Thinks 1001

David Friedman: “People sometimes ask me is how to change the world, in my context in a libertarian direction. One of my answers is that, because of rational ignorance, political outcomes are largely determined by free information, what everyone knows, true or false. One way of changing outcomes is by putting ideas in an entertaining and easily remembered form so that they will be remembered, repeated, spread, become part of what everyone knows.”

The Generalist: “ASML is the sole provider of EUV lithography machines. These machines use extreme ultraviolet light to create the world’s most powerful semiconductor chips. As one might expect, that’s a valuable position to be in. ASML has a market cap nearing $300 billion and earns tens of billions of dollars annually. It’s hard to overstate the complexity of ASML’s EUV machines. Each unit has more than 100,000 components sourced from specialty providers, contributing to a $200 million cost. Virtually every step of the machine’s operations involves technological miracles indistinguishable from magic to the layperson.  ASML makes only 15% of an EUV machine’s components in-house. The firm’s genius lies in its ability to coordinate a vast supply chain of manufacturers and integrate their products into a cohesive whole. In some instances, ASML acquires its providers outright, giving it more control over its supply chain.”

Axios: “As tech companies begin to weave AI into all their products and all of our lives, the architects of this revolutionary technology often can’t predict or explain their systems’ behavior. This may be the scariest aspect of today’s AI boom — and it’s common knowledge among AI’s builders, though not widely understood by everyone else. “It is not at all clear — not even to the scientists and programmers who build them — how or why the generative language and image models work,” Palantir CEO Alex Karp wrote recently in The New York Times. For decades, we’ve used computer systems that, given the same input, provide the same output. Generative AI systems, by contrast, aim to spin out multiple possibilities from a single prompt. You can easily end up with different answers to the same question. The element of randomness in generative AI operates on a scale — involving up to trillions of variables — that makes it challenging to dissect how the technology arrives at a particular answer. Sure, ultimately it’s all math. But that’s like saying the human body is all atoms. It’s true! When you need to solve a problem in a reasonable span of time, though, it doesn’t always help.”

Nilesh Shah: “There’s dignity in our economic numbers. India was the fastest-growing major economy last year, is this year too and probably next year. The world over, people are fighting high inflation. We are one of the rare countries that has real positive interest rates and inflation below RBI’s target range. In case of forex reserves, we are at $600 billion-plus. Our oil prices, thanks to the Russia-Ukraine war, were supposed to be in three digits plus but are in two digits. Geopolitically, India is a beneficiary because it buys cheaper oil from Russia and jet engine technology from America. Both want to woo us. We had a trade deficit problem till December 2022, numbers were in excess of $25-$30 billion a month. The balance of payment for January-February-March was just a quarter billion dollars. This is the first time in 60 years that Mumbai and Delhi got monsoon at the same time. In Mumbai, it was delayed by 20 days but everything recovered with the highest-ever rains in July. We were always a less productive and less competitive nation. Now we are improving in both. The infrastructure creation story in India is one of the most underrated stories. Highways, ports, airports, railway electrification, coal mining and power production — what we did in 67 years from 1947 to 2013, we are replicating in 10 years from 2014 to 2024, allowing us to grow faster.”

Thinks 1000

Francis Fukuyama: “There are actually several different meanings of liberalism around the world. So in the US, being liberal means you’re left of center. In Europe, it usually means that you’re right of center. In my version of classical liberalism, the most important premise is one about the equality of human dignity: That all human beings have a certain base dignity that needs to be respected. The way you respect it is by giving people rights. A right to speech, to belief, to association, and ultimately to political participation. In a liberal society, you don’t say that there’s one subgroup of humans that has greater status — based on their race, ethnicity, gender and so forth. If you believe in that basic principle of the equality of dignity and the need for a system of law that restricts governments from violating that basic dignity, then you’re a liberal….That set of principles is being challenged on both the right and the left. The people on the right would like to return to a form of nationalism where they can say, you know, Hungarians or Hindus or some other subgroup of human beings, has a special status. And on the left I think it’s more the questioning the basic liberal virtues of tolerance and freedom of speech.”

