Words without impact are just noise

Countless books, think pieces, Twitter threads, comedy shows, and podcasts have scrutinized the diseased body politic down to its smallest, rottenest internal part. The insight industry is booming. Interesting forms of expertise and cultural capital have been developed. Stars of analysis, wit, and protestation have been born. We are alert as never before to the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court, the rules of Congress, racial and economic injustice, the techniques of propaganda, the elements of malignant narcissism. The ship may be about to hit the iceberg, but we have excellent hypotheses about the captain’s complex childhood and the shortcomings of the hull design.

Joseph O’Neill, Real Americans

I was reading the review of This America by Jill Lepore and This Land Is Our Land by Suketu Mehta in the New York Review of Books, where I came across the paragraph which describes modern information society. We are all in reality nothing but Paper Tigers 2.0.

Can we please stop the unicornonsense?

Twelve startups have either IPO’d or been acquired after being valued at $10 billion or more by venture capitalists. Eight of them are valued higher than their last known private market valuation, as of yesterday’s market close. The only non-public company in the group is Flipkart, which sold a majority stake to Walmart.Four of them are lower, with WeWork (theoretically) expected to join as the fifth.

Dan Primack in Pro Rata

Unicorn is a mythical creature and does not exist. Time and again, the faulty valuations and lofty expectations prove that. Square, Box, Pinterest, and now WeWork…. I suppose we should stop this marketing claptrap and get to being real about companies, their businesses, and their prospects.

Peak Influencer?

In this age of so-called-social media, the word “influencer” seems often to be used where formerly other terms were used, such as “expert,” “teacher,” “role model,” “entertainer,” etc. I believe that there is risk in consolidating all such terms, each signifying some distinct and meaningful trait of a person, under one word lacking such distinction.

Guy Tal

Be your own measure

And to measure yourself against no one but yourself. Raise your standards as often as you can, but not because someone else you chose out of the lineup of success is somehow ahead of you. — Seth Godin

This has been a mantra for most of my life, and when I deviate from this thinking, I am overcome with a slew of negative emotions — jealousy, anger, anxiety, and lack of appreciation for self. Admittedly, it is tough to live with such approach — for our modern world is programmed to let us know that we are in a race, being quantified against someone else’s idea of success.