Video Of The Week: My Talk With David Kirkpatrick at Techonomy

Last wednesday morning, I went to Techonomy NYC and talked with my friend David Kirkpatrick for about 30mins.

That conversation is below.

There is one gross misrepresentation in the talk. David and I were talking about my efforts to ignore Trump and I said that the Gotham Gal spends “two to three hours a day on that stuff” which is not anywhere close to accurate. She reads the NY Times religiously in paper form every day and does pay a lot more attention to Trump than I do, but it’s not anywhere near two to three hours. I apologize to her for suggesting such nonsense.

#blockchain#policy#Politics#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. Anne Libby

    Tangential: reading newspapers in paper form. I’ve been trying to do this more frequently — I see things I would have missed, and I also get less sucked into the emotion that gets stirred up when I use Twitter as my newsfeed.Anyone else have thoughts or ideas on this?

    1. Salt Shaker

      Not sure there’s data on this, but my hunch is there’s a higher level of reader attentiveness in paper form vs. content sourced from TWTR, FB or web based publishing. Why? With no comment threads, text or email interruptions, etc., there’s less distractions. There’s more of a singlemindedness to the experience. Research has shown that Primetime TV viewing has a higher level of attentiveness than Daytime TV, which often is viewed while engaging in other activities. Less distractions means higher engagement. Not sure why legacy publishers don’t try to exploit this, though, of course, digital ecosystems do deliver higher margins for them.

      1. JLM

        .I admit to liking the feel of a NYT in my hands on a Sunday morning.I also like a printed book @ the beach though I am Kindle-captured otherwise.There is something Old School about it and you are right, you concentrate better.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      2. Anne Libby

        Yes! Also, there’s a term I can’t call to mind, it describes the articles you see sort of serendipitiously, because you’re paging through the actual paper.(e.g. I rarely go anywhere on the internet where I’d read about sports, but do when I’m reading the paper…) There’s a value to this.

  2. awaldstein

    Fred–I let you into my head listening during workout.Good stuff here.As pertains shopping–I agree.As pertains shopping for clothes I buy completely online but not on Amazon but from a new generation of consumer brands outside of Amazon.…re: tokens, I get it (finally). The idea of community within this economy is beyond fascinating. It is that community piece that has been missing in the articulation of this.

    1. fredwilson

      I agree.

    2. WA

      Totally agree

    3. Matt A. Myers

      I love this value of blockchains too and I’m curious to see what comes out of it.I’m also curious if you’ve given thought or written any on the subject of fairness of how early adopters gain more benefit the earlier they’ve had a cryptocurrency – or if buying at a lower than current cost – so their buying power is higher than what they put into it?I absolutely see the value of the economy/ecosystem that they want to create to join the other economies of the world, attaching it to technology and further usefulness is attractive.The main thing that bothers me however is that early adopters simply become richer the earlier they adopted the cryptocurrency/token – because price is set by demand.It for sure is the perfect engine for growth, however is it fair that someone spending say $1 to buy a Bitcoin will in the future have potentially $10,000,000+ of buying power – labour from people and such – in future economies? I think that value increase should somehow be redistributed, at least if it is to be used as a global currency – or in a way at least put a cap on how much value can be gained.The price of Bitcoin et al is only valid or real if there is demand from outside economies – they give it validity. You only need to convince a small few to manipulate to make it something ingrained into any third-party global economy. This economy seems to have a foundation of a casino and its currently being built by its biggest supporters – the earliest of adopters – including VC money to build platforms to tie into that economy/market. There are countless times however that money is stated to be going in it because of speculation. That gambling can only exist with the incentive of unfair gains.This argument usually doesn’t have any strong argument made against it, it’s ignored while then only the positive side to the coin (pun intended) is stated/reenforced. Why can’t we have a blockchain/cryptocurrency that undoes the unfairness? If cryptocurrencies gain a foothold and ultimately takeover as a global currency, where societies will be forced (through lobbying/manipulation etc) by only those small few that gain value/increase their riches with higher demand.With the stock market, not everyone has to put their coins into that basket – with ; this is what the hope seems to be too. I’m looking when there’s 20-40%+ adoption rate – and all kinds of people incentivized to influence societies to pressure for further adoption, deeper integration – especially from those early on people – like @fredwilson:disqus ‘s example of $0.30 buy turning already into $90 value; how much incentive does that individual have to influence that value of $0.30 to become $100,000+? And there will be many individuals in this seat who could work together or individually for this goal.It also ties back into creating the exact same situation that Fred mentioned too, as to why should only rich people be able to buy stock – except those riches would likely become even less distributed, and less fairly distributed than now; I’ve never seen any computation models to see what this looks like but I am betting there are people who have created them.I don’t know where all of this thinking came from, I’m open to it being completely picked apart. Has anyone studied the long-term affects/effects of this on value distribution/buying power?If everything, every action someone takes online, is tied to a cryptocurrency – and that one must own that cryptocurrency – this value distribution structure simply isn’t reasonable or fair, it doesn’t make sense.

      1. awaldstein

        Hmmm…Wealth accumulation has little to do with fairness so that doesn’t bother me.What is telling–and I’m thinking it through–is that tokens are basically community commerce.There are prototypes for local commerce everywhere, the Brixton Pound, for example and I’m curious how the idea of local commerce and token based community value standards like this diverge from each other.

