Weekend Reads – 1/20/2018

Apologies for missing last week. Was down with a cold, and could barely eke out a blog post. But good thing I did, because it got some of the most quality response I’ve seen in a while. Meanwhile, here are some awesome articles that really stood with me over the week. Make some coffee – or get some kombucha or hot tea – and enjoy the journey.

Non-Tech

  • Exiting the dark ages of capitalism. Too often, companies subscribe to the notion that profit comes first. Profit is a key ingredient, but coupled with myopia, it can prove disastrous. I’ve seen first hand the times when a company has to “be profitable” when it’s simple accounting maneuvers (this was at a company I worked for, which at the time was – sadly – the most shorted stock on the NASDAQ). You want to see pressure to “perform”? I’ve seen it, and it sucks. We can do better, both as companies and individuals. Thinking more long term is a necessary ingredient to achieve anything greater than myopia-driven progress (I’ll be covering this in a post shortly). Plus, the author – David Heinemeier Hansson has a lot of valid points, in all of his writing. (Medium)

  • IT’S THE (DEMOCRACY-POISONING) GOLDEN AGE OF FREE SPEECH. The awesome benefits of technology and free speech inevitably give rise to those who can exploit it. It’s like there’s an efficient market hypothesis for douchebagery and sinister behavior. (Wired)
  • Improving Ourselves to Death. I’m so tired of self-improvement gurus (it’s not enough to simply get self-help; one must self improve). Probably because I’ve over-consumed the self-improvement culture for a number of years. Being very Type-A, I’m the perfect victim for self-improvement porn. I guess awareness is the first step in overcoming an issue. (New Yorker)

Tech

  • The Fall of Travis Kalanick Was a Lot Weirder and Darker Than You Thought. Uber has received a ton of flack. I couldn’t imagine it would be THIS BAD. Not to stray into gossip column territory, but this article should serve as a cautionary tale for startup founder, investors, employees, and – humans, alike. Being a douche isn’t a great game plan. It may make you a billionaire, but what is money if you have to pay to have friends who pretend to like you? (Bloomberg)
  • Alibaba’s AI Outguns Humans in Reading Test. This is simply amazing. Enough said. (Bloomberg)

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