Podcasts about Theoretically

1984 studio album by Tim Berne & Bill Frisell

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Best podcasts about Theoretically

Latest podcast episodes about Theoretically

New Books in Critical Theory
Paula Serafini, "Creating Worlds Otherwise: Art, Collective Action, And (Post)Extractivism" (Vanderbilt UP, 2022)

New Books in Critical Theory

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 22, 2022 44:11


How are art and social justice intertwined? In Creating Worlds Otherwise: Art, Collective Action, and (Post)Extractivism Paula Serafini, a Lecturer in Creative and Cultural Industries at Queen Mary University of London, explores the importance of art, artistic practice, and artistic movements to the struggle for social, environmental, and cultural justice in Latin America. Primarily focused on case studies from Argentina, although reflecting the cross-national nature of art and justice struggles, the book introduces the idea of extractivism, and demonstrates how art can be used to critique, challenge, and offer alternatives. Theoretically rich, with a huge range of examples, the book is essential reading across the arts, cultural studies, and social sciences, as well as for anyone interested in how art can change, and perhaps even save, the world. Dave O'Brien is Professor of Cultural and Creative Industries, at the University of Sheffield. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

New Books in Latin American Studies
Paula Serafini, "Creating Worlds Otherwise: Art, Collective Action, And (Post)Extractivism" (Vanderbilt UP, 2022)

New Books in Latin American Studies

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 22, 2022 44:11


How are art and social justice intertwined? In Creating Worlds Otherwise: Art, Collective Action, and (Post)Extractivism Paula Serafini, a Lecturer in Creative and Cultural Industries at Queen Mary University of London, explores the importance of art, artistic practice, and artistic movements to the struggle for social, environmental, and cultural justice in Latin America. Primarily focused on case studies from Argentina, although reflecting the cross-national nature of art and justice struggles, the book introduces the idea of extractivism, and demonstrates how art can be used to critique, challenge, and offer alternatives. Theoretically rich, with a huge range of examples, the book is essential reading across the arts, cultural studies, and social sciences, as well as for anyone interested in how art can change, and perhaps even save, the world. Dave O'Brien is Professor of Cultural and Creative Industries, at the University of Sheffield. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/latin-american-studies

New Books Network
Paula Serafini, "Creating Worlds Otherwise: Art, Collective Action, And (Post)Extractivism" (Vanderbilt UP, 2022)

New Books Network

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 22, 2022 44:11


How are art and social justice intertwined? In Creating Worlds Otherwise: Art, Collective Action, and (Post)Extractivism Paula Serafini, a Lecturer in Creative and Cultural Industries at Queen Mary University of London, explores the importance of art, artistic practice, and artistic movements to the struggle for social, environmental, and cultural justice in Latin America. Primarily focused on case studies from Argentina, although reflecting the cross-national nature of art and justice struggles, the book introduces the idea of extractivism, and demonstrates how art can be used to critique, challenge, and offer alternatives. Theoretically rich, with a huge range of examples, the book is essential reading across the arts, cultural studies, and social sciences, as well as for anyone interested in how art can change, and perhaps even save, the world. Dave O'Brien is Professor of Cultural and Creative Industries, at the University of Sheffield. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/new-books-network

New Books in Art
Paula Serafini, "Creating Worlds Otherwise: Art, Collective Action, And (Post)Extractivism" (Vanderbilt UP, 2022)

New Books in Art

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 22, 2022 44:11


How are art and social justice intertwined? In Creating Worlds Otherwise: Art, Collective Action, and (Post)Extractivism Paula Serafini, a Lecturer in Creative and Cultural Industries at Queen Mary University of London, explores the importance of art, artistic practice, and artistic movements to the struggle for social, environmental, and cultural justice in Latin America. Primarily focused on case studies from Argentina, although reflecting the cross-national nature of art and justice struggles, the book introduces the idea of extractivism, and demonstrates how art can be used to critique, challenge, and offer alternatives. Theoretically rich, with a huge range of examples, the book is essential reading across the arts, cultural studies, and social sciences, as well as for anyone interested in how art can change, and perhaps even save, the world. Dave O'Brien is Professor of Cultural and Creative Industries, at the University of Sheffield. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/art

Money Chat Now with Larry Steinhouse
How to FIX Student Loans!

Money Chat Now with Larry Steinhouse

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 20, 2022 3:05


Though Biden can be criticized for the less than "legal" way he canceled student debt, the loans themselves are deceitful and make it difficult for students to pay them back in a timely manner. Theoretically, how can they be changed? Visit Investor Schooling: www.investorschooling.com Contact Larry Steinhouse! www.contactlarry.com

The Valmy
Austin Vernon - Energy Superabundance, Starship Missiles, & Finding Alpha