      2. sigmaalgebra

        Crypto coins are enormously valuable for avoiding taxes and for a lot of criminal activities. As a result, governments will regulate the banking system to severely throttle such coins, e.g., make conversion of significant value back to dollars next to impossible.E.g., who to sell the coins to to get dollars, that is, where the heck did they get the dollars? That is, there will be a lot of coins owned by people short on dollars and unable to use dollars to buy coins. Then people with coins won’t be able to sell them for dollars. People who transact business with coins will be breaking tax laws.If blockchain technology has some other major uses, then okay.For now the coin bubble is just waiting for the legal system to burst it.

    4. Twain Twain

      Amazon and Apple are the two companies I thought most about when I was working out data differentiation and AI for my system.https://uploads.disquscdn.c…In the space of a few months, Amazon has announced Echo Look and Echo Show. https://uploads.disquscdn.chttps://uploads.disquscdn.c…They also released a bunch of developer tools to make it easier to make Alexa Skills and use their AWS tools. AND they started their program for PAYING developers for Alexa Skills — our very own falicon broke the news to TechCrunch.@fredwilson:disqus — I’m such a fan of Amazon’s AI moves, I’ve organized a workshop for 50 female engineers in SF to learn how to make Alexa apps and do other Natural Language AI.After MIT Tech Review, MS, Princeton, Boston University, University of Mass. Amherst reported that Google’s Word2Vec is “biased: sexist and racist” and the whole “black box” problem with Deep Learning … I became concerned with Google’s AI.In fact, one of the workshops will examine Word2Vec’s sexism and for 50 female engineers to hands-on work out better solutions. Rachel Thomas, maths PhD and AI leader extraordinaire, will be guiding us through that workshop. Her husband is the former President of Kaggle and their platform is dedicated to democratizing DL.The other company I’m inviting to lead a workshop is LinkedIn because their data scientists are examining the whole issue of data biases as it affects whether recommendations of highly-paid technical roles are being shown to qualified women and minorities and whether those folks are being suggested to recruiters.Instead of “talking heads” panels on diversity and inclusion, my workshop is TOOLING female engineers to get into the sandpit, fix the problems that male echo chambers of “brogrammers” haven’t been able to fix and to build the future. https://uploads.disquscdn.c

      1. cavepainting

        Hi Twain, what exactly does your system do? You have piqued my curiosity. Can you share any information?

        1. Twain Twain

          My system crowdsources people’s SUBJECTIVE+objective perceptions of things (e.g. brands, products, words, content, relationships etc) to understand WHY WE BUY.The crowd’s inputs train my system’s AI engine to generate better recommendations, based on perceptions — instead of the probability weightings, statistical correlations, psychometrics, biometrics, behavioral and “attention-based” clicks that currently happen.It’s different from these existing legacy systems which create data biases that make it IMPOSSIBLE for us to train the machines to understand natural language and people’s meanings. https://uploads.disquscdn.c…My idea+implementation is light years ahead of Silicon Valley’s knowhow and US academic research.They’re only just now waking up to the data biases problems in widely used frameworks like Google Word2Vec and Stanford’s GloVe, and the fact that probabilistically-based Natural Language frameworks have 0 hope of getting the machines to understand us:*…*…* https://www.technologyrevie…Meanwhile, I’d invented a different rating scale, a different input method and a different processing mechanism for NLU and recommendation generation YEARS ago.Alas, so ingrained are the old methods and the biases against women in tech that finding developers, investors and Professors of AI who are aware that the old methods are WRONG is proving challenging.This is why it could be that I leave tech after this workshop to go and do something much more fun and much less thankless …Investors only care about teenage “boy wonders” basically re-inventing the same square wheels with the same tools+methods as in the data biases slide.People TALK about supporting female founders. But the reality is, they don’t.

        2. Twain Twain

          Adam Grant, the Wharton professor, shared this on LinkedIn.It says everything about how much bias female founders are up against — on top of all the other s*** we have to wade through.https://uploads.disquscdn.c

  3. rich caccappolo

    ha! Glad you clarified that misrepresentation – I would have worried – 1.5 hours or so seems about right to me; 2-3 hours is too much!!!

    1. fredwilson


  4. jason wright

    is there the equivalent of the radiation exposure badge for mass media content? that would be a level 1 thought contamination.

  5. WA

    Excellent. The humanist gets it

  6. jason wright

    looking at this Emily Chang didn’t get value for money.

  7. JLM

    .President Trump is a real estate guy.He so owns the real estate between the ears of liberals and the media, it is frightening.The 2-3 hours was correct.Nothing wrong with it, mind you. But, it is a thing.Trump should charge them rent to borrow their brains back.BTW, if you have not seen the pageantry associated with President Trump’s arrival in Saudi Arabia, you should.1. Saudi Arabia is an enormously wealthy country and they have their wealth on display. It is staggering in its splendor. The room they met in must be bigger than MSG.2. The 81-year-old King came to the airport to greet our President. People are saying it is the first time in the history of his Kingdom he has ever stood at the end of the red carpet to greet a foreign head of state.Consider what this means.The pageantry of the presentation of the government’s credentials and the signing of a big $110B arms deal is Old World in its elegance. No DocuSign for these boys.Remember, when our President is overseas, we act as a single united people and STFU.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. Salt Shaker

