What Happened In 2017

As has become my practice, I celebrate the end of a year and the start of a new one here at AVC with back to back posts focusing on what happened and then thinking about what might happen.

Today, we focus on what happened in 2017.


I went back and looked at my predictions for 2017 and I completely whiffed on the breakout year for crypto. I did not even mention it in my post on New Year’s Day 2017.

Maybe I got tired of predicting a breakout year for crypto as I had mentioned it in my 2015 and 2016 predictions, but whatever the cause, I completely missed the biggest story of the year in tech.

If you look at the Carlota Perez technology surge cycle chart, which is a framework I like to use when thinking about new technologies, you will see that a frenzy develops when a new technology enters the material phase of the installation period. The frenzy funds the installation of the technology.

2017 is the year when crypto/blockchain entered the frenzy phase. Over $3.7bn was raised by various crypto teams/projects to build out the infrastructure of Internet 3.0 (the decentralized Internet). To put that number into context, that is about equal to the total seed/angel investment in the US in 2017. Clearly, not all of that money will be used well, maybe very little of it will be used well. But, like the late 90s frenzy in Internet 1.0 (the dialup Internet) provided the capital to build out the broadband infrastructure that was necessary for Internet 2.0 (the broadband/mobile Internet), the frenzy in the crypto/blockchain sector will provide the capital to build out the infrastructure for the decentralized Internet.

And we need that infrastructure badly. Transaction clearing times on public, open, scaled blockchains (BTC and ETH, for example) remind me of the 14.4 dialup period of the Internet. You can get a taste of what things will be like, but you can’t really use the technology yet. It just doesn’t work at scale. But it will and the money that is getting invested via the frenzy we are in is going to make that happen.

This is the biggest story in tech in 2017 because transitions from Internet 1.0 to Internet 2.0 to Internet 3.0 cause tremendous opportunity and tremendous disruption. Not all of the big companies of the dialup phase (Yahoo, AOL, Amazon, eBay) made a healthy transition into the mobile/broadband phase. And not all of the big companies of the broadband/mobile phase (Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon) will make a healthy transition into the decentralized phase. Some will, some won’t.

In the venture business, you wait for these moments to come because they are where the big opportunities are. And the next big one is coming. That is incredibly exciting and is why we have these ridiculous valuations on technologies that barely/don’t work.

The Beginning Of The End Of White Male Dominance:

The big story of 2017 in the US was the beginning of the end of white male dominance. This is not a tech story, per se, but the tech sector was impacted by it. We saw numerous top VCs and tech CEOs leave their firms and companies over behavior that was finally outed and deemed unacceptable.

I think the trigger for this was the election of Donald Trump as President of the US in late 2016. He is the epitome of white male dominance. An unapologetic (actually braggart) groper in chief. I think it took something as horrible as the election of such an awful human being to shock the US into deciding that we could not allow this behavior any more. Courageous women such as Susan Fowler, Ellen Pao, and many others came forward and talked publicly about their struggles with behavior that we now deem unacceptable. I am not suggesting that Trump’s election caused Fowler, Pao, or any other woman to come forward, they did so out of their own courage and outrage. But I am suggesting that Trump’s election was the turning point on this issue from which there is no going back. It took Nixon to go to China and it took Trump to end white male dominance.

The big change in the US is that women now feel empowered, maybe even obligated, to come forward and tell their stories. And they are telling them. And bad behavior is being outed and long overdue changes are happening.

Women and minorities are also signing up in droves to do public service, to run for office, to start companies, to start VC firms, to lead our society. And they will.

Like the frenzy in crypto, this frenzy in outing bad behavior, is seeding fundamental changes in our society. I am certain that we will see more equity in positions of power for all women and minorities in the coming years.

The Tech Backlash:

Although I did not get much right in my 2017 predictions, I got this one right. It was easy. You could see it coming from miles away. Tech is the new Wall Street, full of ultra rich out of touch people who have too much power and not enough empathy. Erin Griffith nailed it in her Wired piece from a few weeks ago.

Add to that context the fact that the big tech platforms, Facebook, Google, and Twitter, were used to hack the 2016 election, and you get the backlash. I think we are seeing the start of something that has a lot of legs. Human beings don’t want to be controlled by machines. And we are increasingly being controlled by machines. We are addicted to our phones, fed information by algorithms we don’t understand, at risk of losing our jobs to robots. This is likely to be the narrative of the next thirty years.

How do we cope with this? My platform would be:

  1. Computer literacy for everyone. That means making sure that everyone is able to go into GitHub and read the code that increasingly controls our lives and understand what it does and how it works.
  2. Open source vs closed source software so we can see how the algorithms that control our lives work.
  3. Personal data sovereignty so that we control our data and provision it via API keys, etc to the digital services we use.
  4. A social safety net that includes health care for everyone that allows for a peaceful radical transformation of what work is in the 21st century.

2017 brought us many other interesting things, but these three stories dominated the macro environment in tech this year. And they are related to each other in the sense that each is a reaction to power structures that are increasingly unsustainable.

I will talk tomorrow about the future, a future that is equally fraught with fear and hope. We are in the midst of massive societal change and how we manage this change will determine how easily and safely we make this transition into an information driven existence.

#blockchain#bots#crypto#Current Affairs#economics#employment#machine learning#mobile#policy#Politics#VC & Technology#Web/Tech

Comments (Archived):

  1. mikenolan99

    Happy New Year friends!

  2. awaldstein

    I as well give Trump the credit for setting the ground for change in the cultural power shift of our society.It takes a true aberration sometimes to drive profound change. He is truly that.Happy New Year to all in the community.

    1. fredwilson

      “it takes an aberration to drive profound change”so true, so truehappy new year arnold

    2. bsoist

      Happy New Year, Arnold!

      1. awaldstein

        Back at ya my friend!

    3. Mark Essel

      Happy new year!Also enjoyed the year look back Fred.

  3. CJ

    Having followed you for the last decade or more, I’m very disappointed that I missed out on the beginning of the Cryptoboom. Learned a valuable lesson from that. You can see the train coming a mile away and still not be on the platform when it arrives.The tech backlash feels like opportunity. I don’t think the public wants the things that would enable them to be good stewards of their own techno-lives. They just want the results. It’ll be interesting which startup or existing company gets there first and makes control over one’s digital life profitable.One thing that I’ve personally learned – or maybe internalized – even as I’ve known it for most of my adult life. There is a LOT of money in this world. That’s still a hard to grasp having grown up on the westside of Chicago. I’m an independent consultant and had my best year ever – and I’ve still yet to scratch the surface to this market. People will pay for things you think asinine, expertise you think banal, and execution that you think subpar. Putting those thoughts to work and capitalizing on them is my goal for 2018.Giving back is more rewarding for the giver than I could have ever imagined. I plan to do a lot more of that in 2018.Those are my lessons from 2017.

    1. fredwilson

      i agree about giving back. particularly if you make it a combo of time, knowledge, and money

      1. Lawrence Brass

        Having time, knowledge and money at the same time is a privilege, willing to share it and doing so is what makes the big difference and shine.Keep shining!

      2. CJ

        Agree totally. I’d tried variations of those that excluded or minimized time and didn’t feel like I achieved as much as spending just one hour with a group of high schoolers who had no idea about Silicon Valley. In 2017. Can you fathom that?In any case, that’s when I realized that *I* could make a difference and 2018 will hopefully see me spending more of my time to do so.

    2. Donna Brewington White

      Glad to hear that you are doing well.Happy New Year, CJ!

      1. CJ

        Happy New Year Donna! The best is yet to come! 🙂

  4. William Mougayar

    Re: Crypto, actually I’ve seen $5B as the number raised by ICOs for 2017, but the median has been dropping in Q4, and the number of cancelled ICOs have been rising.That said, I’m not sure that the actually break has given us the maximum valuation that would eventually bring everything tumbling. I think there is more air in the pump.

    1. DJL

      It does seem like the cloud is settling. Is it fair to say that crypto has sped up its own boom-bust cycle? I have been on ICO watch for months and the stuff that comes up is just crazy.

    2. bsoist

      I have some questions for you about the three points in this post, but I am going to hold them until after tomorrow’s post. 🙂 Let’s see if @fredwilson:disqus has any predictions about how they relate.

    3. jason wright

      there’s more headroom…for the better projects. I expect the total market cap will migrate to the better projects during 2018. the rest will fall away.

  5. SebastienNantes

    Just an amazing post, the post of the year !

    1. Skeptical By Nature

      Really? Please show me *one* original thought or idea in that post.

      1. fredwilson

        there are no original ideas in it. providing context and interpretation is as valuable as original thought.

        1. aminTorres

          “Skeptical By Nature” hehe, I almost dont want to say anything further. Keep them coming Fred, for every person who wakes up in the wrong side of the bed there are at least 99 more that the first thing they open up in the morning is AVC.

      2. fredwilson

        and why are you so grumpy? did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed or something? there is a way to have a conversation. but being a dick is not one of them.

        1. PhilipSugar

          Here is a feature I would like: Anybody without a real name I can block. I suppose I’d take initials but hiding behind some made up name???

          1. Salt Shaker

            I resent that remark 🙂 iPhone XI will out me w/ improved (and reverse) facial recognition software. Sigh. I’m on the clock. Will either have to bunker down or seek witness protection. Happy New Year!

          2. PhilipSugar

            Happy New Year. Good point!

          3. sigmaalgebra

            Quite broadly anonymity is important and can be really important, and quite generally the Internet is a threat to anonymity. Once lost, it’s super tough to get it back. But, here at AVC, what is in a user name but the string of their posts? Why do you also want lost anonymity, that is, e-mail address, street address, phone number, full name, age, plus all the rest parked on various rotating iron platters around the world?

      3. SebastienNantes

        “And not all of the big companies of the broadband/mobile phase (Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon) will make a healthy transition into the decentralized phase. Some will, some won’t”.”The frenzy in the crypto/blockchain sector will provide the capital to build out the infrastructure for the decentralized Internet”.”Like the frenzy in crypto, this frenzy in outing bad behavior, is seeding fundamental changes in our society. I am certain that we will see more equity in positions of power for all women and minorities in the coming years”.”I will talk tomorrow about the future, a future that is equally fraught with fear and hope. We are in the midst of massive societal change and how we manage this change will determine how easily and safely we make this transition into an information driven existence”.

        1. fredwilson

          quoting me without any commentary by you is another way not to have a conversation. can you say what is on your mind?

          1. SebastienNantes

            Of course, is such an honor to have a conversation with a myth. I find it very interesting the idea not to go back on predictions and under the guise of self-criticism on the non mention of cryptos, talk about long-term trends, which are the only ones interesting for me, whether on the map intellectual or investment. I’m talking here about the openness of the economy to women and minorities, the blockchain and especially the decentralized internet. The latter will open the digital economy to all and for basic uses, other than the mere consumption of goods. It is in my philosophy, I make responsible investment, even if I see a short term fashion that can pay big, I do not go because I think impact as much as return on investment.

          2. fredwilson

            i am not sure i understand your point, but maybe that is my fault. in any case, this is exactly what i was hoping you would/could do. thanks

      4. Chimpwithcans

        Muppet. Get back in your box.

  6. Skeptical By Nature

    “A social safety net that includes health care for everyone…” Before the wonderful Obamacare, I paid $658 a month for a family of four. In 2016, my cost was $1,892 with an $18k deductible and crappy coverage. I had to curtail some of my entrepreneurial projects and take a day job. So #4 is a great one if you are trying to make it harder for people to bootstrap new ventures and companies without prostrating themselves at the feet of the money men.

    1. fredwilson

      i am not arguing for Obamacare. i am arguing for getting insurance companies and employers out of the healthcare business and making it more efficient

      1. DJL

        Shazam! I think we agree on healthcare (if you include getting government out of the way as well.)

        1. fredwilson

          i am open to any way to make healthcare more efficient. i know that getting employers and insurers out is necessary. if we can do that without getting the government more involved, i am all for that.

          1. DJL

            Here is my idea: Why can’t the Feds set up a fund to provide free healthcare to anyone who qualifies. The insurance companies can bid on the business (12-20 millions customers) as long as they don’t cheat. If you run the numbers, this is 10x cheaper that Obamacare and everyone is covered with a nice plan.

          2. bsoist

            anyone who qualifiesWhat do you mean?

          3. sigmaalgebra

            Let me introduce you to Hill-Burton hospitals, Community Health Centers, Medicaid, Medicare, CHIP, etc.

          4. DJL

            I totally agree. But the R’s do a terrible job of marketing. They should bundle these together and call it “Free Healthcare for the Needy” and we would be done.But no. The goal of Socialists and Liberal media is to CONTROL. So helping the needy was never the goal of Obamacare. So I have to call BS on myself.

      2. Richard

        you are missing a few things. Having employers provide health insurance works and works well. It’s helps motivate many to be responsible, choose a career and manage risk and reward. Having insurers act as a middle man also seems to makes sense; they do a lot a work behind the scenes and are paid fairly for their work.

        1. fredwilson

          it does not because it makes people immune to the cost of healthare

          1. Richard

            You are still missing the big picture. Insurance companies whittle down the cost for you. Talk to any physician out there, these folks are not over paid and pay income taxes. Who is over paid here?

        2. ThatAdamGuy

          Respectfully, firmly disagree. Tying healthcare to employment is and always has been a TERRIBLE idea.- Lose your job, lose your healthcare (or at least healthcare continuity).- Want to strike out on your own as an entrepreneur? Ha! Get ready to leave that nice free insurance plan aside and pay through the nose.No, what we need is single payer / universal healthcare like all other civilized, first world countries offer.

          1. Richard

            Single page would be an unmitigated disaster. Treatments options for health issues is hard. Who are the so called experts willing to leave the private sector and make these decisions for you. Think politics won’t enter into the decisions? Who is going to get these so called experts ? Is it the same plan for 300M people? The portability of insurance is nice, but in the end let gov focus on those who can’t help themselves. As for you, get out there and learn how to be an insurance shopper. If you have a health issue, join a large company. We all have to make compromises in life. We are not hear to make thatadamguy’s life a cake walk.

          2. ThatAdamGuy

            So… insurance companies are somehow more fair, less biased arbiters of who can get which treatment? Sorry, I don’t believe that.re “same plan for 300M people”… the way it works in Germany, France, and many other countries around the world is that everyone gets free basic healthcare. Folks can also pay for private insurance if they want it.Mind you, I have experience with healthcare in other countries… and it’s been universally good to great.Other countries pay astronomically less per capita for healthcare. Drugs — often with pricing negotiated by the gov’t — also cost MASSIVELY less. Same with procedures like MRI scans, heart surgeries, etc.The U.S. offers great care to some, but at the cost of a wide swath of Americans going bankrupt due to medical bills and many (most) of us drowning in paperwork each year.From what I understand, the number of people in West Europe last year who went bankrupt due to medical bills is… zero. Think about that for a moment.

          3. Richard

            We live in the United States, with a culture radically different from any county. We spirited most of the worlds advances in healthcare, and many countries live off of our advances. Most counties outside the US benefit from our strength and prosperity. The drug industry and drug development is a crap shoot. Sometimes they win, sometimes they loose. Of course they will maximize revenue by selling things cheaper overseas. But make no mistake, drug development would come to a halt if they couldn’t make a sizable return. We are a people who expect the grocery have kale in the dead of winter on a cold New Years night and likewise we expect life saving medicine or operations 24/7/365. There is a cost for this. If you want a substandard healthcare, want to wait in line for a procedure or Medine, or want to wait for someone in the suburbs or Washington DC to approve your back surgery, feel free to move back to Eastern Europe. Lastly, doctors train for 10 years in this country and I’m not ready for the incentives and salary to be a police detective or a college professor to be greater than that of a physician. Again if you want centralized single payer healthcare, there are ample countries to pick from. But chances are that if you are a lucky VC selling startups to large corporations and you’ll be flying back to the US the next time you need next day stage IV cancer treatment.

          4. ThatAdamGuy

            Appreciate the conversation, but at this point I think we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

          5. Richard

            My New Years resolution is to be receptive. You might want to do the same. Read about or watch the documentary about the the development Her2 resistant breast cancer. See how this saved the lives of the wome in your life. We don’t need to gov to design cell phones, electric cars, or spaceships to mars, but you think we need it for medicine. The time for you to rethink this is NOW.

          6. ThatAdamGuy

            Appreciate the tip on further reading!Incidentally, I worked for a pharmaceutical company, my sister is a research scientist, and my dad is a retired science professor. I also have many friends in healthcare (practicing nurses and doctors). So I’m no stranger to this area ;).And along the lines of receptiveness, I hope you’ll chat with people in other countries from Singapore to Germany to Australia to learn what folks outside the U.S. think about their healthcare… and healthcare in the U.S.

      3. Pete Griffiths

        The US system costs approximately 2.5 as much as a percentage of GNP as any other developed economy and doesn’t cover everyone as their single payer systems do.

  7. tomp

    “Male Dominance”? There are many ways in which to describe misogyny. “Male Dominance” is not one of them.

    1. fredwilson

      what is going on is a lot more than the end of misogyny

      1. Frank W. Miller

        Lol. There’s definitely a sea change in progress. My opinion is, it will last until the next time the Huns come over the hill…

        1. sigmaalgebra

          It’s just newsie headlines. Any sense of change will be over in a month.

