In a recent blog post, George Hahn, who writes about many different things, talked about how capitalism benefits from sowing seeds of discontent. Sure, the piece is not about technology, but it is nevertheless worth a read. This paragraph stands out:

Quite the contrary. In the interest of making a profit by selling things, happiness and contentment are the enemy. Discontent is the spark that ignites the burn and yearn for something more, something bigger, something else. It’s all about what we don’t have, where we aren’t, with whom we aren’t. Discomfort or dissatisfaction with self and everything else is the kryptonite marketers have, telling us that we’re losers or less-than without the right car, the right watch or a full head of hair.

Read article on George Hahn's Blog

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Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Ambition means different things to different people, but in the capitalist framework I am talking about, I think its defining feature is its linear trajectory. Think of all the highly driven and ambitious people you know working long after their basic needs are met: Are they ever “done” or satisfied with where they’ve ended up and ready to call it quits on achieving? Of course not. Ambition is an unquenchable thirst.

Since the Industrial Revolution launched a large subset of humanity into the illusion that we could conquer nature for our own purposes, linear ambition has been a kind of survival strategy. In recent decades, that’s certainly been true for privileged, knowledge-economy workers like me: We’re always trying to keep up in a world of work that seems to constantly get faster and expect more of us, leaving us too burned out and apathetic to deal with anything that doesn’t directly affect us or our families.

This is a wonderful read and a good reminder of lessons from the pandemic, that we have already started to forget.

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Gotham Gal, aka Joanna Wilson, and partner of Fred Wilson, is a well-known angel investor in New York. She has been a prolific investor, but she is hanging up her boots. Why?

Valuations have become out of control. VCs began investing in every single sector. It makes sense because technology, health, how we eat, next-generation consumers, etc., have changed everything. Yet to value a company that sells mattresses like a software company makes zero sense to me. The amount of money just tossed around and lost without care is mind-boggling.

This one paragraph is enough to really sum up the current state of investing in technology, the spectacle of technology, and everything related to it.

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Given the state of the markets, Tiernan Ray, a veteran journalist who has followed technology stocks for decades, tries to answer this most pertinent of questions. While reading the piece, you might encounter jaw-dropping statements like Apple stock is still undervalued despite being a trillion-dollar company.

Stock analysts started to value tech stocks by simply comparing them to other stocks. Almost everything became relative value. Now, once stocks become unhinged from the earnings power of assets, and become merely a comparison of relative valuations of assets, one has valuations that are all over the map.

Everything is worth not what the business generates, but rather whatever someone wants it to be priced at relative to whatever is similar that has recently been priced at whatever multiple. 

Where once tech companies reported merely revenue, earnings, and maybe an adjusted figure for earnings, backing out stock compensation expense, every single company now has a strange brew of reported figures. 

I don’t want to quote the whole damn piece. It is so good, and it is worth reading. Please do yourself a favor, and do it right now!

Read article on The Technology Letter

Wow! Now this puts emoji art to shame!

It’s like writing at school: In English class you’d write in your book and you can’t erase what you’ve written. It’s easy in Microsoft Word to be so pedantic and look at a blank screen. With typewriters, there’s more permanent to what you put on paper. Sometimes that leads to more creative outcomes because you can’t delete what you’ve put on the page. The whole process of making the art in itself, you have to think.

Drawing with a typewriter is one of the only ways of making art where you use both hands: You’re typing and you’re moving the cartridge at the same time. If you’re on location, you’re looking at what’s in front of you. I hope that if typewriters make a resurgence, it’s because it’s an analog way of creating something — be it a written piece or drawing. 

MessyNessyChic

James Cook, a 24-year-old artist from Essex (U.K.) uses typewriters to create some amazing artworks. He should be a good role model for any one of us who falls in the trap of thinking about a new tool — a new camera, a new lens, a new pen, new paper, new ink — as an excuse to procrastinate about creating. Since Cook has about 30 typewriters, I am not saying you shouldn’t be acquiring different tools. All I am saying is don’t use tools as an excuse to not create.

I enjoyed this interview with Cook, about his creative process. Highly recommended!

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