      The man’s only legit opportunity to establish any semblance of credibility (assuming that’s even w/in his grasp) is w/ foreign policy. There will be very few, if any, domestic opps w/ a dysfunctional Congress who cares more about insulating power than advancing a meaningful agenda for the people they were elected to serve. Thankfully we have the Judiciary. The House got tired of fighting over healthcare and passed a ridiculously inept plan just so they could kick the can to the Senate, who hardly even acknowledged the existence of the House plan. Total dysfunction.There’s no reason for anyone to be apologetic about obsessing over Trump’s lunacy and incompetence. It’s frankly shocking. He’s a liar and an embarrassment to our country. He is woefully unfit for the Presidency and his unfiltered behavior may continue to empower his base, while unknowingly contributing to his inevitable downfall, either via the Legislative or Judiciary branches, or at the very least the court of public opinion.The evidence against him and/or his team–whether it’s collusion, obstruction of justice or plain old poor judgement–may ultimately be circumstantial, but even under that scenario there will be no winners, least of all the American public.There’s no way this lasts 4 years. Either he cracks or the GOP pushes him over the cliff, not for the good of the people, but to save their own souls, the only thing they genuinely care about.

      1. JLM

        .”Your Honor, I’d like to present what I have marked as Exhibit One. It is a transcript from my pal Salt Shaker. As you can read, he is suffering from a severe case of Trump Derangement Syndrome. Great guy, your Honor, but a little touched in the head.”That was waaaaaay too easy.I will not rise to the bait and I will never defend the Congress. I want to know the 8% of people in the US who approve of the Congress. I just hope they are in prison or committed.Everything is going to be fine.Hey, how about that pageantry? Wow!JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      2. sigmaalgebra

        There’s no reason for anyone to be apologetic about obsessing over Trump’s lunacy and incompetence. It’s frankly shocking. He’s a liar and an embarrassment to our country.Those issues are important to me. You have some facts and credible references? I’ve looked and can’t find any.For the Congress, there’s a reason it’s called sausage making. E.g., Paul Ryan wants to show his sugar daddies that he is trying to make their money work.

    2. sigmaalgebra

      81 years old? Then he well remembers Saddam, Saddam’s forces in Kuwait and well on the way into Saudi Arabia, Bush 41’s “This will not stand”, e.g.,…the US coming to the rescue, big time, right away, the nice coalition the US put together — Saudis, other Gulf States, Syria, Egypt, France, Great Britain, etc. — the astounding victory, and the Schwarzkopf “mother of all press briefings”…Looks like the Saudi guy believes about the US “No better friend. No worse enemy.”So, for his $110 billion, he gets a lot of equipment, supplies, and training, “no better friend”, for his enemies :”No worse enemy”, and of course a lot of implicit long term friendship and support, e.g., in face of missiles and nukes from Iran from North Korea, etc.I’m not thrilled with Mideast desert culture. But likely Darwin has long been hard at work there — a small mistake in the desert and become just another small addition to the blowing sands. Tough to make much progress when have only a desert — “No Arab loves the desert. There’s nothing in the desert. Arabs love grass and green trees.” But, no reason to assume that the people who have lived successfully some thousands of years in the desert are stupid — quite the opposite.Well, they were smart enough to see the opportunities of the oceans of oil under their feet. Then with that progress, they have been smart enough to look for economic development past just oil — they don’t want to return to just tents, flocks, camels, a few scattered wells, and the desert.So, for such a future, the Saudis need good friends, e.g., “No better friend”.For the US? A more stable world. We make progress on our $800 B or so annual trade deficit. We put our people back to work.If some Iranian Ayatollah Kockamamie has some holy vision of using nukes to take over the world, then they can also think of new, beautiful, perfectly round, glass lined, hemispherical bottom, glowing in the dark, blue waters of Lake Tehran.This reaction by the Saudis is surprisingly strong coming so soon in Trump’s first term. Apparently the Saudis, as many others — China, Ford, Carrier, on and on — see a lot in Trump they want to take quite seriously.Of course, the Hildabeast, DNC, Manhattan, DC, NYT, propaganda media can’t see it. A lot of Saudis and heads of 40 Islamic countries? Yes. The NYT? No. Looks like Darwin will be doing some work in Manhattan.NYT — just staggering to believe that people could be so just plain STUPID. But it’s a darned important lesson to see that it’s possible and in some respects relatively easy.

    3. cavepainting

      Wahhabism that originated in Saudi is at the heart of the Jihad against the West.The US needs a balanced approach in the Middle East between Sunni and Shia nations. Iran is a key element in this equation and any arrangement that ignores or marginalizes them while boosting the Sunnis will create an unstable order.The Trump Administration is clueless about the geopolitics of the region and the risks of over-aligning with the Saudis. The reason why the Obama admin did not sell precision military equipment to Saudi is that they will end up being used against the people in Yemen. The war in Yemen is a gross abuse of human rights and not well reported in the West.Please stop with the pageantry nonsense. If flattery gets you somewhere, people will not fail to use it in spades.

