Goodnight, Darkness. Thanks for the laughs.

Happy Saturday, y'all! Let me give a big Daveslist welcome to all the new subscribers. We're covering
Daveslist
Goodnight, Darkness. Thanks for the laughs.
By Daveslist • Issue #41
Happy Saturday, y'all! Let me give a big Daveslist welcome to all the new subscribers. We’re covering some good stuff this week, from networking techniques to the real scandal behind that infamous United video to the sad loss of Charlie Murphy. He was truly one of a kind.
Let’s get it on…

Rest easy, big man.
This was a real punch in the gut this week. I don’t think Eddie Murphy has made me laugh since the late 80’s, but every time I even looked at his older brother Charlie I would crack up laughing. Charlie was a consummate storyteller, and his twisted view on life was dark and hysterical. The work he did on The Chapelle Show is some of the best you’ll ever see in sketch comedy, and he’ll forever be known for Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories.
This is a great rundown on networking techniques. In my capacity as a LEAN startup coach for Loyola’s MBA program, I give a fair amount of networking advice. It always boils down to these things: 
  1. Don’t be creepy.
  2. There is something interesting about everyone, and odds are it isn’t what they do for living.
  3. Be someone worth knowing (I tell my sons this all the time). 
Okay, hear me out on this one. Waking up at 4 am is truly miserable (for a while until you’re used to it), but you’ll be amazed at how far ahead of the game it puts you. 
I’ve met Felix Rohatyn a few times in my life, and he remains among the most interesting men I’ve been fortunate to spend time with. He’s the once and current head of one of Wall Street’s most prestigious investment banks, he’s a former US ambassador to France, he sacrificed an appointment to become US Treasury secretary in order to support Ross Perot in 1992 because it was the right thing to do, and, oh yeah, back in the 1970s he saved New York City.
New York is experiencing a sort of revolution right now, and I’m not sure how it’s going to emerge. The staggering cost of living has driven nearly 1 million residents to flee the city since 2010, and the wealth disparity has become obvious at street level. It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out.
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but in the case of tech maybe not so much. The tech landscape is littered with the corpses of “me too” product offerings, some even by household names like Microsoft and Google. Facebook is trying to kill Snapchat by copying it, but what they don’t realize is that young people don’t want to be on the same social network as their parents and grandparents.
So unless you’ve been living under a rock, it’s been impossible to miss the savage beating one United passenger caught this week when he refused to give up his seat. That story has been done to death, obviously, but the larger story is what airlines should be expected to do in cases like these. Did you know the airline could have offered even more money to free up a seat? And did you also know that number is capped at $1,350 by federal regulation for some inexplicable reason? Why is there a cap on it at all???
As a former grain trader (I traded all the commodities), I have a feeling I’d be short corn and beans for the foreseeable future. Corn is still $3.78 a bushel and beans are still $9.68 a bushel, which seems low in the context of recent years but is still roughly twice what we were paying for them 20 years ago. Agri-tech is only getting better and further increasing crop yields.
Here’s a fun article. We know what AI (as it exists today) is capable of. AI’s have mastered most strategic games humans thought impossible, like Go and poker. But here’s the scary part: we don’t really know how they did it. We sorta know what components went into the machine learning, and we sorta know that AI’s study human behavior at the rate of millions of loops per second. What we don’t know is how the machines are, well, intuiting what to do next. We write the algorithm and the machine takes it from there. And that’s unsettling, to say the least.
Are we heading toward the Great Filter? Or are we already through it? Lord Martin Rees, astrophysicist and royal astronomer at Cambridge, seems to think the worst is in front of us and not behind.  
This is a great idea and would be a lot of fun to see firsthand. That said, at the end of the day you’re still looking down on Houston. 
That’s it for this week, y'all. Hit REPLY and let me know what you thought about this week’s links. As always, feel free to share Daveslist far and wide. I’ve got some big news coming up, so tell your friends to subscribe at www.daveslist.email
Have a tremendous weekend, stay safe, and I’ll see you next Saturday!
DAVE
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