2012: The Year That Movements Go Mainstream?
I returned from ten days of skiing with my family last night. I'm on mountain time and plan to stay there until the new year. Staying up late and sleeping late seems to be a good way to bring in the New Year. But even so, my version of sleeping late is getting up at 8am. My family's version of sleeping late is getting up at noon. That leaves a fair bit of time to read and think.
And so that's what I did this morning. And here is what I am reading and thinking about:
1) Ron Paul is likely to win the Iowa Republican Caucus. Newt Gingrich says "I think Ron Paul's views are totally outside the mainstream of virtually every decent American." Maybe Paul's win in Iowa is the moment when Paul's ideas and the Tea Party movement go mainstream.
2) Occupy's organizers are building their own social network. The idea of a distributed social net that is not controlled by any company or institution has been around for a while. Identica and Diaspora have not taken off. Can a movement make it happen? I think it has a better chance because networks need people in them.
3) Reddit's users want to target a Senator after their successful attack on GoDaddy. The Reddit community can marshall a lot of activity when they want to. Last year's Rally To Restore Sanity was largely catalyzed by the Reddit community. If they do go after a Senator with that kind of intensity, it will have an impact.
4) Wired says that 2011 was the year that IP trumped Civil Liberties. It sure feels that way to me. Beware the backlash.
5) Twitter reports a Massachusetts DA's subpeona to its users. The money quote from that post: "Never declare war on the young," said Harvey Silverglate, a noted civil libertarian, told the Boston Herald in reference to the less-than-tech-savvy wording of the subpoena. "They'll outlast you. They'll outthink you. They'll outdo you… That may be the lesson the DA's office is about to learn."
Back in the spring of this year I told the folks at Techcrunch Disrupt that I thought the next big thing was "cultural revolution" fomented by the fact that roughly a billion people all over the world are connected directly to each other. I'm still not entirely sure how to invest in this megatrend, but it sure feels like it is upon us.
You might be right. You wrote about this a couple times before and I was skeptical, but the evidence is starting to pile up…
any ideas how to invest in this theme?
I think you already have…the trend is self expression. Any medium that gives people the “right” tools for self expression is a powerful one. When people are given the tools to express, the second step they follow is sharing, which drives virality. The third is engagement with what was expressed. (Geocities turned into Blogging, turned into Twitter, turning into…)One you may want to check out along this theme is The New Hive out of Seattle. Powerful tools, strong sharing.
Thinking through this more…The fourth step that hasn’t been acted upon would be organizing. Most tools focused on self expression stop at number three. Maybe the new wave is a tool that does 1-3, but then also has advanced tools for organizing people and their expression around the interest graph. Perhaps algorithmically, or simply giving people the platform to self organize?
does reddit facilitate self organizing?
Isn’t that what the Meetup groups are currently doing? Other organizations like Change.org are also helping to spread awareness over certain issues and tap into the power of “the masses” through petitions while Kickstarter allows people from all over to collectively donate to projects that they like. All of these organizations allow people to rally around certain themes / causes, but I think we’re missing something here. Anyway, I think you’re right that the trend has been towards self-expression. I think we’ve just started to ride the wave of curated discovery – think more of curated list of thought-leaders through Twitter rather than the “personalized” recommendations through Amazon – and we’ll see more of these types of services going forward.
A reusable platform, for the rest of us, that facilitates the actionable self-organizing of new social processes or at least a more equitable collective enforcement of presently existing processes sound like pie in the sky. Still the sky has a long history of delivering delicious pie to us mere earthlings.What fundamental building blocks of attitude, language, networking-tools and techniques do you see as foundational to such a platform?Thanks for the heads up on – The New Hive !Looks like a more visual, more organizationally effective, topdown organizing tool for drilling down on related groups of posts than tumblr’s much more limiting reverse chronology only presentation approach.I love tumblr but it really needs to expand its options for visually drilling down to present relates groups of posts beyond just tagging. With just a few more simple features they could create a minimalist CMS style flexibility for their users.
i willthanks for the tip
There is a market for a site that can quickly organize a consumer revolt/boycot. Not sure whether that fits your investment strategy though…It would be a more aggressive variation of a consumer buying group, eventually, it could even happen across borders.
How about tracking and policing corporate behaviours around their universal product codes.We all have mobile phones to read the product codes.One click tells you whether that company’s publicly known behaviours, environmental practices, profit levels, tax participation, wage structures etc. . . . meet your corporate-good-guy criteria-profile for a preferred purchase.IF they don’t pass but you still need to buy? One more click sends them an email that put them on notice!
The easier it is to self express and build communities around expression the harder it will get to be found by others.There is a point where niche itself is a magnet for aggregation on the open web.But…this also calls for a host of vertical (Etsy/Wattpad) type structures.The era of true niche marketplaces is just starting. Enabling more. Connecting them (Disqus?). Helping them get found.
Need to move up the value chain.Adequate organisation and distribution channels exist. Level up to payments & reputation
I’m with you on those ideas
Agreed on the fact that the organizations exist, but don’t think many of them are effectively leveraging the Internet as a distribution channel and there is certainly a lot of room for organizations with similar goals to collaborate.
Hmmm… Off the top of my head and while feeding the baby:1- Media. Media feels to social movements as pickaxes are to the California gold rush: less risky to sell them than to try to mine for gold yourself. Twitter is a big part of it, so you got that covered. Reddit is another. I suspect we’ll see such platforms.2- Organizing. We might see special organizing platforms for collective action, or we might not (Facebook and Twitter and BBM seem to work pretty well so far). I don’t have an idea, and I’d be curious to know why the platforms that have been tried (Causes, Votizen, Jumo…) haven’t really worked out, as far as I can tell. Maybe just timing or maybe something more profound.3- Analytics. Think Palantir meets Radian6 meets DataSift, if that makes sense?4- Countermeasures. Speaking of Palantir… As #AntiSec has shown, and though you may not like it, there’s clearly tons of money to be made in helping governments and corporations fight the movements. Security, espionage…All I have for now, but I’ll be thinking about it.
Good thoughts. Thanks
I think the problem with 2. for Causes and Jumo is that they weren’t trying to create collective impact themselves. Instead they provided the tools for users to create collective impact. To effectuate real change, each movement would likely need different tools.Collective impact is hard, but is extremely effective when done well. Here’s a Link to a great article on Collective Impact. http://www.ssireview.org/pd…
Seems like you already are. “Large networks of highly engaged people” has been the basis for every successful movement long before USV. The platforms that you already support will reflect the interests of the users.To focus an investment on one movement in particular would ensure failure over the long term, to focus on ‘movements’ in general would never gain traction in the short term.Users of Twitter, Kickstarter, and Meetup don’t need to be prompted to direct efforts toward things like the #occupy movement or fighting SOPA. They just naturally happen. Edit: Here’s one I’m backing: http://www.kickstarter.com/…
Another obvious one is money. If/when Bitcoin gets big again, there will be money in services around it.
facilitation… or aggregation of facilitators.
i, for one, love the power the internet brings to the massesit is crazy and instable, but powerful and for the people
instability is a fact of life
and what keeps it interesting….
truth, but sometimes I worry about that old yiddish curse “may you live in interesting times”There is such thing as too interesting…
Shana, I am built for constant change. And interest. It shows me others are awake too. And present.
What’s more scary is what happens in the aftermath. Those that bring the revolution on, aren’t always the ones that can see it carried through. In Egypt, while we were rejoicing seeing the people on the street as a signal to end the old regime, then came the elections with a totally different picture. With Occupy, they started hard in the physical space, but were weak in the Online space. We don’t know yet how it will unravel. With SOPA, the old guard started with old lobbying tactics, but the onliners started fighting aggressively via online channels, and now facing them squarely. So, it’s like ONLINE vs. OLD WORLD. Online is bringing revolutions to everywhere, from politics, policies to everything. This is the age of online advocacy.
Very true!But ultimately the tour-de-force generated in the abstract space of ONLINE community, to be effective, needs better ways to map back onto the physical space of that OLD WORLD where the rubber meets the road.
Sure. Transitions are not easy. But sometimes you have cut the old to make room for the new.
Stability is one of the BIG LIES in life. We think the guys running the show know what they are doing and they are still only as capable and smart as they were in high school.Obama can’t create jobs — FWIW, no President really can but they can create a fertile environment in which jobs can be created by others if they will just get the hell out of the way.Who would not rather be bodysurfing in Hawaii rather than dealing with the real grown up world? The Internet lets us all see data which is the equivalent of peering through the Emperor’s threads. He is nekkid.
He was shockingly unprepared for the job.
Compared to whom? No president is prepared for the job.
Eisenhower — 5 stars, C in C of Western Alliance, C in C NATO, President Columbia UReagan — 2 time Gov of the 8th largest economy in worldGeorge HW Bush — Congressman, Ambassador to China, VP, CIA head, Ambassador to UNW — 2 time Gov of the 12th largest economy in worldBarack — community organizerNobody was as ill prepared as BHO. Truth.
And the campaign was run with a bravado that implied there was a specific plan to make change happen.As Isaacson says about Steve Jobs, ‘that is not a Reality Distortion Field – that’s lying’.
Certainly one of the all time best replys to a reply that I have ever seen.
but he is more prepared now than his likely challengers with three years of on the job training
@fredwilson:disqus I would concede wholeheartedly that BHO is more prepared today than he was 3 years ago. Even a year ago.His experience however has not been successful. And therein lies the problem.It strikes me like a guy who goes to the driving range with a bad swing and practices diligently. Pounding balls for hours. Trying earnestly to improve.All he has done is to reinforce a set of bad habits and has not improved his game in any way.He is not the right man for these times.
I think people will give him another 6 months to see some kind of revelation, but his chances of improving his hits are dwindling. He’s had so many lost opportunities to show real strong leadership. As I said earlier, a strong US president is good for the world as it stands today. There are still too many evil islands and bad influences that need to be strong armed- Iran, Syria, Korea, extremism, etc…
There are a few right people for these times out there but none are getting the groundswell they need
Very true. No matter who is chosen, they need lots of support to get things done.
surfing vs. the presidency? sure, i’ll hit the waves, toobut give me a chance to build a company (and create jobs to be filled by amazing people), and hell yes i’m in
Reece, I wholeheartedly agree with your priorities! Being President has never something I even remotely found aspiring; but give me a small company or start up and I get all excited!Must be because I do not compromise well! 🙂
“crazy and instable”? or dynamic?Completely agree with you on the beautiful power of the internet. I am a believer. Plus it levels the playing field and creates “opportunity for all” in a way that is unprecedented. Which I believe is one of the reasons it is under attack.
incumbents fear change, particularly wildly disruptive change that they don’t understand
I completely agree – I’ve often said that 2011 is the year that our right to freedom of speech has become fundamentally more powerful than our right to bear arms.
On the record – I too completely agree!But just for the sake of playing devils advocate.One could read 2011 as the year:The whole political system in the USA deteriorated into a sophisticated, Madison Avenue style, lobbyist network of self-legitimized, influence peddling, apparatchiks.That network of socially stupefying corruption is now reaching out to consolidate its hold on American culture by dismantling basic civil rights.They are slowly but surely erecting a quasi legal framework of state sanctioned controls over the freedom to communicate and associate.Any attempt to communicate or associate with others or even associate yourself with ideas that seek to resist that network of corrupt cronies will result in your motives being impugned by accusations that you may be an agent of some-such subversive bad-actor or another thus legitimizing state sanctioned scrutiny of your private communication with other like minded citizens with little or no legitimate due process.Throwing out the civil-rights baby with the subversive bath water.
The TOR Project and similar anti-censorship software will be increasingly important as countries try to censor the Internet to prevent cultural revolutions. *cough* US SOPA/PIPA *cough*
We’re working w/ the New America Foundation to support the development of these kinds of tools. There is a current job opening related to this: http://www.idealist.org/vie…
Video/Internet TV/communication? In combination with a service like Twitter, you can suddenly communicate to millions in real time. Services that disrupt YouTube in some ways and almost act like Twitter for video perhaps..Mass reach. Real time.As Andy Swan would say WIN! (potentially!)
And, on a different note, for everyone going through year end reflection/review, I thought I’d share a 10 question reflection sheet that might help.. 🙂 http://www.rohanrajiv.com/d… All feedback welcome. This is a PDF version as I assume you would do such an exercise on pen and paper. Do let me know if you prefer a Word version. Happy reflecting.. 🙂
Maybe it’s time for Reddit users to take on something bigger than a single Senator…how about the system via term limits…after all, a system that requires decades of service to be effective is a broken system. The parties have proven themselves incapable of responsibly managing this country and they clearly lack the ability to engage big ideas.
or campaign finance reformlessig’s book Republic, Lost has some great ideas about how to tackle that
Campaign finance reform would be a good thing. It seems to me that much of the campaigning could be done with free or inexpensive services (Twitter, YouTube, WordPress, Google+, ANY of the syndication services), and if everyone had a VERY small financing cap (would $100-500k be enough?) it would seem to be an even playing field.It strikes me as the same problem as reforming some of the investment laws regarding politicians, or even fixing social security – yes, it’s the right thing to do, but what politician has any particular incentive to do so?I’ll read that book – I’d like to become better versed in campaign finance reform.
The more corrupt, empty politicians will not like it. Because they don’t know how to gather real support behind them. The only way they win now is through media helping them and with expensive ads. If they had to gather support from people who do their research online, they would lose.
I genuinely don’t think that these are issues of corruption, but predominantly a lack of motivation and risk to electability. This could be an ignorant optimism issue on my part, but take social security as an example. The solution will involve cuts, and the people who stand to lose in that solution won’t vote for the proponents, giving an electoral advantage to the other guy. In the instance of campaign finance, the side that’s motivated is the side that is getting less financing, while the other side will decry it as cowardly regulation by the party or candidate that can’t compete on an even playing field.I think these are issues where doing what’s right is semi-suicidal; the incentive system is wrong. I’m not convinced there are that many villains, maybe just not enough people willing to spend their one last stand.
Agreed, certainly a critical component of our current situation. It’s amazing to me that our representatives, who I assume were raised reading Hill and Carnegie, continue to act as they do and believe that they can constantly talk of campaign finance reform (or insert any number of other issues) yet do nothing about it.But then again, who are the dumb ones…those that talk out of both sides of their mouths or those that blindly accept it?
Term limits are not the silver bullet. California is the case study for that.We’ve had them since 1990 and now the legislators are just the temporary marketing brands for the real lawmakers: their unelected chiefs of staff.
Agreed Aaron, I happen to be in the wine country so I know all too well what you’re referring to. I do believe however it is one of many difficult issues that need to be addressed in order to correct our system. Term limits, campaign finance reform, true independant ethics oversight…the list can go on and on…bottom line is we need to start somewhere to build a correction vs revolution.
