Fashionable New Yorkers are sporting high tech ski wear this season. I think it’s particularly hilarious because the most fashionable among them appear to be wearing jackets with avalanche locators in them. THERE ARE NO AVALANCHES IN MANHATTAN
Even if the up/download speeds of BoltBus are plodding (if not determined) I will gladly ride it over the internetless Fung Wah bus. Here’s the first email that I checked on my ride:
date Fri, Feb 26, 2010 at 9:05 AM
subject Service Cancellation
We apologize for the late notice however it has become necessary to
your schedule today due to the inclement weather in our area. We will
automatically issue a refund to the credit card utilized in your original
purchase, there will be no need to call us to obtain this refund.
We apologize for any incvonvenience that this cancellation of service may
On one hand, cool free bus ride. On the other hand, whoa! Maybe I shouldn’t be on this bus?
Yes, the weakest newspapers will perish feebly in the digital culling. Calm down tiger ::
Print media will die, journalism will not.
In fact, journalism will become stronger, better, faster and more nimble all without the problems it had before. The internet happened with music, movies and television too. It’s for the best, really.
“…all the history of human life has been a struggle between wisdom and stupidity…And for most of that time, wisdom has had to work in secret, whispering her words, moving like a spy through the humble places of the world while the courts and palaces are occupied by her enemies.”
Incidentally, this is a lithograph (I think) made by Martin Luthor depicting peasants farting on the pope.
When I meet someone who is clearly a maniac rambling wildly about incoherent conspiracy theories I think I can just ask them a simple series of basically logical questions that will elegantly highlight the flaws in their thinking. In my mind, I see them saying “You’re right, the weight of evidence *does* show that Mr. Obama was born in this country and thank you for helping me understand the complexities of politics and immigration law!”
For some reason, I continue to employ this broken ideology based on the ultimate triumphalism of clear headed rationality.
I really don’t know what the fuck is wrong with me. Seriously, I am walking away from more conversations.
++ From the Comments ++
your inability to learn and change behavior based on the series of failed attempts means perhaps that YOU are the maniacal one.
++ From the Comments pt 2 ++
why don’t you try to guide these conversations into broader zones of possibility? perhaps these “epistemological cartoons” (in mckenna’s words) were meant to fit into a broader episteme
if we help people imagine greater connectivity, eventually all of these insane rhetorical barriers (sane vs. lunatic fringe, etc) will dissolve. abandoning the conversation only further prolongs the moment when the new episteme will emerge from beneath the decaying corpus of rational consensus (which has clearly begun to suffer from a cancerous onslaught of paradoxes and godel statements). we’re all onto something, we’re just not on the same page yet!
but it probably isn’t a good idea to go to a party with an open absinthe bar. God, who’s idea was that anyway???
him: “it isn’t real absine you know, just pernod”
me: “at least these people are being subjected to a blunted variety of unmitigated madness”
is the price we pay to not step in dog shit on Saturday, Feb 20th while walking to a wine tasting in the mission.
Voodoo Knickers has been a long time supporter of the Global Lives Project and if you’re in San Francisco this is a do not miss event.
I’m working beneath the grey skies of brooklyn and still learning to be an international man of mystery. I don’t have quite 100% control over my schedule yet but I’m hoping to be there if I can.
It just occurred to me that I have quite a few friends that have, at some point, organized all of their books by color.
Yesterday, I moseyed my mohowke down to San Mateo for a venture capital conference called The Future of Funding. For those Dear Readers that aren’t tech nerds, Venture Capitalists give software startups some initial money to operate in exchange for a chunk of the company.
:: EXAMPLE ::
–> VC Firm X buys 20% of tech startup Y for 2 million dollars (high fives all around!). X then prays Y gets bought by Google for 500 million so they can transform that 2mil initial investment into 100 millon dollars.