      2. Jeremy Robinson

        I appreciate your post today Fred and your ongoing blog in which you share your ideas and encourage those of us who post here to do like-wise. I don’t completely share your optimism that we are even near the end of misogyny. i think the racism story in this country is a story as old as the country itself. I do believe that our country’s ability to figure out both racism and misogyny will go a long way to determine how well we’re able to “win” vs. other nations in deploying our human resources.I’ve been to the American Legion. In fact, I’ve been to a lot of American Legion sites from my days when I was a newspaper reporter first in Connecticut and California when I was covering all sorts of people and events. Funny thing about American Legion. You don’t see any Black people or women at the American Legion. These are sometimes well-meaning old white men who are holding on to the past with everything they have.If you look at today’s military you’ll see mostly minorities serving and more and more women in powerful positions. The military is changing but it’s not changing the men who honorably served in the military years ago. Their star has faded and these folks are very angry about so many things they can’t even begin to articulate all the changes in the world that make them angry.Speaking of angry, I have to say, I’m angry at the few folks who post on this blog and take cheap shots at Fred’s posts when all Fred is doing is expressing his views and encouraging the rest of us to do like-wise.If you can’t be honorable and decent in this discourse, please keep your thoughts inside your own head and do not inflict your pain on others.There is change coming to this world. But ironically in order for this change to happen we need to continue to be a nation of people who abide by the rule of law. We need leaders who play within the boundaries of the rule of law and who do not constantly seek to break laws and bend rules when their side is not longer winning.

        1. JLM

          .The American Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919 and was the guiding light of the development of the legislative act, Serviceman’s Readjustment Act of 1944, known as the GI Bill.The American Legion differs from the Veterans of Foreign Wars in that anyone who served during periods of conflict (not necessarily in combat and not overseas) is eligible for membership in the American Legion.To join the VFW, you must be a veteran of a foreign war with active service in the theater of conflict.The American Legion is run by a National HQ in DC and has units in every state (Departments) and is further subdivided into Districts and Counties. The individual unit is a Post.Since its beginning, the American Legion has been a political entity while the VFW has been, primarily, fraternal though the VFW is active in politics as well.The Army was segregated until the Truman administration and, therefore, individual Posts were similarly segregated. During this period of segregation, there were and are many predominantly black American Legion Posts which continue to this day.Since a Post was always located in a community, a Post reflected the ethnicity of its members — “black” Posts were in black neighborhoods.While soldiers were eligible to join an American Legion Post, they had to have served on active duty during a period of war. Many soldiers were not eligible, particularly draftees who only served for two years.There are few women members because there were few women serving directly in the Army.You might go to a thousand American Legion Posts in rural areas with predominantly white membership because there were no black soldiers from those localities.Conversely, you could go to predominantly and historically black American Legion Posts with no white members in rural areas of the South.At the Department and National level there is full integration, the individual Posts continue to follow their original ethnic makeup.In general, the number of American Legion Posts is declining as there are very few veterans joining from the current military, primarily because of size.At the peak of Vietnam, there were about 4MM in the military.Today, including reserves, there are slightly more than 1MM in all services.The active duty Army is fewer than 450,000 today.Women make up about 15% of the active duty force (7% of the USMC). Some 40% of them are in the medical field with an equal number in admin capacities. There are a number of combat MOSs (military occupational specialties) from which women are barred.Women do not serve in the kind of units which develop extensive esprit de corps and they are, understandably, not joiners of the American Legion after service.Most American Legion membership is drawn from men who served in combat arms units (infantry, combat engineers, artillery, armor) and would feel comfortable going to an American Legion Post.Women who served as nurses, medics, administrators have nothing in common with combat arms vets.The American Legion is a dying breed as there are very few vets from a smaller military who are interested in joining. Most soldiers today are substantially better educated than their counterparts from the WWII, Korea, Vietnam vintage.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. Jeremy Robinson

            JLM- whew that’s an impressive post! Thank you for taking the time to educate me [and others] on the history of the American Legion. I very much appreciate your putting in the time and effort to not only do so but provide a constructive and civil dialogue on this listserv/blog.In the course of reading though this information, I of course, felt grateful for your efforts and wondered if you had seen the recent movie “The Darkest Hour” mostly about Churchill’s leadership struggles. I found myself feeling tears streaming down my cheeks for approximately 1/3 of the movie. Then again, I’m a very corny person and have that reaction to movies that touch my soul.Here’s to your thriving in 2018!

          2. JLM

            .I am mesmerized by Churchill and think him to be one of the greatest men in history. His mother was American.Great flick.Here’s to everyone thriving in 2018.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        2. PhilipSugar

          To be clear for those out in the country, frankly the American Legion is the meeting place where people can go. And you didn’t have to serve, and you don’t need somebody to sign you in (at least at our one) Now to be a member you do, but you can still go.

  8. Tom Labus

    If it wasn’t 10 below, I’d say this was an upper deck shot of a post.Maybe with crypto/blockchain we see our personal info more in our control. That would be a huge transition, if possible. How did Estonia pull this off?I have zero idea what voters saw in trump but do know there are dire economic consequences for electing someone so indifferent to gathering info for decisions.I wish everyone here at avc a happy new year and a great 18!!

    1. bsoist

      Happy New Year!

      1. Tom Labus

        Have a great 18 @bsoist:disqus

    2. JLM

      .Bad take on Pres Trump’s info gathering. He has surrounded himself with some of the most accomplished minds in the country.There are unassailable results which validate the advice he has received and acted upon.Paul Krugman, famously, joined you in predicting a world wide recession and the collapse of the American stock markets if Pres Trump were elected. Bit of a miss, no?Pres Trump — part time amateur that he is — will do just fine. Be long everything in 2018.Happy New Year, Tom. Hope you own 2018.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. fredwilson

        Krugman also predicted that the Internet would be no more impactful than the fax machine. he is not even worth talking about.

        1. JLM

          .One has to admire his consistency, no?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      2. Tom Labus

        Absolutely accurate. ” I’m the only one that matters.”He’s a moron and I can’t believe that you fell for his bs.

        1. JLM

          .As I have said ad infinitum, I support some of the guy’s policies. Policies.Some of his policies have been crackerjack.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  9. PhilipSugar

    The only thing I think you got wrong is that:”Facebook, Google, and Twitter, were used to hack the 2016 election, and you get the backlash”Nope, that is why tech is the new villain. They are viewed as so arrogant that they believe this. (Sorry that is the truth outside our circles) That is actually the backlash.Not debating any single point other than this. And you (and William) were so right on blockchain.After a long day of using a wood chipper yesterday (and sharing it with my neighbors) we went to the American Legion, serious question ever been to one in the country? So they could buy a round for use of the rented chipper.I was stunned by the number of Trump hats on and the vitriol about the NFL. These are working people that served our country. I am stunned by the number of people that have NEVER voted anything but Democratic, Union, Blue Collar, that support him, not tolerate, not say well he sucks but I hate everybody else more, but actually strongly support him.They view me as anomaly but accept me as a strange person that is willing to listen and willing to lend a hand.One guy pointed at me and said I saw that crazy guy in the shorts using a Stihl blower to blow off all the snow on his entire block in Flip Flops. Was he using the chipper in shorts (with boots) in this weather? I love his Truck and Boat, but he drives some weird Volvo with Radar, this is what tech people don’t get.

    1. Lawrence Brass

      I recall you talked about these people before the elections.Elites need to take a look outside their bastion glass walled cities to understand.

      1. PhilipSugar

        I am telling you I have the affinity and the time to work with people outside my circle, not come in for an event.Truly I am viewed as strange. I know what it is like to be the only person in a room that is not the same. That is from what I do, to how I dress, to the color of my skin.I’m telling you (I do not smoke) it even comes down to smoking. People literally HATE that people want to tell them they are a bad person for smoking.I don’t care what your view is on it, do not do it in my house or car, but if you want to do it when we are using the chipper, well I’m not saying anything.I came into this place to get a hunting gun serviced: http://jacksgunworks.com I usually drive my truck by I was driving my Volvo, I got asked….What do you do?

        1. Lawrence Brass

          I smoked tobacco for a very long time. I quit because i got the conviction that it was killing me and yes i hated when people trying to help gave me their speeches. Now i say that i am a smoker that don’t smoke anymore and try to tell my story without judging.I think that evolution gave most of us brains hardwired for tribal and tribal scale interactions where thinking the same and looking similar is a good thing, a safe thing. How can you understand team sport fans otherwise?A few other of us have ‘explorer brains’ that don’t set for everything an go to other places and discover new tribes and things and enjoy it. I guess you are one of those.Perhaps if you quit using that propeller hat things will return to normal. 🙂

          1. Richard

            I encourage people all the time to quit smoking. And they should, in consideration for the people around them.

          2. PhilipSugar

            Ok, I break my policy of not talking to anonymous people…..Mumbai? 5 packs a day just from the air quality: https://www.indiatimes.com/…Shanghai: A mere two packs: http://www.businessinsider….I go to both. You smoking outside in the countryside??? Downwind of me???Get off the high horse. Don’t buy a SmartPhone and don’t use websites programmed by programmers.People like you get people like me seriously annoyed.

          3. Richard

            Seriously, I’ll break for policy for not swearing at selfish hubris morons, screw you!Breathe free or dieMalibu Ca

          4. PhilipSugar

            You know people don’t get it. I returned to the Dominican Republic where I love for Christmas. This is only my second time at this place. Everybody remembers me and they joke that I am “Big Poppy” or use my last name and must be black but it somehow doesn’t show.Yes, part of it is because I tip the “princely” sum of $3 per night for the maid (half a day pay) and tip a dollar per meal or drink, I know that gets around because they sleep in dorms. (Europeans tip nothing….just don’t get that, they say tips are included, but it is a trivial amount)But a big part of it is that I look at them as a fellow human being. A person that I love, not a peasant that is serving me.

      2. CJ

        It’s funny because my perspective is that the ‘everyman’ needs to stop believing that the 50s are coming back. They need to stop conflating patriotism and brotherhood with conservatism, and they need to stop blaming external forces for internal issues.

        1. Speednet21

          People like you need to stop telling other people with different opinions what they do and don’t need to do. How about focusing on yourself, and perhaps even trying to see things through other peoples’ eyes for a change.

          1. CJ

            How about you address that to @lawrencebrass:disqus as my comment was in response to him doing exactly what you stated. Or did you only reply to me because you disagree with my sentiment?

          2. Speednet21

            I do disagree with your sentiment, which is why I replied to you. You are making a fair assessment that the same should be said to the writer you were responding to. I believe the only things that one side should be saying the other “needs” to do is to: (1) see things from the other’s perspective, and (2) respect others who have different opinions and stop labeling them as “stupid” and “wrong” for thinking differently, even with topics such as religion (i.e., Christianity or global warming).

          3. CJ

            I didn’t label anyone as stupid but ‘wrong’ is different and objectively provable. People should be able to accept criticism of their beliefs and ideals and there are vanishing few people who can in today’s world. Climate challenge, for example, is scientifically provable. I won’t entertain someone’s opinion that it doesn’t exist.As far as seeing things from another’s perspective, this is a narcissistic country that doesn’t believe anything happens unless it happens to them. Poor white rural folks think that the disappearance of factory jobs is new with them, they’re wrong. It happened in the inner cities decades ago. The opium crisis? Crack rush in the 80s. I could go on. If this country was capable of seeing the perspective of other people we would be so much better off, for self and each other.

          4. Speednet21

            You’re right that climate change is scientifically provable, because it has taken place every single year in the Earth’s 4 billion year history. What you cannot say with scientific proof is that human beings have caused it in recent years, or even if they have, to what extent. A provable fact is that the sun’s level of activity causes warming or cooling trends. Also, we can say for a fact that the Earth’s natural volcanic processes affect the climate. Human beings causing the climate to change? The only way that has been shown is with data and charts that have been heavily modified in order to support the bias. When it comes to human activity, scientists suddenly forget scientific principles, and deem human-caused global warming as “settled science” — meaning is is no longer falsifiable. And that’s factually wrong.You may believe the country is narcissistic, but that is only your opinion, derived from your own personal experiences, and driven by the media you choose to consume. From my perspective, the very people you demean as “wrong” for decrying the loss of USA manufacturing jobs are the exact opposite of “narcissistic”, and in fact are some of the least narcissistic people you can find. They are kind, giving, generous people who are angry at globalists who think they can solve the world’s ills by creating policies that make it impossible to do manufacturing in the USA.It is literally not the job of the US government to solve the world’s ills. It is written into their job description that their only job is to help the citizens of this country and keep them safe. If the government can help other people around the world without harming our own citizens, that’s great — but never at the expense of our own citizens or economy. Other countries should do the same (and they largely do).If you’re one of those people who think that we can make everyone sing Kumbaya by transferring our wealth and well-being to other countries, or by reforming us as a Socialist society, then you should realize that you are espousing a philosophy that has never been successful in the history of the world.

          5. CJ

            You may believe the country is narcissistic, but that is only your opinion, derived from your own personal experiences, and driven by the media you choose to consume. From my perspective, the very people you demean as “wrong” for decrying the loss of USA manufacturing jobs are the exact opposite of “narcissistic”, and in fact are some of the least narcissistic people you can find. They are kind, giving, generous people who are angry at globalists who think they can solve the world’s ills by creating policies that make it impossible to do manufacturing in the USA.There is a difference between being selfless in your community and narcissistic to those outside of it. My point is simple – take care of everyone in the country and everyone gets taken care of. The people that you speak of watched, criminalized, and demonized the canaries in the coal mine a generation ago. Now as history repeats for them, they expect favorable treatment as if this is a first. It’s not and they won’t get it. That’s narcissistic.They denied that the collapse of inner-city manufacturing was a global economic trend, they pinned it on race. They allocated blame to moral character during the crack rush and addiction problems that have devastated several generations of minority people, yet now that it affects them – it’s different. I call bullshit.The US is fully capable of taking care of ALL of its citizens in addition to everything else but while you demonize those issues – the people that we’re referring to are being pillaged by the new tax cut bill and the subsequent cuts to healthcare, medicare and social security that will be tried or passed to pay for it. Rubio and Mitch have already said as much.The issue isn’t the US is focused beyond its borders, the issue is that the people of the US aren’t focused beyond those that they identify with and that’s why they’re narcissists and that’s why they didn’t see this all coming and that’s why they won’t be able to stop it.

          6. Lawrence Brass

            I think you misinterpreted me CJ.

        2. JLM

          .Nobody on this blog is old enough to have been alive during the 1950s but me. They were not all that good. Sorry.As a country, we struggle to define what the term “patriotism” means.Conservativism (whatever that means) has no exclusive call on the term.There was a time that patriotism could be defined by actions, not anymore.Stay warm and have a Happy New Year.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. CJ

            That’s exactly my point JLM. There’s a substantial portion of this country that is sentimental about a time that only exists in their head.Patriotism is now flyovers at football games and support our troop ribbons, it’s not country first – everyone in the country. It’s divisive instead of inclusive. It’s get on board or get run over. It makes it extremely hard to critique the nation and improve it because you’re essentially branded a traitor without the words. Patriotism has been co-opted, even more so than typical, for political gain and it sucks. There is no longer any room for dissenting opinions.You and I don’t always agree on political topics but uniquely, we’re often able to discuss them. That’s a rarity in the country now and I feel like there is a significant effort to decrease the dialog rather than increase it and that’s a failure.Happy New Year JLM! No hope of staying warm here it’s currently -9F!

          2. JLM

            .Part of what has happened as it relates to patriotism — the love, support, defense of one’s country rising to a level of loyalty — is that we have stopped teaching our history.If one doesn’t know the history of our country, then it is impossible to love the country. What would one love?Further, there is no impetus to serve. When you have no skin in the game, you have no interest in the game because you have nothing to lose.I was at a meeting of Election Judges last week and someone observed that this cross section of persons, most older, were dedicated. Most, like me, had been Election Judges for a long time.You and I are able to discuss things amicably because neither of us are thin skinned whiny ass bitches (a technical term).I always take the most interest in those I respect and with whom I do not always agree. I am not wedded to anything and can only learn from people who hold different views which often modify mine. Respect.It is 25F in ATX, so you got me on that one. Get warm. Stay warm. Happy New Year, CJ.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    2. mikenolan99

      My wife’s dad ran the American Legion club in Adams, Minnesota (population 787) – been to one? My wedding reception was there!

      1. PhilipSugar

        Seriously, a different world. I love that world, always have, but I go to them diners and bowling alleys as well as white tie events in Philly this time of year which I also love (Men are required a hat, women white gloves). I cannot tell you the difference.

        1. mikenolan99

          Agreed – my family owned the farm country station in southern Minnesota – lots of great people working hard. Nothing like the chicken and corn feed, $2 taps and country music on the jukebox.BTW – I was just in Philly presenting at ThinkFest… next time I’m in town, let’s grab a coffee…

          1. PhilipSugar

            I need to find you in MN as well. I get to Butler Square (next to Target Field) but I hate going there in the Winter.

          2. mikenolan99

            Spring break in Minneapolis occurs in June… 🙂

          3. bsoist

            I went to Bemidji in June one time. I remember it was warm enough to canoe and wade in the lake, but it didn’t really feel like Spring Break weather to me.

          4. mikenolan99

            The coldest winter I can remember is a memorial day weekend in Bemidji… (Not my line)

          5. pointsnfigures

            When the black flies come out…..

