Smart people Stupid things

Smart people do stupid things. Do stupid people come up with smart ideas too. Ideas that can make a billion unicorns out of me-too ideas.

Smart people doing stupid things is a thread on Quora with 600,000 views and 100+ answers. Clearly there is a lot of public examination on smart and stupid stuff. Of course smart people say stupid things sometimes. There is an Internet of Things and there is an Internet of Stupid Things.

Intelligence is a fascinating concept. All humans are supposed to be equal, but clearly some people are intelligent in some things. A few are intelligent in many things compared to the average. How do societies, governments and venture capitalists fund smart people to do smart things.

Business Insider, the Jeff Bezos funded web startup was kind enough to scrape, aggregate, curate, collect a few answers. I am returning the kindness to put the bullet points here. Artists steal. Great artists get inspired.

Stupid Things done by Smart People

  1. Overthinking, overplanning and underdoing
  2. Follow the herd mentality
  3. Risk Averseness
  4. Giving up too soon
  5. Undervaluing social skills, networking and social bonhomie
  6. Not recognizing their own cognitive biases. I scraped some stuff on that shit here. Cognitive bias deals with bad decision making due to biases.Cognitive biases are tendencies to think in certain ways that can lead to systematic deviations from a standard of rationality or good judgment, and are often studied in psychology and behavioral economics.Among the “cold” biases,
    • some involve a decision or judgement being affected by irrelevant information (for example the framing effect where the same problem receives different responses depending on how it is described; or the distinction bias where choices presented together have different outcomes than those presented separately)
    • others give excessive weight to an unimportant but salient feature of the problem (e.g.,anchoring)
  7. Ego. Life is a bitch. Karma is a bitch. Ego is the dumbest bitch. There I said it.
  8. Equating education with intelligence ( a cognitive bias I think) . But the school you went to (Stanford) or dropped out affects people more than it should. Just saying.
  9. Underestimating the competition
  10. Getting wrapped in their own theoretical world and failing to see reality. Sometimes the basic data on the assumptions on the product, produce, process, people or profitability has moved. Reality is a dose that is usually externally administered. Smart people should see reality on their own faster.

What is the stupidest thing I did? Losing my temper. Thats never smart. Did you ever lose yours?

 Intelligence as a demand- supply problem.

Can we measure intelligence as a statistical quantity. IF the world had a few geniuses (Einstein, Fermi) when the population was 1 billion, does it mean the number of geniuses has increased by six times. We could do it for bacteria so why not humans?

How would IQ scores be distributed for different countries and races. Ooh, now we are asking scary uncomfortable questions.


How do we increase the supply of educated geniuses in a country or location or race? Don’t say MOOC or Coursera, please. Intelligence is not that easy. Is it easy comrade?




Things I can change and Things I cant change

In the mind of a weekend hacker run a few thoughts too many:

There are some things I cant change even though I wish I could change them because quite clearly I would make a tonne of money more.

Trusting the instincts of others to go north when my instincts tell me to go south. Keeping my mouth and my bloggy fingers shut for things I think I are dishonest. Hanging out with people I wont really like or respect any more. Stop writing technical books and start making more products to mmm sell more soap stars.

I cant change that at all. What can I change? Oh that. Someday I am going to write a piece of code, nothing big , just a few k lines to make the change.

I  can change the world by writing a beautiful piece of code.

Review: Spectre

Ten Reasons the new Bond Movie will be as flat as a low alcohol american beer.

  1. Bond Girls hmm- An overage Monica Belluci ( no Botox) and overcold Lea Seydoux (looking more Scandanavian than French)
  2. No good song-What a letdown after Skyfall Adele song
  3. Bad Torture Scene- I mean really computer aided torture is not so cool as waterboarding in Die Another Day. Maybe they should get Quentin to direct the torture scenes
  4. Q – Gadgets were on a budget
  5. Two Bond Villians- One has won two Oscars and was too charming in the chilling scenes. The other has played Moriarty and did not come across so cerebral here
  6. M- The new Male M actually kills with hands not brain. No no  again -a great actor frowning his eyebrows away with no depth or conviction
  7. Trying to mix politics (post Snowden) with entertainment
  8. Bad Timing – Just not relevant or tasteful post Paris (terror attacks to stage manage cooperation between allies)
  9. fourth innings for Craig- I wish he just shut up and shot. When did Bond turn from one liners to dramatic conversations
  10. weak metaphors- from the childhood connection to the Oddjob reference(?) , too many weak connections keep story tepid

Do us a favor. Fire Craig and Hire Cumberbatch for the next round.

Why France should invoke NATO against Daesh

As per and

France remains a founder-member of NATO. It hosts several NATO agencies such as the NATO Helicopter Management Agency, the NATO Hawk Management Office, the Research and Technology Agency, and the Central Europe Pipelines Management Agency which is responsible for the movement, storage and delivery of fuel in Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. In 2009 France ended its 40 year break in participating within the NATO command structure, but France has been a faithful ally by committing its troops to NATO operations.

As per this France is invoking the rest of EU and Russia but not NATO

Article 42.7 of the Lisbon treaty, has never before been invoked. It is modeled on the Nato Article Five commitment, and says that if a country is “the victim of armed aggression on its territory, the other Member States shall have towards it an obligation of aid and assistance by all the means in their power.”

With 129 dead, now is the not to time for France to drag feet. With 230 dead in airplane bomb, Russia is already hitting targets in Daesh held territory. NATO and Russia together hitting targets invokes memories of the Allies in World War 2.

The UN Security Council remains relevant, and indeed the Iraq war proved how much better multilateral action is to unilateralism.

If NATO was relevant for Afghanistan , it is much more relevant to Daesh. By using the name Daesh, they intend to play down the imagery of Islamic State (ISIS) to reduce the propaganda recruitment that it is the West against Islam (clash of civilizations).


  • Collective defence means that an attack against one Ally is considered as an attack against all Allies.
  • The principle of collective defence is enshrined in Article 5 of the Washington Treaty.
  • NATO invoked Article 5 for the first time in its history after the 9/11 terrorist attacks against the United States.
  • NATO has taken collective defence measures on several occasions, for instance in response to the situation in Syria and in the wake of the Ukraine crisis.
  • NATO has standing forces on active duty that contribute to the Alliance’s collective defence efforts on a permanent basis.


It is NATO that should commit ground troops in sectors away from Russia. It is Russia that should be okay to fight alongside NATO ( or be exposed)

The enemy of a friend is an enemy. The enemy of an enemy is a friend.

France needs to do the French thing and help bring back the Allies together ( which it did in both World Wars) .

Else we will have much more attacks on Western Soil.



Change the Mirror

Things I can change
Rate of Change
Things I can change slowly Things I can change quicker
Executing Change Training Build Buy
Need for Change Ambition Money Passion
Things I cant change
Things I need not change Things that are too expensive for me to change
Executing Non- Change Ignore the thing to be changed Outsource the task to be changed

Heaven is a place on Mars

A few years ago, on a flight, in a land far far away, I was asked by a another person, What do you think we should do. I said, lets go to Mars.Why is that? the man asked. Because, I paused and said, this planet is going to run out of resources.

Perhaps that is what we should tell the Russians and Chinese and the Anglo-Saxons to do. Kill ISIS together, stop fighting over the Arctic, and reignite the battle to make empires but on Mars.

One more thing, climate change is the 100 billion dollar opportunity. Any startups willing to hack climate change?

Think of the market opportunities, yall.