How New Yorkers rejected Amazon’s $2 billion deal


– So, you probably heard about Amazon’s New York headquarters. It was this billion-dollar project. There was gonna be a new
helipad, a waterfront esplanade, and four Empire State Buildings
worth of office space. But on Valentine’s Day, Amazon decided to break
things off with the city. The company was scrapping the plans, pulling out of the Long Island City site and New York entirely. It was an ugly end to months of planning, a major embarrassment
for everyone involved. But to understand how
it got so messy so fast, you have to look at the big picture. Amazon’s Seattle headquarters is the biggest urban
tech campus in America, with 40,000 workers and almost a fifth of the
city’s prime office space, but that still wasn’t
big enough for Amazon. In 2017, Amazon announced
it was looking for a home for its second headquarters, dubbed HQ2. Two hundred thirty-eight
cities jumped in with proposals, usually dangling massive tax breaks. There was a bizarre game
show vibe to the whole thing. ClickHole joked about
the mayors of Pittsburgh and Kansas City beating
each other to death for a chance at the headquarters. After all that, Amazon’s finally choice was kind of an anticlimax. Instead of revitalizing a smaller city, Amazon would split the new headquarters between New York and Washington, D.C. There is also a small
outpost planned in Nashville, but, for the most part, the company would be investing in cities that didn’t need the money. Almost from the beginning,
New Yorkers were skeptical. In the days after the deal was announced, there were a ton of protests. Amazon even got booed out
of a city council meeting. – [Man] “Stop it!” – [Crowd] “G-T-F-O, Amazon has got to go!” “G-T-F-O” – A big issue in the background was rent. Those high-paid tech
workers bring a lotta money into the neighborhood, which
has a way of driving up rent, sometimes really fast. The effect has been most
extreme in the Bay Area, where the influx of tech money has driven up rents by as
much as 50% since 2010. That’s led to a lot of conflict between tech workers
and everyday citizens, some of whom see the
companies as hostile invaders. Anti-gentrification activists have gone as far as blocking the buses that take Google employees
to work outside San Francisco as a kind of protest of what
Google’s doing to the city. If you’re Amazon, you have to think: Are we gonna see that same kind of local
opposition in Queens? Locals also had a problem
with the deal itself, which gave Amazon $2.5
billion in tax breaks as a reward for moving in. This kind of deal happens a lot and you can argue it’s a good trait, since the city still ends up
collecting more tax revenue than it pays out in subsidy. But there’s a lot that
doesn’t take into account, including all the residents
and other businesses that get displaced by
the new headquarters. On paper, Amazon was
offering the city a lot, including job training at
nearby housing projects and internship programs
with local high schools. But the idea of paying
Amazon billions of dollars to remake downtown Queens was just too much for local politicians, particularly City
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer. Jimmy Van Bramer:
“Is giving Jeff Bezos $3 billion of hard-earned taxpayer
money progressive values?” – [Crowd] “No!” – It didn’t help that Governor Cuomo, who masterminded the
deal, was wildly unpopular and didn’t have much goodwill to draw on. But the most dangerous local opponent was State Senator Michael
Gianaris, who in January joined New York’s Public
Authority’s Control Board. That has official oversight
over the Amazon deal. And since the board
requires unanimous approval for a lot of motions, Gianaris would’ve had lots of chances to make life difficult for Amazon. In November, Gianaris told The Verge his staff was digging in
to the incentive package to see legally what we can do. But as it turned out, he
didn’t get the chance. Three months later, Amazon backed out. In its statement, Amazon
said it was pulling out because, “A number of
state and local politicians have made it clear that
they oppose our presence “and will not work with us.” Now, that could be a reference
to Gianaris specifically, but the broader opposition
was just as scary. None of the local politicians had the power to stop the deal completely, but they could make things a lot harder. The Queens project would’ve
taken 15 years to complete and along the way, there
were gonna be permit issues, labor disputes, and the kind of headaches that come with any ambitious
construction project. There would be lots of
chances to make trouble and extract real concessions
from Amazon. In the end, it just wasn’t worth it. Now, not every tech company is so unlucky. At the same time that Amazon
was fighting in Queens, Google announced a massive expansion to its Manhattan headquarters, but they did it without the big subsidies, without the game show, and, as a result, without the public opposition. And south of DC, where
there are fewer people being displaced and fewer
activists to raise hell, Amazon headquarters is
going forward as planned. It’s like Mayor De Blasio said
after the deal fell through, “You have to be tough
to make it in New York.” Thanks for watching. Ton of questions in this episode. Was Amazon right to back out of New York? Would it have been bad for the city, for the headquarters to go forward? Let us know in the comments and as always, like and subscribe. See you next time.