    3. fredwilson

      i get that they love him. i get why they hate us. but that doesn’t make him a good person.

      1. PhilipSugar

        I am not arguing that point one bit. Not one bit.But what I am saying is that we (hate saying that) need to reach out and understand their views and then you don’t get a Trump.

        1. fredwilson

          i agree with that. this community has changed my views on guns, health care, and a host of other things. it would be great if the people who helped me understand those things learned a thing or two here as well

          1. PhilipSugar

            Well I hope (and think) I have.

        2. cavepainting

          Trump voters are just like any of us wanting a better quality of life and their government to be more effective and less wasteful. But Trump is not looking out for them (check out the tax bill for God’s sake).If people vote in large enough numbers, the elected candidates will more accurately reflect the society that they represent.For all those who want to fight Trump, their time, money, and effort is better spent in getting people to understand the value of their vote and exercise it without fail. There can be no greater cause with profound societal consequences.

      2. LE

        Just so you know part of the reason that people support him is because other people are telling them they are stupid for supporting him and it’s not what they should be doing. In other words the more you tell them ‘he is not a good person and anyone who supports him obviously is not a good person and they are an idiot’ will simply make them dig their heels in and be less likely to see what the truth is.Certainly you have heard stories growing up or even now about children who marry people that their parents are dead set against and the more the parent says ‘you suck’ the parties in question bond and become closer. [1]One other thought extremism on either side (conservative or liberal) is not good (or even more so with religion as you probably know).So there are (as I have said before) a fair amount of people that voted for him not because they liked or approved of him but because it was a way to say ‘fuck you’ to liberals who simply were not interested in ceding any ground in what they believe in. (You know the same thing that has kept the middle east at war forever). And more importantly telling people who didn’t agree with them that they were stupid or not moral and so on. That is typically not the way you get what you want from someone who doesn’t think like you.[1] This also happens with child rearing. If you have many kids and one is the perfect kid and you use that kid to tell the other kid(s) ‘you suck you are not them’ they don’t become more like ‘them’ they go completely in the opposite direction (many times of course everyone is different obviously).

        1. sigmaalgebra

          Why do a lot of “working class” people in “fly over” states support Trump?To me, there are many really solid reasons. Here is just one:Trump is for “America first” and against “globalism”.For just part of that, a lot of people saw the horrible waste of Viet Nam, Gulf War II, and Akrapistan.My rough, first-cut, back of the envelope estimate is that those “absurd foreign adventures” of LBJ, Nixon, W, and Obozo, cost the average US family about $300,000 in current money, that is, in nearly all the fly-over states, a nice house.Results: A lot of couples couldn’t buy a house. A lot of wives went to work. The birth rate is so low we are going extinct, literally. There are lots of broken families and single parents.Sure, LBJ, Nixon, W, and Obozo were/are at least moderately wealthy, but those Trump voters are not.So, Trump is against wasting precious US blood and treasure on absurd foreign adventures. During the campaign, he made that point crystal clear and rock solid, and it got him a lot of votes.The Bush family and their allies are still for their versions of globalism where the US runs the world.McCain still wants to do that. E.g., see his recent speech as a Munich security conference athttps://medium.com/@Senator…For more on what is wrong with US elitist globalism, from a recent, relevant Newt Gingrich column:During the campaign, candidate Trump articulated a stronger and stronger critique of the existing national security and foreign policy consensus. By the South Carolina primary, he was repudiating President George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq. Throughout the campaign, his contempt and hostility for the Obama policies were intense, resolute, and unhesitating.The new National Security Strategy report is an extraordinary break with the globalist elite model of a “New World Order,” which had defined U.S. foreign policy from the early 1990s, when the collapse of the Soviet Union made the Reagan Doctrine outmoded – because it had worked.

          1. ErdosNumberOne

            Off topic, but I really enjoy it when smart people use the term “Obozo” to describe the former President. It makes me want to engage them with intelligent and meaningful discourse and take what they say seriously!

          2. sigmaalgebra

            Take Obozo seriously: It’s a really nice, delicate, respectful substitute for the real situation.

          3. ErdosNumberOne

            :whoosh:You just proved my point, I was talking about taking YOU seriously #TooDumbToBeDumb

          4. sigmaalgebra

            I meant “take the name, the term, “Obozo” seriously”. Again, just look at the record and see that calling him “Obozo” is very kind.

          5. ShanaC


        2. cavepainting

          You are correct. But psychological dynamics apart, he very much seems like a narcissistic blowhard who is in this for his own ego and pride than any sense of dignity or service. There is enough evidence of that. It just means that his decisions are optimized for self and politics, not for long term national interests.It is not dissimilar to what has happened countless times in history, including the British empire’s success in India and elsewhere. People initially think an outsider is looking out for them and see him as their friend who can vanquish their local enemies. Then suddenly, you realize that it has fundamentally changed the nature of the country and you have taken a hard fork in the road. The outsider was after all, not looking out for you and had a different agenda.

          1. sigmaalgebra

            You’ve got some specifics?

          2. creative group

            cavepainting:Did you just attempt to introduce history to support a position? This usually is effective with the well read.The response only proved it was a futile attempt.Not having the ability to discern between people’s opinions and factual occurrences requires special skills. (Intelligence)Captain Obvious!#UNEQUIVOCALLYUNAPOLOGETICALLYINDEPENDENT

        3. Marc Love

          This is an argument that could be made for literally any political position held by any person anywhere on the political spectrum.For instance, no matter how many “Trump voter” profile explainers the New York Times publishes for liberal coast dwellers, liberal coast dwellers aren’t going to shut up about how much they hate him for all the awful things he’s doing to our country.So it’s not a very compelling argument. Yes, people tend to dig their heals in when you tell them they’re wrong. That’s human nature, even outside of politics. It doesn’t imbue any legitimacy to either side’s position. It doesn’t validate their support of him or change the legitimacy of Trump’s candidacy or make Trump any less awful a person.

        4. Neo

          If Progressives actually believed in diversity and inclusiveness, Trump would have no power.The key to diversity and inclusiveness is that you have to embrace the horror and stop referring to “them”..

      3. LE

        i get why they hate us.If you want to understand why they ‘hate’ you it’s because tech doesn’t not follow the rules of what I will call (and invent) ‘the mythical mafia’.The mythical mafia kills people, steals money, cheats and lives large.However they also give out turkeys at Christmas and are always there to help the little man when they are in need. (Remember this is ‘mythical’).So these people, well, they don’t care about what you do that doesn’t impact them directly now. (Especially if it appears to benefit people that aren’t from this country). And they don’t care about what is going to happen in 30 or 100 years because they feel they are ‘suffering’ now. They want you to fix that. They want the turkeys at Christmas and they want to get a job at the port authority (you know about that gig, right? If not you don’t understand this group of people.)Now someone comes along (who is rich no less; no Bernie) and says ‘I feel your pain’. And they say ‘ok this is someone who can maybe make it happen for us he understands us and what is important to us’. And then they buy it because just like people who have cancer will travel to some remote region of the world for a miracle cure they think the same could possibly happen. Make sense?

      4. JamesHRH

        I am still shocked that you use these terms.He took up their flag when no one would. It’s simply that.

        1. fredwilson

          at some point you need to stop being shocked. i am that guy. deal with it.

          1. JamesHRH

            I shall.Just for clarity, do you mind checking off the ‘that guy’ list?A) hate racistsB) think 50% + of Trump voters are racistsC) think supporters of Canadian style merit based / enforced immigration are unpatriotic or racistsD) think rural, under educated voters who voted Obama twice and then went high risk with Trump were thinking of over educated cortado sipping finance professionals on the coasts when ‘they’ pulled the lever and, therefore, ‘ hate you ‘ ‘?Ok, that last one is rhetoricalWishing you nothing but Health, Wealth, Happiness and Blockchain adoption in abundance in 2018 ( and maybe a smidge of interest in Presidential politics ;-)!!!!

      5. JLM

        .The story is that they don’t HATE you. Hate is an extreme left/right wing construct. They don’t even know you exist.The VFW and American Legion crowds are drawn together and held together by a respect for service to the country — including their own.They are divided by “their” wars. The WWII/Korea guys are almost all gone. While the Vietnam War Era (my bunch) are getting a little long in the tooth. Now, it’s the Middle East — Iraq/A’stan — bunch who are most prevalent.It is also divided by whether one was an officer, senior NCO, sergeant, or a junior enlisted man.It is divided by whether you were Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force.It is further divided as to whether one served in the combat arms — danger zone — or in the rear. Infantry, combat engineers, armor, artillery are different than the AG corps or Finance corps or MPs.In WWII, the perception is that almost everyone served, but the truth is the military was 12.3MM at the end of the war from a population of 140MM. An equal number of men were in “critical industries” and were not allowed to serve.In Vietnam, a total of 9MM men served in the armed forces from 5 Aug 1964 to 7 May 1975. Of these, 2.7MM served in Vietnam. Generationally, this is less than 9% of the applicable cohort of eligible males.This was not, as widely believed, a draftees war. There was a draft. The draft was good for equal burdensharing. It was also crooked as Hell.VFWs and American Legion Posts are located where the veterans live. They are not in LA or NYC. They are in the hinterlands.The same way that vets are not a homogeneous mass, they do not interact at a VFW in a bloc like manner (except for the fact they all drink beer, $0.25 beer).Each bloc of vets keeps to themselves except to have an amiable or friendly chat. There are some huge age differences.It is not a homogeneous group and it does not hold homogeneous views. Well, except for the consensus that Bowe Berghdahl did not serve with “honor and distinction” and should have gone to Leavenworth for life.The Big Kicker: Donald Trump was a bone spurred draft dodger. Few vets look at him as some kind of patriot, but they do like some of his policies.Believe me, draft dodgers — Clinton, Cheney, Phil Gramm, Trump — are not idolized by veterans for their draft dodging service.They like his policies:1. Renovating the God damn Veterans Administration and their health care delivery system;2. Revising the ROEs (rules of engagement) and unleashing the American military against ISIS, in Yemen, and in A’stan. [BTW, look at the results. Huge.]3. Delegating the war fighting to the war fighters. No more micro-managed target lists. Lieutenants and Captains are doing what they were supposed to do. Find, fix, and kill the enemy without the White House looking over their shoulder.4. Stopping the social petri dish inside the Pentagon. The military’s only legitimate yardstick is: does it improve the lethality of the force? Does it safeguard the lives of the warfighters? It is not a social experiment.5. Appointing men who are familiar with the challenges of soldiering — Mattis, McMaster, Kelly. And, letting them do their jobs.6. Teeing it up with N Korea and not kicking it down the road as has been the norm for 25 years.Know this — no veteran hates a guy because he is different. Vets don’t support the person Trump, they support his policies. His policies have been successful and vets will continue to support success.No vet is spending time worrying about either venture capital or the tax policy for the carried interest (well, other than me, haha).Last comment — Have you noticed the reverence Pres Trump has for the military? He is a classic “jock sniffer” projecting his own weakness and cowardice upon those whose company he is not fit to join.Pres Trump was not elected to be the Nation’s pastor. His policies are all that I or any vet really cares about.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. fredwilson

          if you want to right a blog post about military history, do that at the big red car please

          1. Speednet21

            Geez, the guy laid out a pretty thoughtful and detailed analysis from the point of view that you are obviously opposed to, and rather than learn from it you want it to simply disappear. SMH

          2. Chris

            Eh, I don’t know.I’m a vet and sometimes I get tired of these long posts about vets.It can come off as preachy to me.

          3. Speednet21

            I think tech geeks largely don’t have the slightest clue about vets and people who don’t live in a major metropolitan area. So when someone posts a really thoughtful message that carefully describes who these people are and what motivates them, that is not preachy, it is interesting. (At least for those who want to learn about them.) The trouble is that most tech geeks and “coastal elites” is that they don’t give a crap about who they are and they are not interested in knowing about them because they are “racist, backwards, angry people clinging to their bibles and guns”. Except that they’re not. They’re just as smart as the people criticizing them, and they are no more racist, backwards, or angry than the people criticizing them. They are simply people with different life experiences, different goals in life, and different opinions. Respect goes both ways or it goes no ways.

          4. fredwilson

            my dad is a retired general. i grew up on army bases. i know plenty about vets. my entire family are vets.

          5. Speednet21

            That makes me very surprised about your initial reply to JLM then.

          6. fredwilson

            he’s a long winded blowhard who dominates the conversations here and turns them into his personal soapbox. i allow it but it annoys the shit out of me.

          7. Speednet21

            OK, I didn’t realize there was previous history, sorry.

          8. sigmaalgebra

            I regard JLM’s posts as the high point of AVC. In simple terms, his posts have information that is good and relevant. To me, he writes the best content.He’s one of the best writers on national politics I know of, competitive with Gingrich and Coulter. Besides, Gingrich and Coulter are getting significant bucks from selling books, and AFAIK so far JLM is not; so, maybe JLM can be somewhat more objective.Gingrich is a grand expert on Congress, politics, and national security. Coulter is very perceptive on many fine points.Since I’ve been paying attention to national politics, to me, far and way, the most important topics are peace and prosperity.Since JFK, our biggest mistakes as a country have been in Viet Nam, Iraq, and Akrapistan. So, for national politics, the military and military history are important, even central, topics.Our next biggest mistakes have been in getting fast, stable economic growth, avoiding bubbles, and quickly correcting the harm from burst bubbles.In domestic policy, our biggest challenge is alleviating human suffering and improving the quality of life but without ruining our country by going for some version of European or Russian socialism. I see the key as working harder and smarter and baking a much larger pie and not so much cutting the existing pie in some strained, special ways.Likely the main bottleneck to progress on anything that requires politics is the role of special interest money.I see the mainstream media as a huge bottleneck to progress essentially just as in Jefferson’sNothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knolege with the lies of the day. fromThomas Jefferson to John Norvell 14 June 1807Works 10:417–18as athttp://press-pubs.uchicago….I see, then, one of the biggest bright spots for the US politics, the US, and civilization better information via the Internet.I don’t know what “soapbox” JLM has. AFAIK, he is just writing for whatever reasons. I could only make crude guesses at the reasons, and the guesses would be too crude to consider. I like the content and don’t much care about the reasons.If JLM’s content is good and popular on AVC, then that would seem also to be good for AVC.

          9. JLM

            .Come on, Nancy, you and I don’t agree about politics, nothing more.I was right about Trump and you don’t like the way it echoes in the chamber. I get that that annoys you.Which one of your dainty, squishy rules did you just violate?”1) We do not tolerate racism, sexism, and hate speech of any kind2) We seek to encourage a wide diversity of opinions3) Debate and discussion is expected4) We respect each other and are careful to use polite and civil language5) We avoid aggressive “in your face” language and trolling6) We do not ban, mute, or delete comments unless they are spam, porn, or hate speech.”Who do you email when you need a hand in Austin?Cowboy the fuck up. And, hey, Happy New Year!JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          10. SFG

            one, two, three, four and five. But who’s counting? JLM is one of the finest men to pull up an internet chair to and hash it out with. #respect

          11. JamesHRH

            Jeff can run long on the exposition, but his point is that Fred thinks Trump appeals to the worst in society and Jeff thinks his policies got him a large amount of support.

