16
Apr
2020
Siri: What is a “Unicorn circle jerk”?
Carta, a unicorn that makes dashboards for managing equity investments in other unicorns is laying off staff and sniffing out a cash injection from existing backers. Bloomberg reports that the company is seekng a $200 million investment from existing investors at a $3 billion valuation, up from 1.8B last year. Somewhat incongruent with the “growth story” picture that normally garners such a sharply higher round, Carta is laying off employees. They just axed 161 people... Read More
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12
Apr
2020
AirBnB Pivots to “Virtual Experiences”, Lands $1 Billion Down Round
AirBnB, the tech unicorn that monetizes your spare room has been hit hard by the Coronavirus academic. As the company and the phenomenon grew, more and more “investors” levered up to buy more properties to rent out short term. Some becoming so-called “super-hosts”, running dozens or even hundreds of rental units. There even emerged a phenomenon, of “STR arbitrage“, which is Short Term Rental Arbitrage: taking out long term leases on properties you don’t own,... Read More
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11
Apr
2020
Tesla to lay off up to half of sales and delivery staff
CNBC reported Friday that Tesla will be laying off up to half of it’s sales and delivery staff, this comes on the heels of other layoffs reported earlier in the week. Salaried employees are looking at pay cuts of 10% to 30%. In other news, Elon’s brother Kimball appears to have pulled a switcheroo on his employees “emergency fund” for his Nextdoor Restaurant chain, pulling the plug on the fund right before he laid off... Read More
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22
Jan
2020
Will You Be Richer or Poorer?: Profit, Power and A.I. in a Traumatized World

                  Will you be richer or poorer? What does the future hold for you – and for the world? Supposedly, we’re all getting richer, but many of us feel we’re becoming poorer. Why? One reason is our economy doesn’t even measure many kinds of wealth and ignores many costs. Clearly, clean air and water, good health, and civil liberties are valuable, but you won’t find these on any balance sheet. Our system’s incentives are to maximize short-term financial profits, and everything else is treated as if it doesn’t exist.This audiobook tackles three critical questions: What if everything we don’t measure is worth more than financial wealth? Our obsession with financial capital is blinding us to a traumatizing global decline in other forms of wealth. Will artificial intelligence (AI) make us all richer? What if AI will only enrich the few who own the platforms and technology? Is our economic model dooming us? We’re told we all benefit as the super-rich get even richer, but what if the status quo only benefits those in power at the expense of everyone else – and our planet? Though we may not be politically powerful, we are far from powerless. This audiobook will help you identify the things that truly matter and accumulate capital that benefits you and your family – and our planet. Listen Now…

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22
Jan
2020
A Secret History of Consiousness

                  For the last four centuries, science has tried to account for everything in terms of atoms and molecules and the physical laws they adhere to. Recently, this effort was extended to try to include the inner world of human beings. Gary Lachman argues that this view of consciousness is misguided and unfounded. He points to another approach to the study and exploration of consciousness that erupted into public awareness in the late 1800s. In A Secret History of Consciousness, consciousness is seen not as a result of neurons and molecules, but as responsible for them – meaning, it is not imported from the outer world, but rather creates it. In this view, consciousness is a living, evolving presence, the development of which can be traced through different historical periods, and which evolves along a path to a broader, more expansive state. What that consciousness may be like and how it may be achieved is a major concern of this book. Lachman concentrates on the period since the late 1800s, when Madame Blavatsky first brought the secret history out into the open. As this history unfolds, we encounter the ideas of many modern thinkers, from esotericists like P. D. Ouspensky, Rudolf Steiner, and Colin Wilson to more mainstream philosophers like Henri Bergson, William James, Owen Barfield, and the psychologist Andreas Mavromatis. Two little known but important thinkers play a major role in his synthesis: Jurij Moskvitin, who showed how our consciousness relates to the mechanisms of perception and to the external world and Jean Gebser, who presented, perhaps, the most impressive case for the evolution of consciousness. An important contribution to the study of consciousness and a a must-listen. The chapters in the audiobook include: Foreword by Colin Wilson Introduction: Consciousness Explained The...

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12
Sep
2019
Pley, that hot start-up that rented Legos by the month inexplicably failed.
So yeah, I decided with WeWork and $TSLAQ and assorted unicorn b.s (like TIL that Softbank put $300M into a dog walking app can you believe that?) even though I’m busy with normal things, I am rekindling VCrap. On a whim I decided to look up a company I heard about a few years ago, a hot start-up that secured $6.75M series A …to rent Legos by the month. That was in March 2014. In Feb,... Read More
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