How farming could employ Africa’s young workforce — and help build peace | Kola Masha


Since 1997, researchers
at the University of Sussex have monitored global trends
in armed conflict. Their research clearly shows that in Africa, over the last 10 years, armed conflict has gone up by sevenfold. Let’s think about that: sevenfold in a single decade. Why is this? We believe, as oxygen is to fire, so are unemployed youth to insecurity. We have a lot of youth on this continent. Youth like Sandra, who, on a Saturday morning in March 2014, woke up excited at the prospects
of getting a coveted job at the Nigerian Immigration Services. She kissed her daughter goodbye, left her home, never to return. Sandra and 15 other young Nigerians
died that day, applying for a job, in the ensuing stampede, as tens of thousands of people applied
for a few thousand open positions. In the last 20 years, 20 million youth
have entered the Nigerian workforce alone. Today, half our population
is under the age of 18. That’s almost 80 million people that will be entering the workforce
in the next 20 years. My friends, if a wave of 20 million people
entering the workforce triggered Niger Delta crisis, Fulani herdsmen crisis and Boko Haram, I ask you: What will four times that number do? To do my part to solve this challenge, in 2012, I moved to a small village
in northern Nigeria, in the center of the area
most recently hit by the spread of insecurity,
brutal bombings and searing poverty, with an idea: Could we create an economic buffer
to halt the spread of this insecurity, by unlocking the power of agriculture
as a job-creation engine? We knew this had been done before
in countries like Thailand, where, in 1980, they suffered from
the same economic challenges as us. Today, however, Thailand produces
two million cars a year — more than the United Kingdom — with over 30 percent of its workforce as highly commercial,
profitable small farmers, with an unemployment rate
of less than one percent. How did they do this? In the 80s, Thailand dramatically improved
the productivity of its small farmers, ensuring that it was able
to start to dominate export markets for produce. Building on this strength,
they attracted investment and started to process, being able to export higher-value products
like starch from cassava. Finally, coupled
with investment in education, they started to expand
to even higher-value manufacturing. To make our idea a reality
and follow a path similar to Thailand, we knew that we would have to sell
young farmers on farming. A young man in northern Nigeria, for the purpose of today’s
discussion, we’ll call “Saminu,” made it very clear to me
that this would not be easy. Saminu grew up in a beautiful village
in northern Nigeria. And he tells wondrous stories
of playing for hours with his friends, running up and down
the beautiful rock formations that dot the countryside around his home. Despite this beauty, Saminu knew that the first chance he got,
he would leave. He did not want to be a farmer. Growing up, he saw his parents
work so hard as farmers, but barely get by. As he says, they had “babu” — nothing. Young farmers like Saminu do not have access to the cash to buy the farming products
to pair with their hard work to be successful. When their meager harvest came in, desperate for cash, they would sell
most of it at fire-sale prices, when, if they could just wait six months,
they could get 50 percent more. Hence, Saminu left to the city, where he soon realized
that life was not easy. He borrowed a very old motorcycle, with tires that were
more patches than tires, to become a motorcycle taxi driver. He lived in constant fear every day that his precious, tattered motorcycle
would be ripped away from him, as it had before. But he got it back, thankfully. He knew of others, however,
who were not so lucky — other young men who,
once they’d lost their motorcycles, became destitute. Angry, these young men set
out to wreak vengeance on a society that they believed
had turned its back on them. Saminu told me that
they joined insurgent groups, often acting as getaway drivers
in bombings and kidnappings. To end this cycle of insecurity, we must make farming a viable choice. We must ensure that these young men,
on their small farms, can earn enough money