Leigh Thompson: “Do you look forward to performance reviews? If you’re like many employees, probably not. Too often reviews are, at best, a waste of time—a one-way street in which a boss tells you what you’re doing wrong, with little opportunity to disagree. But take heart: They don’t have to be that way. The best reviews aren’t meant to be monologues but rather dialogues, conversations that both parties learn and grow from, for the good of both the individual and the organization. How can an employee turn a review into something positive? By planning ahead and being strategic in the moment. Here are five tips for doing just that: ask for a face-to-face conversation, schedule strategically, focus on the future, Recast the meeting as a “learning review”, reverse role-play.”

NYTimes: “Mr. Musk, who leads SpaceX, Tesla and Twitter, has become the most dominant player in space as he has steadily amassed power over the strategically significant field of satellite internet. Yet faced with little regulation and oversight, his erratic and personality-driven style has increasingly worried militaries and political leaders around the world, with the tech billionaire sometimes wielding his authority in unpredictable ways. Since 2019, Mr. Musk has sent SpaceX rockets into space nearly every week that deliver dozens of sofa-size satellites into orbit. The satellites communicate with terminals on Earth, so they can beam high-speed internet to nearly every corner of the planet. Today, more than 4,500 Starlink satellites are in the skies, accounting for more than 50 percent of all active satellites. They have already started changing the complexion of the night sky, even before accounting for Mr. Musk’s plans to have as many as 42,000 satellites in orbit in the coming years.”

Oliver Burkeman: “There will always be too much to do, no matter what you do. But the ironic upside of this seemingly dispiriting fact is that you needn’t beat yourself up for failing to do it all, nor keep pressuring yourself to find ways to get on top of it all by means of increasingly extreme multitasking. Instead, you can pour your finite time, energy and attention into a handful of things that truly count. You’ll enjoy things more, into the bargain. My gratifying new ability to “be here now” while running or driving or cooking dinner isn’t the result of having developed any great spiritual prowess. Rather, it’s a matter of realizing I could only ever be here now anyway — so I might as well give up the stressful struggle to pretend otherwise.”

Thinks 999

City Journal: “[Sebastian Edwards’] The Chile Project: The Story of the Chicago Boys and the Downfall of Neoliberalism explores how intellectuals and ideas can drive real economic change. But Edwards also illustrates that Chile’s march toward markets was more complicated than commonly realized. The central players in this story are the “Chicago Boys”: a small group of Chileans who studied economics at the University of Chicago from 1957 onward under economists such as Milton Friedman and the Spanish-fluent Arnold Harberger. The Chicago Boys coalesced around a reform program famously detailed in a book-length document called El ladrillo (“the Brick”), and they persuaded the military regime, much of which had nationalist-corporatist economic inclinations, to dismantle Chile’s dirigiste structures and replace them with some of the world’s freest economic arrangements…Free-marketers of all stripes can learn much from Edwards’s account. One lesson is that free market theorists and those economic liberalizers with more pragmatic instincts have their own distinct roles to play in effecting change. While the first group helps establish intellectual ascendancy over interventionists, the second is more effective in bringing about actual policy change.”

NYTimes: “Mr. [Mike] Masnick has a way of seeding ideas about technology that take root and grow. In 2005, he wrote about legal threats against a website devoted to amassing urinal photos. (The early internet was a strange place.) The threats, intended to remove information about certain urinal owners, instead created their own news cycle and garnered more attention for the otherwise obscure site. Mr. Masnick coined a phrase for an attempt to censor information on the internet that backfires: “the Streisand effect.” In 2003, Barbra Streisand sued an aerial photographer who had put photos of her Malibu beach house on his website, causing the little-seen images to go viral. Now the episode is internet lore, and the phrase has its own Wikipedia entry with a long list of examples. It’s a typical Masnickian principle of the internet, gleaned from lengthy observation: Poorly thought-out attempts to solve online problems will make them worse.”

