On private enterprise and public policy…

The point is not to mistake the success and confidence of moguls like Musk for a path out of our troubles. To hand over the keys, so to speak, and watch what happens. To, say, let Bill Gates, who made his fortune dominating software and was also ‘the richest man in the world,’ solve world health from on high. To let Jeff Bezos, another one-time ‘richest man in the world,’ create the standard for how we get stuff and how we treat the workers who get that stuff to us.

It’s time to stop hero worshiping the tech billionaires

Beats & Pieces 12/21.

The “MoviePass” economic model.

  1. Raise a million dollars from friends and family.
  2. Set up an app whose only function was giving people $10 for signing up.
  3. A hundred people sign up the first month, word of the app gets out, and 99,900 sign up the second month.
  4. You have a large and enthusiastic user base with a huge growth rate, things that venture capitalists love.
  5. Raise another $1 billion from VCs at an enormous valuation, cashing out a few hundred million dollars for the founders.
  6. Step 6 is a mystery.

[Via Matt Levine]

Beats & Pieces 6/21.

Dread risks and bad decisions…

Last year was an outlier because of risky driver behavior. Americans drove faster, didn’t wear seat belts and were more likely to be impaired by drugs or alcohol while behind the wheel. People also spent more time on motorcycles, sometimes without a license. All this was during a year spent taking extreme caution when it came to most other aspects of our lives — yet we chose to take more risk on the road. It could be because living under [COVID-19] restrictions made us want to break free, and that’s actually a common response to pandemic-sized risks.

Why We Sometimes Die When Trying to Avoid Risk