More on Current Events
9 months ago
While we played checkers, we thought billionaires played 3D chess. They're playing the same game on a fancier board.
Every medium has nuances and norms. Texting is authentic and casual. A smaller circle has access, creating intimacy and immediacy. Most people read all their texts, but not all their email and mail. Many of us no longer listen to our voicemails, and calling your kids ages you.
Live interviews and testimony under oath inspire real moments, rare in a world where communications departments sanitize everything powerful people say. When (some of) Elon's text messages became public in Twitter v. Musk, we got a glimpse into tech power. It's bowels.
These texts illuminate the tech community's upper caste.
Checkers, Not Chess
Elon texts with Larry Ellison, Joe Rogan, Sam Bankman-Fried, Satya Nadella, and Jack Dorsey. They reveal astounding logic, prose, and discourse. The world's richest man and his followers are unsophisticated, obtuse, and petty. Possibly. While we played checkers, we thought billionaires played 3D chess. They're playing the same game on a fancier board.
They fumble with their computers.
They lean on others to get jobs for their kids (no surprise).
No matter how rich, they always could use more (money).
Differences A social hierarchy exists. Among this circle, the currency of deference is... currency. Money increases sycophantry. Oculus and Elon's "friends'" texts induce nausea.
Autocorrect frustrates everyone.
Elon doesn't stand out to me in these texts; he comes off mostly OK in my view. It’s the people around him. It seems our idolatry of innovators has infected the uber-wealthy, giving them an uncontrollable urge to kill the cool kid for a seat at his cafeteria table. "I'd grenade for you." If someone says this and they're not fighting you, they're a fan, not a friend.
Many powerful people are undone by their fake friends. Facilitators, not well-wishers. When Elon-Twitter started, I wrote about power. Unchecked power is intoxicating. This is a scientific fact, not a thesis. Power causes us to downplay risk, magnify rewards, and act on instincts more quickly. You lose self-control and must rely on others.
You'd hope the world's richest person has advisers who push back when necessary (i.e., not yes men). Elon's reckless, childish behavior and these texts show there is no truth-teller. I found just one pushback in the 151-page document. It came from Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, who, in response to Elon’s unhelpful “Is Twitter dying?” tweet, let Elon know what he thought: It was unhelpful. Elon’s response? A childish, terse insult.
The texts are mostly unremarkable. There are some, however, that do remind us the (super-)rich are different. Specifically, the discussions of possible equity investments from crypto-billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried (“Does he have huge amounts of money?”) and this exchange with Larry Ellison:
Ellison, who co-founded $175 billion Oracle, is wealthy. Less clear is whether he can text a billion dollars. Who hasn't been texted $1 billion? Ellison offered 8,000 times the median American's net worth, enough to buy 3,000 Ferraris or the Chicago Blackhawks. It's a bedrock principle of capitalism to have incredibly successful people who are exponentially wealthier than the rest of us. It creates an incentive structure that inspires productivity and prosperity. When people offer billions over text to help a billionaire's vanity project in a country where 1 in 5 children are food insecure, isn't America messed up?
Elon's Morgan Stanley banker, Michael Grimes, tells him that Web3 ventures investor Bankman-Fried can invest $5 billion in the deal: “could do $5bn if everything vision lock... Believes in your mission." The message bothers Elon. In Elon's world, $5 billion doesn't warrant a worded response. $5 billion is more than many small nations' GDP, twice the SEC budget, and five times the NRC budget.
If income inequality worries you after reading this, trust your gut.
Billionaires aren't like the rich.
As an entrepreneur, academic, and investor, I've met modest-income people, rich people, and billionaires. Rich people seem different to me. They're smarter and harder working than most Americans. Monty Burns from The Simpsons is a cartoon about rich people. Rich people have character and know how to make friends. Success requires supporters.
I've never noticed a talent or intelligence gap between wealthy and ultra-wealthy people. Conflating talent and luck infects the tech elite. Timing is more important than incremental intelligence when going from millions to hundreds of millions or billions. Proof? Elon's texting. Any man who electrifies the auto industry and lands two rockets on barges is a genius. His mega-billions come from a well-regulated capital market, enforceable contracts, thousands of workers, and billions of dollars in government subsidies, including a $465 million DOE loan that allowed Tesla to produce the Model S. So, is Mr. Musk a genius or an impressive man in a unique time and place?
