TL;DR – Inequality in the Internet Age

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Don’t be lazy. Read the entire post. But if you must, here’s a summary.

Income and wealth inequality have increased massively since the 1970s. Productivity was decoupled from wage growth. Most people think the middle class is getting destroyed. But in reality, while the top 10% have left behind the bottom 90%, the top 1% have left behind the 10% and the .01% have left behind the top 1% and the top .001%, or about 400 families, have left behind the top .01%

New technology since the 70s allows for unprecedented wealth accumulation via siren servers and network effects in finance and tech. Government policy, especially tax policy, but also super low interest rates put the inequality created by technology on steroids.

Uber is an example of a winner take all tech play that clearly makes peoples’ lives better in the short and medium term. Uber is in a winner take all (or most) industry, which means it’ll kill the competition and then send its ever increasing 10-30% commission to Bermuda via Ireland via the Netherlands and Ireland again into the hands of a its cofounders and early investors and out of the local economy. It makes a bell curve shaped industry into a winner take all. And when (not if) self driving cars happen, Uber or potentially Telsa will eliminate the drivers and take 100% of the transportation money out of the local economy.

Consequences: super rich no longer interact with the rest of us, leading to loss of empathy, making it easy to write out of touch Paul Graham style blog posts and justify the existence of inequality. This justification leads to Latin America style banana republics like the ones I’ve lived in for the past five years. I’m not anxious for this to happen in the US. We can make changes, but it’ll be hard.

Read the entire post here.

My 2015

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Ever since I started writing here, I’ve done a year end post summarizing what I’ve done in the past year. These posts are mostly for me, so that I can look back and remember what I did, what I was thinking and what was important to me each year. Previous versions (2000s20092010201120122013, 2014). Here’s what I did in 2015.

I rang in 2015 on a cold night in Wisconsin with friends and family, then went back to Chile to get back to summer. In 2015 I was in Chile for about 9 months, the least I’ve spent in Chile since 2011. It was an eventful year that took me to nine countries for work and fun. Looking back, I think 2015 can be distilled down to two main themes. Focus + Growth, and Reconnecting.

Continue reading…

Edoome Rolls Out To All Chilean Public Schools

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Edoome (AngelList profile), a social learning management platform that turns classrooms into an online community so teachers, students and parents can communicate and collaborate easily and securely, just signed an agreement to launch Edoome in all of Chile’s public school system. In the next few months, 200k+ teachers and 3M+ students at 12,000+ Chilean public schools will start to use Edoome, making students’ and teachers’ lives easier and better. The majority of teachers who use Edoome save more than two hours of planning and preparation time per week, letting them focus on what they do best: teaching students.

This agreement is a big step forward for Edoome, as it brings an entire country’s education system into the Edoome platform. In addition to this agreement, Edoome has been growing quickly in Mexico, Spain, the US, Ecuador and Colombia over the past 6-12 months and now has more than 75k teachers and 150k students using the platform. Edoome just recently did a soft launch in the US and is growing at 20+% monthly. Continue reading…

AI, Becoming Multiplanetary, the Fermi Paradox, SpaceX Tesla and Elon Musk on Wait But Why

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Every once in awhile I read something that leaves me thinking, wow! Something that completely changes my perspective or opens a door that was previously blocked off, or that I didn’t even know existed. Tim Urban’s Wait But Why blog is incredible, but his posts on Artificial Intelligence and Elon Musk’s drive to make us a multi planetary species are on another level. I read these posts about 3-4 months ago, but haven’t stopped thinking about them, and they’ve influenced my thinking on a variety of subjects.

The posts are long, but if you take the time to read them, they’re completely worth it. Urban’s descriptions and analogies are amazing and really help explain what’s going on to someone who didn’t know anything about the subject before hand. Here’s some notes (and highlights) from the AI posts. Continue reading…