence and consciousness. Ninety-five percent of science fiction movies are based on the error that an artificial intelligence will inevitably be an artificial consciousness
Friday, October 12, 2018 ... more
Most workers view the prospect of a meeting with the same enthusiasm as Prometheus awaited the daily arrival of the eagle, sent by the gods to peck at his liver … perhaps the best solution is to have fewer of them. Thanks to technology, messaging groups allow management and employees to keep in touch.
Friday, October 5, 2018 ... more
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