The Valmy

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 19, 2022 144:32


Podcast: The Lunar Society (LS 30 · TOP 5% )Episode: Austin Vernon - Energy Superabundance, Starship Missiles, & Finding AlphaRelease date: 2022-09-08Austin Vernon is an engineer working on a new method for carbon capture, and he has one of the most interesting blogs on the internet, where he writes about engineering, software, economics, and investing.We discuss how energy superabundance will change the world, how Starship can be turned into a kinetic weapon, why nuclear is overrated, blockchains, batteries, flying cars, finding alpha, & much more!Watch on YouTube. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any other podcast platform. Read the full transcript here.Subscribe to find out about future episodes!Follow Austin on Twitter. Follow me on Twitter for updates on future episodes.Please share if you enjoyed this episode! Helps out a ton!Timestamps(0:00:00) - Intro(0:01:53) - Starship as a Weapon(0:19:24) - Software Productivity(0:41:40) - Car Manufacturing(0:57:39) - Carbon Capture(1:16:53) - Energy Superabundance(1:25:09) - Storage for Cheap Energy(1:31:25) - Travel in Future(1:33:27) - Future Cities(1:39:58) - Flying Cars(1:43:26) - Carbon Shortage(1:48:03) - Nuclear(2:12:44) - Solar(2:14:44) - Alpha & Efficient Markets(2:22:51) - ConclusionTranscriptIntroDwarkesh Patel (00:00:00):Okay! Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Austin Vernon who writes about engineering, software, economics, and investing on the internet, though not that much else is known about him. So Austin, do you want to give us a bit of info about your background? I know that the only thing the internet knows about you is this one little JPEG that you had to upload with your recent paper. But what about an identity reveal or I guess a little bit of a background reveal? Just to the extent that you're comfortable sharing.Austin Vernon (00:00:29):My degree is in chemical engineering and I've had a lifelong love for engineering as well as things like the Toyota Production System. I've also worked as a chemical engineer in a large processing facility where I've done a lot of petroleum engineering. I taught myself how to write software and now I'm working on more research and the early commercialization of CO2 electrolysis.Dwarkesh Patel (00:00:59):Okay yeah. I'm really interested in talking about all those things. The first question I have is from Alex Berger, who's the co-CEO of Open Philanthropy. When I asked on Twitter what I should ask you, he suggested that I should ask “Why so shady?” Famously you have kind of an anonymous personality, pseudonymous thing going on the internet. What's up with that?Austin Vernon (00:01:25):Yeah. I think he posted a tweet that said “I don't know who this guy is or if he's credible at all, but his stuff sure is interesting”. That really made me laugh. I thought that was hilarious. Fame just doesn't seem necessary, I think I'm fine with my ideas being well known and communicating, but I have less desire to be personally famous.Starship as a WeaponDwarkesh Patel (00:01:52):Gotcha, gotcha. I wanted to start off with a sexy topic, let's talk about using Starship as a kinetic weapon. I thought that was one of the more amusing posts you wrote. Do you want to talk more about how this would be possible?Austin Vernon (00:02:08):Well, I think the main thing with Starship is that you're taking a technology and you're making it about 100 times cheaper for cargo and 1000 times cheaper for people. When things like that happen that drastically, you're just looking at huge changes and it's really hard to anticipate what some of those can be when the change is that drastic. I think there's a lot of moon-based, Mars-based stuff that doesn't really catch the general public's eye. They also have trouble imagining some of the point-to-point travel that could be possible. But when you start talking about it as a weapon, then I think it lets people know they should be paying attention to this technology. And we certainly do not want to be second or third getting it. We should make sure that we're going to be first.Dwarkesh Patel (00:03:05):Yeah. I think you mentioned this in the post, but as recently as the '90s, the cost of sending one kilogram to space was around $20,000. More recently, SpaceX has brought it to $2,000. Lots of interesting questions pop up when you ask, “What will be possible once we get it down to $200 per kilogram to send into orbit?” One of them could be about how we might manufacture these weapons that are not conventional ballistics. Do you want to talk about why this might be an advancement over conventional ballistic weapons?Austin Vernon (00:03:37):Well, regular conventional ballistic weapons are extremely expensive. This is more like a bomb truck. But usually we think of B52 as the bomb truck and this could be even cheaper than the B52, delivering just mass on target. When you think about how expensive it is to fly a B52 from Barksdale in Louisiana all the way across the world.. you can do it from south Texas or Florida with the Starship and get more emissions per day and the fuel ends up being. When you go orbital, it takes a lot to get to orbit. But then once you're in orbit, your fuel consumption's pretty good. So over long distances, it has a lot of advantage. That's why the point-to-point works for longer distances.Austin Vernon (00:04:27):There's really a sweet spot with these weapons where you want it to be pretty accurate, but you also want it to be cheap. You're seeing that problem with Russia right now as they have some fancy parade style weapons that are really expensive, like multi-billion dollar cruise missiles, but they're missing that $5,000 guided artillery shell or that $20,000 JDM that you can just pit massive. Or the multiple launch rocket system, guided rockets. They're really short on all those because I think they had just had a limited amount of chips they could get from the US into Russia to make these advanced weapons.Austin Vernon (00:05:07):But yeah, so the Starship gives you just a platform to deliver. You could put JDMs in a shroud, or you could just have the iron unguided kinetic projectiles, and it just becomes impossible for a ship to launch missiles to intercept yours if your cost is so low, you can just overwhelm them.Dwarkesh Patel (00:05:29):Okay. There are a few terms there that neither I nor the audience might know. So what is JDM? What is shroud? And why are chips a bottleneck here? Why can't it just be any micro-controller?Austin Vernon (00:05:42):So JDM is Joint Direct Attack Munition. So what we did is we took all our Vietnam surplus bonds and we put this little fin-kit on it and it costs like $20,000, which is cheap for a weapon because the actual bond costs, I don't know, $3,000. And then it turns it into a guided weapon that, before you were probably lucky to get within 500 meters of a target, now you can get it in with two meters. So the number of missions you have to do with your planes and all that goes down by orders of magnitude. So it's an absolutely huge advantage in logistics and in just how much firepower you can put on a target. And we didn't even have to make new bombs, we just put these kits on all our old bombs.Austin Vernon (00:06:33):Let's see.. Yeah the chips are a problem. There's this organization called RUSI. I think they're in the UK, but they've been tearing down all these Russian weapons they found in Ukraine and they all have American chips in them. So technically, they're not supposed to be able to get these chips. And yet, Russia can't make a lot of its own chips. And especially not the specialized kinds you might want for guided weapons. So they've been somehow smuggling in chips from Americans to make their advanced weaponsDwarkesh Patel (00:07:03):What is special about these? As far as I'm aware, the trade with China is still going on and we get a lot of our chips manufactured from Taiwan or China. So why can't they do the same?Austin Vernon (00:07:14):It's the whole integration. It's not just the specific chip, but the board. They're more like PLCs where you almost have wired-in programming and they come with this ability to do the guidance and all that stuff. It all kind of has to work together. I think that's the way I understand it. I don't know. Maybe I don't have a really good answer for that one, but they're hard to replicate is what matters.Dwarkesh Patel (00:07:43):Okay that's interesting. Yeah, I guess that has a lot of interesting downstream effects, because for example, India buys a lot of its weapons from Russia. So if Russia doesn't have access to these, then other countries that buy from Russia won't have access to these either.Dwarkesh Patel (00:07:58):You had an interesting speculation in the post where you suggested that you could just keep these kinetic weapons in orbit, in a sort of Damocles state really, almost literally. That sounds like an incredibly scary and risky scenario where you could have orbital decay and you could have these kinetic weapons falling from the sky and destroying cities. Do you think this is what it will look like or could look like in 10 to 20 years?Austin Vernon (00:08:26):Well, yeah, so the advantage of having weapons on orbit is you can hit targets faster. So if you're launching the rocket from Florida, you're looking at maybe 30 minutes to get there and the target can move away in that time. Whereas if you're on orbit, you can have them spaced out to where you're hitting within a few minutes. So that's the advantage there.Austin Vernon (00:08:46):You really have to have a two stage system I think for most, because if you have a really aerodynamic rod that's going to give you really good performance in the low atmosphere, it'll end up going too fast and just burn up before it gets there. Tungsten's maybe the only thing that you could have that could go all the way through which is why I like the original concept of using these big tungsten rods the size of a telephone pole. But tungsten's pretty expensive. And the rod concept kind of limits what you can do.Austin Vernon (00:09:28):So a lot of these weapons will have, that's what I was talking about with the shroud, something that actually slows you down in the upper atmosphere. And then once you're at the velocity where you're not just going to melt, then you open it up and let it go. So if you actually had it fall from the sky, some may make it to the ground, but a lot would burn up. So a lot of the stuff that makes it to the ground is actually pretty light. It's stuff that can float and has a large surface area. Yeah, that's the whole thing with Starship. Or not Starship, but Starlink. All those satellites are meant to completely fall apart on de-orbit.Dwarkesh Patel (00:10:09):I see. One of the implications of that is that these may be less powerful than we might fear, because since kinetic energy is mass times velocity squared and there's an upper bound on the velocity (velocity being the component that grows the kinetic energy faster), then it suggests that you can upper bound the power these things will have. You know what I mean?Austin Vernon (00:10:32):Yeah, so even the tungsten rods. Sometimes people, they're not very good at physics, so they don't do the math. They think it's going to be a nuclear weapon, but it's really not. I think even the tungsten rod is like 10 tons of T&T or something. It's a big bomb, but it's not a super weapon.Austin Vernon (00:10:54):So I think I said in the post, it's about using advanced missiles where they're almost more defensive weapons so I can keep you from pitting your ship somewhere. Yeah I could try to bombard your cities, but I can't take ground with it. I can't even police sea lanes with it really. I'd still have to use regular ships if I had this air cover to go enforce the rules of the sea and stuff like that.Dwarkesh Patel (00:11:23):Yeah. You speculated in the post, I think, that you could load this up with shrapnel and then it could explode next to an incoming missile or an incoming aircraft. Could these get that accurate? Because that was surprising speculation to me.Austin Vernon (00:11:43):I think for ships, it's pretty... I was watching videos of how fast a ship can turn and stuff. If you're going to do an initial target on a ship to try to kill their radars, you'd want to do it above the ceiling of their missiles. So it's like, how much are they going to move between your release where you stop steering and that? The answer's maybe 1000 feet. So that's pretty simple because you just shrapnel the area.Austin Vernon (00:12:12):Targeting aircraft, you would be steering all the way in. I'd say it's doable, but it'd be pretty hard. You'd actually maybe want to even go slower than you would with the ship attack. You'd need a specialized package to attack the aircraft, but if you have enough synthetic aperture radar and stuff like that, you could see these aircraft using satellites and then guide the bomb in the whole way. You could even load heat seeking missiles into a package that unfurls right next to them and launch conventional missiles too, probably. It'd be pretty hard to do some of this stuff, but they're just the things you might be able to do if you put some effort into it.Dwarkesh Patel (00:12:57):Yeah. The reason I find this kind of speculation really interesting is because when you look at the modern weaponry that's used in conflicts, it just seems directly descendant from something you would've seen in World War II or something. If you think about how much warfare changed between 1900 and 1940, it's like, yeah, they're not even the same class of weapons anymore. So it's interesting to think about possibilities like these where the entire category of weapons has changed.Austin Vernon (00:13:33):You're right and that's because our physical technology hasn't changed that much. So it really has just made more sense to put better electronics in the same tanks. We haven't learned enough about tanks to build a new physical tank that's way better, so we just keep upgrading our existing tanks with better electronics. They're much more powerful, they're more accurate. A lot of times, they have longer range weapons and better sensors. So the tank looks the same, but it maybe has several times more killing power. But the Ukraine war right now, they're using a lot of 40, 50 year old weapons so that especially looks like that.Dwarkesh Patel (00:14:20):Yeah. Which kind of worries you if you think about the stockpiles our own military has. I'm not well educated on the topic, but I imagine that we don't have the newest of the new thing. We probably have maintained versions of decades old technology.Austin Vernon (00:14:35):We spend so much, we've got relatively... This kind of gets into debate about how ready our military is. For certain situations, it's more ready than others. I'd say in general, most people talking about it have the incentive to downplay our capabilities because they want more defense spending. There's lots of reasons. So I think we're probably more capable than what you might see from some editorial in The Hill or whatever. Us just sending a few weapons over to Ukraine and seeing how successful they've been at using them, I think, shows a little bit of that.Austin Vernon (00:15:18):There's so much uncertainty when it comes to fighting, especially when you're talking about a naval engagement, where we don't just don't have that many ships in general… you can have some bad luck. So I think you always want to be a little bit wary. You don't want to get overconfident.Dwarkesh Patel (00:15:37):Yeah. And if the offensive tech we sent to Ukraine is potentially better than the defensive tech, it's very possible that even a ballistic missile that China or Russia could launch would sink a battleship and then kill the 2,000 or 1,000 whatever soldiers that are on board. Or I guess, I don't know, you think this opens up avenues for defensive tech as well?Austin Vernon (00:16:03):Yeah––generally the consensus is that defensive technology has improved much more recently than offensive technology. This whole strategy China has is something they call anti-access/area denial, A2/AD. That's basically just how missiles have gotten better because the sensors on missiles have gotten better. So they can keep our ships from getting close to them but they can't really challenge us in Hawaii or something. And it really goes both ways, I think people forget that. So yeah, it's hard for us to get close to China, but Taiwan has a lot of missiles with these new sensors as well. So I think it's probably tougher for China to do it close to Taiwan than most people would say.Dwarkesh Patel (00:16:55):Oh, interesting. Yeah, can you talk more about that? Because every time I read about this, people are saying that if China wanted to, they could knock out Taiwan's defenses in a short amount of time and take it over. Yeah, so can you talk about why that's not possible?Austin Vernon (00:17:10):Well, it might be, but I think it's a guess of the uncertainty [inaudible 00:17:14]. Taiwan has actually one of the largest defense budgets in the world and they've recently been upping it. I think they spend, I don't know, $25 billion a year and they added an extra $5 billion. And they've been buying a lot of anti-ship missiles, a lot of air defense missiles.. Stuff that Ukraine could only dream of. I think Ukraine's military budget was $2 billion and they have a professional army. And then the other thing is Taiwan's an island, whereas Russia could just roll over the land border into Ukraine.Austin Vernon (00:17:44):There's just been very few successful amphibious landings in history. The most recent ones were all the Americans in World War II and Korea. So the challenge there is just... It's kind of on China to execute perfectly and do that. So if they had perfect execution, then possibly it would be feasible. But if their air defenses on their ships aren't quite as good as we think they could possibly be, then they could also end up with half their fleet underwater within 10 hours.Dwarkesh Patel (00:18:20):Interesting. And how has your view of Taiwan's defensive capabilities changed... How has the Ukraine conflict updated your opinion on what might happen?Austin Vernon (00:18:29):I didn't really know how much about it. And then I started looking at Wikipedia and stuff and all this stuff they're doing. Taiwan just has a lot of modern platforms like F16s with our anti-ship missiles. They actually have a lot of their own. They have indigenous fighter bombers, indigenous anti-ship missiles because they're worried we might not always sell them to them.Austin Vernon (00:18:54):They've even recently gotten these long range cruise missiles that could possibly target leadership in Beijing. So I think that makes it uncomfortable for the Chinese leadership. If you attack them, you're going to have to go live in a bunker. But again, I'm not a full-time military analyst or something, so there's a lot of uncertainty around what I'm saying. It's not a given that China's just going to roll over them.Software ProductivityDwarkesh Patel (00:19:22):Okay. That's comforting to hear. Let's talk about an area where I have a little bit of a point of contact. I thought your blog post about software and the inability of it to increase productivity numbers, I thought that was super fascinating. So before I ask you questions about it, do you want to lay out the thesis there?Austin Vernon (00:19:43):Yeah. So if there's one post I kind of felt like I caught lightning in a bottle on, it's that one. Everything I wanted to put in, it just fit together perfectly, which is usually not the case.Austin Vernon (00:19:55):I think the idea is that the world's so complex and we really underestimate that complexity. If you're going to digitize processes and automate them and stuff, you have to capture all that complexity basically at the bit level, and that's extremely difficult. And then you also have diminishing returns where the easily automatable stuff goes first and then it's increasing corner cases to get to the end, so you just have to go through more and more code basically. We don't see runaway productivity growth from software because we're fighting all this increasing complexity.Dwarkesh Patel (00:20:39):Yeah. Have you heard of the waterbed theory of complexity by the way?Austin Vernon (00:20:42):I don't think so.Dwarkesh Patel (00:20:44):Okay. It's something that comes up in compiler design: the idea is that there's a fixed amount of complexity in a system. If you try to reduce it, what you'll end up doing is just you'll end up migrating the complexity elsewhere. I think an example that's used of this is when they try to program languages that are not type safe, something like Python. You can say, “oh, it's a less complex language”, but really, you've added complexity when, I don't know, two different types of numbers are interacting like a float and an int. As your program grows, that complexity exponentially grows along with all the things that could go wrong when you're making two things interact in a way that you were expecting not to. So yeah, the idea is you can just choose where to have your complexity, but you can't get rid of that complexity.Austin Vernon (00:21:38):I think that's kind of an interesting thing when you start pairing it with management theory... when you add up all the factors, the most complex thing you're doing is high volume car manufacturing. And so we got a lot of innovations and organization from car manufacturers like the assembly line. Then you had Sloan at GM basically creating the way the modern corporation is run, then you have the Toyota Production System.Austin Vernon (00:22:11):But arguably now, creating software is actually the most complex thing we do. So there's all these kinds of squishy concepts that underlie things like the Toyota Production System that softwares had to learn and reimagine and adopt and you see that with Agile where, “oh, we can't have long release times. We need to be releasing every day,” which means we're limiting inventory there.Austin Vernon (00:22:42):There's a whole thing especially that's showing up in software that existed in carbon manufacturing where you're talking about reducing communication. So Jeff Bezos kind of now famously said, "I want to reduce communication," which is counterintuitive to a lot of people. This is age-old in car manufacturing where Toyota has these cards that go between workstations and they tell you what to do. So people normally think of them as limiting inventory, but it also tells the worker exactly what they're supposed to be doing at what pace, at what time. The assembly line is like that too. You just know what to do because you're standing there and there's a part here and it needs to go on there, and it comes by at the pace you're supposed to work at.Austin Vernon (00:23:29):It's so extreme that there's this famous paper, by List, Syverson and Levitt. They went to a car factory and studied how defects propagated in cars and stuff. Once a car factory gets up and running, it doesn't matter what workers you put in there, if workers are sick or you get new workers, the defect rate is the same. So all the knowledge is built into the manufacturing line.Austin Vernon (00:23:59):There's these concepts around idiot-proofing and everything that are very similar to what you'll see. You had Uncle Bob on here. So Uncle Bob says only put one input into a function and stuff like that because you'll mix them up otherwise. The Japanese call it poka-yoke. You make it where you can't mess it up. And that's another way to reduce communication, and then software, of course you have APIs.Austin Vernon (00:24:28):So I'm really interested in this overall concept of reducing communication, and reducing how much cooperation and everything we need to run the economy.Dwarkesh Patel (00:24:41):Right. Right. Speaking of the Toyota Production System, one thing they do to reduce that defect rate is if there's a problem, all the workers in that chain are forced to go to the place where the defect problem is and fix it before doing anything else. The idea there is that this will give them context to understand what the problem was and how to make sure it doesn't happen again. It also prevents a build up of inventory in a way that keeps making these defects happen or just keeps accumulating inventory before the place that can fix the defects is able to take care of them.Austin Vernon (00:25:17):Right. Yeah, yeah. Exactly.Dwarkesh Patel (00:25:19):Yeah. But I think one interesting thing about software and complexity is that software is a place where complexity is the highest in our world right now but software gives you the choice to interface with the complexity you want to interface with. I guess that's just part of specialization in general, but you could say for example that a machine learning model is really complex, but ideally, you get to a place where that's the only kind of complexity you have to deal with. You're not having to deal with the complexity of “How is this program compiled? How are the libraries that I'm using? How are they built?” You can fine tune and work on the complexity you need to work on.Dwarkesh Patel (00:26:05):It's similar to app development. Byrne Hobart has this blog post about Stripe as solid state. The basic idea is that Stripe hides all the complexity of the financial system: it charges a higher fee, but you can just treat it as an abstraction of a tithe you have to pay, and it'll just take care of that entire process so you can focus on your comparative advantage.Austin Vernon (00:26:29):It's really actually very similar in car manufacturing and the Toyota Production System if you really get into it. It's very much the same conceptual framework. There's this whole idea in Toyota Production System, everyone works at the same pace, which you kind of talked about. But also, your work content is the same. There's no room for not standardizing a way you're going to do things. So everyone gets together and they're like, “All right, we're going to do this certain part. We're going to put it together this certain way at this little micro station. And it's going to be the same way every time.” That's part of how they're reducing the defect rates. If your assembly process is longer than what your time allotment is to stay in touch with the rest of the process, then you just keep breaking it down into smaller pieces. So through this, each person only has to know a very small part of it.Austin Vernon (00:27:33):The overall engineering team has all sorts of strategies and all sorts of tools to help them break up all these processes into very small parts and make it all hold together. It's still very, very hard, but it's kind of a lot of the same ideas because you're taking away the complexity of making a $30,000 car or 30,000 part car where everyone's just focusing on their one little part and they don't care what someone else is doing.Dwarkesh Patel (00:28:06):Yeah. But the interesting thing is that it seems like you need one person who knows how everything fits together. Because from what I remember, one of the tenets of the Toyota Production System was you need to have a global view. So, in that book, was it the machine or the other one, the Toyota Production System book? But anyways, they were talking about examples where people would try to optimize for local efficiencies. I think they especially pointed to Ford and GM for trying to do this where they would try to make machines run all the time. And locally, you could say that, “oh this machine or process is super efficient. It's always outputting stuff.” But it ignores how that added inventory or that process had a bad consequence for the whole system.Dwarkesh Patel (00:28:50):And so it's interesting if you look at a company like Tesla that's able to do this really well. Tesla is run like a monarchy and this one guy has this total global view of how the entire process is supposed to run and where you have these inefficiencies.. You had some great examples of this in the blog post. I think one of the examples is this guy (the author) goes to this factory and he asks, "Is this an efficient factory?" And the guy's like, "Yeah, this is totally efficient. There's nothing we can do, adopting the Toyota way, to make this more efficient."Dwarkesh Patel (00:29:22):And so then he's like, "Okay, let me look." And he finds that they're treating steel in some way, and the main process does only take a couple of seconds, but some local manager decided that it would be more efficient to ship their parts out, to get the next stage of the process done somewhere else. So this is locally cheaper, but the result is that it takes weeks to get these parts shipped out and get them back. Which means that the actual time that the parts spend getting processed is 0.1% of the time, making the whole process super inefficient. So I don't know, it seems like the implication is you need a very monarchical structure, with one person who has a total view, in order to run such a system. Or am I getting that wrong?Austin Vernon (00:30:12):Not necessarily. I mean, you do have to make sure you're not optimizing locally, but I think it's the same. You have that same constraint in software, but I think a lot of times people are just running over it because processing has been getting so much cheaper. People are expensive, so if you could save development time, it just ends up the trade offs are different when you're talking about the tyranny of physical items and stuff like that, the constraints get a little more severe. But I think you have the same overall. You still have to fight local optimization, but the level you have to is probably different with physical goods.Austin Vernon (00:30:55):I was thinking about the smart grid situation from a software perspective, and there's this problem where, okay, I'm putting my solar farm here and it's impacting somewhere far away, and that's then creating these really high upgrade costs, that cost two or three times more than my solar farm. Well, the obvious thing would be, if you're doing software, is like you're going to break all these up into smaller sections, and then you wouldn't be impacting each other and all that, and you could work and focus on your own little thing.Austin Vernon (00:31:29):But the problem with that is if you're going to disconnect these areas of the grid, the equipment to do that is extremely expensive. It's not like I'm just going to hit a new tab and open a new file and start writing a new function. And not only that, but you still have to actually coordinate how this equipment is going to operate. So if you just let the grid flow as it does, everyone knows what's going to happen because they could just calculate the physics. If you start adding in all these checkpoints where humans are doing stuff, then you have to actually interface with the humans, and the amount of things that can happen really starts going up. So it's actually a really bad idea to try to cart all this stuff off, just because of the reality of the physical laws and the equipment you need and everything like that.Dwarkesh Patel (00:32:22):Okay. Interesting. And then I think you have a similar Coasean argument in your software post about why vertically integrating software is beneficial. Do you want to explain that thesis?Austin Vernon (00:32:34):Yeah. I think it actually gets to what we're talking about here, where it allows you to avoid the local optimization. Because a lot of times you're trying to build a software MVP, and you're tying together a few services… they don't do quite what you need, so if you try to scale that, it would just break. But if you're going to take a really complex process, like car manufacturing or retail distribution, or the home buying process or something, you really have to vertically integrate it to be able to create a decent end-to-end experience and avoid that local optimization.Austin Vernon (00:33:20):And it's just very hard otherwise, because you just can't coordinate effectively if you have 10 different vendors trying to do all the same thing. You end up in just constant vendor meetings, where you're trying to decide what the specs are or something instead of giving someone the authority, or giving a team the authority to just start building stuff. Then if you look at these companies, they have to implement these somewhat decentralized processes when they get too complex, but at least they have control over how they're interfacing with each other. Walmart, as the vendors, control their own stock. They don't tell the vendor, "We need X parts." It's just like, it's on you to make sure your shelf is stocked.Dwarkesh Patel (00:34:07):Yeah. Yeah. So what was really interesting to me about this part of the post was, I don't know, I guess I had heard of this vision of we're software setting, where everybody will have a software as a service company, and they'll all be interfacing with each other in some sort of cycle where they're all just calling each other's APIs. And yeah, basically everybody and their mother would have a SAAS company. The implication here was, from your argument, that given the necessity of integrating all those complexity vertically in a coherent way, then the winners in software should end up being a few big companies, right? They compete with each other, but still...Austin Vernon (00:34:49):I think that's especially true when you're talking about combining bits and apps. Maybe less true for pure software. The physical world is just so much more complex, and so the constraints it creates are pretty extreme, compared to like... you could maybe get away with more of everyone and their mom having an API in a pure software world.Dwarkesh Patel (00:35:14):Right. Yeah. I guess, you might think that even in the physical world, given that people really need to focus on their comparative advantage, they would just try to outsource the software parts to these APIs. But is there any scenario where the learning curve for people who are not in the firm can be fast enough that they can keep up with the complexity? Because there's huge gains for specialization and competition that go away if this is the world we're forced to live in. And then I guess we have a lot of counter examples, or I guess we have a lot of examples of what you're talking about. Like Apple is the biggest market cap in the world, right? And famously they're super vertically integrated. And yeah, obviously their thing is combining hardware and software. But yeah, is there any world in which it can keep that kind of benefit, but have it be within multiple firms?Austin Vernon (00:36:10):This is a post I've got on my list I want to write. The blockchain application, which excites me personally the most, is reimagining enterprise software. Because the things you're talking about, like hard typing and APIs are just basically built into some of these protocols. So I think it just really has a lot of exciting implications for how much you can decentralize software development. But the thing is, you can still do that within the firm. So I think I mentioned this, if the government's going to place all these rules on the edge of the firm, it makes transactions with other firms expensive. So a few internal transactions can be cheaper, because they're avoiding the government reporting and taxes and all that kind of stuff. So I think you'd have to think about how these technologies can reduce transaction costs overall and decentralize that, but also what are the costs between firms?Dwarkesh Patel (00:37:22):Yeah, it's really interesting if the costs are logistic, or if they're based on the knowledge that is housed, as you were talking about, within a factory or something. Because if it is just logistical and stuff, like you had to report any outside transactions, then it does imply that those technology blockchain could help. But if it is just that you need to be in the same office, and if you're not, then you're going to have a hard time keeping up with what the new requirements for the API are, then maybe it's that, yeah, maybe the inevitability is that you'll have these big firms that are able to vertically integrate.Austin Vernon (00:37:59):Yeah, for these big firms to survive, they have to be somewhat decentralized within them. So I think you have... you're going to the same place as just how are we viewing it, what's our perception? So even if it's a giant corporation, it's going to have very independent business units as opposed to something like a 1950s corporation.Dwarkesh Patel (00:38:29):Yeah. Byrne Hobart, by the way, has this really interesting post that you might enjoy reading while you're writing that post. It's type safe communications, and it's about that Bezos thing, about his strict style for how to communicate and how little to communicate. There's many examples in Amazon protocols where you have to... the only way you can put in this report, is in this place you had to give a number. You can't just say, "This is very likely," you had to say like, "We project X percent increase," or whatever. So it has to be a percent. And there's many other cases where they're strict about what type definition you can have in written reports or something. It has kind of the same consequence that type strict languages have, which is that you can keep track of what the value is through the entire chain of the flow of control.Austin Vernon (00:39:22):You've got to keep work content standardized.Dwarkesh Patel (00:39:26):So we've been hinting at the Coasean analysis to this. I think we just talked about it indirectly, but for the people who might not know, Coase has this paper called The Theory of Firms, and he's trying to explain why we have firms at all. Why not just have everybody compete in the open market for employment, for anything? Why do we have jobs? Why not just have... you can just hire a secretary by the day or something.Dwarkesh Patel (00:39:51):And the conclusion he comes to is that by having a firm you're reducing the transaction cost. So people will have the same knowledge about what needs to get done, obviously you're reducing the transaction cost of contracting, finding labor, blah, blah, blah. And so the conclusion it comes to is the more the transaction costs are reduced within people in a firm, as compared to the transaction cost between different firms, the bigger firms will get. So I guess that's why the implication of your argument was that there should be bigger tech firms, right?Austin Vernon (00:40:27):Yes, yes, definitely. Because they can basically decrease the transaction costs faster within, and then even at the limit, if you have large transaction costs outside the firm, between other firms that are artificially imposed, then it will make firms bigger.Dwarkesh Patel (00:40:45):What does the world look like in that scenario? So would it just be these Japanese companies, these huge conglomerates who are just... you rise through the ranks, from the age of 20 until you die? Is that what software will turn into?Austin Vernon (00:40:59):It could be. I mean, I think it will be lots of very large companies, unless there's some kind of change in inner firm transaction costs. And again, that could possibly come from blockchain like technology, but you probably also need better regulation to make that cheaper, and then you would have smaller firms. But again, in the end, it doesn't really matter. You'd be working in your little unit of the big bank of corporate, or whatever. So I don't know what that would look like on a personal level.Car ManufacturingDwarkesh Patel (00:41:40):Yeah. Okay. So speaking of these Japanese companies, let's talk about car manufacturing and everything involved there. Yeah, so we kind of hinted at a few elements of the Toyota way and production earlier, but do you want to give a brief overview of what that is, so we can compare it to potentially other systems?Austin Vernon (00:42:02):I think all these kinds of lean Toyota process systems, they do have a lot of similarities, where mostly you want to even-out your production, so you're producing very consistently, and you want to break it into small steps and you want to limit the amount of inventory you have in your system. When you do this, it makes it easy to see how the process is running and limit defects. And the ultimate is you're really trying to reduce defects, because they're very expensive. It's a little bit hard to summarize. I think that's my best shot at it there, quickly off the top of my head.Dwarkesh Patel (00:42:49):Yeah. The interesting thing about the Toyota system, so at least when the machine was released, is they talk about... that book was released I think the nineties, and they went to the history of Toyota, and one of the interesting things they talked about was there was a brief time where the company ran... I think, was this after World War II? But anyways, the company ran into some troubles. They needed to layoff people to not go bankrupt. They had much more debt on books than they had assets. So yeah, they wanted to layoff people, but obviously the people were not happy about this, so there were violent protests about this. And in fact I think the US written constitution gave strong protections to labor that they hadn't had before, which gave labor an even stronger hand here.Dwarkesh Patel (00:43:42):So anyway, Toyota came to this agreement with the unions that they'd be allowed to do this one time layoff to get the company on the right track, but afterwards they could never lay somebody off. Which would mean that a person who works at Toyota works there from the time they graduate college or high school till they die. Right? I don't know, that's super intense in a culture. I mean, in software, where you have the average tenure in a company's one year, the difference is so much.Dwarkesh Patel (00:44:13):And there's so many potential benefits here, I guess a lot of drawbacks too. But one is, obviously if you're talking in a time scale of 50 years, rather than one year, the incentives are more aligned between the company and the person. Because anything you could do in one year is not going to have a huge impact on your stock options in that amount of time. But if this company's your retirement plan, then you have a much stronger incentive to make sure that things at this company run well, which means you're probably optimizing for the company's long term cash flow yourself. And also, there's obviously benefits to having that knowledge built up in the firm from people who have been there for a long time. But yeah, that was an interesting difference. One of the interesting differences, at least.Austin Vernon (00:45:00):I mean, I think there's diminishing returns to how long your tenure's going to be. Maybe one year's too short, but there's a certain extent to where, if you grow faster than your role at the company, then it's time to switch. It's going to depend on the person, but maybe five years is a good number. And so if you're not getting promoted within the firm, then your human capital's being wasted, because you could go somewhere else and have more responsibility and perform better for them. Another interesting thing about that story, is almost all lean turnarounds, where they're like, we're going to implement something like Toyota production system, they come with no layoff promises. Because if you're going to increase productivity, that's when everyone's like, "Oh gosh, I'm going to get laid off." So instead you have to increase output and take more market share, is what you do.Dwarkesh Patel (00:46:00):It's kind of like burning your bridges, right? So this is the only way.Austin Vernon (00:46:05):The process really requires complete buy-in, because a lot of your ideas for how you're going to standardize work content come from your line workers, because that's what they're doing every day. So if you don't have their buy-in, then it's going to fail. So that's why it's really necessary to have those kinds of clauses.Dwarkesh Patel (00:46:22):Yeah. Yeah, that makes sense. I think it was in your post where you said, if somebody makes their process more efficient, and therefore they're getting more work allotted to them, then obviously they're going to stop doing that. Right? Which means that, I don't know, do you ought to give more downtime to your best workers or something or the people who are most creative in your company?Austin Vernon (00:46:48):I was just going to say, if you're a worker at a plant, then a lot of times for that level of employee, actually small rewards work pretty well. A lot of people on drilling rigs used to give the guys that met certain targets $100 Walmart gift cards. So sometimes small, it's a reward, new ideas, stuff like that works.Austin Vernon (00:47:15):But because the whole system has to grow together, if you just improve one part of the process, it may not help you. You have to be improving all the right processes so normally it's much more collaborative. There's some engineer that's looking at it and like, "All right, this is where we're struggling," or "We have our defects here." And then you go get together with that supervisor and the workers in that area, then you all figure out what improvements could be together. Because usually the people already know. This is like, you see a problem at the top, and you're just now realizing it. Then you go talk to the people doing the work, and they're like, "Oh yeah, I tried to tell you about that two weeks ago, man." And then you figure out a better process from there.Dwarkesh Patel (00:47:58):Based on your recommendation, and Steven Malina's recommendation, I recently read The Goal. And after reading the book, I'm much more understanding of the value that consultants bring to companies, potentially. Because before you could think, “What does a 21 year old, who just graduated college, know about manufacturing? What are they going to tell this plant that they didn't already know? How could they possibly be adding value?” And afterwards, it occurred to me that there's so many abstract concepts that are necessary to understand in order to be able to increase your throughput. So now I guess I can see how somebody who's generically smart but doesn't have that much industry knowledge might be able to contribute to a plan and value consultants could be bringing.Austin Vernon (00:48:43):I think this applies to consultants or young engineers. A lot of times you put young engineers just right in the thick of it, working in production or process right on the line, where you're talking to the workers the most. And there's several advantages to that. One, the engineer learns faster, because they're actually seeing the real process, and the other is there's easy opportunities for them to still have a positive impact on the business, because there's $100 bills laying on the ground just from going up and talking to your workers and learning about stuff and figuring out problems they might be having and finding out things like that that could help you lower cost. I think there's a lot of consultants that... I don't know how the industry goes, but I would guess there's... I know Accenture has 600,000 employees. I don't know if that many, but it's just a large number, and a lot are doing more basic tasks and there are some people that are doing the more high level stuff, but it's probably a lot less.Dwarkesh Patel (00:49:51):Yeah. Yeah. There was a quote from one of those books that said, "At Toyota we don't consider you an engineer unless you need to wash your hands before you can have lunch." Yeah. Okay. So in your blog post about car manufacturing, you talk about Tesla. But what was really interesting is that in a footnote, I think you mentioned that you bought Tesla stocks in 2014, which also might be interesting to talk about again when we go to the market and alpha part. But anyways. Okay. And then you talk about Tesla using something called metal manufacturing. So first of all, how did you know in 2014 that Tesla was headed here? And what is metal manufacturing and how does it differ from the Toyota production system?Austin Vernon (00:50:42):Yeah. So yeah, I just was goofing around and made that up. Someone actually emailed me and they were like, "Hey, what is this metal manufacturing? I want to learn more about this." It's like, "Well, sorry, I just kind of made that up, because I thought it sounded funny." But yeah, I think it's really the idea that there's this guy, Dimming, and he found a lot of the same ideas that Toyota ended up implementing, and Toyota respected his ideas a lot. America never really got fully on board with this in manufacturing. Of course it's software people that are coming and implementing this and manufacturing now which is like the real American way of doing things.Austin Vernon (00:51:32):Because when you look at these manufacturing processes, the best place to save money and optimize is before you ever build the process or the plant. It's very early on. So I think if there's a criticism of Toyota, it's that they're optimizing too late and they're not creative enough in their production technology and stuff. They're very conservative, and that's why they have hydrogen cars and not battery cars, even though they came out with the Prius, which was the first large sales hybrid.Austin Vernon (00:52:12):So yeah, I think what Tesla's doing with really just making Dimming's ideas our own and really just Americanizing it with like, "Oh, well, we want to cast this, because that would be easier." Well, we can't, because we don't have an alloy. "We'll invent the alloy." I love it. It's great. Mostly, I love Tesla because they do such... I agree with their engineering principles. So I didn't know that the company would come to be so valuable. It's just, I was just always reading their stock reports and stuff so I was like, "Well, at least I need to buy some stock so that I have a justification for spending all this time reading their 10 Ks."Dwarkesh Patel (00:52:53):I want to get a little bit more in detail about the exact difference here. So lean production, I guess, is they're able to produce their cars without defects and with matching demand or whatever. But what is it about their system that prevents them from making the kinds of innovations that Tesla is able to make?Austin Vernon (00:53:16):It's just too incremental. It's so hard to get these processes working. So the faster you change things, it becomes very, very difficult to change the whole system. So one of the advantages Tesla has is, well, if you're making electric cars, you have just a lot less parts. So that makes it easier. And once you start doing the really hard work of basically digitizing stuff, like they don't have speed limit dials, you start just removing parts from the thing and you can actually then start increasing your rate of change even faster.Austin Vernon (00:53:55):It makes it harder to get behind if you have these old dinosaur processes. But I think there's a YouTube channel called The Limiting Factor, and he actually went into the detail of numbers on what it costs for Tesla to do their giga-casting, which saves tons of parts and deletes zillions of thousands of robots from their process. If you already have an existing stamping line and all that, where you're just changing the dyes based on your model, then it doesn't make sense to switch to the casting. But if you're building new factories, like Tesla is, well, then it makes sense to do the casting and you can build new factories very cheaply and comparatively and much easier. So there's a little bit of... they just have lots of technical data, I guess you could say, in a software sense.Dwarkesh Patel (00:54:47):Yeah. That's super interesting. The analogy is actually quite... it's like, Microsoft has probably tens of thousands of software engineers who are just basically servicing its technical debt and making sure that the old systems run properly, whereas a new company like Tesla doesn't have to deal with that. The thing that's super interesting about Tesla is like, Tesla's market cap is way over a trillion, right? And then Toyota's is 300 billion. And Tesla is such a new company. The fact that you have this Toyota, which is legendary for its production system, and this company that's less than two decades old is worth many times more, it's kind of funny.Austin Vernon (00:55:32):Yeah. I would say that, in that measure, I don't like market cap. You need to use enterprise value. These old car companies have so much debt, that if you look at enterprise value, it's not so jarring. Literally, I don't know, I can't remember what GM's worth, like 40 billion or something, and then they have $120 billion in debt. So their enterprise value is five times more than their market cap.Dwarkesh Patel (00:56:02):What is enterprise value?Austin Vernon (00:56:03):Enterprise value is basically what is the value of the actual company before you have any claims on it. It's the market cap plus your debt. But basically, if you're the equity holder and the company gets sold, you have to pay the debt first. So you only get the value of what's left over after the debt. So that's why market cap is... when Tesla has very little debt and a lot of market cap, and then these other guys have a lot of debt with less market cap, it skews the comparison.Dwarkesh Patel (00:56:34):Yeah, and one of the interesting things, it's similar to your post on software, is that it seems like one of the interesting themes across your work is automating processes often leads to decreased eventual throughput, because you're probably adding capacity in a place that you're deciding excess capacity, and you're also making the money part of your operation less efficient by have it interface with this automated part. It sounds like there's a similar story there with car manufacturing, right?Austin Vernon (00:57:08):Yeah. I think if we tie it back into what we were talking about earlier, automation promotes local optimization and premature optimization. So a lot of times it's better to figure out, instead of automating a process to make a really hard to make part, you should just figure out how to make that part easy to make. Then after you do that, then it may not even make sense to automate it anymore. Or get rid of it all together, then you just delete all those robots.Austin's Carbon Capture ProjectDwarkesh Patel (00:57:37):Yeah. Yeah, that's interesting. Okay. So let's talk about the project that you're working on right now, the CO2 electrolysis. Do you want to explain what this is, and what your current approach is? What is going on here?Austin Vernon (00:57:55):Yeah, so I think just overall, electrofuels right now are super underrated, because you're about to get hopefully some very cheap electricity from solar, or it could be, maybe, some land. If we get really lucky, possibly some nuclear, geothermal. It'll just make sense to create liquid fuels, or natural gas, or something just from electricity and air, essentially.Austin Vernon (00:58:25):There's a whole spectrum of ways to do this, so O2 electrolysis is one of those. Basically, you take water, electricity, and CO2, and a catalyst. And then, you make more complex molecules, like carbon monoxide, or formic acid, or ethylene, or ethanol, or methane or methine. Those are all options. But it's important to point out that, right now, I think if you added up all the CO2 electrolyzers in the world, you'd be measuring their output and kilograms per day. We make millions of tons per day off of the products I just mentioned. So there's a massive scale up if it's going to have a wider impact.Austin Vernon (00:59:15):So there's some debate. I think the debate for the whole electrofuels sector is: How much are you going to do in the electrolyzer? One company whose approach I really like is Terraform Industries. They want to make methane, which is the main natural gas. But they're just making hydrogen in their electrolyzer, and then they capture the CO2 and then put it into a methanation reaction. So everything they're doing is already world scale, basically.Austin Vernon (00:59:47):We've had hydrogen electrolyzers power fertilizer plants, providing them with the Hydrogen that they need. Methanation happens in all ammonia plants and several other examples. It's well known, very old. Methanation is hydrogen CO2 combined to make water and methane. So their approach is more conservative, but if you do more in the electrolyzer, like I'm going to make the methane actually in the electrolyzer instead of adding this other process, you could potentially have a much simpler process that has less CapEx and scales downward better. Traditional chemical engineering heavily favors scaling. With the more Terraform processes, they're playing as absolutely ginormous factories. These can take a long time to build.Austin Vernon (01:00:42):So one of the things they're doing is: they're having to fight the complexity that creeps into chemical engineering every step of the way. Because if they don't, they'll end up with a plant that takes 10 years to build, and that's not their goal. It takes 10 years to build a new refinery, because they're so complex. So yeah, that's where I am. I'm more on the speculative edge, and it's not clear yet which products will be favorable for which approaches.Dwarkesh Patel (01:01:15):Okay, yeah. And you're building this out of your garage, correct?Austin Vernon (01:01:19):Yeah. So that's where electrolyzers... Everything with electric chemistry is a flat plate instead of a vessel, so it scales down. So I can have a pretty good idea of what my 100 square centimeter electrolyzer is going to do, if I make it quite a bit bigger. I have to worry about how my flow might interact in the larger one and make sure the mixing's good, but it's pretty straightforward because you're just making your flat plate a larger area. Whereas the scale, it is different from scaling a traditional chemical process.Dwarkesh Patel (01:01:56):I'm curious how cheap energy has to be before this is efficient. If you're turning it into methane or something like that, presumably for fuel, is the entire process energy positive? Or how cheap would energy, electricity you need to get before that's the case?Austin Vernon (01:02:18):The different products and different methods have different crossovers. So Terraform Industries, they're shooting for $10 a megawatt hour for electricity. But again, their process is simpler, a little less efficient than a lot of the other products. They also have better premiums, just worth more per ton than methane. So your crossover happens somewhere in between $10 and $20 a megawatt hour, which is... I mean, that's pretty... Right now, solar, it's maybe like $25. Maybe it's a little higher because payment prices have gone up in the last year, but I think the expectation is they'll come back down. And so, getting down to $15 where you start having crossovers for some of these products like ethanol or ethylene or methanol, it's not science fiction.Dwarkesh Patel (01:03:08):I think in Texas where I live, that's where it's at right? The cost of energy is 20 or something dollars per megawatt hour.Austin Vernon (01:03:16):Well, not this summer! But yeah, a lot of times in Texas, the wholesale prices are around $25 to $30.Dwarkesh Patel (01:03:26):Gotcha. Okay. Yeah. So a lot of the actual details you said about how this works went over my head. So what is a flat plate? I guess before you answer that question, can you just generally describe the approach? What is it? What are you doing to convert CO2 into these other compounds?Austin Vernon (01:03:45):Well, yeah, it literally just looks like an electrolyzer. You have two sides and anode and a cathode and they're just smushed together like this because of the electrical resistance. If you put them far apart, it makes it... uses up a lot of energy. So you smush them together as close as you can. And then, you're basically just trading electrons back and forth. On one side, you're turning CO2 into a more complex molecule, and on the other side, you're taking apart water. And so, when you take apart the water, it balances out the equation, balances out your electrons and everything like that. I probably need to work on that elevator pitch there, huh?Dwarkesh Patel (01:04:31):I guess what the basic idea is, you need to put power in to convert CO2 into these other compounds.Austin Vernon (01:04:38):The inputs are electricity, water, and CO2, and the output is usually oxygen and whatever chemical you're trying to create is, along with some side reactions.Dwarkesh Patel (01:04:49):And then, these chemicals you mentioned, I think ethanol, methane, formic acid, are these all just fuels or what are the other uses for them?Austin Vernon (01:04:58):A lot of people are taking a hybrid approach with carbon monoxide. So this would be like Twelve Co… They've raised a lot of money to do this and 100 employees or something. You can take that carbon monoxide and make hydrogen, and then you have to send gas to make liquid fuels. So they want to make all sorts of chemicals, but one of the main volume ones would be like jet fuel.Austin Vernon (01:05:22):Let's see Formic acid is, it's the little fry of all these. It is an additive in a lot of things like preserving hay for animals and stuff like that. Then, ethanol there's people that want to... There's this company that makes ethylene, which goes into plastics that makes polyethylene, which is the most produced plastic. Or you can burn it in your car, although I think ethanol is a terrible vehicle fuel. But then you can also just make ethylene straight in the electrolyzer. So there's many paths. So which path wins is an interesting race to see.Dwarkesh Patel (01:06:13):The ability to produce jet fuel is really interesting, because in your energy superabundance paper, you talk about... You would think that even if we can electrify everything in solar and when it becomes super cheap, that's not going to have an impact on the prices to go to space for example. But I don't know. If a process like this is possible, then it's some way to in financial terms, add liquidity. And then turn, basically, this cheap solar and wind into jet fuel through this indirect process. So the price to send stuff to space or cheap plane flights or whatever––all of that goes down as well.Austin Vernon (01:06:52):It basically sets a price ceiling on the price of oil. Whatever you can produce this for is the ceiling now, which is maybe the way I think about it.Dwarkesh Patel (01:07:06):Yeah. So do you want to talk a little bit about how your background led into this project? This is your full-time thing, right? I don't know if I read about that, but where did you get this idea and how long have you been pursuing it? And what's the progress and so on.Austin Vernon (01:07:20):I've always loved chemical engineering, and I love working at the big processing plant because it's like being a kid in a candy store. If I had extra time, I'd just walk around and look at the plant, like it's so cool. But the plant where I worked at, their up time was 99.7%. So if you wanted to change anything or do anything new, it terrified everyone. That's how they earned their bonuses: run the plant a 100% uptime all the time. So that just wasn't a good fit for me. And also, so I always wanted my own chemical plant, but it's billions of dollars to build plants so that was a pretty big step. So I think this new technology of... there's a window where you might be able to build smaller plants until it optimizes to be hard to enter again.Dwarkesh Patel (01:08:21):And then, why will it become hard to enter again? What will happen?Austin Vernon (01:08:27):If someone figures out how to build a really cheap electrolyzer, and they just keep it as intellectual property, then it would be hard to rediscover that and compete with them.Dwarkesh Patel (01:08:38):And so, how long have you been working on this?Austin Vernon (01:08:42):Oh, not quite a year. But yeah, I actually got this idea to work on it from writing my blog. So when I wrote the heating fuel post, I didn't really know much about... There's another company in the space, Prometheus Fuels and I'm like, "Oh, this is an interesting idea." And then, I got talking to a guy named Brian Heligman, and he's like, "You should do this, but not what Prometheus is doing." And so, then I started looking at it and I liked it, so I've been working on it since.Dwarkesh Patel (01:09:08):Yeah. It's interesting because if energy does become as cheap as you suspect it might. If this process works, then yeah, this is a trillion dollar company probably, right? If you're going to get the patents and everything.Austin Vernon (01:09:22):I mean, maybe. With chemical plants, there's a certain limitation where your physical limitation is. There's only so many places that are good places for chemical plants. You start getting hit by transportation and all that. So, you can't just produce all th