      1. JLM

        .+1,000Very few people in the US have the sophisticated knowledge to understand the significance of your identification of Wahhabism as the root of Jihad.Wahhabism is the strain of Islam which requires the true believer not just to identify the infidel, but to take the active measures to kill the infidel as spelled out literally in the Koran. It is the proselytizing call to action of the worst kind.It may be impossible to strike the balance which you discuss between Sunni and Shia because the warring parties are only religious in a small portion of their governance plus there are regional contests below the surface.The war in Yemen has been initiated by an expansionist pressure from Iran which is backing the Houthis in much the same way as they back Hezbollah — useful for their larger purposes including against Israel and the US-Israel Palestinian axis.The war in Yemen, a new discorvery to the west, has been going on for almost two decades.The Houthis’ war chant: “God is great, death to the US, death to Israel, curse the Jews, and victory for Islam” is like an “everything” bagel with something for everyone.The war in Yemen is a proxy war between the US (backing the Saudis who are backing the former government) v Iran (backing the Houthis in the same way the Iranians back Hezbollah in its mischief on the West Bank and Lebanon).If the US is going to be dedicated to asymmetric warfare, this kind of proxy war will be the norm. Arming other countries to fight battles in which the US has a stake.The problem with the Saudis is they are not a very good army. They do have a passing knowledge of the use of armor, but not in a combined arms sense — meaning using it with infantry, artillery, air, and naval firepower.This weapons package which was signed today, is very sophisticated and provides some products which will be very handy if the fighting escalates and there is any air or sophisticated artillery component.Nobody who is an observer of that region expects it to be used anywhere else other than Yemen. It is not an afterthought, it is the core thought in the deal.One of the things this does expose is how inept the Iranian military is.I am against almost any arms sales in that region and would rather see the combatants fighting with rocks and sticks than modern weaponry. Perhaps the greatest scandal in the world, is the magnitude of America’s role as an arms merchant.You give the professional officer corps in the Pentagon short shrift if you suggest they don’t understand the region — NOW. Ten to fifteen years ago, yes, but now they have an invigorated Area Officer program through which several high ranking generals have come and it has been based on men serving in those regions on the ground in obscure postings which never bubble to the surface.A classmate of mine, retired Colonel and a legislator now, spent 5 years in Syria and when we talk about it, he knows every rock, stream, person, mosque, airfield, military camp, officer in the country.Whether these kind of guys get listened to is another discussion, but the raw knowledge is there and guys like McMasters (considered the smartest General of his generation and the reason why he never got a 4th star — professional jealousy) and Mad Dog and Petreaus (more an A’stan hand) are pretty damn salty.The pageantry is important because it signals the Saudis have gone all in. This is the first time the King has come to the airport to welcome ………. anybody. He was standing there as Air Force One arrived.Flattery has always gotten everyone everywhere. After being estranged from the Obama administration, the Saudis want to get back into the inner circle.Make no mistake, the Saudis are in contact with the Israelis and for a country that doesn’t allow anyone with an Israeli passport or visa to enter their country, that is a big step. This is a huge development and could be the avenue by which the region is pacified.The axis of Russian — Iran — North Korea — Syria will account for a lot of mischief in that region and it is important that we keep it from gaining a toe hold.When Kissinger pried Egypt out of Russia’s hands after the 1973 Yom Kippur War, it meant peace on the western bank of Israel for 30-40 years.What was the outgrowth? The US became Egypt’s primary arms supplier. So, while I personally regret arms trading, it is a powerful lure.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. cavepainting

          Some of these moves might have made sense in the past, but in general, deep alignment with someone in the Muslim world means distancing from someone else and sets in motion a sequence of events with long-term consequences. Remember the funding of the Mujahideen in the 1980s that led to Taliban and Al Qaeda?The Obama administration was very sensitive to this and they placed greater emphasis on not doing anything stupid than doing something that might feel good in the near-term but with unknown second and third order effects.Yes, Saudi is thrilled with President Trump because it gives them a chance to lead a Sunni Caliphate or alliance with the full backing of the US. That makes them powerful in the Middle East landscape.But, what does this mean to the long term strategic interests of the US in the Middle East? Cutting arms deals is the easiest part. It needs a statesman to look beyond what is in front. Trump has presented no evidence to date that he understands any of this.

          1. JLM

            .I may have bitten the end of my tongue off reading that you hold the Obama administration up as an exemplar in the region. It is difficult to spot a single thing they did which wasn’t stupid.Look to Libya and Syria — countries which exist in name only. We either did this directly or allowed it to happen.Look to Egypt which we killed and allowed to come back to life after the Muslim Brotherhood experiment.Look to the damage we did to Iraq and Afghanistan. [A’stan may still be salvageable. Not so, Iraq.]We couldn’t negotiate a SOFA with Iraq while having similar agreements with Germany, Japan, Korea, and a myriad of other countries. It is a fundamental skill.Look at the void we created from which ISIS was spawned and Al Qaeda reinvigorated.Then there is Iran which we have made into a regional power. a soon-enough-to-be-nuclear power, and the continuing champ of global terror funding.Look at the raw deal we’ve visited upon the Kurds, the only real fighters in the region.The Russians were kicked out of the region at the end of the 1973 Yom Kippur War when Kissinger stole their vassal state, Egypt. We’ve let them back in.Turkey, the second largest military force in NATO since 1952, is a toss up. We really don’t know if they will answer the bell if the balloon goes up. They are writing checks to Hezbollah.We have a substantial nuclear arsenal deployed on Turkish soil and we don’t know whether it’s safe or not. Almost 100 nuclear warheads which are air droppable.All of that progress is reversed leaving the Russians and Iranians as the king pins. We did this with our silly policy of “leading from behind.”Along the same axis, we drew red lines, blew them off, and allowed Jordan to be flooded with Syrians.In the same vein, we became estranged from both the Saudis and the Israelis in the progress. How does that happen? It happened by the incredible pettiness of the Obama White House.It is difficult to imagine we could screw things up more.We should support the Saudis because of our long standing relationship, their failure to join any cabal against the Israelis since the late 1940s, our business ties, and the dependency we can create with even arms. Here’s the big one — they are the only ones in the region who still trust us.If we can end up with a stable relationship with Saudi Arabia and Israel, maybe we can fix the broken crockery over the next 30 years. Right now, it doesn’t look very good.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. cavepainting