NYTimes: “Google has recently begun plugging state-of-the-art language models into its robots, giving them the equivalent of artificial brains. The secretive project has made the robots far smarter and given them new powers of understanding and problem-solving…Google’s new robotics model, RT-2 [is] what the company calls a “vision-language-action” model, or an A.I. system that has the ability not just to see and analyze the world around it, but to tell a robot how to move. It does so by translating the robot’s movements into a series of numbers — a process called tokenizing — and incorporating those tokens into the same training data as the language model. Eventually, just as ChatGPT or Bard learns to guess what words should come next in a poem or a history essay, RT-2 can learn to guess how a robot’s arm should move to pick up a ball or throw an empty soda can into the recycling bin. “In other words, this model can learn to speak robot,” Mr. Hausman said.”

Timothy Lee: Large language models, explained with a minimum of math and jargon. “The goal of this article is to make a lot of this knowledge accessible to a broad audience. We’ll aim to explain what’s known about the inner workings of these models without resorting to technical jargon or advanced math. We’ll start by explaining word vectors, the surprising way language models represent and reason about language. Then we’ll dive deep into the transformer, the basic building block for systems like ChatGPT. Finally, we’ll explain how these models are trained and explore why good performance requires such phenomenally large quantities of data.”

Thinks 998

FT: “Just the act of being a reader in a crowd of commuters gives me a sense of having and taking my time. As the editor and writer Anika Burgess noted in a 2021 essay in The New York Times, “Even in the busiest of places, if you have a good book, you can retreat into solitude.” I used to be the kind of reader who preferred to read only in libraries or nooks at home, ideally with a cat spread out over my feet (and, less ideally, over the pages of the book I was trying to read). But over time, I’ve begun to love reading while roaming — finding a quiet spot in the middle of the Frankfurt Book Fair bustle, in New York’s Central Park or on Mumbai’s Marine Drive as runners and chaat-eating families pass by…Only one rule is set in stone: do not interrupt a reader, just because they’re in a public space. You may surreptitiously note the title of a promising book, but asking “So, what’s it about?” is a minor act of cruelty. Leave them in peace.”

Adam Selipsky: “Generative AI is going to be a foundational set of technologies for years, maybe decades to come. And nobody knows if the winning technologies have even been invented yet or if the winning companies have even been formed yet. So what customers need is choice. They need to be able to experiment. There will not be one model to rule them all. That is a preposterous proposition….The most likely scenario — given that there are thousands or maybe tens of thousands of different applications and use cases for generative AI — is that there will be multiple winners. Again, if you think of the internet, there’s not one winner in the internet. Lots of folks have said that generative AI is perhaps the most important technological advance in this era since the internet. If you go down that road, then you ask yourself: “Was there one winner in the internet?” And the answer is usually no. The most reasonable hypothesis is that there would not be a single winner here. There’d be multiple use cases across a myriad of customers requiring more than one solution.”

Paul Krugman: “Will China be the next Japan? There are some obvious similarities between China now and Japan in 1990. China has a wildly unbalanced economy, with too little consumer demand, kept afloat only by a hypertrophied real estate sector, and its working-age population is declining. Unlike Japan in 1990, most of the Chinese economy is still well behind the technological frontier, so it should have better prospects for rapid productivity growth, but there are growing concerns that China may have fallen into the “middle-income trap” that seems to afflict many emerging economies, which grow rapidly but only up to a point, then stall out. Yet if China is headed for an economic slowdown, the interesting question is whether it can replicate Japan’s social cohesion — its ability to manage slower growth without mass suffering or social instability. I am very definitely not a China expert, but is there any indication that China, especially under an erratic authoritarian regime, is capable of pulling this off? Note that China already has much higher youth unemployment than Japan ever did. So, no, China isn’t likely to be the next Japan, economically speaking. It’s probably going to be worse.”

Vitalik: “One of the trickier, but potentially one of the most valuable, gadgets that people in the Ethereum community have been trying to build is a decentralized proof-of-personhood solution. Proof of personhood, aka the “unique-human problem”, is a limited form of real-world identity that asserts that a given registered account is controlled by a real person (and a different real person from every other registered account), ideally without revealing which real person it is…More recently, we have seen the rise of a much larger and more ambitious proof-of-personhood project: Worldcoin…The simplest way to define a proof-of-personhood system is: it creates a list of public keys where the system guarantees that each key is controlled by a unique human. In other words, if you’re a human, you can put one key on the list, but you can’t put two keys on the list, and if you’re a bot you can’t put any keys on the list.”

