Stop Punishing Businesses for Making Money

We need to change the tax code to stop punishing revenue generating businesses.
For 75 years now, corporate profit over their total value has been decreasing. That means corporations are really good at accumulating money, but increasingly worse at deploying that money. At making money with money. This is really serious.
Pharmaceutical companies don’t know how to make drugs, they only know to acquire companies that do. Google even, is no longer a technology company. Google became Alphabet. It’s a holding company…. They might as well be Goldman Sachs…. They don’t know how to create value.
They are using a bankrupt method. They are using a 13th Century corporate operating system to run digitally-enabled businesses…. That model is obsolete…. It was based on going to South American and enslaving people and taking their precious metals. It doesn’t work for a digital economy.
America needs us all. And we all depend on each other.
New York’s 16th Congressional District

Terrance Jackson for Congress

Democracy is based on citizens caring about and taking responsibility for both themselves as for the well-being of all.

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Advertising Creates a Climate of Violence Against Women

Advertising is an over $200 billion a year industry. We are each exposed to over 3000 ads a day. Yet, remarkably, most of us believe we are not influenced by advertising. Ads sell a great deal more than products. They sell values, images, and concepts of success and worth, love and sexuality, popularity and normalcy. They tell us who we are and who we should be. Sometimes they sell addictions.
“We all grow up in a culture in which women bodies are constantly turned into things, into objects.”

Budweiser ad

“Of course this affects female self-esteem. It also does something even more insidious. It creates a climate in which there is wide-spread violence against women.”

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Reverse Engineering a Startup

Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus by Douglas Rushkoff

The following story of “Ruby” reverse engineering a startup based on market conditions, industry trends, and nascent investor fads is taken from Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus by Douglas Rushkoff.
One of the smartest technologists I know, a young woman from the West Coast I’ll call Ruby, decided to launch a company on a whim. Ruby did exhaustive research on emerging interests and keywords in the technology and business press, as well as conference topics and TED subjects. What were venture capitalists getting interested in? Moreover, what sorts of technical skills would be valuable to those industries? For instance, if she concluded that big data was in ascendance, then she would not only launch a startup related to big data but also make sure she created competencies that big data firms required, such as data visualization or factor analysis. This way, even if her company’s primary offering failed, it would still be valuable as an acquisition—for either its skills or its talent, which would be in high demand if her bet on the growing sector proved correct.
She ultimately chose geolocation services as the growing field. She assembled teams to build a few apps that depended on geolocation—less because the apps themselves were terrific (though she wouldn’t complain if one became a hit) than because of the capabilities those apps could offer to potential acquirers. Working on them also forced her team to develop marketable competencies as well as a handful of patentable solutions in a growing field with many problems to solve. The company was purchased, for a whole lot, by a much larger technology player looking to incorporate geolocation into its software and platforms. The employees, founder, and inventors who believed in her are now all wealthy people.
E-commerce using Elasticsearch
And Machine Learing
Last night, I attended an Elastic meetup hosted by HBC Digital. The Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) owns Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor. This meetup provided one of those “aha” moments. It is possible to build a local search engine using elasticsearch. This search engine would incorporate e-commerce and machine learning.

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Advertising Creates a Climate of Violence Against Women

Advertising is an over $200 billion a year industry. We are each exposed to over 3000 ads a day. Yet, remarkably, most of us believe we are not influenced by advertising. Ads sell a great deal more than products. They sell values, images, and concepts of success and worth, love and sexuality, popularity and normalcy. They tell us who we are and who we should be. Sometimes they sell addictions.

“We all grow up in a culture in which women bodies are constantly turned into things, into objects.”

budweiser-bikini-girls-violence

“Of course this affects female self-esteem. It also does something even more insidious. It creates a climate in which there is wide-spread violence against women.”

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“Black Lives Matter” is Sad

Obviously Black lives matter, isn’t that sad. I think that it should depress people that we have to remind them that Black lives matter.
~ Soledad O’Brien

While Soledad’s O’Brien’s point is very valid, if explored deeper then you come to see that “Black Lives Matter” represents adopting a corporatist mindset. As Douglas Rushkoff writes in Life Inc, it represents succumbing:

to an ideology that has the same intellectual underpinnings and assumptions about human nature as—dare we say it—mid-twentieth-century fascism…. a culture, economy, and belief system that places market priorities above life itself.

Douglas Rushkoff

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Should The NYPD & LAPD Be Using CIA-Funded Software?

RIP Akai Gurley!
Akai Gurley

Akai Gurley was shot and killed in a Brooklyn building by Peter Liang, a probationary police officer.

On Thursday, November 21st, probationary Officer Peter Liang shot and killed Akai Gurley in the stairwell of a Brooklyn housing project. A recent FBI Annual Uniform Crime Report determined that killings by police are the highest they’ve been in two decades. In 2013, there were 461 “justifiable homicides” by police which is most likely a significant undercount. In addition, this number would not include a killing such as Akai Gurley which will most likely be classified as “accidental.” The 461 “justifiable homicides” in 2013 doubles the number of people lynched in 1892 when there were 230 lynchings, the highest lynching totals in American history.

As we mourn the death of another person killed at the hands of police officers, we should examine the underlying culture that is responsible for these mass killings. In dealing with culture, one of the most important concepts to understand is something called implicit bias. Below is a definition provided by Kirwan Institute.

Defining Implicit Bias

Also known as implicit social cognition, implicit bias refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner.  These biases, which encompass both favorable and unfavorable assessments, are activated involuntarily and without an individual’s awareness or intentional control.  Residing deep in the subconscious, these biases are different from known biases that individuals may choose to conceal for the purposes of social and/or political correctness.  Rather, implicit biases are not accessible through introspection.

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A Lack of Diversity at Google

We are looking into developing a local search engine using Solr.

One of the primary goals of this search engine will be to provide a counter narrative to Google. This narrative will incorporate an argument provided by Michael Thomsen:

The lack of diversity at Google has… to do with the company’s core structure, which would remain bluntly antagonistic toward behavioral and political diversity….

[Google’s] PageRank obscures diversity, burying the full and often incoherent spectrum of possible answers to a question inside a nested sequence of mathematical prejudices. Ironically, PageRank worked far better than any other search technology before it, making Google’s business of improving search a matter of cultivating dramatically persuasive prejudices. People wanted answers, not protrusions of debate and uncertainty, and Google made money creating an artificial frame to give it to them.

Google revenue

Google is an old business…. Google has never really been about human psychology. Yet, truly effective advertising is based on psychology.
https://startuptown.wordpress.com/2015/01/25/google-is-an-old-business/

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