Week of July 9, 2018

A few things of note from around the Internet this week…

Dystopia

Antonio García Martīnez on the informal caste system forming in San Francisco:

The pessimist in me, however, thinks San Francisco can only continue further down this path, with the old-money propertied class dying or cashing out, the non-techies getting squeezed, and everyone getting pushed into the four-level hierarchy. In case there's any doubt, I find the growth of this rigid caste system horrifying, and antithetical to both liberal democracy and the American project. It also seems that, at least in San Francisco, we're close to a point of no return. Whether that’s true elsewhere remains to be seen.

Productivity

Rands Information Practices:

Some of these practices pay immediate time-saving dividends. Some require small consistent investment over time to achieve the desired effect. All require discipline. Some feel destructive. Many require working counter to the intent of the apps and services you use every day because the collective goals of those apps and services goals can diverge from your goals.

Dystopia Pt. 2

Douglas Rushkoff on the future of technology. It looks a lot more like billionaires transcending the human condition and escaping the confines of this planet than it does making the world a better place.

The future became less a thing we create through our present-day choices or hopes for humankind than a predestined scenario we bet on with our venture capital but arrive at passively.

Investing

Morgan Housel identifies the four core principles of investing:

3. The ability to be comfortable being miserable.

This is the most fundamental of all investment principles. You can’t enjoy the benefits of exercise without some sort of discomfort, because being out of breath, sore, or tired is the sign that you’ve put in enough effort to deserve a reward. Same in investing. The financial rewards for being comfortable as an investor are the same as the physical rewards for sitting on the couch.

Dystopia Pt. 3

M.H. Miller on her very personal struggle for student loan redemption:

The problem, I think, runs deeper than blame. The foundational myth of an entire generation of Americans was the false promise that education was priceless—that its value was above or beyond its cost. College was not a right or a privilege but an inevitability on the way to a meaningful adulthood. What an irony that the decisions I made about college when I was seventeen have derailed such a goal.

I cannot bring myself to believe that, 17 years from now when my girls are about to take their next step in life, the higher education system will be unchanged. It is so fundamentally broken and a symptom of the income inequality that shows no signs of being reversed. The thread below (make sure to click through) from Austen Allred, CEO of Lambda School, shows just how literally insane the problem is:

Austen Allred@AustenAllred

Competition: Find the craziest graph that shows how bad the student debt crisis really is

April 5, 2018