Interview with Literary Agent Dawn Michelle Hardy

Dawn Michelle Hardy has been called a “literary lobbyist” by Ebony magazine for her ability to help authors reach their readership using strategic promotions, win awards and garner national and local media attention. She has dual roles in the book publishing industry as both publicist and literary agent. She founded Dream Relations, PR & Literary Consulting Agency in 2004. Additionally, in 2011 she joined Serendipity Literary Agency where she aids in shaping the careers of platformed writers. Some of her clients at Serendipity include Jean McGianni Celestin, co-writer of the Nat Turner biopic The Birth of a Nation, Kent Babb, Washington Post sports writer and PEN Literary Award finalist for Not a Game: The Incredible Rise and Unthinkable Fall of Allen Iverson, Clay Cane, entertainment editor at BET.com, director of Holler If You Hear Me: Black and Gay in the Church, and author of Live Through This: Surviving the Intersections of Sexuality, God and Race.
As a publicist she works with both fiction and non-fiction authors including New York Times bestseller D. Watkins, author of The Beast Side: Living and Dying While Black in America, Tia Williams, former magazine beauty editor and author of The Perfect Find and Clint Smith award-winning poet, Ted Talk conference speaker and contributor to The New Yorker.

Not a Game

Terrance Jackson: What does a literary agent do?
Dawn Michelle Hardy: A literary agent represents their clients written work and champions for that work to be sold to a publisher. In most cases the work starts out as a book proposal for a non-fiction idea including a memoir or it can be a completed manuscript for a novel or children’s book. Additionally, as a literary agent I attend conferences and do critiques on book pitches and I conduct workshops on memoir writing, proposal writing and building an author platform.

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Emin Gün Sirer: Bitcoin is Still Broken

Emin Gün Sirer

Emin Gün Sirer is a computer science professor at Cornell University. His research spans operating systems, networking, and distributed systems. He’s also co-director of the Initiative for Cryptocurrencies & Contracts, which is an initiative of faculty members at Cornell University, Cornell Tech, UC Berkeley, UIUC and the Technion to help to advance the adoption of cryptocurrencies and smart contracts.
In 2002, he started Karma, an early cryptocurrency that was the first to utilize a proof-of-work concept. He has written several influential white papers and blog posts (on Hacking Distributed) that have altered the course of Ethereum’s development. He was among the first to warn about the vulnerabilities that led to the collapse of The DAO. He also acts as the Blockchain Advisor for the WeTrust project.
He is currently number 29 on the list of the Most Influential Blockchain People.

Most Influential Blockchain People

Terrance Jackson: In 2013, You and Ittay Eyal wrote “Bitcoin is Broken.” Is Bitcoin still broken?
Emin Gün Sirer: Indeed, we found the biggest known fundamental weakness in Satoshi Nakamoto’s consensus protocol, known as Selfish Mining. Using our strategy, one can subvert Satoshi’s protocol, and possibly make more money than their fair share, at the cost of disrupting the system’s behavior. Luckily, we provided a fix for selfish mining attacks for miners smaller than 25%, but the threat from large miners is always going to be present.
Now that the attack is well-known, the community knows how to detect such attacks and put pressure on the actors who launch them. In fact, if anything, the community is hyper-diligent against miners that are too big, and puts pressure on them to break them up. No Bitcoin miner is big enough to unilaterally go selfish and harm the system.
The situation is quite different in other cryptocurrencies, however. Selfish Mining could be employed against other smaller coins.

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Creating Good Jobs with UWS Local Search

We are developing a local search engine that will have products ads with place of manufacturing information. This is to provide the data so that we can all buy 5% more US made products and create new good jobs.
Today on Google, when someone searches for anything related to a product name, Google automatically populates most of the above-the-fold space on the Search Engine Result Page (SERP) with Product Listing Ads (PLAs). 

Google search page

What big-brand Pay-Per-Click (PPC) managers are finding out is that their PLAs are doing extremely well but this is at the expense of their regular text ads such as AdWords.
Frank DuBois

Frank DuBois

Product ads such as PLAs are proving to be very effective and we propose to create a search engine that will have products ads with place of manufacturing information. This information will be like the Kogod Made In America Auto Index assembled by Frank DuBois at American University’s Kogod School of Bussiness.

Made in America Index

Click image below for draft of UWS Magazine

UWS - Daymond John

UWS Magazine is a free community magazine that will combine print with digital and video. UWS Magazine will initially be mailed to residential addresses in the 10025 zip code (Upper West Side [UWS] neighborhood in New York, NY). We will follow-up by mailing UWS Magazine to residential addresses in the 10024 zip code.

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Freestyle Chess on the Blockchain

Weak human + machine + better process was superior to a strong computer alone and, more remarkably, superior to a strong human + machine + inferior process.

Michael Mauboussin

Michael Mauboussin, former managing director and head of Global Financial Strategies at Credit Suisse, wrote an report exploring:
[T]he applicability of freestyle chess to the world of investing, where fundamental analysts are “man” and quantitative analysts are “machine.” More pointedly, might there be a way that investors can combine the strengths of fundamental and quantitative analysis while sidestepping the weaknesses?
After witnessing the great success of the PRO Chess league:
As the number of spectators swelled to more than 6,000 this past Sunday during the final, the success of the league was even greater than the founders had imagined, according to Grandmaster (GM) Alejandro Ramirez. “The number of viewers showed that chess can compete with any eSport,” said Ramirez.

