We miss you, George…
I’ve been recently thinking about the last time Americans seemed to have collectively lost their minds: the Cold War. Pondering this time period led me down a YouTube rabbit hole where I learned that during the chilliest portions of the Cold War, Chrysler V8s were used to power the loudest air raid sirens ever built.
I had no idea these existed! And as a nerd who loves both Detroit automotive and Nuclear Age history, I’m a little disappointed in myself. Let’s fix that…
“…At least one ended up in the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing. In 1997, a British documentary team visiting the museum was treated to cranking up a Chrysler Air Raid Siren. After decades of neglect spent soaking in saltwater spray on a roof in Florida and then languishing in a shop, the ’52 Hemi V8 engine not only started right up but started on gasoline, a fuel that it had never run before as one of the engines outfitted to run on propane.
Solid design and craftsmanship still rules.
One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit. Everyone knows this. Each of us contributes his share. But we tend to take the situation for granted. Most people are rather confident of their ability to recognize bullshit and to avoid being taken in by it. So the phenomenon has not aroused much deliberate concern, or attracted much sustained inquiry. In consequence, we have no clear understanding of what bullshit is, why there is so much of it, or what functions it serves. And we lack a conscientiously developed appreciation of what it means to us. In other words, we have no theory. I propose to begin the development of a theoretical understanding of bullshit, mainly by providing some tentative and exploratory philosophical analysis.
Scholarly approach to the sociology and psychology of bullshit, it’s significance in American culture. Rather longish essay – and especially useful, I feel, in an election year.
James P. Bradley (R) CA-33 @BradleyCongress US House candidate, CA-33 5:39 AM May 19, 2020: ”@realDonaldTrump taking hydroxychloroquine to ward off coronavirus is a kick-ass move that proves why he is the bravest and strongest of all American presidents.”
Now, I have to change my shoes. Put on my rubber boots!
❝ In the first court hearing over President Trump’s border wall funding plan, administration lawyers on Friday vigorously pressed their controversial argument that Congress did not in fact deny him the money when lawmakers excluded it from the appropriations bill they enacted in February.
To bar spending, Deputy Assistant Attorney General James M. Burnham told a federal judge here, Congress would have had to explicitly say that “no money shall be obligated” in any form…
Trump’s new favorite word – BULLSHIT – applies here as well as most of his blather and bluster.
ReBlogged from om.co — Nick Bilton photo
Google says its “Assistant” (the voice-based query service) is soon going to be on a billion devices –primarily phones, and a majority of them being on the Android phones. There are some obvious questions that the report should have covered. For instance:
- Are these pre-installed on the OS as part of deals with handset makers or phone companies?
- What some money involved to get these pre-installed if they were pre-installed?
- What percentage of these were downloaded by end customers?
- How many Google Assistant speaker-type devices has the company sold and not just given away as part of some promotion?
- What is the number of daily active users of the Google Assistant?
- How is the daily usage trending? Any data? Claiming global active users have grown four times over past one year is utterly meaningless!
- What countries is the Assitant popular in?
- And is it GDPR compliant?
- How does it correlate with Google’s current business model of placing advertising against search results?
In other words, without the relevant context, Google’s claim is no better than old fashion bullshit. For whatever its worth, I find Google Assistant is very good at understanding my accent than Alexa and Siri. They are also much more accurate than those two. Unfortunately, I don’t trust Google to let them into my apartment on a device.
Ditto! I agree.
❝ An article on the UK-version of BusinessInsider got me a little worked up and I made a post on my Facebook page. An intense conversation followed and Dave Winer suggested that this would make a good blog post. He was right – as always!
“Everything is about resiliency now to weather the storm,” says Tim McSweeney, a director at technology-focused merchant bank Restoration Partners. “Unicorn, it’s a mythical beast, whereas a cockroach, it can survive a nuclear war.”
❝ I was annoyed by this comment mostly because I get really annoyed by these dumb labels that are put on startups. I hated the label unicorn, and have not been shy about pointing that out:
“A unicorn is a mythical thing which doesn’t exist. It’s a big fat lie. If you’re calling yourself a unicorn as a company, you’re a big fat lie. Why don’t you just say what you are, that you’re a startup with some valuation?”
❝ I have been investing for a few years now, as an investor I have never looked for a “unicorn” or a “cockroach” startup. I have always looked for a good startup. I have looked for passionate founders, full of convinction, who are okay to be first and are comfortable with a future that others don’t see just yet. I like ideas and solutions for real problems. I like technology startups. As my partner Jon Callaghan often says, venture capital is for creating brave new markets. It is about creating entire new industries. It is about inventing new way of solving problems. Some ideas are small. Others radical.
But none of them are a unicorn, donkey, horse, ox or a cockroach. These made up words represent a limited grasp on vocabulary of those who are seeking cheap attention. As an investor, what I don’t look for is startups that come with dumb labels, popularized by reporters who don’t know what the hell they are talking about and are looking for cheap slogans to put on their click bait bullshit headlines.
❝ The so called technology/business media is doing as much damage as wannabe investors and wantrenpreuers. Story tellers have forgotten in their race for page views – words have a meaning and words can shape narratives.
I second that emotion.