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Isaiah McCall

Isaiah McCall

1 year ago

Is TikTok slowly destroying a new generation?

More on Society & Culture

Katharine Valentino

Katharine Valentino

2 years ago

A Gun-toting Teacher Is Like a Cook With Rat Poison

Pink or blue AR-15s?

A teacher teaches; a gun kills. Killing isn't teaching. Killing is opposite of teaching.

Without 27 school shootings this year, we wouldn't be talking about arming teachers. Gun makers, distributors, and the NRA cause most school shootings. Gun makers, distributors, and the NRA wouldn't be huge business if weapons weren't profitable.

Guns, ammo, body armor, holsters, concealed carriers, bore sights, cleaner kits, spare magazines and speed loaders, gun safes, and ear protection are sold. And more guns.

And lots more profit.

Guns aren't bread. You eat a loaf of bread in a week or so and then must buy more. Bread makers will make money. Winchester 94.30–30 1899 Lever Action Rifle from 1894 still kills. (For safety, I won't link to the ad.) Gun makers don't object if you collect antique weapons, but they need you to buy the latest, in-style killing machine. The youngster who killed 19 students and 2 teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, used an AR-15. Better yet, two.

Salvador Ramos, the Robb Elementary shooter, is a "killing influencer" He pushes consumers to buy items, which benefits manufacturers and distributors. Like every previous AR-15 influencer, he profits Colt, the rifle's manufacturer, and 52,779 gun dealers in the U.S. Ramos and other AR-15 influences make us fear for our safety and our children's. Fearing for our safety, we acquire 20 million firearms a year and live in a gun culture.

So now at school, we want to arm teachers.

Consider. Which of your teachers would you have preferred in body armor with a gun drawn?

Miss Summers? Remember her bringing daisies from her yard to second grade? She handed each student a beautiful flower. Miss Summers loved everyone, even those with AR-15s. She can't shoot.

Frasier? Mr. Frasier turned a youngster over down to explain "invert." Mr. Frasier's hands shook when he wasn't flipping fifth-graders and fractions. He may have shot wrong.

Mrs. Barkley barked in high school English class when anyone started an essay with "But." Mrs. Barkley dubbed Abie a "Jewboy" and gave him terrible grades. Arming Miss Barkley is like poisoning the chef.

Think back. Do you remember a teacher with a gun? No. Arming teachers so the gun industry can make more money is the craziest idea ever.

Or maybe you agree with Ted Cruz, the gun lobby-bought senator, that more guns reduce gun violence. After the next school shooting, you'll undoubtedly talk about arming teachers and pupils. Colt will likely develop a backpack-sized, lighter version of its popular killing machine in pink and blue for kids and boys. The MAR-15? (M for mini).


This post is a summary. Read the full one here.

Liz Martin

Liz Martin

1 year ago

What Motivated Amazon to Spend $1 Billion for The Rings of Power?

Amazon's Rings of Power is the most costly TV series ever made. This is merely a down payment towards Amazon's grand goal.

Here's a video:

Amazon bought J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy novels for $250 million in 2017. This agreement allows Amazon to create a Tolkien series for Prime Video.

The business spent years developing and constructing a Lord of the Rings prequel. Rings of Power premiered on September 2, 2022.

It drew 25 million global viewers in 24 hours. Prime Video's biggest debut.

An Exorbitant Budget

The most expensive. First season cost $750 million to $1 billion, making it the most costly TV show ever.

Jeff Bezos has spent years looking for the next Game of Thrones, a critically and commercially successful original series. Rings of Power could help.

Why would Amazon bet $1 billion on one series?

It's Not Just About the Streaming War

It's simple to assume Amazon just wants to win. Since 2018, the corporation has been fighting Hulu, Netflix, HBO, Apple, Disney, and NBC. Each wants your money, talent, and attention. Amazon's investment goes beyond rivalry.

Subscriptions Are the Bait

Audible, Amazon Music, and Prime Video are subscription services, although the company's fundamental business is retail. Amazon's online stores contribute over 50% of company revenue. Subscription services contribute 6.8%. The company's master plan depends on these subscriptions.

Streaming videos on Prime increases membership renewals. Free trial participants are more likely to join. Members buy twice as much as non-members.

Statista

Amazon Studios doesn't generate original programming to earn from Prime Video subscriptions. It aims to retain and attract clients.

Amazon can track what you watch and buy. Its algorithm recommends items and services. Mckinsey says you'll use more Amazon products, shop at Amazon stores, and watch Amazon entertainment.

In 2015, the firm launched the first season of The Man in the High Castle, a dystopian alternate history TV series depicting a world ruled by Nazi Germany and Japan after World War II.