to make a life for themselves; to make a future. The question now is how. Recognizing that Africa
has grassroot-level leadership, we simply developed a model to bring the professional management
and investment to scale to these grassroot leaders. We called it “Babban Gona” —
“great farm” in Hausa. Upon reaching the village in 2012, I traveled from community to community, trying to convince people of our idea, trying to recruit farmer members. We failed woefully that first year, barely recruiting 100 brave souls. But we persevered. We kept doing what we promised, slowly we gained their trust. More farmers joined us. Fast-forward now five years. With a passionate and committed team and the tremendous support
of our partners, we grew dramatically, today, serving 20,000 small farmers, enabling them to double their yields
and triple their net income relative to their peers. We are very proud of the fact — (Applause) Fast-forward three years, Saminu has earned enough money to buy three goats for his mother
to start a goat-rearing business, owns his own retail store and bought not one, but two motorcycles, with vanity license plates: “Babban Gona.” (Applause) My friends, in the next 20 years, over 400 million Saminus
are entering the African workforce, with potentially half of them
having opportunities in agriculture. To unlock these opportunities,
through models similar to ours, they would require 150 billion dollars
a year in financing. This is a big number. But if we can tap into commercial debt,
it is a small number — only 0.1 percent of all the debt
in the world today, 10 cents out of every 100 dollars. This is why we designed our model to be very different from conventional
agricultural development programs. In a few short years, we have shown
that our model works, is high-impact and can turn a profit, attracting commercial investors that do not typically invest
in small farmers in Africa. Imagine a world where millions
of young men across Africa, hardworking young men, have other options. I know these driven, ambitious young men will make the right choice. We can realize this dream if they have a choice. Thank you. (Applause)

Why America Needs The Green New Deal | One Small Step | NowThis


I’m so excited that folks
are learning more about it. But if you really want to dig in, to really bundle everything together. And she actually helped us
write the Green New Deal. So, definitely hit her up. I’m taking AOC’s advice and on this week’s episode
of “One Small Step,” I’m sitting down with
drafter Rhiana Gunn-Wright to find out I’m Lucy Biggers and
this is “One Small Step.” Small steps are great
because they inspire action and influence our culture for the better. But if we’re going to
address climate change at the scale and scope that it requires, we’re gonna need big massive steps. That’s why a resolution
like the Green New Deal, which was introduced by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and 65 Democratic
co-sponsors in February 2019 is so exciting. It offers a roadmap for while also securing jobs and
other needs for all Americans. I’m excited to sit down
with Rhiana Gunn-Wright, the policy lead for the progressive
think tank New Consensus and an architect of the Green New Deal. Thank you so much for being here with us. I’m so excited to be here,
thank you for having me. So, in your own words, can you just summarize
what’s in the Green New Deal? So, I think the first thing
about the Green New Deal is that there are five goals but largely people think about three. The first is dealing with climate change on the scale, speed, and scope necessary. So what we’re calling for
is a 10-year mobilization. The next thing is creating
millions of high-quality jobs for Americans across the country and from whatever
background that they’re in. And the third is a commitment
to justice and equity. So that means, who’s hurting the most? How do we care for them? How do we protect everyday Americans from the transformations in the market, the changes in the workforce? How do we make sure that
people take these good jobs? Do they need child care, do
they need healthcare, et cetera? The resolution also has 14
projects that it lays out. Some of the big ones
people like to talk about There’s also an attention
to sort of broader employment workforce issues to make sure that the transition
actually benefits everyone and everyone actually