I don’t think any of those issues are the real problem. Do all of that and we have less experienced, maybe slightly more ethical people still doing the wrong things.The real problem is that we have a 1930s government for a 21st century world. A big centralized behemoth trying to do everything for everyone.Go back to what Marc Andressen said at Stanford about Newsweek’s old media model and how you’d build it differently if you were starting from scratch, and you’ll see the model we need for government.
Now you sound like a Ron Paul supporter.
More of a realist. We’re bringing in 16% of GDP in tax revenues no matter how high we raise tax rates, and we’re spending 24% of GDP. Unless we want to be acquired by China, we’ve got to change the equation.Government should expose its data and processes to APIs and let startups build Government 2.0. If they can provide the service to citizens more effectively, shut down the old bureaucracies.Probably won’t work for State and Defense. Definitely would work for DMV and thousands of other citizen-touching agencies where we can’t afford to pay people to fill out TPS reports any more.
You and Andressen are talking about an exponantially greater difficulty Aaron. I can’t argue with the concept, however the idea that we are going to scrap what we’ve got and restart isn’t going to happen any time soon. Its akin to the stop driving gas cars and move to electric overnight issue…sure the concept is nice but it’s going to take 50 years to see weighted progress there for no other reason than volume. I actually believe there is a path to this outcome but it involves a US bankruptcy forcing the issue and a worldwide reset…not a pretty sight and difficult to happen without WWIII. These questions are patially responsible for my move to the wine country, I can always dilute the stupidity of our political system with a great Cab.
Very possible.I’d like to think that an innovative leader could find a third way (outside of the old more spending vs. tax cuts debate) and say “how can we keep the government services we need and make the unit cost way cheaper to deliver?”That will require leadership the likes of which we haven’t seen in a long time. I’m not sure I’m seeing that leader emerging yet in 2012.Time will tell – but fiscal gravity says this approach is going to happen to us if we don’t get out in front and shape it.
people should express themselves by the way they consume.consumption + values = expression
+1000Many people seem to behave as if they believe the manner of their lifestyle and the pattern of their consumption is unrelated to the vexing issues of the day. These aggregated manner and pattern behaviors create the issues of the day. Most people are still content to abdicate their own responsibility to the political class. The political system is designed to make abdication of personal responsibility the easiest option – vote and then go back to self delusion.
Finding a balance is difficult. Are you willing to buy only fair trade? Are your clothes made by children in far off places for nominal wages? Are you vegetarian? Vegan? “Do no evil”, is a big credo. Hard to live that way, in truth. But we should each try.
“Do only good” is a more positive credo to aspire to :-), and based on awareness, which is where the new paradigm of the web comes to the fore.Everything I eat is organic, the majority locally produced, much of the rest fairly traded. My clothes tend to be of organically grown cotton or recycled plastic bottles (not sure if I’m unwittingly contributing to the manufacture of plastic bottles because it it (I never buy plastic bottles, very bad things plastic bottles, and plastics generally), and I don’t eat cows, pigs, or sheep. I do eat sustainably fished fish, but not large fish (methylmercury issue).I don’t own a car and that reduces the flow of my money to despotic Arab states and their illegitimate rulers (who incidentally tend to be propped up by the tacit support of the Anglo Saxon world).I think I have my balance about right. It works for me. It’s not for everyone :-).
I didn’t intend to challenge you or extract specifics. That said, I like your <life>style. ;-)I’m with ya on the not eating animals.Plastic clothing? For real?
“I don’t own a car and that reduces the flow of my money to despotic Arab states and their illegitimate rulers”There are also oil producers in this country but more importantly…The auto industry is huge and many people are employed as well in various related industries.So the dollars you don’t spend (just on an automobile) have other negative economic effects that I’m sure you didn’t intend. While it might be more cost effective for you to take public transportation or rent a zip car it is better for the economy for your money to be spent on an auto for just yourself then put into savings. (Public transportation is a more efficient use of resources and good as long as you’re not the auto worker laid off because people aren’t buying cars.)
this is so off-base i almost spit out my organic coconut. there is no NEGATIVE effect on not spending money on automobiles just because people are employed by the auto industry. no specific industry needs to exist and you aren’t HARMING it by using your money elsewhere.this line of thinking is simply a way of avoiding doing what you know is right…
Maybe we should end e-mail to keep the U.S. Postal Service in business and save all those jobs! So many negative consequences!
Well said.Few live absolutes. But we do initiate big change by an aggregate of little efforts.
Good words, Jim.There is the ongoing battle between expedience and principle. I fight it within myself on a daily basis. Our choices as consumers is one of the places where the rubber meets the road.
And as most recently coming to light in Alabama, even vegans/vegetarians depend on the labor of people who earn less than minimum wage. (And I’ve been vegetarian/vegan for much of my life; I’m not bashing!)(And @tao69:disqus can probably tell us the likelihood of actually being able to purchase clothing that’s absolutely free of child labor…)So it’s hard to even think about it!
Vegan for 17 years over here. Thanks for reply.
Many people on this planet simply have no options!Some of those ever live in the USA.
“self delusion” was a little extreme I must admit 🙂 Illustrating a point to engage push back :-)If people go around believing they have no option (s) then they have no option (s). It’s the philosophy of the self fulfilling prophesy. It’s almost an illness of the mind. There’s almost always at least one option for change, and if taken it leads on to the next single option…ans so on. Having two options at the same time can even be a disadvantage, the dreaded ‘dilemma’ situation – only two choices are possible and both can seem impossible (when set against each other).”The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step” – Only one step can be the first step. The only issue is which foot makes that first step, but that’s not much of an issue when you think about it. The second step has to be with the other foot.
Follow the money to see into any man’s true heart.
MONEY NEVER LEAD TO HEART OF TRUE MAN.
Excuse me just a second, I have to turn off the bull shit meter. It’s screaming at you.Of course, money and where a man invests/spends/contributes is a window into his soul.A crackhead is different from a philanthropist exactly because of where they invest their money.Good works require money and that’s why folks who have a talent for making money should not fight the instinct to fund great causes rather than to work directly for them.Their money is needed more than their sweat.FG — swing and a miss.
MONEY IS TOOL.TRUE HEART USES TOOL, NOT USED BY IT.IF TOMORROW, GRIMLOCK HAVE NO MONEY, WOULD CHANGE NOTHING EXCEPT WHAT TO DO NEXT.
Of course it would change nothing for you…you’re a GIANT ROBOT DINOSAUR.
@twitter-373507944:disqus EVERYONE SHOULD BE GIANT ROBOT DINOSAUR IN THAT WAY. ‘<
Agreed. ~ Geoffrey
My father said the most fascinating thing about people is how they spend their money. That is always made more interesting by knowing how much they have to spend.
What if the philanthropist made his money selling crack? Or running numbers or prostitution? What if the money is nothing but an attempt to buy respectability, a case that is not lacking in ancient or modern history. I’m still not sure if Bill Gates is truly a philanthropist or just attempting to use his money to buy the respect he lost during the 80’s era of bullying and quasi-legal monopolist tactics that he employed while building MS. Wasn’t old man Kennedy a liquor bootlegger? Lots of Mafia dons were patrons of the arts and gave extensively to charity. I think if you follow the money you can see where a man mightdesire but not always what is in his soull as it relates to his true character.
Perhaps you are focusing on the exceptions rather than the majority?I think it is not unfair to view “the money” both from the perspective of from whence it emanates as well as where it is invested.Take a 360 degree view.Your note of Old Man Kennedy is particularly apropos — a wicked, twisted scoundrel whose evil doings just shifted focus from crime to politics.Following the money in the Kennedy instance is particularly and perfectly illuminating. Unfortunately.
Bingo! Well done and all in one short equation.He who pays the piper calls the tune.Consumers ultimately have all the power. The real trick is coming up with tools to focus all that consumer power.Old Fashion Boycotts 1.0 – sometimes effectiveneed to be replaced byMass Corporate Shunning 2.0 – bankrupt a few bad playersExistential threats always get action!Corporations and their shareholders need some clear guidelines from consumers outlining minimum expectations for their responsible participation in our communities.
NEW SOCIAL NET CONTRACT BASED ON REPUTATION.PRODUCTS, PRODUCERS HAVE REPUTATION.IT SEAMLESS.
consumption + values = expressionthis equation will net you a buddhist monk or a brand whore.see also other comment in this thread.
people DO express themselves by the way they consumethe question is whether we are doing it intentionally
Overconsuming everything + Complete Lack of Values = Current State of America
1) The moment the Tea Party’s ideas went mainstream was the midterm elections last year, which resulted in the largest loss of seats for an incumbent party since the 1930s. Ron Paul has his own set of ideas, not all of which are broadly shared by the Tea Party.Romney has a shot at winning Iowa, and if he does, I think most of the other candidates (save Paul) will start to bow out. In either case, I see Romney locking the nomination up sooner rather than later.2) Occupy without the camping? I don’t see that working for them. Ironically, for all the talk of new media, Occupy’s notoriety came from old media, and it was accessible to old media because Occupy protesters were camping out within a cab ride of reporters in major cities. Now? Not so much.4) Civil liberties have been in decline since 9/11, and that decline has only accelerated in the last few years (TSA pat downs and body scanners; VIPER teams; indefinite detention allowed for Americans in the NDAA). You don’t have to be a kook anymore to be concerned about this.Re revolutions driven by social media: so far, there’s less to that than meets the eye. The Last Psychiatrist’s comments earlier this year about the revolution in Egypt were prescient.Old media flatters new media, frames it has young Twitter and Facebook users. But when the dust settles, someone else is running the show.
Romney is establishment. he may well win but he is not in sync with the movement movement.
Romney is broadly in agreement with the movement on its major issues.
Agreed. People just do not listen, they are held down by major anchor biases.
Problem is Romney agrees with everyone.
yup. a politician through and through.
I drove by the Idaho State Capitol the other day, and there were still a bunch of people camping. I am still confused what the heck the Occupy people want except a place to camp. I feel pretty informed, but have not been able to get a grasp on what they want.From what I understand they want the government to quit giving money to companies (Tea Party as well), Romney has said the same. Giving money to GM was a bad idea, should have let it go bankrupt and re-emerge as a leaner company. This is just one example of what Dave Pinsen says, that Romney is in agreement.The unfortunate part is they are all establishment candidates, this is just a phrase when you do not agree with their views.
“Establishment” is a slippery word in the context of today’s politics. Romney is wealthy and looks like a president from central casting; therefore, he gets labeled “establishment”. But what does “establishment” actually mean? Historically, in the context of the GOP, it meant the Rockefeller Republican wing, which is pretty much non-existent these days. The center of gravity of the GOP long ago shifted south and west.There are two other problems with the word “establishment”:1) The establishment, if you want to define it as a party’s current power structure, changes and is fluid. Think of how prominent industrial organized labor was in the Democratic Party 40 years ago compared to now.2) Anytime a candidate gets close to the White House, whatever his background, he draws allies and support from the current power structure. Think of presidential candidate Bill Clinton, for example: Arkansas governor, son of a single mother, not exactly an “establishment” candidate, right? And yet he gets his hand held by Dems like Warren Christopher. Flash forward to candidate Obama, and you see a similar scenario, except that instead of Carter retreads helping him get established in the White House, it was Clinton retreads.Bill Clinton moved into the White House owning 4 cheap suits. Now he’s Davos Man. Barack Obama could barely rent a car to get to the 2000 Democratic National Convention. Now he’s the President of the United States, and he’s tied into the power structure Clinton helped build.Today’s outsider is tomorrow’s establishment.
Well you have certainly done a good job of stating the problem.Money talksand big money screams – ESTABLISHMENTCorrupt central banking that is the unshakable ESTABLISHMENT that is terrorizing America.Get the central money lenders out of the democratic temple!
Romney will not win. He doesn’t have “true” support like Ron Paul does and he has a ceiling on his voters. Ron Paul doesn’t, although the media has certainly tried to instill that idea in people. I think it will actually be easier for Ron Paul once it’s just him and Romney.http://graphics8.nytimes.co… http://i.imgur.com/oM6W6.png
While I believe Ron Paul is perhaps the most financially honest of those running, he brings far too many memories of Ross Perot and that is sad. Package Romney’s Presidential presence with the financial views of Ron Paul and you’ve got me. We’ve proved a pure constitutionalist has little chance to win the White House no matter how much we may need it.
Intrade suggests otherwise: http://www.intrade.com/v4/m…
Intrade has been pretty darn good on picking winners in the political realm. That pretty strongly supports Romney winning the GOP nomination.
Rasmussen would disagree as well.http://www.rasmussenreports…
I love a lot that Ron Paul has to say about fiscal issues, but get real: there is no way that a candidate who naively thinks it shouldn’t matter to the US whether or not Iran gets a nuclear weapon doesn’t have a significant ceiling on his support.
There’s a big difference between Saying and Doing. American voters often fall for who is saying the right things, without looking hard at whether they can be effective at doing it.President Obama is a good case point. The last 2 great Presidents that I remember who were as coherent saying it as doing it were Clinton and Reagan.
Completely agree. Though I didn’t agree with his solutions for many problems, I sure thought Obama was in the same mold – smart, ability to drive consensus and a good communicator.He certainly has managed one remarkable achievement: improving Jimmy Carter’s reputation.
My husband asked why I was laughing out loud. Had to read your comment to him.A pained laugh, mind you.
It’s always good to laugh!And I share the “pained” laugh. While I am definitely more of a “conservative libertarian” than the President, I’m not one of those folks who was rooting for him to fail. As a country, we needed him to be a success.
The big difference between Obama and Reagan is that Obama has no life experience to underpin his seeming governing philosophy while Reagan had a wealth of experience.Hope and change, indeed.
JLM,I doubt if Reagan could govern today and there really is no difference between “Hope and Change” and “Morning In America” (Which was the campaign slogan for Reagan’s 1980 campaign.At one time “life experiences,” “character,” and “philosophy” may have been important but in today’s political system they are really irrelevant; If Tip O’Neill had followed the playbook of John Boehner and or if Robert Byrd had stood on the senate floor and claim that the democrats had only one goal and that was to make Reagan a one term president then Reagan’s life experiences wouldn’t have mattered.It was a different world in Washington back in 1980…..
So Iran is the new boogey man, huh? The U.S. government is still the only government to actually use the bomb on civilians.
It’s a dangerous world. Pretending it’s not doesn’t make it go away.
You’re right. It can be a dangerous world, particularly when governments start policing it. Pretending the U.S. government isn’t one of those boogey men isn’t going to make the Iranian government any better and it certainly doesn’t make the world less dangerous.
