Day: January 4, 2023

Why internet silos win

This post is by Om Malik from On my Om

Ever since Elon Musk took over Twitter and turned it into a tawdry reality show in which he is the star, the villain, and the comedian, everyone has been talking about a new decentralized web. New products, such as Mastodon, and new technologies, such as Activity Pub, are part of a new desire to build a new “fedeverse.” This is utopian thinking about taking the web back from the centralized web platforms.

One of my favorite bloggers, designer Lars Mensel notes:

We all feed social networks and online platforms with unprecedented amounts of data, hardly accounting for the fact everything might vanish when the ownership of a network changes (as seems likely with Twitter’s ongoing nosedive) or the business model collapses.

Mensel is right. And it makes sense that more of us should be doing it, but we don’t because, in the end, we want an easy way out. Manuel Moreale, a programmer points out:

The more I think and read about it, the more I’m convinced that there’s no solution to the centralisation issue we’re currently facing. And that’s because I think that fundamentally people are, when it comes to the internet, lazy. And gathering where everyone else is definitely seems easier. It’s also easier to delegate the job of moderating and policing to someone else and so as a result people will inevitably cluster around a few big websites, no matter what infrastructure we build. And sure, there is always going to be an independent minority (Read more...)

Ranked: The World’s Wealthiest Cities, by Number of Millionaires

This post is by Raul Amoros from Visual Capitalist

Infographic showing a ranking of the world's wealthiest cities

The Top 20 Cities for the World’s Ultra-Wealthy

How many millionaires, centimillionaires, and billionaires live in the world’s wealthiest cities?

While such metrics are not all encompassing, these measurements of private wealth do help put the financial health and economic activity of some of the world’s wealthiest cities in perspective.

This infographic uses information from the Henley Global Citizens Report, in partnership with New World Wealth, to rank the world’s wealthiest cities. It leverages a comprehensive data set that tracks the movements and spending habits of high-net-worth individuals in over 150 cities around the world.

Which cities and regions have the biggest concentrations of millionaires around the world, each with a net worth greater than $1 million (USD)?

Millionaires and Billionaires in the Wealthiest Cities

In the latest edition of the ranking, North America has a strong showing with seven of the wealthiest cities, by number of millionaires.

In particular, the United States claims five of the cities in the top 10, including the very top spot with New York City.

#1New York🇺🇸 United States345,60059
#2Tokyo🇯🇵 Japan304,90012
#3San Francisco🇺🇸 United States276,40062
#4London🇬🇧 United Kingdom272,40038
#5Singapore🇸🇬 Singapore249,80026
#6Los Angeles🇺🇸 United States192,40034
#7Chicago🇺🇸 United States160,10028
#8Houston🇺🇸 United States132,60025
#9Beijing🇨🇳 China131,50044
#10Shanghai🇨🇳 China130,10042
#11Sydney🇦🇺 Australia129,50016
#12Hong Kong🇭🇰 China (SAR)125,10028
#13 (Read more...)

(Mis)adventures in flying

This post is by Om Malik from On my Om

I took a quick break for the holidays and went out to take photographs in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. The photography was amazing, and I got a chance to connect with nature. I managed to do some hiking as well. However, the biggest adventure was when flying home. In the winter, United offers a  direct flight from Jackson Hole to San Francisco, which takes just over two hours. So, when I got to the airport, I was hoping to be in my apartment by 6.30 pm, ease into the evening, and get back to work. 

Of course, the weather gods had something different in mind. The flight took off two hours later, primarily due to local weather conditions that had backed up the flights. And as a result, our flight got to San Francisco in the middle of a rainstorm and crazy winds. The smaller planes like ours were having a tricky time landing and instead were routed to San Jose. We sat on the tarmac at the San Jose Airport for about 3 hours. The plane needed to refuel and fly back to San Francisco, where we could get our luggage and go for other connecting flights. 

