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Richard A. Chance

Good afternoon.

Old Dogs

Billionaire tears

Multimillionaires say charity is up to the billionaires. The merely rich say they won't donate even 1% of their annual income to charity because they can't have as much of an impact as the super-rich.

Mere multimillionaires say it’s up to billionaires to make big donations to charity

Proof, if we needed it, that almost no one thinks of themselves as rich, even when they objectively are. The reality is that even someone on the breadline in the US ($11,770 p/a) is richer than 80% of the world’s population, and someone earning $100k p/a is in the world’s richest 1% (source https://www.givingwhatwecan.org/get-involved/how-rich-am-i

Proof, if we needed it, that almost no one thinks of themselves as rich, even when they objectively are. The reality is that even someone on the breadline in the US ($11,770 p/a) is richer than 80% of the world’s population, and someone earning $100k p/a is in the world’s richest 1% (source https://www.givingwhatwecan.org/get-involved/how-rich-am-i/ ).

Altruism is a mindset that bears no relation to wealth. All of us living in the developed world have the potential to do tremendous amounts of good with our money - not just the billionaires and the millionaires.

“insufficient to make a real impact” - said a different way: ‘if it doesn’t get me as much recognition as Bill Gates, then I don’t want to do it’. It would be easy to take this chance to ding the rich and mock them for their callous values, but I’m trying to take a step back on this one. Pre-industrialization

“insufficient to make a real impact” - said a different way: ‘if it doesn’t get me as much recognition as Bill Gates, then I don’t want to do it’. It would be easy to take this chance to ding the rich and mock them for their callous values, but I’m trying to take a step back on this one. Pre-industrialization and pre-Rockefeller, the richest people in the world were not known for giving back (royal families of the west or east), so I don’t think this is a new trait for rich people in the last century. I think it’s a painful reality-check of how little philanthropy humans are inclined to naturally - people who do it just do it and people who don’t just don’t.

Elizabeth Warren is cashing in on "billionaire tears." The US senator and 2020 candidate is selling mugs emblazoned with the phrase, which have become some of her campaign's best-selling merchandise.

What do “billionaire tears” taste like?

This is a strange slogan to peddle in a country where extreme personal wealth is not stigmatized. Warren would do well to remember the truism that most Americans see themselves as temporarily embarrassed millionaires. The sentiment remains true with a few added zeroes.

Scooting the last mile

Brexit stress

Show of force in Hong Kong

Chinese troops deployed in Hong Kong's streets for the first time. The People's Liberation Army soldiers ventured outside their barracks to clear barricades, raising questions about what the politically charged act was meant to symbolize.

China sent soldiers to Hong Kong protest sites—with brooms and buckets

This is a big deal. Actual PLA troops leaving the garrison at all without knowledge of the HK government, even to do something physically benign, is a major breach of Hong Kong’s Basic Law.

It’s a reminder that the PLA is, in fact, always present in Hong Kong— the law may give control to the city, but

This is a big deal. Actual PLA troops leaving the garrison at all without knowledge of the HK government, even to do something physically benign, is a major breach of Hong Kong’s Basic Law.

It’s a reminder that the PLA is, in fact, always present in Hong Kong— the law may give control to the city, but ultimately the PLA is choosing to listen to the city’s requests. In China, the bottom line is that the CCP is the ultimate authority, full stop. Hong Kong’s autonomy exists only until it contradict’s the CCP’s vision.

One of Deng Xiaoping’s masterstrokes in the handover was to enable PLA to station at the heart of HK. Hong Kong’s autonomy has been stretched so many times, ie most recently with issues around immigration checkpoint re: high-speed rail. But let’s not see CPC as a monolithic entity. It remains to be seen

One of Deng Xiaoping’s masterstrokes in the handover was to enable PLA to station at the heart of HK. Hong Kong’s autonomy has been stretched so many times, ie most recently with issues around immigration checkpoint re: high-speed rail. But let’s not see CPC as a monolithic entity. It remains to be seen what the hawks in Beijing will do eventually. Funnily enough many quarters of HK society seem to welcome this move. (There were those who came out to clean the streets earlier but were thrown petrol bombs.) Nevertheless as an outsider I have never seen a society so resigned to any futures whatsoever and hell-bent in nihilism. Fascinating from a social science POV.

Nigerian press censorship

CEO activism

Restaurants, disrupted

The specter of "dark kitchens" is looming over restaurants. The delivery-only eateries could make regular restaurant-ownership—which entails rent, permits, and hiring waitstaff—nearly unsustainable, especially for smaller, local businesses.

For immigrants, the startups disrupting restaurants look as scary as Uber

Not a new idea there are many catering kitchens already operating with a similar business model. The issues will remain hygene,quality control, access several ingredients and margins. Thats a lot of variables especially with increased supervision of kitchens.

