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Paul Graham

Suddenly my Twitter feed is full of people (presumably nearly all Democratic voters) criticizing Bernie Sanders. Does this mean he's now the Democratic nominee?
Austen is being diplomatic here. That whole article in NY Magazine was based on a confusion of two different metrics: hired/graduated, which Lambda, like most schools, quotes as its placement rate, and hired/enrolled, which they used in the YC report because enrolled ≈ cost.…
The Perverse Panic over Plastic… "The plastic panic has never made any sense, and it's intensifying even as evidence mounts that it's not only a waste of money but also harmful to the environment, not to mention humans." [1/3]
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150 PhD economists hired by Amazon! It is the most significant and drastic change in the last 20 years to raise economics at the core of the decision making in firms. It means: microeconometrics works!…
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“You should turn that blog post into a journal article.” Translation: You should put in 20x the effort so you can reach 1000x fewer people.
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America: Let's have a party. I'll bring the software! China: I'll bring the hardware! EU: I'll bring the regulation! America, China:
"Great. So you're saying I'll drink too much alcohol, take lots of drugs, and get really depressed." — 7 yo when I told him he was good enough to be a child actor
If you start a startup that can only reach users by doing deals with big companies, the default outcome will be that you run out of money and die while waiting for them to make up their minds.
Scientists at Facebook AI have done what was previously considered out of reach for deep learning models, solving complex, symbolic math equations using a neural network.…
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Last night Trump called for the impeachment of Barack Obama - who hasn’t been president for three years. This batshit demand from the sitting president won’t feature on any front pages of any newspapers or any nightly news headlines on TV. We have normalized an abnormal person.
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When I was in 7th grade, a teacher made a life-long impact on me in ways I wouldn't understand for a long time. A very personal thread about compassion and computers. Cheers to the educators that truly care.
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7 yo looks happier lately, but it may just be because he now has front teeth.
Ambitious people regard other ambitious people, even in different fields, as colleagues. So they are not the ones cheering when they see someone try something ambitious and fail.
Conservation works! 'Astonishing' recovery in blue whale numbers around South Georgia @BBCAmos…
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One of the things that strikes me about Brian as a founder is his genuine interest in new ideas. He's not just executing.…
Via @ATabarrok, a very careful, very deliberate, and very convincing @RCAFDM post showing that (inter alia) high American health care spending is driven by high American income, not by high American health care prices.…
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"'I have never in my years seen an r-squared of 0.99,' Goodman says. 'As a statistician, it makes me question the data.'"…
When internet mobs go after nerds, they don't realize that they're attacking the people with the strongest acquired immunity to bullies in the world.
Evolution solves problems by individual organisms failing to.
"All Front employees who average less than two hours per day on their phone get $200 each month, no strings attached."…
The deadline to apply for the next YC batch is March 16, but we review applications and interview startups all year. In fact, we interviewed and accepted a startup for YC S20 last week. If you apply early, there’s a chance you’ll get an early interview:
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Max Roser too made something that he himself wanted:…
We always liked it when we asked founders what we needed to fix about Y Combinator, and they said the food, because it meant nothing important was broken.
Using publication date as the test of scientific priority gives you high precision at the expense of accuracy.
Livestock contributed to ~23% of the total warming of 0.81°C from all sources from 1850 to 2010, despite agriculture directly contributing only 10–12% of global GHG emissions. The effects of CH₄ only last decades, but only decay if we stop emitting it!…
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This second time around starting a company I cannot emphasize enough how critical merely being persistent at attacking unknowns/obstacles is to seeing the kind of momentum & success you wish to see in the world. The outcome is often binary because you either give up or discover.
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Pretty cool "naturally randomized" experiment: the right to buy a car in Beijing is determined by lottery. Win that lottery, and 5 years later you'll be ~22 lbs heavier if you're over 50.…
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Seriously, Bezos' $10 Billion "Earth Fund" is an enormous pot of money available to researchers. Of course there will be overhead, graft, and waste, but no doubt excellent research potentially game changing will occur all thanks to private sector donation.…
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If there is the tiniest difference between the behavior you want and the incentives you offer, people will find it.
This is historical. Zero pedestrian and cyclist deaths in #Helsinki in 2019! The graph shows the reduction of road deaths since 1960. We're getting close to reaching #VisionZero. #TrafficSafety #PedestrianSafety…
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Question for advertising experts: What percent of Google's revenue would disappear if companies stopped buying traffic they'd get anyway, from the search results?
“One stunned engineer from a major Japanese automaker examined the computer and declared, "We cannot do it."… // This is an expected and natural end state of outsourcing product development. PC makers experienced this same viz phones and also MacBook Air.
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Proportion of UNC students who said it was OK to prevent a campus speaker from speaking: Liberals 19%, Moderates 3%, Conservatives 3%…
The best mental habit I learned from Silicon Valley = a sharp focus on substance over everything else. Easy to forget, but in most industries, people spend a lot of time thinking about social structure + status relationships, and less on the fundamentals and facts.
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My 5 year old daughter just asked me why people start businesses and how to start her own. Good thing I work @Shopify. She also asked if kids were allowed, to which I replied “yes and I’ll help you!”. Let’s do this 🚀
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Your major competitive advantage is likely something you like doing that most other people don’t.
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Area man avoids shaking hands because of coronavirus. But because Area is Silicon Valley, this is somehow news. Exercise for readers: When you read stories about x happening in SV, ask if it would be news if x happened in the mining industry.…
If you do or say something embarrassing when meeting a famous person, take comfort in the fact that they are about 1/100th as likely to remember it as you are.
Hypothesis: One reason Democratic candidates can't jettison the far left in order to be what James Carville called a "majoritarian party" is that these people make up their campaign staffs.
"Back in high school I told my dad, 'I'm going to have a computer someday.' And he said that it cost as much as a house — the downpayment on a house. And I said, 'Well, I'll live in an apartment.'" — Steve Wozniak
This interview with Wozniak has so many lessons:…
In many articles I see, it's sufficient to read the first sentence of each paragraph. My goal when writing is to make that not work.
This is a very interesting window into the degree of disunity in the White House. (Which seems a good thing, since unity would mean everyone agreed with Trump.)…
All repeated, 2-dimensional patterns have one of 17 different symmetries. These are called the “Wallpaper Groups”, and you can explore all of them at
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A startup reported their ARR has reached $99.9m. I know two things from this: their ARR, and that they don't fudge their numbers.
Seems obvious, but I don't think I've seen this written elsewhere: the growth in popularity of WhatsApp group chats is probably a function many things, but most interestingly:
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It's surprising how often the right thing to do is nothing.
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