Elon's texts taught us more? He can't "fix" Twitter. For two weeks in April, he was all in on blockchain Twitter, brainstorming Dogecoin payments for tweets with his brother — i.e., paid speech — while telling Twitter's board he was going to make a hostile tender offer. Kimbal approved. By May, he was over crypto and "laborious blockchain debates." (Mood.)
Elon asked the Twitter CEO for "an update from the Twitter engineering team" No record shows if he got the meeting. It doesn't "fix" Twitter either. And this is Elon's problem. He's a grown-up child with all the toys and no boundaries. His yes-men encourage his most facile thoughts, and shitposts and errant behavior diminish his genius and ours.
The universe's titans have a sense of humor.
Every day, we must ask: Who keeps me real? Who will disagree with me? Who will save me from my psychosis, which has brought down so many successful people? Elon Musk doesn't need anyone to jump on a grenade for him; he needs to stop throwing them because one will explode in his hand.
1 year ago
There’s no manual for that
|Kyiv oblast in springtime. Photo by author.|
We’ve been receiving since the war began text messages from the State Emergency Service of Ukraine every few days. They’ve contained information on how to comfort a child and what to do in case of a water outage.
But a question that I struggle to suppress irks within me: How would we know if there really was a threat coming our away? So how can I happily disregard an air raid siren and continue singing to my three-month-old son when I feel like a World War II film became reality? There’s no manual for that.
Along with the anxiety, there’s the guilt that always seems to appear alongside dinner we’re fortunate to still have each evening while brave Ukrainian soldiers are facing serious food insecurity. There’s no manual for how to deal with this guilt.
When it comes to the enemy, there is no manual for how to react to the news of Russian casualties. Every dead Russian soldier weakens Putin, but I also know that many of these men had wives and girlfriends who are now living a nightmare.
So, I felt like I had to start writing my own manual.
The anxiety around the air raid siren? Only with time does it get easier to ignore it, but never completely.
The guilt? All we can do is pray.
That inner conflict? As Russia continues to stun the world with its war crimes, my emotions get less gray — I have to get used to accommodating absurd levels of hatred.
Sadness? It feels a bit more manageable when we laugh, and a little alcohol helps (as it usually does).
Cabin fever? Step outside in the yard when possible. At least the sunshine is becoming more fervent with spring approaching.
Slava Ukraini. Heroyam slava. (Glory to Ukraine. Glory to the heroes.)
8 months ago
To prove his point, Putin is prepared to add 200,000 more dead soldiers.
What does Ukraine's murderous craziness mean?
Vladimir Putin expressed his patience to Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet. Thousands, even hundreds of thousands of young and middle-aged males in his country have no meaning to him.
During a meeting in March with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett of Israel, Mr. Putin admitted that the Ukrainians were tougher “than I was told,” according to two people familiar with the exchange. “This will probably be much more difficult than we thought. But the war is on their territory, not ours. We are a big country and we have patience (The Inside Story of a Catastrophe).”
Putin should explain to Russian mothers how patient he is with his invasion of Ukraine.
Putin is rich. Even while sanctions have certainly limited Putin's access to his fortune, he has access to everything in Russia. Unlimited wealth.
The Russian leader's infrastructure was designed with his whims in mind. Vladimir Putin is one of the wealthiest and most catered-to people alive. He's also all-powerful, as his lack of opposition shows. His incredible wealth and power have isolated him from average people so much that he doesn't mind turning lives upside down to prove a point.
For many, losing a Russian spouse or son is painful. Whether the soldier was a big breadwinner or unemployed, the loss of a male figure leaves many families bewildered and anxious. Putin, Russia's revered president, seems unfazed.
People who know Mr. Putin say he is ready to sacrifice untold lives and treasure for as long as it takes, and in a rare face-to-face meeting with the Americans last month the Russians wanted to deliver a stark message to President Biden: No matter how many Russian soldiers are killed or wounded on the battlefield, Russia will not give up (The Inside Story of a Catastrophe).
