Miscalculated Metrics

Facebook (again) incorrectly reported data on viewership and shares. Facebook reported the issue as “miscalculated metrics.” However, if your mistakes are consistently in your favor, then they aren’t mistakes… they’re lies.

The social network benefits from an election season where lying evolved from a wrong to an existential question/strategy: “If I repeat a lie over and over… then maybe it’s less of a lie… sort of true even.” If ESPN or IBM reported these “miscalculated metrics,” we’d have outrage and indignation splattered across the covers of AdAge and WSJ.

This will likely blow over, as Facebook is the hot girl everyone wants to hang with. The bias, and Jupiter-sized hall pass, we afford Amazon/Apple/Facebook/Google is a reflection of our fascination with youth and the idolatry of money extended to corporations we personify. The result is lower tax rates and lax regulation on the most dominant and profitable firms in history. Our lawmakers and the media have become groupies, making it difficult for upstarts and legacy firms, which employ gobs more people, to compete. We call it “innovation.” No, it’s sycophancy. It’s bad for America and it’s fucking gross.

Zero Sum

With retail growth flat, Amazon’s growth must be coming from somewhere. So who is losing? Everyone. The graph below describing 10 year stock appreciation of major US retailers (2006-2016) says it all.

Nog

Our office holiday party is tonight. The New York Times on holiday parties:

— 11 percent of working professionals report need to apologize (post-party) to colleagues for their behavior and/or believe their workplace reputation was damaged (our biz dev team should just apologize now)

— 59 percent of US HR execs report alcohol will be served at their firm’s holiday party

— 85 percent of people, according to Caron Treatment Centers (a rehab facility), felt it was a good idea to have alcohol at office parties

Our holiday party would be torture for me without alcohol. That renders me a problem drinker according to college surveys I took, as, if you enjoy a beer with dinner, you’re an addict destroying the lives of everyone around you. I care about the people I work with and register enormous pride in what we’ve built but don’t much enjoy interacting with colleagues (or anybody else for that matter). Also, pretty sure they don’t like speaking to me either. However, with a few drinks, I’m able to engage in witty banter and (this is the hard part) believe they enjoy speaking to me. A few go-tos when it comes to banter:

— “3rd holiday party I’ve seen you two at. When are you going to make this official?” They won’t. Why would they when there’s Tinder?

— “Bob, good to see you. You look great!” No he doesn’t. He looks awful, just awful. He looks so old. Jesus, he’s eight years younger than me. Do I look that awful, eight years older?

— “Hi Claire, and this must be your husband? I’ve heard so much about you.” No I haven’t heard much/anything about Claire’s husband. We don’t talk much about our significant others at work — not our culture. As far as we know, we’re all asexual at L2. It’s usually after I’ve sold the firm, or left, that I discover everybody is fucking.

A lot of attention is focused on the (real) downsides of alcohol. However, I’m a better version of me with some of the hooch/juice/grog — more affectionate, funny, engaging.

Two thirds of Americans don’t really drink (<1 drink/week). However, the top decile of US drinkers consume 70+ drinks/week. In sum, the drinks industry is dependent on raging alcoholics.

And…

Dr. Geoffrey Mitchell on virtue signaling. In sum, Republicans are jerks, and Democrats are wimps.

— Lately, when I’m feeling especially angry/jaded/depressed (although I hate my life less and less every day), I watch videos of babies hearing for the first time. Helps.

— Easiest way to be happier? Binge watch a great series. My rec for the holidays is Season 2 of Fargo.

— Travel rec: The Four Seasons Orlando filled a huge void in the Orlando market with an upscale hotel centered around kids that isn’t cheesy or grossly overpriced. Best moment: breakfast with Disney characters with a 4S employee trailing the character and nudging Goofy, based on your visual cues, to move on to another table. Nailed it, just nailed it.

— In general, I believe professional sports are stupid, and viewership is negatively correlated to intelligence/success (can’t wait for the hate mail on this one). However, I’m trying to foster my son’s budding interest in football (the kind that doesn’t give you Parkinson’s by 45) and find Premier League Highlights almost tolerable.

— I find the commercialism of the holidays nice, as it crowds out the backward religious shit. So, Santa, jonesing for a Panerai and a Panamera. Conspicuous consumption of luxury items, similar to sex with someone hot you don’t really like, is an empty experience. However, as far as empty experiences go… they’re both awesome.

Life is so rich,
Scott

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