CEOs Don’t Steer


CEOs don’t steer and that might not be a bad thing. A well written long read for the weekend.

Public displays of CEO thinking are impressive primarily for their sheer banality, far above and beyond the needs of non-offensiveness, political correctness and perception management. You can tell it’s coming from deep down. It’s not an act. I’ve seen it on display in candid, private settings as well, where there’s no particular reason to keep things simple. CEO world views really are that simple. That does not mean they are simplistic or entirely a consequence of survivorship bias and attribution errors.

The complete article

Venkatesh Rao — Ribbonfarm

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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.

The complete article

Joseph Kelly — Ribbonfarm

The Art of the Conspiracy Theory


Reading these conspiracy theories is one my guilty pleasures. Today’s needull looks at what makes conspiracy theories.

A look into the content of contemporary conspiracy theories can give us a better idea of how this works. The beliefs of conspiracy theorists are actually quite diverse: there are fundamentalist Christians, militant atheists, left-wingers, right-wingers, flat earthers, hollow earthers, alien believers and deniers, and simulationists. Some are convinced that the Illuminati have altered the Bible; others argue why that cannot possibly be. But there are some concepts that are shared across belief systems. One concept is predictive programming: the belief that a secret conspiracy broadcasts hints of its future evil plans in film, television, and other media. The predictive programming concept, coupled with any particular event, provides a ready-made template for a conspiracy theory. The video maker’s creative role is to locate and organize themes, clips, and individual frames that appears to predict the terrible event (essentially coincidence detection, which requires a great deal of focused attention), and to present it in a convincing manner.

The complete article

Sarah Perry – ribbonfarm

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