This $72 million production earned two Emmys. It garnered 1.15 million new Prime users globally.

When asked about his Hollywood investment, Bezos said, "A Golden Globe helps us sell more shoes."

Selling more footwear

Amazon secured a deal with DirecTV to air Thursday Night Football in restaurants and bars. First streaming service to have exclusive NFL games.

This isn't just about Thursday night football, says media analyst Ritchie Greenfield. This sells t-shirts. This may be a ticket. Amazon does more than stream games.

The Rings of Power isn't merely a production showcase, either. This sells Tolkien's fantasy novels such Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and The Silmarillion.

This tiny commitment keeps you in Amazon's ecosystem.

Logan Rane

Logan Rane

1 year ago

I questioned Chat-GPT for advice on the top nonfiction books. Here's What It Suggests

You have to use it.

Chat-GPT Logo

Chat-GPT is a revolution.

All social media outlets are discussing it. How it will impact the future and different things.

True.

I've been using Chat-GPT for a few days, and it's a rare revolution. It's amazing and will only improve.

I asked Chat-GPT about the best non-fiction books. It advised this, albeit results rely on interests.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

by Rebecca Skloot

Science, Biography

A impoverished tobacco farmer dies of cervical cancer in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Her cell strand helped scientists treat polio and other ailments.

Rebecca Skloot discovers about Henrietta, her family, how the medical business exploited black Americans, and how her cells can live forever in a fascinating and surprising research.

You ought to read it.

  1. if you want to discover more about the past of medicine.

  2. if you want to discover more about American history.

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

by John Carreyrou

Tech, Bio

Bad Blood tells the terrifying story of how a Silicon Valley tech startup's blood-testing device placed millions of lives at risk.

John Carreyrou, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, wrote this book.

Theranos and its wunderkind CEO, Elizabeth Holmes, climbed to popularity swiftly and then plummeted.

You ought to read it.

  1. if you are a start-up employee.

  2. specialists in medicine.

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

by Eckhart Tolle

Self-improvement, Spirituality

The Power of Now shows how to stop suffering and attain inner peace by focusing on the now and ignoring your mind.

The book also helps you get rid of your ego, which tries to control your ideas and actions.

If you do this, you may embrace the present, reduce discomfort, strengthen relationships, and live a better life.

You ought to read it.

  1. if you're looking for serenity and illumination.

  2. If you believe that you are ruining your life, stop.

  3. if you're not happy.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

by Stephen R. Covey

Profession, Success

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is an iconic self-help book.

This vital book offers practical guidance for personal and professional success.

This non-fiction book is one of the most popular ever.

You ought to read it.

  1. if you want to reach your full potential.

  2. if you want to discover how to achieve all your objectives.

  3. if you are just beginning your journey toward personal improvement.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

by Yuval Noah Harari

Science, History

Sapiens explains how our species has evolved from our earliest ancestors to the technology age.

How did we, a species of hairless apes without tails, come to control the whole planet?

It describes the shifts that propelled Homo sapiens to the top.

You ought to read it.

  1. if you're interested in discovering our species' past.

  2. if you want to discover more about the origins of human society and culture.

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1eth1da

1eth1da

2 years ago

6 Rules to build a successful NFT Community in 2022

Too much NFT, Discord, and shitposting.

How do you choose?

How do you recruit more members to join your NFT project?

In 2021, a successful NFT project required:

  • Monkey/ape artwork

  • Twitter and Discord bot-filled

  • Roadmap overpromise

  • Goal was quick cash.

2022 and the years after will change that.


These are 6 Rules for a Strong NFT Community in 2022:

THINK LONG TERM

This relates to roadmap planning. Hype and dumb luck may drive NFT projects (ahem, goblins) but rarely will your project soar.

Instead, consider sustainability.

Plan your roadmap based on your team's abilities.

Do what you're already doing, but with NFTs, make it bigger and better.

You shouldn't copy a project's roadmap just because it was profitable.

This will lead to over-promising, team burnout, and an RUG NFT project.

OFFER VALUE

Building a great community starts with giving.

Why are musicians popular?

Because they offer entertainment for everyone, a random person becomes a fan, and more fans become a cult.

That's how you should approach your community.

TEAM UP

A great team helps.

An NFT project could have 3 or 2 people.

Credibility trumps team size.

Make sure your team can answer community questions, resolve issues, and constantly attend to them.

Don't overwork and burn out.

Your community will be able to recognize that you are trying too hard and give up on the project.

BUILD A GREAT PRODUCT

Bored Ape Yacht Club altered the NFT space.

Cryptopunks transformed NFTs.

Many others did, including Okay Bears.

What made them that way?

Because they answered a key question.

What is my NFT supposed to be?

Before planning art, this question must be answered.