If the idea is to provide restaurant quality

Not a new idea there are many catering kitchens already operating with a similar business model. The issues will remain hygene,quality control, access several ingredients and margins. Thats a lot of variables especially with increased supervision of kitchens.

If the idea is to provide restaurant quality meals at fast food prices including delivery I doubt if it will work for any length of time. Like Uber my opinion is that only the initial founders will make money .

I think virtual kitchens are creepy, especially during an age of open plan dining rooms with attached and often visible kitchens. I prefer to observe where my food is prepared. I don’t necessarily look all the time but it indicates they have nothing to hide. When you think about it disruptive companies

I think virtual kitchens are creepy, especially during an age of open plan dining rooms with attached and often visible kitchens. I prefer to observe where my food is prepared. I don’t necessarily look all the time but it indicates they have nothing to hide. When you think about it disruptive companies add negligible long term value. They get into already saturated spaces. Silicon Valley wears the descriptor with pride but it’s sort of rude to disrupt several people’s jobs to create a few big salaries. “Aim to disrupt. Because you could too become a unicorn and buy a one way ticket to fantasy land far, far away from sad stuff” like homeless people and rants of #chauffeurlife.

Steerage is easily forgotten when hidden below deck. UberEats does a great job of closing the curtain on the customer, like when they purposefully trade a ‘distance’ filter for ‘delivery’ time when searching, eliminating map view all together. The app doesn’t make it easy to access customer reviews, opting instead to display an averaged star rating. They also mix the virtual restaurants in with brick and mortars within the app itself. If you don’t personally do the work to pull back the curtain you could order food from a sushi joint on the other side of the city that’s no better than the one six blocks away. Does it matter? I think it does for practical reasons as well as just because it doesn’t want you to have all the information. Same with Uber for rides. Your driver isn’t getting what you’re paying, of course but to what extent, nobody knows. And the amount one pays and the other earns changes frequently and is not visible to either the customer or the driver. “But you can choose when to work because we know you need flexibility” to go to the second job needed to pay your bills.

Greater transparency helps people make better decisions but many service apps are built like casinos and any efforts like “John is prepping your order” or “Hector is on the way with your order” is merely an illusion of transparency meant to make you feel like you’re making the best decision. I say cut out these middlemen. Call the restaurant or cab company directly, tip in cash, go as local as possible. These apps aren’t trying to help you do that they just want to take a rake on the backs of immigrants. So do what you can and opt out of the app all together or over tip in cash.

Cutting carbon

UN budget woes

Piracy is back

The streaming wars are driving people back to piracy. In an era where keeping up with every buzzy show spread across HBO, Apple TV+, Disney+, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Netflix can run you more than $50 per month, illegal downloads are starting to look appealing again, Vice reports.

Disney + and ‘The Mandalorian’ Are Driving People Back to Torrenting

What would be true innovation in the TV space is a centralized service with literally everything from all the providers that allows you to simply pay for a specified selection of shows. Breakdown the channels even further into individual shows. This is essentially what people do with torrents. Unfortunately

What would be true innovation in the TV space is a centralized service with literally everything from all the providers that allows you to simply pay for a specified selection of shows. Breakdown the channels even further into individual shows. This is essentially what people do with torrents. Unfortunately what's best for consumers would wreck havoc on many companies and there's just too much money to be had for a service like this to take over.

I live in South Africa and I wanted to watch The Mandalorian but since we’re not one of the countries that get Disney+ I of course pirated the show. Even though I have Netflix I barely watch the original shows and getting three more subscriptions to watch one or two shows from each provider seems ludicrous

I live in South Africa and I wanted to watch The Mandalorian but since we’re not one of the countries that get Disney+ I of course pirated the show. Even though I have Netflix I barely watch the original shows and getting three more subscriptions to watch one or two shows from each provider seems ludicrous. While it seems like the consumers are winning with more options the economics don’t support it IMHO.

So there is value in the model of separation between content creation and distribution. Like what cable co’s used to do... or movie theater chains and studios... ultimately an independent carrier that allows consumers to pick from many creators is the ideal state...

Interesting to see that this is

So there is value in the model of separation between content creation and distribution. Like what cable co’s used to do... or movie theater chains and studios... ultimately an independent carrier that allows consumers to pick from many creators is the ideal state...

Interesting to see that this is one area with evidence of consumer harm (higher prices) and yet, the FTC and DoJ have allowed for consolidation and vertical integration of content creation and distribution (eg: AT&T + Time Warner, Comcast + NBC Universal)...

They didn't see this coming? Too many providers all wanting fees to provide limited numbers of quality shows. I have cable with hundreds of channels and little worth watching. If it wasn't for PBS TVO BBC and TCM I would stick to broadcast. In all likelihood to cut down the piracy the production companies

They didn't see this coming? Too many providers all wanting fees to provide limited numbers of quality shows. I have cable with hundreds of channels and little worth watching. If it wasn't for PBS TVO BBC and TCM I would stick to broadcast. In all likelihood to cut down the piracy the production companies could sell individual programs copying the music business.

