Assorted Links

I wish I could go in depth on some things, but it’ll have to wait for another day, so until then just some quick shots and bon mots:

1. We Read the News to Signal Intelligence. Robin Hanson makes this good point that any daily newspaper reader should consider:

It seems to me that in our world most track the news to talk intelligently with others who track the news.  By coordinating to talk on the same recent news topics, we can better evaluate how well connected and intelligent are those around us.  If we tracked very different topics, it would be much harder to evaluate each other.  If our conversation topics were common but old, it would be harder to distinguish individually thoughtful analysis from memorized viewpoints, and harder to see how well-connected folks are to fresh info sources. 

But if you care less about signaling intelligence and connectedness, and more about understanding, then consider reading textbooks, review articles, and other expert summaries instead of news.

2. The Glue That Holds Together Our Online Life. Michael Arrington, at TechCrunch, offers a nice reflection on how FriendFeed is trying to become yet another centralized silo of data. It was inspired by Loic Le Meur’s post on his scattered social data. Here’s Foundry Group’s thoughts on the "glue" that needs to hold together our online life. All interesting stuff.

3. The San Francisco – Brooklyn Shuttle. Do San Francisco and Brooklyn have a sisterly relationship? Maybe so. By the way, San Francisco is #1 on Richard Florida’s creativity index in his new book, Who’s Your City?, which I’ll be reviewing soon.

4. Cities and Entrepreneurship. A new report out from Kauffman on how cities can foster entrepreneurship. It notes the importance of "clusters" (a university, big companies, small companies, etc. in one place), but also says that a big research university is by no means necessary for entrepreneurship. Amazon, Starbucks, and Microsoft had little to do with the University of Washington in Seattle.

5. The Power Paradox. Obtaining and using power is important if you want to get stuff done. In this interesting article, some Berkeley profs talk about why Machiavellian approaches to power are wrongheaded. Instead, "nice guy" approaches can often be more effective.

6. Film Version of David Foster Wallace writing. A quick update on the film version of Brief Interviews with Hideous Men by David Foster Wallace. Rejoice, DFW devotees, rejoice.

7. How to Write Conversationally. Some good tips here. For example:

Kurt Vonnegut.. advised writers to have a specific reader in mind, and write as if you’re talking to that person. His ideal reader was his sister. Who is yours? If you are talking to the world in general, you’ll probably write more like a speech, rather than like a conversation.

8. Entrepreneurship in Latin America. A good take on what the state of things is down south for entrepreneurs. I intend to study Spanish there this summer and will be interested in doing some fact finding myself.

4 comments on “Assorted Links
  • Relating to your #4, “Creating the Technopolis” by Smilor, Kozmetsky, and Gibson is a great book from the ’80s that elaborates on how cities all around the world have created an environment where high tech and entrepreneurs can grow. I am surprised it wasn’t mentioned in the article’s bibliography (probably its age). The specific examples, like Austin, of deliberate urban planning to enable entrepreneuership are interesting.

  • Great interview on entrepreneurship in Latin America. Reminded me of something I read a few days ago, which might also be of interest. Sort of an article on MercadoLibre (Latin America’s answer to eBay), and an interview of CEO Marcos Galperin:

    Latin America’s Ecommerce Leader

    MercadoLibre CEO Marcos Galperin

    I lived in Latin America almost my whole life before coming to Boston for school: Puerto Rico, Brazil, Chile, and my parents are currently in Mexico. The point the articles make about internet penetration is really important. I have a couple of friends who work in digital and mobile content for different record labels with whom I consult regularly, and the slow (and largely unorganized) development of infrastructure is a constant challenge. Overall, though, that presents opportunities for organizations with initiative, and generally Latin America is a vast and under-reported area of untapped markets – in almost every sphere.


  • Great report from Kauffman. A friend of mine worked at Kauffman last summer and made some great connections and learned a great deal of information about entrepreneurship, and business in general.

    Did you have any more thoughts on this topic specifically? I agree that it isn’t necessary for large institutions to foster entrepreneurship, but it certainly helps increase awareness on the subject.

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