Thinks 997

Veronique de Rugy: “The best job-creation policy is a strong economy. The government should be content to create a level playing field with transparent rules and strong protection of property and contract rights. Of course, it should also supply public goods like infrastructure and ensure a stable legal system. Be wary of those who push industrial policy as a means of job creation. It’s a short-sighted approach that distracts us from the more important question, which is whether hindering the market allocation of resources is truly justified for national security or other valid reasons.”

The Verge: “A search engine is both an enormously complex thing and a fairly simple idea. All a search engine is doing, really, is compiling a database of webpages — known as the “search index” — then looking through that database every time you issue a query and serving the best and most relevant set of those pages. That’s the whole job. At every tiny step of that journey, though, there are huge complications that require critical and complex tradeoffs. Most of them boil down to two things: time and money. Even if you could hypothetically build a constantly updating database of all of the untold billions of pages on the internet, the storage and bandwidth costs alone would bankrupt practically any company on the planet. And that’s not even counting the cost of searching that database millions or billions of times a day. Add in the fact that every millisecond matters — Google still advertises how long every query took at the top of your results — and you don’t have time to look over the whole database, anyway.”

FT: “Since it launched the wildly successful Indian Premier League tournament in 2008, India has brought unparalleled riches to the sport. Its teams now attract the world’s best players and have bought up new international franchises. The country’s governing body, the Board of Control for Cricket in India, dominates global decision making and takes a larger share of global revenues than England and Australia combined. India is even influencing how the game is played, with test teams such as England increasingly adopting crowd-pleasing, aggressive playing styles that fans trace back to the IPL’s shorter, fast-paced Twenty20 format. “India’s influence in global cricket cannot be overstated,” said Arun Dhumal, the IPL’s chair and a former BCCI executive. “The IPL has been a game-changer not only for Indian cricket but also for world cricket, in terms of the traction it has generated with fans across the globe, in terms of the financial bandwidth . . . It has been phenomenal.””

Omar Shams on the AI organisation: “Right now we’re hand-designing information flows and team structure. Instead, let’s use LLMs to share information between teams and help route important work to the right people. LLMs can summarize what work everyone does in an organization by parsing over their code, messages, and documents. LLMs in conjunction with other AI techniques can also identify common problems in an organization and rank them by severity. These models can then group the work of each team member by reviewing their code, messages, and documents, providing a comprehensive summary of their roles. We can then route important information to the right people in the organization who have the relevant expertise. This way of organizing information effectively forms dynamic ‘flash’ teams that cut across traditional organizational boundaries. By training LLMs on company code/docs and/or embedding company code/docs in a vector space we can capture institutional knowledge (‘tribal knowledge’) and spread it around the organization and safeguard it against loss due to personnel changes.”

Thinks 996

WSJ: “Traditionally, goods come to the warehouse in trucks, then are manually unloaded with pallet jacks and forklifts. Here, Walmart is testing an autonomous forklift. A single worker can unload multiple trucks at once while monitoring cases for accuracy and damage. Walmart plans to automate or partially automate many of its hundred-plus U.S. warehouses in the coming years. The shift means Walmart can use fewer people to process more goods and make stocking shelves at stores more efficient. To keep their jobs, many of the company’s tens of thousands of warehouse workers need to retrain for new roles. Some will leave. Warehouses will also need to hire people with new skills, such as technicians. Large companies such as Walmart and Amazon that rely on massive warehousing networks have worked for years to automate more of their supply chains to increase the volume of packages they can process and reduce labor costs. Because of Walmart’s scale, its plan to make automation standard in more of its supply chain is likely to affect how smaller competitors invest in their own facilities and what a U.S. warehouse job becomes.”

RV Raman: “This is sketch of the nascent crime fiction scene in India. Stories and writers are not in short supply. Nor are publishers. But readers are. We are lamentably short of readers. For the Indian crime fiction scene to flourish, we need more people to read for pleasure. However, we do have a silver lining: there is fresh interest from overseas publishers for Indian mysteries. How much that will help remains to be seen. With luck, the new readers who currently consume romance and mythological fiction will expand their patronage to crime fiction and provide the genre the necessary boost. Just as British mysteries and Scandinavian noir have carved niches of their own, we might see Indian noir carving one for itself in the coming years.”