That’s utter baloney. The United States of America is freedom’s greatest defender. We have never been the aggressor for land or for empire. We have left behind free and more prosperous countries.We’ve made mistakes. War is full of mistakes and it’s an awful, horrible thing.But we are only 70 years removed from Adolf Hitler trying to dominate the world through fascism. So if there’s one thing we should have learned by now, it’s that isolationism is not the key to peace or prosperity.
Re: That’s utter baloney”Freedom’s greatest defender.” That’s a Boy Scout fairy tale.”We’ve never been the aggressor for land or for empire.”Native Americans might have a different take on that one. Same with Mexicans in regards to what’s now the southwest U.S. and the folks living in Louisiana territory at the time of Jefferson’s little real estate deal didn’t have much say either. A modern example would be… Iraq? But I suppose that was really just about “freedom”.Interesting how you think it’s a “dangerous world” when other countries commit an atrocity, but it’s just a mistake when the U.S. does it.
What difference does it make whether the Germans used V rockets against London or the US used the hydrogen bomb against Hiroshima?When you’re dead, you’re dead.I have often wondered what would have happened if the US Manhattan Project had finished its work in 1942.Would the US have used the bomb against Germany? Wiped it off the face of the earth?Knocking out the Japs saved 1MM casualties that would have been incurred in the Homeland invasion.
If the US had had the atomic bomb in 1942! Would have been TERRIFIC! The Doolittle Raid would have ended the war in the Pacific (assuming we used a plane able to carry one of the bombs and launched the plane from a suitable ‘runway’), and just a few cities in Germany leveled would have been VE day.A shame was MacArthur slogging his bloody way around the South Pacific and taking the Philippines when Nimitz was on the way to the Marianas and the bomb, the B-29, and 24 carriers were well on the way.Since the Manhattan Project cost about $3 billion (Richard Rhodes, ‘The Making of the Atomic Bomb’), it cost us on average $3K per casuality saved and, thus, had terrific ROI! They threw money around like it was free, and still they got a great ROI!But the bombs we dropped on Japan were from uranium and plutonium but not from hydrogen!
Because we are the only ones who had the bomb and a reason to use it. If Hitler had had the bomb, then London, Leningrad, Moscow, Stalingrad, Warsaw, Paris, and more would have been toast. Iran is a problem: They are working really hard to be a big problem. All they have to do is just calm down, cool down, back down, relax, sell oil, caviar, and rugs and lead the good life, and nobody, now not even Iraq, will bother them. Instead Iran has some ‘big issues’ outside its borders, including in Syria, Lebanon, and Gaza. They have been a pain in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are worrying the Saudis. They are being as nasty as they can be. And it’s not about the Cold War and the Shah or the war with Saddam’s Iraq; instead it’s about something between the ears of their Mullahs and Amadinanutjob.The Mideast needs a way to defend itself against Iran. But I don’t believe it is fair for the US to do all the defending.
“The native Americans”? They were one heck of a problem and a very sad story.Basically they were a war like people and had long been fighting with each other over territory. It’s just that the Europeans looked at such things very differently. First, the Europeans didn’t need land enough for hunter-gathering and were willing to have their comparatively small farms peacefully next to the Indians. Alas, too often the Indians wanted to attack. Second, for the Indians, trying to have wars with the Europeans was really dumb: In fighting wars, the Europeans were way, WAY ahead of people anything like the Indians all the way back to the Romans and before. The Indians didn’t have a chance. Third, the Indians just wouldn’t ‘assimilate’.It was a sad story. Maybe there would, could, should have been better solutions. But the Europeans were going to grow a country, and the Indians had to get with the program or step aside but definitely not to be violent. Violence with the Europeans — NOT a good idea.A bigger issue was Viet Nam. That war really got started in about 1947 when the decision was to let France return and have the US help the French. Not such a good idea.By the early 1950s, the US still remembered WWII and the Axis efforts to take over the world and what the US had to do to defeat the Axis. Well, by the early 1950s, Moscow and Peking sounded like they wanted to take over the world. DUMB. In Korea, they tried, and the US remembered that.Then Viet Nam sounded like they wanted to be part of the Moscow-Peking effort to take over the world. DUMB.So, the US backed a made up ‘government’ in ‘South Viet Nam’ in an effort to ‘contain’ the Moscow-Peking-Hanoi effort to expand to take over the world. Hanoi said “No, Saigon is part of our country.”.Then a war started.In the end, Hanoi ran all of Viet Nam and made no effort to take over anything although did get Pol Pot out of Cambodia. What Hanoi is doing now is just fine with the US. Hanoi, Saigon, Viet Nam, the US, and the world apparently could have had just the same thing in 1947, 1954, etc. right along all just from some banquets and handshaking. And Viet Nam fully understood the US concerns about taking over the world since Viet Nam had been taken over by the Japanese in WWII.Net, somehow Viet Nam wanted to rub the US the wrong way. DUMB all around.
You are an extremely scary person. Alas I know too many people who think as you do.
> “Freedom’s greatest defender.” That’s a Boy Scout fairy tale.No, that’s fair and appropriate. Let’s see:Kuwait: When the US pushed Saddam out of their country, they took out a full page ad in the NYT to say “Thanks”. We didn’t take their country or their oil. We defended their freedom.Saudi Arabia: In the same war, Saudi Arabia was at risk from Saddam. The US defended the freedom of Saudi Arabia.Iraq: Since Saddam insisted on being a pain, the US dumped him. Finally now we have left Iraq free: We didn’t take either the country or the oil.Israel: The US has provided enormous help to Israel remaining free.Germany: The US defeated Germany, twice in the last century. Neither time did the US turn Germany into a colony. The second time the US helped Germany rebuild. When the Soviets threatened Berlin, the US used airplanes to fly in food, coal, etc. and defended the freedom of Berlin. Germany got rebuilt in part due to the US Marshall Plan.Italy: The US took Italy, drove out Germany, turned Italy over to the Italians, and left.Austria: At the end of WWII, the US occupied Austria. Then the US left and left Austria free.France: In WWII, the US was nice enough to let De Gaulle march first into Paris. The US freed France and left it free.Japan: Now Japan is free. At the end of WWII, MacArthur ran Japan just long enough for Japan to run itself and then left.South Korea: When North Korea attacked as part of some Communist effort to take over the world, the US defended South Korea, and today South Korea is free. The alternative is there for everyone to see in North Korea with Dung Pong Dong Ill and family, one of the basket cases of the world.Australia: When Japan attacked Australia, the US helped to defend Australia.England: When England was poor, tired, cold, broke, and very much at risk from Germany, the US defended England and then left England free.In all these cases, the US got no empire and little or no territory, oil, gold, trade concessions, or anything else.Since WWII, the US noticed that national security problems for the US were from dictatorships. So, a pillar of US foreign policy has been to enhance US national security by helping other countries be free and democratic. That’s what we’ve tried to do, and we’ve been the single, world-class champion at it. Personally I believe that we should drive a harder bargain and get some advantages in territory, concessions, gold, oil, etc., but that view is not popular in the US.Net, it doesn’t take much reading of history to see that the US is “Freedom’s greatest defender.”
You conveniently omit too much. But you’ve shown me the light. If we could just have more war, then the world will be a better place!
I find some of Paul’s views disturbing but I am drawn to his maverickness. Romney bores me. He is an empty suit and dishonest to boot.
Name an honest politician?In terms of disturbing, I could not agree more. In fact more scary than Ron Paul are the fanatical nature of the Ron Paulites.
again, i would challenge all american voters to push hard on the candidates ability to manage/deliver, not just to say the right things.
That’s what’s appealing about Romney.
You are asking for a lot, Mougayar!You want us to vote for substance over style?What are you thinking? 😉
Lol…I know it’s easy for me to pontificate from across the border. But the whole world looks up to the United States. A strong US President makes the whole world stronger.
I know I am biased from inside these borders, and a patriot of sorts, but I agree William. I wholeheartedly believe this.
How is Romney an empty suit? It’s hard to think of a recent candidate for president who had a stronger resume going into it. Romney has successful senior executive experience in politics, business, and in the not-for-profit sector.If you want an entertaining candidate, maybe you can convince Cain to get back into the race. He was pretty entertaining. I’d rather have a guy who can fix things, which Romney has a track record of doing.As for dishonest, good luck finding a candidate who has kept every promise he’s made to voters. You’re going to vote for Obama despite his track record of broken promises.
empty suit???? Look at his accomplishments compared to Obama. Obama is an empty suit who is a fantastic public speaker, but no substance. And, of course, Obama has the union vote which is substantial.
Romney’s record convinces me he is an excellent worker, technocrat, and organization leader. Supposedly his legislature in Massachusetts was 85% Democrat, and, if so, then he is good as a politician.His statement against what Newt said about Congress taking action against judges disappointed me: I got out the Constitution and with a friend better at that subject than I am went through line by line. Net, Newt was on rock solid ground: Except for the Supreme Court, all the courts exist only by act of Congress, and Congress can eliminate them. Congress can remove a judge who does not have “good behavior”. Congress can certainly subpoena a judge to appear at a hearing. And more. And, to respond to some comments from some newsies, that the judicial branch is “co-equal” is not in the Constitution and, supposedly, is directly, strongly refuted in ‘The Federalist Papers’.Romney looks like a “stuffed suit” but apparently deliberately so: There is an interview with him discussing his last campaign and this one where he concluded that in the last people didn’t have clearly in mind what he stood for so in this campaign he wants to change that. So, this time he has a simple message that is mostly just one word, “Jobs”. For more, it’s “Obama is a failure”. For someone who wants much more it’s “I understand business” and “I’m stable” or some such. Then there’s a smile, a clean shirt, a pretty wife, lots of kids and grand kids.He looks like a “stuffed suit” because he is so well rehearsed and careful in his answers and wants to stay on his few, simple messages.His campaign ‘presentation of himself’ is simple. Maybe it looks like a painted cardboard cutout. To me it’s too simple, and might be hiding some things, but at this point we don’t have a lot of choice. But a really simple message is a campaign strategy and, even if wrong, not a character flaw.If you read his big PDF at his Web site, he looks less like a “stuffed suit”.Occasionally some interviewer gets him into details, and there he looks plenty competent.For being “dishonest”, all I’ve seen is some straining at the literal meaning of some words.Now Romney is only in the Republican primary. He’s about the only candidate seriously running for the Republican nomination with the others on the stage on ego trips, book tours, etc.We will likely learn more about Romney during the general election.With him in office, I suspect we will see some good, adult supervision in DC, a big emphasis on competence and execution, a big cutback in the DC bozo explosion, a big pickup in solid financial, business, profit, and job growth, a good environment for technology, no more Barney Frank style ‘social whatever’, the end of greenie nonsense, no more nonsense like Solyndra, no health care Commissioner in DC acting as a dictator for US socialized medicine, big progress in US and American energy, a strong but cost effective military, a strong but carefully executed foreign policy, lower taxes, Federal deficits, and national debt, and steady shrinkage in the size, cost, and intrusiveness of the Federal Government.
Occupy for me is a wait and see. I’m wondering if we’re going to have a repeat of ’68 chicago at the democratic convention in 2012
A totally different world today than in ’68 related to what it takes to be a part of a protest at something like the Convention.Bigger danger comes from the size of the niches that:1) Are disappointed with too much brute force2) Disappointment regarding some stupid quote (all sides)3) Spectator Sport where too many get off on someone else’s misfortune
I’m still a bit nervous. I was talking with someone friday – he thinks we’re just short of riots in the streets. And I walk around feeling some palatable tension about the world being just short of exploding in both positive and negative ways. *sigh*
It is interesting to draw parallels to other moments in history when people could organize themselves to create political power: the right to strike helped create the welfare state and created legislation to protect employee rights.Organized consumer boycots could be the “worker strikes” of this century.
hmm. interesting thought
It all ties in with the big theme, the megatrend as you will, which is the end of gatekeeping of just about any kind. Legacy structures based on keeping the information flow from top to bottom are being made obsolete in the areas of broadcasting, publishing, commerce and now mass communications . The world is clearly becoming more horizontal and rapidly decentralized. The new Wired cover story about last year’s London riots touches on this theme in greater detail.
So what does this mean for Facebook?
Facebook has to ensure that it doesn’t become a gatekeeper. The second it does it’ll be in trouble.
Isn’t it already there?
That’s what I was thinking, too.
Facebook could make fun of everyone’s mom and we would still all go back. Let’s be real here.
The genius of Facebook is the fear of missing out if you leave, but that doesn’t mean everyone is engaged. I do believe Facebook will continue to maintain it’s leadership within specific demographics (particularly 18-25) however I hear many experiencing the same as I (within my 40+ demographic) that a Facebook diminishing marginal returns curve builds quickly even if you don’t completely ‘close’ out. I believe that they are building far too many high walls around the fort and that will not bode well in the long run.
I can respect your viewpoint on that, Dan. I am 24 so I basically tweet, Instagram, share moments, etc with myself but always have to go back to Facebook to communicate.
Dan, I’m with you on your comment below. I can imagine life without FB. But then I am in the 40+ crowd that you mention. Reading @BrandonMarker:disqus ‘s comment below, I am reminded that there is a large group of people using FB much differently than me and for whom FB was part of their introduction to the internet. For me FB is an add-on, not essential. I imagine that FB can live without me and the demographic that I represent and do just fine. On top of that, most of the demographic that I represent is not aware of the dangers presented by FB anyway and will just go merrily along.(edited last paragraph)
@twitter-373507944:disqus and @donnawhite:disqus are definitely showing me a different world of Facebook. I appreciate the look.
Facebook is the suburb of the Internet. It’s where my ex-girlfriends tell me how unfulfilling their marraige is, which is difficult for me to hear but also strangely appetizing. So I had no problems leaving it because most people I know on it can be called, emailed, or seen in person. I’m interested in being creative, sharing ideas, reinvention, and meeting new people. Other platforms are better for that. That said, FB is a big suburb to say the least so it’s probably not going anywhere.
Ummmm. Why are your ex girlfriends complaining about their marriage to you.I like the idea of facebook as suburbia. Wisteria Lane indeed.
“Why are you ex girlfriends… ?” Because unlike most guys my age I’m still fit and I’m not balding. Plus I’m super hip, sexy, and I hang out at cool places like AVC. More serious answer, I think it’s easier to do it now. It’s appetizing but I just can’t bring myself to bite.If FB wants to be Wisteria Lane, that’s fine for them and people on it. I can’t argue with the success FB has achieved. But let’s not make that the standard for the Internet. It’s one of many reasons I’m against SOPA. Government would try to standardize it like suburbia.
Hmm, the things you learn.
“But let’s not make that the standard for the Internet.”Word. So word.- posted via http://engag.io
What does this mean to the idea of culture at large – I mean, if there is no central cultural bounds, are we going to feel obligations to anyone?
