From Bitcoin to Ethereum


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These crypto currencies have been hot topic of discussion recently with the success of Ethereum. Today’s needull tries to explain what these are and the differences between Bitcoin and Ethereum.

The Ethereum blockchain is much faster than that of Bitcoin. The delay between two blocks in the bitcoin system is around 12 seconds. The propagation time of a block through the network, understandably, poses de facto new challenges. The Ethereum protocol provides solutions in both cases. Moreover, and this is the great innovation of this platform, one can arbitrarily store data on the blockchain—by which I mean smart-contracts—that are, in fact, programs written in a complete Turing language. There is thus no restriction on the complexity of programs that can be deposited on this particular blockchain.

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Aurélien Alvarez, reply by Jean-Paul Delahaye — Inference

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Entrepreneurship is Metaphysical Labor


Jeff Bezos provides an excellent example of this in his most recent shareholder letter. By focusing Amazon on being a “customer-centered company,” Bezos uses a vague phrase for which the precise specification can be created and re-discovered as long as the company is around. This encourages the most creativity, ingenuity, and entrepreneurship by Amazon employees in every future decision.

Philosophers of metaphysics have straitjacketed their field by insisting that truth comes in only one flavor. All the while, for centuries we’ve had another class of practicing metaphysicians who adopted a partial truth version of events. We’ve called these people entrepreneurs.

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Joseph Kelly — Ribbonfarm

AMAZON IS ABOUT TO TRANSFORM HOW YOU BUY GROCERIES


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Sharing this needull as anything Amazon does is going to have some impact in our lives. And this is the biggest acquisition by Amazon.

Of course, buying Whole Foods doesn’t help Amazon reach the rural areas where Walmart rules. “Amazon is stronger in bigger cities, and the map of Whole Foods locations shows it is closer to these cities,” says Goldberg. Still, you can see the Whole Foods deal being the first step in a larger plan. “If this strategy proves out for Amazon, you could well imagine it could be opening a bunch more stores or doing more acquisitions just to cover the US,” says Goldberg. “And you could imagine it might have similar plays that it’s evaluating in other markets.”

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Davey Alba — Wired

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Citizen Zuckerberg


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Another interesting piece speculating Zuckerberg as a 2020 presidential candidate. Trump election has done one thing for sure – Anyone is game for becoming the POTUS. 4 years of campaign is more than enough. But, how will it be like to have the CEO as the POTUS.

Lest this sound like hyperbolic alarmism, consider how far CEOs have already come. For the CEO of Exxon Mobil to become Secretary of State was once unthinkable. Not anymore. And let’s be honest: being the CEO of Exxon Mobil gives one superb experience at negotiating U.S. interests (at least the Realpolitik ones) with foreign governments. Being CEO at a top investment bank, hedge fund, or private equity firm is now the primary pipeline to become treasury secretary. Is this perhaps because the two jobs are rather similar? As much as commerce secretary, the modern cabinet position reliably staffed by a CEO, is a joke, it has come to the point where every White House cabinet position, even the presidency itself, is directly staffable by a CEO. Let the cabinet and the presidency itself be filled by commerce secretaries; after all, the business of America is business.

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David V. Johnson — The Baffler

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All in the Family Debt


What do social conservatism and neoliberalism have in common? They both undermine community responsibility and force families to take on cross-generation debt.

Indeed, many of the policy reforms after the Reagan revolution can be understood as an attempt to reinvent the imperative of familial responsibility in the new idiom of household debt. As policymakers imposed cuts to health, education, and welfare budgets, they simultaneously identified the family as a wholesale alternative to the twentieth-century social state. And as the responsibility for deficit spending shifted from the state to the household, the private debt obligations of family were defined as foundational to socioeconomic order. The family, not the state, would bear primary responsibility for investing in the education, health and welfare of children.

Boston Review

Image: Painting by Brianna Keeper

How Quora became the hottest website of the year


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The best feeling a writer gets is when he is read. For us bloggers, a big satisfaction is when we feel people want to read what we publish. Recently, we had a discussion about how to bring more people to our platform. I found a 2011 article on Quora. A good read to understand what works for collaborative content platforms.

On January 20 this year, Google announced that Larry Page would be replacing Eric Schmidt as CEO. It was the week’s big tech story, possibly one of the biggest of the year, and it needed explanation. Within the hour, a user had put the question to the information-sharing website Quora: “What are some possible reasons that Google replaced Eric Schmidt with Larry Page as CEO?”

Minutes later, a former Google employee posted a detailed answer that included: “This has been a long time coming and not really that big a leap to make if you’ve been on the inside… This is a matter of pride and legacy for him [Page], so he’s going to keep Google’s long-term interests in mind in a way that few outside CEOs would be able to do; he’s emotionally invested in a way that only he and Sergey [Brin] can be.”

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Neal Pollack — Wired

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Why being a workaholic is not something to be proud about


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There are some sane voices in this era of Silicon Valley rule. DHH, the founder of Basecamp and the creator of Ruby on Rails is one such voice. In this article, he goes on to show why workaholism is an unhealthy work habit and why time for yourself and your family is as important.

So don’t tell me that there’s something uniquely demanding about building yet another fucking startup that dwarfs the accomplishments of The Origin of Species or winning five championship rings. It’s bullshit. Extractive, counterproductive bullshit peddled by people who either need a narrative to explain their personal sacrifices and regrets or who are in a position to treat the lives and wellbeing of others like cannon fodder.

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DHH

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