I'm doing some podcast editing (for the first time in almost five years!) and Descript ( descript.com ) is as close to magic as anything I've ever used.

There's some AI/ML under the hood which lets you edit audio as text. It's mindblowing.
Auto-generated transcript includes:

"Uh that's an interesting question, let me think, OK, [actual content]"

Highlight first part of answer, hit delete; it makes a seamless edit between the question and the contentful part of the response.
Not quite as good as an NPR editor but muuuuuuuuuuch cheaper and faster, and you really have to be familiar with Descript and listening closely to know it happened. (I periodically smile when I "catch" another podcast I listen to clearly using it.)
And the truly magical feature, which is absolutely mindblowing, is to *be able to insert things that speakers never actually said* using a trained model of their voice.

I always go back and add elaborations on my transcripts to add the things I didn't say live.
Now a computer pretends I was just that quick-witted in the moment! And it's actually a pretty acceptable me! Particularly when sandwiched between actual me; you have to have good ears or be listening for it to catch the transitions.
"How good is it?"

I tried a paragraph which was 20% synthetic *on my wife* and she didn't notice it wasn't me.

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More from @patio11

5 Nov
If you enjoy my writing and enjoy e.g. Money Stuff you would likely enjoy Net Interest, which is @MarcRuby's newsletter on banking topics.


Let me illustrate with a single paragraph why this is obviously the future of e.g. equities research:
Substack has made it incentive compatible for the world's various obsessed experts on various topics to hire themselves out to the Internet rather than hiring themselves out to e.g. financial intermediaries, and then they do the sort of deep work that experts do.
Also: holy me do I not want to be the investment banker who let a math error work its way into an IPO prospectus.
Read 6 tweets
5 Nov
Agree so much. Interesting knock-on effects, too:

1) Companies which previously had a $25k minimum to account for legal friction/founder headaches should be happy to take $1k from e.g. an engineer.

2) It's SO MUCH better for "not my day job" angel investors to centralize info.
e.g. I owe the National Tax Agency (Japanese IRS) some math every year about all of my overseas assets, including those which did nothing in a year, and the process of collecting that information looks something like this:
Non-AngelList investment from 2012: get docs out of Dropbox, grep inbox to see if e.g. this is the one that I remember signing the docs about a corporate transaction this year or not, math math math, en-spreadsheet.

AngelList: download report on all, send to accountant, done.
Read 11 tweets
5 Nov
Bits about Money #3: How credit cards make money.


Some brief elaborations from the cutting room floor:
The essay talks about cross-subsidization at a few points. One fascinating form of cross-subsidization was that credit cards *changed who ultimately pays for an individual's use of credit.*
This had huge ramifications for small businesses, which are historically (and currently) horrifically capital constrained almost all of the time. They also have extreme difficulty in lining up traditional bank financing.

Credit cards let merchants opt-in to financing customers.
Read 11 tweets
5 Nov
A quirky feeling I've had on our covid-19 response is that some institutions have difficulty doing things which are *clearly* within our capabilities while others are pushing boundaries in their respective fields.

A happy example of the later:

More effective covid-19 treatments is always good news, of course, but taking a teensy look at the actual specifics of this:

This was identification of a new molecule, synthesization, testing, demonstrating of efficacy, and preparation for scaled manufacturing.

In two years.
My impression is "Humanity very literally did not know it could do that on that timescale. Not for covid. Not for anything."
Read 4 tweets
4 Nov
Isn't this just *obviously* the way the typical consumer's most important transaction should want to work? People are worried if they can make the math work. Me, less so, but that aside: few would say "Sign me up for the traditional sell/buy process!" with this as an option.
Ignoring the "new experience" thing which is product speak for "We stitched everything together in a web app", substantively:

1) You ask Opendoor for a quote.
2) They give you a hard quote and accept sale contingent on you winning target house.
3) You share pre-qual letter.
A "pre-qualification" letter is a document from a mortgage broker or originator that says "Contingent on you submitting a bunch of documentation, indicatively, we think we can underwrite you for a mortgage up to $X." Most common use is showing to seller to say "I could swing it."
Read 12 tweets
4 Nov
*picking Lillian up from school*

Construction worker: Sensei, is that the last of them?
Me: Pardon?
CW: The kids. Are most of them [past the construction site or should I stay directing traffic]?
Me: I'm afraid I don't know; I came from the other way.
CW: Not from school?!
Me: No.
CW: You're not the English teacher?
Me: No, she's a young Filipina woman and I *gestures*.
CW: ... So you're not a teacher?
Me: Correct.
CW: Why the PTA badge then?
Me: ...
CW: OH I GOT IT. Sorry. Thanks.
And *sigh* the possibility of this dialog happening with a police officer is why I am very, very careful to put on my PTA badge prior to getting close to the school.
Read 5 tweets

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