As the Justice Department investigations and Congressional hearings into Watergate closed in, Richard Nixon—as a brag—once said something to the effect of, “I can go into my office and pick up the telephone and in 25 minutes, millions of people will be dead.”
That was when he was sober. In the depths of his stress and depression, the U.S. president was also mixing alcohol and sleeping pills, and his natural paranoia became even worse.
“He really got paranoid when he got three drinks in him. There are things I’m not even going to discuss that were said, but they were the result of drinking. He could not handle drink,” one of Nixon’s political strategists said.
Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: Peter Watson’s “Fallout” shows how the nuclear world we got didn’t have to be this way—and doesn’t”
“The rich are different from you and me.”
“Yes, they have more money.”
No exchange like that between F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway ever took place, but it’s a lot more fun to imagine that it did. The initially curt put-down contains within it the germ of a much more intense concurrence the more you think about it.
Unscaled by Hemant Taneja, or “How AI and a New Generation of Upstarts Are Creating the Economy of the Future” manages to embody both readings of that exchange.
The multimillionaire venture capitalist’s book often reads like a literal vanity-press product, talking of its subjects as an excuse to brag about all of the occasions Taneja’s investments thus far have paid off. That includes investments you’ve heard of like the temporary-messages app Snapchat as well as those you probably haven’t, like the “consumer digital health company“, Livongo.
In that way, the experience of reading Unscaled is very much like anyone who’s ever been cornered at a house party by someone you’ve just met, quite sure everything they do will be as interesting for you to hear as it clearly is for them to recount.
But, the rich are different from you and me, and what interests Taneja versus what does not is almost like reading an alien species talk about the implications of technology for the future.
Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: In the future of “Unscaled”, AI will keep the rich different from you and me”