ends up at the end with a Since the Green New Deal came out, right-wing politicians and
pundits have worked tirelessly to dismiss and discredit it. The so-called Green New Deal proposes I hope to see PETA supporting
the Republican Party These lies are really desperate. And there’s so much
misinformation in the media. People are saying, “You
can’t eat hamburgers. “We’re not gonna be allowed to fly.” What’s your response to
those misinformation, almost misinformation campaigns? There’s a lot of fear
around climate crisis and the responses to it. People instinctively
understand that if you say, I’m gonna get rid of
the energy that you use, we’re gonna switch energy sources, that changes everything, people know that. They’re looking at their cars and saying, “Well, I have this car.” They’re thinking about, “What does it mean to
have solar on my home?” That’s what the misinformation campaigns are designed to prey upon, And that’s what a lot
of the Green New Deal’s actually designed to deal with. It’s about being able to
give people some certainty that there will be a safety
net as we move forward, that we understand that folks are nervous about losing their jobs. That’s why you see things
like a jobs guarantee. Another big thing that you
guys get pushback about is, how are we gonna pay for this? And so, what is your answer to that? I think sometimes that’s the
wrong frame for the question. This is a real emergency. When we’ve had wars, when
we’ve had other emergencies, when we’ve had to bail out the banks, there was a recognition that It’s not as though we have
too little money in the world. It’s about how do you get that money and how do you wanna spend it. The question is, do you want
to spend it on the front end and invest in industries
that we need to grow, invest in the infrastructure
we need to move forward, actually position ourselves to compete in the next 10, 20, 30 years? Or do you just wanna bleed that
money out through inaction? And why a resolution
versus a specific policy? So, when you start naming
policy from the outset, you’re gonna break your coalition because it’s actually really important to get frontline communities
into the process. We know that communities of
color and poor communities are the most likely to deal with the worst effects of climate change. And then from the policy side, when you are talking to
frontline communities, when you’re involving a lot of voices, when you’re involving experts from all different fields early, the questions are different,
the ideas are different, and your solutions will be different. The Senate voted 57 to
zero to not pass it. So, is that make you
feel like, oh, we lost, or how does it?
No. This is not a done deal at all. There’s so many things to be worked out with a Green New Deal and
so many people working on it that I think we definitely
have a path forward, and potentially a really great one. And I think we have a recognition
that what might get passed could very well not be
this or it could be this. The point is that the goals are still met, that justice and equity is at the center, that frontline communities are protected, that everyday Americans are protected, and of course that we
deal with climate change in the scale, speed, and
scope that is required. What would be the one
small step you could say for people watching this video? I would actually say read the resolution. And I think a lot of people
are honesty surprised when they read the
resolution and they’re like, Oh, there are no
hamburgers or no airplanes, and you didn’t say you’d
take away my vehicle. And I think that’s just the best way to get a sense of what we’re aiming at, what our vision is, what our goals are. And then for people to decide
how they wanna plug in. As of this recording, With continued pressure
from citizens, activists, and members of Congress, hopefully we’ll arrive at a candidate who supports aggressive climate policy. So here’s what you can do. In the 2020 election cycle, research candidates up and down the ballot who are proposing climate
action, and vote for them. Talk to your friends about climate change and educate them on the
importance of policy. And make climate change your issue. Hold your local, state, and
federal elected officials accountable. That’s all for this week’s
episode of “One Small Step.” I hope you enjoyed it.

