Trevor McKendrick - The most dangerous fallacy

Good morning,

Happy Thanksgiving week to all my American friends.

I’m In Mexico this week and Miami this weekend - would love to meet up with folks while in the alleged new tech capital.

Trevor

Biden & Xi Jinping had a virtual meeting (article)

Somehow my content consumption sources totally missed this which is wild given the current importance of the US/China relationship.

Nothing truly new was said - to me that they’re talking at all is good news.

It was interesting to see the different physical setups in a WSJ video of each leader: Xi in a huge room sitting in the middle of a very long desk/table, with other (I presume) Chinese leadership sitting beside him on long tables; Biden in a small room at the head of a much smaller desk. Both sides had a US and Chinese flag behind them.

Here is the Whitehouse’s summary of the meeting.

The most dangerous fallacy in tech (tweet)

“The most dangerous logical fallacy in tech is conflating the amount of money flowing into something as some sort of validation of a market. This becomes even more dangerous when there is a high volume of participants whose financial outcome is tied to ignoring the truth.”

Girl does a dating survey, dates top scorer (article)

Aella did another survey, this time to try and find a long-term partner. Thousands of people responded. She scored the results and contacted the top 3 scorers, and ended up dating one of them.

The post is about what it was like to date someone who scored well on your dating survey.

Currently reading: The Private Life of Chairman Mao (book)

About 1/3 of the way through.

Written by Mao’s personal doctor who served him for 20+ years.

It’s always interesting to hear how approachable so many famous & powerful are when you’re up close to them.

Also interesting to learn that Mao simply did not care if millions of people died because of some policy: his goal was to transform China into a communist state, and that end justified literally any means imaginable.

Other random things I’ve learned:

  • Mao suffered from insomnia and so worked crazy hours, often very late and night staying up for 24 or 36 hours at a time and then sleeping for 10-12 hours
  • Mao believed China’s inevitable greatness could only be done through him. He felt uniquely special. I guess this shouldn’t surprise you given how powerful & central to China he became, but still bizarre to read about from someone who was there first hand. How can anyone have that much self belief?
  • He grew up a peasant and so had no education background whatsoever. Hearing about some of his policy choices & his thinking makes me think that perhaps some of the most evil people in history did bad things less because they were intentionally trying to inflict great harm and more because they had absolute power and were total and utter morons yielding that power.
Adele gets Spotify to remove shuffle album button (article)

This is interesting because it should be so trivial: a single button was removed from 1 app and people are losing their minds? WTF is going on?

But it’s interesting because it’s an example of the leverage of tech. Sure it’s just 1 small thing, but if your 1 small thing affects 365 million people, it’s suddenly a big thing.

And Finally…

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See you next week!

Trevor



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