            JLM, Syria, Libya, Egypt, etc. had fundamental problems because the dictators in power had a different agenda from their people. Irrespective of what the government did or did not do, there was and is structural instability.The world is messy in several places for lots of reasons that go back centuries. We really cannot be everywhere and stretch our resources.I do not know enough about all these situations to provide commentary. But the decisions of a President are better judged in a historical context over time than in the immediate aftermath. All these issues are gray with nuances and classified info we have no idea about.But this is my primary point.For good or bad, there was an Obama doctrine and there was some framework he used in making decisions.As for Trump, I am not sure there is any. He seems to be fundamentally driven by how people personally treat him and that determines who he likes or dislikes. That is a dangerous place to be in.

          3. JLM

            .Stepping in for Captain Obvious who is traveling with the President:Dictators always have a different agenda than their people. That’s what makes them dictators — DICTATE.There are always structural problems when you kill off or remove a head of state. Cut off anyone’s head and the body will exhibit symptoms of changed behavior.The world is messy and our misguided Middle East “lead from behind” policy made it messier.I would argue that the Obama foreign policy was never sufficiently organized to be called a “doctrine.”At its core was an insultingly sophomoric utterance: “Don’t do anything stupid.”They broke their own aphorism.As for Trump, he seems to be doing substantially better than I expected.NAFTA being re-negotiated. Both Canada and Mexico are coming with trade bait out of the chute.China finally being helpful with N Korea and, for the first time, getting that trade and NK may be linked.NATO stepping up to its funding obligations. How? Jawboning and nothing more. Pure pasteurized leadership.Russia meeting directly with the President at the highest level without Putin giving anybody a wedgie or invading a foreign country. [For the record — relationship with Russia should be looking up since they elected, colluded, paid, influenced Trump, no?]World leaders of all stripes beating a path to the White House and receiving him with fanfare when he drops by for a chat.The Japanese PM giving him four strokes per side at Trump Doral while conceding all putts shorter than 40′.Canadians taking it gracefully on the chin over softwood import tariff.He is driven by the reaction of others. Not a novel notion.If one serves at the pleasure of a President and wants to keep that arrangement, then it behooves one to please the President. Fail to do so and you may get canned.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          4. cavepainting

            JLM, your last paragraph is ridiculous and why Trump is a clear and present danger to democracy. This is not a dictatorship and there is no kissing the ring of the king. We do not and should not work like that.I do not have a problem in your support for Trump but to quote a famous journalist, you support him unreservedly even if he takes a dump on all our desks. That does a great disservice to your own intelligence and judgment.

          5. JamesHRH

            @jlm is a fount oa well informed geo-politics and national political wisdom.But, he needs to fine grain the FBI role more. Loyalty to the constitution required; willingness to not actively work against the sitting President in an unethical or partisan way retried; loyal – no fucking chance.Trump played this in a ham handed way if Comey is even half way close. Why give the nay sayers the ammo but having 1:1 meetings with Comey and trying to leverage him like he’s a dope @ Credit Suisse?Gross misplay.#TrumpObjectivist

          6. JLM

            .Hmmm, might be a typo but I never used the word “loyalty” did I?Feel free to correct me.When someone “serves at the pleasure” of another. The whip hand can act with a reason, without a reason, or for no reason.That’s the way “change of control” provisions are written in employment agreements.Trump had no obligation to give any reason why he terminated the guy and the guy accepted the job with that provision in writing.Why is everybody whining when the deal is the deal?Let’s be clear here — Comey IS a dope. His performance in the HRC affair is breathtakingly stupid.First, he conducts a private investigation in public.Then, he reports on the charges of an innocent person. You can’t make a public case against a person — an innocent person — and then say, “OK, she’s in the clear.”He destroyed her integrity and called her stupid and then said, “But nobody would take this case.”The FBI doesn’t decide what cases the DOJ or the US Attorney takes. They investigate, not prosecutre.Then, he goes around the DOJ. It is the FB of INVESTIGATION, not a prosecution shop. That’s the job of the US Attorneys working under the DOJ.I get it that the meeting between AG Lynch and Pres Clinton looked crooked as Hell, but it is not the FBI Director’s job to supervise the AG — other way around.It is not his job to put his thumb on the scales of justice even if he feels like the AG and the former President were coloring outside the lines.He stuck his nose where the charter of the FBI says it doesn’t go.Loretta Lynch should have asked the President to can him.I want the Congressional hearings to ask him, “Mr. Comey, do you have any earthly idea how a secret memo you drafted and put in your safe ended up in the hands of the NYT and the WashPo? How did that happen? Who did YOU share it with?”Let’s see how artful a dodger the old boy is.Until the on again — off again HRC fiasco, I was very high on the guy (just because of his height if for no other reason). After the HRC fiasco, I thought he should have explored seppuku.But, I want to reinstitute dueling.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          7. JamesHRH

            No typo, but you did use the word ‘technically’, which, if the President relies on that one about 4 more times, will have GOP members abandoning him in droves, in advance of the 2018 midterms.I agree that Comey made a series of poor decisions.I agree that he serves at the will or whim of the President.i agree that leaks should not be seen as SOP or human nature or just politics.You didn’t answer my argument though. The rationale for firing should be incompetence, political interference or unethical behaviour.IF – big IF – the leaks are correct and tapes come out with the President asking for personal loyalty from the Director of the FBI, he’s an idiot and he’s toast.Hypothetical, yes, but valid also.