Money raised by ICO

And learning that according to Coinschedule, so far this year, more than $3 billion has been raised via ICOs or Initial Coin Offerings.
We are exploring the idea of Freestyle Chess on Blockchain as a vehicle of exploring better investment strategies, in addition to exploring Garry Kasparov’s ideas of using the decision-making process of chess as a model for understanding and improving our decision-making everywhere else and how we have discarded innovation and creativity in exchange for a steady supply of marketable products.
Garry Kasparov & Deep Blue

Garry Kasparov during his rematch against the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue, 1997

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I Could Be… a documentary addressing inequity

I Could Be... A Documentary

I could be a congresswoman
Or a garbage woman or
Police officer, or a carpenter
I could be a doctor and a lawyer and a mother
And a good God woman what you’ve done to me
Kind of lover I could be
I could be a computer analyst
The Queen with the nappy hair raising her fist
Or I could be much more and a myriad of this
Hot as the summer, sweet as the first kiss
And even though I can do all these things…
~ Jill Scott
The Fact Is (I Need You)

Nassim Taleb

Nassim Taleb, author of The Black Swan and Antifragile, wrote in a Forbes article called “You Can’t Predict Who Will Change The World:“
“It is high time to recognize that we humans are far better at doing than understanding, and better at tinkering than inventing. But we don’t know it. We truly live under the illusion of order believing that planning and forecasting are possible. We are scared of the random, yet we live from its fruits.”

Billionaire chess

Want Your Children to Succeed?

Raspberry Turk

We are organizing a group of students to build a robot that can play chess on the Ethereum Blockchain. This project will introduce our students to computer vision, data science, machine learning, robotics and blockchain technology. The design will be based on Joey Meyer’s Raspbery Turk and a Chess game for Ethereum from the Technical University of Berlin.

Zaleik Walsh and Julian Harris programming the Raspberry Pi for the chess-playing robot.

“In the past,” says Andrew Ng, the former chief scientist at Baidu Research and founder of the “Google Brain” project, “a lot of S&P 500 CEOs wished they had started thinking sooner than they did about their Internet strategy. I think five years from now there will be a number of S&P 500 CEOs that will wish they’d started thinking earlier about their AI strategy.”

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Blockchain: Nobody Really Understands

While there is a great deal of corporate and venture capital investment in blockchain technology, there is also still plenty of room for tinkerers to have big impacts.
Humans are far better at doing than understanding and better at tinkering than inventing.

Money raised by ICO

According to Coinschedule, so far this year, more than $3 billion has been raised via ICOs or Initial Coin Offerings, yet the ICO was created by J. R. Willett, a guy you probably never heard of.
Blockchain is the underlying technology behind cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. But it is also being developed for use in a variety of industries from finance to insurance, promising cheaper and faster processes.
In 2009, bitcoin was quietly launch by Satoshi Nakamoto, maybe as an experiment to show the world it was possible to create a secure and private means to send money between people without the need of a trusted third party (e.g. Visa or PayPal). No one knows the true identity of Nakamoto, but people do know that a single bitcoin is valued at over $5,600, with a total market cap of over $90B. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and companies who help people purchase bitcoins with real dollars are wallets. Wallets are regulated as money transmitters; bitcoin is money. People who profit from selling their Bitcoins pay taxes to the IRS. Bitcoin is real and it’s growing at unprecedented rates.
Through 2009 and early 2010, bitcoins had no value at all, and for the first six months after they started trading in April 2010, the value of one bitcoin stayed below 14 cents. Then, as the currency gained viral traction in summer 2010, rising demand for a limited supply caused the price on online exchanges to start moving. By early November, it surged to 36 cents before settling down to around 29 cents. In February 2011, it rose again and was mentioned on Slashdot for achieving “dollar parity”; it hit $1.06 before settling in at roughly 87 cents.
You can’t possibly get a good technology going without an enormous number of failures.
A few years ago, a new concept emerged called the Initial Coin Offering or ICO. ICOs are a way for new cryptocurrencies or coins to raise capital in an online offering. The logic behind ICOs is that companies who create new cryptocurrencies do not want to give it away for free, hoping people use it and put a value on it. If these are currencies, then a value must be put on it. This is what an ICO does. It allows a person or a company to sell a set number of coins or tokens to others in exchange for bitcoin or some other well-recognized cryptocurrency (ie: ether). An ICO is similar in many ways to an IPO. In an IPO, a company goes public and issues shares. In an ICO, a company issues a limited number of their own coins.

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Why Jeff Bezos is So Amazingly Successful

Given a ten percent chance of a 100 times payoff, you should take that bet every time.
On July 27, 2017, Jeff Bezos became the world’s wealthiest person. That lasted for a few hours until October 27, 2017 when Jeff Bezos again became the world’s wealthiest person when Amazon share prices went surging after an earnings report.

Jeff Bezos

Thomas Edison, one of the greatest innovators of all time, said: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Like Thomas Edison, Bezos is so amazingly successful because he and his team at Amazon fail big and often. In Amazon’s 2016 annual shareholder letter, Bezos writes:
One area where I think we are especially distinctive is failure. I believe we are the best place in the world to fail (we have plenty of practice!), and failure and invention are inseparable twins. To invent you have to experiment, and if you know in advance that it’s going to work, it’s not an experiment.
Most large organizations embrace the idea of invention, but are not willing to suffer the string of failed experiments necessary to get there. Outsized returns often come from betting against conventional wisdom, and conventional wisdom is usually right. Given a ten percent chance of a 100 times payoff, you should take that bet every time. But you’re still going to be wrong nine times out of ten.
We all know that if you swing for the fences, you’re going to strike out a lot, but you’re also going to hit some home runs. The difference between baseball and business, however, is that baseball has a truncated outcome distribution. When you swing, no matter how well you connect with the ball, the most runs you can get is four. In business, every once in a while, when you step up to the plate, you can score 1,000 runs. This long-tailed distribution of returns is why it’s important to be bold. Big winners pay for so many experiments.

Thomas Edison
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