Crappy Friends
140: Episode 141: Friends and their kids

Crappy Friends

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 18, 2022 30:13


Theoretically, we WANT to be that person who's like a cool auntie to our friend's kid. In reality…well. If you're wondering how to get out of that kindergarten graduation party of baby shower you just don't want to attend, listen up. The Ladies also discuss their casual style tips (pockets) and hints for avoiding unwanted guests (crawling).

Pricing College Podcast
Episode #0109 - How to charge creative industries like graphic designing

Pricing College Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 16, 2022 19:02


In today's episode, we want to ask a question about some of the creative industries and the best way to charge for graphic design creativity, like designing logos. This is a question that somebody asked us recently, so we want to explore it today.   We asked this question essentially, a question that a lot of people ask us how do we charge for a particular service or our products? Often the debate goes “ Oh, should we use a cost plus, especially for all time and materials billings, especially for professional services?" for things like design, logos, websites, all that stuff. Or should we make the bold move and try and charge based on value-based principles? And often, we, being from a value-based pricing firm, would strongly advocate choosing that particular method or methodology. But listening to the feedback from designers and practitioners, we'd like to explore how sometimes value-based pricing may not be feasible, and how sometimes cost-plus pricing, if cut and sliced differently, can deliver profitability.   Do you think you want a new logo for your website? I think there are a few concepts and issues we need to discuss here. So say you want a new logo for your website and someone decides how are they going to charge you. Are they going to charge you based on time and effort? Or is it based on the value this logo will provide? It's very difficult to work out what value a logo would provide in advance, certainly, especially if you're a graphic designer, you probably don't know anything about the company you're dealing with. You don't know how big it is if it's a startup, so there's a real issue. And also, as a graphic designer, are you dealing directly with the person or are you going through a website? So if people have all the materials and that's how they bill it, you've got real issues there. Because in the new Internet era, you're competing against people. If you're based in a high-cost environment, like Manhattan or Central London etc. People in cheaper areas would have a much lower sale price potentially than you would. So are you dragging yourself down to that level? The other thing, of course, you're saying is, if you get quicker like how do you price the fact that you're getting better at your artwork you're getting more experience, your quality is for increasing. Even if you could do the artwork quicker, does that mean that you charge less for it? It really, logically doesn't make an awful lot of sense. The only way I think that would work is if you're using a fake method. So to some extent, you're just you're doing a fake medical notice, five hours on average, just as a justification methodology, but the reality of it is the person who's buying it from you. It's not like you're a lawyer in a big firm who can talk about their hours and how many hours they're working like the person buying the product has no concept or idea or realistically doesn't care how much time you spend spent on this or not.   It's funny, you should say that because even lawyers use time materials as the basis for their price calculations with customers and customers don't care. There is a little bit of scepticism about how time is calculated in that regard, hasn't been overinflated because both sides of the equation don't think that the price is justified. Maybe on one side, the lawyers are thinking we should have gotten a higher price for this. The problem is more complex than we scoped out, etc. And the customers refuse to sort of listen to that, and they just want the outcome. Regardless, the same things happen in design. And when I think about it and the feedback from designers, a lot of them, especially the new designers, are saying, "Ah, cost plus might be better for us because we are not really that familiar and comfortable." sort of justifying the value of our offer to customers. Maybe selling is not their skill set. They haven't thought about the value that they provide. And some even argue that we don't have a huge portfolio. We haven't got that track record to be able to showcase to our customers. Here we can see that there's sort of a lack of confidence in their ability. Potentially not in the skill set, but potentially in the business acumen. And also, there's a lack of confidence that may or may not be true being communicated to the customers. Again, since you are new, you may not be good at this. So why would I give you the money for that? But again, this is business. A little bit of like resilience training, you have to take that with a pinch of salt, because like really, what is the value of a logo? Well, if it's a good logo, you'll instantly know it's a good logo. It meets expectations that capture the essence of your business and your brand and that feeling that it is all in one visual glance and it attracts people that you want to be drawn to your business. So it has that segmented type of appeal to it. A designer can't show this before the actual engagement but during the sales process. I'm thinking of 99 designs here a customer can go, look, this is what we're thinking to designers and then they deliver the sort of an idea or a sketch just to outline how they think and capture what you've just communicated to them. And from that, you get a good strong sense. Whether they are seasoned professionals, designers or newbies, whether they can do what you want and a customer can get surprised and delighted and overwhelmed by other people's ideas. It supersedes their imagination, and that's what you're paying for. That's the real value of the transaction. And sometimes, if you limit that transaction to time and materials, you just end up commoditising the value that you offer pretty much because you're not confident in your ability or your business skills.   I think back to when I was one of our previous existences. I was an accountant and I worked at Deloitte and Touche. I got to what revenue would be globally, but it must be in the billions. Then they went through this process of rebranding and came up with a wonderful idea for Deloitte Green Dot. Deloitte full stop or a period of wherever you want to call it. Has a company brought in any extra revenue due to that new logo? I don't know, maybe they have, but it seems far-fetched. But I remember the time I think the story was that they'd spent over a million dollars or a million pounds sterling on that rebrand, clearly an attainment material basis. What are the required materials? Is it the research? Is it the analysis? Is it the learning? You're getting into the old story with Nikola Tesla and Henry Ford, where there was a rattling in the wall and Henry Ford brought Tesla in to try to fix it. And he walked down the lot of the wall, spent two minutes finding a hole in the wall and giving it a tarp, and the problem was solved. And then he charged $10,000 to Henry Ford. And Henry Ford says it only took you two minutes and he goes, "Yes, but it's the expertise, the knowledge, that's where the cost goes." I think, again, I gotta get into the idea of, like, also, if you think about the concept of another creative industry, which is architecture, People like Norman Foster, who is probably the most famous architect in the world, I assume, is one of them. Calatrava will be another one to win a lot of major prestige projects. They get paid more than other designers. Keeping in mind that they probably don't do any work on these projects at all. No, they probably have teams of young architects working on them. But clearly, they're winning these things based not always on design but often based on celebrity status and the value that we peripherally value, such as prestige status, confidence aside, that the company is moving in the right direction. Realistically, if you're a McDonald's or a major corporation who's looking at a rebrand or a new logo, they're not going to give it to someone just based on being cheap. I don't think cheapness is even going to come into it. You're looking at the segmentation of your market who you're catering to, you know, and if you're going on time, that cheapness, maybe that's the right approach mark to market at the lower end of the market. But if you're hoping to rebrand Qantas or British Airways or do the logo for something else, then you need to give the people confidence that it's the best in the world. That you're prestigious, that people will know where it's come from and have confidence in that and buy into the project. So it's almost like high quality or luxury product. There is a luxury product aspect to it. My view would be that if you want to have a sustainable career in this business, you have to build your career. It's the thing you have to build your prestige, build your market knowledge, or boost your reviews on your website. So people come to you and they are coming to you for a reason. Not just because you're cheaper or you can do the job, but they're coming to you because they believe in interest in the product you're making.   I think it's a mistake to think that you need the experience to gain confidence to get more customers. I often think that experience in itself, like it's an indicator of potentially that you're able to potentially generate value for clients, but it's based on past precedent. Customers that look at CVS are looking at them to gain a little bit of confidence in you, but the confidence will happen when they see your ideas or SEE YOU THINKING and working through problems with them, and they'll see where you're going with it. I think there's confidence in your ability to be able to discuss that type of problem with your customers rather than thinking others are better than you. Are you the cheapest in the market? It is very commoditised. You're wasting your time with that type of thinking. You have to be focused on the customer's needs. And you'd have to be honest with yourself sometimes. Am I able to serve that customer because you may not have a clue about what they're getting? If you're just playing along with that, then you're wasting everybody's time. So yeah, there's an element of honesty and confidence in your ability to read the situation and know your target market. If you don't feel that you've got the skills to do it. Then you've got to think about where you can be best served and build up that competence and resume if that's where you want to go. If you're going to use cost-plus just be very, very careful. It's going to commoditise your offer and it's going to decide that the relationship with your customer is very transactional. What is value-based pricing? It's a conversation based on value. What value can you generate for your customer? Through your design, through your logos, and if you know that you can generate a lot of value, then charge that premium for it. If the customer is still not sure and or you're not sure that you can do the job. Maybe the scope or the brief is still quite confusing, then potentially think about a new revenue model as a way of charging. Not that you can charge using value-based pricing, but think about maybe a retainer model or a different type of subscription model just to lower the risk from both ends. That potentially would help, and then they could see you in action and you're contracted for some money. That way, you both gain experience with each other. You lower the risk and you can show what you can do for them. And then you can It's sort of motransparent, you can build a relationship and trust in the end product.   You have to consider again, in value-based pricing, what are you delivering? Sometimes people don't just want a logo. Maybe they want the marketing team who are working on this project that they want to feel special. I remember another time I was working at a company, a waste company, and they were developing a new website. And they had a whole team of creatives come in to talk about the colour scheme and all this stuff. I remember one guy was wearing a beret, and it was just preposterous that they were throwing people at something that one person could do. You have to fit the criteria that the people want, that they're looking to buy. Big companies potentially if there are a lot of people working on it. Think about this, if you're a big company and you have a big rebrand, if it goes wrong and then the chief executive finds out that the logo only cost 500 bucks. You can be pretty sure that the market executive is going to be in a lot of trouble with that or the branding person. So there'll be a high price hike, which will give some assurance also, those peripheral values. Given that, you think about what people want. They want the product and the logo. But the chance that the perfect logo will come up on the first go is very low. People may hit the first logo, they may want to slightly change it. So there'd be so many things like infinite reruns, turnarounds overnight, throwing them in different shades, being available at all times. Making sure that it's done in the way they wanted. Good people can be very demanding. And if that's demanding, are you able to provide that? If you can provide that, there's a higher price tag and ticket with that. I think that the ins and outs of the basics of actually doing the logo, and we're using the term "logo," but this can be used in different contexts, also in the fashion industry. Theoretically, you could buy an item from Chanel that might cost 100 or 1000 times the price of something cheaper and sharper like H & M or somewhere like that to the educated eye, and might even be identical, but it's those small nuances that provide infinite differences and the infinite different ability to sell. Admittedly, someone or Coco Chanel, they don't come along every day and that expertise that's what makes people real business leaders and successes. And just because you're the best local designer certainly does not indicate that you will be a great business and you need that marketing skill. You need that selling ability and you need everything   I suppose this is the difference between just designing the logo and creating a business. It's a different skill set. Often people start businesses without really identifying their core market and understanding sources of value in the market. They have no clear value proposition and then they build a business. Literally through panic and fear. Just go I'm going to sell anything to anybody at any price. Just because I sort of need the money and that is not a sustainable sort of way to run a business and customers don't like that. Using pricing methodology as a way to or if you're going to use cost-plus, by adding on hours to the overall project, just to get charged customers more, it's just not a great way of doing business because you side tracking away from the true value of your offer. And that's because you've brushed past your value proposition and you just shooting anything, you just want any work Business is tough, that's why confidence and hard work and learning business skills will come in handy just to de-risk the whole model and might give you confidence that you need to take to get better at that because have confidence in your delivery skills. You're a designer, you thought you could do it when you started when we started the business so just remind yourself of that and think carefully of what your core area and niches are and where you want to go with that. Often in design, It's where your passion lies. So think about that. What excites you about that? Why are you doing what you're doing? And that will help you and then you can see and then that sort of helps you in a way that segments the market because other people will be attracted to that attracted by that particular skill as well. And then over time you're going to niche and be known for that particular thing.    I would also think stuff like payment terms you could offer. You don't stop until the customer is completely happy with the project. Those things are de-risking for the buyer like a lot of people buying a logo or brand name but they're coming to you because they're not creatives they want them to blow them away. You have to maybe guarantee to get from there in that sort of thing you want to you probably want to be working exclusively with people do you want to be putting in a huge amount of effort and not getting the sale. That's something you want to consider also, but I would suggest you find some method of de-risking it for the buyer. Once you build your portfolio at the beginning, you have to have a portfolio, you probably don't have cheaper you're probably broke for lower quality customers. And then you're moving up into the big leagues. If you're successful, bigger companies and hopefully at the end of the day, you're doing AmEx and you're doing United Airlines and all this sort of stuff. So, but you got to start somewhere and you can't know value. The peripheral value is built up over years. But you got to start somewhere. unclearly building a portfolio having logos and brands out there. That's very important, but it's step by step.  