The onboard staff was as accommodating as possible, but they couldn’t do much. There were a lot of angry passengers who missed their connections. Since the pilots had been on duty for longer than their usual term, they weren’t legally allowed to fly. In other words, the plane was to find fuel (Read more...)

Same As It Ever Was

This post is by Brad Feld from Brad Feld

When I was in college in the 1980s, David Byrne and the Talking Heads were in regular rotation in my room along with Pink Floyd, except for the one semester where the only thing I listed to was Dark Side of the Moon (ah – the joy of discovering repeat on an early CD player.)

Once in a Lifetime was one of my favorites. Looking back, it was a Gen X anthem.

Mark Goldstein sent me an email this morning titled your blog, an article i was in last week and yep in response to my post What Just Happened. It included the phrase “same as it ever was…same as it ever was.” and a link to The Internet Is Kmart Now from The Atlantic.

Amy had texted me the article mid-December when it came out. It starts strong.

The 1990s hadn’t gone as expected. A bad recession kicked off Gen X’s adulthood, along with a war in the Middle East and the fall of communism. Boomers came to power in earnest in America, and then the lead Boomer got impeached for lying about getting a blow job from an intern in the Oval Office. Grunge had come and gone, along with clove cigarettes and bangs. The taste of the ’90s still lingers, for those of us who lived it as young adults rather than as Kenny G listeners or Pokémon-card collectors, but the decade also ingrained a sense that expressing that taste would be banal, a fate that the (Read more...)

Seven reasons I am betting on a Soft Landing for the U.S. Economy


Famed investor Michael Burry ('The Big Short') predicts a U.S. recession "by any definition.” That sounds ominous but let me attempt to articulate why I believe a soft landing or mild recession is more likely.

First and foremost, two disclaimers. One, I am not smart enough to predict the gyrations of the stock market, which is digesting the unwinding of one of the greatest asset bubbles ever, coupled with a still-lingering pandemic, an emerging climate crisis, and international & domestic political instability.
That’s a lot of risk to mitigate.

Two, we ARE moving into a period of tighter access to capital, so industries dependent on cheap, easy money to backstop long-term negative cashflow business fundamentals, or robust public markets for ready liquidity (e.g., Venture Capital) may very well face serious challenges.

In a healthy way, the present is very much a time for re-set of valuation metrics, and re-classification of assets, as in:

  1. Is that asset really a liability?
  2. Is the valuation premium too rich given risk factors (think: Crypto, Tesla)?

In other words, if you are in an undifferentiated money-losing business (or industry), the present time is reminiscent of the narrative that:

“When your friend loses her job, it's a recession, but when YOU lose your job, it's a depression.”

The point being that not all segments are created equal, and even in good economic times, plenty of businesses fail.

Then, why am I relatively bullish?

One, so much of inflation, and by extension, the cost of EVERYTHING, (Read more...)

Large movements are rarely monolithic

This is Joseph.

Nadia Asparouhova has a post trying to lay out the different tribes of the climate movement. In some cases, I think that she has broken them up too narrowly. And she misses the group that seems to be involved mostly to get political clout and be able to scold. If you are flying around the world  to complain about climate change then you are not looking at a world in which change begins with you. 

The most interesting tribes are the Doomerism and Neopastoralism tribes, because, unlike the others, they aren't arguing about the best policy to fight climate change. They are either giving up or suggesting a solution that is either fantastical or brutal.

Doomerism is easy. The idea that we are all set for disaster could be correct. But there is literally no benefit to thinking about things this way. If the outcome is inevitable then a focus on constructive solutions is a psychologically healthy coping mechanism. But if there is even a chance to evade disaster then a focus on problem solving is a good thing. After all, if the incentives are lined up (e.g., a big fossil fuel shock) then remarkable things can happen

But the one that I find the hardest to really understand is probably Neopastoralism. First of all, the record of attempts to move people back from cities to the countryside (notably still including farming) has been poor, to say the least. Without technology, the carrying capacity of (Read more...)