Blitzscaling Hero or Lockean Titan, whatever

“Being a successful Lockean Titan is like being the successful staph bacterium that manages to find its way into a break in its host’s skin and spawn an infection: yes, you had all the characteristics necessary to go viral (ahem), but you also got lucky by being in the right place at the right time, and if you hadn’t been there, someone else would have been.”

Thanks Doctorow, great writers are there to give voice to your thoughts, I had been looking for an image like this to describe innovation in the age of the unicorns, and why geography matters, and what is the real role of the hero in a world well set by technology and finance

Cory Doctorow: Terra Nullius

words and acronyms

spread, like spread the virus, spred Bund-BTP, spread the goodness of the web GNUtella. Just because I want to talk about Fold@home that reminds me of SETI@home that was alive at the time DIvX Napster and Indymedia were born (GNUtella followed suit, once Napster was killed)

PEEP and PEPP, easy to confuse, both actual now:

PEEP some parameter in ventilators, the reason you can’t hack together a mechanichal ventilator, PEEP must be managed by some electronics and specific mechanics

PEPP is some Pandemic Emergency something  created by the ECB, which will buy bods for 750 billions, it already started buying Italy’s Btp and that should allow Italy to stay comfortably in 5% deficit for 2020, BOTs have already a buyr, Over that level,  check twice

Normal accident

“If interactive complexity and tight coupling—system characteristics—inevitably will produce an accident, I believe we are justified in calling it a normal accident, or a system accident.”

this should go in laws, all sort of laws.  Charles Perrow



what FFers have gone tru is a kill zone set up by big tech, just discovered, someone had the same experience at Picasa

“Back in the early days of digital photography, I used a website called Picasa to organize and share my photos. It was like a whole new world opened up to me — suddenly I could get feedback from much more experienced and skilled photographers halfway around the world, discover their work and find visual inspiration. But by the time I started using it, Google had already acquired the company. During the next few years, the app seemed to stagnate — there were rumors that Google was starving it of resources, and users drifted away. In 2016 Picasa was killed off for good, and anyone who still had photos there had them moved to Google Photos — a site I have never heard of anyone using.”

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tech people fixation with tunnels

“for example, when New York decided to build the subway in 1900: 4.7 years later, they opened 23 subway stations, and in 2019 dollars, they spent just over a billion dollars doing so. So 23 stations, just over a billion dollars”

Relative abundances and scarcities define the economic times, I would for example expect that NY 1900 would be abundant of  cheap workforce employable at very flexible terms, which I am sure it is not true today where most people works in services and with much higher protections on the job

The quote was from Patrick Collison, founder of Stripe in a chat with Tyler Cowen and Mark Zuckerberg

My opinion is just general but I think in the right direction. one has to understand what drives development and growth, and today it’s not what it was 120 years ago. In 50 times someone will muse the good old days when Mark could amass 2 billion users in 15 years while now no matter how much money you spend you might expect just 2 o 3 hunderd millions. Oh cruel times, we are so bad compared to the intenret pionners, glossing over the fact that the users will have much more protection from spam and aggressive marketing (yeah, pipedream)

gullible, unprotected users is the relative abundance of our times

link full of tunnels prices

I said tech people fixation with tunnels, let’s not forget that one day Musk, frustrated with the time it takes to build tunnels today, bought a boring machine and started digging a hole under his company’s parking.

Yes! Tyler Cowen on Subway Cost Desease

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A single drop of blood, from a finger prick, it’s not  Theranos but Octopi, a cool  medical innovation for the 3 billions at risk of malaria: “a low-cost ($250-$500) automated imaging platform that can quantify malaria parasitemia by scanning 1.5 million red blood cells per minute.”

Malaria diagnosis today takes 30 minutes to 1 hour technician’s work on a manual microscope, putting a limit to the capacity of diagnosis centers in poor countries. Octopi combines microscopy, spectroscopy and flow cytometry to deliver a result in few minutes . Screenshot 2019-11-22 at 10.31.18.pngScreenshot 2019-11-22 at 10.32.13.png

Octopi works off a phone charger. It analyzes slides at speeds that are 120 times faster than traditional microscopy. Weighing fewer than seven pounds, it’s portable. And at a do-it-yourself cost of $250 to $500. Its modular architecture means that it takes only changing the camera/imager to detect other parasites. It’s open technology, hardware and software

“We further implement a machine learning classifier and obtain anticipated performance of higher than 90% specificity and sensitivity for parasitemia of 50 parasites per µl and 100% sensitivity and specificity for parasitemia of 150 parasites per µl. Our results suggest that low-cost automated multimodal microscopy combined with machine learning tools have the potential to address the unmet needs for diagnosis of malaria and many other diseases.”


Asset valuation? Really?

hope it is not lost on you the humour of an investment banker, not any one, the CEO of Goldman Sachs who claims assets cannot be valued,of all assets, houses

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This argument has some merit, for example Goldman Sachs at some point valued WeWork at 47 billion, that point was right before selling it to investors in the IPO, the investors balked nd WeWork was refinanced by its current owner, Softbank at 8 Bln valuation

“The global market for private equity, including venture capital, has swelled fivefold in the past two decades to $4.2tn,” says the FT—they become increasingly dominated by more public-style investors who don’t have that discernment.  Matt Levine in newsletter


centralised platforms for decentralization

“People no longer have to rely on traditional gatekeepers in politics or media to make their voices heard, and that has important consequences. I understand the concerns about how tech platforms have centralized power, but I actually believe the much bigger story is how much these platforms have decentralized power by putting it directly into people’s hands. It’s part of this amazing expansion of voice through law, culture and technology.” Marc Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg Stands for Voice and Free Expression

Sort of troubles me, worth thinking about, probably laszlo barabasi would have something to say, in a way seems to me a good definition of populism, “people” behind a centralized, strong platform can be louder of individuals roaming the vast prairies of the free internet of the origins, if ever there was one. Of cousre “people” is in brackets since it is not factual but rather ideological definition, Rousseau style.

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Stamos, former chief security officer at FB and now in academia, says that “he (Zuck)compressed all of the different products into this one blob he called “Facebook”. That is not a useful frame for pretty much any discussion of how to handle speech issues.”

the expression-amplification inverted Stamos pyramid of facebook services:

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