07 Jun

Not all disintermediation is the same?

Maybe. The backlash against Tesla is interesting to me because it’s a clear win. I have a hard time not seeing Tesla’s success as a win.

“The Internet did not sweep the world because it was a hype job foisted upon us by a 20-something wunderkind from Harvard. It took over because as soon as we saw it we realized it was something we could not live without. We found it to be incredibly useful.”

(Via The bogus Tesla backlash: What if the Internet saves the middle class? – Salon.com.)

29 May

Pundits get more followers for being confident than correct

“Jadrian Wooten, left, and Ben Smith analyzed a billion tweets and found the popularity of a pundit hinges more on whether he or she is confident than right”

(Via For pundits, it’s better to be confident than correct.)

Even recently in the survivorship bias post, people who were acolytes of certain pundits were outraged (and some started working on spreading rumors about me) rather than accept the message I was trying to send that ‘it’s complicated, and hard work’ because they ‘knew’ the ‘obvious’ message that they’ve been hearing for so long.

To be honest, there are long days where I wish I could be strident and say one true way of anything works… mostly I know the older I get, the more I read, the more I learn, the more I find out about what I don’t know…

I also find that strident pundits often come with a side of Dunning-Kruger effect:

The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than average. This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their mistakes.

14 May

The woman who sparked Anonymous’ anti-rape programs

The story of the woman who talked Anonymous into going after the rapists in Stebeunville:

“Until now, the story of how Anonymous got involved in the Steubenville case has never been told in full. The group’s interest was sparked by Michelle McKee, a 51-year-old victim of childhood sexual abuse who says she more recently was nearly driven to suicide by a vicious internet troll.”

(Via Exclusive: Meet the Woman Who Kicked Off Anonymous’ Anti-Rape Operations | Mother Jones.)

28 Mar

The death of the perception of innovation

A very thinky, solid look at how our constant, real time news atmosphere kills the perception of innovation. I have to agree, the stuff that’s happening right now is pretty amazing and I struggle to keep up. However, the ‘if it bleeds it leads’ atmosphere of hourly news that most people are engaged in leads to a dystopic and negative view of a world that actually contains a fair number of marvels going on.

“Even though its confluences can cause rapid shifts in technology, innovation is made of many long series of evolutions — not revolutions.

Take the good ol’ microprocessor. You’d be hard pressed to find a technological developments in the last century that’s more important. Critics of today’s progress love to point at it and say, ‘Why don’t we have moments like that anymore?’ Yet it took decades, a century even, of research to finally put the workable technology in practice.

But what did the public see? They saw companies like Fairchild Semiconductor put it all together and come out of nowhere to dominate the industry (for a while).

Yet the Internet affords us the opportunity to see the evolution of technology in all of its little increments. Each new research paper, previously confined to expensive journals, is now digested and simplified in blogs and cutting edge news sites, providing a constant flavor of the future. Every new direction or investment — self-driving cars! — for a tech company does the same.

Back in ‘the day’ there weren’t bloggers tracking Fairchild or other huge tech companies’ every move. There weren’t Twitter debates about whether the economics of a semiconductor could work. The general population didn’t have media outlets that echoed boardroom disagreements — and how it might affect their promise of one day releasing this ‘semiconductor.’”

(Via The Internet killed (the perception of) Innovation | The Technology Chronicles | an SFGate.com blog.)