Better Today Than Yesterday (BTTY) Podcast

David Cain wrote This Will Never Happen Again. It's not a long book. I recommend it if you have an hour to take some solid perspective. I'd also recommend his blog.In the book, he says this,"Theoretically, if you know what you love, then every time you make a decision, you'll have a pretty damn clear idea if it's taking you closer or further away from what you love. You'll know the right thing to do. So self-love is a moral issue. It consists of doing the right thing."It's an interesting reframe. It makes loving yourself and what you do a moral issue. If we accept that loving our fellow humans is required for morality, and I do, why don't we view loving ourselves as a moral obligation too?Takeaways:Loving yourself is now a moral imperative. Recognize when decisions take you closer or farther from what you love.I'll leave you with this scene from the pursuit of happiness.And before you go, please remember this is an important day. It is a day that saw our world change forever. Please consider taking time to honor those who fell on 9/11. Also, don't forget the hundreds of thousands the world lost over the next two decades.War means no one wins - when we love each other, we all win. And for those carrying scars, grief, and loss - you aren't alone. Stay strong, and please let me know if I can help. This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit kellyvohs.substack.com

The Lunar Society
38: Austin Vernon - Energy Superabundance, Starship Missiles, & Finding Alpha

The Lunar Society

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 8, 2022 144:32


Austin Vernon is an engineer working on a new method for carbon capture, and he has one of the most interesting blogs on the internet, where he writes about engineering, software, economics, and investing.We discuss how energy superabundance will change the world, how Starship can be turned into a kinetic weapon, why nuclear is overrated, blockchains, batteries, flying cars, finding alpha, & much more!Watch on YouTube. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any other podcast platform. Read the full transcript here.Subscribe to find out about future episodes!Follow Austin on Twitter. Follow me on Twitter for updates on future episodes.Please share if you enjoyed this episode! Helps out a ton!Timestamps(0:00:00) - Intro(0:01:53) - Starship as a Weapon(0:19:24) - Software Productivity(0:41:40) - Car Manufacturing(0:57:39) - Carbon Capture(1:16:53) - Energy Superabundance(1:25:09) - Storage for Cheap Energy(1:31:25) - Travel in Future(1:33:27) - Future Cities(1:39:58) - Flying Cars(1:43:26) - Carbon Shortage(1:48:03) - Nuclear(2:12:44) - Solar(2:14:44) - Alpha & Efficient Markets(2:22:51) - ConclusionTranscriptIntroDwarkesh Patel (00:00:00):Okay! Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Austin Vernon who writes about engineering, software, economics, and investing on the internet, though not that much else is known about him. So Austin, do you want to give us a bit of info about your background? I know that the only thing the internet knows about you is this one little JPEG that you had to upload with your recent paper. But what about an identity reveal or I guess a little bit of a background reveal? Just to the extent that you're comfortable sharing.Austin Vernon (00:00:29):My degree is in chemical engineering and I've had a lifelong love for engineering as well as things like the Toyota Production System. I've also worked as a chemical engineer in a large processing facility where I've done a lot of petroleum engineering. I taught myself how to write software and now I'm working on more research and the early commercialization of CO2 electrolysis.Dwarkesh Patel (00:00:59):Okay yeah. I'm really interested in talking about all those things. The first question I have is from Alex Berger, who's the co-CEO of Open Philanthropy. When I asked on Twitter what I should ask you, he suggested that I should ask “Why so shady?” Famously you have kind of an anonymous personality, pseudonymous thing going on the internet. What's up with that?Austin Vernon (00:01:25):Yeah. I think he posted a tweet that said “I don't know who this guy is or if he's credible at all, but his stuff sure is interesting”. That really made me laugh. I thought that was hilarious. Fame just doesn't seem necessary, I think I'm fine with my ideas being well known and communicating, but I have less desire to be personally famous.Starship as a WeaponDwarkesh Patel (00:01:52):Gotcha, gotcha. I wanted to start off with a sexy topic, let's talk about using Starship as a kinetic weapon. I thought that was one of the more amusing posts you wrote. Do you want to talk more about how this would be possible?Austin Vernon (00:02:08):Well, I think the main thing with Starship is that you're taking a technology and you're making it about 100 times cheaper for cargo and 1000 times cheaper for people. When things like that happen that drastically, you're just looking at huge changes and it's really hard to anticipate what some of those can be when the change is that drastic. I think there's a lot of moon-based, Mars-based stuff that doesn't really catch the general public's eye. They also have trouble imagining some of the point-to-point travel that could be possible. But when you start talking about it as a weapon, then I think it lets people know they should be paying attention to this technology. And we certainly do not want to be second or third getting it. We should make sure that we're going to be first.Dwarkesh Patel (00:03:05):Yeah. I think you mentioned this in the post, but as recently as the '90s, the cost of sending one kilogram to space was around $20,000. More recently, SpaceX has brought it to $2,000. Lots of interesting questions pop up when you ask, “What will be possible once we get it down to $200 per kilogram to send into orbit?” One of them could be about how we might manufacture these weapons that are not conventional ballistics. Do you want to talk about why this might be an advancement over conventional ballistic weapons?Austin Vernon (00:03:37):Well, regular conventional ballistic weapons are extremely expensive. This is more like a bomb truck. But usually we think of B52 as the bomb truck and this could be even cheaper than the B52, delivering just mass on target. When you think about how expensive it is to fly a B52 from Barksdale in Louisiana all the way across the world.. you can do it from south Texas or Florida with the Starship and get more emissions per day and the fuel ends up being. When you go orbital, it takes a lot to get to orbit. But then once you're in orbit, your fuel consumption's pretty good. So over long distances, it has a lot of advantage. That's why the point-to-point works for longer distances.Austin Vernon (00:04:27):There's really a sweet spot with these weapons where you want it to be pretty accurate, but you also want it to be cheap. You're seeing that problem with Russia right now as they have some fancy parade style weapons that are really expensive, like multi-billion dollar cruise missiles, but they're missing that $5,000 guided artillery shell or that $20,000 JDM that you can just pit massive. Or the multiple launch rocket system, guided rockets. They're really short on all those because I think they had just had a limited amount of chips they could get from the US into Russia to make these advanced weapons.Austin Vernon (00:05:07):But yeah, so the Starship gives you just a platform to deliver. You could put JDMs in a shroud, or you could just have the iron unguided kinetic projectiles, and it just becomes impossible for a ship to launch missiles to intercept yours if your cost is so low, you can just overwhelm them.Dwarkesh Patel (00:05:29):Okay. There are a few terms there that neither I nor the audience might know. So what is JDM? What is shroud? And why are chips a bottleneck here? Why can't it just be any micro-controller?Austin Vernon (00:05:42):So JDM is Joint Direct Attack Munition. So what we did is we took all our Vietnam surplus bonds and we put this little fin-kit on it and it costs like $20,000, which is cheap for a weapon because the actual bond costs, I don't know, $3,000. And then it turns it into a guided weapon that, before you were probably lucky to get within 500 meters of a target, now you can get it in with two meters. So the number of missions you have to do with your planes and all that goes down by orders of magnitude. So it's an absolutely huge advantage in logistics and in just how much firepower you can put on a target. And we didn't even have to make new bombs, we just put these kits on all our old bombs.Austin Vernon (00:06:33):Let's see.. Yeah the chips are a problem. There's this organization called RUSI. I think they're in the UK, but they've been tearing down all these Russian weapons they found in Ukraine and they all have American chips in them. So technically, they're not supposed to be able to get these chips. And yet, Russia can't make a lot of its own chips. And especially not the specialized kinds you might want for guided weapons. So they've been somehow smuggling in chips from Americans to make their advanced weaponsDwarkesh Patel (00:07:03):What is special about these? As far as I'm aware, the trade with China is still going on and we get a lot of our chips manufactured from Taiwan or China. So why can't they do the same?Austin Vernon (00:07:14):It's the whole integration. It's not just the specific chip, but the board. They're more like PLCs where you almost have wired-in programming and they come with this ability to do the guidance and all that stuff. It all kind of has to work together. I think that's the way I understand it. I don't know. Maybe I don't have a really good answer for that one, but they're hard to replicate is what matters.Dwarkesh Patel (00:07:43):Okay that's interesting. Yeah, I guess that has a lot of interesting downstream effects, because for example, India buys a lot of its weapons from Russia. So if Russia doesn't have access to these, then other countries that buy from Russia won't have access to these either.Dwarkesh Patel (00:07:58):You had an interesting speculation in the post where you suggested that you could just keep these kinetic weapons in orbit, in a sort of Damocles state really, almost literally. That sounds like an incredibly scary and risky scenario where you could have orbital decay and you could have these kinetic weapons falling from the sky and destroying cities. Do you think this is what it will look like or could look like in 10 to 20 years?Austin Vernon (00:08:26):Well, yeah, so the advantage of having weapons on orbit is you can hit targets faster. So if you're launching the rocket from Florida, you're looking at maybe 30 minutes to get there and the target can move away in that time. Whereas if you're on orbit, you can have them spaced out to where you're hitting within a few minutes. So that's the advantage there.Austin Vernon (00:08:46):You really have to have a two stage system I think for most, because if you have a really aerodynamic rod that's going to give you really good performance in the low atmosphere, it'll end up going too fast and just burn up before it gets there. Tungsten's maybe the only thing that you could have that could go all the way through which is why I like the original concept of using these big tungsten rods the size of a telephone pole. But tungsten's pretty expensive. And the rod concept kind of limits what you can do.Austin Vernon (00:09:28):So a lot of these weapons will have, that's what I was talking about with the shroud, something that actually slows you down in the upper atmosphere. And then once you're at the velocity where you're not just going to melt, then you open it up and let it go. So if you actually had it fall from the sky, some may make it to the ground, but a lot would burn up. So a lot of the stuff that makes it to the ground is actually pretty light. It's stuff that can float and has a large surface area. Yeah, that's the whole thing with Starship. Or not Starship, but Starlink. All those satellites are meant to completely fall apart on de-orbit.Dwarkesh Patel (00:10:09):I see. One of the implications of that is that these may be less powerful than we might fear, because since kinetic energy is mass times velocity squared and there's an upper bound on the velocity (velocity being the component that grows the kinetic energy faster), then it suggests that you can upper bound the power these things will have. You know what I mean?Austin Vernon (00:10:32):Yeah, so even the tungsten rods. Sometimes people, they're not very good at physics, so they don't do the math. They think it's going to be a nuclear weapon, but it's really not. I think even the tungsten rod is like 10 tons of T&T or something. It's a big bomb, but it's not a super weapon.Austin Vernon (00:10:54):So I think I said in the post, it's about using advanced missiles where they're almost more defensive weapons so I can keep you from pitting your ship somewhere. Yeah I could try to bombard your cities, but I can't take ground with it. I can't even police sea lanes with it really. I'd still have to use regular ships if I had this air cover to go enforce the rules of the sea and stuff like that.Dwarkesh Patel (00:11:23):Yeah. You speculated in the post, I think, that you could load this up with shrapnel and then it could explode next to an incoming missile or an incoming aircraft. Could these get that accurate? Because that was surprising speculation to me.Austin Vernon (00:11:43):I think for ships, it's pretty... I was watching videos of how fast a ship can turn and stuff. If you're going to do an initial target on a ship to try to kill their radars, you'd want to do it above the ceiling of their missiles. So it's like, how much are they going to move between your release where you stop steering and that? The answer's maybe 1000 feet. So that's pretty simple because you just shrapnel the area.Austin Vernon (00:12:12):Targeting aircraft, you would be steering all the way in. I'd say it's doable, but it'd be pretty hard. You'd actually maybe want to even go slower than you would with the ship attack. You'd need a specialized package to attack the aircraft, but if you have enough synthetic aperture radar and stuff like that, you could see these aircraft using satellites and then guide the bomb in the whole way. You could even load heat seeking missiles into a package that unfurls right next to them and launch conventional missiles too, probably. It'd be pretty hard to do some of this stuff, but they're just the things you might be able to do if you put some effort into it.Dwarkesh Patel (00:12:57):Yeah. The reason I find this kind of speculation really interesting is because when you look at the modern weaponry that's used in conflicts, it just seems directly descendant from something you would've seen in World War II or something. If you think about how much warfare changed between 1900 and 1940, it's like, yeah, they're not even the same class of weapons anymore. So it's interesting to think about possibilities like these where the entire category of weapons has changed.Austin Vernon (00:13:33):You're right and that's because our physical technology hasn't changed that much. So it really has just made more sense to put better electronics in the same tanks. We haven't learned enough about tanks to build a new physical tank that's way better, so we just keep upgrading our existing tanks with better electronics. They're much more powerful, they're more accurate. A lot of times, they have longer range weapons and better sensors. So the tank looks the same, but it maybe has several times more killing power. But the Ukraine war right now, they're using a lot of 40, 50 year old weapons so that especially looks like that.Dwarkesh Patel (00:14:20):Yeah. Which kind of worries you if you think about the stockpiles our own military has. I'm not well educated on the topic, but I imagine that we don't have the newest of the new thing. We probably have maintained versions of decades old technology.Austin Vernon (00:14:35):We spend so much, we've got relatively... This kind of gets into debate about how ready our military is. For certain situations, it's more ready than others. I'd say in general, most people talking about it have the incentive to downplay our capabilities because they want more defense spending. There's lots of reasons. So I think we're probably more capable than what you might see from some editorial in The Hill or whatever. Us just sending a few weapons over to Ukraine and seeing how successful they've been at using them, I think, shows a little bit of that.Austin Vernon (00:15:18):There's so much uncertainty when it comes to fighting, especially when you're talking about a naval engagement, where we don't just don't have that many ships in general… you can have some bad luck. So I think you always want to be a little bit wary. You don't want to get overconfident.Dwarkesh Patel (00:15:37):Yeah. And if the offensive tech we sent to Ukraine is potentially better than the defensive tech, it's very possible that even a ballistic missile that China or Russia could launch would sink a battleship and then kill the 2,000 or 1,000 whatever soldiers that are on board. Or I guess, I don't know, you think this opens up avenues for defensive tech as well?Austin Vernon (00:16:03):Yeah––generally the consensus is that defensive technology has improved much more recently than offensive technology. This whole strategy China has is something they call anti-access/area denial, A2/AD. That's basically just how missiles have gotten better because the sensors on missiles have gotten better. So they can keep our ships from getting close to them but they can't really challenge us in Hawaii or something. And it really goes both ways, I think people forget that. So yeah, it's hard for us to get close to China, but Taiwan has a lot of missiles with these new sensors as well. So I think it's probably tougher for China to do it close to Taiwan than most people would say.Dwarkesh Patel (00:16:55):Oh, interesting. Yeah, can you talk more about that? Because every time I read about this, people are saying that if China wanted to, they could knock out Taiwan's defenses in a short amount of time and take it over. Yeah, so can you talk about why that's not possible?Austin Vernon (00:17:10):Well, it might be, but I think it's a guess of the uncertainty [inaudible 00:17:14]. Taiwan has actually one of the largest defense budgets in the world and they've recently been upping it. I think they spend, I don't know, $25 billion a year and they added an extra $5 billion. And they've been buying a lot of anti-ship missiles, a lot of air defense missiles.. Stuff that Ukraine could only dream of. I think Ukraine's military budget was $2 billion and they have a professional army. And then the other thing is Taiwan's an island, whereas Russia could just roll over the land border into Ukraine.Austin Vernon (00:17:44):There's just been very few successful amphibious landings in history. The most recent ones were all the Americans in World War II and Korea. So the challenge there is just... It's kind of on China to execute perfectly and do that. So if they had perfect execution, then possibly it would be feasible. But if their air defenses on their ships aren't quite as good as we think they could possibly be, then they could also end up with half their fleet underwater within 10 hours.Dwarkesh Patel (00:18:20):Interesting. And how has your view of Taiwan's defensive capabilities changed... How has the Ukraine conflict updated your opinion on what might happen?Austin Vernon (00:18:29):I didn't really know how much about it. And then I started looking at Wikipedia and stuff and all this stuff they're doing. Taiwan just has a lot of modern platforms like F16s with our anti-ship missiles. They actually have a lot of their own. They have indigenous fighter bombers, indigenous anti-ship missiles because they're worried we might not always sell them to them.Austin Vernon (00:18:54):They've even recently gotten these long range cruise missiles that could possibly target leadership in Beijing. So I think that makes it uncomfortable for the Chinese leadership. If you attack them, you're going to have to go live in a bunker. But again, I'm not a full-time military analyst or something, so there's a lot of uncertainty around what I'm saying. It's not a given that China's just going to roll over them.Software ProductivityDwarkesh Patel (00:19:22):Okay. That's comforting to hear. Let's talk about an area where I have a little bit of a point of contact. I thought your blog post about software and the inability of it to increase productivity numbers, I thought that was super fascinating. So before I ask you questions about it, do you want to lay out the thesis there?Austin Vernon (00:19:43):Yeah. So if there's one post I kind of felt like I caught lightning in a bottle on, it's that one. Everything I wanted to put in, it just fit together perfectly, which is usually not the case.Austin Vernon (00:19:55):I think the idea is that the world's so complex and we really underestimate that complexity. If you're going to digitize processes and automate them and stuff, you have to capture all that complexity basically at the bit level, and that's extremely difficult. And then you also have diminishing returns where the easily automatable stuff goes first and then it's increasing corner cases to get to the end, so you just have to go through more and more code basically. We don't see runaway productivity growth from software because we're fighting all this increasing complexity.Dwarkesh Patel (00:20:39):Yeah. Have you heard of the waterbed theory of complexity by the way?Austin Vernon (00:20:42):I don't think so.Dwarkesh Patel (00:20:44):Okay. It's something that comes up in compiler design: the idea is that there's a fixed amount of complexity in a system. If you try to reduce it, what you'll end up doing is just you'll end up migrating the complexity elsewhere. I think an example that's used of this is when they try to program languages that are not type safe, something like Python. You can say, “oh, it's a less complex language”, but really, you've added complexity when, I don't know, two different types of numbers are interacting like a float and an int. As your program grows, that complexity exponentially grows along with all the things that could go wrong when you're making two things interact in a way that you were expecting not to. So yeah, the idea is you can just choose where to have your complexity, but you can't get rid of that complexity.Austin Vernon (00:21:38):I think that's kind of an interesting thing when you start pairing it with management theory... when you add up all the factors, the most complex thing you're doing is high volume car manufacturing. And so we got a lot of innovations and organization from car manufacturers like the assembly line. Then you had Sloan at GM basically creating the way the modern corporation is run, then you have the Toyota Production System.Austin Vernon (00:22:11):But arguably now, creating software is actually the most complex thing we do. So there's all these kinds of squishy concepts that underlie things like the Toyota Production System that softwares had to learn and reimagine and adopt and you see that with Agile where, “oh, we can't have long release times. We need to be releasing every day,” which means we're limiting inventory there.Austin Vernon (00:22:42):There's a whole thing especially that's showing up in software that existed in carbon manufacturing where you're talking about reducing communication. So Jeff Bezos kind of now famously said, "I want to reduce communication," which is counterintuitive to a lot of people. This is age-old in car manufacturing where Toyota has these cards that go between workstations and they tell you what to do. So people normally think of them as limiting inventory, but it also tells the worker exactly what they're supposed to be doing at what pace, at what time. The assembly line is like that too. You just know what to do because you're standing there and there's a part here and it needs to go on there, and it comes by at the pace you're supposed to work at.Austin Vernon (00:23:29):It's so extreme that there's this famous paper, by List, Syverson and Levitt. They went to a car factory and studied how defects propagated in cars and stuff. Once a car factory gets up and running, it doesn't matter what workers you put in there, if workers are sick or you get new workers, the defect rate is the same. So all the knowledge is built into the manufacturing line.Austin Vernon (00:23:59):There's these concepts around idiot-proofing and everything that are very similar to what you'll see. You had Uncle Bob on here. So Uncle Bob says only put one input into a function and stuff like that because you'll mix them up otherwise. The Japanese call it poka-yoke. You make it where you can't mess it up. And that's another way to reduce communication, and then software, of course you have APIs.Austin Vernon (00:24:28):So I'm really interested in this overall concept of reducing communication, and reducing how much cooperation and everything we need to run the economy.Dwarkesh Patel (00:24:41):Right. Right. Speaking of the Toyota Production System, one thing they do to reduce that defect rate is if there's a problem, all the workers in that chain are forced to go to the place where the defect problem is and fix it before doing anything else. The idea there is that this will give them context to understand what the problem was and how to make sure it doesn't happen again. It also prevents a build up of inventory in a way that keeps making these defects happen or just keeps accumulating inventory before the place that can fix the defects is able to take care of them.Austin Vernon (00:25:17):Right. Yeah, yeah. Exactly.Dwarkesh Patel (00:25:19):Yeah. But I think one interesting thing about software and complexity is that software is a place where complexity is the highest in our world right now but software gives you the choice to interface with the complexity you want to interface with. I guess that's just part of specialization in general, but you could say for example that a machine learning model is really complex, but ideally, you get to a place where that's the only kind of complexity you have to deal with. You're not having to deal with the complexity of “How is this program compiled? How are the libraries that I'm using? How are they built?” You can fine tune and work on the complexity you need to work on.Dwarkesh Patel (00:26:05):It's similar to app development. Byrne Hobart has this blog post about Stripe as solid state. The basic idea is that Stripe hides all the complexity of the financial system: it charges a higher fee, but you can just treat it as an abstraction of a tithe you have to pay, and it'll just take care of that entire process so you can focus on your comparative advantage.Austin Vernon (00:26:29):It's really actually very similar in car manufacturing and the Toyota Production System if you really get into it. It's very much the same conceptual framework. There's this whole idea in Toyota Production System, everyone works at the same pace, which you kind of talked about. But also, your work content is the same. There's no room for not standardizing a way you're going to do things. So everyone gets together and they're like, “All right, we're going to do this certain part. We're going to put it together this certain way at this little micro station. And it's going to be the same way every time.” That's part of how they're reducing the defect rates. If your assembly process is longer than what your time allotment is to stay in touch with the rest of the process, then you just keep breaking it down into smaller pieces. So through this, each person only has to know a very small part of it.Austin Vernon (00:27:33):The overall engineering team has all sorts of strategies and all sorts of tools to help them break up all these processes into very small parts and make it all hold together. It's still very, very hard, but it's kind of a lot of the same ideas because you're taking away the complexity of making a $30,000 car or 30,000 part car where everyone's just focusing on their one little part and they don't care what someone else is doing.Dwarkesh Patel (00:28:06):Yeah. But the interesting thing is that it seems like you need one person who knows how everything fits together. Because from what I remember, one of the tenets of the Toyota Production System was you need to have a global view. So, in that book, was it the machine or the other one, the Toyota Production System book? But anyways, they were talking about examples where people would try to optimize for local efficiencies. I think they especially pointed to Ford and GM for trying to do this where they would try to make machines run all the time. And locally, you could say that, “oh this machine or process is super efficient. It's always outputting stuff.” But it ignores how that added inventory or that process had a bad consequence for the whole system.Dwarkesh Patel (00:28:50):And so it's interesting if you look at a company like Tesla that's able to do this really well. Tesla is run like a monarchy and this one guy has this total global view of how the entire process is supposed to run and where you have these inefficiencies.. You had some great examples of this in the blog post. I think one of the examples is this guy (the author) goes to this factory and he asks, "Is this an efficient factory?" And the guy's like, "Yeah, this is totally efficient. There's nothing we can do, adopting the Toyota way, to make this more efficient."Dwarkesh Patel (00:29:22):And so then he's like, "Okay, let me look." And he finds that they're treating steel in some way, and the main process does only take a couple of seconds, but some local manager decided that it would be more efficient to ship their parts out, to get the next stage of the process done somewhere else. So this is locally cheaper, but the result is that it takes weeks to get these parts shipped out and get them back. Which means that the actual time that the parts spend getting processed is 0.1% of the time, making the whole process super inefficient. So I don't know, it seems like the implication is you need a very monarchical structure, with one person who has a total view, in order to run such a system. Or am I getting that wrong?Austin Vernon (00:30:12):Not necessarily. I mean, you do have to make sure you're not optimizing locally, but I think it's the same. You have that same constraint in software, but I think a lot of times people are just running over it because processing has been getting so much cheaper. People are expensive, so if you could save development time, it just ends up the trade offs are different when you're talking about the tyranny of physical items and stuff like that, the constraints get a little more severe. But I think you have the same overall. You still have to fight local optimization, but the level you have to is probably different with physical goods.Austin Vernon (00:30:55):I was thinking about the smart grid situation from a software perspective, and there's this problem where, okay, I'm putting my solar farm here and it's impacting somewhere far away, and that's then creating these really high upgrade costs, that cost two or three times more than my solar farm. Well, the obvious thing would be, if you're doing software, is like you're going to break all these up into smaller sections, and then you wouldn't be impacting each other and all that, and you could work and focus on your own little thing.Austin Vernon (00:31:29):But the problem with that is if you're going to disconnect these areas of the grid, the equipment to do that is extremely expensive. It's not like I'm just going to hit a new tab and open a new file and start writing a new function. And not only that, but you still have to actually coordinate how this equipment is going to operate. So if you just let the grid flow as it does, everyone knows what's going to happen because they could just calculate the physics. If you start adding in all these checkpoints where humans are doing stuff, then you have to actually interface with the humans, and the amount of things that can happen really starts going up. So it's actually a really bad idea to try to cart all this stuff off, just because of the reality of the physical laws and the equipment you need and everything like that.Dwarkesh Patel (00:32:22):Okay. Interesting. And then I think you have a similar Coasean argument in your software post about why vertically integrating software is beneficial. Do you want to explain that thesis?Austin Vernon (00:32:34):Yeah. I think it actually gets to what we're talking about here, where it allows you to avoid the local optimization. Because a lot of times you're trying to build a software MVP, and you're tying together a few services… they don't do quite what you need, so if you try to scale that, it would just break. But if you're going to take a really complex process, like car manufacturing or retail distribution, or the home buying process or something, you really have to vertically