NFTs can't be just jpegs.

What does it represent?

Is it a Metaverse-ready project?

What blockchain are you going to be using and why?

Set some ground rules for yourself. This helps your project's direction.

These questions will help you and your team set a direction for blockchain, NFT, and Web3 technology.

EDUCATE ON WEB3

The more the team learns about Web3 technology, the more they can offer their community.

Think tokens, metaverse, cross-chain interoperability and more.

BUILD A GREAT COMMUNITY

Several projects mistreat their communities.

They treat their community like "customers" and try to sell them NFT.

Providing Whitelists and giveaways aren't your only community-building options.

Think bigger.

Consider them family and friends, not wallets.

Consider them fans.

These are some tips to start your NFT project.

Ben Carlson

Ben Carlson

1 year ago

Bear market duration and how to invest during one

Bear markets don't last forever, but that's hard to remember. Jamie Cullen's illustration

A bear market is a 20% decline from peak to trough in stock prices.

The S&P 500 was down 24% from its January highs at its low point this year. Bear market.

The U.S. stock market has had 13 bear markets since WWII (including the current one). Previous 12 bear markets averaged –32.7% losses. From peak to trough, the stock market averaged 12 months. The average time from bottom to peak was 21 months.

In the past seven decades, a bear market roundtrip to breakeven has averaged less than three years.

Long-term averages can vary widely, as with all historical market data. Investors can learn from past market crashes.

Historical bear markets offer lessons.

Bear market duration

A bear market can cost investors money and time. Most of the pain comes from stock market declines, but bear markets can be long.

Here are the longest U.S. stock bear markets since World war 2:

Stock market crashes can make it difficult to break even. After the 2008 financial crisis, the stock market took 4.5 years to recover. After the dotcom bubble burst, it took seven years to break even.

The longer you're underwater in the market, the more suffering you'll experience, according to research. Suffering can lead to selling at the wrong time.

Bear markets require patience because stocks can take a long time to recover.

Stock crash recovery

Bear markets can end quickly. The Corona Crash in early 2020 is an example.

The S&P 500 fell 34% in 23 trading sessions, the fastest bear market from a high in 90 years. The entire crash lasted one month. Stocks broke even six months after bottoming. Stocks rose 100% from those lows in 15 months.

Seven bear markets have lasted two years or less since 1945.

The 2020 recovery was an outlier, but four other bear markets have made investors whole within 18 months.

During a bear market, you don't know if it will end quickly or feel like death by a thousand cuts.

Recessions vs. bear markets

Many people believe the U.S. economy is in or heading for a recession.

I agree. Four-decade high inflation. Since 1945, inflation has exceeded 5% nine times. Each inflationary spike caused a recession. Only slowing economic demand seems to stop price spikes.

This could happen again. Stocks seem to be pricing in a recession.

Recessions almost always cause a bear market, but a bear market doesn't always equal a recession. In 1946, the stock market fell 27% without a recession in sight. Without an economic slowdown, the stock market fell 22% in 1966. Black Monday in 1987 was the most famous stock market crash without a recession. Stocks fell 30% in less than a week. Many believed the stock market signaled a depression. The crash caused no slowdown.

Economic cycles are hard to predict. Even Wall Street makes mistakes.

Bears vs. bulls

Bear markets for U.S. stocks always end. Every stock market crash in U.S. history has been followed by new all-time highs.

How should investors view the recession? Investing risk is subjective.

You don't have as long to wait out a bear market if you're retired or nearing retirement. Diversification and liquidity help investors with limited time or income. Cash and short-term bonds drag down long-term returns but can ensure short-term spending.

Young people with years or decades ahead of them should view this bear market as an opportunity. Stock market crashes are good for net savers in the future. They let you buy cheap stocks with high dividend yields.

You need discipline, patience, and planning to buy stocks when it doesn't feel right.

Bear markets aren't fun because no one likes seeing their portfolio fall. But stock market downturns are a feature, not a bug. If stocks never crashed, they wouldn't offer such great long-term returns.

ANTHONY P.

ANTHONY P.

1 year ago

Startups are difficult. Streamlining the procedure for creating the following unicorn.

New ventures are exciting. It's fun to imagine yourself rich, successful, and famous (if that's your thing). How you'll help others and make your family proud. This excitement can pull you forward for years, even when you intuitively realize that the path you're on may not lead to your desired success.

Know when to change course. Switching course can mean pivoting or changing direction.

In this not-so-short blog, I'll describe the journey of building your dream. And how the journey might look when you think you're building your dream, but fall short of that vision. Both can feel similar in the beginning, but there are subtle differences.

Let’s dive in.

How an exciting journey to a dead end looks and feels.