ShanaC,I think you have hit on a fundamental question, or the mega question, and that is does the “social contract” still exist? The libertarians, the Tea Party, and now OWS, are all questioning the validity of the social contract as their root issue, in one form or another.For decades the dictators in the Middle East ruled and no one questioned them but when the financial meltdown occurred the reality was exposed that the majority had not benefited only a few and this led to the Arab Spring.For decades we believed that supply side economics and free markets would create prosperity for everyone and the financial meltdown made us realize that we have been on the wrong course…..Eventually our conversation will be about the social contract rather than on the issue of smaller or larger government.
I am reading Boomerang (Michael Lewis). He describes Greece as without a ‘civic life’ – which I think is a fair substitute for social contract.The results are not good.
Civic life is a part of the concept of a social contract, a big part, but there is also a social aspect or I believe the word today is “community.” :)As Thomas Hobbes put it, life with out a social contract would be:”In such condition, there is no place for industry; because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea; no commodious building; no instruments of moving, and removing, such things as require much force; no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.
Years of communism will do that to a country.
Boomerang is a great read — entertaining, chuckle-worthy, until you get to the last chapter. The last chapter gave me chills. What can we entrepreneurs do to bring civic engagement to the world of finance and investing? That’s exactly what my team of two is trying to tackle. I was never a big finance fan, but I feel that it will be absolutely worth devoting several years of my life addressing this space.
The 3 layer, reptile brain summary is definitely stark .I am not a believer that startups are a natural fit for change in this area. It is a mainstream issue.
True, it’s an intimidating space. But when it comes to helping users figure out what matters to them, we feel a startup can have an edge.
OWS IS ABOUT EVERYONE NOTICE SOCIAL CONTRACT GONE, DEMAND NEW ONE.YOU SEEING NEW ONE BEING BORN ON INTERNET.
I hope so.
I hope so, but I am not sure of that.
HOW WAS THE NEW SOCIAL CONTRACT BORN?JUST DID
I’d argue that free markets did indeed deliver on prosperity for most, or the possibility of that anyway, but they’ve since been corrupted more thoroughly than ever in recent memory and that has lead to the abandoning of the social contract. While I’m all for setting the train back on the tracks moving in the right direction, I think we need to careful that we don’t too closely emulate some other failed systems in our quest for the mythical promise of fiscal equality for everyone as not everyone is willing to put in the amount of work necessary to get it.
Malcolm, the greatest way to ensure that we do not “emulate some other failed system” is to ensure that capitalism lives up to its promises.In other words, those of us who benefit the most from capitalism have the greatest incentive to ensure that it lives up to its promises for everyone. Its not those that are unwilling to put in the effort or amount of work necessary to achieve fiscal equality that worry me; actually its those who DO put in the effort and its those who do believe but who fall behind (the middle class) who I worry about the most.The reality is, we no longer talk about “supply and demand” or use the terms of a capitalistic economic system but rather we use terms like “job creators” and the “inherent right” of corporations and the wealthy which are feudalistic terms; thus we are already emulating a failed system.How many times on this blog has someone claimed they “created” jobs and thus are deserving of their wealth? The reality is demand creates jobs not supply, at least to those of us still adhere to the “old” ideals of capitalism (guess we can call what we believe today “Capitalism 2.0 which does sound better than feudalism!).
I’m still curious how we got back to feudalism. It is really odd, we hated it so, and we’re back to a form of circus and bread
How did we end back at Feudalism and the divine right of the elites? We did so when we began to worship wealth; when we ceased to respect sweat equity; we created superheros (aka Ayn Rand) where “value” became defined by quantity rather than quality.
yes, we need a massive cultural shift. I have no idea how to bring that about though. Culture doesn’t happen in a vacuum, it gets incubated.- posted via http://engag.io
ShanaC,”Culture” evolves and changes all the time. Whenever someone says, “I remember when…” or, “kids today….” or “Things were better….”Those are all statements that signify that the world has changed and thus “culture” has changed also.If you are looking for a “shift” then you miss it, you have to see it as an evolution.Its kind of like growing old; it is constant but gradual that we never even notice it even though we look at ourselves in the mirror everyday.Just look at how many times A DAY you hear the word, “communities” or “collaboration”Those were nothing more than alien concepts just a few years ago.Now, just close your eyes and think about the future; how will those words and our increased use of them change our culture over the next 10 to 20 years.
Actually, not that often when it comes to the word “communities” or “collaboration” I’m figuring that they will change their use over time. I’m just not sure how.As for getting old, I realized that because of a bunch of things I don’t totally recognize myself in the mirror. I look cooler than I am in my own head (the high school me still exists in there) and the change was so gradual it was shocking.
I was having this conversation earlier today. I’m pessimistic, I’m just hoping there will be no riots in the process.
Things are not all that bright today but do not be pessimistic and lose your faith in the human spirit.I have spent a lifetime working with and managing those at the bottom of the economic food chain. I have watched single mothers claw themselves out of welfare, I have seen folks who never graduated from high school get themselves back on track and eventually graduate from college.In all honesty I hear more whining and sense a greater belief in “entitlement” from the well off than I ever did in all my years of working with people who started off at minimum wage!I am going to share with you my favorite song: http://youtu.be/XM9CLoL2RhINever lose your faith in the human spirit and the future!
ShanaC,For your http://www.avc.com/a_vc/201…some couples do well having kids.I tried: I didn’t get the promised stock, and that was one shot below the waterline in my effort to have kids. For the two incomes, I supported my wife through her Ph.D., but she died before we could make progress with getting two careers going, save for a house, and start a family.Yes, hitting a home run in a Web 2.0 startup can be a good way to provide for a big family.Some women really, Really want to have kids: When I was in the 9th grade, at lunch I met a girl in the 7th grade, just 12, about the prettiest female I ever saw, natural blond, terrific figure, great smile, always happy. I took her to movies, walked her to Howard Johnson’s for Swiss Chocolate Almond ice cream, imaged her on film in my 35 mm camera, etc.Each time she saw a baby with a turned up nose she gushed that she wanted to have children. Eventually she did, although sadly she was not my wife and I not the father.For now, apparently to have kids, even to have enough to keep up the population of persons of European descent, need to hope for a lot of woman who really, Really want to have kids.Then for the money issue, it would help if countries didn’t throw money away on absurd foreign adventures or other directions of wasteful government; net, the checkbooks of couples who want to have kids have to supply some of that wasted money and then come up short financially for being good as parents.It would help if we had no more Barney Frank, Fannie, Freddie, CRA, and Ayn Rand convincing Greenspan that the companies on Wall Street would naturally do the right things. That debacle hurt a lot of families and, no doubt, caused a lot of couples not to have kids.The usual consequences of such economic disasters are much higher rates of child abuse, spousal abuse, divorce, substance abuse, miscarriages, suicide, little things like those.Again, my view is that (1) the biggest problem facing the US and the industrialized world, especially for doing well having children, is that the news media do a poor job providing the information citizens need to help us avoid bad government, (2) the solution will be many narrowly focused news sources on the Internet, and (3) to help people find such sources we will need new means of search, discovery, …. End of this repeated rant.Next, not all men are well informed on what it takes to make money enough to be a good provider of a family. Maybe someday some blogs will explain in frank terms the major issues involved. Such blogs will fall into the wildly politically INcorrect category.Next, also for the money issue, it would help if the wife could work for a while to help make the down payment on a house, have some kids, and return to work to help pay for the education of the kids and the rest of the family finances.Women used to work, gathering firewood, scraping animal skins, making soap, …, and work remains important although with different tasks.In recent decades, one of the problems with two income families has been the norm of ‘jobs’ in corporations. But a career needs to last about 40 years, and it’s been tough to have a large US corporation provide any 40 year careers: Due to technology changes and foreign competition, too often 40 years has been too long. So we have seen big employee losses at GM, GE, AT&T, IBM, much of the Midwest Rust Belt, much of the Southeast textile industry, and more.Then commonly in the US, the jobs that have lasted have been ones largely immune to either technology or foreign competition.E.g., with high irony, in the movie ‘Stand and Deliver’ about a dedicated high school math teacher in an Hispanic neighborhood of LA, the teacher was trying to convince the parents of one of his students the value of her learning calculus instead of working in the family Mexican restaurant. BUMMER! Knowing how to run a popular Mexican restaurant in an Hispanic neighborhood of LA is a MUCH better career skill than calculus! Such a restaurant is largely immune to technology. It also has a geographical barrier to entry and, thus, is immune to foreign competition.So, for having kids, a promising direction has been to have a family business where the wife, and the children, can also contribute and have the needed flexible hours.So if the business is a Mexican family restaurant, then maybe the kids can start and run locations 2, 3, ….Apparently Darwin is alive, well, and unusually active. Then it is nearly just a tautology to say that the future of our society will be couples who do want to be good parents and do find a way.
Lucas, I have been batting around a number of similar thoughts on this topic recently but have failed to put it into a concise description. You’ve done this beautifully. “The end of gatekeeping” is a beautiful way to put it. Thanks!
^2 on “the end of gatekeeping” comment – that’s sharp by @twitter-51891701:disqus
Exception = Central Bankingthe last centralized superpower
Watching what happens when your nation doesn’t have it’s own central bank I have to think its existance is a good thing.
I don’t know seems finance world still has lots of gatekeepers to me. ~ Geoffrey
I see a prime opportunity for investing in this megatrend (did you just coin that?) in mesh networks. As billions more come online and are directly connected to each other, there are a few noticeable bottlenecks that restrict direct communication between people.The two I think of off the top of my head are:ISP’s – capping data, controlling flow of informationGovernments (esp. ones who censor liberally)Of course, it may be nigh impossible to invest in mesh networks.
Steig Larsson in the Girl with Tattoo series envisioned exactly that: a well-connected community of high IQ hackers as revolutionary resistance-fighters against evil and corrupt establishment.The question is, will these communities of high IQ warriors really translate into mainstream movements? They might, I am constantly amazed at how much smarter the younger generation is than what we were at their corresponding age. Obviously, the Internet does to the brain what proper nutrition and training does to the muscles; we have a generation trained on what is the equivalent of triathlon regiment with high protein diet.If that is the case, then the revolution will be against stupidity in power. “Dumb” is now what “puritanical” was in the 60s.Here’s an investing idea: fusion of activism with creative stimulation. DailyKos crossed with ICanHazCheezeburger.
Wow. I love this comment.
Fred,thanks. I used to be regular here then checked-out due to time shortage. Have some spare time now during the break, and was reading your recent posts, but here’s thing: the blog is even better than before. So happy to see the tremendous success you’ve had has not affected your critical thinking and sometimes rebelious personality. Hate it when people become far, dumb, happy, and conformist with success.Will have to checkout again in a day or two — busy with a new startup (biotech, not Internet, alas); but please, keep the awesome coming, the blog is a national treasure. (make that international)…
Old I-banker saying:’ money does not change people, it magnifies them.’
what kind of biotech startup are you working on?and welcome back old friend!
Digital Diagnostics, Pty.: nanosensors embedded in a microelectronic chip to detect individual biomolecules for accurate and sensitive point-of-care diagnostics. Been working on this past 6 years, since moving to Australia.BTW, will be pitching on the U.S. West Coast February: both VCs as well as a private session for some individual investors I know. If anyone interested to attend, email me krassend [at] gmail.com… This year Australian govt. stepped up big for innovation and introduced a 45% R&D credit, payable in CASH at the end of the year. You spend 1mln, you get 450K back at the end of the year, quite a move.More to the point, though: Happy New Year to Fred Wilson and the entire AVC community!!! It is already 2012 here in Aussie, and it is awesome guys,I promise. :)) Krassen, from the future
I am so not convinced that my generation is smarter. Just more puritanical as the culture wars hit us hard.And very fragmented in our beliefs
I’m Gen X and I feel like Gen Y and now Gen Z stole our thunder.
Larger Numbers always win in politics.
Not necessarily talking about politics…More about the innovation being driven by Gen Y by way of the Internet.Gen X’s window seemed to be really short compared to previous generations.(not saying we’re done as individuals but clearly the market is focused on the younger crowd)
Sorry! If it helps, we look up to you guys…
I think I’m a Gen XYZ mashup.X in the mind. Y in the belly. Z in the heart.
That’s awesome.I guess I’m part of that mash-up myself to one degree or another…
Lol. I just made it up. But I believe it’s true for others as well.
We watched the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo yesterday. Loved how she over-powered and out-smarted everybody aided by technology and who she knew could help her. A new type of superwoman.
Yeah…but her brilliance was helped as much by being a hacker and having access to ever piece of confidential information as by her intuition.And if you are a film geek, I suggest watching the Swedish original against the new version (which I really liked BTW).
True. She wasn’t an ethical hacker, but it was for a good reason. Good vs. evil.I did hear about the Swedish version. What makes it better?
I totally agree with Mr. Waldstein. I think the Swedish version communicates the Swedish sensibilities more. The subtitles are totally manageable. ~ Geoffrey
DAILYKOS + ICANHAZCHEEZEBURGER = CANV.AS?
i hope so. hasn’t happened yet though
ME ALREADY MAKE STATEMENTS ON CANV.AS PROBLEMS.NEED LESS 4CHAN, MORE COMMUNITY FOR NORMAL HUMANS.
Taking everything you’ve said (which is fantastic btw) and then factoring in the accessibility of the internet is what makes this so mind blowing in terms of the impact on a generation. If the triathlon diet and exercise regime were available on the same scale as what the internet offers, we would be producing superhumans.
It’s undeniable that Online Advocacy is on the rise. And it’s becoming very effective. What’s new is that something that starts online now can have a big effect in the real world. That wasn’t the case before. From the Arab spring to the SOPA, Occupy, the elections, etc…In hindsight, the Occupy movement went straight into the physical space without a good online foundation, and that’s why Occupy 1.0 faltered a bit. If they come back with Occupy 2.0 backed by a real online social network, then they may become more effective.
Re: #2, while they have succeeded in pointing significant and very real issues, #Occupy has failed to propose better alternatives to the systems they are trying to replace. For the distributed social network, there already is one (or as close as we are going to get) and it’s called the internet. How would they scale their distributed network without some degree of centralization? And will it still run on the same “open” pipes that are actually owned by Comcast etc.? Their ideas just really don’t feel thought out at all, and will face all the same issues that Diaspora and the many who came before it faced. And for a truly representative government, while there are huge issues in our government, I don’t get how you scale from 10,000 people in a park to a government without encountering the exact same issues. They are going to have to come to terms with the fact that in its current form it’s not nearly cohesive enough to constitue a real movement, and that to really become one will require some degree of centralization on their part (even defining their demands counts as centralization in my book…). At this point it’s just a meme, so I don’t see it pushing a decentralized social network to happen.I think the broader question is, based on how centralized power is in terms of our real life networks, is it possible (or even preferable) to have hardware/virtual networks that don’t in some way emulate this centralization?