          12. JLM

            .Fair play. I’ll gladly plead guilty to preaching the virtues of guys who put their asses on the line so we can all sleep peacefully in our beds at night.I served with troops for most of my 5 years and I revered the sacrifices I saw made every day for lousy pay and under tough circumstances.I delivered a few dead, buried a few, told mothers their sons were dead, wrote letters to parents, and was personally responsible for a few of those cockups. I owe them.So, yeah, I can get a little preachy about the people who stand on the front lines and serve our Nation.Sorry if that makes you “tired.”Today, when I work with entrepreneurs, I would bounce a basketball through a minefield to help a guy who stood a post for us. But, hey, that’s just me.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          13. creative group

            fredwilson:One of the reasons we blocked him besides the lies is the essays.PS: No one is participating in the little red car the reason the six of them are here.Captain Obvious!#UNEQUIVOCALLYUNAPOLOGETICALLYINDEPENDENT

        2. sigmaalgebra

          On some criteria, you are really tough on Trump!I don’t blame Trump for not going to Viet Nam: In short, to borrow a position, Viet Nam was a war we were not winning, essentially could not win, should not have wished to win.The US in Viet Nam was a gigantic mistake, gigantic in what we did physically in the war and, for the US, even bigger in the thinking and philosophy of the various think tankers, elitists, global thinkers, wise men, gray beards, top policy advisors, position paper writers, lovers of absurd foreign adventures, arrogant, ambitious, power hungry, but cowardly politicians. So, we had Dean Rusk and his dominoes, part of “the old take over the world ploy”, falling, from Moscow and Peking, across SE Asia, the Philippines, Australia, Japan, South Korea, the South Pacific, …, and landing on the beaches of San Diego. We had Walt Rostow, Robert McNamara, General William Westmoreland, LBJ, Nixon, etc. “Best and the brightest” — how about elitist, arrogant, intellectually lazy, cowardly, with policies dumber than paint.Westmoreland figured he could wipe out the Viet Cong and the NVA right away. So did McNamara. They all believed that it was just crucial to all the peace in the world, avoiding WWIII, to stop the Big Red Tide right there at the DMZ.So, they saw (1) Moscow, Peking, and Hanoi as a new Axis and just a carbon copy of the WWII Axis of Berlin, Tokyo, and Rome and (2) that the US had just defeated the WWII Axis and had to and could and should do the same for the new Axis.BS. Total BS. Lazy reading of the situation. Brain dead way to throw away precious US blood and treasure on an absurd foreign adventure.The cowards were LBJ and Nixon who were willing to bleed the US white to avoid being accused of being “soft on” whatever. Afraid of being accused of not doing enough, to cover their back sides, they threw the US military and the US economy into nonsense in Viet Nam like a physician afraid of a malpractice suit and to cover their back sides throws too much of the patient’s funds into irrelevant medical tests.E.g., why have a $50 medical test with 30 or so measurements when all the physician wants to know is blood sugar they can measure with a prick in 30 seconds essentially for free? Been known to happen.The really bad part was LBJ and Nixon throwing away precious US blood and treasure just to cover their cowardly back sides, not Trump and others avoiding the waste.The US soldiers who went to Viet Nam did what they were asked by the Commander in Chief, the Joint Chiefs, the rest of the chain of command, etc. I honor their service. I do not deserve the honor sharing a $0.25 beer with them.But I don’t blame Trump for using at least 10 seconds of good judgment and avoiding that disaster.Blame the cowards LBJ, Nixon, Rusk, Rostow, McNamara who, to cover their back sides, refused to speak the truth.Finally the US voters said “HELL NO”. Then Congress told the White House “HELL NO”. Then with Nixon and Ford able to blame Congress and the voters, we finally got out.We couldn’t have lost any worse than we did. And what has happened? Nothing bad for us at all. Viet Nam did NOT take over its neighbors — except for a short time Viet Nam went into Cambodia, cleaned out the Pol Pot mess, and put Sihanouk back in power — nice work. No dominoes fell. Viet Nam makes Brother laser printers, terrific, net, better than the HP Laser printers. Viet Nam is communist without freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, etc.? I can suspect those. That’s their country, and how they are running it isn’t hurting me. If they want to copy the US Bill of Rights, etc., fine with me, and copies are readily available.Since Viet Nam, the US military has taken a lot of insults. During Obozo’s attempt to weaken the US, US law enforcement took a lot of insults.From what I see, Trump is doing well turning around these insults and their consequences. Fine with me. I believe that is some of just what he should do. That’s good policy for the US. That good policy does not make him a “jock sniffer” or any such thing. Instead, it’s good policy.Maybe a jock sniffer would do good policy, but good policy does not require jock sniffing.For foreign affairs, Trump is plenty willing to use force to defend the US. But he is smart enough to see that diplomacy, force, etc. are well designed and effective. E.g., when Assad needed a lesson, Trump let 50 cruise missiles fly. Likely no US military personnel were hurt in that effort. And Assad learned the lesson.E.g., for wiping out ISIS, apparently Mattis, etc. had the US concentrate on training and leading the Iraqis, supplying the materiel, handling the intel and planning, directing the air strikes, etc.An Iraqi soldier had really good reason to want to serve under US leadership because they remembered what US leadership did in Gulf War I.And the Iraqi soldiers were correct: ISIS never had a chance and lost big time, essentially totally, right away.Mattis gets a lot of credit. So does Trump.There is more to do in Akrapistan — I’m eager to see the story but as we know likely we won’t see it until it’s over. In part, it’s a Pukistan story, also, and for that whole thingy there’s a solid, clear Trump speech on that. I suspect that speech is mostly the policy being followed.Then there is Little Rocket Boy: So far we have essentially not fired a single shot. But apparently we are using the time for training in fine detail every aspect of anything and everything we might need to do in NK. And it appears we are in a crash effort to make big steps up in our real anti-ballistic missile (ABM) capabilities.I can believe that we have every square millimeter of NK mapped and evaluated, have mind blowing, high end intel of all kinds, and are well on the way to getting rid of the NK threat in a few hours or so.I tend to believe that Trump has Mattis, Tillerson and everyone else relevant working 18 hour days on any and all approaches to the NK problem.I expect: (1) NK will soon be without nukes or long range rockets, and Little Rocket Boy will be out of a job. (2) Shooting is the last resort. (3) If we have to shoot, then we will. We are working closely enough with China and Russia that they won’t object. The shooting part will be blindingly fast and spectacularly successful if only as a show of US capabilities. There will be some US treasure involved (likely is now) but likely relatively little US blood. China, Russia, South Korea, Japan, Guam, etc. will all be relatively safe and thrilled. We will arrange for an NK government after Little Rocket Boy, but we will not occupy NK. Soon the chances of Little Rocket Boy getting anything dangerous more than 5000 feet above the ground are slim to none. But if he does get a rocket up, the US will shoot it down in boost phase, maybe even in mid-course, or finally on reentry. If the reentry is over US ground, then the US ABM salvos will be the all-time, unique, world-class, one of a kind, spectacular rockets red glare, bombs bursting in air fireworks display. And, by the way, all together all at once, Little Rocket Boy’s navy will sink to the bottom.Let’s see: For positive integers n and m, n warheads during reentry and m ABMs, which ABM gets assigned to which warhead to minimize expected damage to the US? So, that’s a problem in optimal assignment. Would like to be able to do that calculation in guaranteed fast time. Yup, there’s some work on that!!!And when we get (1)-(3), I will credit Trump and conclude that he did much, much better for US national security than, uh, let me think, back to, …, as far as I know any US military and foreign policy history.If he’d been wasted in Viet Nam, then we wouldn’t have him now when we need him.

          1. JLM

            .Every man is a complex combination of different things.In early 2016, I opined that Trump could win the nomination. I took a lot of heat here on this blog.Later, I said he could win the election. Then, I said he would win.The basis for all my predictions was the palpable and ignored anger of the 2014 elections. He figured it out when others missed it. Big league.Since his election, I have liked his policies. I can completely divorce a man’s persona from the nature of his governance. I focus on policy and achievement.I think Pres Trump has brought a well qualified Cabinet to lead the nation.On a personal basis, we are all accountable for our actions. On that score, his being a draft dodger bothers me. Greatly. He was a rich kid who got his rich father to smooth the way for him.It was and is unfair. It is a stain on his character that never goes away.It is particularly troublesome to me because I served and saw others who did in his place.As a person who believes in confession, penance, absolution, forgiveness, I hold no grudge, but I am damn sure not going to give him a free pass.He was a coward.Can I still like his policies? His leadership? Some 45 years later? Yes.I voted for him, but would have voted against his opponent anyway.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      6. Twain Twain

        White male dominance is baked into the code of machine logic, data sets and AI, so a few women speaking up about harassment changes nothing where it matters (in the code):* https://aeon.co/essays/on-t…* https://www.theatlantic.com…Aristotelian dualism is in every UX (swipe left/right, male/female, intelligent/stupid, liberal/conservative etc framing). Add that form of information biasing to the AI and we get this:* https://www.cnbc.com/2017/1…* https://www.theatlantic.com…It’s mistaken to assume Blockchain-Ethereum-Crypto changes the prospects for democracy, trust and truth, white male dominance etc. It’s the same old-same-old machine logic code without language understanding AND it’s slower.So that’s what investors have poured $ billions into. Another version of the same logic model as last 2000 years.Rinse. Repeat. Recycle.* https://www.informationweek…* https://motherboard.vice.co…* https://qz.com/1079284/anti…The US VC model is no longer believable as the vehicle that supports innovation, democracy etc.It certainly didn’t “pattern recognize” a systems inventor like me.

    4. LE

      Not to trash Fred but I think an example of the ‘you’re so vain you probably think this song is about you’ thinking is this statement which he made in the post:Computer literacy for everyone. That means making sure that everyone is able to go into GitHub and read the code that increasingly controls our lives and understand what it does and how it works.In particular (sorry Fred I am sure you would like what someone really thinks if said in a nice way, right?) the use of ‘everyone’. Anyone who thinks that ‘everyone’ or even anything close to ‘everyone’ (ie most people) needs this or could benefit from this etc simply doesn’t understand how the everyday man or women thinks or operates. Or what information they need day to day.And even ‘not the everyday man’. My stepson is a fucking math wiz who got in the mid 700’s for the math part of the SAT’s a) without studying (as I have mentioned here before bragging somewhat as if somehow I can take credit – I can’t) b) in the Eight grade c) the very first time he took the test last year. (And high 600’s for verbal). But he spends all sorts of time on video games. So I am trying to get him to learn programming and even go as far as ‘you will be able to make your own games!’. And you know what? I can get him to clean the kitchen floor every night and do all sorts of shitty choirs like that but I can’t get him at all interested in anything related to programming. He simply doesn’t care for it. [1] Not going to happen. I will try a money bribe at some point maybe that will work. It just doesn’t float his boat. It’s like me and religion.[1] And even though I am not a programmer I immediately liked computers the very first time I was around one and still to this day write little helpful programs that I use and benefit from. But I am not going to spend my time reading code on github and that would assume that I even know or learn the language (and keep up with it have you seen how perl has changed since mid 90’s) to be able to use that information in any way. That is literally a complete waste of time.

      1. bsoist

        I agree with most of your sentiment here (perhaps less cynically), but don’t you think any level of understanding is helpful? I am very much the idea that anyone can learn to “code” (and I don’t like the word as a verb, either, btw), but I do think most people can look at a few lines of code and understand what it does with some help. And I think that is a step in the right direction.I do agree with you that most people just don’t care. Ithink including this kind of education for the very young will help with that.

        1. LE

          I say ‘a little bit of knowledge’ is either dangerous or a waste of time.And Fred’s point (that I was replying to) was in particular:and read the code that increasingly controls our lives and understand what it does and how it worksKey word: “understand”. No way no how.Computers are digital. This is not ‘analog’ (example art). So sureif someone takes an art or movie appreciation class or learns a bit about cooking there is a lifelong benefit and that can somewhat be applied in different situations. But computers? Very slim for the ‘average’ person.

          1. bsoist

            I know exactly what you mean and agree.But I think I’m looking at this from another point of view. I’ve noticed over many years that most people think computers are either magic or have their own personalities. Sure, if you pressed them, they (most of them) would admit they don’t really believe that, but I think they behave as though they do. If they had more exposure to how things work, they might take a different approach to things – which might in turn lead to better choices.

      2. Jen Sampson

        Indeed-self awareness does not appear to fit into Fred’s narrative. His use of the word “dominant” and “everyone” gives incredible insight into his psyche.

      3. PhilipSugar

        The best “coders” I have found come from “blue collar” families. You know there is so much logic and common sense in figuring out how to fix something like an oil heater. (mine was out this week)I find the “astronaut architects” are not as good, if you are solving problems. So yes expose everybody and see who likes what.I know you do not believe in “following your dream” i.e. degree in non technical skill, but we need these people as well.

        1. LE

          Wow I had never heard that term.A summary (from 2001):Your typical architecture astronaut will take a fact like “Napster is a peer-to-peer service for downloading music” and ignore everything but the architecture, thinking it’s interesting because it’s peer to peer, completely missing the point that it’s interesting because you can type the name of a song and listen to it right away..Invented by Joel according to Joel apparently:https://www.joelonsoftware….The “AA” are tinkering for the sake of fun let’s say. They like to wax about shit that may matter or may not matter just for the fun of it. I have a guy who does work for me on the side (and he works full time for a FANG company in a high paying job. Always building the perfect mousetrap where it’s not needed. I don’t care because the price is right and if that is what gets him to do what I need it’s an overall win. Plus I know that is why he helps out as he does. Because he gets to try things he can’t at his full time job. So I let him have the fun and why not? (Note this aligns with my ‘let them fly corporate jets’ philosophy of benefits vs. pay..)Me on the other hand I like to have fun as well. But the root is always something that will be helpful to me and achieve the goal. Anything more I simply don’t have time for.

    5. bsoist

      We have a Dunkin Donuts down the road – perhaps you’ve been there? – where a group of those types meet almost every morning. Sometimes there conversation really angers me, but I have to admit I agree with some of it and I mostly understand why they feel the way they do.

        1. bsoist

          I’ll have to check it out. If you ever happen to be up in my neck of the woods on a Saturday morning, swing into that DD and listen in on the fun. 🙂

    6. CJ

      It’s hard to reason with people who are wrong and prefer to be wrong rather than educated about an issue. Fred’s point is spot-on, regardless of whether your neighbors believe that he is.

      1. PhilipSugar

        I would have to argue that by saying they are wrong, you are wrong. Sorry.Now there are wrong attitudes and behaviors. But just saying they are wrong for their belief that they are not privileged and nobody is looking out for them? Maybe disagree but not wrong. And telling them they are wrong means they will do anything that angers you.

        1. CJ

          Certain things can be belief, others are objective. It’s an objective fact that the Tech platforms contributed to Trump’s 2016 win. Whether or not they choose to believe that is largely irrelevant to it’s veracity. But until they do, they’ll always be subject to being misled and actively used against their own best interests.

          1. PhilipSugar

            If you are saying Twitter gave Trump a microphone for his bombastic idiotic comments which the media then amplified thinking they would extinguish but instead fanned the flames? I agree.Otherwise, no.

          2. Salt Shaker

            “It’s an objective fact that the Tech platforms contributed to Trump’s 2016 win.”Really? A bit presumptive. No doubt there was an attempt to influence the election using tech platforms, but there’s no evidence to make a definitive statement that it did. Marketers have been grappling for centuries whether adv (display and/or today’s native) drives sales. Similarly, manufactured content can influence perception, no doubt, but there’s abso no evidence of a direct casual effect. It’s just another impression, of millions, that can influence perception. Nothing more, nothing less. The impact by tech platforms on the election has been vastly overstated. If anything, for example, mass media influenced the election by continually overexposing and providing unbalanced attention to Trump’s tweets to a far wider audience (100M+ TV HH) than his TWTR base.

          3. JamesHRH

            Trump used Twitter in an innovative fashion. All outside candidates do that: Clinton used Late Nught TV, Obama used the web, Trump – social media.Read The Candidate for a primer.

          4. JLM

            .Candidate Trump set, controlled, trolled, and drove the agenda. At any instant, he could determine what the NYT, the WashPo, CNN, et al, would focus on by what he Tweeted about.Students in Poly Sci will be studying this campaign for a century.He spent $350MM less than Romney and half of what HRC spent while taking down the GOPe, the DEMe, the Bushes, the RNC, the DNC, a platoon of seasoned candidates, and the Anointed One — Hillary.A part time, amateur reinvented politics and never revealed his tax returns.Can you imagine what he might accomplish when he gets a handle on this politics stuff?Oh, yeah, he jammed through a revision to the US Tax Code — something last done in 1986 by R Reagan after 3 years of effort — in less than 90 days.Absent McCain’s revenge on Ocare, he would have done that also. ISIS — he bombed the shit out of them.Nice start, no?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    7. falicon

      I have a lot of friends and family in the world you are talking about – so I’ve been exposed to much of it my whole life (though I spend most of my own days on the other side of the coin now).So – I completely agree with you.However – the one thing I feel compelled to say is that this is where a lot of the media if failing us (and has been for a really long time). The ad dollars have been driving agendas and those agendas have (mostly) been pushing a warped view of reality rather than simply “reporting the facts”.The NFL stance is a perfect example – many of my friends and family complained about it throughout the season and expressed how they weren’t watching (as much) football because of it. Their point was mostly that they feel it’s VERY disrespectful to the soldiers and the country (past and present)…which is a fair and valid point, but also not at all what the protest or actions are actually about.When pressed on that point, most just argue that, “then it’s not a good way to go about it” and that “they should pick a different way to get their point across”…and refuse to accept that the people protesting were not able to get their voices (truly) heard before this on this subject.No matter how you position it – it’s about the soldiers and the country to them. And on the other side, it’s about equality, police brutality, and freedom of speech. Both sides are completely right; both sides have strong reasons to be passionate; both sides are going to completely ignore the other side’s point of view (and so both sides are also completely wrong).Until we can get over the massive, two party, split in this country we just aren’t going to accomplish much beyond arguing and frustrating each other. Right now our common enemy is each other…that’s gotta change some how/some way, and quick.

      1. PhilipSugar

        I could not agree with you more. You fight for the right for those people to disagree.To spit on you, burn things to not let you say things? No!But to disagree? Hell yes.