NYTimes: “If you have had a romantic partner, you’ve most likely had the maddening experience of realizing that while you were blabbering on about something or another, they were focused on their phone. As relationship transgressions go, “phubbing” — a portmanteau of “phone” and “snubbing” — is, on the surface, fairly benign. Yet research increasingly shows it can be insidious. A recent study linked higher levels of phubbing to marital dissatisfaction, and a 2022 study found it can lead to feelings of distrust and ostracism. One study found that those who phub a lot are more likely to be phubbed themselves, creating a kind of ripple effect.”

Renée Mauborgne: “Beyond Disruption is about how companies can innovate and achieve growth without displacing industries, companies, or jobs. It is a positive-sum approach to innovation and growth that allows business and society to thrive together. The book is the result of research that my colleague W. Chan Kim and I completed during a 30-year research journey. We set out to codify processes and tools that allow organizations to be systematic in identifying and unlocking nondisruptive opportunities in a high-value, low-cost way…Disruption occurs when you create a new market within an existing market, leading to a high level of disruptive growth. Blue ocean strategy involves developing a new market across existing industries, creating a measure of disruptive and nondisruptive growth. Nondisruption is at the opposite end of the innovation spectrum. It occurs when you develop a new market outside the bounds of existing industries, which generates largely nondisruptive growth where there is no displacement.”

Thinks 995

Arnold Kling: “The presumption that markets are flawed and government intervention is the solution pervades the thinking of much of the economics profession in general and Akerlof and Yellen in particular. As you know, I have a different point of view. Are markets imperfect? Certainly. But solutions that come from the market itself can sometimes work. And solutions that come from government intervention can often fail. In short: markets fail; use markets.”

WSJ: “To reduce your cancer risk, you don’t need to make it all the way to the gym: You could start by bringing in the groceries. People who recorded just under four minutes of vigorous movement every day had a roughly 17% reduced cancer risk compared with people who didn’t log any high-intensity movement, a study published [recently] in the journal JAMA Oncology concluded. The link was stronger for cancers in which exercise has previously been connected to lower risks, including breast, colon, endometrial and bladder cancer. The study followed more than 22,000 people who reported that they didn’t exercise but logged minute-long bursts of activity such as walking uphill or carrying shopping bags. It adds to evidence connecting physical activity to better health, even when the movement is modest.”

Economist: “Companies are increasingly caught up in governments’ competing aims. What to do?…In a fractious world, businesses cannot hide from politics and geopolitics. But the lesson of the wokelash is that outspokenness can backfire. When deciding whether to speak up, bosses of global firms should use long-term shareholder value as their lodestar. The more directly what they say affects their business, the more credibility they have and the less risk of appearing a fraud or a hypocrite. This approach may include reminding politicians of the benefits that efficiency and openness once brought to economies around the world. When governments seem to contain a dearth of champions for either, that would be no bad thing.”

Ninan: “If growth has been slowing down in recent years, it is because no sector comparable in scale has emerged to play the role of lead cyclist. Meanwhile the pharma sector lost momentum prematurely because of poor industry practices and regulatory failures. Now the infotech boom has eased into a slower, mature phase. And in the wake of successive shocks (demonetisation, Covid, etc), domestic consumer demand growth has levelled off. For instance, two-wheeler sales have stagnated. One reason could be that the consumer debt burden is now high for India’s income level. As for aviation, India has just one viable (and one potentially viable) airline company that can invest for growth. Meanwhile, merchandise exports have done poorly in the last decade, following the economy’s failure to develop a competitive manufacturing base vis-a-vis rivals like Vietnam and Bangladesh.”

Thinks 994

FT: “The rise of AI forces us to reinterpret our human intelligence…Teachers of all kinds must ensure their students continually question what they think they know — and they are able to use both natural and artificial sources of intelligence. Armed with the tools of curiosity and healthy scepticism, they must master nuance. And, as the emerging career category of “prompt engineers” demonstrates, they must become ever more skilled at asking questions. If the goal of education is to enable our full potential, then we must rethink how we are developing all human capacities, taking advantage of the technological tools that augment our natural abilities. This education needs to be life-long. Top performers in sports, music and, increasingly, business have coaches of many different kinds. These teams increasingly use technology to enhance the feedback they are able to provide their clients in order to constantly improve their performance. As technological advances enhance human capabilities, our need for human guides will only grow.”

