The Best and the Brightest

Spoke to a brilliant machine learning scientist recently, among the smartest I’ve ever met, and I found out they were doing … optimization on affinity programs. It was depressing. 

“The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads. That sucks.”
– Jeff Hammerbacher (quoted in Bloomberg BusinessWeek)

On the Merits of Diverse Stupid

People overestimate the desirability of stupid people being uniformly stupid in the same way about the same things. Like in all ecosystems, the diversity of stupidity in most countries, and in this one in particular, is a source of perverse resilience.