Rahul Ramchandani Profile picture
curious, mostly. see https://t.co/JYZVtIiRmX, https://t.co/22kBfRsTL4, @sindhipapadsays
23 Jun 19
A short summary of The Meridian of Her Greatness by Lou Keep.

This is about how we can reconcile economic prosperity with increasing discontent, what capitalism really means, why social protections hurt the economy & society and cause bigger problems

Reconciling economic prosperity and discontent is difficult. People point to Trump/Brexit/Occupy as examples of anger. This fails to explain anything.

How do we explain their economic motivations? Is income/wealth inequality really the problem?
Polyani explains how we can reconcile the two using the idea of "economic prejudice". This has two parts.

1 - Wealth got redefined in terms of market value (property, wages) instead of traditional metrics (common land, social ties AND capital). Blurrier forms were excluded.
Read 18 tweets
25 May 19
Never thought my reading on the Himalayas and business will collide but given the recent Everest traffic jam image going viral, I'm going to do a thread explaining the evolution of the market for climbing Everest and some of the unintended consequences (e.g. traffic jams)
The race for climbing Everest coincided with the end of WW1 and the first expedition to recon Everest began in 1921, followed by a first attempt in 1922 and a second attempt in 1924.
The second attempt in 1924 is embedded in Everest folklore because Mallory and Irvine were last seen at the base of the final pyramid near summit and never returned.

Both of them were hailed as national heroes back in Britain.
Read 27 tweets
19 Mar 19
Information wants free, a thread:
Information like any other life form wants to reproduce and live. It does so via legibility.

Information is free only to the extent that it is legible by hosts.

Software eating the world is basically how information is forcing us to make legibility functions for everything.
How does information accelerate its discoverabilty?

By incentivising people to look for it.

Most of our media is incentivised by discovery of information, from the mundane to the obscure.
Read 20 tweets
3 Mar 19
In a post truth economy where there are no facts, people are free to choose narratives that help them avoid any dissonance.

People have always chosen self consistent beliefs and ego preservation over factual information but the lines are getting extremely blurred.
Going forward, everyone will be free to choose their own realities, echoed back to them by members of the in-group they choose to inhabit.

So much easier to do that now.
No amount of fact checkers, moderators or narrative controllers will be able to prevent reality from fracturing into pieces as desired by groups.

Coherent narratives across groups are a relic of the past now. We choose our own realities.
Read 14 tweets
26 Dec 18
Megathread on Girard and his ideas. With this, hopefully I'm ready to inhabit a new idea cloud.
2/ Before you proceed, some criticisms that you should be aware of.

Read 22 tweets
7 Dec 18
Mimetic desire (or triangular desire) and influence run the show at elite universities.

An object of desire becomes desirable by virtue of being desired by someone.

Add a pinch of scarcity effect, risk aversion and throw some money - you've got the perfect bait.
Aversion to failure (and more generally risk) is magnified in middle class indian kids because failure is associated with extreme shame.

The result - a risk averse generation that doesn't know what to do and thus follows the herd.
The resume arms race at IITs and IIMs is real. I'd promised myself in freshman year not to fall prey to it but ultimately I succumbed to peer pressure.

It's amazing what risk aversion and zero sum mentality can do to you.
Read 14 tweets
26 Nov 18
Founder as victim, founder as God.

A brilliant application of Girard's theory of mimetic desire, violence and scapegoating to startups.

I knew there were class notes available for zero to one but this is like finding a small treasure.

Excited to dig in.
Bill gates as God and as victim.
Read 7 tweets
24 Nov 18
Finally managed to extract my pocket data.

A thread on reading stats from my pocket:
1/ Stats for 2017

Number of articles added: 2014
Number of articles read: 870
Number of articles favorited: 25
2/ Top tags from 2017
Read 7 tweets
10 Nov 18
This is a great article on the NPC meme doing the rounds. There's a lot more substance here than most memes.

Courtesy @EvanPlatinum and @jacobitemag

1/ “NPC” is an acronym for “Non-Player Character.”

As the name implies, NPCs are counterparts to the Player Characters (PCs), the protagonists controlled by most of the participants.

They exist to facilitate the narrative’s flow and give it a sense of immersion &verisimilitude.
2/ If PCs are human agents, albeit ones constricted by code, then NPCs are unthinking expressions of the code itself. Before the game even begins they are utterly predetermined. Their words and actions are not their own.
Read 16 tweets
3 Nov 18
Riveting read on advances in sex robots and what it would mean for society.

Courtesy @sentientist

1/ Courtship is costly (by design, since it is supposed to check for fitness).
2/ A significant (and probably growing) percentage of men can't/don't understand subtleties of courtship (cues).

Tech is making it easier to grab their attention.
Read 8 tweets
27 Oct 18
This is an important idea - thinking in dynamics not statics.

A thread on thinking in systems and inequality (all Taleb inspired)
1/ Measuring quintiles at two points in time does not give you a correct picture of how the system is evolving.

'Who' constitutes quintiles needs to be taken into account.