      2. JLM

        .The American flag predates the Constitution and the conclusion of the Revolutionary War. It is an important national icon.Authorized on 14 June 1777, it first flew in early August 1777 and saw its first combat action at the Battle of Oriskany.The first men to serve under it were the Continental Army. In every battle, it flew to guide the combatants.Army units were arrayed either right or left of the flag in the attack. That is why the ability to see the flag was so important to combat actions. It is why the flag could not be allowed to fall and become invisible.The flag has been sacred to soldiers for centuries.We join the Army under its shadow. We swear our oath of service under the flag. We pledge allegiance to the country and the flag.Our National Anthem is a story about the flag. Soldiers bury their dead under that flag. When a soldier is buried, we hand a flag to the man’s widow as their last contact with the Army.A soldier joins the Army under that flag and is buried under it.For the military and veterans, the American flag is not a game. It is a sacred emblem.The insensitivity of the meaning of the flag to a soldier or a veteran is incomprehensible.We are a free people because of our military, not the NFL.There is a huge matter of proportion at work here. The NFL needs to find a different avenue to express themselves.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. LA_Banker

          I hate to get political on Fred’s blog, but food for thought:Perhaps the disproportional shooting of certain Americans by law enforcement does more to disservice the flag than people trying to call attention to said disproportionality.Veterans don’t fight for cotton with a certain design. They fight for this nation and its ideals. One of the most important ones being enshrined in the First Amendment: namely, the *freedom* to protest via speech, which would be wholly intolerable in many other countries.That we give citizens the ability to make their own decisions rather than demand unquestioning fealty from them is not “insensitivity.” It is, by definition, exactly what freedom is.I’m not a vet, but I will have to spread one’s ashes at a national cemetery in a few weeks, at which point “Taps” will be played and my mother presented with a flag by U.S. Marines. Then I will find a way to display his Vietnam Bronze Star. I say this not to boast of accomplishments I played no role in, but rather establish the credentials of someone who understood and supported the NFL players’ cause.Point being: let’s not paint all veterans with the broad brush of them finding this “incomprehensible.”Some make the distinction between 1) widespread, lethal unfairness toward fellow citizens and 2) disrespect of the flag, even the burning of it which is Constitutionally protected speech (compared to which, kneeling seems pretty respectful!). It is something that sets the U.S. apart.Still: thank you for your service. Had we had this discussion at, say, an airport rather than online, a meal would be on me.

          1. JLM

            .I think there is a false trap that folks can fall into — one good cause does not trump another. Said another way, it is not necessary to pick a single good cause to honor.The playing of the National Anthem is not an affront to any other cause and no other cause should be an affront to what the National Anthem and the flag honor.While I may sympathize with the cause espoused by NFL players, it is not necessary to savage the values of one group to accomplish their aim.I would also further note that the NFL players are at a place of labor and their labor is to entertain paying guests of their employer.Like anything, there is a time and place for everything.If that time and place were not the instant of the playing of the National Anthem, we would not be exchanging these comments, would we?A condition of employment — as a legal matter — trumps free speech. Any employer can prohibit a citizen from exercising their Constitutionally protected rights in a place of employment as a condition of employment, no differently than an NFL football team can promulgate a playbook and require its employees to execute in conformance with the designed plays in a mandated uniform.Let’s deal with a bit of truth, shall we? The NFL “players’ cause” is a disjointed, irregular, inconsistent series of individual actions. There is no real call to action and there is no evidence that this “cause” was a rallying cry before the time of Colin Kaepernick.Beyond the action itself, there is no collective action in which the NFL players participate as a group.CK did not articulate any real theme when he took his action other than his personal refusal to honor the flag of a nation whose law enforcers were oppressive to black men.Since then, it has become a bit more organized, but still it is cause without a call to action.It is not a hard cause to support — who would be in favor of the criminal killing of anyone by law enforcement?Godspeed to your Marine. I went to VMI which produced such stellar Marines as Chesty Puller. “God bless Chesty Puller wherever the Hell he is.”Semper fi.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. LA_Banker

            You’re entirely correct that we would not be discussing this, had certain players not chosen to kneel during the Anthem. I believe that’s the point: dialogue. I also believe CK is on record expressing this. The NFL affords its players a rare, national soapbox.It could be argued that the civil rights movement in the 60’s had no “rallying cry” before its leaders attained their own notoriety, yet this doesn’t diminish the importance and tardiness (in terms of recognition by others) of what injustices they were calling attention to.Being forced to self-examine and ponder what injustices we inflict/tolerate/not-do-enough-to-dismantle makes us become better. Not unlike recognizing our own personal flaws – a difficult thing to do – and deciding to try and remedy them… versus remain in denial, which is clearly easier, cognitively. Being confronted with faults is hard.You’re also entirely correct that employers have the ability to crack down on speech in private contexts. Jerry Jones disallows his Dallas players to kneel (or any other gesture beyond standing) independently. That mandate, while legal, seems rather North Korean in spirit to me. When anyone demands fealty, one is forced to ponder: why can’t pride in that subject be earned on its own merits? If deference is compelled, is it truly pride? Or just a gesture to avoid repercussions?I don’t know if I’ve earned the right to say this, but “Semper Fi” or a “This We’ll Defend” (not sure as to your branch of service) to you as well. The old man wasn’t fortunate enough to attend VMI (an institution for which I have tremendous respect for and its keydets); he was a mustang.Many thanks for the sentiments. Glad we can see things from different perspectives and explain why, respectfully. If only more did this.

          3. JLM

            .There is no better soldier on the planet than a Leatherneck Mustang.You would enjoy reading Jeff Shaara’s latest, “The Frozen Years” which tracks the Marines to and from the Chosin Reservoir.MGen OP Smith, CO of the 1st Mar Div, was the best commander of a division in combat in any war.Chesty Puller had one of the regiments in the 1st Mar Div.It is a good read. I just finished it and would be glad to lend it to you. It’s about 600 pages.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          4. LA_Banker

            Just purchased “The Frozen Hours” and will be reading this week. More gratitude toward you for the kind offer of lending. Just feel like the opportunity to revisit this at will, on demand, is worthwhile, just like Ken Burns’ recent documentary on Vietnam (for all its praises and faults).I’m always striving to understand more, and wish I’d done this sooner.

          5. sigmaalgebra

            the disproportional shooting of certain Americans by law enforcement If you have a valid point there, then I wish you’d make it.First, we need some accurate, objective data on “disproportional”.Second, even if we establish “disproportional”, we can’t jump to race as the cause. There are lots of other candidate causes from the usual list strength of the family, income, education, neighborhood and possibly some more.Third, if we find some causes and want to improve the situation, we will want to have an effective way to do that.

          6. LA_Banker

            Given the age we live in, it’s quite easy to Google “blacks shot disproportionately by police” which leads to media outlets linking to several studies (with peer-reviewed, “accurate, objective data”), while also – given the age we live in – decrying/debunking these media outlets as “fake news,” or the professors at universities that have published some of the more famous ones as “liberal academia.” As though they’re unaware of how to control for other factors such as class.Because, as we all know, the University of Louisville and University of South Carolina (who grant the authors of the paper “A Bird’s Eye View of Civilians Killed by Police in 2015, Further Evidence of Implicit Bias”) are known for their historic progressivism.We live in echo chambers, afraid or too unwilling to acknowledge ideas that don’t comport with our internalized worldview.Sure, if I’m making a debated statement, generally I should be compelled to link to data as to why I’ve arrived at that conclusion. But if my statement is “racism exists, sometimes it’s lethal so people get upset about that,” asking me to justify that is like asking someone to post objective evidence of the Holocaust or that the sky is blue.The counterparty has already made their mind up, and arguing the obvious is an exercise in futility and wasted time.Tribalism is evident everywhere, from religion to economics to even theories about proper dieting and optimal puppy raising. To think that this tribalism doesn’t extend to “hey, that person doesn’t look like me,” the very origins of cognitive tribalism, is a wholly intentional closing of one’s eyes – and mind.

        2. cavepainting

          With all due respect, “kneeling down” was the players’ way of saying that “I respect the flag, veterans, and their service, but we need to do more to live up to our vision of equality…”Blacklisting people who do this and taking extreme positions on people who express their opinions is the opposite of what the founders likely intended.This is not the Third Reich.

          1. JLM

            .I must have gotten an early translation, as there is nothing about kneeling down which said “I respect the flag, veterans, and their service” to me.Had someone asked me, “Do you think a black man should be as safe as a white man in their dealings with law enforcement?” I would have said, “To the maximum extent under the law.”I would not have disrespected something someone held dear in the process.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. cavepainting

            There is some history behind this. https://en.wikipedia.org/wi…Criminal justice in this country is a sham and badly needs to be reformed. If the politicians are interested in solving problems, call the kneeling players to a conference, ask them for their suggestions on what can be made better. If they can’t provide concrete suggestions, you called their bluff. If they can, there is a constructive dialog.Dinging them for kneeling without initiating a productive conversation reflects a denial of reality.

          3. JLM

            .Crime in the US is worthy of some real attention. Cities like Chicago and Baltimore are killing fields. They are RACIAL killing cesspits.If you called a conference of NFL players, half of them would possess first hand knowledge of the workings of the criminal justice system.Let’s not kid ourselves that the NFL possesses the answer to any social issues. They are football players, not rocket scientists.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          4. sigmaalgebra

            Since we are looking for causes and ones many Blacks can believe in, athttps://web.stanford.edu/~m…in PDF isThe Negro Family: The Case for National Action, Office of Policy Planning and Research, United States Department of Labor, 1965.which is essentiallyThe Moynihan Reportby, of course, Daniel Patrick Moynihan.My brother, WASP (white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant) got his Ph.D. in political science and was dedicated to alleviating human suffering. So, at one point he did some teaching at Knoxville College, a predominantly Black college.In the class, he used Moynihan’s book.He reported back to me and the rest of our family that his students agreed with Moynihan.So, first-cut, and maybe much deeper than that, we have long known the causes and had a bright guy outline a solution.The problem is expensive. If there is a solution, likely it would be a bargain.

        3. Vendita Auto

          “Buffalo Soldier” My father was a “Polish Soldier” who enlisted to fight WW2. My brother served as part of his career choice he did not care if the cause was right or wrong, I served the flag carries less gravitas IMO than the underpaid working in the health service.

          1. JLM

            .There is nobility to many professions including medicine. What separates soldiering is the physical risk, the getting shot at.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. Vendita Auto

            History/stats show very few move forwards most keeps there heads down the others generally die. Total war has no morals nor should it. I remember supporting the idea that each soldier that died (Iraq) should be commemorated by being on the face of a UK Royal Mail Stamp with the permission of the next of kin. Guess how politically far that got. Physical risk is working with ebola.

      3. PhilipSugar

        That is why you are good. See my posts below on why we need craftspeople that come from that heritage coding.

    8. JamesHRH

      I am stunned.Fred is only right about the tech sector creating so much wealth that it is now out of touch.1. Crypto – name the non-internet decentralized analogy for crypto. There isn’t one. It’s dead by the end of the year.2. Amazingly, white men have two advantages over other colours & genders: they have tons of money and they actually are very good ( on the whole, with isolated cases of horrible abuse ) at work, progress and scale. They have 100”s of years of history to draw on as well If it’s the beginning of their end, it has waasaaaay less to do with who is President as compared to the impact that a rising Asisan middle class will have in the 21st century.3. Fred needs to take the Trump filter off. He is delivering a classic conservative agenda, gaining momentum within the GOP and ironing out the wrinkles. Not a personal fan of the guy, but if you think he is a fool, a buffoon or in mental decline, you are delusional. He’s a gathering storm.The problem with frameworks is that they hold internal logic. That internal coherence makes a pattern seem inevitable. I don’t see it here with crypto or with culture changes. I think western culture is becoming more egalitarian, which is great. But, men working outside the home will be the norm for a long time.As a fun parting shot, if you would like to trade Trump for Trudeau, he’s not having such a good time: http://nationalpost.com/opi

      1. fredwilson

        let’s see who was right and who was wrong ten years from now

        1. JamesHRH

          I have zero doubt that we will still be connected and discussing items of interest.I expect to eat or serve a solid helping of crow.

    9. cavepainting

      The election was lost by ~80k votes across 3 states. i.e 0.07% of 127M+ votes cast. If these were voters who switched, it was really ~40k voters who swung it to Trump.While everything you say is true, that does not mean that the influence campaign waged through the tech platforms did not change the outcome. It very likely did.That does not mean that we need to disparage his win. Trump ran a great campaign and was really disruptive. There are large swathes of the country that found his message compelling and still do.(1) The election was interfered with by foreign countries and might have made a difference. (2) Trump is a disrupter and has a loyal following. (1) and (2) are not mutually exclusive.

      1. PhilipSugar

        I am not endorsing, backing or saying anything other than he is a jackass.But the fact he won? Period? Beat Bush and then Clinton? With all of his flaws??? The mainstream press vilified him, the elite mocked him. He won. People are still deluding themselves it was a fluke and people really hate him, but it was a fluke, it was not.I invite anybody to come visit me. I am not a hick. I am an elite. A super elite. I drive a car nobody here can buy, but I prefer an old 2001 pickup truck.If you will be respectful we will go talk to people that love him. People smugly say he is the most unpopular President. Wait to get your nose bloodied again? Look at Rachel Maddow……….

        1. cavepainting

          You make a great point and I agree. He is one of the smartest and savviest politicians in a generation. He can win again and likely will, unless a) there is a significant awakening triggered by a major event, and b) there is a viable and smart candidate (R or D) who knows how to campaign and win against him.He is a real disruptor, had a great message, and worked his ass off to win. Hats off to him for all that. But does not change the fact that he is in this for himself and is a narcissistic asshole.

          1. PhilipSugar

            He is an ass. Even Joe “foot in mouth” Biden would have trumped him badly.Hillary became an elite because her husband was elected and she amassed 8 figures of wealth due to their power. People are tired of the elite. They can take elite that got it other than those who got it from the government.But……we need somebody saying some of the hard things. Even though he cannot stay on message which is your job, your main job, people are tired of status quo.When somebody like Albert declares a major victory after a pedophile loses by 20k votes in a vote count of 1.3mm because people literally hate the Democratic Party so much you are delusional.

          2. JLM

            .There is not a newsperson in America who wakes up and doesn’t check Donald Trump’s Twitter account before they drink their first cup of coffee.He is the landlord of every newsperson’s brain. They rent space from him.Pres Trump is setting the agenda, driving the convo, directly engaging with his policy opponents, and pushing America in a direction only he controls.In less than 90 days, he accomplished what took Ronald Reagan 3 years on tax reform.He came within a single vote — McCain — of repealing Ocare.He has destroyed ISIS as a sovereign entity and a military force.He has put the economy on a trajectory to achieve 4-6% growth.There is not a lot of original thinking, but there is a lot of leading from the front. Sure, maybe, he is a jackass, but he is a jackass who is getting results.In the end, I care more about results and policy than using the right fork with shellfish.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          3. JLM

            .He is not a savvy politician. He is an inexperienced, part time, amateur politician.That is his advantage. He owes nothing to anybody.Now, he is jamming through policy from trade to national defense to the economy, jobs, taxes.Results trump everything.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          4. cavepainting

            Politician is defined as “a person who acts in a manipulative and devious way, typically to gain advancement within an organization.”Trump is a masterful politician. You are using a traditional definition of politician as someone with experience in Politics.The jury is out on his Presidency. If he gets real results that advance the long term interests of the US and the world, I will be among the ones applauding. But right now, that is far from clear and if anything, the country and the world are more divided than ever.

          5. JLM

            .The first jury poll is looking pretty good — ISIS defeated, Ocare mandate repealed, regulations reduced, tax reform, the economy already exceeding 3% GDP growth, jobs, immigration, international trade, NATO paying their bills, nearing complete energy independence, judicial appointments, Israeli alliance shored up.Far more than I expected him to have accomplished in his first year.In my view, the big wild card is North Korea. After having kicked the can down the road for 25 years, Pres Trump has it teed up and is reaching for his Big Bertha.I have a very bad feeling about NK. The US military has come up with a “bloody nose” first strike approach which could work. I hate the idea of testing it, but that’s what is going to happen.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      2. JLM

        .Do not fear, Donald J Trump will not get the nomination.OK, do not fear, Donald J Trump will never get elected.OK, OK, do not fear, President Trump will never get any of his campaign resolutions passed.OK, OK, OK, do not fear, President Trump will not get re-elected.All you have to do is overcome your fears. Good luck with that.Any win that a part time, amateur politician was going to fashion over an established, professional, organized, experienced politician like Hillary R Clinton was going to be slim.On Election Day morning, nobody believed Donald J Trump had a chance.All the established politicians, the polls, the pundits, the competition, the media got it wrong. They were buying champagne by the freight car load.When the results began to be tabulated, not a single newsperson thought Candidate Trump had a chance. Not a one.Candidate Trump underspent his predecessor by $350,000,000 and his opponent by 50%.Candidate Trump used Twitter like a boss. He used a new and emerging platform in a manner which no other politician ever had or has.What Candidate Trump tapped into was the palpable anger evidenced by the 2014 election which captured the House, Senate, and state legislatures for the Republicans. Only he saw this.These angry deplorables did not make a lot of noise until Election Day.He ran into the teeth of a rigged system which he knew all about because he was one of the RIGGERS.He ran to win the Electoral College.Candidate Trump was not afraid of the storm — HE WAS THE FUCKING STORM. [Jeb Bush: Apparently, you can insult your way to the Presidency.]No amount of wailing and gnashing of teeth about platforms or Russians will ever explain how he won. He did it the old fashioned way — he beat his opponent based on brains, guile, hard work, and going where he needed to go.Hillary Clinton lost much more than Donald J Trump won.Now, this knuclehead has whipped ISIS, came within a single vote of repealing Ocare (thanks, John McCain) and pushed through tax reform in less than 90 days. [It took Ronald Reagan 3 years to do the same thing 31 years ago.]This guy is pretty damn good — based on results. Wait until he figures this politics stuff out, eh?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      3. PhilipSugar

        Just wondering where did you get that data?

          1. PhilipSugar

            Really look at the data. Not a supporter. What about the states he lost by that much. That is why when people cry fake news, others say it is all bullshit. I do. Stopped reading NYT and WashingtonPost.Sad. They are irrelevant. Sad, I loved them. Irrelevant.

