World

Network effects are hard to build before hitting the critical mass

(Excerpt from Modern Monopolies by Alex Moazed and Nicholas L. Johnson) network effects are a double-edged sword. Successful platforms are very hard to compete against, but the same network effects that drive growth...

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Surge pricing is to alter demand and supply inbalance

(Excerpt from Modern Monopolies by Alex Moazed and Nicholas L. Johnson) Uber’s “surge pricing”—dynamic pricing that rises in response to high demand—is a direct attempt to balance supply and demand. Surge...

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Modern monopolies are facing fierce competition and fighting obsolescence

(Excerpt from Modern Monopolies by Alex Moazed and Nicholas L. Johnson) Monopolies are typically viewed as a result of market forces breaking down—the forces of supply and demand aren’t able to keep a company’s...

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Software alone is a commodity

(Excerpt from Modern Monopolies by Alex Moazed and Nicholas L. Johnson) (Fred Wilson) he has told what he called the “dentist office software story.” The story, “a modern day fable about defensibility in the...

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Technology may be an enabler for central planning

(Excerpt from Modern Monopolies by Alex Moazed and Nicholas L. Johnson) The core argument in favor of markets was always that they were more efficient than central planning. In the United States, we take that as gospel,...

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Information warfare is ever more crucial in an Internet era

(Excerpt from Mindf*ck Monday #47: The endless pursuit of truth by Mark Manson) I attended a talk (on Zoom) a few months ago given by a former official from the US State Department and he said something that kind of...

Politics Read More

The ruler needs to decide what’s best for the country, even with unpopular decisions

(Excerpt from Han Feizi translated by Burton Watson) those who do not understand how to govern invariably say, “You must win the hearts of the people!” If you could assure good government merely by winning...

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Humans cannot be trusted – Legalism

(Excerpt from Han Feizi translated by Burton Watson) Legalist thought in general, and that of Han Feizi in particular, is marked by a drastically low opinion of human nature. Some scholars detect in the latter case the...

China, Machiavellian Read More

Getting benefits from a community requires some personal sacrifices

(Excerpt from Mindfuck Monday 17 Aug 2020 by Mark Manson) Basically: living in a community has benefits, but those benefits require that each individual makes sacrifices. Politics is then the discussion of these...

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Globalisation introduces volatility spikes

(Excerpt from “The Interesting Times” email 21 Mar 2020 by Taylor Pearson) As a thought experiment, imagine 100 ladders lined up against a long wall. Each has a 10% probability of falling over. If the...

Entropy, Investing, Nonlinearity, World Read More