1. In February 1961, a statistics-filled Time magazine feature warned that automation was wiping out jobs and, worse, “What worries many job experts more is that automation may prevent the economy from creating enough new jobs.” At least nine episodes of the original “Star Trek” series were about threatening or out-of-control computers.

    — Peter Thiel Is Wrong About the Future

  2. People believed the future would be better than the present because they believed the present was better than the past. They constantly heard stories — not speculative, futuristic stories but news stories, fashion stories, real-estate stories, medical stories — that reinforced this belief. They remembered epidemics and rejoiced in vaccines and wonder drugs.

    — Peter Thiel Is Wrong About the Future

  3. It’s depressing to see just about any positive development — a dramatic decline in the need for blood transfusions, for instance — greeted with gloom. (“The trend is wreaking havoc in the blood bank business, forcing a wave of mergers and job cutbacks.”)

    — Peter Thiel Is Wrong About the Future

  4. Some 95% of the returns in venture capital come from 5% of the deals.

    — Venture capital and the great big Silicon Valley asshole game

  5. Ellison’s mantra was reportedly, “It’s not enough that I win, everyone else must lose.”

    — Venture capital and the great big Silicon Valley asshole game

  6. And yet the founding of a nation, and even the mastery of electricity, paled in comparison to Franklin’s most ingenious invention: the idea that a man could make his own fortune in the world, regardless of his station, if he put in the work.

    — The Self-Made Man: The Story of America’s Most Pliable, Pernicious, Irrepressible Myth

  7. From the beginning, selling the self-made dream to those who hoped to live it was a lucrative business itself. In a country where everyone thinks he’s bound to be a millionaire, you can make a fortune selling the secret to making that fortune.

    — The Self-Made Man: The Story of America’s Most Pliable, Pernicious, Irrepressible Myth

  8. Uber clearly disagrees. Its terms of service, like those of Lyft, Sidecar, and similar sharing-economy startups like Airbnb, make it clear over and over again that they are not liable under any circumstances for bad things that might happen when you use the service.

    “YOU EXPRESSLY WAIVE AND RELEASE THE COMPANY FROM ANY AND ALL ANY LIABILITY, CLAIMS OR DAMAGES ARISING FROM OR IN ANY WAY RELATED TO THE THIRD PARTY TRANSPORTATION PROVIDER,” Uber’s terms of service say.

    — Uber Rider Might Lose An Eye From Driver’s Hammer Attack. Could Uber Be Held Liable?

  9. What my Fitbit couldn’t do for me, I built for myself in the form of a spreadsheet. Each week I add more elements to my protocol. In the process, I’ve realized that reminding myself to do the exercises at all is more important than the counting itself.

    — Stepping Down: Rethinking the Fitness Tracker

  10. Ironically, the things I was doing to maintain my fitness and health ended up being the things that wore down my hip and pushed my body beyond its limits.

    — Stepping Down: Rethinking the Fitness Tracker

  11. That first week after surgery, Fitbit emailed me what was meant to be a motivating weekly report full of downward-pointing, red-pixel arrows. I wasn’t discouraged, but relieved that my weekly total was so low. I had managed to successfully rest and recuperate.

    In the weeks that followed, I looked to my Fitbit to help manage my recovery. Everything about the Fitbit is engineered to encourage you to move more, but I wanted to move less— more slowly, more carefully. My goals no longer matched up with the activity tracker design defaults.

    — Stepping Down: Rethinking the Fitness Tracker

  12. Because another of the characteristic mistakes of young founders is to go through the motions of starting a startup. They make up some plausible-sounding idea, raise money at a good valuation, rent a cool office, hire a bunch of people. From the outside that seems like what startups do. But the next step after rent a cool office and hire a bunch of people is: gradually realize how completely fucked they are, because while imitating all the outward forms of a startup they have neglected the one thing that’s actually essential: making something people want.

    — Before the Startup

  13. Separately, Facebook product teams noticed that people with chronic ailments such as diabetes would search the social networking site for advice, said one former Facebook insider. In addition, the proliferation of patient networks such as PatientsLikeMe demonstrate that people are increasingly comfortable sharing symptoms and treatment experiences online.

    — Exclusive: Facebook plots first steps into healthcare

  14. But how wonderful it would be for free expression online to finally be unspecial, as unspecial as the air we breathe.

    — What Does Ethical Social Networking Software Look Like?

  15. Eventually all social network companies have to answer to men with guns.

    — What Does Ethical Social Networking Software Look Like?