This is now very similar to the music industry with Spotify, Deezer, Soundcloud, Tidal, and Apple Music. A lot of common content but also a lot of exclusives to each channel. At the end of the day consumers will make a choice and miss out on content where their willing to pay is less than the asking

This is now very similar to the music industry with Spotify, Deezer, Soundcloud, Tidal, and Apple Music. A lot of common content but also a lot of exclusives to each channel. At the end of the day consumers will make a choice and miss out on content where their willing to pay is less than the asking price. This is healthy competition and will result in better services overall, more content and lower prices for consumers.

Extremists find new platforms

The future of music

An app lets you hear concerts as sound engineers intended. Mixhalo allows you to plug in headphones and hear the mix of musicians coming from the venue's soundboard—and even customize it to focus on a particular instrument or vocal part.

The future of live music lives on your smartphone

I get to try out a lot of new technologies in my role, and this is one of the very few times I’ve felt floored by something new in a long time. I feel like this technology could be revolutionary for the way we experience live events. This is like what HD TV was for video. If it takes off, live events

I get to try out a lot of new technologies in my role, and this is one of the very few times I’ve felt floored by something new in a long time. I feel like this technology could be revolutionary for the way we experience live events. This is like what HD TV was for video. If it takes off, live events will never be the same again.

For those of us who remember awful-sounding stadium concerts in the 90s, recent advances in speaker quality and acoustics have meant that musicians can’t mess around any more. If this takes off, bands will have to raise their game even further.

Game. Changer.

Live mixing is super hard and gets very expensive in large venues to ensure all speakers are calibrated with delays and power settings so the sound doesn’t become a chaos of reverberated cacophony on its own. And then there is the crowd on top of it.

As the article mentions: every

Game. Changer.

Live mixing is super hard and gets very expensive in large venues to ensure all speakers are calibrated with delays and power settings so the sound doesn’t become a chaos of reverberated cacophony on its own. And then there is the crowd on top of it.

As the article mentions: every seat now can have a great audio experience. You might want to pay for more expensive seats in order to get closer to the stage.

I do not doubt whatsoever this is the future for how live performance will be experienced. An awesome example of how brilliant innovations seem obvious in retrospect.

Charting the political spectrum

The mind of the millennial

A critical eye on "aspirational realness." The polished fantasy of a celebrity perfume ad is now passé. Instead, the hippest brands are appealing to young women with a new set of tactics.

Quartzy: the aspirational realness edition — Quartzy

Interesting read. As a digital marketer, I love watching how society eventually adapts to marketing. It’s one of those things that so mysterious in the moment, but painfully obvious looking back. What’s with the fish recipe at the end? Was that ‘authentic’? A test? Anyway, sounds delicious.

Millennials would rather stay in, thanks. What does the outside world provide that a bubble bath and Netflix—not to mention the gratification of posting about both on social media—don’t?

Why millennials never want to leave their apartment anymore

If you're home alone and posting on social media...are you really home alone? Did you reap the same benefits as you would have in true solitude? I'm really asking.

I consider this trend a personal victory against the grownups who insisted I should play outside with other kids, when I was growing up

A key thing about introverts that psychologists always stress is that they don't so much want to be "alone" as much as they want to be with a select group of people with whom they feel comfortable. All of the things that we end up doing alone at home, we could technically be doing with a group of close

A key thing about introverts that psychologists always stress is that they don't so much want to be "alone" as much as they want to be with a select group of people with whom they feel comfortable. All of the things that we end up doing alone at home, we could technically be doing with a group of close friends. You know, like watching a TV show on Netflix, facepacks etc (maybe not the bubble bath, unless your group of close friends is REALLY close). But I guess what technology has also done is made it harder to really connect with people and siloed city life doesn't help either. Sigh, it's another case of the chicken and the desperate need for some connection.

Perhaps this goes without saying, but city life is expensive for millennials. Those bars, restaurants and Art Gallery biennales don't come cheap, and if you're tired from hustling to pay rent and groceries (and Netflix, and Spotify, and Uber...) why would you spend more money on luxuries like public eating and drinking?

Having a “fun night in” is cheaper, easier, safer, completely in your control, and did I mention cheaper? What’s not to love? Now if I could only find someone to share it with...

Thanks for dropping in—but now we'd like to be alone.