WSJ: “In “Look,” Mr. Madsbjerg attempts to impart the wisdom he has acquired from art and philosophy and from the practical experience of running a corporate consultancy and teaching a class on “human observation” at the New School in New York. His book is full of intriguing goodies: anecdotes and precepts originating in a wide array of sources, as well as summaries of the work of gestalt theorists and practitioners of phenomenology, a discipline he defines as “the study of how the human world works and everything that gives our life meaning.” The breadth and vagueness of that definition bespeaks the book’s enthusiastic overreach. There’s a lot here, and a lot of it makes sense, but there are moments when the argument is so diffuse as to feel precarious. At times Mr. Madsbjerg teeters on the edge of banality, even incoherence. Yet he never tips over, for there is unmistakably truth in what he’s getting at. And, to be fair, the distinction between apparent understanding and deep understanding is difficult to draw. It is difficult even to describe. Mr. Madsbjerg does a heroic job of seeking to capture the experience of sudden insight…To pay attention is not solely to concentrate or focus; it can mean entering states of heightened awareness, like a predator on the hunt.”

Walter Russell Mead: “What unites the subcontinent, say Hindu nationalists, is a shared culture in which Hindu religion plays a central role. Even Indians who aren’t Hindu have been shaped by this traditional culture. Cultivating pride in that heritage and freeing it from injuries of both British and Mughal domination is the only way, Hindu nationalists believe, to hold this vast and diverse population together. Nehruvian secularism and liberal abstractions like “constitutional patriotism” can’t do the job, they argue…RSS leaders believe that India can remain united as the shock waves of modernization propagate across the subcontinent only if the changes are seen as grounded in ancient Hindu principles. While conciliating and reassuring more-conservative Hindu thinkers, they are promoting a future-oriented Hinduism in the hope that its ancient religion and culture can bring a united and self-confident India into the 21st century.”

Martin Wolf: “Modi’s India is moving in an illiberal direction. His government has taken huge risks in riding the tiger of politicised religion…As India’s polity has become less liberal, its government has become more effective. World Bank indicators show that “political stability and absence of violence”, “control of corruption”, “regulatory quality” and “government effectiveness” have improved since Narendra Modi became prime minister. But “voice and accountability” and “rule of law” have worsened. His government is more repressive and more effective than its predecessors…This government rides the tiger of politicised religion on what it hopes to be a long journey towards the destination of creating a modern, prosperous and strong India. The question is not just where it will end up, but whether it can avoid being eaten on its journey.”

Thinks 993

George Will: “Today, industrial policy’s political purpose is to defuse angry populism that is blamed on “deindustrialization” displacing workers. But declines in the portions of labor forces devoted to manufacturing are normal as nations become richer, regardless of wide variations in nations’ economic policies. And the U.S. government’s would-be industrializers should hope that surly populists, who are eager to cause society’s upper crust to crumble, do not notice how industrial policy makes eager bedfellows of government bureaucrats and corporate elites — for their mutual benefit.”

Jamie Sears: “I wrote How to Love Teaching Again because I am a former teacher and I’ve seen firsthand how teachers are becoming burned out in the classroom. I know that really quality educators are leaving long before they truly wanted to because they have no choice. They need to leave the classroom. I feel like our children really need the best educators possible in the classroom. I’m hoping that the strategies that I share in this book are things that teachers can implement tomorrow to see a better work–life balance.”

From a comment on Tyler Cowen’s blog: “Singapore is often seen as a model for other developing countries for any number of the policies it adopts. But I think one truly underrated high impact policy is this scholarship system. It largely solves the problem governments in many countries face of keeping talent in the public sector, while redressing some degree of inequality (of course, the scale is limited). To a government, the cost of funding the higher education of a couple hundred students a year (Singapore’s birth cohort is small, after all) is relatively insignificant, even at the most expensive American colleges. I’ve always thought of this policy as one of the single lowest-cost, highest-impact things that other developing countries can borrow from Singapore: a marginal revolution, if you like. The second point is on how the civil service is enmeshed with the elected government. The PAP often draws its candidates from the civil service, and because of its electoral dominance, it largely has the power to decide on the career pathways of its MPs and ministers. Unlike the UK, therefore, where ministerial promotions are largely dependent on political opportunity, the PAP does do quite a bit of planning about who its ministerial team a few years down the line is going to consist of, and often draws civil servants to fit into that system.”