As long as inequality is dynamic and class mobility is not zero, inequality is fine (feature not bug).
2/ Most people don't realise that wealth creation and wealth distribution is dominated by power laws.

People get rewarded disproportionately for creating enormous wealth and generate large surpluses for others at the same time.

This is good for everyone.
Read 11 tweets
25 Oct 18
This is a great piece on why external validation makes for insecure people (works the other way round as well)

Too real.

The pursuit of accomplishment is most healthy when done without a need for external validation.
Some of the most successful people are wildly insecure.

There's definitely a connection between your mental model of yourself (measuring self worth) and the amount of effort you're willing to put in (moderate correlation with success) to achieve something.
Read 4 tweets
23 Oct 18
A few quotes/notes from Michael Lewis, The Undoing Project (The story of Daniel Kanheman and Amos Tversky)

Thanks to FB memories.
“It’s hard to know how people select a course in life,” Amos said.
“The big choices we make are practically random. The small choices probably tell us more about who we are."
Read 6 tweets
15 Oct 18
I implore anyone with a basic understanding of Girard's mimetic desire and having an interest in technology and culture wars to read this masterful essay on mimesis, violence and Facebook.

1/ Mimetic desire: we desire objects because others desire them.
2/ Desire is more related to the subject being mimicked rather than the object of desire.

Our desires are mediated by a subject who we consider a model.
Read 12 tweets
12 Oct 18
Radical vs disruptive innovation and why companies die.

A thread:
Understanding what counts for innovation is crucial for businesses.

This post does a great job of distinguishing between 'disruptive' innovation and 'radical' innovation.


A thread on the two axes of innovation:
1/ Disruptive innovation has everything to do with business and markets, tech is optional.

It is the systematic unbundling of incumbents based on new ideas around the business model.

It is why PG/YC says that you need to dominate a small market first. You can sneak in.
Read 13 tweets
6 Oct 18
A thread on Bloom's two sigma problem in education and how advances in technology can help scale effective learning:
1/ Benjamin Bloom in his research found that one on one tutoring can enable students to achieve 2 sigma improvement over conventional teaching.

His objective was to find practical methods that scale to achieve the same two sigma improvement (tutoring isn't scalable).
2/ A brief summary of Bloom's problem:
Read 19 tweets
2 Oct 18
The Centre for Sustainable Employment @working_india released a detailed report titled 'State of Working India' last week.

Some highlights and what it means for India's future below:

You can download the full report here: cse.azimpremjiuniversity.edu.in/state-of-worki…
1/ The foreward by Wipro CSO Anurag Behar has this bleak paragraph:

A major theme in the report is frustration at the lack of growth in jobs given the positive sentiment around India's growth story.

I'd really like someone who's knowledgeable to comment on this.
2/ My beef with reports on India-the quality of data and the definitions used.

This report also suffers owing to inadequate quality data from the govt.

I'm incredulous at the idea of 1B+ pop nation having no quality data to rely on. @Social_Cops can change this.

The authors:
Read 16 tweets
30 Sep 18
An absolute treat. Thanks @farnamstreet and @tobi 😄

I dare say this is on the same level as the one with @naval

Some highlights below:
1/ All founders probably know but few talk about systems thinking and why it's an extremely important mental model to have. Cause and effect are difficult to ascertain(sometimes absent)epiphenomena are everywhere. Thinking in systems gives everyone a common language to build on.
2/ Tobi talks about company culture and why it's okay for it to be different at each office. Culture is not something that comes top down and people shouldn't be sanitized versions of themselves.
Read 15 tweets
22 Sep 18
A thread on money, cash flows and why restaurants are not good businesses (for most people).

Not sure what prompted this train of thought but perhaps the opening of a new restaurant right next to my house has got something to do with it.
“Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two—and only two—basic functions: marketing and innovation.”
"Marketing and innovation define each other in yin-yang ways. Thinking about the fundamentals of this dual pair of concepts led me to a curious definition of the most important word in business: customer."
Read 11 tweets
17 Sep 18
I love the content and style so much that I actually copied it when I was starting my own newsletter.

I've also read almost everything Anand has written because he's a damn good writer.

Even if it's just to see how impactful a newsletter can be you should subscribe.
Let's just make this a thread about what I've learnt from @asanwal :

1/ Catch your reader's eye. A small increase in open rate is significant at scale (more $$).

2/ Look at the cadence of your conversation. This newsletter mixes insights and conversation in the best way.
3/ Don't bullshit. Honesty shows and at every stage of the newsletter's evolution (from daily to less frequency, to moving stuff behind paywalls) they've been upfront about the reasoning behind it. Persuasive because you give people a valid reason.
Read 7 tweets
8 Sep 18
Lots to unpack here:
1/ Nevertheless, Bezos talks about Amazon like it's a giddy startup that just closed its Series A. "For all practical purposes, the market size is unconstrained," says Bezos.
2/ but Bezos' greatest strength, borne out over the past few years, has been his ability to shape-shift Amazon into adjacent businesses—some of which were adjacent only in retrospect—on a massive scale.
Read 9 tweets