integrate it to be able to create a decent end-to-end experience and avoid that local optimization.Austin Vernon (00:33:20):And it's just very hard otherwise, because you just can't coordinate effectively if you have 10 different vendors trying to do all the same thing. You end up in just constant vendor meetings, where you're trying to decide what the specs are or something instead of giving someone the authority, or giving a team the authority to just start building stuff. Then if you look at these companies, they have to implement these somewhat decentralized processes when they get too complex, but at least they have control over how they're interfacing with each other. Walmart, as the vendors, control their own stock. They don't tell the vendor, "We need X parts." It's just like, it's on you to make sure your shelf is stocked.Dwarkesh Patel (00:34:07):Yeah. Yeah. So what was really interesting to me about this part of the post was, I don't know, I guess I had heard of this vision of we're software setting, where everybody will have a software as a service company, and they'll all be interfacing with each other in some sort of cycle where they're all just calling each other's APIs. And yeah, basically everybody and their mother would have a SAAS company. The implication here was, from your argument, that given the necessity of integrating all those complexity vertically in a coherent way, then the winners in software should end up being a few big companies, right? They compete with each other, but still...Austin Vernon (00:34:49):I think that's especially true when you're talking about combining bits and apps. Maybe less true for pure software. The physical world is just so much more complex, and so the constraints it creates are pretty extreme, compared to like... you could maybe get away with more of everyone and their mom having an API in a pure software world.Dwarkesh Patel (00:35:14):Right. Yeah. I guess, you might think that even in the physical world, given that people really need to focus on their comparative advantage, they would just try to outsource the software parts to these APIs. But is there any scenario where the learning curve for people who are not in the firm can be fast enough that they can keep up with the complexity? Because there's huge gains for specialization and competition that go away if this is the world we're forced to live in. And then I guess we have a lot of counter examples, or I guess we have a lot of examples of what you're talking about. Like Apple is the biggest market cap in the world, right? And famously they're super vertically integrated. And yeah, obviously their thing is combining hardware and software. But yeah, is there any world in which it can keep that kind of benefit, but have it be within multiple firms?Austin Vernon (00:36:10):This is a post I've got on my list I want to write. The blockchain application, which excites me personally the most, is reimagining enterprise software. Because the things you're talking about, like hard typing and APIs are just basically built into some of these protocols. So I think it just really has a lot of exciting implications for how much you can decentralize software development. But the thing is, you can still do that within the firm. So I think I mentioned this, if the government's going to place all these rules on the edge of the firm, it makes transactions with other firms expensive. So a few internal transactions can be cheaper, because they're avoiding the government reporting and taxes and all that kind of stuff. So I think you'd have to think about how these technologies can reduce transaction costs overall and decentralize that, but also what are the costs between firms?Dwarkesh Patel (00:37:22):Yeah, it's really interesting if the costs are logistic, or if they're based on the knowledge that is housed, as you were talking about, within a factory or something. Because if it is just logistical and stuff, like you had to report any outside transactions, then it does imply that those technology blockchain could help. But if it is just that you need to be in the same office, and if you're not, then you're going to have a hard time keeping up with what the new requirements for the API are, then maybe it's that, yeah, maybe the inevitability is that you'll have these big firms that are able to vertically integrate.Austin Vernon (00:37:59):Yeah, for these big firms to survive, they have to be somewhat decentralized within them. So I think you have... you're going to the same place as just how are we viewing it, what's our perception? So even if it's a giant corporation, it's going to have very independent business units as opposed to something like a 1950s corporation.Dwarkesh Patel (00:38:29):Yeah. Byrne Hobart, by the way, has this really interesting post that you might enjoy reading while you're writing that post. It's type safe communications, and it's about that Bezos thing, about his strict style for how to communicate and how little to communicate. There's many examples in Amazon protocols where you have to... the only way you can put in this report, is in this place you had to give a number. You can't just say, "This is very likely," you had to say like, "We project X percent increase," or whatever. So it has to be a percent. And there's many other cases where they're strict about what type definition you can have in written reports or something. It has kind of the same consequence that type strict languages have, which is that you can keep track of what the value is through the entire chain of the flow of control.Austin Vernon (00:39:22):You've got to keep work content standardized.Dwarkesh Patel (00:39:26):So we've been hinting at the Coasean analysis to this. I think we just talked about it indirectly, but for the people who might not know, Coase has this paper called The Theory of Firms, and he's trying to explain why we have firms at all. Why not just have everybody compete in the open market for employment, for anything? Why do we have jobs? Why not just have... you can just hire a secretary by the day or something.Dwarkesh Patel (00:39:51):And the conclusion he comes to is that by having a firm you're reducing the transaction cost. So people will have the same knowledge about what needs to get done, obviously you're reducing the transaction cost of contracting, finding labor, blah, blah, blah. And so the conclusion it comes to is the more the transaction costs are reduced within people in a firm, as compared to the transaction cost between different firms, the bigger firms will get. So I guess that's why the implication of your argument was that there should be bigger tech firms, right?Austin Vernon (00:40:27):Yes, yes, definitely. Because they can basically decrease the transaction costs faster within, and then even at the limit, if you have large transaction costs outside the firm, between other firms that are artificially imposed, then it will make firms bigger.Dwarkesh Patel (00:40:45):What does the world look like in that scenario? So would it just be these Japanese companies, these huge conglomerates who are just... you rise through the ranks, from the age of 20 until you die? Is that what software will turn into?Austin Vernon (00:40:59):It could be. I mean, I think it will be lots of very large companies, unless there's some kind of change in inner firm transaction costs. And again, that could possibly come from blockchain like technology, but you probably also need better regulation to make that cheaper, and then you would have smaller firms. But again, in the end, it doesn't really matter. You'd be working in your little unit of the big bank of corporate, or whatever. So I don't know what that would look like on a personal level.Car ManufacturingDwarkesh Patel (00:41:40):Yeah. Okay. So speaking of these Japanese companies, let's talk about car manufacturing and everything involved there. Yeah, so we kind of hinted at a few elements of the Toyota way and production earlier, but do you want to give a brief overview of what that is, so we can compare it to potentially other systems?Austin Vernon (00:42:02):I think all these kinds of lean Toyota process systems, they do have a lot of similarities, where mostly you want to even-out your production, so you're producing very consistently, and you want to break it into small steps and you want to limit the amount of inventory you have in your system. When you do this, it makes it easy to see how the process is running and limit defects. And the ultimate is you're really trying to reduce defects, because they're very expensive. It's a little bit hard to summarize. I think that's my best shot at it there, quickly off the top of my head.Dwarkesh Patel (00:42:49):Yeah. The interesting thing about the Toyota system, so at least when the machine was released, is they talk about... that book was released I think the nineties, and they went to the history of Toyota, and one of the interesting things they talked about was there was a brief time where the company ran... I think, was this after World War II? But anyways, the company ran into some troubles. They needed to layoff people to not go bankrupt. They had much more debt on books than they had assets. So yeah, they wanted to layoff people, but obviously the people were not happy about this, so there were violent protests about this. And in fact I think the US written constitution gave strong protections to labor that they hadn't had before, which gave labor an even stronger hand here.Dwarkesh Patel (00:43:42):So anyway, Toyota came to this agreement with the unions that they'd be allowed to do this one time layoff to get the company on the right track, but afterwards they could never lay somebody off. Which would mean that a person who works at Toyota works there from the time they graduate college or high school till they die. Right? I don't know, that's super intense in a culture. I mean, in software, where you have the average tenure in a company's one year, the difference is so much.Dwarkesh Patel (00:44:13):And there's so many potential benefits here, I guess a lot of drawbacks too. But one is, obviously if you're talking in a time scale of 50 years, rather than one year, the incentives are more aligned between the company and the person. Because anything you could do in one year is not going to have a huge impact on your stock options in that amount of time. But if this company's your retirement plan, then you have a much stronger incentive to make sure that things at this company run well, which means you're probably optimizing for the company's long term cash flow yourself. And also, there's obviously benefits to having that knowledge built up in the firm from people who have been there for a long time. But yeah, that was an interesting difference. One of the interesting differences, at least.Austin Vernon (00:45:00):I mean, I think there's diminishing returns to how long your tenure's going to be. Maybe one year's too short, but there's a certain extent to where, if you grow faster than your role at the company, then it's time to switch. It's going to depend on the person, but maybe five years is a good number. And so if you're not getting promoted within the firm, then your human capital's being wasted, because you could go somewhere else and have more responsibility and perform better for them. Another interesting thing about that story, is almost all lean turnarounds, where they're like, we're going to implement something like Toyota production system, they come with no layoff promises. Because if you're going to increase productivity, that's when everyone's like, "Oh gosh, I'm going to get laid off." So instead you have to increase output and take more market share, is what you do.Dwarkesh Patel (00:46:00):It's kind of like burning your bridges, right? So this is the only way.Austin Vernon (00:46:05):The process really requires complete buy-in, because a lot of your ideas for how you're going to standardize work content come from your line workers, because that's what they're doing every day. So if you don't have their buy-in, then it's going to fail. So that's why it's really necessary to have those kinds of clauses.Dwarkesh Patel (00:46:22):Yeah. Yeah, that makes sense. I think it was in your post where you said, if somebody makes their process more efficient, and therefore they're getting more work allotted to them, then obviously they're going to stop doing that. Right? Which means that, I don't know, do you ought to give more downtime to your best workers or something or the people who are most creative in your company?Austin Vernon (00:46:48):I was just going to say, if you're a worker at a plant, then a lot of times for that level of employee, actually small rewards work pretty well. A lot of people on drilling rigs used to give the guys that met certain targets $100 Walmart gift cards. So sometimes small, it's a reward, new ideas, stuff like that works.Austin Vernon (00:47:15):But because the whole system has to grow together, if you just improve one part of the process, it may not help you. You have to be improving all the right processes so normally it's much more collaborative. There's some engineer that's looking at it and like, "All right, this is where we're struggling," or "We have our defects here." And then you go get together with that supervisor and the workers in that area, then you all figure out what improvements could be together. Because usually the people already know. This is like, you see a problem at the top, and you're just now realizing it. Then you go talk to the people doing the work, and they're like, "Oh yeah, I tried to tell you about that two weeks ago, man." And then you figure out a better process from there.Dwarkesh Patel (00:47:58):Based on your recommendation, and Steven Malina's recommendation, I recently read The Goal. And after reading the book, I'm much more understanding of the value that consultants bring to companies, potentially. Because before you could think, “What does a 21 year old, who just graduated college, know about manufacturing? What are they going to tell this plant that they didn't already know? How could they possibly be adding value?” And afterwards, it occurred to me that there's so many abstract concepts that are necessary to understand in order to be able to increase your throughput. So now I guess I can see how somebody who's generically smart but doesn't have that much industry knowledge might be able to contribute to a plan and value consultants could be bringing.Austin Vernon (00:48:43):I think this applies to consultants or young engineers. A lot of times you put young engineers just right in the thick of it, working in production or process right on the line, where you're talking to the workers the most. And there's several advantages to that. One, the engineer learns faster, because they're actually seeing the real process, and the other is there's easy opportunities for them to still have a positive impact on the business, because there's $100 bills laying on the ground just from going up and talking to your workers and learning about stuff and figuring out problems they might be having and finding out things like that that could help you lower cost. I think there's a lot of consultants that... I don't know how the industry goes, but I would guess there's... I know Accenture has 600,000 employees. I don't know if that many, but it's just a large number, and a lot are doing more basic tasks and there are some people that are doing the more high level stuff, but it's probably a lot less.Dwarkesh Patel (00:49:51):Yeah. Yeah. There was a quote from one of those books that said, "At Toyota we don't consider you an engineer unless you need to wash your hands before you can have lunch." Yeah. Okay. So in your blog post about car manufacturing, you talk about Tesla. But what was really interesting is that in a footnote, I think you mentioned that you bought Tesla stocks in 2014, which also might be interesting to talk about again when we go to the market and alpha part. But anyways. Okay. And then you talk about Tesla using something called metal manufacturing. So first of all, how did you know in 2014 that Tesla was headed here? And what is metal manufacturing and how does it differ from the Toyota production system?Austin Vernon (00:50:42):Yeah. So yeah, I just was goofing around and made that up. Someone actually emailed me and they were like, "Hey, what is this metal manufacturing? I want to learn more about this." It's like, "Well, sorry, I just kind of made that up, because I thought it sounded funny." But yeah, I think it's really the idea that there's this guy, Dimming, and he found a lot of the same ideas that Toyota ended up implementing, and Toyota respected his ideas a lot. America never really got fully on board with this in manufacturing. Of course it's software people that are coming and implementing this and manufacturing now which is like the real American way of doing things.Austin Vernon (00:51:32):Because when you look at these manufacturing processes, the best place to save money and optimize is before you ever build the process or the plant. It's very early on. So I think if there's a criticism of Toyota, it's that they're optimizing too late and they're not creative enough in their production technology and stuff. They're very conservative, and that's why they have hydrogen cars and not battery cars, even though they came out with the Prius, which was the first large sales hybrid.Austin Vernon (00:52:12):So yeah, I think what Tesla's doing with really just making Dimming's ideas our own and really just Americanizing it with like, "Oh, well, we want to cast this, because that would be easier." Well, we can't, because we don't have an alloy. "We'll invent the alloy." I love it. It's great. Mostly, I love Tesla because they do such... I agree with their engineering principles. So I didn't know that the company would come to be so valuable. It's just, I was just always reading their stock reports and stuff so I was like, "Well, at least I need to buy some stock so that I have a justification for spending all this time reading their 10 Ks."Dwarkesh Patel (00:52:53):I want to get a little bit more in detail about the exact difference here. So lean production, I guess, is they're able to produce their cars without defects and with matching demand or whatever. But what is it about their system that prevents them from making the kinds of innovations that Tesla is able to make?Austin Vernon (00:53:16):It's just too incremental. It's so hard to get these processes working. So the faster you change things, it becomes very, very difficult to change the whole system. So one of the advantages Tesla has is, well, if you're making electric cars, you have just a lot less parts. So that makes it easier. And once you start doing the really hard work of basically digitizing stuff, like they don't have speed limit dials, you start just removing parts from the thing and you can actually then start increasing your rate of change even faster.Austin Vernon (00:53:55):It makes it harder to get behind if you have these old dinosaur processes. But I think there's a YouTube channel called The Limiting Factor, and he actually went into the detail of numbers on what it costs for Tesla to do their giga-casting, which saves tons of parts and deletes zillions of thousands of robots from their process. If you already have an existing stamping line and all that, where you're just changing the dyes based on your model, then it doesn't make sense to switch to the casting. But if you're building new factories, like Tesla is, well, then it makes sense to do the casting and you can build new factories very cheaply and comparatively and much easier. So there's a little bit of... they just have lots of technical data, I guess you could say, in a software sense.Dwarkesh Patel (00:54:47):Yeah. That's super interesting. The analogy is actually quite... it's like, Microsoft has probably tens of thousands of software engineers who are just basically servicing its technical debt and making sure that the old systems run properly, whereas a new company like Tesla doesn't have to deal with that. The thing that's super interesting about Tesla is like, Tesla's market cap is way over a trillion, right? And then Toyota's is 300 billion. And Tesla is such a new company. The fact that you have this Toyota, which is legendary for its production system, and this company that's less than two decades old is worth many times more, it's kind of funny.Austin Vernon (00:55:32):Yeah. I would say that, in that measure, I don't like market cap. You need to use enterprise value. These old car companies have so much debt, that if you look at enterprise value, it's not so jarring. Literally, I don't know, I can't remember what GM's worth, like 40 billion or something, and then they have $120 billion in debt. So their enterprise value is five times more than their market cap.Dwarkesh Patel (00:56:02):What is enterprise value?Austin Vernon (00:56:03):Enterprise value is basically what is the value of the actual company before you have any claims on it. It's the market cap plus your debt. But basically, if you're the equity holder and the company gets sold, you have to pay the debt first. So you only get the value of what's left over after the debt. So that's why market cap is... when Tesla has very little debt and a lot of market cap, and then these other guys have a lot of debt with less market cap, it skews the comparison.Dwarkesh Patel (00:56:34):Yeah, and one of the interesting things, it's similar to your post on software, is that it seems like one of the interesting themes across your work is automating processes often leads to decreased eventual throughput, because you're probably adding capacity in a place that you're deciding excess capacity, and you're also making the money part of your operation less efficient by have it interface with this automated part. It sounds like there's a similar story there with car manufacturing, right?Austin Vernon (00:57:08):Yeah. I think if we tie it back into what we were talking about earlier, automation promotes local optimization and premature optimization. So a lot of times it's better to figure out, instead of automating a process to make a really hard to make part, you should just figure out how to make that part easy to make. Then after you do that, then it may not even make sense to automate it anymore. Or get rid of it all together, then you just delete all those robots.Austin's Carbon Capture ProjectDwarkesh Patel (00:57:37):Yeah. Yeah, that's interesting. Okay. So let's talk about the project that you're working on right now, the CO2 electrolysis. Do you want to explain what this is, and what your current approach is? What is going on here?Austin Vernon (00:57:55):Yeah, so I think just overall, electrofuels right now are super underrated, because you're about to get hopefully some very cheap electricity from solar, or it could be, maybe, some land. If we get really lucky, possibly some nuclear, geothermal. It'll just make sense to create liquid fuels, or natural gas, or something just from electricity and air, essentially.Austin Vernon (00:58:25):There's a whole spectrum of ways to do this, so O2 electrolysis is one of those. Basically, you take water, electricity, and CO2, and a catalyst. And then, you make more complex molecules, like carbon monoxide, or formic acid, or ethylene, or ethanol, or methane or methine. Those are all options. But it's important to point out that, right now, I think if you added up all the CO2 electrolyzers in the world, you'd be measuring their output and kilograms per day. We make millions of tons per day off of the products I just mentioned. So there's a massive scale up if it's going to have a wider impact.Austin Vernon (00:59:15):So there's some debate. I think the debate for the whole electrofuels sector is: How much are you going to do in the electrolyzer? One company whose approach I really like is Terraform Industries. They want to make methane, which is the main natural gas. But they're just making hydrogen in their electrolyzer, and then they capture the CO2 and then put it into a methanation reaction. So everything they're doing is already world scale, basically.Austin Vernon (00:59:47):We've had hydrogen electrolyzers power fertilizer plants, providing them with the Hydrogen that they need. Methanation happens in all ammonia plants and several other examples. It's well known, very old. Methanation is hydrogen CO2 combined to make water and methane. So their approach is more conservative, but if you do more in the electrolyzer, like I'm going to make the methane actually in the electrolyzer instead of adding this other process, you could potentially have a much simpler process that has less CapEx and scales downward better. Traditional chemical engineering heavily favors scaling. With the more Terraform processes, they're playing as absolutely ginormous factories. These can take a long time to build.Austin Vernon (01:00:42):So one of the things they're doing is: they're having to fight the complexity that creeps into chemical engineering every step of the way. Because if they don't, they'll end up with a plant that takes 10 years to build, and that's not their goal. It takes 10 years to build a new refinery, because they're so complex. So yeah, that's where I am. I'm more on the speculative edge, and it's not clear yet which products will be favorable for which approaches.Dwarkesh Patel (01:01:15):Okay, yeah. And you're building this out of your garage, correct?Austin Vernon (01:01:19):Yeah. So that's where electrolyzers... Everything with electric chemistry is a flat plate instead of a vessel, so it scales down. So I can have a pretty good idea of what my 100 square centimeter electrolyzer is going to do, if I make it quite a bit bigger. I have to worry about how my flow might interact in the larger one and make sure the mixing's good, but it's pretty straightforward because you're just making your flat plate a larger area. Whereas the scale, it is different from scaling a traditional chemical process.Dwarkesh Patel (01:01:56):I'm curious how cheap energy has to be before this is efficient. If you're turning it into methane or something like that, presumably for fuel, is the entire process energy positive? Or how cheap would energy, electricity you need to get before that's the case?Austin Vernon (01:02:18):The different products and different methods have different crossovers. So Terraform Industries, they're shooting for $10 a megawatt hour for electricity. But again, their process is simpler, a little less efficient than a lot of the other products. They also have better premiums, just worth more per ton than methane. So your crossover happens somewhere in between $10 and $20 a megawatt hour, which is... I mean, that's pretty... Right now, solar, it's maybe like $25. Maybe it's a little higher because payment prices have gone up in the last year, but I think the expectation is they'll come back down. And so, getting down to $15 where you start having crossovers for some of these products like ethanol or ethylene or methanol, it's not science fiction.Dwarkesh Patel (01:03:08):I think in Texas where I live, that's where it's at right? The cost of energy is 20 or something dollars per megawatt hour.Austin Vernon (01:03:16):Well, not this summer! But yeah, a lot of times in Texas, the wholesale prices are around $25 to $30.Dwarkesh Patel (01:03:26):Gotcha. Okay. Yeah. So a lot of the actual details you said about how this works went over my head. So what is a flat plate? I guess before you answer that question, can you just generally describe the approach? What is it? What are you doing to convert CO2 into these other compounds?Austin Vernon (01:03:45):Well, yeah, it literally just looks like an electrolyzer. You have two sides and anode and a cathode and they're just smushed together like this because of the electrical resistance. If you put them far apart, it makes it... uses up a lot of energy. So you smush them together as close as you can. And then, you're basically just trading electrons back and forth. On one side, you're turning CO2 into a more complex molecule, and on the other side, you're taking apart water. And so, when you take apart the water, it balances out the equation, balances out your electrons and everything like that. I probably need to work on that elevator pitch there, huh?Dwarkesh Patel (01:04:31):I guess what the basic idea is, you need to put power in to convert CO2 into these other compounds.Austin Vernon (01:04:38):The inputs are electricity, water, and CO2, and the output is usually oxygen and whatever chemical you're trying to create is, along with some side reactions.Dwarkesh Patel (01:04:49):And then, these chemicals you mentioned, I think ethanol, methane, formic acid, are these all just fuels or what are the other uses for them?Austin Vernon (01:04:58):A lot of people are taking a hybrid approach with carbon monoxide. So this would be like Twelve Co… They've raised a lot of money to do this and 100 employees or something. You can take that carbon monoxide and make hydrogen, and then you have to send gas to make liquid fuels. So they want to make all sorts of chemicals, but one of the main volume ones would be like jet fuel.Austin Vernon (01:05:22):Let's see Formic acid is, it's the little fry of all these. It is an additive in a lot of things like preserving hay for animals and stuff like that. Then, ethanol there's people that want to... There's this company that makes ethylene, which goes into plastics that makes polyethylene, which is the most produced plastic. Or you can burn it in your car, although I think ethanol is a terrible vehicle fuel. But then you can also just make ethylene straight in the electrolyzer. So there's many paths. So which path wins is an interesting race to see.Dwarkesh Patel (01:06:13):The ability to produce jet fuel is really interesting, because in your energy superabundance paper, you talk about... You would think that even if we can electrify everything in solar and when it becomes super cheap, that's not going to have an impact on the prices to go to space for example. But I don't know. If a process like this is possible, then it's some way to in financial terms, add liquidity. And then turn, basically, this cheap solar and wind into jet fuel through this indirect process. So the price to send stuff to space or cheap plane flights or whatever––all of that goes down as well.Austin Vernon (01:06:52):It basically sets a price ceiling on the price of oil. Whatever you can produce this for is the ceiling now, which is maybe the way I think about it.Dwarkesh Patel (01:07:06):Yeah. So do you want to talk a little bit about how your background led into this project? This is your full-time thing, right? I don't know if I read about that, but where did you get this idea and how long have you been pursuing it? And what's the progress and so on.Austin Vernon (01:07:20):I've always loved chemical engineering, and I love working at the big processing plant because it's like being a kid in a candy store. If I had extra time, I'd just walk around and look at the plant, like it's so cool. But the plant where I worked at, their up time was 99.7%. So if you wanted to change anything or do anything new, it terrified everyone. That's how they earned their bonuses: run the plant a 100% uptime all the time. So that just wasn't a good fit for me. And also, so I always wanted my own chemical plant, but it's billions of dollars to build plants so that was a pretty big step. So I think this new technology of... there's a window where you might be able to build smaller plants until it optimizes to be hard to enter again.Dwarkesh Patel (01:08:21):And then, why will it become hard to enter again? What will happen?Austin Vernon (01:08:27):If someone figures out how to build a really cheap electrolyzer, and they just keep it as intellectual property, then it would be hard to rediscover that and compete with them.Dwarkesh Patel (01:08:38):And so, how long have you been working on this?Austin Vernon (01:08:42):Oh, not quite a year. But yeah, I actually got this idea to work on it from writing my blog. So when I wrote the heating fuel post, I didn't really know much about... There's another company in the space, Prometheus Fuels and I'm like, "Oh, this is an interesting idea." And then, I got talking to a guy named Brian Heligman, and he's like, "You should do this, but not what Prometheus is doing." And so, then I started looking at it and I liked it, so I've been working on it since.Dwarkesh Patel (01:09:08):Yeah. It's interesting because if energy does become as cheap as you suspect it might. If this process works, then yeah, this is a trillion dollar company probably, right? If you're going to get the patents and everything.Austin Vernon (01:09:22):I mean, maybe. With chemical plants, there's a certain limitation where your physical limitation is. There's only so many places that are good places for chemical plants. You start getting hit by transportation and all that. So, you can't just produce all the chemical for the entire world in Texas and transport it all around. It wouldn't work. So you're talking about a full, globe-spanning thing. At that point, if y