Maybe there’s a family of consumer devices here. Something you set up at home in order to:- Host your own data as with Eben Moglen’s “Freedom Box”http://www.nytimes.com/2011…- Provide network connectivity to immediate surroundings like the “Freedom Tower”. Allow a threshold of untrusted traffic to pass safely through without interfering with your own network.http://freenetworkfoundatio…- Find other similar devices and peer with them with the aim of getting to a mesh network. Could be a great use for whitespace.You could do some of this with existing hardware but most people won’t. Make it easy, shiny, auto-updatable.Put a business model behind it that aligns with the “information freedom and privacy” interests of the users. Example: sell hardware, not advertising.I’d buy one.
Love this line of thinking but not the specifics of the implementation
I don’t think I gave any specifics of the implementation. I’m actually still trying to figure that part out.
i mean hardware
Speaking on the ideas of cultural revolution and Internet, it seems that focused ppl/groups are figuring out how to connect and stage protests/actions to disrupt the daily norm in ways beyond politics. I was thinking about the recent mother breast feeding incident at Target who was able to create a nationwide demonstration to disrupt their business. Who would think or could even accomplish such a feat a few years back. Union practices are not common in the States, but the Internet is becoming very easy to find just enough similar minded people to take action and be heard, no matter the reason.
Hopefully 2012 is the year the reolution begins. It certainly makes sense cosmologically and I think with the macroeconomic situation; the dollar/debt crisis cannot be ignored forever.My favorite investment opportunities for this are:1. Gold2. Virtual economies/civilizations; I agree a social network for these movements is what will really take off the distributed social networking idea and take us to the world beyond facebook3. New energy, preferably nuclear, powered by uranium4. Local/social/mobile but chinese centric- – made in china for china5. Energy and food independence6. Small internet businesses that can get to profitability quickly andget investors to breakeven quickly7. Crowdfunded investing
3. New energy, preferably nuclear, powered by uranium5. Energy and food independence How do these (energy) fit together?
Well nuclear requires a bit of optimism that infrastrucutre, government, big corporations, and rich people can make it all happen. I am a believer in the possibility of a nuclear renaissance though I concede it requires some hope. Anyway, nuclear has the potential, in my opinion, of being an infrastructure energy source. I do not really believe solar and wind can do that yet without a big technological breakthrough of some kind. I do not see that coming soon, but its worth keeping an eye out, and I certainly hope it does.Solar is getting closer to being a viable backup source for those who do not need major infrastructure. So, for a home or small business, I think solar can increasingly play a role in achieving some type of energy independence. But for infrastructure and society at large, I think it is really time to go nuclear, and that uranium is the cheapest way to do so. There are also all sorts of alleged suppressed technologies, as well as the idea of capturing kinetic energy. I am a huge fan of those ideas but unfortuately not enough people are and so I don’t think there is any big opportunity there yet.Anyway, the enrgy problem is a huge problem and thus a huge opportunity. I believe the time is now and the problem will only become more visible in the near future. Energy demands are going to grow significantly and I don’t think fossil fuels can do it alone.Google is investing a lot in solar and wind; I hope they go to nuclear. Iknow they have considered it but it is too political and I suspect that hasturned them off to a certain degree. But we are finally seeing new uraniummines and processing plants open up in the US so perhaps they can get onboard. I hope amazon does too. These guys have huge energy costs and Ithink nuclear is the most viable and cost-effective option on a 60 yearoutlook.
“requires some hope” – good stuff Kid.
Germany is investing many billions of euros in solar mirror power stations in the Megreb. There’s going to be a new electrical distribution cable routing through Turkey to supply Europe with the generated energy.Uranium supply will be mined out by the end of this century. The Sun will last a bit longer than that. It’s the obvious solution, but it creates geo political issues (not dissimilar to oil) because most of the Sun’s energy strikes land not the territory of the global powers that presently be.
The challenge with solar is storage and transmission on a wide scale. Also, solar plants do not last as long and are more expensive. Minerals needed for solar tech are growing scarce and the market is being cornered by china. For these reasons I am skeptical of solar as a baseload technology, and why we don’t see it already.There is a supply/demand imbalance in nuclear/uranium which will drive uranium prices higher, which in turn will lead to more uranium mining businesses. China is still building more nuclear reactors. Also, thorium can be used as a substitute for uranium and has many advantages over uranium for nuclear power, though it is still too expensive- – for now. I do like solar and think it is very promising. I am on the hunt for solar stocks to invest in as well as great solar stories to monitor. However I am just not seeing it at the current moment. Fortunately solar has lots of interest from smart rich people so I do think there is some hope. But at least for now I believe the future energy picture is a composite of solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, nuclear, and fossil fuels. I believe nuclear is the most realistic and important part of this picture. #fs
quick reference point – silicon (80%+ of PV module market) is the second largest element in the earth’s crust (after oxygen – in the form of SiO2)current (2011) world-wide ultra-high purity silicon production was >100,000 metric tonsit will be >200,000 metric tons with current construction of new plantstotal silicon production (used mostly in steel/aluminum/silicones, solar and microelectronics is a small portion) is >5 million metric tons
The lanthanides (aka rare earth minerals) used in the production of solar and wind are the minerals that have scarcity issues, and do not have substitutes under the current dominant technologies
no lanthanides in silicon PV
In the process of building a solar plant, lanthanides will be needed. So maybe not in silicon pv, but somewhere in the value network of a solar and wind power plants, and thus a reason why solar power capabilities are very limited under the existing technologies.
reverse polish notation (as a posting style)…with that reasoning – no nuclear, no (nat gas or coal) combined cycle plants (turbines), no ultra-deep oil wells, no transmission lines…the only reason rare earth production in anywhere other than China has stopped is that they have been underselling everyone – there is quite a lot available (despite the name rare earth) – and several mines in the US are coming back online. By the way, I just watched the best nuclear reactor come into view over the horizon.
GRIMLOCK LIKES BACKYARD FRICTIONLESS FLYWHEEL BATTERIES AND SOLAR.
Crowdfunded investment. Really interested in seeing how this develops.
Great post, Fred. It’s amazing how your portfolio companies are bring about discourse and actions mainstream. 1) Ron Paul is analogous to the mocked and misunderstood company or service. 2) Vertical and theme based Social Networks seem to take off and traditional ones are getting too noisy. Would love to show you Trusted Insight www.therustedinsight.com a vertical network for institutional investors. There are 3000 investors managing $1 Billion or more. 3) Amazing how much how much change an engaged user community can bring about, not just Twitter but Reddit and Couchsurfing.
good analogy re: ron paul/mocked&misunderstood startup
i think we met the trusted insight team earlier this year. am i wrong about that?
One difficulty with investing in a trend such as this one, is that a common thread of this trend is an aversion to “points of control”. Points of control are, I imagine, generally good investments.Investing in this, to me, implies letting go of the need for control and, to some degree, going out of your way to enable competition on a level playing field.Is it possible to get 10X or 100X returns with an approach like that? I don’t know.
that is exactly what we are trying to do. we avoid points of control. i think that will lead to higher returns in the long run for those businesses with large networks
Just a quick point on Iowa…their Republican caucuses have had a fairly poor record of selecting the eventual candidate of late. I would take what happens in Iowa with a grain of salt as the caucus (and their Tea Party ways) represents the extreme fringe of political views.
Say’s the guy wearing a ridiculous looking helmet. Do you wear that while riding a bicycle or scooter, or just when you walk around in public?
2012: the year that movements go mainstream? A resounding Yes.
Tipping movements over the point to revolution or evolution is hard. There’s a lot of momentum but after a while does the outcome revert to an equilibrium influenced by power and money? I think so. So, to effect change, one would need to hit corporations or politicians in the powerpack or wallet.Perhaps what we need is a “Groupoff”, an inverse Groupon. Trace the money back to the corporations that financed (and authored) bad policies and provide incentives to consumers to boycott those corporations by buying from better corporations.Hard to do anything like this without taking sides, which by definition alienates what could be a sizable portion of the addressable market.
Or neither, you don’t hit, you cause them to fall due to their own momentum
Not sure about that. Someone’s gotta keep them honest, shed a little light on what’s wrong.
You fall due to your own momentum? That never happens?
I always like this idea in theory but in practice it seems more complex…I don’t like the idea of censoring a company. When John Mackey of Whole Foods wrote that op-ed about health care a couple years ago he was blasted from the left, including with boycotts. But in reality he was trying to contribute to the greater cause of reform – albeit not in lock-step with the president. I would hate to see ideas get squashed out of fear of boycotts. http://online.wsj.com/artic…
Have you looked at WFM’s stock price recently? Mackey has had the last laugh.The story of WFM from a single flood prone store on Lamar Blvd in Austin, TX to today is just amazing.His views on health care are certainly not in lock step w/ Obama. They are pragmatic and practical. Mackey is a capitalist, a pot smoking fuzzy thinking capitalist, but a capitalist all the same.Believe it or not, the guy just wants to make a profit and then he can do with his profit whatever he wants to do.
No doubt he got the last laugh but he took a lot of heat, as did his employees during that time..I’d hate to see innovative thinkers like that censored out of fear of retribution.(His ideas on health care are terrific.)
The folks at Whole Paycheck need to take some heat. Heat to compete. An amazing American success story.
I don’t think it’s censorship. It’s incentives and disincentives. Consumers vote with their dollars everyday.
You’re right about consumers Jim, I totally agree.I just hate to see innovative thinking stifled. It’s a tough idea to balance.
“Mackey is a capitalist”WFM is a great experience. But he plays employees to the hilt. He’s got the earthy crunchy “team members” thinking they are doing god’s work. In our local store the “team members” get the parking spaces right next to the entrance to show they are important. Customers are relegated to further spaces.From their website:”The company limits top earner pay to 19 times the average hourly wage of $16.98, with CEO Mackey opting to draw a salary of $1 a year since 2007.”The $1 for Mackey is meaningless of course. The 19x serves as a governor on top pay by essentially self selecting only people who are able to buy into the entire ethos.
“Trace the money back to the corporations that financed (and authored) bad policies and provide incentives to consumers to boycott those corporations by buying from better corporations.”Not a believer in this type of witch hunt at all. Who is the judge and jury? Who oversees the starters of a boycott and the information that resulted in the decision to create a boycott? Even “60 Minutes” gets things wrong (See story on audi which devastated Audi sales for 15 years) http://en.wikipedia.org/wik… As well as other news organizations that actually do vetting and fact checking and can be sued.I’m thinking also of the nominally effective boycott against godaddy started because of their support of Sopa (which was reversed) and particularly of how a competitor jumped on the bandwagon to gain business and further the boycott. I’m no fan of that company but, wow, is this what we want the new “boss” to be?While you might have the wisdom of the crowds available in order to counter balance a trigger happy boycott, damage can and will be done (even by well meaning individuals) because the lemmings will jump to action before thinking for themselves.
I agree with you re witch hunts. But I don’t think opinions are currently suppressed. Somewhere, someplace on the net today, there are consumer opinions about corporations and products. These consumers advocate one product over another, and share this opinion in order to influence others.Do some consumers get their facts wrong or unfairly judge? Of course. But as you point out Wisdom of the Crowds, or perhaps more general, crowdsourcing, can balance that. My thought was to just organize the data and provide a platform for all, including corps.As for Audi and GD, these are definitely big hairy PR issues. We’ll always have those in an open market.
Groupoff — brilliant, Jim!
Thanks, but likely an invitation for a cease and desist letter from Groupon. 😉
i like groupoff. someone should build it.
Sounds like a job for @kidmercury:disqus if you ask me!After Fredsquare is launched.
A good related piece to this topic:Gladwell vs. Shirky: A Year Later, Scoring the Debate Over Social-Media Revolutionshttp://www.wired.com/threat…
To me, the Internet serves as one large unconference. I get drawn to topics I care about or those which make me curious. This makes me a part of various communities (like AVC) and conversations. I dont know anyone personally here, but I’d respect their opinions a lot because I know they think deeply about every topic and dont just create sound bites.Thats what draws me here and I believe thats what draws most commenters and lurkers. If there is a call to action from one of the members of this community, I’d listen, reflect and then act. Weak ties or strong ties is the wrong metaphor – activism stems from what tugs the heart.
Agreed 100%. Comments do lead to relationships, and the more you interact with someone the more you start to know them, and it can be the basis for a real connection. Do you mind email me, and I’ll let you into the engagio trial? I’m william AT engag.io . Thanks.
Re: #3. Looks like Paul Ryan (R-Wisc) is the target, with Rob Zerban being supported.http://www.reddit.com/r/Ope…
How to invest in cultural revolution? Participate, and enjoy the consumer surplus that gets generated, and that we’ll all now be able to capture.How to extract rents from it? That’s the hard question, to which there is, I hope, no answer.
I’ll just weigh in on the political side…I don’t think “Tea Party” means what you think it means.”[In Iowa] Bachmann leads the way with Tea Party voters 24-21 over Paul but the fact that you can be winning Tea Partiers but only in 4th place overall speaks to the diminished power of that movement compared to 2010 within the Republican electorate…only 26% of likely caucus voters consider themselves to be members.”http://www.publicpolicypoll…And a little over a month ago, the Tea Party was more popular than Occupy, not speaking well to the political influence of either.http://www.publicpolicypoll…
i’m not entirely sure what the tea party stands for. i’m not entirely sure what OWS stands for. but i have a sense of both.
The correct investment in this “megatrend” is for you to use every ounce of your power, portfolio, and money to kickstart the tech/VC community into fixing and legitimately getting involved in our countries government. It’s an insanely daunting task, but if a Fred Wilson or Paul Graham were to lay down their checkbooks and use their skills to run for a political office as an Independent they would win. They could galvanize the nerd/vc world to stop ignoring the countries ills and start fixing them. Fred Wilson please just consider the impact you could have for your children if you were able to force http://fairelectionsnow.org/ out of committee where it has been stuck for 12 years.I know its not even a consideration, but the time has come that we need some of our greatest CEO’s and VC to take on the challenge of fixing a broken “2 party” system.TL;DRStop trying to make money and start helping fix this country and get this industry to give back
Sorry, benjie, but I completely disagree.Great minds belong in the private sector where they interact with other people through voluntary, mutually beneficial transactions. VCs and others in the tech community “give back” by continually improving the quality of our lives with new products and services. Facebook and Twitter have done more for the cause of human liberty than any piece of legislation. The industry has created more meaningful employment than any “job creation program” and is the reason why we can have this conversation. The pie has grown tremendously because of this community.The government sphere utilizes force and coercion to impose rules on the rest of society and stifles human creativity through regulatory fiat. It does not matter if you disagree with a particular policy, the way your money is taken from you and spent, or think there is a better way to solve a problem- you have very little recourse. If you resist, you are fined. If you don’t pay that fine, eventually you will be put in a cage. Resist that and you are gambling with your life. In short, all legislation ends at the barrel of a gun and everyone involved in the political process is wrestling for control of it. This holds true whether you are a large agribusiness receiving farm subsidies or a soccer mom lobbying for a mandatory recycling program. Otherwise, wouldn’t they just be suggestions?So the question is, does Fred Wilson influence the world through a handshake or with a gun? Through voluntary relationships or through force?