          2. cavepainting

            Forget the interpretation of the data by the Post; the fact is that it was a close election and the margins were very close. It would have been true even if she had won instead.

          3. PhilipSugar

            Yes it was very close. But I don’t think it was covered objectively. I think people could so not believe anybody would vote for him that they mocked him.People forget the enemy of my enemy is my friend.That is what got him elected.Now we have the narrative he has the lowest approval rating in history. Not by the people I was amongst.Let me also say the American Legion is open to anyone here. Big sign. Sunday morning Breakfast, Friday and Saturday night bands, weekly happy hour. It is a place where everyone meets.

          4. cavepainting

            Yeah, I agree. The contempt of the elite and mainstream media has clearly worked to his advantage. His opponents need a better message than mocking him.

    10. Vendita Auto

      Love the original black & white BBC series The World At War [https://en.wikipedia.org/wi…] It was my duty of care to ensure my children & Grandchildren are each given a copy regardless of if they bother to watch it or not. A high proportion of the German nation served in 14/18 The German /Austrian nations loved Adolf Hitler up to 1943 I am not making direct comparisons with Donald Trump only that you can fool most of the people most of the time J Goebbels filmed images of Adolf in shorts and boots in the snow throwing sticks for Blondi. I know the tech people do get it redneck or not.

  10. Jordan Jackson

    I do believe that the election and the role that big tech played in a less than ideal outcome is akin to a ‘snake in the grass that looked like a flower’ eg facebook and instagram are fun and inspiring… until they bite you. With that said, I agree about the point that this ‘awakening’ for lack of a better word has given rise to benevolent groups coming together and pulling the world to a more harmonious direction. Although, it seems the same thing is happening on the other side as well, which is a bit alarming. I feel that these companies have a responsibility help their users understand and empathize, not just confirm and shield. Unfortunately, this is not a profitable business model. Fortunately, this is the vision of the decentralized web in a lot of ways, allowing more thoughtful platforms to be economically sustainable.Lastly, CS is for all is phenomenal. I love that. But, do you think that a simpler short term solution would suffice? For example, my mom is not going to learn CS in her life time (I don’t think) , but she would certainly be open to computer literacy through entertaining education and simple tools.Just thinking out loud.Thanks for the thoughtful post.2018 to the moon!!

    1. bsoist

      For example, my mom is not going to learn CS in her life timePerhaps take Fred’s example to heart. Show her how to read some code. She may not need to be a computer scientist to read a bit of code.And, really, the important thing is to discuss the relevant freedoms. Do I really have access to my data when I want it? Do I know what is being done with it? Do I want to use software when I cannot read the code the drives it? etc?

  11. bsoist

    Happy New Year AVC!I am very pleased to see crypto enter the frenzy stage.Pleased as well to see woman stepping up to tell their stories. The storied themselves are disturbing, but they need to be told.I have started to be more vocal locally about your third point. Computer literacy and CS education are a matter of freedom. Learn to control the computers or you will be controlled by them – or more precisely, by the people (or other intelligent entities eventually) that control them.

    1. fredwilson

      yes, exactly

      1. sigmaalgebra

        (1) Now people are commonly heavy users of computing. That is a good start on their understanding of computing.(2) For what more everyone should know, a bit tough to know. Mostly coding is not it — is at too low a level, is maybe like saying that an artist needs to know the chemistry in his paints.

  12. jason wright

    I really wish that for 2018 people would stop using this ‘white male’ stereotyping tag. As a white male I’m starting to find it offensive (as offensive as any other group finds such similar stereotyping epithets that are used to ‘define’ their ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation et.c.).I don’t accept the ‘dominant’ description. I’m white, i’m male, i’m not ‘dominant’.

    1. fredwilson

      me too. but you have to understand the narrative, internalize it, then you can be free of it.

      1. jason wright

        for me it’s all about upbringing, how a person was brought up as a child, the conditioning they received from their parents and family. Citing Trump. He had a mother and a father. They must take some share of responsibility for the man their son became, his behaviour, his attitude to women, to men, to life itself. He carries the ultimate burden for his actions, as he should, as we all should, but we have to view each person as an individual and not as a member of a group defined by superficial characteristics that they had no involvement in choosing (ethnicity, gender, et.c.).I’m not accepting self flagellation. If someone wants to stereotype me as a ‘white male’ (with the ‘baggage’ they choose to attach to that racist and sexist tag) I will push back hard against them every time. I don’t rape, I don’t grope, et.c. et.c., and I’m not going to be homogenised. not having it.I believe that it is legitimate to begin to define people by the things they ‘choose’ to be and do, but not the things they have no choice over.

      2. PhilipSugar

        I think that has angered people as well. Including the wives of these people.I can understand it. I can agree with it. I am part of it.I am so happy that women have starting outing shitty behavior that they have no reason to endure.But if you are not a dominant white male and struggling like hell to get by, loving to your wife and daughters, notthing but tolerant of everybody else to hear this is a bitter, bitter, pill.

        1. JamesHRH

          With the bitterest part being the joy of people who proclaim your downfall and how badly it is needed.It’s selective empathy.

      3. Jen Sampson

        Fred-with all due respect, the “dominant” environment in VC exists because YOU (and others like you) created it. Your superiority complex is showing. How many female CEOs have YOU ever backed. x women to x men? What’s the ratio?

        1. fredwilson

          created it, no. benefited from it, yes.i think we have backed almost as many female founders in the last two years as menwe are getting better

    2. bsoist

      I can’t speak for anyone else, but I know when I use that phrase I am not including myself. To me, it’s just an acknowledgement that for many, many years white men have ruled societies – AND that there are systems in place ( religion mostly? ) that drive that behavior.Noticing this, talking about it, and maybe even doing something to bring an end to it will also bring an end to people talking about it.

    3. DJL

      I agree 100%. This has gotten annoying. It just so happens that ‘while males’ do a tremendous amount of good in the world they “dominate.” Who was driving their boats to rescue flood victims? Who volunteers to help rebuild their neighbors house when it burns down? Who was setting up an orphanage in the Philippines to save children? Who donates the most money to charity across all sectors? Yes, the “white male” who must be stripped of leadership.Notice how the world slowly slips into the dump as we “progress” past while male dominance. “Forgive them, Lord, they know not what they do.”

    4. Chimpwithcans

      Been there and would agree with Fred’s point below – it’s about the narrative, not about your own specific circumstances. This unfortunately makes it hard to sympathise, but it doesn’t mean the narrative as a whole isn’t necessary/true.

      1. jason wright

        it’s just yet another expression of the same core attitude, prejudice.

        1. Chimpwithcans

          I understand – it feels like the same thing in reverse. But it isn’t. Helps me to see prejudice as inevitable (people cling to power….always) – but with empathy we can resist the Id and work for change that is needed to get closer to a fair state of play.

  13. DJL

    As always, I appreciate the time and thoughtfulness you put into these posts. What a year! A couple of thoughts:Crypto: This smells very much like Internet 1.0 with even less visibility into the business model. If history repeats itself, very few (if any) of these companies will make it to crypto 2.0 (usable public chains) or beyond. Billions will be made: just have to figure out where!Election: It so painful to hear the words “hacked the election.” The facts have shown that this is completely false at every level. According to the testimony of the very tech elites you mention – MOST of the ad money was spent after the election and on ads that disparaged Trump. And the 1 year investigation of a team of democrat, Clinton-loving lawyers have found nothing. It is a great disservice to the country to keep pushing this narrative.Gropers: It turns out that the vast majority of Gropers are Liberal Hollywood Democrat donors, with a willing press corps covering it all up. Then we discover that Congress has its own private slush fund for paying off victims. Nice. If it took Trump being elected to expose them, I am happy.Healthcare: We can provide a safety net in a far more cost effective way if government gets out of the way. Obamacare was simply the most damaging piece of legislation in the history of the US. It must be dismantled and replaced.The Utopian Future: While I agree with the goals of self reliance, the ideas of people reading code and controlling their data with API keys seem a bit out there for a society that kept most of their VCRs blinking 12:00.As I always like to point out, there are two sides to every story. Rarely is a story 100% black and white. The person with the loudest megaphones (and most followers) get their message out farthest. The 5% comment crowd get to have fun pontificating and (most of the time) enjoying the banter.Happy New Year to everyone.

    1. fredwilson

      i think groping is equally prevalent on both sides of the political spectrum. i was not trying to make it political other than to point out that our president is the groper in chief. you cannot deny that.

      1. DJL

        Agreed. But, I will deny your point about Trump. The truth is that Trump talked about doing stuff – and a bunch of others actually did it. Where is the actual grope? What about innocent until proven guilty? I think your open disdain for Trump has led you to judge him unfairly.(BTW- Refreshing to see you down here in the comments)

        1. fredwilson

          a day off. don’t get many of them

        2. Salt Shaker

          Oy, the tape was an admission of guilt. Trump’s statements were past tense and a clear boast of illicit behavior. Nothing more, nothing less. Do you actually think if the election was held today and that tape was released a week ago it would have been so easily dismissed by the electorate? No way, the climate has changed. Trump won fair and square, but to assume he wasn’t a beneficiary of a lot of fortunate timing and external factors is naive. I’m not bitter about the results. I could care less if they re-opened Clinton’s email investigation or anything else potentially incriminating of her. In fact, in some respects I hope they do just to minimize the notion that the investigation of potential collusion and/or obstruction by the Trump admin is politically motivated.

          1. PhilipSugar

            It’s actually so much worse than that:I shows he was proud of doing it: Just wowHe knew the woman was married and so was he: No moral compassHe is so arrogant he said it to a person he didn’t knowHe did it because he is “powerful”He has such bad judgement he said it when he should know it could get on tape.

  14. Girish Mehta

    Happy New Year to AVC !The last few hours of a year are fascinating. The words of TS Eliot are apt -“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice”.”And to make an end is to make a beginning”.

    1. PhilipSugar

      How many quotes do you know my friend?? I mean it amazes me.

  15. aminTorres

    A big thanks to Fred and to the AVC community.I come to this site first thing every morning even if I don’t always comment.This blog has helped me tremendously at work and in life.I am often go from pissed to angry to happy to excited to challenged by the stuff I read here both in the main post and in the comments but the one thing that is always consistent is that I am always learning.I’ve gotten work through this blog and better, great connections.I’ve met some great people here too that i’ve gone to follow outside of this url.I’ve gotten great advice, thing that have stuck with me and that I think of every day.The best thing I’ve learn from this blog is the importance of respecting the opinions of others specially when you profoundly disagree with them. I don’t always practice this but when I fail to do so there is a feeling that I am letting down people who I’ve learn this from here at AVC. Having that feeling makes me better every time.Happy New Year to everyone.

    1. fredwilson

      i agree with that. i was having the same convo with Phil below

    2. DJL

      Nicely done. We have made it through many heated topics this year. But I think the community is mostly intact.

    3. Donna Brewington White

      Well said, Amin. Ditto. Sitting next to Arnold at a conference led by William in December and two of my most important projects to date launched in 2017 through relationships initiated via AVC brought this home poignantly for me. But even prior to these events, I would have said the same things based on the people I have met and the interactions experienced here.Happy New Year to you. I always like when you show up.

  16. David Gibbons

    Hi Fred. Painful lessons yield the best insights. There is urgent opportunity to switch up the game in all 3 areas. We need new blue oceans of wealth, mutual respect and individualism. A progressive agenda needs to suggest something to swim for. I encourage you to continue sharing that stuff when you find it. I trade you my overview of where we are in crypto. Happy, peaceful and prosperous New Year to you. – here’s my summary of the Blockchain Big Picture: Q1 2018 – https://medium.com/@davidgi

  17. BerCaley

    The election hacking is certainly one reason that tech is viewed as an arrogant villain. Another larger reason is that tech is killing jobs. That’s what do we do. We find market inefficiencies. We don’t care what happens to the efficiencies we found after we find them.We found secretaries and typesetters. We are in the midst of finding cab drivers and truckers. Is the world a better place without secretaries, typesetters, cab drivers and truckers? Or is it just more efficient.Saying that it’s more efficient can come off as pretty arrogant to someone who just lost their job. And eventually people notice.

    1. fredwilson


    2. DJL

      But is that really true? Trains killed jobs (in shipping) and created millions more. So did cars. So did computers. How many people does Google employ from literally one single web page? Technology pushes massive changes in the skills required in the market place. Perhaps now it happens so fast people cannot adapt.I think people resent the ‘tech elite’ because they are super rich and super arrogant and generally hypocrites. But I never took a poll. ;>)

      1. bsoist

        one single web pageWhich one page?

        1. DJL

          http://www.google.com essentially drives 50% of their ad revenue. I am just trying to make a point that tech can also create lots of jobs.

      2. LE

        Well to my other commenta) Super rich – not a deal breaker. Lower and working class people don’t take issue with ‘rich’. If they did ‘he’ would never have gotten elected. Likewise drive in a nice car in front of same people and see how you are treated if they are employed and hard working.b) Super arrogant – Ditto (if the guy who dunks the ball is arrogant you look beyond that)c) Hypocrites – Ditto; You can be a hypocrite as long as you butter some of their bread.The secret sauce of hate is actually that none of the success benefits them in any way and is moreover viewed as a detriment or cause of their problems. No christmas turkeys in other words. The ‘cheer’ has to be spread around.To me an example of hypocrite? Caring and fixing shit in other countries (or what will happen in the future) after a disaster (sending aid dollars) but completely shitting on Puerto Rico because of a bias against those who live there. Like there are no doctors and no infrastructure and nobody seems to care about that. But god knows NYC will spend a boatload to insure the safety of people in Times Square tonight!

  18. Frank W. Miller

    Happy New Year to all! Been off the grid for a week.It seems to me reading both your predictions from last year and your synopsis from after the fact that you are a little too news driven. Since our news is basically propaganda these days, on both sides, this is probably not a good strategy. Finding that next 10x has nothing to do with Trump, or sexual harassment, or reacting to the other half of the country that you seem to have disdain for. If you’re a tech investor, it probably pays to study the tech and focus on whats coming next. I know the markets are news and perception driven but my opinion is that early stage investing is not. If I had any free advice (which is probably worth what it costs), it would be get back to fundamentals. Haunt the academic conferences, and the incubators and focus on the tech, not the boring politics.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      Haunt the academic conferences, and the incubators and focus on the tech, not the boring politics. Mostly that won’t work.Instead, for when there is a near term business role for such, there about has to be an intermediate step of a startup entrepreneur who has found a problem, usually in the commercial world, now for information technology close to the Internet, where some new research the entrepreneur understands, maybe did, can provide unique, powerful, valuable, enabling, difficult to duplicate or equal, intellectual property, maybe protected only as a trade secret, crucial Buffett moat, technological advantage secret sauce.Then it would be for the investment community to evaluate that.Well, flatly, they won’t do that evaluation.Instead they will wait for traction significant and growing rapidly.So, the investors believe in a Markov assumption: The past and the future of the company are conditionally independent given the current data on traction. So, the investors look at the traction and f’get about where it came from yesterday, last week, etc.Ah, maybe as the continue to watch the company, they believe in the strong Markov property that the past and future are conditionally independent given a stopping time, that is, adapted to the past of the process! How many investors know about stopping times!