Pricing College Podcast
Episode #0107 - Paying more to not see ads on streaming services

Pricing College Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 2, 2022 16:32


In today's episode, we want to cover I suppose it's a concept, but it's also a new story that we saw recently this week, whereby Disney plus up-and-coming young whippersnapper on the streaming market that's eating Netflix's. I suppose they haven't announced it, but they're suggesting that they will introduce two-tiered pricing whereby you pay less, maybe about $8 US a month, but you might have to watch advertisements, or you can pay more and avoid advertisements. And I suppose this is a little bit like I think it's called "Red" on YouTube, where you can subscribe, you pay a fee per month, and you get to avoid those annoying ads that pop up during your videos. So yeah, what do we think of this?   We thought it was an unusual article for a news story. Firstly, it just seems kind of a confusing sort of pricing strategy. Is it a pricing strategy to introduce new price tiers based on things that customers don't like? So you increase the price to avoid something you don't want to see like ads. So obviously they've done their research.  I just think it's kind of on customers and found out that they don't like seeing ads. They must not like seeing ads, but it seems counterintuitive in a way to price based on that. It sort of sidesteps the value of the Disney plus proposition. I mean, are they suggesting through that that there is very limited value in their offer compared to Netflix and are resorting to going to paying for not seeing the ads? This seems strange because there's value in that Disney plus the selection of movies. Are they suggesting that that is not enough to maintain customers? But if you backtrack a little bit on that, well, it must have been enough because that's what drove customers to the platform. And that's what customers thought, “ oh Disney plus movies are worth migrating from something like Netflix or a Stan or one of those platforms”. So I just think it's kind of an odd price structure to create and really what I'm thinking is, Is it a price strategy? Or, are they thinking about it,  Is it more like a covert price increase price rise strategy? And if you're going to do that's more of a tactical sort of pricing move. And it's something that you really shouldn't integrate into your fundamental price architecture, which is that price structure. So to me, those are my thoughts what do you think?   I suppose I have a couple of thoughts. Generally when we're talking about value-based pricing and charging for value, usually we're discussing giving additional value, and charging for that additional value we're giving. It's more of a carat than a stick this more seems to be a stick. This almost seems to be pay or we will self-sabotage what we're giving you.  Pay or we will make this product we're providing to you worse, which seems a bit odd to me. Admittedly, they haven't said they're going to do this yet but I've seen and imagined it in a couple of different places. What would that do? Would it drag these services back down to being television? Not very different to actual regular TV, which I suppose was what drove people to stream in the first place. Theoretically, what difference does it make if you're showing adverts on whether it's a streaming service versus whether it's a pair TV system? So I think that was a bit confusing, and I'm not sure that I can see it clearly on YouTube.  I would watch a fair amount of YouTube but I can see that the adverts are annoying. The people who tend to advertise on YouTube also tend to be larger corporates; banks, and building societies. These are even term issues anymore. Insurance companies stuff like that big supermarket chains. The adverts tend to be mind-numbing and they're a little bit too long. I think even television adverts some people used to enjoy them, some of them used to be entertaining. There'll be comical aspects to them. I think maybe that's decreased in recent times, potentially with the costs of TV advertising increasing. But I would argue that YouTube ads are more boring unless you also have the ability to counsel them or go straight to the video after a couple of seconds, which is a bit old. It's an old system. It's an interactive system that goes against what TV is. So I don't know if it's well thought through. I don't know if it's a good idea. The other thought about it was it sort of insinuated cost plus mechanism in Disney or whoever will implement this. Are we saying we want to make this much profit from this show over an hour's viewing per person, and we'll either get that money from the paying public or the advertisers?  It may be that may not be what they're doing but it sort of suggest that and it also remains with the old saying that, “ if you're not paying for something theoretically you are the product”. If you're not paying theoretically, Disney or whoever it is will be just showing advertisements to you and the paying advertisers will see you as the product and that's how it works. So it's a weird one on it, it leads to something on the one platform, if it stays neat, it would lead to a mixed message I would say from a premium movie enjoyable system to do that. What are the questions I would ask is it clear how the implementation of adverts will make a big difference? Is it going to be adverts during the movie, which will be exceedingly annoying? Or is it going to be an advert before you watch a movie, that is less annoying?   The adverts gonna be customised. So having it customised to what you like as a viewer, are they on to that? Yeah, I mean, Are they using data to customise their ads and all that sort of thing? But I do agree with you. I don't think the pricing strategy is particularly value-based. I don't know it just smacks of a very reactive price increase price hike strategy. And somebody just thought okay, if we introduced this new price to migrate customers, existing customers over to this ad-supported version, even though they were on a no ad version, then essentially get a price increase and increase our profitability there quickly. But my thought here,  well.. Is that very customer focus? How do customers feel about that? Well, it'd be highly annoying if you've signed up for something with no ads and it was a good service and you're quite enjoying it to then having an inferior service. So I don't think just easily migrating on on on a spreadsheet. It looks kind of attractive, but in real life, I am assuming there's going to be some kind of churn from that kind of dissatisfaction from customers. Not necessarily to Netflix, but maybe somewhere else or who knows.  But I also think, here that, as I was saying it's a reactive strategy, looking at the economics of platform-based businesses where it was very egalitarian in their pricing, meaning it was artificially low price, to begin with. And there was always that mission statement around bringing entertainment to the masses. All that broken model such high costs cinemas, and all that sort of thing, bringing the entertainment to your home, having the access to huge amounts of movies and entertainment law at a low, low cost. Now, as we see, Netflix has been challenged by new entrants to the market. This egalitarian pricing model is also being challenged and different platform businesses are competing, we're now seeing price wars, and it's unsustainable. But now we're hearing like, every other business is those slow, dumb, moving, slow-moving corporations that we often talk about that are in that commoditisation, price war trap, the same things now happening with the smart agile entrepreneurial platform businesses. So is this the end of the sort of platform revolution? And is this the beginning of massive increases in price and mass entertainment through platforms? Maybe it's the rise and fall, a very quick rise and fall of Disney plus that that we're seeing in Netflix and I suppose an indication to customers that we're not going to get those nice low prices anymore. Things are going to go up considerably. Looking at the Disney plus price increase in this particular instance, prices for no ads have gone up 37% if they're going to take this new model and new price structure into the market. So that's a quite considerable price hike for something you don't want to see. So let's see how that pans out for Disney plus.   I suppose a lot of this comes down to these platforms, I'm calling them platforms not sure that the right term is streaming services, they try to segment their market. I think they've been quite a purge segmentation up to now.  I think the only real segmentation that I noticed is how many users can be watching the show at one time, which to me is a bit strange. Like is this saying that four people watching Netflix on the same thing in the same house at one point in time is a bit odd as a big house or maybe people should watch movies together more? It almost suggests isolation is a good thing for these people whose company's market share and share price. So that's odd. I suppose they haven't been very good at segmentation. You know, even if you look back at the old Foxtel,  Sky Television, HBO, the sort of companies satellite TV, cable TV, they were quite good at segmentation. You could select the package you wanted, sports, all that sort of stuff. I think with these platforms, to some extent, they haven't moved to that yet. Look even at Disney there are cartoons there are movies, and there are TV shows. How many people watch even a small percentage of them? So I'd argue there's room for segmentation a bit more in that category. Disney's catalogue is so big that they control production a lot better than Netflix does, which is generally redistributed for the vast majority of their product, whether it's the content. So I would argue that segmentation certainly will be increasing because these companies don't want to lose people at the lower end of the pay of eight or nine bucks. They want to keep them but push up their profitability on the higher end. I would forecast that go somewhere in the line. I say Google Play, I used to rent quite a few movies. If there was a movie I wanted to watch, and I only watched one or two a month but I pay $5, $6, or $7 to watch that movie on Google Play. And maybe our forecast that that that would be something that will come back a bit more that we'll move away from the view everything at a certain fixed price to more of you view fewer stuff and you pay a bit more per movie. But potentially it ends up with the same money in the pocket of Disney and whoever else. So I think my forecasts are more segmentation will happen. There's going to be more churned. I can't see Netflix surviving in its current form for more than a couple of years. I think the distributor and the actual production house are Paramount, Disney etc whoever the other ones are, I don't know if MGM is still a big one or not, but they will be producing more they will be growing and it'll be more direct to the viewers with segmentation taking away certain aspects that don't require potentially more pay per view movies. I guess that's my forecast.   Sounds like sky and Foxtel to me. So it seems like they're going down the business Yeah, back to the future that's right Foxtel and Sky. I've been through the rocky road and I've recovered through segmentation. But it's funny like with someone like Disney plus there's an element of segmentation in Disney plus in terms of product segmentation because it's all their movies. So as Aodhan was saying Netflix is a distributor of many different types of movies and producers and directors and all of that, but Disney has only got their movies. So there's a bit of segmentation. How niche can they go with their product segmentation?  So really what I think they need to work on is customer segmentation. Looking at their pricing model, this new pricing model, they haven't done it except for ads. I like ads. I don't like ads. It is a bit simplistic and dangerous for customer segmentation to go out down because it's highly emotive. It's destroying the very experience they're supposed to be producing well. What does that do that ruins the reputation? So yeah, I'd be interested to see how that goes. And the irony is quite clear. Again, another instance of the egalitarian pricing models through platforms and online comes to piece under pressure when there are more entrants and more competition. So yeah, interesting. We'll be tracking that one.   Just my final point is that there could be an element of bait and switch to this old, these disruptors came in, you had a Foxtel and speaking in Australia here, you had a Foxtel subscription. Maybe in the US, it's showtime or HBO and Sky TV in Britain. You have that subscription. Some people were paying 100 bucks a month. And then you had Netflix come in and promised the world 15 bucks a month. But now those prices are ramping up. People now find themselves having four or five six subscriptions plus sports subscriptions. In Australia, you've got several Foxtel subscriptions, and cable subscriptions so many that it's almost hard to keep track of them. So in some regard, we're back at the start. We're back where we began. And is it a part of the delivery system and more of a watch on demand? Is it that different to the old-fashioned Sky TV or Foxtel subscription it is a bit back to the future? And maybe this system needs a disruption. Who knows? Maybe we should just go back to the cinema again once or twice a week. Okay, I think that's it for me today. I'm not sure if Joanna has some more.   I'm just thinking, where's the value in all of this and what I'm seeing through this is faster destruction of value than I've seen in the traditional brick-and-mortar entertainment model business models. So yeah, I suppose that's my last thing so I appreciate you listening.   I also don't know if Disney's catalogue was very valuable. Clearly, those movies are shown on videos and in cinemas. Reruns clearly they will show the video shops, Blockbuster Video, etc. I wonder are they making more money now? Is this improving their perception of their brand? Who knows? But I guess it's enough for the day. So yeah, have a great weekend.

Yorick Radio Productions
Theoretically Theatrical: Vinnie Potestivo

Yorick Radio Productions

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 26, 2022 29:30


In this episode we speak to producer and media advisor Vinnie Potestivo about the creative process behind reality TV, sustainable creativity and techniques to better relate to your audience.Vinnie links:https://vpe.tvhttps://ihaveapodcast.comSupport the show

They Made Another One?!
The Sandlot 2 (2005)

They Made Another One?!

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 24, 2022 80:02


Theoretically, this is a movie about baseball. We talk a lot about baseball and other childhood sports. However, in reality, this is more like a movie that sort of gestures vaguely at the feeling of being a child tangentially related to baseball, and also the space race, and also hating girls for being icky and then changing your mind. Adjust your baseball expectations accordingly. Mitch is skiing. Art by Jade Dickinson: @jadesketches on Instagram | @jadesketches on TikTok Listen to Liam's band Guest Room Status on all your streaming services. Here's a Spotify link even. Find us on Twitter & Letterboxd: @theymadeanother / @tmao | @mrcoreyprice | @grahamthemallow // Listen to MK Podquest with Corey and Neal: https://anchor.fm/mkpodquest // Listen to Strat 2 with Corey and Callum: https://anchor.fm/strat2f1 Find us on Anchor, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, RadioPublic, Breaker, Overcast and more as "They Made Another One?!" Reach us via email: tmaopodcast@gmail.com Music from filmmusic.io "Eighties Action" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) License: CC BY (creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

The Working With... Podcast
When is Enough, Enough When It Comes To Apps?