          8. JLM

            .I don’t think Pres Trump is a Republican in the sense that others self-identify with Republicans. I think Republicans are more and more undocumented Democrats.I cannot figure out what party Susan Collins of Maine, Jeff Flake, Ben asse, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Barbara Murkowski, Lamar Alexander, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul think they are members of.I categorize them as UNDOCUMENTED DEMOCRATS of the Old School.Trump is not a party leader; he is the captain of the ship of state.None of these Republican Senators are going to ever follow Trump. There will be alliances of convenience, but one of the design elements of the Senate is a term of office which bridges the term of the President.The President not only does not have to state a reason why he fires anyone who serves at his pleasure, it is a silly thing to do. Why spawn a debate. Just say, “Decided to trade in my blue car for a yellow one.”It is a mistake do do otherwise.There is almost nothing Trump can do which will rise to the level of “high crimes and misdemeanors” the Constitutional threshold for jeopardy.The notion of personal loyalty being some forbidden third rail is a hard sale to make. It is an admirable trait and when the other party believes it it is a glue. But when not, it is just thought of as silly.Comey is one step from being committed. The professional DOJ crowd of both parties think he was a grandstanding twit. It gets worse for him when he has to answer, “Mr. Comey how did a private memo you wrote and secured in your desk come into the possession of the NYT and the WashPo? Who else saw it? Who did YOU talk to about it?”Comey has had his fifteen minutes and needs to fade into the sunset. I think him to be a very good man who made some inadvisable and regrettable decisions when he suffered from inadequate oversight and supervision. HRC has a legitimate beef as it relates to his impact on the election.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          9. JLM

            .Of course this is EXACTLY what the statute says in regard to the appointment of an FBI Director. He gets a ten year term, but he serves at the “pleasure of the President.”I remind you that the Dems were asking for the guy’s head on a platter when he was the flavor of the day why Hillary lost the election.Trump gave them exactly what they asked for.You are not up on your reading. Once Candidate Trump became President Trump, he gets the same yardstick I hold up to everyone — Only Results Count.I cringe a little when you use the word “support.” I prefer to think I agree with his policies or do not agree with his policies. I am not much of a jock sniffer or a hero worshipper.He gets particularly high marks on his SCOTUS appointment. Well played!I am happy, generally, with his policies, the ones he’s enacted while being critical of those he’s failed to act upon.I could stand with a few less Tweets, but as a strategy to obviate the press — no fans — I am reluctant to criticize a winning strategy.. But they’re more innocuous than bullshit speeches at the drop of a hat.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          10. cavepainting

            Serving at the pleasure of the President does not mean he fires you for investigating him. We would not have a special prosecutor investigating this if it were as simple as what you say.Let me remind you that you have been incorrect in your assessment before. For example, you said his Muslim ban was a done deal and that the courts would dare not step in. It was not and it is now held up at both the 4th and 9th circuit courts.You would be more credible if you listen some more and not be so unequivocal in agreeing with everything Trump says. Yes, he is not as stupid as the democrats make him out to be. At the same time, there are several very alarming signs that even Republicans should be concerned about for they go to the very heart of democracy and the institutions that support it. Policies change, Presidents come and go, but the constitution and the institutions that support it are the bedrock of what the US is.

          11. JLM

            .Factually, you are simply incorrect. The President of the US can fire the Director of the FBI for cause, without cause, for no cause. He doesn’t even have to explain it to anyone.It is a harsh standard, but it was the trade to get a 10-year term in the original legislation in 1974.You have to go back and recognize what a monster J Edgar Hoover became. He served as the head of the FBI and its predecessor the BI from 1924 to 1972. Hello, America!Again, the existing law was made in the shadow of J Edgar Hoover serving as Dir of the FBI for 48 years. FORTY-EIGHT YEARS.He was an evil political power. Who really knows what he did? Nobody knows what influence he exerted.Both Dems and Republicans wanted the man gone and the law changed.That was the legislative environment in which the provision as to tenure and termination was made.Nobody wanted to create another J Edgar Hoover. Thus the ability for a sitting President to terminate him.Nobody wanted a sitting President to be able to wield political power through an FBI Director (the exemplar being FBI Director L Patrick Gray who resigned in 1973 after it came to light he was giving Nixon daily briefings on the Watergate investigation).When you have that history, it is easy to understand why the statute works as it does. It is a balancing act.But, it is the law.The immigration of persons not favored by the Trump administration has actually been handled by an elegantly simple mechanism — Embassies are not issuing visas of any kind in the field.The hidden power behind this debate has always been the administration’s control of the issuance of visas. It is not a “right” to obtain a visa. There is a process to be sure, but nobody can force an ambassador to favorably consider any application.Look at the numbers on visas granted.On another front, the illegal entries along the Texas border are down by 73% which leaves it to drug runners and human traffickers.”… but the Constitution and the institutions that support it are the bedrock of what the US is.”WTF does that mean? Are you talking about the Congress? Good luck with that.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          12. cavepainting

            “Institutions” means the whole shebang — the courts, the media, congress, FBI, DOJ, etc. The hope is that there are enough checks and balances so that no part of the government including the President can abuse power, obstruct justice, or go rogue. Any one branch like the Congress can act toothless, but the system will work as a whole if it prevents evil from taking place through any of its other branches. i.e. stop a false negative in statistical terms.Your example of the law enabling the President to do whatever he wants sounds just like Nixon in his interview with David Frost.Luckily, you are not the one in charge. We now have a special prosecutor who is going to get to the bottom of the facts.

