Jessica Livingston on the things not being said

Here's what she had to say back in January 2017:

I recently heard one of the more interesting insights about Silicon Valley I'd heard in a while. It explained something I’d wondered about for years.

But I can't tell you what it was.

There's too much downside in sharing any opinion that could easily be misinterpreted online. Even facts are dangerous to share if they don’t align with what people want to believe.

There's a lot of concern about "fake news" lately. That is a real problem, but there's also the opposite problem: true things that aren't being said.

Some of the most useful things I've learned about startups over the years are also things I'd never share publicly. Not because the ideas are necessarily controversial in their own right, but because anyone could twist them to seem controversial if they were sufficiently motivated to. And when that happens I immediately regret having said anything. It's a massive distraction. I have two young kids, and I have hundreds of startups to keep track of. I don't have time to fight with people who are trying to misunderstand me.

She's probably one of the most influential women in Silicon Valley. That's one - but not the only - reason why I'll probably later post some thoughts on / excerpts of a 2015 essay by her husband on her and her thought.

Random links

Drunk People Are Better at Creative Problem Solving
"Not only did those who imbibed give more correct answers than a sober control group performing the same task, but they also arrived at solutions more quickly."
Tesla battery degradation at less than 10% after over 160,000 miles, according to latest data
"The trend line currently suggests that the average battery pack could cycle through over 300,000 km (186,000) before coming close to 90% capacity."
Misperceptions of Relative Affluence and Support for International Redistribution
"participants underestimate their percentile rank in the global income distribution by twenty-seven percentage points on average, and overestimate the global median income by a factor of ten. Respondents who were randomly assigned to information on the global income distribution supported higher spending on foreign aid"

Hate speech laws and Hitler's rise

From The New Yorker's Copenhagen, Speech, and Violence:

Researching my book, I looked into what actually happened in the Weimar Republic. I found that, contrary to what most people think, Weimar Germany did have hate-speech laws, and they were applied quite frequently. The assertion that Nazi propaganda played a significant role in mobilizing anti-Jewish sentiment is, of course, irrefutable. But to claim that the Holocaust could have been prevented if only anti-Semitic speech and Nazi propaganda had been banned has little basis in reality. Leading Nazis such as Joseph Goebbels, Theodor Fritsch, and Julius Streicher were all prosecuted for anti-Semitic speech. Streicher served two prison sentences. Rather than deterring the Nazis and countering anti-Semitism, the many court cases served as effective public-relations machinery, affording Streicher the kind of attention he would never have found in a climate of a free and open debate. In the years from 1923 to 1933, Der Stürmer [Streicher's newspaper] was either confiscated or editors taken to court on no fewer than thirty-six occasions. The more charges Streicher faced, the greater became the admiration of his supporters. The courts became an important platform for Streicher's campaign against the Jews. In the words of a present-day civil-rights campaigner, pre-Hitler Germany had laws very much like the anti-hate laws of today, and they were enforced with some vigor. As history so painfully testifies, this type of legislation proved ineffectual on the one occasion when there was a real argument for it.

Rosa Luxemburg on impossibility and inevitability

Before a revolution happens, it is perceived as impossible; after it happens, it is seen as having been inevitable. - Rosa Luxemburg

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