Close
T-Mobile, Sprint Get Merger Backing From FCC Chairman

T-Mobile, Sprint Get Merger Backing From FCC Chairman

Read more on The Wall Street Journal

From Our Members

  • People are looking at this all wrong. What this deal does is A) accelerate competition in 5G, B) add alternatives to consumers beyond AT&T and Verizon, C) push prices lower as consumers weigh options of broadband or wireless connectivity. Keep in mind Verizon and AT&T were going to charge surcharges

    People are looking at this all wrong. What this deal does is A) accelerate competition in 5G, B) add alternatives to consumers beyond AT&T and Verizon, C) push prices lower as consumers weigh options of broadband or wireless connectivity. Keep in mind Verizon and AT&T were going to charge surcharges for 5G, now that’s likely going away. Expect your internet bills to go down. Oh and Sprint was probably going to fold anyway if this deal doesn’t happen. It’s a win for consumers.

  • Didn’t see this coming. I cannot recall a time where the FCC approved a deal and the DOJ blocked. There was chatter that the DOJ staff unanimously recommended to block the deal. The main concerns are both in pre-paid and post-paid markets. What strikes me as interesting / off is that today’s concessions

    Didn’t see this coming. I cannot recall a time where the FCC approved a deal and the DOJ blocked. There was chatter that the DOJ staff unanimously recommended to block the deal. The main concerns are both in pre-paid and post-paid markets. What strikes me as interesting / off is that today’s concessions are largely behavioral (which the FCC can monitor). We are indeed in strange times.

  • With the American -US Airways merger we essentially got down to 3 legacy carriers with the vast majority of market share. Today there is less comfort and service, in any measure a real human being would care about, and far higher ticket prices. Nothing like this could ever happen jn the world of mobile telephony, now could it?

  • "The FCC said the companies agreed to invest in, especially in rural areas, and build new 5G infrastructure."

    Like actual 5G or this "5G" stuff AT&T and Google promise?

    I'm all for government staying out of regulation as much as possible but maybe they could pass a law requiring providers publish guaranteed

    "The FCC said the companies agreed to invest in, especially in rural areas, and build new 5G infrastructure."

    Like actual 5G or this "5G" stuff AT&T and Google promise?

    I'm all for government staying out of regulation as much as possible but maybe they could pass a law requiring providers publish guaranteed upload and download speeds per monthly fee. Consumer pays X and they get Y. None of this "super high fiber g force band for only $49.99 per month, plus tax title, license, handling, service, and smile fees."

  • Maybe I am missing something, but... what are the potential consequences of the US not “leading” or “winning” 5G? (Did the US “win” 4G?)

  • Great, more monopoly...just what this country needs

  • Watching the industry go through deregulation and then re-consolidate must be interesting to regulators and policy makers. If they actually care, and it is not just for election campaigning. It should definitely teach a lesson to regulators about unintended consequences that result from their regulations.

  • That should drive prices up nicely for consumers, less competition, the free market at its finest. Yeesh.

  • Good. A large number of non-viable options doesn’t serve the consumer. This merger can potentially move the number of viable options from two to three. Fifty percent more choices!

    It would be typical governmental production of unintended consequences to deny the merger on the basis of numerically fewer

    Good. A large number of non-viable options doesn’t serve the consumer. This merger can potentially move the number of viable options from two to three. Fifty percent more choices!

    It would be typical governmental production of unintended consequences to deny the merger on the basis of numerically fewer choices, only to have Sprint go under and consumers be left with obviously fewer choices. Why does the government think general systems theory never applies, when it always does (hence the “general” part)?

  • You could imagine the the largest remaining carriers might be worried. Apart, Sprint and T-Mobile can't really compete with the big guys, but together they could be strong competition. Preventing the merger would likely mean the end of one or both, leaving consumers to pay the cost in lower quality service

    You could imagine the the largest remaining carriers might be worried. Apart, Sprint and T-Mobile can't really compete with the big guys, but together they could be strong competition. Preventing the merger would likely mean the end of one or both, leaving consumers to pay the cost in lower quality service, interruptions, and the struggling companies' inability to make good on promises or pay any necessary compensation to customers.

  • Less competition can easily lead to price fixing or outright price gouging.

  • Not sure what I think of this. On the one hand, combining major companies is nearly always going reduce competition, which is never good for the customer. But on the other, T-Mobile and Sprint are arguably second-class carriers in the US. Merging could turn them into a more viable competitor for Verizon

    Not sure what I think of this. On the one hand, combining major companies is nearly always going reduce competition, which is never good for the customer. But on the other, T-Mobile and Sprint are arguably second-class carriers in the US. Merging could turn them into a more viable competitor for Verizon and AT&T, which could actually increase competition by breaking into areas that now are a Verizon/AT&T duopoly.

  • Concerning trend to reduce competition:

  • These are all good points but the most concerning that a lot of America don't seem to touch on because we want that new technology is the health and safety issues.

    https://ehtrust.org/key-issues/cell-phoneswireless/5g-networks-iot-scientific-overview-human-health-risks/