CategoryIn the news

The Pandemic-induced Economic Crisis

I’ve been writing about how the pandemic is a causing hunger crisis in the poorer countries. The Los Angeles Times published an article predicting that the pandemic-induced economic crisis in these countries could cause more loss of life than the virus. My fear is that the big institutions that have the means to mitigate these issues won’t do so until the death toll gets large. My...

The Coronavirus Hunger Crisis

If 200,000 (on the way to 400,000) deaths from Covid-19 were not enough to worry about, there is the coming hunger crisis across at least half of the world caused by the lockdowns and economic collapse. I predicted this a month ago and have been talking almost daily with entrepreneurs in Africa with actual stories of the food system collapsing. The New York Times wrote about this crisis a few...

Impermanence (Goodbye Hub Seattle)

Nothing lasts forever is misleading. It implies that some things last for long periods of time. Western philosophy craves stability, predictability and tradition.  We want today to be a lot like yesterday.  We get upset when it isn’t. Buddhism has a different view.  Buddha taught that the only constant is change.  That nothing ever stays the same.  That everything is...

Just Three (Viral) Weeks Ago

I read the news every day. It’s an age-old habit that goes back to the days before the internet, before 24/7 cable news, back when news was at least a day old, if not a week old or a month old and delivered as ink on paper. In today’s 24/7/365 world where hour-old news can be old news it is often difficult to remember what happened a week ago, or from a tidbit in a story today, from...

Seattle, we have a (Covid-19) Problem

Three days later, and three days further into researching the likely scenarios, and we’re at the point in the Covid-19 outbreak equivalent to Apollo 13 where the famous line was spoken, “Houston, we have a problem.” As of today, Monday, March 9, 2020, there are 162 confirmed cases of Covid-19 with 22 dead. Plus positive cases in every neighboring county. Simple math…...

The 2020 Epidemic: Coronavirus

Watching the quarantine of Wuhan was one thing. Hearing about the first case of Covid-19 30 miles from my home from someone returning from China another. Then came six deaths 20 miles away, a school shutting down for a deep clean 15 miles away, and Amazon and Facebook employees with confirmed cases 10 miles away. Anyone in Seattle who isn’t already prepared for a citywide shutdown within...

When Statistics and AI Go Wrong

Long long ago in Pittsburgh far away I earned a Bachelors in Mathematics. I then spent the first twenty years of my career as a “techie”, using that math and Computer Science to analyze and make sense of the world. Every so often that experience is useful here in the real world. Often that experience leads me to be cynical of the use of statistics in the news, especially when the...

Remembering the 2010s

This blog isn’t 10 years old and as such this is the first new decade that I can reminisce as a blogger. Inspired by Axios’ Pro Rata podcast, let’s do this year by year with one major story per year (or two if one isn’t enough): 2010 The Arab Spring began in Tunisia in 2010. Axios mentions that this was the first big movement communicated over social media. It seems like...

Trade Treaties with Multinational Corporations

As the USMCA grinds its way toward replacing NAFTA, it is time to question whether the problems with NAFTA and WTO and TPP are due to the fact that the participants in those treaties are countries instead of companies? The idea of trade treaties with companies is one I had never heard of or considered, but an idea that popped out as an off hand comment at an unrelated meeting a few weeks ago, and...

Too Big to Succeed

Blogging is just one more example of the key lesson I teach entrepreneurs, that it takes multiple iterations to find something that works. That is true not only for products, but also for sales, marketing, and messaging. The words I’ve failed to find in the story of WeWork and its lead investor Softbank I found buried in a CNBC article: Too big to succeed The problem with Softbank’s Vision Fund...

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