Twitter Digest: 2012-06-01

  • I get it, but this still seems … wrong: A Ferrari crossover vehicle – ->
  • Wondrous lunacy of CA municipal finance: Cutting costs on muni projects will increase … costs – ->
  • As always, I'm way ahead of the curve: Let’s Be Less Productive – /via @timoreilly ->
  • Why do appliance companies make it impossible to find out when they launched a particular product? Absurd. ->

Twitter Digest: 2012-05-31

  • "The citizens in their cars looked at the porcupines, thinking: What is wonderful? Are porcupines wonderful?… Are they what I need?" ->
  • Vid for Black Keys tune "Gold on the Ceiling" is like a Devo homage made by animatronic Pez dispensers. ->
  • Building jobs' share of Canadian employment now 50% higher than U.S. share was at peak of bubble – ->
  • Apple: Let's Have Some Fun Reading Way Too Much Into the Preliminary Schedule for WWDC 2012 ->
  • I knew it: Music is getting louder over time – #HeyYouKidsGetOffMyLawn ->
  • William Gibson: "But somewhere along the way … Tomorrow went lowercase." ->

Thiel on Unique Investing

I like this comment from Peter Thiel in his latest Stanford lecture. He is talking about the trouble with unique investments:

Peter Thiel: It is very hard hard for investors to invest in things that are unique. The psychological struggle is hard to overstate. People gravitate to the modern portfolio approach. The narrative that people tell is that their portfolio will be a portfolio of different things. But that seems odd.

Things that are truly different are hard to evaluate. Suppose someone wants to start a rocket company. You might ask, quite reasonably, “What experience do you have with rockets?” The answer might be “zero.” Elon didn’t have any experience in making rockets before he started SpaceX. Or suppose a VC wants to invest in a rocket company. The question becomes: “What on earth do you know about rockets?” Again, the answer is probably “nothing.” No one has invested in rockets in over 40 years.

iPhone games, by contrast, are entirely familiar. If you ask a gaming entrepreneur what experience he has with games, he’ll tell you about all the games he’s made before. Ask a VC what they know about games and they’ll go on and on about the many gaming companies in their portfolio.

The upside to doing something that you’re unfamiliar with, like rockets, is that it’s likely that no one else is familiar with it, either. The competitive bar is lowered. You can focus on learning and substantive things over process, which is perhaps better than competing against experts.

More here.

Readings: Soccer, Sprott, Facebook, IMD, etc.

  • The Real Banking Crisis, Part II – Sprott Asset Management (Source)
  • Spain faces ‘total emergency’ as fear grips markets – Telegraph (Source)
  • IMD announces its 2012 World Competitiveness Rankings (Source)
  • Use Put Options to Get Facebook at a Discount – (Source)
  • A Special Report on the Future of Money – IEEE Spectrum (Source)
  • Soccer Rulers Slam Player-Trade Investment as Outsiders Cash In – Bloomberg (Source)

Twitter Digest: 2012-05-30

  • Vallejo, Calif., once bankrupt, is now a model for cities in an age of austerity – ->
  • And don't get me wrong, I'm advocating Ellisonian drinking & tweeting here. ->
  • Ellison live at AllThingsD has been sort of the audio equivalent of drinking and tweeting – ->
  • Condé Nast Traveler: Why Now Is the Best Time to Book a Trip to Greece – #SoGreeceHasThatGoingForIt ->
  • Kayak Said to Postpone IPO Following Facebook’s Tumble – Bloomberg ->
  • Now off to meetings. You people will have to entertain yourself with graphs for rest of day. ->
  • There's also this slide that annoys me. Meeker truly has skill to hold my opinions, and make me wish I didn't – ->

Twitter Digest: 2012-05-29

  • QotD: “If you have to step over a dead body half way up then it’s classed as walk. On real climbs the bodies fall to the bottom”. ->
  • Good fun: Lampooning movement futurology & the unbearable stasis of accelerating change – /via @nraford ->
  • Pop quiz: When did you think original Blade Runner movie was set? Did you guess 2019? Unnervingly near. ->
  • Most interesting anagram for "Rutger Hauer": Rare Rug Hut. ->

Twitter Digest: 2012-05-28

  • Speaking of the USS Indianapolis, a decade-old Fresh Air segment with two survivors of said tragedy – ->
  • So, eleven hundred men went in the water; 316 men come out & the sharks took the rest, June the 29th, 1945. Anyway, we delivered the bomb. ->
  • You just can't make shit like this up. Fine, you can, but it would only be 90% as entertaining. ->
  • Inside Heathrow's VIP lounge — finally you people get to see how I roll – ->
  • NBC lays out 2012 London Olympics broadcast plan on TV, internet, apps, etc. – /via @Techmeme ->

Twitter Digest: 2012-05-27

  • Prior QotD of Elon Musk is from here via @parand ->
  • QotD: Optimism, pessimism, fuck that; we're going to make it happen. As God is my bloody witness, I'm hell-bent on making it work. – E. Musk ->
  • Congrats to @Ryder_Hesjedal. Great ride today, and a great Giro win. Super stuff. First ever major tour win for a Canadian. ->
  • Watching as Canadian cyclist Ryder Hesjedal out of start gate in Giro d'Italia final time trial in Stage 21. Ryder, ftw. ->
  • Markets & Tacoma Narrows: Minute by minute, Nasdaq chaos engulfed Facebook IPO – ->

Twitter Digest: 2012-05-26

  • Usain Bolt posts his slowest ever winning time in 100m final. Weird how 10.04s even looked slow. ->
  • [1205.5509] Four Degrees of Separation, Really ->
  • Enjoying a Saturday morning watching epic Stage 20 of Giro over Mortirolo and Passeo del Stelvio. Go Ryder Hesjedal! ->
  • Joe Kraus: We're creating a culture of distraction – /via @bfeld ->
  • Petition: Require free access over Internet to sci journal articles from taxpayer-funded research. ->
  • Remarkable graphic (pdf) of Everest deaths by altitude and nationality ->

Twitter Digest: 2012-05-25

  • Today in self refuting sentences: "Simply run {MA<GO>} and click on 96) to toggle to Advanced Search" ->
  • Speaking of dueling FB algos, this: ->
  • When the algos really went at it over FB last Friday reminds me of Close Encounters when computer & aliens did tonal sequence duet. ->
  • Now Coveted – A Walkable, Convenient Place – /cc @richard_florida ->
  • Just wrote a non-code email making extensive use of regular expressions. Yeesh, I can be geeky. ->
  • The Verge reviews Samsung Galaxy S3. Shorter version: great hardware/perf; big; & a little Samsungy. ->