  19. sigmaalgebra

    === Crypto?Naw.Looks like a bubble that will burst and then essentially disappear.E.g., in”Video Of The Week: Token 1.0 vs Token 2.0″with the Berlin video by William Mougayar were lots of conjectured applications to solve some problems he mentioned.Okay. But mostly what I saw seemed to be problems that stand to have plenty good enough solutions with old technology, e.g., data base, and don’t need crypto or a blockchain.But on crypto, I will confess that last week as I was shopping for parts for the first server for my startup, discussing DDR3 (note, computer part acronyms are unpacked in their own section below). versus DDR4 memory, a sales guy said that DDR4 memory was scarce and expensive now because it was being bought up by the crypto mining people.Okay. I’m skipping that, not going for DDR4 memory and am going for old DDR3 instead!For my server, I decided to go last generation! So, I went for the AMD FX-8350 eight core processor at 4.0 GHz usually and 4.2 if push it — I’ll never push it! Right, it doesn’t do hyper-threading, but I’m not much impressed by hyper-threading anyway.But that processor with eight cores at 4.0 GHz is some comparatively very fast cores and a lot of computing.So, for that processor I needed a motherboard with an AM3+ socket so got an Asus m5a97 R2.0 motherboard which by now is about 10 years old.And I’m getting 16 GB of 1333 MHz DDR3 ECC main memory, 4 GB per DIMM.For hard disks, I’m getting some 500 GB Western Digital ones that are SATA but that transmit at 3.0 Gbps instead of the newer 6.0 Gbps. But the motherboard will support the 6.0 speed. Might get a solid state drive just for a special purpose later, and likely it will run at 6.0 Gbps. run at 6.0 Gbps.The operating systems will be Windows 7 64 bit Professional and Windows Server 2008. The copy of SQL server will also be about 2008.A big, big, big deal about these parts is that the processor, motherboard, and main memory all support ECC. SQL Server insists on ECC, and so do I. Yes, the 1333 MHz for the memory is relatively slow, but that’s the fastest the motherboard will permit for ECC memory. Okay. I’d rather be slower and have correct answers than faster with errors. Really, the main difference stands to be in reducing system management mud wrestling.With the latest processors, motherboards, and main memory, ECC is tough to get. E.g., Intel wants to offer ECC only on their high end Xeon processors. No thanks.Yes, the clocks on the DDR4 memory are often faster than those on DDR3 memory, but it appears that for DDR4 the number of clock ticks per operation are larger, enough larger that often the DDR3 parts are actually faster.=== Big Stuff in 2017Gravitational wave detections.CRISPR progress.DJI increase.US GDP growth rate one quarter at 3.3% annual rate.=== PerezAs often before here at AVC, e.g., inhttp://avc.com/2016/07/the-…I’ve posted some lazy S-curves of business growth. But I derived those from a differential equation from some approximate virality assumptions.For the Perez curves, IMHO we should have more support.Not all growth has to be a lazy S curve.=== Trumpsuch an awful human being I see no evidence of that. Instead I see overwhelming evidence that he is a terrific guy.The MSM has been throwing all the dirt they can find or imagine at Trump from well before the election to the present. So far the worst they have found that has any credibility is something about two scoops of ice cream. Really, the MSM’s long wide, deep, flowing ocean of absurd accusations just give Trump one heck of a very squeaky clean bill of health in every sense.The worst so far is just those two scoops of ice cream.For”The Beginning Of The End Of White Male Dominance”:Naw: For males being “dominant,” by all means send any and all concerns, anecdotes, and objections to Mother Nature. And don’t include just humans but also elephants, American bison, gorillas, bulls, African lions, wolves, domestic kitty cats, and no doubt more.In some ways, males are dominant. But it remains”The hand the rocks the cradle rules the world.”But the context of the statement was sexual molestation. Okay, let’s consider that for the claim of “white”: As I recall, there have been some cases of African American male sexual molestation. And for Arab men, ask some people in Sweden, England, France, and Germany.Apparently there is a reason traditional Islamic countries want any females in public in burkas and accompanied by a male in the family: Otherwise she is a target for rape — pure and simple.I’m a white male and don’t feel guilty of sexual misbehavior in any sense.ForHe is the epitome of white male dominance. An unapologetic (actually braggart) groper in chief. I think it took something as horrible as the election of such an awful human being to shock the US into deciding that we could not allow this behavior any more. there are five important responses:(1) In the Bush tape, Trump never admitted to engaging in any such behavior. He merely as an older mentor informed younger Bush that for some men some women would tolerate such behavior.This statement was likely correct and good mentoring.(2) The big, biggie, really big case of such grabbing was by JFK in what he did to 19 year old, NJ debutante, Miss Porter’s School graduate, engaged, White House intern Mimi Alford as inhttp://rockcenter.nbcnews.c…her NBC interview, and her book.JFK put his hand under her skirt and grabbed her. And the story continued from there.(3) As I got told clearly as a teenager, “The male takes the first step.”. Maybe he smiles at her, taps her on her head, kisses her hand, puts one arm around her shoulders, touches her intimately.That’s a very old story.A boy/man needs to know when she is/might be inviting romance, contact, or intimacy. Some girls have been told that any hint will cause a lot of men to start. But usually she is also quite able to reject an advance. She can be darned disappointed if he doesn’t try; if he tries on too little evidence, it is her role to push him away. Standard stuff, likely held before the Pyramids.(4) For more, for decades, no doubt even centuries, girls have been told by their mothers, aunts, older sisters, grandmothers, etc. that some men would try to grab them.Standard advice was never to be alone with any man that could not be trusted.At one time, young women carried 6″ long, stiff, sharp hat pins and were quite prepared to use them.Women can also scream, scratch, kick, poke eyes, use pepper spray, etc. They should.In the last few weeks, some women have gone ahead and explained that when a movie producer asks a movie starlet to come to his hotel room “for a script reading,” she knows well what she might be getting and usually should not go.(5) Sometimes the girl/woman grabs the boy/man. Trust me on this one. But I’m not complaining, you understand!Boys: Girls can be a LOT more courageous when they are with one or two other girls! Use that knowledge as you will!Sure, Weinstein was a dirt bag. There are a lot of dirt bags.But 2017 was not nearly the first or likely the worst year for dirt bag sexual molesters.=== Abbreviations AMD — American Micro Devices bit — a 0 or a 1 byte — 8 bits DDR — Double Data Rate, for describing main memory. DDR4 is the most recent standard. DDR3 is older. DIMM — Dual In-line Memory Module or ‘stick’, main memory ECC — Error Correcting Coding, mostly applies to main memory, standard for high end server computers, less common for consumer computers. GB — Gigabyte, billion bytes Gbps — billion bits per second GHz — Gigahertz, that is, billion clock ticks per second MB — Megabyte, million bytes MHz — Million Hertz, that is, million clock ticks per second. SATA — Serial Advanced Technology Attachment. The old ATA had about 40 wires in a wide ‘ribbon’ cable that was awkward to work with, and the newer SATA has a much smaller cable. Now nearly all internal disk drives and CD/DVD devices use SATA. SQL — Structured Query Language, invented by IBM in about 1980 for their ‘relational database’ DB2. SQL has long since been an important industry standard. SQL Server is Microsoft’s software for relational database. TB — Terabyte or trillion bytes USB — Universal Serial Bus, a recent standard for connecting devices to a computer. USB is used mostly for relatively low speed devices such as keyboard, mouse, and printer but, actually, the speeds can be impressively fast, e.g., the Western Digital Passport external disk drives. W — Watts of electrical power

  20. rod turner

    Excellent analysis. Thank you.

  21. CriticalDesignThinking

    Quoting @fredwilson:disqus – “You can get a taste of what things will be like, but you can’t really use the technology yet. It just doesn’t work at scale.” You are a die hard Pollyanna and hope your predictions come through. Crypto at scale will change things much more…maybe most of common folks neednt learn to read code because trust will come back via blockchain at scale. Would you agree? Meaning your prediction about crypto post frenzy phase will obviate rest of tech backlash, maybe even the white male dominance will not matter, if #1 happens.

  22. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:Fred’s analysis was thought provoking.We Are truly Independents. We would enjoy viewing an opposed view from a true Republican that is regurgitating the Bannon, Hannity, Koch or Fox commentators talking points. Is that even possible on this blog.Most likely answered our own inquiry.Captain Obvious!#UNEQUIVOCALLYUNAPOLOGETICALLYINDEPENDENT

  23. Anne McCrossan

    There might be a tech backlash but I fear it is in name only. The deeper and more uncomfortable truth (as we know from how the US election and the Brexit referendum have panned out and from relentlessly rising inequality) is that technology’s power over us is only increasing.In the last year, Google’s AutoML has proven its recursive intelligence is so strong it no longer needs human intervention and AlphaGo has beaten the world’s best human player Ke Jie.AI has triumphed over human intelligence in both these ways, we are now co-existing with artificial intelligence of a capability that’s greater than our own, that we have created but which is not like us. That’s quite some rubicon we have crossed. Never before in the entire span of human history has that been the case.And these technological resources are concentrated in the hands of a tiny few, an elite with a tremendous power most people can barely fathom and who are, largely speaking, unaccountable. When I look at Google Trend data, for example, I see how much raw data is now hidden behind party walls. In every area of digital activity, people are being denied reasonable access to the information that could give them choices and are instead being gamed.I think we need to shine a light on this much more. The majority of people seem to be blissfully unaware of this as an existential shift, of course. They’re too busy scanning the latest content being algorithmically served up to them on their smartphones to even notice. I don’t have a good feeling about that. The definition of being overthrown or usurped is not realising it’s happened until it’s too late, after all. Tech will continue to blindside us, and we will all be the poorer for it.

  24. Salt Shaker

    Technological advances are brisk, ideological and societal changes are glacial.Robert Kennedy’s speech announcing his run for the Presidency in 1968. Written 50 years ago and as prescent today as it was then:“I run to seek new policies – policies to end the bloodshed in Vietnam and in our cities, policies to close the gaps that now exist between black and white, between rich and poor, between young and old, in this country and around the rest of the world.I run for the presidency because I want the Democratic Party and the United States of America to stand for hope instead of despair, for reconciliation of men instead of the growing risk of world war.I run because it is now unmistakably clear that we can change these disastrous, divisive policies only by changing the men who are now making them.”1968-2018: We’ve come so far, yet (sadly) changed so little.

  25. CriticalDesignThinking

    Highlighting – “You can get a taste of what things will be like, but you can’t really use the technology yet. It just doesn’t work at scale.” You are a die hard Pollyanna and hope your predictions come through.Crypto at scale will change things much more…maybe most of common folks neednt learn to read code because trust will come back via blockchain at scale. Would you agree? Meaning your prediction about crypto post frenzy phase will obviate rest of tech backlash, maybe even the white male dominance will not matter, if crypto at scale happens that is!

    1. CriticalDesignThinking

      isnt there something democratizing about crypto and blockchain?

  26. kidmercury

    You had me until Add to that context the fact that the big tech platforms, Facebook, Google, and Twitter, were used to hack the 2016 electionLol. Y’all really gotta cut down on the nyt wash post propaganda. Poison for the mind.

    1. Salt Shaker

      Agree. “Hacked the election” presumes whatever nefarious activity occurred had a serious impact on the results. Highly unlikely, though the motive to do so and potential interference are most def disconcerting. Suggesting it had a bearing on the results minimizes the larger issues, concerns and motives of external interference.

      1. LE

        Forgetting impact or not for a second, also implies more or less than something illegal happened vs. just using available tools to game the system to your advantage.With politics there are probably thousands of things that could be thought of in a similar way. Little work arounds to give a candidate the advantage. Check out what Philly does with ward leaders (or used to do). Favors doled out ‘vote for my candidate’.Let’s take a closer example like this.If I want to change the conversation on AVC.com what would prevent me from making up multiple accounts and/or hiring people to write comments that aligned with the way I felt the conversation should be going? I mean good comments not drive by.Most people would view that as wrong and nefarious. However they should also recognize that if the prize is large enough things like this will happen. The lack of thinking this way is exactly why we have so much spam. Because it never occurred to the academics that anyone would try to sell by using email. Major fail. Not understanding how people who are not like you think.How did I land my first big account and seal the deal? The purchasing agents wanted to visit my ‘facility’ and see what was going on. I had no employees. So I brought people in and made them stay busy. Got the contract (other bidder was Xerox Corp) and kept it (6 years until they folded) and built my business on it. Welcome to the real world.

        1. Salt Shaker

          Market manipulation is gaming the system and it’s clearly illegal. Propping up your staff to build a perception of a thriving biz is questionable ethical behavior, but no doubt very clever. It’s a harmless foul. “Gaming” in politics is a slippery slope that likely will get increasingly slippier and difficult, if not possible, to control/manage.

          1. LE

            Propping up your staff to build a perception of a thriving biz is questionable ethical behaviorWhere did I say anything about ‘market manipulation’?Ethics of course vary with the industry and the profession. What is acceptable and quite common in one situation may be totally unacceptable in another. (Examples: Attorney; Physician). [1]I think you had told a story about your rent for a place that you had in NYC. In context to that meat market you probably felt that was ok to do. Others may have viewed it differently (not me iirc). Like the guy who couldn’t rent that apartment (or the landlord if he was on the ball enough to know what was going on).As far as ‘build a perception of a thriving business’ there are a few examples of how others do the same.One is restaurants filling seats with people not paying in cash in order to negate the appearance of an empty place. Another is maybe the ‘stew’ example that Anthony Bordain had on “The Big Short”. Another is a sports or entertainment venue giving away free seats to make the game or concert appear to be more popular than it is. Now you are going to say ‘that’s deminis who cares’ but look at the reason they are doing it. Because they know people will infer a negative if they don’t buff up the image they have. And they want to avoid the consequence of that negative.All of these ‘gaming’ behaviors have the same thing in common. Nobody asks any questions. Nothing would have prevented the people visiting me from asking questions and using that information or taking a closer look. They could have just said to a few people ‘how long have you worked here?’. If they did they would have figured out what was going on.[1] But only in that profession. I have them as tenants (well Physicians anyway) and I can tell you that they definitely put a different hat on when negotiating a lease (in terms of how upfront and honest they are.)

          2. Salt Shaker

            For the record, I didn’t “game” the system w/ my landlord. It certainly wasn’t my place to police their properties and identify scofflaws. That’s their job. I didn’t mislead or lie about my income. At the time of my original lease signing, I was well under the income requirement to qualify for rent stabilization status. Years later I surpassed the max level. Had they asked or inquired about my income, then there’d be an obligation on my part to share. One could argue it was appropriate for me to volunteer such information w/out inquiry, but I didn’t see it that way. Just sayin.

          3. LE

            It is definitely not your place to police their properties but you were aware (others would argue) that you were ‘getting away with something’. In what way is this different than if you buy 3 of something in a store and you are only charged by the clerk for one item? Do you say ‘oh well it’s not my job to police’ or do you say ‘wow I should point that out and pay what I owe’.Once again I don’t take issue with what you did in any way. However to part of your point others might. And that shows that at the core there is perhaps always a case where people will call others out for what they think is not ethical if the impact is not on them. But when it’s their thing everything is different and the line is at a different place.My guess is that if you were thinking of running for public office whereby you would be judged in a public forum you might have handled that differently. Because you would know that others would infer that something wrong had happened.Lastly maybe you will agree that ‘not doing something to prevent when you know’ in many cases is the same as ‘doing something’.

          4. Salt Shaker

            In your buy 3 of something example, I’d be a knowing participant in an illicit transaction. An accessory to a crime, if you will. There was nothing illegal about my dealings w/ my landlord. Again, the information I provided in my original rental application was truthful, and I would have continued to be truthful w/ them had they inquired. The obligation to check the legal status of their tenants is theirs. That’s their biz. A good landlord would have been all over this. Why should I be responsible for their shortcomings?

          5. LE

            Well a mistake on the part of a cashier (happens all the time, right?) is not the same as ‘knowing participant in an illicit transaction’. The wording you used implies some type of conspiracy on the part of both of you and the cashier that wasn’t what I said had happened. I said ‘buy three but only charged for one item’. So to be clear there is no ‘accessory to a crime’ because a cashier making a pricing mistake and you benefiting is not a crime. There is no mens rea etc.By the way the finer points of this is exactly why we have courts and trials and attorneys and further why the first court is sometimes even wrong and is overturned. Things are not black and white. (That said I know very little about rent control and the application that you signed (and what it said) so I am not in a position to argue this further!)

          6. Salt Shaker

            If a purchaser knowingly takes the goods, then there’s clear culpability on their part. A conscious decision was made to rip off the retailer, or not right a wrong when presented w/ the opp to do so. True story: I had dinner for (4) at a nice restaurant two weeks ago and the waitress mistakenly processed the wrong bill against my credit card. The correct amount was $212, she charged us $60. I could have walked, but I pointed out the mistake. She said she voided the first transaction but it went through, as did the correct or second transaction. So I was charged 2X. Been trying to get this resolved since. The restaurant mgr said she’d handle and get back to me. Haven’t heard a word, and I’m a good customer.

      2. DJL

        And let’s not forget that you had Obama and his funded team on the ground, providing money and material support to influence the Israeli election. When is that investigation going to open up? Let’s not hold our breath.

    2. Richard

      It’s almost inexplicable how anyone can believe this myth.

    3. fredwilson

      i will cut that down when you cut down that 9/11 was an inside job

      1. PhilipSugar

        +1000 Even JLM better chime in that was not an inside job.

      2. kidmercury

        Lol well you know I always welcome a full blown discussion of any of these issues. If you want to point holes in what I say about 9/11, I would welcome it sincerely. If you want to believe the nyt is a bastion of truth, that is of course your prerogative, though there is plenty of evidence over a period of decades from a variety of sources to suggest otherwise.For what it’s worth, the voice of the Trump movement comes from a subsection of kooks who believe in 9/11 truth, pizzagate, qanon, and all that stuff. At this point it’s a trend, which may be another reason to consider its veracity more closely.

      3. Donna Brewington White

        Some of my all time favorite moments on AVC are interactions between you and Kid.How I’ve missed this. And have loved seeing you in the comments today.

  27. Emil Sotirov

    Deleting this … duplicate.

  28. sigmaalgebra

    So, what’s this new war on white men? Somewhere, maybe in a dark basement of the NYT, there is a team of nasty people who dream up new themes for the NYT to push? So, they did global warming. Then there was a memo and they did climate change. Then they had Friedman push the world is flat excuse for importing cheap workers and products, globalism. All along they are big on various versions of women hate men feminism. Then they push that “diversity is good” — so bring in that guy from Bangladesh who killed how many people? No explanation, just a catechism — “diversity is good” to overturn our long, solid, well considered laws, rules, procedures on immigration. Then push Schumer’s diversity lottery program that let in the Bangladesh murder.So, now that NYT dark basement is coming up with a war on white men — to be punished before found guilty, evidence, tried, charged, arrested? “White”? Sounds like racism. “Men”? Sounds like sexism. White men are guilty because, well, just because, but if you want details, right, Columbus was a white male, wasn’t he, and look at all the damage he did????As long as people keep paying attention to NYT nonsense, they will keep pushing it out.

  29. Emil Sotirov

    Happy to see Fred on board for #4 (the safety net issue). As someone coming from Europe (as Albert) and having lived under a communist regime… that was THE #1 issue on my mind for the last 10-15 yrs. The US must do the smart thing again (as in the 30s) with a New New Deal. We might as well call it The Smart Social Contract and put it on Ethereum.Now, let me go back to watching the Bitcoin price.Happy New 2018 everyone!Just to clarify – as a pro-capitalist guy, I see an unconditional safety net as a way to give markets even more freedom to be as competitive as needed.