But does it have to be the same old way it has always been? Western governments are becoming more and more inefficient and almost powerless at getting things done. The answer is not in more authority and politics, but rather with more empowerment of the public to influence how and what things get done.
No, I definitely do not advocate for the same-old!I agree that people need to be empowered on an individual level.I don’t think it should be through the mechanism of the state, but people working together to come up with creative solutions that will flourish or fail based on what the consuming public decides. The beauty of this approach is that there will never be one single solution to a particular problem, but many options to choose from. Best of all, peaceful people don’t go to jail for disagreeing with the available solutions- in fact, they’re free to create their own.
Your initial paragraph:”is for you to use every ounce of your power, portfolio, and money to kickstart the tech/VC community into fixing and legitimately getting involved in our countries government.”Your ending paragraph:”Stop trying to make money and start helping fix this country”So what you are saying is that Fred should “Stop trying to make money” and spend “every ounce of your….money” to “fix this country”.Have I correctly summarized what you are suggesting here? I have to say that the idealistic attitudes of some people who comment on this blog are ridiculous. It makes for really interesting reading though.
i think the best way to start helping fix this country is by making money. not goldman sachs style making money. but venture capital style making money. if you look at our portfolio, you will see that we have many investments that are all about new ways of doing things and maybe better ways of doing things.
Just a quick note about Ron Paul. It will be a sad day in this country if Iowa chooses an overt racist who has never met a conspiracy theory he couldn’t love. But a wonderful day for Democrats.I think your observation of both the Occupy social network and the results of real time global connectedness are going to be the big sea changes for 2012. The investment is Facebook, IMHO. Why build something new when you have the billion users and a huge tool best of customization options. It is the platform for this trend.
Ron Paul’s views on the financial situation in this country are refreshing, however I agree with you on everything else about him. What is irritating is that no other candidate has the jewels to express as deep a concern about our financial situation as Paul does.
If refreshing is acknowledging that the world is going to hell currently then we should be quite refreshed
I’ll take refreshing just about anyway I can get it!
Yes, stupid Ron Paul. An “overt racist” because the neocon Weekly Standard brings up what someone else allegedly wrote in some obscure newsletter published 20+ years ago. A newsletter that despite all the talk, nobody has actually shown me the alleged “overt racism”. No link to the old newsletter that I’ve seen has actually worked. I’ve read a lot of Ron Paul’s books, speeches, and articles. Not once did I see something that was “overt racism”. The best a local Occupy protester could do was reference the movie “Bruno”.Yes, stupid Ron Paul and stupid Americans who support him. Ron Paul is against the police state, the drug war, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, bailouts, the Fed, SOPA… I could go on.Show me a Democrat running for President that is doing the same. Show me a Republican outside of Gary Johnson saying anything similar. You can’t. But yeah, stupid Ron Paul and stupid Iowa.Before you call me “right wing nut” or “Tea Party”, know that I support nobody for President and I’ve voted Democrat. But voting in this country is a sham and is more like reality show than anything principled. Politics is like religion, it’s myth. Just like nationalism. But if an evolved ape really must be President, I do prefer Ron Paul right now to anyone you would likely vote for.That “sad day” for the country happened long ago before most knew about Ron Paul. That “sad day” shipped sailed. Sorry you were not on it.
Ron Paul signed an eight page sales letter pitching his newsletter. The letter referenced numerous racial slurs, anti-semitism, the theory that homosexuals were conspiring with the federal government and a lot more. Read the news- it’s all over the place as are examples.I happen to agree with him regarding Bush’s wars but nothing else. He is a dangerous crackpot, the type that inspires other nuts to do bad things. I’d like to know how a huge country with a huge infrastructure to maintain is supposed to survive with no government services. He drives on the roads and bridges, sends his kids to public schools, enjoys the protection of law enforcement and other safety services yet he would abolish all funding for these things. It is pure hypocrisy.
Oh yes, the “who would build the roads and bridges” question. Roads and bridges are a product and service like anything else. Government doesn’t have to do it. It’s not inevitable that they have a “roads and bridges” monopoly. It’s difficult to not drive on public roads and bridges when there isn’t much alternative because of the government monopoly on it. Maybe government should also make our shoes, computers, and regulate Internet traffic… whoops. It’s amazing how some non-libertarians think libertarianism equals suicide pact.Law enforcement? The fact people call it “law enforcement” rather than just a civil police force protecting the rights of civilians tells you all you need to know. The police state offers you no protection. That’s fantasy.”Read the news”. You mean like neocon Weekly Standard? Sorry, I don’t read Pravda or watch Fox News.”Nuts do bad things”. You mean like TSA, NDAA, SOPA, WOT, waterboarding?Win the election or not, Paul has a lot of supporters. Yet I don’t see any of these “nuts” doing bad things. I don’t even read about it in your Pravda news agencies. Well, except maybe those evil home schooled kids who win the spelling bees.Racism. You mean like the Mormon church? Oh yes, neither the DNC or GOP have any history of racism. No guilt by association for them either. They’re pure as snow. Labor unions, conservative Christians, Mormons like Romney… yep, they all have a black friend I suppose.
Re: “anti-semitism”One of Ron Paul’s major influences is the work of economist David Ricardo, a Jew.
ron paul has some nutty views. but he is spot on about the stuff you list. he’s not stupid by any measure.
Everyone has a some nutty views. After all, this is America and Planet Earth we’re talking about.I’ve met a lot of nice Mormons, but I think their religion is nutty. I think all religions are nutty. But that’s not why I’m not voting for Romney, if I vote at all. I just don’t get why the nutter factor has to be included in the Paul equation, but it’s omitted for most other candidates.
Yes, an overtly racist ron paul that gives free medical care to mixed race couples, and argues against the systematic racism of the drug war…http://www.youtube.com/watc…http://www.youtube.com/watc…
Not a Ron Paul supporter, but in fairness: Obama spent 20 years listening to a preacher who said plenty of objectionable things, then Obama disavowed them and got a pass on it. Ron Paul’s newsletters included some objectionable things 20 years ago, but Paul has since disavowed them. Why does one candidate get a pass and not the other?
re #2 ..i’m curious about the communities & fred’s thoughts on what vertical social networks look / feel like?Is it a rebirth of the bulletin board systems with additional sharing features? Are they technically easier to setup? “social network in a box – just add users”? open source like wordpress?
stocktwits is a vertical social network i think
Thanks Fred, yeah, stocktwits definitly looks/feels like a vertical social network.Just hitting their main page gives the immediate impression of ‘social network with a focus’.Im a little fuzzy on the difference between ‘app that includes sharing and community features’ and ‘vertical social network’. But stocktwits definitely feels like the later 🙂
It needs to be an agnostic platform.
Ron Paul already has 233,000 fans on Facebook, catching up with Barack Obama who has 497,000.Ron Paul is currently adding 2,00 fans per day, so could catch up with Barack Obama within 5 months.source of data: http://www.99like.com/us-pr…
BHO is a fairly young, slick politician — a fakir, a naif, a poseur.RP is craggy old weird politician — a fakir, a naif, a poseur.It is all just an illusion. BHO just discovered the Internet earlier than RP and now RP is, indeed, catching up.Neither can govern effectively.
Ron Paul in WH dismissed by the Hill, could not agree more.
I wish Obama could harness this phenomenon to bring about the “change” that was countlessly promised in 2008. There was so much excitement and confidence among the youth of this country back then, and it all just tapered off once he became president and failed to turn that unprecedented level of engagement into actual results. Change now comes from the ground-up, and he should help facilitate the transformation of these movements, such as Occupy and Anti-SOPA, into actual legislation.
HI Fred.Just read a book called the Millennial Momentum that gives historical/generational perspective to your thinking here.http://books.google.com/boo…
ooh. thanks. doesn’t seem to be available on kindle
Turkey is preparing its first civil constitution. Turkey’s biggest newspaper Hurriyet, is taking votes for each statement and taking suggestions/comments through a social website:http://anayasa.hurriyet.com…Most comments so far are reflections of repetitive memorizations from what has been thought in Turkish primary school (many combinations of Turkey is a secular, democratic republic etc.) but this is so far the first opportunity to make an actual civil constitution with input from “the internets”.
how do you think it will work out?
It seems that one challenge for all of these movements is noise vs. signal, something that better community mechanisms for codifying, organizing and amplifying context would help mitigate (think: Quora or StackOverflow for Movements).Case in point, Occupy Wall Street. There is a ton of noise that OWS has created, but very little signal, inasmuch, as it’s not clear whether the protest is against specific bad actors (e.g., Citigroup or Goldman Sachs), an amoral culture (crazy bonuses when the ‘profits’ are gifted by the Fed), the fact that it has become an insider’s game, the sense that the government is in bed with big business, or the fact that the mortgage meltdown hit individual homeowners more directly than institutions (again, thanks to policy decisions). Similarly, it’s unclear what exactly the movement wants in terms of policy change.I raise OWS because it’s indicative of one of the challenges that movements face when they don’t fit an easy sound bite, have a charismatic leader or have one singular defining issue behind them (e.g., SOPA).Many of the problems of our time are of this complex nature, yet few of the mechanisms available (organized media, Facebook, blogging, twitter) are tuned to such a reality.
maybe that is why OWS is building a new social network
Newt Gengrich is basically the Conservative Ron Paul with some of his extreme viewpoints .. wait .. does that make all of his own supporters indecent Americans? Shame on him for calling people indecent. The good news is we will soon elect the next term and not have to hear much from either of these two for a few years.This is my second political comment of the season that I have put in public. I only have about 3 left before its over. I try not to because it is such a rigid conversation that I avoid. Excuse me if my viewpoint offends anyone but Newt and Ron (Dr. Paul as his supporters like to call him) are better off ruling a small city. I can imagine it now: Newtington would be an oddly uncomfortable place where hypocrisy was king and acceptance was the jester. Ronville would be chill and people would be having a good time at the expense of progress. But if you disagree with anyone in Ronville get ready for a 10 minute lecture on why Ron Paul does what he does and why it is the right thing because he is well educated (don’t tell them it is M.D.) and he understands what society needs and we don’t need to restrict and we need love and society is……………
1) Remember that Ron Paul has received a free ride so far. Next week could really turn if someone else ties him leading to his going down further in NH. Press will refer to his support fading.If he were to think of his son, Paul would probably not go Independent. The bigger danger is Trump who will really confuse things, for remember the public gets their info from below avg intelligence media who gets theirs from same old overpaid consultants.4) The rise of Smart TV will enable a social platform(s) not dependent on IP sensitive issues where real time comes more into being and people yelling at their television during a sports game…….Attaining that will enable the public at large to give appropriate hand sign to government…
Actually, what I think we’re dealing with is something vanity fair brought up :http://www.vanityfair.com/s…Style hasn’t change. And Style is often reflected in wholesale cultural movements.The last few decades have been punishing when it comes to other changes, and I think the people want to figure out how to integrate it (a la carlotta perez). So you’re seeing a wholesale cultural rewrite, albeit one in its early stages.I think we’re clearing out the ways things were done and changing them for the way things will be done. But no one knows what that looks like yet.
culture, style, art, design, are the lens in which we understand the zeitgeist of our time.we’re still rehashing and reflecting reality on the internet. in the same manner Modern art moved away from the literal, we’ll see internet services that do the same.
I’m actually hoping for a move away from the literal. I have yet to see the great designers of the internet that don’t fall back into a bit of kitsch.it is very annoying too, it makes it hard to see the future if all you have is a throwback to the now.
STYLE IS DEAD.INTERNET KILLED IT FOR XP AND LOOTED THE CORPSE.
I beg to differ. Style is Tribalism, and Tribalism is alive and well.
NATIONAL STYLE DEAD. SAME AS NATIONAL TRIBALISM.MICROSTYLE VIGOROUSLY ALIVE AND STARTING TROUBLE.
National style dead long, long ago. Top down idea.Intertribal relations lead to innovative solutions. Bottom up idea.Bottom up stronger*. Ingrained and reliable behavior. Like SunTsu proscribed.* (and not just as command to finish beer)
Style is dead. I hope you are right, FG. Slay the beast.
Style is back, less so substance. We don’t have a public intellectual life so much anymore to drive real style.And I hope the internet will change that.
As you know, I am working hard to change the style having substance.Perhaps that should be my battle cry!!Much progress on that front recently.Phew!
Hmm, I should shoot you an email about it…
no way. style is alive and well. NYC screams it outloud every day. i am surrounded by it. i love it.
SEE OTHER REPLIES.NATIONAL STYLE DEAD.MICROSTYLE VIGOROUSLY ALIVE.**NO ONE ON AVC.COM NERDY ENOUGH FOR THIS OBSCURE REFERENCE.
FG = very micro
ME, GRIMLOCK, BIGGEST MICROSTYLE OF ALL!
