A Principled Argument for 2nd Amendment Rights

I tend to be a supporter of increased gun legislation.  I don’t own a gun, I didn’t grow up with guns, and I don’t believe I’ve ever even held a gun or been present when one was fired.  So from a practical and personal standpoint, I would prefer to minimize private gun ownership. However, I … Continue reading A Principled Argument for 2nd Amendment Rights

The Miserly Safety Net: Another Modest Proposal

In the past, I’ve extolled the virtues of the miserly safety net, especially when it comes to housing.  It just occurred to me that it might be possible to expand this net to cover all the essentials of life. When I think about the essentials of life in the United States, it boils down to … Continue reading The Miserly Safety Net: Another Modest Proposal

Hard Power and Soft Power

When people talk about power, they invariable are referring to hard power. Hard power is the power of authority and might.  Hard power is swift and decisive.  Hard power is the ability of the President of the United States to order assassinations, and have them carried out half a world away by drone strike. In … Continue reading Hard Power and Soft Power

Why The Fall of Silk Road and Bitcoin Is Inevitable

As the saga of Silk Road plays out, a lot of attention has been focused on the mistakes that Dread Pirate Roberts made that helped the Feds catch up with him.  The Verge has a good longform piece on this topic: http://bit.ly/1aQExxL It appears that the current Dread Pirate Roberts (for we all know that … Continue reading Why The Fall of Silk Road and Bitcoin Is Inevitable

Grit, Policy, and Politics

I was affected and inspired by Paul Tough’s recent book, “How Children Succeed.”  In this book, Tough combines neuroscience, educational research, and striking stories to explain how both sides of the political spectrum are both right and wrong about how to fix America. Conservatives are correct that character is the keystone of success.  Over, and … Continue reading Grit, Policy, and Politics

Why The Minimum Wage Doesn’t Help The Poor

Let me emphasize that I am neither an economist or politician.  Yet when I read articles like this recent New Yorker piece on the minimum wage, I feel compelled to share my take. In his piece, James Surowiecki does a good job of teasing out some of the main issues around low-wage work these days.  … Continue reading Why The Minimum Wage Doesn’t Help The Poor

Self-control is irrelevant to success in the game if you believe the game is rigged

If you’re a psychology junkie like me, you’ve probably heard about the Stanford marshmallow experiment: http://bit.ly/Wga2Ne In this experiment, 5 year olds were offered a choice: Eat a marshmallow now, or be left alone in a room with a marshmallow.  If they went 15 minutes without eating the marshmallow, the researcher would give the child … Continue reading Self-control is irrelevant to success in the game if you believe the game is rigged

Searching for Equality in a Winner-take-Most World

I preface this post with the admission that I have always been a child of privilege.  I come from a family of well-educated Chinese immigrants; my mother is the only member of her generation on either her or my father’s side of the family that didn’t earn a Ph.D. (she only has a measly Masters, … Continue reading Searching for Equality in a Winner-take-Most World

2 Concrete Steps To Combat Sexism At Tech Conferences

One of the people who commented on my recent post on sexism in high tech made a very good point.  Beth noted, “What’s our take away. What do we want, exactly? It’d be easier to speak to both sides if we had a clear objective.” I’m far from an expert on effecting social change.  In … Continue reading 2 Concrete Steps To Combat Sexism At Tech Conferences

VCs Are Useless? That’s Bullshit.

Vivek Wadhwa has a guest post up on TechCrunch, “What Have VCs Really Done For Innovation?” It’s obviously meant to court controversy. Mission accomplished.This post is my refutation. Wadhwa’s post claims:1) VCs have little to no impact on startup success, and in fact, may have a negative impact2) Venture capital slows the innovation processThis is … Continue reading VCs Are Useless? That’s Bullshit.