Imagine a country's leader publicly admitting a mistake he's made. Imagine getting Putin's undivided attention.
So, I underestimated Ukrainians. I can't allow them make me appear terrible, so I'll utilize as many drunken dopes as possible to cover up my error. They'll die fulfilled and heroic.
Russia's human resources are limited, but its willingness to cause suffering is not. How many Russian families must die before the curse is broken? If mass protests started tomorrow, Russia's authorities couldn't stop them.
When Moscovites faced down tanks in August 1991, the Gorbachev coup ended in three days. Even though few city residents showed up, everything collapsed. This wicked disaster won't require many Russians.
One NATO member is warning allies that Mr. Putin is ready to accept the deaths or injuries of as many as 300,000 Russian troops — roughly three times his estimated losses so far.
If 100,000 Russians have died in Ukraine and Putin doesn't mind another 200,000 dying, why don't these 200,000 ghosts stand up and save themselves? Putin plays the role of concerned and benevolent leader effectively, but things aren't going well for Russia.
What would 300,000 or more missing men signify for Russia's future? How many kids will have broken homes? How many families won't form, and what will the economy do?
Putin reportedly cared about his legacy. His place in Russian history Putin's invasion of Ukraine settled his legacy. He has single-handedly weakened and despaired Russia since the 1980s.
Putin will be viewed by sensible people as one of Russia's worst adversaries, but Russians will think he was fantastic despite Ukraine.
The more setbacks Mr. Putin endures on the battlefield, the more fears grow over how far he is willing to go. He has killed tens of thousands in Ukraine, leveled cities, and targeted civilians for maximum pain — obliterating hospitals, schools, and apartment buildings while cutting off power and water to millions before winter. Each time Ukrainian forces score a major blow against Russia, the bombing of their country intensifies. And Mr. Putin has repeatedly reminded the world that he can use anything at his disposal, including nuclear arms, to pursue his notion of victory.
How much death and damage will there be in Ukraine if Putin sends 200,000 more Russians to the front? It's scary, sad, and sick.
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1 year ago
In five years, starting a business won't be hip.
People are slowly recognizing entrepreneurship's downside.
Growing up, entrepreneurship wasn't common. High school class of 2012 had no entrepreneurs.
Businesses were different.
They had staff and a lengthy history of achievement.
I never wanted a business. It felt unattainable. My friends didn't care.
People desired degrees to attain good jobs at big companies.
When graduated high school:
9 out of 10 people attend college
Earn minimum wage (7%) working in a restaurant or retail establishment
Or join the military (3%)
Later, entrepreneurship became a thing.
I was in the military and most of my high school friends were in college, so I didn't hear anything.
Entrepreneurship soared in 2015, according to Google Trends.
Then more individuals were interested. Entrepreneurship went from unusual to cool.
In 2015, it was easier than ever to build a website, run Facebook advertisements, and achieve organic social media reach.
There were several online business tools.
You didn't need to spend years or money figuring it out. Most entry barriers were gone.
Everyone wanted a side gig to escape the 95.
Small company applications have increased during the previous 10 years.
2011-2014 trend continues.
2015 adds 150,000 applications. 2016 adds 200,000. Plus 300,000 in 2017.
The graph makes it look little, but that's a considerable annual spike with no indications of stopping.
By 2021, new business apps had doubled.
Entrepreneurship will return to its early 2010s level.
I think we'll go backward in 5 years.
Entrepreneurship is half as popular as it was in 2015.
In the late 2020s and 30s, entrepreneurship will again be obscure.
Entrepreneurship's decade-long splendor is fading. People will cease escaping 9-5 and launch fewer companies.
That’s not a bad thing.
I think people have a rose-colored vision of entrepreneurship. It's fashionable. People feel that they're missing out if they're not entrepreneurial.
Reality is showing up.
People say on social media, "I knew starting a business would be hard, but not this hard."
More negative posts on entrepreneurship:
Is being an entrepreneur ‘healthy’? I don’t really think so. Many like Gary V, are not role models for a well-balanced life. Despite what feel-good LinkedIn tells you the odds are against you as an entrepreneur. You have to work your face off. It’s a tough but rewarding lifestyle. So maybe let’s stop glorifying it because it takes a lot of (bleepin) work to survive a pandemic, mental health battles, and a competitive market.