Ishan Bakshi: “Considering the lament in the past over the inability to accurately estimate the Indian middle class — households with significant discretionary spending capacity — the sheer range of firms now venturing into the country is indicative not of the potential down the line, but of the market now. So, how big is the market? India’s per capita income is just under Rs 2 lakh or around $2,400. But this statistic conceals more than it illuminates…Though their share in the overall population is minuscule, the absolute number of these households is nothing to scoff at. So even as vast sections of the labour force face near stagnant real wages, millions more seek work under MGNREGA compared to pre-pandemic levels, and, the country’s political and financial capitals, its millennium city and Silicon Valley are submerged during the rainy seasons, for these households, well ensconced in their gated islands, and they are just that, it’s the roaring Twenties. So while India may not be the next China by the end of this decade, even if it only manages to chug along, averaging 6 per cent, it could well eclipse some major markets.”

Thinks 992

Abraham Thomas: “The 2010s was the decade of data explosion. The world began to create, log, and use more data than ever before, and the big winners in the tech industry—whether social media companies like Meta or e-commerce giants like Amazon—made the most of it. But the dawning AI era is changing the playing field. Data and compute have created a flywheel—driven by language models—that generates more digital information than ever before. This shifts where value sits in software ecosystems, and presents key opportunities for large incumbents and new startups.”

HBR: “[The] needs-based approach entails segmenting potential customers into four segments: Urgent. The customer recognizes that it has an immediate need. (We just had another billing person quit!) Non-urgent. The customer recognizes the need, but it isn’t a high priority at this time. (We realize that our billing needs are changing and our current system will need to be revamped. We plan to start looking into this in the next year.) Currently met. The customer believes it already has an adequate solution to address the need at this time but recognizes it may not be a long-term solution. (We have an older billing system in place that still does the trick for now.) None. The customer simply has no need nor expects such need anytime soon. (Our small practice has a limited number of patients who pay out of pocket. Since all payments are made at the time of service, we simply don’t need a complex new billing system.).”

Wired: “In modern warfare, every second counts. And the Helsing founders say their software can give Western militaries an information edge. Its system, they claim, will help soldiers make faster, better-informed decisions and will be accessible on a variety of devices, so soldiers in frontline trenches can see the same information as commanders in control centers. “Now, all of this is done manually: phone calls, reading things, drawing stuff on maps,” says Köhler. “Understanding how many systems are there, what they are doing, what is their intent—this is an AI problem.” Helsing is not the first company to try to build an operating system for war. Military types have been advocating for the idea since the 1990s. But traditional defense firms have struggled to deliver, creating an opportunity for tech companies to step in. California-based Anduril, the company launched by Oculus cofounder Palmer Luckey, has developed software that connects multiple military systems. And Palantir, headquartered in Colorado, has been using the war in Ukraine to release details about its own military AI. But Helsing is the only visible European startup making this type of software. Experts say what’s notable about the company is the way it maps the electromagnetic spectrum, the invisible space where different machines send electronic signals between one another to communicate.”

WSJ: “American businesses have gotten hooked on tipping. Tip requests have spread far beyond the restaurants and bars that have long relied on them to supplement employee wages. Juice shops, appliance-repair firms and even plant stores are among the service businesses now asking customers to hand over some extra money to their workers. “The U.S. economy is more tip-reliant than it’s ever been,” said Scheherezade Rehman, an economist and professor of international finance at George Washington University. “But there’s a growing sense that these requests are getting out of control and that corporate America is dumping the responsibility for employee pay onto the customer.” Some businesses that are new to tipping said they have turned to the practice to try to retain workers in a competitive job market while also keeping their prices low. Asking for tips allows them to increase worker pay without raising their wages.”