in a realm that is safe
you will be my friend and i will be yours
and if not,
then please know
all that you know.
in a way no one else will ever.
It is not endurance that leads to freedom from depression – it is love, and there is no such thing as time. We’ve walked so far to revisit the same places over and over again, but there you have it – here we are.”
Seems to me, the complicated, laggy relationship between time, free will, and the outcomes of choice causes lots of problems for us humans.
For instance, I’d argue that such deep complexity makes the act of prediction based on cause and effect quite a slippery target; future outcomes are always shifting based on your present intentions and actions, conscious and otherwise.
Seems to me, predictions based on logic in complex systems or situations fail more often than those based on intuition, which, unlike linear systems, don’t need clear answers to yet provide value.
Upshot: maybe this is one great basis for understanding the process of the journey as the only destination? After all, if every destination is different than imagined before arrival, what’s the point of having a destination at all, except to point your feet in the right direction?
Taibbi, on point as usual. When does this stop?
An international drug trafficker is a criminal and usually a murderer; the drug addict walking the street is one of his victims. But thanks to Breuer, we’re now in the business, officially, of jailing the victims and enabling the criminals.
This is the disgrace to end all disgraces. It doesn’t even make any sense. There is no reason why the Justice Department couldn’t have snatched up everybody at HSBC involved with the trafficking, prosecuted them criminally, and worked with banking regulators to make sure that the bank survived the transition to new management. As it is, HSBC has had to replace virtually all of its senior management. The guilty parties were apparently not so important to the stability of the world economy that they all had to be left at their desks.
So there is absolutely no reason they couldn’t all face criminal penalties. That they are not being prosecuted is cowardice and pure corruption, nothing else. And by approving this settlement, Breuer removed the government’s moral authority to prosecute anyone for any other drug offense. Not that most people didn’t already know that the drug war is a joke, but this makes it official.
So if we apply the amount of computing power now being devoted to Bitcoin mining to Folding@home, we could now be pumping out 666 peer-reviewed papers about chronic diseases.
“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”
- Henry David Thoreau
HT: Body wealth
It’s that time again… Moving everything to my new blog! The following picture still approximates the intended vibe here.
TL;DR: We’re confident you’ll agree (to disagree, at least)
Almost a year into my adventure to downtown Las Vegas from the Bay Area, I reflect on what drew me to the budding community. It was a tiny mirror of the crunchy, singularity-infused values that drive today’s innovation-affluence culture, for better, and certainly in some ways for worse. Those values imply that technology and friendliness can ultimately get us nearer something we can start to call utopia, and in many ways that’s probably true.
At least, true under certain conditions; perhaps in an environment where just the right variables are controlled for, serendipity and magic can flourish in an apparently-unbridled way. That’s the bet.
Indeed, such a grand experiment as the ZapposHQ/DTP/VTF moneysphere (this is an inelegant term, but I haven’t yet found a better way to say it succinctly and politely) can only have any hope of success if it controls for as many key variables as possible: buy buildings, create optionality.
Growing a community within a city based on the way Zappos hires is attractive, because Zappos HR is systematic without trampling individuality and silliness; serendipity is built into a very structured system in a way that irks many applicants and observers alike. But as a practical matter, it only matters that it works for Zappos.
When VTF talks about funding tech startups that display massive potential for return – on community, what they’re saying is that they’re looking for a uniqueness that doesn’t toxify the existing embryo of community pearl building around the Ogden, of which each new member of each new VTF portfolio company and DTP small business is a new grain.
And that compatibility-based-natural-exclusivity is not a bad thing, from the perspective of the embryo. It’s not for every grain of sand, but it worked for Zappos to the tune of bought+ongoing control, so who is anyone (especially Kanye West?) to question applying its insights to the next level of complexity, outside of the workplace and into the town as a whole?
“The bums lost, Lebowski!” – the elder Lebowski
Critics voice resentments, and the community embryo replies: “we mean no harm, come and talk to us, and you’ll see; but we don’t respond to meanness.” Critics don’t want to talk in person, they just want to feel right, and humanizing the conversation would defuse their self-righteousness.
The embryo knows this, if not always consciously; driving engagement towards in-person interaction, and keeping public comment well-planned and positive is a great filter; critics see it as defensive, secretive, cultish. These critics are naive to its purpose.
Within the DTP community, it’s the only way to survive, because mean people can’t troll in person; every conversation can end with “agree to disagree” without threatening the prospect of being friendly acquaintances who support each others’ good intentions. Everybody wins, as long as everyone is comfortable doing their own thing.
I empathize with the situation of the Downtown Project folks. It sucks to have everyone jump down your throat constantly, when 80% of the criticism is misinformed, and often vitriolic. It makes you want to recoil, and you do. But you have to damn the calculations, and stand to face it. When you do, the worst of it will recede quickly, like many reasonable-though-unnecessary fears.
I believe it’s vital to address — yes, publicly, on the internet, in realtime, not produced soundbites — whatever percentage of feedback that is based on a shared assumption of good intentions, even if they’re hard topics with unplannable threads, fraught with legal risk. Even if it’s about the hardest issues for which you have the fewest answers. Essential.
Yes, it’s a DTP lawyer’s nightmare in our litigious society, this community engagement stuff. Doesn’t make it anything less than the most vital roadblock to runaway success in the Zappos/DTP/VTF/DTLV story. Not to say that the whole thing won’t find a way to preserve a true victory in the long-run; it will succeed, in the broadest terms, even subject to a continued reliance on the brute force of money, as expensive a proposition as that is. Must be lonely to be Tony.
Epilogue: By now you’ve probably noticed that these WTFIGOD posts aren’t really about “what’s going on” downtown (this is great for that), but more about the sociological subtext inherent in the human drama of building a community “from scratch.” In any case, this may be the last #WTFIGOD post. I apologize, or, you’re welcome.