Entrepreneurship is no longer a pipe dream.
I went full-time in March 2020. I was done by April 2021. I had a good-paying job with perks.
When that fell through (on my start date), I had to continue my entrepreneurial path. I needed money by May 1 to pay rent.
Entrepreneurship isn't as great as many think.
Entrepreneurship is a serious business.
If you have a 9-5, the grass isn't greener here. Most people aren't telling the whole story when they post on social media or quote successful entrepreneurs.
People prefer to communicate their victories than their defeats.
Is this a bad thing?
I don’t think so.
Over the previous decade, entrepreneurship went from impossible to the finest thing ever.
It peaked in 2020-21 and is returning to reality.
Startups aren't for everyone.
If you like your job, don't quit.
Entrepreneurship won't amaze people if you quit your job.
And you'll probably make less money.
If you hate your job, quit. Change jobs and bosses. Changing jobs could net you a greater pay or better perks.
When you go solo, your paycheck and perks vanish. Did I mention you'll fail, sleep less, and stress more?
Nobody will stop you from pursuing entrepreneurship. You'll face several challenges.
Entrepreneurship may be romanticized for years.
Based on what I see from entrepreneurs on social media and trends, entrepreneurship is challenging and few will succeed.
Jumanne Rajabu Mtambalike
1 year ago
10 Years of Trying to Manage Time and Improve My Productivity.
I've spent the last 10 years of my career mastering time management. I've tried different approaches and followed multiple people and sources. My knowledge is summarized.
Great people, including entrepreneurs, master time management. I learned time management in college. I was studying Computer Science and Finance and leading Tanzanian students in Bangalore, India. I had 24 hours per day to do this and enjoy campus. I graduated and received several awards. I've learned to maximize my time. These tips and tools help me finish quickly.
I don't remember when I read the article. James Clear, one of my favorite bloggers, introduced me to the Eisenhower Box, which I've used for years. Eliminate waste to master time management. By grouping your activities by importance and urgency, the tool helps you prioritize what matters and drop what doesn't. If it's urgent, do it. Delegate if it's urgent but not necessary. If it's important but not urgent, reschedule it; otherwise, drop it. I integrated the tool with Trello to manage my daily tasks. Since 2007, I've done this.
James Clear's article mentions Eisenhower Box.
Greg McKeown's book Essentialism introduced me to disciplined pursuit of less. I once wrote about this. I wasn't sure what my career's real opportunities and distractions were. A non-essentialist thinks everything is essential; you want to be everything to everyone, and your life lacks satisfaction. Poor time management starts it all. Reading and applying this book will change your life.
Essential vs non-essential
Most of us make corporate calendars. Peter Njonjo, founder of Twiga Foods, said he manages time by putting life activities in his core calendars. It includes family retreats, weddings, and other events. He joked that his wife always complained to him to avoid becoming a calendar item. It's key. "Time Masters" manages life's four burners, not just work and corporate life. There's no "work-life balance"; it's life.
Health, Family, Work, and Friends.
The Brutal No
In a culture where people want to look good, saying "NO" to a favor request seems rude. In reality, the crime is breaking a promise. "Time Masters" have mastered "NO". More "YES" means less time, and more "NO" means more time for tasks and priorities. Brutal No doesn't mean being mean to your coworkers; it means explaining kindly and professionally that you have other priorities.
To-Do vs. MITs
Most people are productive with a routine to-do list. You can't be effective by just checking boxes on a To-do list. When was the last time you completed all of your daily tasks? Never. You must replace the to-do list with Most Important Tasks (MITs). MITs allow you to focus on the most important tasks on your list. You feel progress and accomplishment when you finish these tasks. MITs don't include ad-hoc emails, meetings, etc.
Most people don't journal or plan their day in the developing South. I've learned to plan my day in my journal over time. I have multiple sections on one page: MITs (things I want to accomplish that day), Other Activities (stuff I can postpone), Life (health, faith, and family issues), and Pop-Ups (things that just pop up). I leave the next page blank for notes. I reflected on the blocks to identify areas to improve the next day. You will have bad days, but at least you'll realize it was due to poor time management.