Background 1. “We got trouble; Right here in River City”, and this time it’s true: (1) In the US and the more industrialized countries, the fraction of marriages that end in divorce is somewhere between 1/3rd and 1/2, and the average number of children per woman is significantly below 2.0 and means that, if unchanged, in the next 100 years the corresponding population will fall by a larger fraction than from some of the worst disasters in the last 2000 years; (2) the main cause of the problems of (1) is sick economics; (3) international finance and economics seem wildly unstable and risky, (4) the energy situation continues to get worse each decade; (5) international relations are under strain from nuclear weapons, terrorism, and economic strains.Background 2. In a democracy, to do well in their voting, the citizens need good information about public issues. So far for this information the citizens have depended heavily on the main media news sources.First Point. Still, “The medium is the message”. So, in the US with ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, PBS, NYT, LAT, WaPo, Fox we have just a few media news sources so that the ‘message’ is what these sources want and/or find good for their business models.But these sources are highly constrained in what information they can supply. With such constraints, carefully contrived cases of deliberately bad information raise effectiveness. E.g., the main media sources construct simplistic themes far from reality and repeat them over and over to ‘make stories good’.Second Point. I claim that the most important problem facing the US and the industrialized world is that the information readily available to the citizens is deliberately bad. E.g., with good information there is no way we would have had the housing bubble and crash, The Great Recession, the sick US economy, our $14 trillion or so national debt, our Federal Government budget deficit of 25% of the budget, two 10 year wars, the millions of undocumented immigrants, as much as 17% of GDP for health care, our severe dependence on imported oil, our international trade deficits, go slow approaches to electric power from nuclear fission, SOPA-PIPA, etc. E.g., with good information, there is no way Barney Frank, Fannie, Freddie, and Countrywide would have gotten away with their housing asset bubble blowing or anything like Solyndra would have happened. We would have not had the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico or the subsequent banning of oil exploration and development. And we would, of course, be proceeding with the Keystone Pipeline.The deliberately bad information results in brain-dead citizen understanding and dysfunctional government; government is deliberately dysfunctional because some cases of such get more support politically given brain-dead citizen understanding. That is, by analogy, bad patient understanding of biology and medicine leads to deadly witch doctors and not to cures or even just no harm.In simple terms, in the US and the industrialized world, we have reached a ‘boundary of complexity’: For further progress or even just for some stability, we need better than deliberately dysfunctional government from brain-dead citizen understanding from the deliberately bad information from the main media sources.First Solution. In the industrialized world, we need solid information made available via the Internet.But this information cannot be ‘one size fits all’ or even just ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, PBS, NYT, LAT, WaPo, Fox fit all. Instead we will need a lot of specialization. Not everyone will know about electric power from thorium fission, natural gas from deep shale, gasoline from coal, an improved health care delivery system, bank regulations, more effective academic research and teaching, the budget of the Federal Government, US foreign policy, financing business startups, etc.Second Solution. For the needed information sources, the Internet provides much more than the needed ‘infrastructure’. E.g., some years ago Technorati was already tracking over 100 million blogs, and since then we have seen the rise of Tumblr, Quora, Google+, and more. YouTube and Vimeo have become important information sources.But with many specialized sources rising in quality and importance, there will be some severe problems in finding such sources, that is, problems in search, discovery, recommendation, and curation.Some sources will become popular, respected, deep, innovative, etc. and can become the ‘condensation points’ for communities with more understanding, influence, etc.
“The number of children per woman is significantly below 2.0 and means that, if unchanged, in the next 100 years the corresponding population will fall by a larger fraction than from some of the worst disasters in the last 2000 years”.At which point it will still be larger than it was during most of human history.There is too much focus on quantity when it comes to population, and less on other factors (human capital, productivity, culture, etc.).
> “There is too much focus on quantity when it comes to population, and less on other factors (human capital, productivity, culture, etc.).”Yes, but: I mentioned quantity mostly because the numerical argument is easy and explicit: Say,100 * (1 – ( 1.8/2 )**4 ) = 34.39%where assume that on average each woman has 1.8 children and a ‘generation’ is 25 years so that in 100 years will will have 4 generations and lose 34.39% of the population. That competes with the Black Death, the 100 years war, WWII etc.That loss of 34.39% in just 100 years supports my point:> “We got trouble; Right here in River City”, and this time it’s true:So, the 34.39% is a symptom of big “trouble”.But why the big loss? I went on to explain:”(2) the main cause of the problems of (1) is sick economics;” and that is necessarily close to your:”other factors (human capital, productivity, culture, etc.).”Indeed, the economic problems of The Great Depression caused problems in human capital, productivity, culture, etc. that are still significantly with us. The current Great Recession will likely have such consequences for much of the the rest of this century.Economic disasters — Barney Frank, Fannie, Freddie, Countrywide, CRA, etc. — are really big BUMMERS and “trouble”.Also a drop of 34.39% in 100 years will cause a lot of strains, e.g., funding Social Security and Medicare.E.g., Finland did well defeating the Swedes, Soviets, and Nazis, but their current birth rate is so low it threatens to do more to defeat Finland than any of the Swedes, etc.
(2) the main cause of the problems of (1) is sick economics;” and that is necessarily close to your:”other factors (human capital, productivity, culture, etc.).”You are conflating low fertility with “sick economics”.”Also a drop of 34.39% in 100 years will cause a lot of strains, e.g., funding Social Security and Medicare.”It depends on how the programs are funded, and the earning power of the taxpayers. This is why those who claim we’re necessarily better off than Western Europe or Japan because we have higher fertility are off-base: it depends what percentage of American kids are going to grow up to be net tax payers, and what percentage are going to be net recipients of government benefits. That’s why I made the point about human capital, productivity, and culture.”their current birth rate is so low it threatens to do more to defeat Finland than any of the Swedes, etc.”If a genie told you that he’d magically transport you 100 years in the future, but you had to decide now whether you’d live in Helsinki or New Delhi, would that be a tough decision for you? It wouldn’t be for me. Despite India’s impressive population growth, I’d be willing to bet Helsinki would still have a higher quality of life in 100 years.
A shrinking population is a problem.People who should be working but are not are also a problem.Even with everyone working hard who should be, a shrinking population is still a problem.> You are conflating low fertility with “sick economics”.Yes. While there is a lot to fertility — birth control, ‘feminism’, the economy, various aspects of religion and culture, and more — as a first-cut, I suspect that the ‘conflation’ is correct. That is, the main reason a couple doesn’t have kids is too little money.For Helsinki, etc., for now, sure: I’m 70 miles north of Wall Street. If my business works, then maybe I’ll move to New Hampshire or Maine. More generally, the ‘culture’ I really like is European — England, France, Germany, Italy, and parts of the rest. England understands politics; France, art; Germany, science, music, machines; Italy, art. E.g., France makes Chardonnay clean, dry, and crisp, and the US makes Chardonnay sweet, fruity, and muddy — fruit cocktail with some oak smoke. Bummer.The population in the US that is shrinking is mostly that of European descent. Then we could become more like Mexico, India, or China, and I wouldn’t like that and would be off to Europe, maybe even Finland. Since I like music, Finland would be a good choice! I like the Sibelius violin concerto (I only made it through the first page, but even that was great fun — the octave slides I didn’t try!) even more than ‘Finlandia’, ‘The Swan of Tuonela’, etc.!But Helsinki won’t be much fun to live in if the population shrinks drastically. E.g., will be tough to have pretty girls serving beer and lobsters! And will be tough to get an orchestra together to play anything by Sibelius.Broadly a shrinking population promises some big problems: You are correct that it is important what population we have. I would have immigration policy be mostly ‘more of the same’ — Italy, north of the Alps, east of the Pyrenees, west of the Urals. Some of the girls from Ukraine, Poland, Slovenia, and Hungary are right up there with the best of France, England, Sweden! To me, Lady Di was about the ideal! Too bad she married an idiot!But look at this point: Much of what a retired person needs has to be produced in time near when they need it. I.e., a young person can’t save a fresh tomato for their retirement; if retired they want a fresh tomato, then they have to get it from a person still working with tomatoes.This is true even if all the retired people are wealthy. Indeed, having all the retired people wealthy promises some especially high prices for fresh tomatoes.An individual can save for retirement, but broadly a society just cannot and, instead, has to have the labor of working people support the retired people, however rich or poor the retired people are.Then, too few people working causes problems for the retired people.If in addition, as you mention, there are some other people in the economy taking instead of producing, then that is yet another problem.Either way, a shrinking population is a big problem. Since the US has a shrinking population of people of European descent, that’s a big problem.
If I may, I think Dave without saying is implying you can’t hold the total nature of the human being, especially over a 100 year timetable per one formula.There are simply too many variables, plus some of the assumptions you make regarding Europe leave out what is happening there.We need to search and attain the more positive as a people. Doing so will enlighten a bigger number the reward of helping/collaboration/connecting.
So how do you convince women like me to have more kids, (or in my case, settle down and have one kid), considering that most women don’t find high fertility fun. And since now we require two jobs for a family to really be middle class. And women tend to have positive effects on developing economies, and in better decisions in big cos.If you answer that, you’ve found the answer to that sort of question
In a world where commodity prices are high and rising, a shrinking population is a good thing. We may be entering this type of world. Also, when people become wealthier, they tend to have less children, not the other way around.
Dave Baldwin:Let’s clarify:This post of Fred’s is about ‘movements going mainstream’ and associated investment opportunities.In my post at http://www.avc.com/a_vc/201…I tried to describe some problems, say, worthy of a ‘mainstream movement’, that we have in the US and some ways to attack them, mostly with better information to citizens via ‘new media’ on the Internet and search, discovery, …, for that content.For an illustration of the seriousness of our problems, and in particular our sick economy, I mentioned low birth rate and some of its implications for, say, Social Security (SS).Dave responded saying that there is more in culture, productivity, etc. to a good economy and to keeping SS going than just birth rate. Correct.I responded by saying that, still, arithmetic such as (1 – ( 1.8/2 )**4 ) = 34.39%is overwhelmingly powerful: Follow that for a few centuries and nothing else will matter and there will be nothing else to talk about. Even for one century the results of that formula are comparable with the Black Death.Of course, for such arithmetic to be meaningful we have to assume we would actually follow it for some decades, and that’s a biggie assumption. Just now, today, this year, next year, this decade, the birth rate is not a biggie.Dave responded, it seemed, to say that even with such a low birth rate, “It depends on how the programs are funded, and the earning power of the taxpayers.”I wanted to underline that even with everything else, over a century a low birth rate can overwhelm.But, I can’t use the consequences of a low birth rate for 100 years to say that a low birth rate now will keep us from getting our economy going again now. For our problems now, we should address those now, and to heck with birth rate.For addressing our problems now, culture, productivity, etc. are what do matter.Dave also contrasted Helsinki and New Delhi, and I agree totally. To me the Scandinavian countries look like picture postcards, and India looks like — I’d prefer not to say but I don’t want to get any closer to be more sure.For the best of the culture of the US, sure, I’d want to draw that from the best of Europe. Wait: That’s mostly just what we did for the past 200+ years! For the future, for immigration policy, I’d stay with the people who brought us to the party and have more of the same.I like a lot of European culture, especially the classical music, math, and science but also the food, paintings, sculpture, and architecture. So, it’s Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Rossini, Mendelssohn, Puccini, Wagner, Verdi, J. Strauss, R. Strauss, …, Rachmaninoff, Debussy, Michelangelo, Bernini, Renoir, Maxwell, Einstein, Schroedinger, von Neumann, etc. It’s food from France, Italy, and Austria. Gotta get there for a Sachertorte! Nearly all the best things I know how to cook are French.But the US has it, still has it, and has it just to lose it. If we just won’t fumble it, drop it, trip on it, fall on it, and throw it away, then we will have it all or nearly so. Yes, R. Strauss wrote the music, http://www.youtube.com/watc…but Barbara Bonney from NJ does JUST FINE singing it!Since I’m trying to start a business, I want to do that here in the US, and no way would I want to do that in Europe. If people like my work as I hope, then I see good success also internationally and little chance of any very direct competition: That’s the kind of victory we should be having.As Dave insisted, there’s a LOT to culture, both in Europe and the US. Recently the US has repeatedly been extracting defeat from the jaws of victory, blowing games we should win as blow outs, shooting our economy, culture, social capital, etc. in the feet, knees, and gut.In business, we should be the world’s Dream Team blowing away everyone else. That we should be having losing seasons is inexcusable and despicable. We darned better well just turn these things around; and here culture, etc. are crucial.But if we continue without adult supervision in DC, pursue more foreign adventures executed badly, have more Barney Frank ‘social whatever’, continue to mess up this country and our opportunities and if my business is successful and I sell out, then I’ll consider Europe, even Finland. But instead of Finland, I hope we start winning again, and then I’d go to maybe Maine, attend concerts and math/science seminars in Boston, and feast on seafood!Net, for Fred’s thread, we need to get the bozos off the team and start winning again. Failure is ugly. For some musical insipration, listen to ‘Finlandia’!
Lets put Iowa and Ron Paul in perspective: In 2008 Huckabee won in Iowa and Romney was second (McCain was third and he eventually won the nomination). Lets not confuse “anybody but Romney” sentiment with a true social – political movement. The reality is that Paul has some serious competition for the true libertarians from Gary Johnson. As far as the Tea Party goes, their influence will be diluted by the fact that those supporters who favor true smaller government and less government intrusion will vote for Johnson and those that want smaller government but big defense will stay with the Republican candidate.So, point #1, really is a non starter.The reality is you have a revolution within a revolution going on right now; the Tea Party and Libertarians believe that there is nothing wrong with our country except government and the OWS folks believe that the problems we face are economic, social, and governmental.Then you have the 60’s liberals who want to support OWS but do not understand the leaderless aspect of social media and thus protest movements of the 21st century and on the right you have Fox News, Freedom Watch, et al, who all are trying to control and direct.The reality is you have already “invested” in the revolution, by providing the “streets” that protesters use to express their anger and dissatisfaction. The “megatrend” has already been established and it is playing out right before our eyes.If you want to know where to put your money next, then look “downstream” as I like to call it; look to invest in ideas that offer alternatives to banks and current finance firms, such as an internet version of Grameen Bank (http://en.wikipedia.org/wik…, or alternative energy, anything that involves community development, small scale economic development, and people collaborating to solve problems.The ideal would be to fund entrepreneurs that produce goods and services in the United States, companies that “get” the internet and social media and that offer a alternative to the mega corporations. I think its time for NYC tech and SV tech to look into the area of this country not on a coast and bring their entrepreneurship and innovation to a broader spectrum of industries.OWS is very appealing to a broad demographic, but they do not offer solutions because we are still thinking “within” a box and we have none.
THAT CARL, HIM SMART GUY. ME LIKE.
Grim, my one passion in life right now is to work with you and takeover the world! Nothing I enjoy more than working with people who fear no one and speak their minds….
that is great advice carl. thank you.
The world’s all push and pull. Ironically, the more like a Police State we and the world itself becomes, the stronger the counter-movement back toward “liberty” (whatever that really means.) The only communication tool people have is the internet, even with all the controls and monitoring built in. So that’s where it’ll happen…. I wonder if it starts in Tahrir or San Francisco, though.
Somehow the GOP field has drifted off into some kind of primary other world. Not much of what they say resonates beyond a small demographic and is almost meaningless to the general population.Gingrich saying he’s really Reagan but Reagan tripled the deficit and increased the Federal Government by almost 7%.The Tea Party seems mostly racially motivated and who knows who really funds these guys.
“Not much of what they say resonates beyond a small demographic and is almost meaningless to the general population.”Romney seems to be resonating.”The Tea Party seems mostly racially motivated…”You base that opinion on what, exactly?
Dave,The best thing that can happen to this version of the Republican Party is to be blown out in 2012. I mean a Barry Goldwater blow out.At that point, they may be able to rebuild into something real.Tea Party, it’s my read from seeing the placards, the tone and the innuendo.
romney is never going to resonate because he isn’t real. you need authenticity to resonate
Your real issue isn’t authenticity. If it were, you wouldn’t have voted for Obama. Obama is arguably less authentic than Romney; you just prefer the image he presents.I am more concerned with someone’s experience solving problems and successfully running large organizations than I am with how authentic his public persona seems to be.
not so. i voted for hillary in the primary. i prefer a president who is for gay rights, who is for a women’s right to choose, who isn’t hostage to some notion of morality
Hillary is also arguably less authentic than Romney — both Hillary and Obama change their dialects depending on who their audience is. Romney is the same square whoever he’s talking to.If Romney were ‘hostage to some notion of morality’ he wouldn’t have changed his positions on gay marriage and abortion. Calling him a flip-flopper would be a fairer charge, but it also could be that these are complex cultural and moral issues, and he’s revisited them as he’s gotten older. In either case, he certainly doesn’t seem to be a hostage.