So yeah, venture capital is just gambling for ballers. Mostly what happens is that company Y epic fails so the trick is for for venture capital firm X to invest in Y, Z, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, and eventually one of them will go big. Without turning this into a giant blog post, I will just say that there are some fucking crazy incentive structures involved in this whole process that make it sort of sketchy and ridiculous. There are also a lot of lawyers, hedge funds and banks involved. I went because A. I think it would be interesting and fun to work for a venture capital firm and b. I got in for free (go me).
The number one tedious thing VC’s love self-aggrandizing about is how “venture capital is broken.” Here’s an actual conversation from yesterday (paraphased)
VC: The problem is that venture capitalists fund within a hard to enter social network. Innovative and brilliant ideas don’t get money because entrepreneurs can’t infiltrate the cliques of high level investors.
[2 minutes later during the same conversation]
Dustin: So how do you decide which companies to fund?
VC: Well, I only give money to my friends because all my friends are smart and they wouldn’t want to personally let me down.
Dustin’s Friend J: Wait, didn’t you say two minutes ago that the problem was VC’s only funding their friends? VC: Well, if I was an entrepreneur I would move to silicon valley.
So I pretty much woke up at 5:30 am so I could hang out with a bunch of people who had become entirely divorced from reality. Those who know me would be surprised by just how few arguments I started. The upshot was that I learned some cool things and met a bunch of interesting people. I also got to chill in posh hotel all day and eat lots of good food. Thursday for the win!
The conference was put on by this guy Adeo Ressi who runs a website called TheFunded.com. It’s a way for successfully financed entrepreneurs rate the douchebaggery of VCs who funded them. The website goes a long way in keeping venture capitalists honest so it’s unsurprising that there have been some lawsuits. Adeo is super nice and hilarious but most importantly doesn’t put up with bullshit.
For those unwilling to endure an entire room of VC’s, here are some take aways from The Future of Funding:
* Venture capitalists aren’t quite the ballers they used to be. 2/3rd’s of their operating funds have dried up (that’s the money they have to dole out before they blow it on pointless tech adventures).
* The heady days of the early oughts are behind us and companies just aren’t getting bought for nonsensical sums anymore.
* The market is maturing and companies are being sold at a much slower pace.
* Venture capitalists aren’t intelligent enough to justify their arrogance, as such a lot of vc firms are flailing hard.
** In short, Venture capitalists that still exist have way less money, they’re making less with what they have and it’s taking longer.
* Yet, Venture capitalists still love bloviating about smart they are, even when they are clearly just lucky. Scientists are baffled that I have the patience to tolerate this phenomenon.
* Luckily, my friend, Famous Journalist Anthony Ha was there to save me during “networking” breaks. We made snarky comments during panels. http://venturebeat.com/author/anthony-ha/
* The general trend will be towards more angel investors (random individuals with a lot of money) that give smaller chunks to more companies.
* That sucks because angels can be even bigger tools than VCs and they usually don’t hook up as many of the favors that actually grease the wheels of business.
* More angel investors means a dramatic rise in the number of incubators (communal offices where small startups can meet other startups).
* VCs and angels will make most of their money on private secondary asset markets where they sell early shares and bundled derivatives of early stage companies. That couldn’t possibly go awry. The people who run those markets are making money hand over dick.
* I continue to get horribly annoyed when people thrust their business cards into my hand for no reason. I only snapped on one person. Most people have really boring business cards.
* There were a few burners in disguise at the conference. We’re going to start start a club and have dinner together.
“Depression is the inability to construct a future” –Rollo May
My friend broke up with her boyfriend in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico because he cheated on her and then lied about it.
Everyday that you do not talk to strangers is a day that your new best friend passes you silently on the street. Tiffanie was at a house party brandishing a packet of homemade screen printed greeting cards and I couldn’t resist talking to her. We were fast friends and she took me to her studio to teach me about zinc plate printing. Tiffanie’s wit is probably single handedly responsible for keeping me sane while I lived in Colorado for four months in 2009.
The song Neopolitan Dreams by Lisa Mitchell very much reminds me of her: clever, quirky, highly skilled and delightful beyond measure.
>> Neopolitan Dreams Download