  30. hypermark

    Fred, first and foremost, thanks for being an honest broker of your own personal truth, all the while encouraging diverse perspectives. Anyone who has spent any time in this community over the years knows the earnestness by which you cultivate these discussions.This is such a great post, and the varying responses show just how reflexively folks default to false dichotomies and false equivalencies. Truth is always more nuanced, a notion that struggles mightily in the age of social media.As to Crypto, and the analogs to Internet 1.0/2.0, the good news for most of us coming “late” to the party, is that the party really hasn’t started yet. Sure, there are multitudes that will make massive “coin” on speculation and mania, but as the prior periods show, real infrastructure will get built, real industries will rise and real businesses will take flight.The ascendant periods are decade plus in nature, so focus on what is real and take a real time horizon, and the notion of “missed opportunities” goes away.As to applicable use cases, borderless/decentralized markets, micro currencies, micro incentives, programmable currencies, validated identity, verified general ledger are all areas ripe for innovation. Don’t fall prey to reducing this to the Pets.com analog of delivering dog food at a loss via the Internet. You’ll miss the next Amazon.Re the end of White Male Dominance, I am not as sanguine that this is really happening. For one, the reflexive response by a number of folks to the very term “White Male Dominance” is emblematic that the resistance is tough. The number of white males that believe it is **they** who are being discriminated against speaks to how institutionalized this is.If you watch Fox News as your primary mouthpiece, you are NEVER hearing the concept of sexism, racism or hate as a real problem, and let’s face it, the power of tribalism in our country is extreme.If anything, the moral of the story is that **demographically** speaking, this is the end of White Male Dominance, but unless the Majority can organize and build working coalitions focused on actual policy, this is just a rallying cry for Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign.Finally, as to the Tech Backlash, I’d say I hope so. There is a simultaneous lack of accountability in the tech business (as was the case with Wall Street before it), the blind notion that if it can be built it should, and a general amorality of the leaders of these tech companies.I find it laughable that so many reflexively dismiss the impact that Facebook, Twitter and Google had on an election where the outcome was shaped by very few **counties** in very few states. Given the ease by which 2016 showed how a motivated alien party (Russia) could micro target highly charged, often verifiability false messages to tens of millions of people, should trouble everyone.If it was your home, school, church, workplace or community center, wouldn’t you at least want to **know** if the back door was left unlocked for would-be evil doers? I sure would, and do.The fact that Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai and Jack Dorsey have shown no ethical sense of responsibility to govern their platforms against hate, discrimination and divisiveness speaks to a lack of accountability.A final thought about disruption is that if history teaches us anything, it’s that in the long run, disruption creates far more jobs than it disrupts, but in the short run, the disruption is catastrophic for the disrupted AND the nature of the disruption is uneven, with real losers for which a better tomorrow (seemingly) never comes.This is where real safety nets are critical, and our lazy notions of capitalism “good,” government “bad” needs its own version of 2.0 thinking.Happy New Year everyone. 🙂

  31. gbattle

    Excellent post Fred. Truly.Crypto: To the extent that the blockchain challenges the hard fast rule of exchanging personal privacy for technological convenience, I hold hope that it lives beyond the current speculative hype. As for it being an asset class, TBD. I’ve lived through enough financial and tech cycles to recognize my final judgement will happen after seeing how crypto assets survive a cycle. I’m a scorched earth kinda guy, so let’s see what cockroaches survive the carnage.White male dominance: I don’t believe for a second that we’re at the beginning of the end of white/male dominance. We’re at the beginning of a certain segment of white/males openly embracing aspects of rape culture in the face of increasing scrutiny under the ironic guise of self-expression and tolerance for the intolerant. There are too many comfortable spaces for rape/harassment culture to fester, and our tech community created, enabled and aggregated them, then made them discoverable. And if blockchain tech makes good on powering a prismatic identity structure with long tail, decentralized, self-policed communities, trust, all forms of bigotry and harassment will prosper, but with superior privacy controls. It will all hide in plain sight.Tech Backlash: America always needs an ominous boogey-man challenging our freedoms – drug czars, immigrants, Nazis, Wall Street, tech, Russians, coastal elites, tiki-torch bros, communism, terrorists, MSM, globalism – as we Americans are universally more motivated by fear than anything else. 2017 only anchored this.Cheers to a challenging our fears in 2018.

  32. JLM

    .As a card carrying, dominant, white male, allow me to share a few thoughts with you.[Full disclosure: born white, 6’4″ tall, went to a military school, soldier, paratrooper, Ranger, entrepreneur, high rise office building developer, company starter, lover of the pay window — I am not a victim here. I am unapologetic.]No, this is not the beginning of the end. It is not even the end of the beginning. It is not even the beginning. It is a head fake.It would cease to be a head fake if there were some actual consequences — Harvey Weinstein in jail, Matt Lauer burned at the stake on a Hamptons beach, Charlie Rose hung nude upside down from the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, or Donald J Trump not elected/re-elected.Call me when something of that magnitude happens, please. Until then, don’t fall for the head fake. Guys are just competing to see who can give the most heartfelt speech-written apology.Let’s be clear, this is not about society writ large. This is about goofy guys who never got laid in high school or college who used their personal power to create sexual bitcoin to convert into taking liberties with women who would, otherwise, never give them the time of day. They are giving us dominant, alpha male, pack leaders a bad name.It is about creeps using power to have sex.Revelation: that has always been wrong. It didn’t get discovered in 2017. It happened when Adam became a VC (or a real estate developer or ran for Congress) back in the Garden of Eden.The public note started with Pres Clinton getting a mediocre blow job in the Oval Office and thereby earning the love of the Dem party as he was lionized as the party leader has now simply bubbled to the surface with the media’s newfound, faux outrage until it began to take heads in their own industry.Candidate Trump added fuel to the fire when he bragged about grabbing pussy. Not enough fuel for him to be defeated at the polls. Two Presidents signalled this is just fine. We bit.The pendulum has swung so far, it has to swing back. As an example, I despise Al Franken. I see no reason why he should have resigned his Senate seat because when he was a comedian on a USO trip he was so stupid as to have a pic of him faux groping a woman.We already knew he was a cad. It was before he joined the Senate. It was stupid. If a spurt of stupidity was disqualifying who would we actually have in the Congress?We need dominant, white, alpha males because only they can change the calculus. You want women to get a better shake in the marketplace? Then, ensure that amongst the defining values of alpha maledom is the recruitment, training, hiring, support of accomplished women.Do not eliminate the dominant, white, pack leading alpha male — work him like a rented mule. Make him change the club he belongs to.In the meantime, there will be a lot more bad behavior until there are consequences. Right now, Harvey Weinstein is laughing at you.Happy New Year. I have a feeling 2018 is going to be a GREAT YEAR. Get yours.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. fredwilson

      i think women and minorities can change the calculus on their own. they don’t need your help.

      1. JLM

        .Everybody needs a little help.Didn’t it require a little assistance from the USV dominant white males to admit a female partner? It didn’t happen by divine intervention, no? It took some time to make it happen.We are all in this together. In the end, we should be focused on opportunity and performance — color blind. I am prepared to use my power to make things better. Why not?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. Chimpwithcans

          JLM proposing evolution vs. Fred’s revolution?

          1. JLM

            .Revolutions never start on full bellies. Right now, everybody’s got a pretty full belly.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…


    I know there are a lot of good guys. But now many men add a qualifier beforehand, like, I hope you don’t think I’m being inappropriate, but….blah blah blah, as someone said to me last week. Or no qualifier. Just shitty behavior. For example, a few weeks ago my friend started a new job and the owner made a practical joke, emailing a group saying that my friend had slept with a colleague and was creating tension. Not funny. Alive and well. I’m dubious much will change soon. We call out racists but that’s alive and well too. It will take generations.

    1. fredwilson

      i think it is getting better, and will continue to get better


        Hope soon!

    2. PhilipSugar

      Don’t know if you saw my post or my posts before or above. There is shitty behavior that was my exact quote.I don’t know what stuns me more….shitty behavior to people you know or those you don’t……frankly I’ve only encountered one really shitty behavior in an employee situation, some very not appropriate and deserving of censure. But I have seen some of the most of the shittiest behavior I have ever seen when traveling with female employees by people that don’t know them. Shocks the crap out of me.

  34. scorcher14

    Personal data sovereignty likely goes hand in hand with peer-to-peer technology. Whenever there’s a centralized server, there is centralized surveillance / hacking / data loss.

  35. Matt Zagaja

    I do not think everyone can (or should) become software developers, but I think most people are going to need to understand how software works to function in the new economy.When I worked for the Connecticut Democratic Party a large component of my work was teaching political organizers how algorithms work. We held day long trainings. If we did not explain the algorithms and help them understand them, then they would not trust them. If they did not trust them then they would use their own methods. Then they would lose. Building understanding builds trust. It is worth it.

  36. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:Amazing the well that humans voluntarily drink from even when they know the source is polluted.There are openly Mike Cernovich and Richard Spencer clones on this blog and they appear proud of it. Attempting to normalize the idealogy of hate, misogyny, xenophobic and the art of lying. Cheering each other on. If you need to be directed to who, what and where just logoff.Captain Obvious!#UNEQUIVOCALLYUNAPOLOGETICALLYINDEPENDENT

  37. Dong Ming

    I’m not sure I fully see why a decentralized internet is clearly an upgrade to the current internet (to be called internet 3.0). Can you elaborate more on this or point me in the right direction for resources?

  38. JAJones

    Happy New Year Fred and thanks for your thoughtful posts. Really enjoying your Songs That Stayed With Me mix. Any live shows you’ve seen recently that you recommend?

  39. Aswath Krishnan

    Other ways to cope with addiction: – consumer-tech has to align better with user well-being and utility. Companies need a better metric for user utility rather than engagement or time-spent; – Maybe reshape the ad/subscription business model, that reward addictive products, to be more aligned with user well-being. – Also, give back control and intentionality to users (bottomless news feeds, auto-play videos hijack control).It took 40 years of gradual awareness of bad effects before cigarette use dropped significantly. Hopefully it is way sooner with addictive apps. The harm is real and at an unprecedented scale.

  40. Marc Love

    > Computer literacy for everyone. That means making sure that everyone is able to go into GitHub and read the code that increasingly controls our lives and understand what it does and how it works.>> Open source vs closed source software so we can see how the algorithms that control our lives work.Technologists greatly overestimate the appetite for this. Yes, people want to understand the systems that control their lives and they don’t want secret algorithms making life changing decisions for them. But the overwhelming majority, even among the youngest generation, have no desire to inspect code and verify that it lives up to their standards of what is right and wrong. It would be like if laws were suddenly written in a foreign language and you expected citizens to just learn that new language rather than demand laws be written in the language they already know.”Everyone…[on] Github” is never happening. But I would bet on systems, products, and policies which increase the transparency of corporate-owned AI and algorithms that make important decisions. Business can either proactively build those systems or be subjected to some likely ham-handed government policies that force them to. Right now I don’t have much faith in business to do the former.

  41. jason wright

    TV, newspapers, lobbyists,… they’ve been hacking elections forever. ‘fake news’ is their move to defend their inherited right to set agendas and control outcomes. I see this as the Catholic Church screaming “heretic” to anyone and everyone in Europe who dared to challenge its autocracy.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      Yes, but look at the art and architecture!!!!! The Bishop’s Residenz at Wurtzburg is gorgeous and would really set one back!

  42. Albin

    Not sure if “crypto/blockchain” isn’t a conflation – accepting the chart for the sake of argument, seems crypto currencies are in their frenzy but I don’t see that blockchain has even “irrupted” yet: it’s only really been seriously implemented for those “currencies” and maybe Krypto Kreme Dough Nut$, and is probably still gestating for much more important use cases.

  43. pointsnfigures

    “Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.”-Benjamin Franklin Happy New Year.

  44. USA

    Did you ever consider the possibility that he exists because of you and them? You connected the backlash on white males to him but failed to or chose to ignore the connection between the tech backlash and him. This ignorance or arrogance is why they strongly dislike you and them.

  45. Tereza

    Great roundup, Fred. And, happy New Year, y’all!My resolution: get more involved in AVC commenting again. Anyone here willing to keep me accountable? 😉

    1. Donna Brewington White

      Yep!Happy New Year, T!

      1. Tereza

        Can’t wait to see you more, @donnawhite:disqus . And hey, LOOK, I posted today! Woot!. We’re gonna crush 2018, my friend.

  46. Dwight Silverman

    That Picasso quote: “Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.” That’s what’s happening now, and we’re still in the destruction phase. Fred, your tying of a strong social safety net to the radical transformation that connected technology has wrought is dead on. If we are deconstructing society to reassemble it for the 21st century, we should have something that takes care of the broken pieces until they can be made whole.

  47. ThatAdamGuy

    Fred, as an employee of a big high-tech company, I’m obviously super-biased, but… I think a lot of the “tech / techie” hate has been manufactured or at least hugely magnified by the press… which, as you well know, is not exactly a big fan of Facebook and Google for economic reasons.At least one prominent brand survey* has shown that people seem to still really like tech companies overall.I’m glad a lot of tech workers have come forward with their true & awful stories of sexual harassment, for instance… spurring some long overdue awareness and improvements. But I am not sure that this (and related issues) are any worse in tech companies than, say, at hospitals or car dealerships or architecture firms or whatnot. A lot of the world’s powerful (men, mostly) are just assholes.I feel less certain about the election issues that have come to light. I think the big companies could have done a lot more to prevent / disclose / etc. With that said… did this really make a difference in the election? People have been essentially hardened, pushed in ignorant tribalism over the years (my God, just consider Pizzagate!)… the point where I’m not sure a bevy of either sensationalist lies or hard-hitting truth would have swayed most folks one way or the other.And lastly, re your points here…- “Human beings don’t want to be controlled by machines.”My goodness, we still have agency! Before smartphones, people were addicted to TV, blocking social interaction with Sony Walkmen and/or newspapers/books.Yes, it can be hard, but people really CAN have dinners together without checking their phones. People can try restaurants without checking Yelp. You’re blaming tech for our (yes, I include me) sometimes-seeming-inability to do things, make choices, manage our own attention away from tech. We humans need to take more responsibility.> “…fed information by algorithms we don’t understand”I’m further biased by my past work on Google Search and Google Maps but… damn, this stuff is complicated. One thing my teammates and I in Search really pushed for, for instance, was a broader, multinational awareness push into How Search Works. I think we were partly successful but could have done better. But full understanding of algorithms by the masses is an unattainable goal. Just like I do not and never will have a full understanding of how my car works or even how my own body works ;).> “at risk of losing our jobs to robots.”This is not the fault of robots or the people who make them. This is on society. We need a basic income or better safety nets. In the meantime, my goodness, bring on the automation. Is it really sane to wish to keep those jobs stuffing boxes, paving roads, cleaning sewers…?!

    1. ThatAdamGuy

      Oh, and sorry about my laziness in not finding/linking to that brand survey.

    2. hyperhyper

      Insert “I wish I could upvote 1000 times” comment here. You verbalized so much of what I’ve been thinking and I am 100% onboard that American Tribalism needs to go away. The blind voting based on what you have always voted for (or the party your family has always voted for) and the lack of educating oneself on candidates (further than the echo chambers) is the biggest travesty for the democratic system in the US.

  48. Layoffthesoy

    Not necessarily anything more than a drunk opinione

  49. Khaled Aly

    Great post. Really enjoyed reading it. Can you please elaborate more on the concept of decentralization? In fact, a post dedicated to decentralization, covering the pros and cons, would be most appreciated. Thanks.

  50. Adam Sher

    I am undecided about whether everyone should learn to code. What is missing from an education filled with good math, philosophy, and literature education? That covers logic, problem solving, thinking, and envisioning other scenarios. You can apply that in short order to learn basic coding for those who are curious. Maybe software illiteracy begets the same types of problems as financial illiteracy.

  51. fduch

    It’s posts like this that make it more likely that Trump is reelected.Why couldn’t progressives just create progress?Why did “progressives” become religious?Why did “progressives” become intolerant?Why did “progressives” become against freedom?Why did “progressives” become against freedom of speech?Why did “progressives” enforce discrimination?Why did “progressives” become hateful?Why did “progressives” become toxic?Why did “progressives” become bullies?I guess, the finally got the power.The power that corrupted them so easily.Too bad they’re taking the science and our planet with them to their grave.As for Trump, think about this:When black people are upset about their treatment, they smash and burn shops. They are sending a signal that they don’t like status quo.When Americans are upset about their treatment, they go and vote for someone that their tormentors hate the most – Trump. They are sending a signal that they don’t like status quo.

  52. Thunder Capital

    I wanted to know if anyone you know is working on your platform #3 idea: Personal data sovereignty so that we control our data and provision it via API keys, etc to the digital services we use.I envision point #3 as one of the most important. With GDPR from Europe as a good step, I wanted to know if you will publish further your thoughts on #3 in the near future. I don’t think I’ve seen anything coming from the US yet.I do think there needs to be strong regulatory environment to enforce personal data sovereignty and hope to see it happen soon. I might investigate it more and try to think of the proper architecture.Thank you for your blog.