          13. JLM

            .The law is the law. You may ignore its plain meaning, but the law and its legislative history explain from whence the arrangement came. It is not a matter of opinion; it is a matter of law.We do NOT have a special prosecutor we have a special COUNSEL who will conduct an investigation.Robert Swan Mueller III is a solid guy and any reasonable person would be more than willing to trust his legal knowledge and instincts.If he told me tomorrow was Easter, I’d go home and start dying eggs.He was formerly a registered Republican.He is a former Marine with combat experience in VN, a Bronze Star w/ V device for valor, and a Purple Heart.Ran the FBI for a dozen years under Bush and Clinton and worked as a US Attorney trying lots of complicated cases.He is a UVA law grad, not a bomb throwing Ivy League pinhead.He knows exactly what evidence is and he knows what it takes to make evidence prevail in a courtroom.When Comey put on his dog and pony show, he was critical of Comey’s performance. He and Comey have been colleagues.It is hard to imagine a better fit for Trump or justice.Trump is well served by having an independent counsel conduct this investigation and this one, in particular.The crazies get one last chance at making something up about Trump and the Russians, but it is hard to believe that in leaky Washington DC if there was any real evidence of collusion, it would not have already found its way to the NYT or the WashP.None other than the DNI (Clapper), the CIA Director (Brennan), Feinstein (Senator, minority chair of Intel committee), Reuters, Alan Dershowitz have all taken a public stance that they have seen “no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians.”Dershowitz, no fan of the President, says, he cannot come up with an applicable statute which would criminalize even the most outrageous unsubstantiated behavior made up by the media.The HRC loss deniers get one last chance and then it’s over.If Mueller were to find something criminal, I would be in favor of that charge being made regardless of whose ox gets gored.There will be some unintended consequences as it is difficult to see how this doesn’t wander into an investigation of felonious leaking. This will be interesting.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          14. cavepainting

            On the point of Robert Mueller, we agree. Let us what the investigation finds.

          15. cavepainting

            Also, seeing Iran as the enemy and the Saudis as friends is simplistic and naive, especially in a region where the sectarian divide is all consuming. Iran at least has a democratically elected President and has indeed been electing moderate governments the last two cycles.You may not be a fan of the times, but this editorial nailed it.…ยฎion=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region

          16. JLM

            .OMG, really?Seeing the largest exporter and funder of terror, the Iranians, as the enemy is “simplistic and naive?”If Iran is not our enemy, who is? Switzerland?The guys who are trying to develop a nuclear bomb? The guys who fund Hezbollah and Hamas? The Palestinians? Guys who hold rallies chanting “Death to America” and whose leaders stand there and smile while it is being done?Simplistic and naive to suggest they are our enemies?They are enemies of civilization, peace, and free people.A presidential candidate in Iran has to obtain the authority of the Ayatollahs to even run for office. The president in Iran is a figurehead. The Ayatollahs are calling the shots and have been for decades.You think the current regime in Iran is “moderate” by what measure? A dip in their Hezbollah funding? The cessation of murdering their domestic opponents? Ceasing the use of rape as a matter of public policy? The abandonment of their nuclear development program? Hamas on the bread line? Their withdrawal from supporting the Syrians?These are not different takes on the same facts. This is a wholesale suspension of reality based on a desire to confirm a bias.No sale.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          17. cavepainting

            You are missing the point.The Saudis are not exactly saints. 9/11 was perpetrated by Saudi citizens. The Wahabbists do all the things, if not worse, that Iran does both in terms of human rights violations and funding terrorism. ISiS is fundamentally Sunni. Iran has nothing to do with it. Hezbollah is a bad actor but they just are not in the same league as ISIS in terms of evil. Both Al Queda and ISIs have Saudi roots.Blaming global unrest on Iran alone is being extremely lopsided and does not even make sense. Especially when the primary enemy of the US is ISIS.Aligning with one sectarian group of the Muslim world and alienating the other is a dumb and dangerous strategy. Instability in this part of the world is caused more by the internal civil war than their hatred of the West.There is a very strong case for developing a balance between these forces and use carrots and sticks with both to keep them in line.

          18. JLM

            .Invoking the three day rule. Last comment.The Iranians did not meet our President at the end of a red carpet, worship him, and do a sword dance with him.In foreign policy, we dance with the gal who brung us.Picking winners is always a good strategy, particularly if you can make them into even bigger winners.There is no chance that Iran will regain a good relationship with the US while under the thumb of the Ayatollahs. We can do business with the House of Saud.Good discussion, but, alas, it ends.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  8. jason wright

    so in this future we think we see coming will there still be the need for companies, for incorporated entities? we each become a business, we are each our own means of production… to paraphrase Karl Marx.’the end of entities’ would be the title of my unwritten blog post. it would be fascinating to see a country or a region of a country ‘disincorporate’ its economy. would its people flourish or flounder?

