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Expert Thoughts

Expert Thoughts

That Question Mark In Your Headline Isn’t Fooling Anyone

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More than pedantic and insulting than “13 Things You Didn’t Know About…”

More than “…And You Won’t Believe What Happened Next”

More than “How One Tweet Perfectly Explains (complex topic)”

More than any of those, the most insidious headline tactic plaguing the online publishing world is the dreaded question mark. You know you’ve seen it. And now that I’ve pointed it out you’ll see it even more often, I’m guessing. “Did X Company Just Hire Y Person?” “Did X Company Just Release All Your Data To the Russian Government?” That punctuation is everywhere. Read More

Expert Thoughts

Social Media Buzz Can (Kind of) Predict Box Office Success

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Twitter has analyzed a whole mess of data about what people are saying there about movies to see what it says about what movies are going to be popular at the box office.

Among the interesting data points in the post are that, according to Twitter, people have somewhere around 200,000 movie-related conversations daily.

Now here’s where it gets interesting: According to the data the movies generating the most tweets in October were Annabelle, Gone Girl, Dracula Untold, The Judge and Fury. But here’s the top five movies from October: Read More

Expert Thoughts

Do you write for Reddit, Yelp or Facebook? You should own it too…

(Photo via Rocío Lara)

Most of us do contribute to some sites like this.  We write reviews, post pictures, and make lengthy or funny comments.  We even recruit new users for them by inviting our friends, family, and our co-workers to join them.

In other words, we are the reason these sites are so popular.  We are the reason these sites are so valuable.

Our contributions are the reason people come to these sites day after day, so why don’t we get some ownership for our contributions. Read More

Expert Thoughts

Don’t Poison the Well: Questioning Someone’s Motives Exposes Your Weak Argument

They're definitely calling out a few motives. (Wikimedia Commons)

“I never allow myself to have an opinion on anything that I don’t know the other side’s argument better than they do.” — Charlie Munger

One of the most common ways of refuting an argument is to call into question the motives of the other person. After all, this is easier than showing them what is wrong with the case they are making. Who has time for that, we’ve got meetings to attend. Read More

Expert Thoughts

Here’s Why I Was Afraid to Look Up My Uber Rating

Mahbod Moghadam (Photo via Facebook)

Yesterday there was this meme where you could look up your own Uber rating, see what the DRIVERS thought of YOU.

When I first heard about this, I was deeply offended. I was like, “wait WTF, so I am paying all this money to be judged?!”

I am still pretty pissed about it, I think I am going to switch to Lyft. That way, I don’t have to be analyzed, I can just fist pound with my bruh-bruh. I am not a piece of meat, I am a human being! I think it is pretty shameful that Uber even lets the passengers judge the drivers, but whatever, at least I am paying to objectify this dude. Read More

Expert Thoughts

Message to Entrepreneurs: Don’t Be Afraid to Create the Future

Mr. Breaks performing CREATE THE FUTURE on YouTube. (Screengrab: YouTube)

CREATE THE FUTURE is not only an ode to the innovators but also a call to action, for people to accept their “craziness”, and be unafraid to share this with the world. I am really trying to raise the awareness, that many people that have changed their industries have not done it by accepting the norm. I am challenging the “out of the box” thinkers to accept that their idea seems impossible, and that it is their duty to make it a possibility that other people understand. I want people to understand innovation begins at the point of what others label insanity and if we are to truly innovate the world we must accept this. Read More

Expert Thoughts

“Bitcoin Is The Truth,” Says Rap Genius Founder Mahbod Moghadam

Mahbod Moghadam (Photo via Facebook)

My introduction to Bitcoin came from the smartest living man. Balaji Srinivasan is the youngest General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. Currently he is building a development wing for Andreessen—a project that, to my knowledge, no VC has ever undertaken. Ben Horowitz calls him “Young Einstein”.

Balaji is Indian, but has piercing green eyes. Looking at his face is hypnotic. He is a prodigy — he started teaching at Stanford when he was 26. The first time I met him, he took me to brunch in Williamsburg and we discussed asking Nas to record a diss track on this bitch-ass tech reporter whom we both loathe…

The conversation quickly turned to Bitcoin. Read More

Expert Thoughts

Google Is a Supervillan: It’d Be Funnier if It Weren’t True

Superhero or supervillain? (Wikimedia Commons)

We imagine, for a second, that we are writing a movie script.This script features an international technology company run by a pair of charismatic billionaires. It’s omnipresent and yet difficult to define, with deep pockets and huge, high-profile projects that seem to bear only a passing resemblance to actual revenue streams. Most of these projects involve eerily sophisticated methods of finding out as much as possible about everyone on Earth. In recent months, this company has made headlines buying drones, home monitoring software, artificial intelligence, and a firm that makes military robots. Read More

Expert Thoughts

How 3D Printing Is Bringing An Ancient Art Form Back to the Future

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(Photo via Joe Carr)

On my desk sits a small marble bust of the emperor Marcus Aurelius. It was carved in 1840, twenty years before Matthew Arnold’s famous essay about the philosopher king, but a thousand and a half years after the great man walked on earth.

Marcus and the other stoics would say that these years matter very little in the grand scope of time. That between then and now, people have done the same thing they’ve always done: lived, died, slept, cheated, hated, loved, excelled, failed and on and on. Read More