You want to help many people. You're business-minded, creative, and ambitious. You jump into entrepreneurship. You're excited, free, and in control.

I'll use tech as an example because that's what I know best, but this applies to any entrepreneurial endeavor.

So you start learning the basics of your field, say coding/software development. You read books, take courses, and may even join a bootcamp. You start practicing, and the journey begins. Once you reach a certain level of skill (which can take months, usually 12-24), you gain the confidence to speak with others in the field and find common ground. You might attract a co-founder this way with time. You and this person embark on a journey (Tip: the idea you start with is rarely the idea you end with).

Amateur mistake #1: You spend months building a product before speaking to customers.

Building something pulls you forward blindly. You make mistakes, avoid customers, and build with your co-founder or small team in the dark for months, usually 6-12 months.

You're excited when the product launches. We'll be billionaires! The market won't believe it. This excites you and the team. Launch.

….

Nothing happens.

Some people may sign up out of pity, only to never use the product or service again.

You and the team are confused, discouraged and in denial. They don't get what we've built yet. We need to market it better, we need to talk to more investors, someone will understand our vision.

This is a hopeless path, and your denial could last another 6 months. If you're lucky, while talking to consumers and investors (which you should have done from the start), someone who has been there before would pity you and give you an idea to pivot into that can create income.

Suppose you get this idea and pivot your business. Again, you've just pivoted into something limited by what you've already built. It may be a revenue-generating idea, but it's rarely new. Now you're playing catch-up, doing something others are doing but you can do better. (Tip #2: Don't be late.) Your chances of winning are slim, and you'll likely never catch up.

You're finally seeing revenue and feel successful. You can compete, but if you're not a first mover, you won't earn enough over time. You'll get by or work harder than ever to earn what a skilled trade could provide. You didn't go into business to stress out and make $100,000 or $200,000 a year. When you can make the same amount by becoming a great software developer, electrician, etc.

You become stuck. Either your firm continues this way for years until you realize there isn't enough growth to recruit a strong team and remove yourself from day-to-day operations due to competition. Or a catastrophic economic event forces you to admit that what you were building wasn't new and unique and wouldn't get you where you wanted to be.

This realization could take 6-10 years. No kidding.

The good news is, you’ve learned a lot along the way and this information can be used towards your next venture (if you have the energy).

Key Lesson: Don’t build something if you aren’t one of the first in the space building it just for the sake of building something.

-

Let's discuss what it's like to build something that can make your dream come true.

Case 2: Building something the market loves is difficult but rewarding.

It starts with a problem that hasn't been adequately solved for a long time but is now solvable due to technology. Or a new problem due to a change in how things are done.

Let's examine each example.

Example #1: Mass communication. The problem is now solvable due to some technological breakthrough.

Twitter — One of the first web 2 companies that became successful with the rise of smart mobile computing.

People can share their real-time activities via mobile device with friends, family, and strangers. Web 2 and smartphones made it easy and fun.

Example #2: A new problem has emerged due to some change in the way things are conducted.

Zoom- A web-conferencing company that reached massive success due to the movement towards “work from home”, remote/hybrid work forces.

Online web conferencing allows for face-to-face communication.

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These two examples show how to build a unicorn-type company. It's a mix of solving the right problem at the right time, either through a technological breakthrough that opens up new opportunities or by fundamentally changing how people do things.

Let's find these opportunities.

Start by examining problems, such as how the world has changed and how we can help it adapt. It can also be both. Start team brainstorming. Research technologies, current world-trends, use common sense, and make a list. Then, choose the top 3 that you're most excited about and seem most workable based on your skillsets, values, and passion.

Once you have this list, create the simplest MVP you can and test it with customers. The prototype can be as simple as a picture or diagram of user flow and end-user value. No coding required. Market-test. Twitter's version 1 was simple. It was a web form that asked, "What are you doing?" Then publish it from your phone. A global status update, wherever you are. Currently, this company has a $50 billion market cap.

Here's their MVP screenshot.

Small things grow. Tiny. Simplify.

Remember Frequency and Value when brainstorming. Your product is high frequency (Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok) or high value (Airbnb for renting travel accommodations), or both (Gmail).

Once you've identified product ideas that meet the above criteria, they're simple, have a high frequency of use, or provide deep value. You then bring it to market in the simplest, most cost-effective way. You can sell a half-working prototype with imagination and sales skills. You need just enough of a prototype to convey your vision to a user or customer.

With this, you can approach real people. This will do one of three things: give you a green light to continue on your vision as is, show you that there is no opportunity and people won't use it, or point you in a direction that is a blend of what you've come up with and what the customer / user really wants, and you update the prototype and go back to the maze. Repeat until you have enough yeses and conviction to build an MVP.