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Humanizing Tech

"Diary of a Madman, Page 4" in Humanizing Tech

2,700 people now peering inside. Don’t get trapped.

  1. Self-Driving: Deep learning for autonomous navigation is hitting a brick wall. I wrote a few notes about it this week on The Information and have a mini-series in the works with The Mission. The Valley is still praying to Ozymandias, but those many years wearing theoretical math glasses show me where the machine learning limits are, so I’m confident in my thesis. Snuck a peek inside Google’s self-driving car, wouldn’t want to spend more than 10 minutes in it. Apple can, and should, do a much better job with the interior. Or, stop waiting and get an electric car for $69/month.
  2. Space: watched Chris Nolan’s Interstellar again last weekend. Most brilliant storyteller of our time. Feeling that I could realistically create a Gravity Drive and move beyond the neanderthalic, 1900s nature of our technology. We’re still using a combustion engine to get to space. Basically haven’t innovated past gun powder, folks. Thinking about a string theory summer break in the late 90s reading Michio Kaku’s Hyperspace. Then back to dreaming about being an astronaut, visiting the Air Force Academy but choosing math instead of mechanical engineering. The former is the language of the universe, while the latter is man’s feeble attempt at building one of our own.
  3. AI: Try augmenting your own intelligence, then subscribe to Jack Clark’s newsletter on the subject. He surprisingly just joined the OpenAI team and may persuade you that AI still has legs. Very fresh legs.
  4. Human Behavior: Raising money for a startup? We got access to a survey of 900 venture capitalists for why they choose to fund 1 startup out of 100.
  5. Investing: If you don’t want to squander your income before retirement, you only have 3 options: put all your money into the S&P500, get a finance degree from a place like Chicago Booth, or follow along with The Base Code’s personal hedge fund strategy. The latest investment? Delta ($DAL). Another tip? Nickel ($JJN). It’s in every rechargeable lithium ion battery (phones, cars, computers, IoT) and the core of stainless steel. Experts think the price will rise gradually over the next 5 years, limited by supply, not demand as you might expect.
  6. Health: I got myself a new bag for breakfast, this time with Soylent’s Coffiest. I don’t know if it’s the future of food, but damn if it doesn’t turn coffee+breakfast from a 15-minute ordeal into a 5-second rip-n-sip.
  7. Video: at the low end of the market, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat are all fighting over UGC table scraps. YouTube is still the only place normal people can make a dime with video. OVPs are all losing money and either need to get acquired or go out of business. OTT is also trending towards free with new startups commoditizing the space. Video ads still aren’t your savior, so says the king. Want to make money? Create niche content for niche geographies and charge a $4.99 subscription. Forget DRM. Unless you’re a broadcaster dealing with metadata issues or C3/C7. Then give Piksel a call.
  8. Energy: Ain’t no power plugs in space, folks. Solar panels are at 25% efficiency, but where are the enterprising entrepreneurs trying to 3D print Dyson Spheres? Walkie-talkie watches and self-driving spaceships were also science fiction once too. More thoughts forthcoming.
  9. Gratitude: a little bit of love goes a long way. One of my best buds and insanely talented creatives, Tragnark, did a TedX talk about his journey from foster care to being a Futurist as Hasbro. Might make you well up, it did for me.

— Sean

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Humanizing Tech is a premium publication covering autonomous driving, self-learning AI, personal hedge funds, editable DNA, SAAS space platforms, personal power stations, and niche video portals. This newsletter is a peek inside the Editor’s mind.

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