The Working With... Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 22, 2022 12:27


How complex is your system? How complex do you need it to be? That's what we'll be looking at today.    You can subscribe to this podcast on: Podbean | Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify | TUNEIN   Links: Email Me | Twitter | Facebook | Website | Linkedin Email Mastery Course The Time Blocking Course The Working With… Weekly Newsletter The Time And Life Mastery Course The FREE Beginners Guide To Building Your Own COD System Carl Pullein Learning Centre Carl's YouTube Channel Carl Pullein Coaching Programmes The Working With… Podcast Previous episodes page   Episode 242 | Script Hello and welcome to episode 242 of the Working With Podcast. A podcast to answer all your questions about productivity, time management, self-development and goal planning. My name is Carl Pullein, and I am your host for this show. So, a couple of weeks ago, I published a video on how I have my whole system set up. In that video, I shared how I bring all the apps I use together to get my work done.  I was rather surprised that a few people felt that my system was too complex. I didn't understand why at first, and then it dawned on me. Of course, it looks complex. It was put together on a slide, and everything looks complex when it is broken down into small pieces and laid out in a diagram.  The truth is, it's not complicated at all. It works beautifully, and I get everything I need into my system in seconds. There are no obstacles; I just know what to do when I need to add a task or collect an idea.  But, to someone not familiar with the way everything works, it will understandably appear complicated. I'm sure if you broke down your system, I would feel yours was overly complex. However, it's nothing to do with how many apps you use, it's how you use your apps that matter, and that's what we are going to explore in this week's episode. So without further ado, let me hand you over to the Mystery Podcast Voice for this week's question.  This week's question comes from Stuart. Stuart asks: hi Carl. I saw your video on how you have your system set up, and I felt that you have a very complex system. How do you manage all those apps and still get your work done?  Thank you, Stuart, for your question.  Now, this is an interesting one, and it's certainly a good example of why we should not be copying other people's systems. What works for me is unlikely to work for you.  You see, everyone's way of working will be different. Not only do we do different jobs, but we also have different expectations put upon us. However, the questions are how do you know what to do and when do you do the work? As long as you know that, it really doesn't matter how many apps or processes you have in the background. What matters is you are getting your important work done.  I noticed from some of the comments on the video that some people see Ulysses, my writing app, as a note-taking app. I suppose Ulysses could be used as a note-taking app, but it wasn't designed to be a note-taking app. It was and always has been a writing app.  I've been using Ulysses for writing my blog posts, these scripts and all my newsletters for well over six years now, and in that time, I have everything I have written. That includes 250 thousand plus words of blog posts and over five hundred newsletters. There will be over a million words written in there, and naturally, there's very little I don't know about Ulysses.  A big part of my work is writing, I will write around 10,000 words a week, and I want a dedicated writing tool that will allow me to get on and write in a distraction-free environment with an app that has never let me down. Ulysses does that for me.  And that's really the whole point of choosing apps that work for you and the work that you do.  I'm reminded of an analogy I wrote a few years ago: a carpenter doesn't use a Swiss Army knife to build a table. They could do it, but a carpenter will always use the right tools for the job.  Another thing you need to take into consideration when choosing apps is how you will be using them. Theoretically, I could use Apple's Pages or Google Docs for writing my blog posts and newsletters. And if I only used a laptop for writing, that certainly would be a consideration. But I don't always write using my laptop.  There are a lot of times when I am in a coffee shop waiting for my wife, and I find I have thirty minutes or so. Now, I could sit there and scroll through social media, or I can open up Ulysses and continue writing the blog post I started on my laptop that morning. Ulysses on my phone is brilliantly simple. No menus, no distractions. Just the written words and a keyboard.  I remember when I did some extensive testing of Notion a couple of years ago. Notion was great on my computer but was a nightmare on my phone. This made it unworkable for the way I did my work. Now for those who largely do their work on a laptop, Notion works fantastically. For those like me who need a lot more flexibility in devices, it wasn't good enough.  So when it comes to my system, I use Drafts almost exclusively on my phone for collecting. For those of you who are not familiar with Drafts, Drafts is a simple note-taking app that allows you to collect tasks and ideas and send them to pretty much any app you have on your phone.  For example, if I collect a task in Drafts, When I open Drafts, I am presented with a blank screen and the keyboard. I can then type immediately what I have in mind, tap a button at the top of the keyboard, and it's directly sent to Todoist. The original ‘note' is then deleted. This is three seconds faster than trying to add something directly into Todoist on my phone.  However, when I am on my computer, using Todoist's keyboard shortcuts is the fastest way to get something into Todoist, and that is how I do it.  For me, speed is everything. The less time I spend collecting and organising, the more time I have for doing the work.  One thing I have learned over the years is the more features an app has, the slower it is going to be. Often that doesn't matter too much on a computer, but in the mobile environment, the fewer features, the better and faster the app will be.  Now, for you, having a single app for all your tasks and notes could be your preferred system. There's nothing wrong at all with that—if it works for you.  I recently tested that when I was looking at Craft—a relatively new productivity app. Within an hour or so of testing, I realised it didn't fit comfortably with the way I work. While the desktop app was great, trying to get things into Craft quickly on my phone (or iPad) was not so good. It, therefore, failed my test.  Your testing could be different. You are likely to have different criteria for how well an app works.  Over the last week, I've reflected on the apps I use. Do I have too many? Could I streamline my system? On analysis, the answer is no. One of the most important parts of becoming more productive is to have a set of apps you are settled with. Sure, there are always going to be new, exciting apps appearing, but none of them is going to instantly make you productive. You will have months of learning a new way of doing something—it won't be instinctive, and the time cost of moving all your existing notes and tasks to new apps is never going to be a good use of your time.  A few months ago, I looked at Obsidian. A great app, but I soon realised I would need time to learn the syntax. Obsidian extensively uses Markdown—a simple syntax method to quickly add bold, italics and links. Now, I do know a little Markdown, but it does not come naturally to me.  On the other hand, I have a few clients who are computer programmers or software engineers. Writing that way does come naturally to them, and Obsidian works great.  I can't stress enough how important it is to find apps that work the way you work. Once you find them, stick with them. Learn everything you can about them. Find the fastest way to get stuff into them, learn how to search them and make sure you make the app yours.  You cannot do that in a few weeks. It takes time. Give it time. That patience, and yes, frustration at times, pays off in fantastic ways.  Sometimes, Evernote or Todoist don't sync immediately. Over the many years I've been using these apps, I know this can happen from time to time. I also know exactly what to do to fix the problem. It may take me two or three minutes to get things syncing properly again, but that doesn't mean I have to ditch the app and find something else.  Things will inevitably go wrong. Often, it's not the app; it's the device. If you are unfamiliar with an app, you won't know the difference. You've got to give yourself time to learn these things.  With all that said, to get to the hub of your question, Stuart, I don't think I use too many apps. I use apps for the jobs they were designed to do. Todoist manages my tasks. Evernote manages my long-form notes, such as research, meeting notes, client notes and my projects.  I do have specific uses for apps like Apple's Reminders. That manages my family's grocery list. My wife isn't into productivity apps, so she prefers using Apple's built-in apps. So, we use a list in Reminders for our grocery shopping. This does have its advantages for me too. While I am cooking, I can add items to the shopping list using Siri.  I will leave you with this thought. Using my iPhone every day is simple. I've had an iPhone since 2009. However, if I were to open the phone up and look inside, it would seem incredibly complex—It is. I'm pretty sure the only thing I would be able to recognise is the battery. But that's not the point. The point is the phone works. It does exactly what I want it to, and it does that well.  I hope that has helped, Stuart, and thank you for your question.  Thank you also you too for listening, and it just remains for me now to wish you all a very, very productive week.   

Psych Channel
How Memory and Learning Works | Derick Lindquist

Psych Channel

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 21, 2022 36:15


Derick Lindquist is the Dean of Jindal School of Psychology & Counselling. Links https://youtu.be/_c9tCpyjRZU For those interested in enrolling in the school: www.jgu.edu.in/jspc/ Timestamp 00:00 Introduction 02:31 Can we start with the definition of learning and memory? 07:08 Is the hippocampus involved in all types of memory? 10:23 What steps can we take for the proper encoding of information in our memory? 15:23 Theoretically, if can build a machine that can fire all the neurons related to an event, can we remember the particular event? 20:09 In what way is our brain altered, when learning takes place? 27:38 Lightbulb Memory 32:40 Can emotional arousal also hinder or alter the formation of memories? Hashtags #learning #memory #psychology

The tastytrade network
Options Jive - August 17, 2022 - Theoretical vs. Realized Time Decay

The tastytrade network

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 17, 2022 9:00


Theoretically, an at-the-money option's price should depreciate toward expiration, accelerating in the last month.Does this hold true in actual trading?Join Tom and Tony as they discuss the time value decay in Puts and Calls.

The tastytrade network
Options Jive - August 17, 2022 - Theoretical vs. Realized Time Decay

The tastytrade network

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 17, 2022 8:09


Theoretically, an at-the-money option's price should depreciate toward expiration, accelerating in the last month.Does this hold true in actual trading?Join Tom and Tony as they discuss the time value decay in Puts and Calls.

Saturday Morning with Jack Tame
Jack Tame: Labour MP accusing the party-of-kindness of bullying is a remarkable turn

Saturday Morning with Jack Tame

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 12, 2022 5:18


Don't make me say it. Don't make me say it. A week is a long time in... I'll start with Gaurav Sharma. I don't think we know enough about what has been alleged to have certainty as who is the bully and who is being bullied, but I'm stunned this dispute has been allowed to fester to the point Sharma decided to speak out. Seeing a sitting Labour MP accuse the party-of-kindness of bullying is a remarkable turn. I was not surprised to read Gaurav Sharma's lengthy post on Facebook, last night. Even as the Prime Minister was addressing the issue, unnamed ‘Labour sources' were commenting to media and slagging him off. Such kindness! And despite the compassionate veneer, the Prime Minister's statement still carefully insinuated that everything Sharma was complaining about is actually his fault. Maybe it is! We don't know. And maybe she felt she simply had to defend her party. But I think a public comment that was truly dedicated to Sharma's wellbeing would not have included this line: "Starting out as a new MP can be challenging and one of the toughest parts is navigating the new environment but also the role you must play as an MP managing others.” See what I mean? Those words subtly insinuated that Sharma is the problem and that he's ill-equipped to be an MP. From his perspective, it was a provocative thing to say. Perhaps I'm reading too much into it, but I wasn't at all surprised to see him react. Almost everything that can be said of the Sam Uffindell scandal has already been said. Obviously he was a lout and a bully as a teenager. He traumatised people. He benefitted from the comforts, trappings, and multiple opportunities afforded by money and privilege. Nonetheless, I don't think the best response is to mercilessly destroy his entire life. Christopher Luxon's handled it pretty well. We'll wait and see what the investigation from Maria Dew Q.C turns up. But for all the attention on what Uffindell did and didn't do, who in the party knew what and when they knew it, for how long someone deserves to be punished for their past mistakes, and whether his apology was cynical or genuine, I do think there is once central question in this whole fiasco that should be top of the list: Why was Sam Uffindell selected in the first place? It's no secret that Tauranga is a safe National seat. Theoretically, National could have put up a slab of butter in a trenchcoat and comfortably won the by-election. Jacinda Ardern didn't even bother turning up to campaign for Labour's candidate. National didn't need a talented campaigner. They could have picked anyone. They chose Sam Uffindell. Uffindell disclosed to them that he'd been expelled from high school and the reason why. It was inevitable his history would hit the news at some point. The panel knew that recent candidate selections had ended in disaster and there would be a especially keen focus on their choice for Tauranga. And yet, they still chose Sam Uffindell. When the news broke, I immediately pictured that photo of National's four Tauranga candidates, standing on the beach and grinning like a centre-right barbershop quartet. Why didn't National's selection panel just pick one of the other Sam Uffindells? Maybe bullying, assault, and an explusion is worthy of forgiveness. But why would the panel take the risk? What was it about Uffindell that was so special and so unique, that the upside of having him in caucus this term was greater than the downside of a potential scandal? Given National's long list of badly-behaved men, and given their policy positions on law and order and personal responsibility, I can't understand why the panel would pick any candidate that wasn't 100% sqeaky clean. The selection panel let down the party leaders. They let down the National caucus. You can argue they let down the victims of his bullying by putting them in a position where they felt compelled to speak out and re-live their experiences, and actually they let down Sam Uffindell himself. Regardless of whether he lasts – and I expect he will choose not to stand in next year's election – this will have been a hideous week for him, his family, and the people he bullied. And for what? National's new party President says the selection process requires confidentiality but that the process could clearly be improved. You don't say. But Uffindell's scandal wasn't just messy. It was unnecessary.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Long Shot Leaders with Michael Stein
Why you SHOULD date your clients (theoretically) with best selling author Mark Young

Long Shot Leaders with Michael Stein

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 10, 2022 55:55


Why you SHOULD date your clients (theoretically) with best selling author Mark Young About Mark Young- If ever a person existed who can point out everything that is wrong with anything, you've just found him. It's a terrible trait when trying to make friends, but one that always seems to make for successful implementation. Seriously, this guy can find the flaw in any plan –and manages to do it before anything goes wrong. It's really annoying, at first, but if you keep an open mind to the criticism, it's just gold. And having been an entrepreneur and marketer for nearly 30 years, we would be remiss not to listen.   At the root of everything, however, Mark is an educator and teacher. Disassembling projects, campaigns, or even financial statements, Mark manages to reverse engineer a solution, then takes the time to teach anyone who will stop and listen. And it is no wonder, given the fact that he holds university degrees in nearly every discipline you can imagine. And if you ask him why, he'll simply reply, “Why not?” Ask about the time he decided to join American MENSA on a dare –and succeeded. All of that said, Mark's most admirable quality is the genuine concern and ownership he takes of his clients' businesses. If there were a way to give more than 100%,this is the guy who would find a way to do it. He works the numbers, then works them again, reducing everything to a metric and finding ways to improve.   “Do the right thing for the client, regardless of the cost. It'll come back to you. I promise.” – Mark Young   Date Your Clients is a step-by-step juxtaposition between the relational skills required in dating and those required to be successful in business. With chapter titles such as, The First Date, Meeting the Family, and The First Fight, the author seamlessly weaves his way through the complicated landscape of relationships and provides humourous illustrations of life's worst moments.

Free Range with Mike Livermore
Moira O'Neill on Housing and Environmental Review

Free Range with Mike Livermore

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 10, 2022 64:46


On this episode of Free Range, Mike Livermore speaks with Moira O'Neill, a professor of Urban and Environmental Planning at the University of Virginia who also has a joint appointment at UVA Law. Her work covers land use, climate change, equity, and resilience. A specific area of her research is land use law and its relationship to housing affordability, integration, and environmental impacts in California. O'Neill discusses the motivation for her recent study on the regulatory choices that restrict the development of different kinds of housing. (1:39 - 4:17). O'Neill describes the biggest highlight of the study: there's incredible variability in how jurisdictions apply both state environmental review and their own law. (4:18 - 6:16) There is also a vast amount of local discretion. Most approval processes are discretionary rather than through a faster ministerial pathway that is contemplated by state law. (6:19 - 13:24) O'Neill points out that environmental impact reports were quite uncommon in most of the observations because there is a large amount of environmental review happening at the planning level. Theoretically, this in-depth environmental review will explore the potential of environmental impacts associated with the jurisdiction's developmental desires to facilitate their respective policy goals. (13:25 - 17:50) Livermore and O'Neill discuss the exemptions which the state has created for CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) for classes of development that the political process has determined are important for facilitating climate policy. (17:51 - 21:45) O'Neill explains the risks associated with longer time frames in the development process. The lengthened process in San Francisco invites important questions about the role of politics. (21:46 - 25:18) O'Neill mentions a San Francisco law that allows neighbors to request a discretionary public hearing for any new development. This provision can be triggered by a neighbor or an interested party, creating uncertainties for developers, especially of affordable housing. (24:19 - 33:10) Livermore asks: What is the nature of the politics that are in play here? O'Neill responds that there are certain processes that seem to open the door for political disputes or opposition to development. (33:11 - 37:34) Livermore and O'Neill discuss whether this involvement of politics is necessarily an intrusion, or an appropriate deliberative process. O'Neill attempts to contextualize the answer in terms of California's law on how land use operates, answering that the challenge is finding the right balance. She also mentions the risk of NIMBYism. (37:35 - 48:49) O'Neill discusses some of the differences between jurisdictions in California, providing an example in which participants in interviews that worked in both San Francisco and Redwood City described both processes as complex, but Redwood city as more predictable and straightforward. (48:50 - 54:21) Livermore asks O'Neill a bigger picture question: How much of this issue is a technical problem with technical fixes? How much of this is reflecting underlying political and economic realities about conflict? O'Neill answers that there is no question in her mind that there are underlying factors that manifest in how the law is applied. However, while there's not a simple legislative or regulatory fix, that doesn't mean that we couldn't do more on the regulatory and technical sides. (54:22 - 1:01:26) Livermore and O'Neill end the episode by covering the concept of good politics. O'Neill highlights that she thinks there can be a disconnect between what people think is happening in a jurisdiction and what is actually happening, which is problematic for policy making. O'Neill concludes that good information is valuable for good politics and good deliberation. (1:01:27 - 1:04:46)

Legacy Lounge Podcast with Tiffany Neuman
Moving Too Fast: Three Ways You're Damaging Your Brand

Legacy Lounge Podcast with Tiffany Neuman

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 5, 2022 27:54


“Slow down and enjoy life. It's not only the scenery you miss by going too fast, you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.” — Tiffany Neuman It seems like in order to get ahead, you have to move faster than everybody else. Like business success is at the finish line of a 100 meter sprint, and it's you against your competitors. Many entrepreneurs and business owners are so invested in this idea that they are actually afraid to slow down. Because if they ease up on the gas, they're going to lose progress…or worse, money. I'm here today with an episode to flip that idea on its head and to tell you that by moving too fast, you're actually damaging your business and brand in both the short and long terms. I know, I know. Taking a slower, more thoughtful approach doesn't always seem exciting. Can't you just subscribe to one of those “Roadmap to Seven Figures” or “How To Sign 10,000 Clients Overnight” courses and get there faster? Theoretically, you could do that. In actuality, that option likely won't deliver what it promises and if it does you'll find yourself drowning in work without any reliable strategy to help you wade through it. So what's the solution? Listen to today's episode of The Legacy Lounge where I'm laying out the three ways you're damaging your brand and business by moving too fast, and… The incredible benefits of slowing down to build a gold-standard blueprint for your brand and business How you can identity the branding expert you need at your stage of business The right way to create your brand and to ensure you don't cut corners in the process The way my client created a brand new launch strategy in less than 48 hours The easiest way to build a trustworthy relationship with your audience Why we need a slow marketing movement, now …so much more! Here's my actual best tip for building a blueprint for your brand — join my signature done – with – you program, Legacy Brand Foundations. This is a transformational course for mission – driven, heart – centered entrepreneurs who are ready to up level in their business. This is an intimate space where I walk you through this process and so much more to create a rock – solid foundation for your brand and business. It's not a course. It's a done-with-you program where you're left to your own devices. I hold your hand every step of the way. You can check it out at the link below! Favorite quotes from this episode: “I choose to take the scenic route because I know the benefits of slowing down.” — Tiffany Neuman “Clients know that every design decision we make together is rooted in strategy.” — TN “While our slower process might not be for everyone, it highlights the importance of the right fit when choosing a branding professional to work with. When in doubt, ask about their process.” — TN “If the blueprint is weak, the foundation will fall.” — TN “A brand is a blueprint for every decision you're going to make about your business.” — TN “Your brand is so much more than a logo.” — TN “The actions of effective people do not seem rushed. The more time you give yourself, the more status people will give you.” — TN “What I've found is 95% of business is actually waiting, waiting for the opportunity to do the right thing.” — TN “At the heart of the world's short-term focus is really a belief that there's not enough.” — TN Links Mentioned In This Episode: Previous Episodes Download the Turn Uncertainty Into Opportunity report NOW, for free! Rate, Review, and Follow on Your Favorite Platform! If you loved this episode, leave us a review. And always make sure you're following the podcast so you never miss an episode. Follow now!

Building Better Games
E15 How to Save Your Developers Time: Avoiding Death by JIRA

Building Better Games

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 2, 2022 47:47


“I want to be maximizing value. These tools can create a side game that actually is only vaguely and tangentially related to value, perhaps even in a negative way.”     Why do people hate JIRA so much? There is a whole website dedicated to rants calling JIRA out for its oppressive bureaucratic nature and the evangelistic cult created around its adoption across many industries, including the video game industry. What we want to find out is, is it REALLY that bad, especially since it is one of the most popular management tools used to date, or are people just sour they are being forced to use it? When we pick apart this issue, many things are uncovered, but one constant remains, which is that creating value for players is ultimately the goal of any game dev organization.     It's easy to lose sight of that goal (and the players!) when everyone is fixated on being in the green or moving tickets, which is where most of the team's energy ends up being spent. This is a massive issue that we need to tackle and we think there are solutions. One solution can be found right here in this episode!     Hosts Ben Carcich and Aaron Smith sit down to discuss how management tools like JIRA get a bad rep, and who's to blame for it. Theoretically, what would happen if we just eliminated management tools all together? Would the entire organization crumble, or would the value of work actually go up instead? As senior leaders themselves, they know and understand this part of the job, and have a five step solution that could dramatically decrease management overhead. That will leave you with more time for adding quality and value and, ultimately, creating better games.     Topics discussed in this episode: - Why do people hate JIRA so much - The argument for the benefits of JIRA - Who is actually benefiting from using JIRA? - Why do we inflict JIRA on our dev teams? - The frightening amount of time teams spend moving tickets - Is value actually added if a ticket is closed? - What would happen if we eliminated management tools? - Incentivizing delivering on JIRA vs. delivering actual value - What is the solution to the “JIRA Overhead” issue: 5 step process - How to lower the overhead for your team - Something you can measure right now that CAN add value - Advice for leaders - The cultural impact of management systems     For more episodes head to Apple Podcasts.     To join our community, head to Facebook and join our private Building Better Games podcast group!   Connect with us: Instagram LinkedIn YouTube