Time or money? When you make enough money, you lose time to make more. The smart buy "Time." I resisted buying other people's time for years. I regret not hiring an assistant sooner. Learn to buy time from others and pay for time-consuming tasks. Sometimes you think you're saving money by doing things yourself, but you're actually losing money.
This post is a summary. See the full post here.
7 months ago
Is ChatGPT Capable of Generating a Complete Mobile App?
TL;DR: It'll be harder than you think.
Mobile app development is a complicated product design sector. You require broad expertise to create a mobile app. You must write Swift or Java code and consider mobile interactions.
When ChatGPT was released, many were amazed by its capabilities and wondered if it could replace designers and developers. This article will use ChatGPT to answer a specific query.
Can ChatGPT build an entire iOS app?
This post will use ChatGPT to construct an iOS meditation app. Video of the article is available.
App concepts for meditation
After deciding on an app, think about the user experience. What should the app offer?
Let's ask ChatGPT for the answer.
ChatGPT described a solid meditation app with various exercises. Use this list to plan product design. Our first product iteration will have few features. A simple, one-screen software will let users set the timeframe and play music during meditation.
Structure of information
Information architecture underpins product design. Our app's navigation mechanism should be founded on strong information architecture, so we need to identify our mobile's screens first.
ChatGPT can define our future app's information architecture since we already know it.
ChatGPT uses the more complicated product's structure. When adding features to future versions of our product, keep this information picture in mind.
Meditation apps need colors. We want to employ relaxing colors in a meditation app because colors affect how we perceive items. ChatGPT can suggest product colors.
See the hues in person:
Neutral colors dominate the color scheme. Playing with color opacity makes this scheme useful.
Meditation involves music. Well-chosen music calms the user.
Let ChatGPT make music for us.
ChatGPT can only generate text. It directs us to Spotify or YouTube to look for such stuff and makes precise recommendations.
Fonts can impress app users. Round fonts are easier on the eyes and make a meditation app look friendlier.
ChatGPT can suggest app typefaces. I compare two font pairs when making a product. I'll ask ChatGPT for two font pairs.
See the hues in person:
Despite ChatGPT's convincing font pairing arguments, the output is unattractive. The initial combo (Open Sans + Playfair Display) doesn't seem to work well for a mediation app.
Meditation requires the script. Find the correct words and read them calmly and soothingly to help listeners relax and focus on each region of their body to enhance the exercise's effect.
ChatGPT outputs code. My prompt's word script may cause it.
After fonts, colors, and content, construct functional pieces. Timer is our first functional piece. The meditation will be timed.
Let ChatGPT write Swift timer code (since were building an iOS app, we need to do it using Swift language).
ChatGPT supplied a timer class, initializer, and usage guidelines.
Apple Xcode requires a playground to test this code. Xcode will report issues after we paste the code to the playground.
Fixing them is simple. Just change Timer to another class name (Xcode shows errors because it thinks that we access the properties of the class we’ve created rather than the system class Timer; it happens because both classes have the same name Timer). I titled our class Timero and implemented the project. After this quick patch, ChatGPT's code works.
Can ChatGPT produce a complete app?
Since ChatGPT can help us construct app components, we may question if it can write a full app in one go.
ChatGPT supplied basic code and instructions. It's unclear if ChatGPT purposely limits output or if my prompt wasn't good enough, but the tool cannot produce an entire app from a single prompt.
However, we can contact ChatGPT for thorough Swift app construction instructions.
We can ask ChatGPT for step-by-step instructions now that we know what to do. Request a basic app layout from ChatGPT.
Copying this code to an Xcode project generates a functioning layout.
ChatGPT may provide step-by-step instructions on how to develop an app for a specific system, and individual steps can be utilized as prompts to ChatGPT. ChatGPT cannot generate the source code for the full program in one go.
The output that ChatGPT produces needs to be examined by a human. The majority of the time, you will need to polish or adjust ChatGPT's output, whether you develop a color scheme or a layout for the iOS app.
ChatGPT is unable to produce media material. Although ChatGPT cannot be used to produce images or sounds, it can assist you build prompts for programs like midjourney or Dalle-2 so that they can provide the appropriate images for you.