“I am more concerned with someone’s experience solving problems and successfully running large organizations than I am with how authentic his public persona seems to be.”That’s because you have a brain. People are elected by the masses. The person who can persuade the most people (and look at the intelligence of “most”) (or the media) with their words and rhetoric gets elected. It also helps to be endorsed by Oprah. Without that Obama wouldn’t have been elected.
Thats a great point Dave – I believe Romney is quite experienced and pragmatic – but why such an odd presentation?It seems like the guy underneath the bullshit is better than the guy being presented. …and do most people really care if he’s a cheapskate rich guy who buys lots houses ( i read that somewhere recently ).Hell, Romney is one of the few candidates who ever did something worthy for healthcare in this country – but they are on the defensive about that ..and hes being crushed for being a flip flopper.oh well 🙂 🙂
Andy,I think part of the issue is Romney’s Mormonism. Doesn’t drink, doesn’t cheat, no family drama: to a lot of cynical Americans (perhaps Fred included), that makes him seem fake. It doesn’t to me because I have met Mormons who are like this. They are genuinely good people who seem to good to be true, so people assume they are fake.
How to invest in the megatrend of cultural revolution? Easy!! Bitcoins.
A security expert I am not, but the efforts to build a social network unencumbered by commercial interests and governments, as described in the Wired article, seem… lackluster, at best. Drupal? openID/OAuth login? And, while Diaspora and Identica have aspired to be more decentralized with less interference from corporations, they can most certainly be touched by governments/security forces. Seems like Occupy would need some type of Tor-based system that lives ex-web… while this would likely appeal more toward leadership than followers, it would get them closer to their goals of greater independence.
I don’t know if America can be all it can be in the 21st century if many Americans still have an irrational fear of the sky god and a fetish for big brother.
In the last week you’ve wondered how to invest in movements and how to invest in health care. I think you should be on the lookout for a healthcare movement… Stakeholders of that movement would stretch beyond just individual consumers to include non profits, governments, foundations, insurance companies and health care providers. For the movement to be monetizable and sustainable, it can’t be too radical and must engage the full range of stakeholders. This work will require a leader with a global understanding of the problem who can create a comprehensive (albeit ambitious) solution and most importantly serve as a community organizer that rallies the full range of stakeholders (each with different motives) to support the plan. At the same time, the leader should focus on how the movement impacts each stakeholder, both during the movement and once change has been created. Successful movements create massive disruption that generate numerous opportunities to deliver new products and services.
That is so vague as to be meaningless.
where do i look for that?
Happy New Year, Fred. Honestly, not sure where to tell you to look. I look at where I’ve been the last nine months and realize that our paths never would have crossed (except maybe in the line of the Shake Shack when I was visiting NYC). However, I tell you to be on the lookout, because now that I’m in the midst of it, it makes so much sense and the depth of the opportunity is huge. The potential is so great that there’s no way I’m the only one gaining traction on the approach I outlined in my original comment. So, they have to be out there somewhere! I have been doing this full time for the last nine months (3 years if you include the time I had a FT job) for a niche public health topic. In typical start up fashion the opportunity evolved tremendously. At first, I thought we were just a place for individuals to connect with supporters, but then after living and breathing this topic (including an 11,000 mile cross country tour meeting with thousands of people, the leaders of every relevant non-profit organization and prominent members of the gov’t (national, state and local)), I have found that this community could benefit from a site that was so much more than “The Facebook for…” Had I stayed in an office building or spent my networking time at tech conferences, I would have been too focused on the technology, instead I went out into the field where I learned the ins and outs of the problem. Now as we’re building out features we don’t have to guess when we ask ourselves… “I wonder what they want?” or “who would use this?”. Now, I have a clear image of the market and it’s different segments. Plus, I have developed a strong network of leaders and experts who are always excited to get my call. So, again the type of person you’re looking for to lead this large revolution must be more of an anthropologist than a technologist (I know Brad would likely agree with that.) The technology is not the hard part, its learning how to (1) identify the solution to the problem (both on and off-line), (2) identify the role of each stakeholder in the solution and get their buy-in and (3) have those parties (plus organic PR) help develop a large community of engaged users. This is consistent with a philanthropic theme “Catalytic Philanthropy” where one organization serves as the community’s backbone to help facilitate collaboration and increase the impact of existing resources. I believe the right web site could serve as that backbone. If you’re interested, there’s a great book “Do More Than Give” (http://www.amazon.com/Do-Mo…… Wherever they say “Foundation or Donor” replace it with “Web Start Up and Web Founder”. I also believe building out this kind of platform requires a different approach than the standard tech start up. While I always thought I should “get it up and iterate,” when you’re interacting with a range of constituencies from gov’t, non-profits, foundations, health care providers and individuals, I think first impression matters much more and each party must first buy in to the big picture vision. If you roll out and iterate, everyone will focus on what is live at that moment and zoom in on small details, when you really want people buying into and discussing larger themes. Not to mention, there will be detractors who aren’t excited about changing the status quo who will look for any reason to raise a stink. I strongly believe it is better to have a large strategic plan, buy in from key players and then start executing. That said, it will take more time and money to get to demo day. So, again, where do you look for that? I have not crossed paths with many people who have taken this approach. (In fact, that would have made it easier when people asked me “who has done this for another social issue?”). However, I believe as institutions like large non-profits and foundations become more tech-savvy, opportunities will become more obvious. If you meet anyone doing something similar to what I’ve outlined, please let me know! I’d love to meet them! I’d also be happy to reciprocate and introduce you to anyone I meet as well.
I’ve been thinking about this trend for the better part of a month. Your post finally urged me to get my thoughts down.http://blog.chrissutton.me/…Too long for a comment here, but the short answer is that 2012 is definitely the year that movements go mainstream.
nice post and great points about the power of video, audio, and images
The ‘mainstream’ – isn’t that the lexis of the old order of things? The revolution should not become the tradition. Isn’t the new order about multiple streams, about an evolving discontinuity, a ‘disorder’, about self representation, about synaptic democracy? The existing political establishment needs to preserve the binary order of conventional democracy to ensure survival. Their view is that it’s better to accept periodically the role of the party in opposition to the party in power rather than the alternative of not existing at all in a new order of things.
The mainstream is pretty useful.And it has been around for 4000 years.How it is organized changes lot. I promoted The 500 Year Delta recently on AVC. They see complete reorganization of most major societal pillars ( religion, family, health, education & government).What it looks like is challenging – personal in some areas, but requiring heft of group based norms in others.
One aspect of this movement movement is thatthe institutions we trust to measure the big stuff (home sales,unemployment, consumer confidence, political polls) all seem, well,broken. When I hear reports on the economy I always wonder if the methodsused for measuring these big important indicators are broken simply becausewhat they are trying to measure has changed so much in the last 20 years. Howcould they not be broken? The role of the ratings agencies in the housingcrisis is an example. Moody’s and those folks were simply not equipped toproperly measure the default swaps and the crap that was in there. Politicalpolls seem wrong now too. Looking at the polls out of Iowa and NH, do you thinkthey are getting the story right? Have you ever dug into what makes up the ‘consumer confidence index’? Does it seem like the right way to measure confidence?For investing in the movement movement I wouldlook for companies that are trying to disrupt and improve these big measurementefforts. Trying to measure activity in totally new ways AND create visualsabout it that lots of folks can consume. Specifically measuring new ways peoplecome together in communities, movements or parties.
great line of thinking and you are so right about broken measurement systems
It’s truly amazing that the rating agencies still have any credibility whatsoever.
Here’s the headline from Drudge: http://news.cnet.com/8301-3…I ask that the powers to be don’t go after some retroactive deal saving you and throwing all of the small guys trying to do promotion of collaboration under the bus.An appropriate tune most of ya’ may have not heard for awhile http://www.youtube.com/watc… the demo version.
who by numbers is a terrific record
Here is another option being developed:http://www.cnn.com/2011/12/…
i like america’s elect a lot
I don’t see a path to investing in cultural revolution. Jim Rogers would tell us to invest right after the revolution, which he & George Soros did magnificently.I don’t think that players in the game can create the league or the rules.As for movements, they tend to start out with principle (Hippies / Equal Rights), move to a peak that is quite ineffective /’purely symbolic ( Woodstock ), and then, over the course of decades, infiltrate the existing power structures / social norms relatively quietly.Perhaps in his second term ( he is least worst choice than any Republican ), BHO steps up and connects directly to the people with a platform of government reform. But I doubt it.Maybe a Teddy Roosevelt will run in 2016.
i think you are right that Obama will get a second term. doesn’t particularly deserve it but the republicans are putting up a very weak selection of candidates.
FROM GRIMLOCK RULES FOR STARTUPS:IF PEOPLE USING TOOLS FOR THINGS NOT MEANT FOR, BUILD TOOL THAT DO THAT.OLD CULTURAL REVOLUTION DESTROY CULTURE.NEW ONE MAKE CULTURE.JUST WAITING FOR RIGHT TOOL. INVEST IN THAT.
New people makes new culture by starving off old culture.If old culture doesn’t feed itself with fresh blood, old culture dies of boring.There’s always rubbish “cultural” detritus fabricated by RIAA and MPAA cartels but it’s been rotten for longer than anyone remembers.
yes sir! i am waiting for you to bring it to me
FIRST GRIMLOCK DESTROY COPYRIGHT.THEN BUILD TOOLS FOR BUILD NEW CULTURE.MAKING DECK TO SEND YOU FOR FIRST ONE. MAYBE BUILD PROTOTYPE WHEN POSTER PROJECT WRAP IN FEBRUARY, BEFORE SECRET MARCH PROJECT GET GOING.
I respectfully suggest FG should eat stupid lawmakers and patent trolls.And then some digestive tablets to help with all that.
HAVE BETTER WAY.WAY THEM NO CAN STOP.
not disagreeing with FG , but do invest in people who use tools for what they weren’t originally intended for.Have you seen what they with duct tape? wallets …they make wallets out of that stuff 😉
DISAGREE ALWAYS GOOD. EXCEPT WHEN YOU WRONG.ME SAY JURY-RIG WRONG TOOLS IS SIGN OF OPPORTUNITY IN BUILD RIGHT TOOLS.PERSON SMART ENOUGH TO JURY RIG? ALSO GOOD OPPORTUNITY.(ME, GRIMLOCK, LIKE PROM SUITS, DRESSES, MADE OF DUCT TAPE. ME SAY THERE OPPORTUNITY IN DUCT TAPE LIKE MATERIAL MADE SPECIAL FOR TURN INTO CLOTHES. DESIGN POSSIBILITIES ENDLESS)
re: 2) Distributed networksmany people are working on that from various anglesSee:http://www.freenetproject.orghttp://www.i2p2.de/ However most of these are probably totally uninterested about profit or accomodating monetisation at all.I’m working with these guys on a different take of distributed networks for b2b, a pitch on the lift oneliner would be “think a distributed alibaba for the west”No bullshit, only the codehttps://github.com/GARUMFun… So there’s a lot of thinking going on, just not in Silicon Valley.
freenet looks intersting
Ron Paul has come a long way from being ignored by the media in what some could rightfully call a conspiracy to being mentioned on almost every political show and in every conversation. I don’t think the Tea Party’s ideals will ever got mainstream because the original Tea Party has been so thoroughly corrupted by the GOP that they are thought of as ultra partisan. And unfortunately, as much as I like SOME of Paul’s ideas, most of them are way too libertarian for the majority of the country, myself included. Oh and reddit rocks. The 99% movement should take notes from them, they manage to exert so much influence without trying or without publicity that you would think it’s a myth…until you watch it happen.
yup. reddit does rock
The Achilles heel of modern democracy: small and tightly connected groups can enforce their agenda.We will see if the Internet will enable big, loosely connected groups to counter balance.
Happy New Year: Occupy 2012 http://bit.ly/rJin7m
Invest in AirTime.
1) Ron Paul is an extremist. No thank you.2) So Occupy is building Dave Winer’s Darknet? I think when the kids build their technocommunist party and they see not very many people show up, they will wander back to the rest of social media, but meanwhile, good!3) Because things like Reddit targeting a Senator sounds like vigilantism, not democracy. The attack on GoDaddy was despicable. It means you cannot have an opinion in a pluralistic democratic society and be protected from violence; if the Internet thugs don’t like what you think, they will harm your business.4) Not a single civil liberty has been harmed by this legislation that didn’t pass, and when it does, piracy will be curbed, but e-thugs will still get to circumvent and steal, don’t worry, and no freedom of speech will be harmed — except for maybe that of the elected representatives who will be harassed by vigilantes.5. The Mass DA should definitely keep prosecuting this case. It is incitement to imminent violence which is not protected speech. It is collective guilt and collective punishment. It’s Bolshevism, and not what you want in a liberal society. It is not “war on the young”; it’s war on thuggery. Don’t mistake some long replayers on Twitter as some kind of “movement”. The party van is coming for these people.Cultural revolution, Fred? You *are* aware of what that was in China, right?
didn’t expect you to like this post. glad i was right.
However, the times, they may e a changin’: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-b…
that is a hoot. thanks for sharing that.
According to my measurements, the cultural revolution which I later determined as the internet cultural revolution was scheduled to start in 2009 – that is about right.
Seems to me, anything that improves how people can connect and communicate would be a good investment. The key word there being “improves” – I’m sure there will be plenty of me-too connect & communicate companies. But what we need is something that, for example, takes Google+ hangout to the next level.On a related note, this may be a tough year for cell phone companies, as consumers demand more and better service and aren’t willing to pay $100 a month for it.
I am motivated by the idea that technology is maybe a million times more effective than it was at the beginning of my career, but society is way more dysfunctional than it ought to be. This is a question of organization and priorities … or from my perspective as an accountant and old corporate CFO … a simple question of the wrong metrics driving performance and the related decisions. We do not have to have a global governance system that has its origins in the practices of the 13th century or even the 20th century … we should be thinking ‘out of the box’ about what is possible in the 21st century. Occupy has got one thing right .,. the socio-economic system that is being used today is broken … but, in my view, it would not take much to make it work pretty well. What it needs is to embrace not only the idea of a capitalist investor focus market economy, but also a value society focus market as well. The elements of this are emerging … soon they will come together. It is very exciting.
Yup. That’s what the Time cover person of the year says.
good point charlie