KZYX News
Regulatory agency approves reduced flows through Potter Valley Project

KZYX News

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 30, 2022 6:28


July 29, 2022 — This week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued two decisions that water interests in the Eel and Russian River watersheds have been waiting on for months. On Wednesday, the Commission approved a drastic reduction in the flow of water through the Potter Valley hydropower project into the East Branch of the Russian River. As of 2:00 yesterday afternoon, the water coming out of Lake Pillsbury started to be reduced from 75 cubic feet per second to five cfs. The Potter Valley Irrigation District will continue to receive up to 50 cfs on demand. PG&E still owns the project, though it recently submitted a 30-month schedule for decommissioning, which FERC approved. PG&E argued that it needed to reduce the flow in order to preserve the infrastructure at Lake Pillsbury, as well as cold water pools at the bottom of the reservoir for fish habitat. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), declared that if the water levels in the lake went down below 30,000 acre feet, the water would get too hot for juvenile salmonids. Though there is no fish ladder at Scott Dam, which impounds Lake Pillsbury, there is a needle valve at the bottom of the dam. The valve releases water into the 12-mile section of the Eel River between Lake Pillsbury and the van Arsdale Reservoir, near the diversion tunnel that directs the water into the Russian River. Charlie Schneider is the coordinator with the Salmon and Steelhead Coalition, a partnership among Trout Unlimited, California Trout, and the Nature Conservancy. He said early models indicated that, in order to preserve the cold water pools, the variance should have been implemented by July 15. “We're glad the variance was finally approved, but I think we need to better understand and look at those models to really see what's going to happen later this summer,” he said; “to see if it is in fact too late.” He added that conservationists are interested in preserving the 30,000 acre-feet of storage in Lake Pillsbury because in “big, deep reservoirs, the water stratifies, and the water in bottom part of the dam is cooler than the water at the top…the more water you're able to retain in there, the more cold water there is in the bottom of the lake. And that's the water that gets released from the low-level outlet. So it's really about preserving water temperature in that 12-mile reach between Scott and Cape Horn dams, making sure that water's a cool enough temperature to be habitable for salmonids.” Elizabeth Salomone, General Manager of the Mendocino County Russian River Flood Control and Water Conservation Improvement District, expects drastic changes for human water users on the other side of the diversion tunnel. “It's unusual for curtailments to cut into what we call the pre-1914 grouping,” she noted. “We do expect the curtailments to cut back into that pre-1914 category. But we won't know for sure until the State Water Board issues their findings and curtailment notices.” Salomone expects the state will allow Upper Russian River water users enough water to meet human health and safety needs, which is 55 gallons per person per day. Some urban water suppliers have other sources, including groundwater or recycled water. And some farmers as well as urban centers have contracts to divert stored water from Lake Mendocino. “So not everyone will go completely without water,” she concluded. The Commission also delivered an ambiguous opinion refuting the claims of environmental groups that the Commission has the authority to amend the Potter Valley Project's new annual license to include more protection measures for wildlife. The license for the Project expired on April 14. Within days, a group of conservationists and fishermen filed a 60-day notice of intent to sue PG&E under the Endangered Species Act. At the time, Redgie Collins, the Legal and Policy Director for California Trout, one of the coalition threatening the lawsuit, said that with the expiration of the license, PG&E “can no longer harm, harass, directly kill or injure salmon or steelhead at their project site.” The group wanted a new round of improved mitigation measures, arguing that the Commission had discretion over whether or not it granted the annual license. The Commission rejected that argument, saying that it was required to issue an annual license after the old one expired. And, while it also denied the coalition's call for an Endangered Species Act consultation, it did consult with NMFS to require PG&E to monitor water in parts of the Eel River and Lake Pillsbury. The utility must pay for two state programs to monitor salmon on the mainstem and middle fork of the Eel River for a period of time. It's also required to continue collecting data on water quality in Lake Pillsbury and provide that data to NMFS, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, and the Round Valley Indian Tribes. These are the four entities that PG&E consulted before making its request for the reduction. The Commission also disagreed with a slew of comments by Russian River water users complaining that PG&E was required to consult a drought working group composed of a wide array of stakeholders before requesting such a drastic change in the flows. The Commission wrote that “Establishment of and consultation with the Drought Working Group is not a license requirement; however the Commission encourages licensees to consult with stakeholders and to consider their interests when developing plans for Commission approval.” However, the Commission is now requiring PG&E to consult with the drought working group as it implements the reduction. Theoretically, the flows could be increased to 25 cfs. But the final decision will be left up to the four entities that supported the reduction to 5 cfs. Commissioner James Danly concurred with the Commission's decisions, but asked if it was fair to require ratepayers to finance the studies. Schneider thinks the solution is simple.“You know, he's sort of complaining about new operational measures while PG&E is no longer seeking to operate the project,” he reflected. “But the way to solve that is to get your facilities out of the river. Right? To get your dams out of the river, and then there won't be operational measures for you to need to comply with. He's sort of arguing like, oh, you guys should just let PG&E kill fish while they're decommissioning this project. You shouldn't worry about it. But we actually care about fish every year. Over the next couple of years while they're decommissioning this project, we want to make sure these fish are in good shape.” Danly wrote that he thinks “the Commission should ask the following: is it “reasonable” to require Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) — that is, California ratepayers — to pay to comply with new operational measures that are not required by law for a project that PG&E no longer seeks to operate? One must also bear in mind that compliance typically does not immediately follow an order's issuance. Orders requiring compliance frequently entail compliance plans which can take years to develop, review, and approve.” But Schneider called out the commissioner by name. “You're the people that can tell them to do it faster, FERC. Danly,” he exclaimed. “They take years. It's like, yeah, because you let them take years!” Cooperation in the allocation of water rights, often referred to as the California water wars, is rare. But on July 1, the state approved a first-of-its kind voluntary program in the upper Russian River, where senior water rights holders agreed to share their water with juniors. That program is contingent on project water that won't be available under the reduced flows, but Salomone remains optimistic. “About half of the water that's represented in water rights in the Upper Russian River signed up for the program,” she reported. “That's significant. That is a fantastic result for a pilot project. So what will happen now is that the program will essentially go on pause. It won't be canceled, it will just be on pause. It continues to be a participation tool. All of the participants will receive information on their water allocation, for which most of them, it will now go to zero. But as soon as conditions change, let's say we get a nice big rainstorm in October, or maybe even September, then the participants will be notified and their water allocation will go up as appropriate. So I am really proud of our Upper Russian River folks. This was a grassroots stakeholder-built program that took about two years to put together. And we are sticking with it, even if we have to hit the pause button. We're going to use it as a permanent tool in our toolbox, I hope.”

Medical Minutes with WISH-TV
Indiana Doctor Advises Against Experimental Method to Treat Long COVID

Medical Minutes with WISH-TV

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 29, 2022 7:02


Some COVID long-haulers are turning to a controversial method to treat their lasting symptoms. Blood washing is a technique where a person's blood is drawn, filtered for the purpose of removing toxins, and then injected back into his or her body. Theoretically, scientists say, it makes sense. Blood washing may have the potential to remove dangerous circulating micro clots and other damaging cells that could be contributing to long-haul symptoms. But what does the evidence say? In this week's episode, I turned to Dr. Sachin Mehta, medical director of neuro rehabilitation at Franciscan Health, for some answers.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

The tastytrade network
Market Measures - July 28, 2022 - IV over 100 and Options Skew

The tastytrade network

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 28, 2022 9:54


Throughout recent market history there have always been symbols that will sometimes have an implied volatility of over 100. Theoretically, this means that the underlying has a 50% chance to double and a 50% chance to go to zero. When this happens, what does the option skew look like in these underlyings? Join Tom and Tony as they discuss how implied volatility over 100 affects options skew.

The tastytrade network
Market Measures - July 28, 2022 - IV over 100 and Options Skew

The tastytrade network

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 28, 2022 10:44


Throughout recent market history there have always been symbols that will sometimes have an implied volatility of over 100. Theoretically, this means that the underlying has a 50% chance to double and a 50% chance to go to zero. When this happens, what does the option skew look like in these underlyings? Join Tom and Tony as they discuss how implied volatility over 100 affects options skew.

Theoretically Speaking
What if we broke a record?

Theoretically Speaking

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 28, 2022 64:37


Have you ever wanted to be the best IN THE WORLD at something entirely arbitrary and pointless? Us too lol! In this episode we talk about what records we could break. Theoretically.    Ps: If anyone can do any of those weird things like shoot milk out of their eye or whatever, hit us up. We will sponsor you

MoneyWise on Oneplace.com
Car Prices Hit Record High

MoneyWise on Oneplace.com

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 21, 2022 25:16


Gas prices are sky high right now, but it may not matter if you can't afford to buy a car. Prices for new and used cars have hit record highs. We'll talk about that today on MoneyWise. Just how bad are car prices these days? One way to tell is by the average monthly payments you now have to make to buy a vehicle. A new report by Cox Automotive and Moody's Analytics shows that monthly payments for new cars are now averaging $712 a month and that a median of over 41 weeks of income is now needed for the average new car purchase. The latest data from the Consumer Price Index shows that new car prices jumped 12.6% in the last year. That, and rising interest rates continue to drive monthly payments to record highs. Kelly Blue Book is reporting that the average new car price in May was just over $47,000. Incredibly, price hikes are even worse for used car prices. They've gone up more than 16% since last year. In addition to higher interest rates, another factor driving payments higher is the continued shortage of computer chips required in today's vehicles. Analysts are predicting that the chip shortage probably won't get worse but then again it's not likely to get any better in the months ahead. The bottom line, analysts say, is that the rapid rise in prices for new and used cars is likely to tail off but due to a continued tight inventory they're not expected to decline for the rest of 2022. So, what can you do about it? Well, obviously, if you can afford to wait to buy either a new or used car, do it. In a year, things may look different, but they're not likely to be much worse. But if you need a vehicle, first make sure you have a hefty down payment. Ideally, you want to save enough after paying off a car loan to make an even bigger down payment. If you keep doing that, you'll be able to pay cash and not finance the vehicle at all. You'll save a trunk load of interest costs. Now, if you're buying a new vehicle, there are certain fees that you may be able to negotiate your way out of, so look for these on the window sticker. ADVERTISING FEE: First is an advertising fee. The dealer may insist on charging you for it, but it should be listed on the vehicle in plain view. If they spring it on you when you're signing papers, do your best to have it taken out. PREPARATION CHARGE: Here's another one to look for, something called a dealer preparation charge. Theoretically, it would cover prepping the vehicle for display on the lot and finalizing the sale, but this cost should be included in the retail price of the car not an added fee. FABRIC PROTECTION: Next, you might see a fabric protection fee. Ask to have that one taken off. If you're worried about staining the upholstery, just buy a few cans of Scotchgard and do it yourself. It'll be a lot cheaper. PAINT PROTECTION: Another fee you should try to avoid paying is for paint protection. This is a urethane film put on the car, but you shouldn't need it. Any rust that appears would be covered by the warranty. Instead of this protection, just ask for wax when you go through the car wash. VIN ETCHING: One more fee you shouldn't pay when buying a new car: vehicle identification number etching. It's true that this would make it more difficult for thieves to resell your car if it's stolen, but you can do it yourself or take it to an auto repair shop and have it done much cheaper than the dealer would charge. USED CAR TIPS Now for some tips on buying a used car, assuming you already know the vehicle or vehicles that would work best for you. Go online to Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds.com. You can plug in a vehicle's year, make, model and mileage to get an idea of what you should expect to pay. To find potential used vehicles, you can also go online and check AutoTrader, Craigslist, AutoList and CarMax. Once you find a vehicle you like and you've settled on a price, make that contingent on the car passing inspection. Take it to a trusted, independent mechanic for a thorough going over. But then also check the vehicle history at CarFax and AutoCheck. It may have been involved in an accident. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● How should you manage a land trust? ● When does it make sense to convert traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs? ● When is it wise to invest in real estate vs investing more in the market? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to Questions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

MoneyWise on Oneplace.com
Car Prices Hit Record High

MoneyWise on Oneplace.com

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 21, 2022 25:16


Gas prices are sky high right now, but it may not matter if you can't afford to buy a car. Prices for new and used cars have hit record highs. We'll talk about that today on MoneyWise. Just how bad are car prices these days? One way to tell is by the average monthly payments you now have to make to buy a vehicle. A new report by Cox Automotive and Moody's Analytics shows that monthly payments for new cars are now averaging $712 a month and that a median of over 41 weeks of income is now needed for the average new car purchase. The latest data from the Consumer Price Index shows that new car prices jumped 12.6% in the last year. That, and rising interest rates continue to drive monthly payments to record highs. Kelly Blue Book is reporting that the average new car price in May was just over $47,000. Incredibly, price hikes are even worse for used car prices. They've gone up more than 16% since last year. In addition to higher interest rates, another factor driving payments higher is the continued shortage of computer chips required in today's vehicles. Analysts are predicting that the chip shortage probably won't get worse but then again it's not likely to get any better in the months ahead. The bottom line, analysts say, is that the rapid rise in prices for new and used cars is likely to tail off but due to a continued tight inventory they're not expected to decline for the rest of 2022. So, what can you do about it? Well, obviously, if you can afford to wait to buy either a new or used car, do it. In a year, things may look different, but they're not likely to be much worse. But if you need a vehicle, first make sure you have a hefty down payment. Ideally, you want to save enough after paying off a car loan to make an even bigger down payment. If you keep doing that, you'll be able to pay cash and not finance the vehicle at all. You'll save a trunk load of interest costs. Now, if you're buying a new vehicle, there are certain fees that you may be able to negotiate your way out of, so look for these on the window sticker. ADVERTISING FEE: First is an advertising fee. The dealer may insist on charging you for it, but it should be listed on the vehicle in plain view. If they spring it on you when you're signing papers, do your best to have it taken out. PREPARATION CHARGE: Here's another one to look for, something called a dealer preparation charge. Theoretically, it would cover prepping the vehicle for display on the lot and finalizing the sale, but this cost should be included in the retail price of the car not an added fee. FABRIC PROTECTION: Next, you might see a fabric protection fee. Ask to have that one taken off. If you're worried about staining the upholstery, just buy a few cans of Scotchgard and do it yourself. It'll be a lot cheaper. PAINT PROTECTION: Another fee you should try to avoid paying is for paint protection. This is a urethane film put on the car, but you shouldn't need it. Any rust that appears would be covered by the warranty. Instead of this protection, just ask for wax when you go through the car wash. VIN ETCHING: One more fee you shouldn't pay when buying a new car: vehicle identification number etching. It's true that this would make it more difficult for thieves to resell your car if it's stolen, but you can do it yourself or take it to an auto repair shop and have it done much cheaper than the dealer would charge. USED CAR TIPS Now for some tips on buying a used car, assuming you already know the vehicle or vehicles that would work best for you. Go online to Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds.com. You can plug in a vehicle's year, make, model and mileage to get an idea of what you should expect to pay. To find potential used vehicles, you can also go online and check AutoTrader, Craigslist, AutoList and CarMax. Once you find a vehicle you like and you've settled on a price, make that contingent on the car passing inspection. Take it to a trusted, independent mechanic for a thorough going over. But then also check the vehicle history at CarFax and AutoCheck. It may have been involved in an accident. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● How should you manage a land trust? ● When does it make sense to convert traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs? ● When is it wise to invest in real estate vs investing more in the market? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to Questions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

Be Customer Led
Ray Gerber - How Journey Orchestration is Changing CX

Be Customer Led

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 20, 2022 35:31 Transcription Available


“Journey orchestration became a key fundamental in terms of connecting experiences in the context of the journey and then making personalization and individualization decisions based on where the customer is on that journey and where they are on multiple journeys.” This week on Be Customer Led with Bill Staikos; we will be speaking with Ray Gerber, Chief Technology Officer and SVP of WW Engineering at Thunderhead. Thunderhead brings brands closer to their customers by assisting them in better understanding and satisfying the demands and needs of each client, regardless of where or when they connect.  [00:56] Ray's Story – Ray recounts his journey up to this point and describes the significant landmarks he has encountered. [05:20] Journey Orchestration – Ray outlines journey orchestration and what he noticed in the industry that inspired him to say, "Hey, we need to build this because it fills a massive need." Also, taking into account the present level of technology, he further explains how far he believes the company has developed since he first conceived of it and began constructing it. [13:46] Conversation in the C suite - Ray describes why journey orchestration is discussed less frequently in the executive suite. [18:15] Use Cases - Ray presents some of the more intriguing Journey Orchestration use cases he has observed. [22:25] No Personas - If you can begin to personalize the experience, you may no longer require personas for design. Theoretically, it would help if you had guideposts but not necessarily personas. Ray delivers some of his thoughts in response to this. Resources: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ray-gerber-b4232b/ (linkedin.com/in/ray-gerber-b4232b/) Website: https://www.thunderhead.com/ (www.thunderhead.com)

The Best in Mystery, Romance and Historicals
Lise McClendon – French Mysteries

The Best in Mystery, Romance and Historicals

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 12, 2022 28:24


Lise McClendon's Bennett Sisters Mysteries are for anyone wanting to lose themselves in the magic of France with heart-warming family stories involving – like Jane Austen's Bennetts – five daughters. Hi there, I'm your host Jenny Wheeler, and in Binge Reading today Lise talks about the latest book in the series, Château Des Corbeaux, or in English, Castle of Ravens. Pascal's dreams of owning his own vineyard come crashing down with a murder very close to home. We've got some exciting FREE books offers - a Booksweeps Historic Romance Giveaway - enter the draw for a library and a n E-Reader - and a Mystery in July author promotion with mysteries free for download. Both are limited time offers so get in now! ENTER BOOKSWEEPS HISTORIC ROMANCE GIVEAWAY YES PLEASE TO JULY MYSTERIES Links for these books and all the details for other subjects discussed in this episode can be found on our website, www.thejoysofbingereading.com. Join our weekly newsletter so that you've got a prompt every week on what's newly posted and what's coming next. And don't forget to check out Binge Reading on Patreon for exclusive bonus content for less than a cup of coffee a month at www.patreon.com/thejoysofbingereading. Links for this episode: Lise McClendon Books in Order:https://www.fictiondb.com/author/lise-mcclendon~21845.htm The Bennett Sisters Cookbook: https://www.amazon.com/Bennett-Sisters-French-Cookbook-Mysteries/dp/1792884850 Thalia Press: https://lisemcclendon.com/the-books/thalia-press/ Alice Hoffman: https://alicehoffman.com/ James Lee Burke: https://www.jamesleeburke.com/ Ellen McGarrahan: Tow Truths and a Lie: www.Amazon.com/Two-Truths-Lie-Ellen-McGarrahan/dp/0812998669  William Deverell:Arthur Beauchamp legal thrillers: Stung:   https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55407906-stung Martin Walker: To Kill A Troubadour: https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/58467284-to-kill-a-troubadour Where to find Lise McClendon: Web site:  https://lisemcclendon.com/ Facebook:  @LiseMcClendon Author Twitter:  @LiseMcClendon:  https://www.bookbub.com/profile/lise-mcclendon What follows is a "near as" transcript of our conversation, not word for word but pretty close to it, with links to the show notes in The Joys of Binge Reading.com for important mentions. But now, here's Lise. Introducing mystery author Lise McLendon Jenny Wheeler: Hello there Lise, and welcome to the show. It's great to have you with us. Lise McClendon - popular mystery author Lise McClendon: Thank you for having me, Jenny. Jenny Wheeler: You have written a wonderfully lively series of French mysteries. We are talking about the latest one today, which is Château des Corbeaux, Castle of Ravens, which is just out. Theoretically, it's number 17 in the series, but we'll talk a little bit about some of the slight complications within that 17. At the beginning, you had five strong-willed sisters who are all lawyers as their father and grandfathers were before them. When you started out, did you have any idea of how long these five sisters were going to be running? Lise McClendon: Absolutely not. I envisioned five books, one featuring each sister. I wrote the first one, a New York publisher gave me some money to write it, and then he decided he didn't like it, so I ended up going independent, but that took a little while. Then it seemed like it was just a standalone because Blackbird Fly, the first book, is more of a women's fiction than a mystery. It's a lot of self-discovery, a lot of reinventing yourself after a tragedy. In that way it stands alone, or it could stand alone, and it did for about five years. Then I decided to go back and revisit the characters again. After I did a walking tour in France, in Burgundy, with a group of women, I decided I would have the sisters going on a walking tour together. That's how it got started again. Merle's shock of sudden widowhood

Breaking Form: a Poetry and Culture Podcast

We're 30, dirty, and thriving! The queens name 30 poets for each other, and then we associate a word or phrase with each one. No beeps! Please consider supporting the poets we mention in today's show by buying their books! We can recommend Loyalty Bookstore, a black-owned DC-based indie bookstore that ships nationally. Watch Anne Carson read "A Lecture on Corners" here (~58 min)Marilyn  Chin's website is  http://www.marilynchin.orgWatch Carolyn Kizer talk poetry and writing with Lucille Clifton, and read her poem "Bitch" here (~30 min)Find Rachel Zucker online here. Watch Rachel read "Don't Say Anything Beautiful Kiss Me" here (~3.5 min) James and Aaron are fascinated by Anne Waldman's "Uh-Oh Plutonium," which you can watch here. Alan Michael Parker can be found online at https://alanmichaelparker.comNicole Sealey's website is https://www.nicolesealey.com. Watch her read her poem "Even the Gods" here (~2 min)Alex Dimitrov's website is https://www.alexdimitrov.comWe mention two poems by Lynda Hull. Read "Night Waitress" here and "Black Mare" here.                              Listen to this fabulous On Being interview with Mary Oliver (~50 min; conducted in 2015)You can read Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" here. Listen to this great interview with Kimiko Hahn (Versus podcast; ~55 min)Philip Larkin's website is https://philiplarkin.comHere's a terrific poem by Michael CollierYou can watch Danez Smith read "Dear White America" here.  (~3.5 min)Here's a recipe for chocolate peanut butter oreo dirt pudding.There is absolutely at least one drag queen named Idaho, and you can find her on Twitter @akaidaho

Marketing Muckraking
America is a Brand...But Does It Deliver on its Promise?

Marketing Muckraking

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 4, 2022 80:40


America is a brand.  And if you are an American, you are an affiliate or brand ambassador.  Theoretically, we're paid in “freedom” and the benefits of living in this country. But are we being paid in full?  As both consumers and ambassadors, the questions to ask ourselves are:  “What is the value proposition? Does America deliver on its brand promise of freedom and justice for all? Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? What are the benefits of my brand loyalty? And what are the costs of buying in?”  In this episode of Marketing Muckraking, I'm exploring America the brand and the history of patriotic advertising, both for the country and its companies.  Did you know that the Pledge of Allegiance was originally written by a Christian socialist copywriter for The Youth's Companion newspaper in 1892 as a way to sell more newspapers? Readers who sold the most newspapers were awarded a free flag!  The Pledge of Allegiance was advertising, first and foremost.  Join me as we examine America the Brand through:  Copywriting – there's no brand with more consistent language around “freedom” and “happiness” than America. Pain Points — the American brand appeals to our sense of scarcity and our fear of what would happen to us if we lived anywhere else.  Opt-Ins — when we vote, we opt in to a sense of political efficacy that keeps us invested in what we'll get in return. Do our politicians deliver?  Accept No Substitutes — as schoolchildren, we're taught that the USA is the greatest country on Earth and everything else falls short. Is it true?  Brand Loyalty — branding is meant to justify a higher price because of our emotional connections. What price do we pay for loyalty to Brand America? Is it worth the extra cost?  Branding, at the end of the day, is the engineering of a reputation.  America The Brand has sold us on a reputation of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  If any other brand sold us this message and failed to deliver, we would stop buying. So why do we keep buying into this one?  Join me as we explore the history of selling America and using America to sell:  Colonial Advertising – America the Brand was sold to immigrants in order to populate the nation before it was even formally a country. Its free market was one of America's selling points, but the nation itself was its first product.  Post-Industrial Revolution Advertising – After the Industrial Revolution, the message of mass production was that the best way to exercise our freedom was through consumption. The American public was taught to buy constantly through, what Edward Filene called, "The School of Freedom": advertisers emphasizing the patriotic call of duty to "do the shopping."  WWI and WWII Advertising – War propaganda legitimized advertising as an industry and showed the powers that be that consistent and repetitive campaigns could shape public opinion. Advertisers sold American nationalism alongside star spangled corn biscuits and cigarettes.  Commodity Activism in Advertising – In response to counterculture, the struggles of marginalized communities to gain civil liberties, and their fight for representation, brands evolved to ads that positioned America as a utopian paradise of unity and diversity, where world peace was as easy as "buying the world a Coke" or purchasing from companies who ran social justice campaigns.  Ask yourself, "Does America deliver on its brand promise?" or does it simply offer layaway plans for freedom, asking us to keep making payments for a product it can't and won't deliver?