  9. Seine

    I understand the Community piece and the use of Ethereum as the basis for a new business model. I don’t understand when one gives Wikipedia to illustrate this community business model. From what I understand Wikipedia runs mostly on donation. Could some one help elaborating a little more the business model of theis new Community/Ethereum economy? THX

  10. dineshn72

    From one husband to another, I understand the pain you went through when you misrepresented the missus ๐Ÿ™‚ And yes, it takes a real man to apologize for that on a public blog ๐Ÿ™‚ Cheers Fred!

  11. sigmaalgebra

    NYT? Gee, there IS a connection after all!!!!!Months ago I sent e-mail to the publisher of the NYT, mentioning some of the worst of their made-up, cooked-up, stirred-up, totally fake content (e.g., NYT claims of (A) significant global warming caused by CO2 from human activities and (B) Trump accosting women), and said that his rag was “dead to me”. It still is, likely will be forever if only because the descending NYT will likely be all out of business long before I’m ready to consider their rag again.Each day I am highly determined, just absolutely, positively, to ignore the NYT — on paper it can’t compete with Charmin and on the Web is useless even for wrapping dead fish heads.So, now each day I’m fully successful at ignoring the NYT and accomplish this for nearly no time at all! E.g., if Hacker News or Drudge Report links to the NYT, then as soon as I discover this I click away.To me, the NYT is the unchallenged, unique, world-class, grand champion of deliberately US destructive, subversive nonsense.Away from Manhattan, the influence of the NYT falls off faster than a low variance Gaussian bell curve.The situation is much the same for the WaPo and LAT, ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, WSJ, Financial Times, Reuters, AP, Politico, and BBC — guilt-ridden, anxiety-ridden, OCD, liberal, socialist, Communist propaganda MSM.Information? I like information, but the Internet is awash in information, MUCH more credible than the NYT propaganda. Often the core of a newsie story is old in which case can just click over to Wikipedia and get a good view of what the heck the real situation is. For something like a new computer virus, maybe just read some Microsoft newsletters, e.g., about server message blocks (which I’m not using) or some such.For what Trump said, well, then, gee, just see what the heck Trump actually said, the actual words of Trump himself, on Twitter, from some C-SPAN or YouTube video of what he said, from the video of one of his weekly reports to the nation, from video of one of his rallies, from some press statement from the White House. Gee., Trump can put out just one Tweet, within the 140 characters or whatever the limit is, and the newsies can do dozens of stories and broadcasts each with hundreds of words — total bummer.The newsies are the middlemen, “playing both ends against the middle”.The newies just shovel sewage. E.g., now we have the media royal Dan Rather on Trump “The hunter becomes the hunted.”. Garbage. We have Mika’s “news porn” — more garbage. Mika needs to be at home taking care of some puppies — I’d feel sorry for any kids she was taking care of. We have the NBC’s Trump “grabbing” women — he never said he did; he said that some women would permit it; he was 100% correct; JFK did it to Mimi Alford in the White Househttp://rockcenter.nbcnews.c…The newsies have been shoveling sewage for 200+ years. Jefferson explained the situation very clearly:http://press-pubs.uchicago….Uh, the NYT wants to measure the temperature of the Arctic and the earth via pictures of polar bears! Gee, guys, how about using a thermometer? “The warmest years on record” — total lie. The Medieval warm period was significantly warmer. CO2 from human activities is warming the planet? What about the significant global cooling from 1940 to 1970 during a period of very active human industrial activity?For 800,000 years, the temperature has changed, both up and down, significantly, but there is NO, not even one, example where significantly lower temperatures were closely preceded by significantly lower atmospheric concentrations of CO2; this shows that lower temperatures have a cause other than lower CO2 concentrations. Then, what the heck is THAT cause? And there is at most one case where significantly higher temperatures were closely preceded by significantly higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Not difficult observations, guys; don’t need to solve the Navier-Stokes equations to get this far.Net, it’s totally clear that there are causes of significant temperature changes that have nothing to do with CO2 or human sources of CO2.Next, the idea that realistic levels of CO2 concentrations have anything at all to do significant temperature changes is just unscientific, wild guessing — there’s no significant scientific support for such a claim. Indeed, the modeling efforts were nearly all total flops, nearly all predicted much higher temperatures by now, e.g., as inhttp://www.energyadvocate.c…Yes, Virginia, CO2 is a greenhouse gas. So is water vapor. So what?Net, there’s no reason to be complicated about it; the NYT is junk. So, junk it. Done.The NYT bothers me no more!

  12. Twain Twain

    I agree on two points:(1.) New protocols.(2.) Attention-based models will be disrupted.The question is by what and how.On the protocols and AI front, a LOT of scope for changing protocols to get to Natural Language Understanding by the machines.Instead of attention-based graph model, it will need to go to an ATTENUATION-BASED biochem model. https://uploads.disquscdn.chttps://uploads.disquscdn.c

  13. Brendan Bernstein

    Fred, does your investment in twitter clash with your prediction that the attention based business model will be disrupted by tokens? Could twitter adapt to this token based business model? Thinking off the cuff here, but what if they raised funding with tokens to buy out shareholders or exchange equity for tokens? In my mind it won’t be them that does it but interesting to think through nonetheless

  14. george

    Love your comment, “education is the answer to most of these problems.” NYC is exhibiting great outcomes through a community based leadership approach. Yes, people actually can make a difference and directly change the course of relevant education.