Go Ahead, Tell Your Boss You Are Working From Home | Nicholas Bloom | TEDxStanford


Translator: Ilze Garda
Reviewer: Peter van de Ven I’m guessing many of you are pretty suspicious
about working from home. When I worked in London, I worked in McKinsey and the Treasury,
which is the finance ministry. My friends would tease me all the time
about working from home. They would say working from home
is shirking from home or working remotely is remotely working. They were not very kind to me
about working from home; they claimed I watched
those old black and white movies all day and actually did nothing at all. If you’ve travelled on the subway,
you’ve probably seen these sketchy adverts that say things like “Work from home,
earn thousands of dollars monthly,” which strikes me as,
A, an implausibly large amount of money and, B, way too many exclamation marks even for someone
who’s done middle-school English. (Laughter) In another direction, if you listen
to music or follow the charts, you may know this song:
it’s “Work from Home” by Fifth Harmony. (Laughter) You can probably figure it’s not a very good representation
of the positivity of working from home. This was about the cleanest cut photo
I could get from the album; they had the most amount of clothes on
in this picture compared to anything else. To tell you how bad it is,
the chorus line is: “Ain’t nothing but sheets between us, Let my body do the work,
You’re the boss at home.” Which tells you
this is really not about work, something else is going on. (Laughter) So this is, you know, also very negative
about working from home. Online, it’s similar. If you go to Google or to Bing and you punch in “working from home”
into image search, what do you get? Well, you get something
that looks like this. A lot of pictures are basically naked people, cartoons,
people juggling way too many babies to actually be doing
anything constructive. The reason I show you Bing is that Bing nicely shows you
multiple other searches which are common searches
that go with this. You can see other common searches are “working from home funny,”
“working from home comics,” and my favorite one is
“working from home in underwear.” (Laughter) Apparently, people are regularly
searching for it all the time, maybe you can push it up to top
if you go and search for it now. And it’s not just online. The media – I talk
to journalists quite a lot, and journalists, most of the time,
are actually working from home. Despite that, they were very suspicious
about working from home when the big storm erupted
after that leaked memo from Yahoo in 2013. If you cast your mind back,
you may remember Marissa Mayer, the CEO of Yahoo. Back in 2013, on a quite Sunday,
some memo gets leaked out, claiming they are going to ban
working from home at the firm. Marissa Mayer probably
never could have guessed that in her long time at Yahoo, going through her start, her time there, all the ups and downs,
and eventually exiting, this would be the event generating
the most press coverage for her. The press went wild
for the next two weeks, there was masses of coverage in printed media,
radio media, on TV media. And you can see here,
I put up some examples from the Economist,
from the Wall Street Journal, from the New York Times, from Bloomberg. All of it was debating very heavily
about pros and cons of working from home. On one hand, there were people saying, “They are loafing off, not doing anything;
they’re watching TV in their underwear.” The other side saying, “This is the workplace of the future;
it’s a more productive way to operate.” I should actually end by saying
that probably the example of why working from home
is potentially seen as so bad is – a friend of mine told me a great anecdote. She said her 12-year-old daughter
went out shopping with some friends. Her 12-year-old daughter came back,
and she had bought a baseball cap, and on the baseball cap it said
“working from home.” Her mom said to her, “You are not wearing
that baseball cap out of the house!” As if it was like a T-shirt that said
“Hey, big boy, I’m easy” or something. (Laughter) Shows you how low the working from home
has sunk as a concept. I work from home a lot. I’m very positive about working from home, and I actually think
it has enormous potential, as much potential as, say,
something like the driverless car. Let me explain why. The average American spends
about 45 minutes a day commuting into work and about another 45 minutes a day
commuting back from work. Almost all of that is done by car. There are about 150 million
working Americans, there is probably about
another 500 million people working in similar situations in Europe
and South America and Asia and Africa. Now, imagine if we could take
just some share of those people and allow them to work
from home on a daily basis. The enormous amount of time you’d save, the huge amount of money you’d save
in terms of reduced car travel, and moreover, the amazing impact
you’d have on reducing pollution. So I think it has a tremendous potential. And then you should ask yourself: why do we focus so much
on working in the office. This tradition has gone back
a couple of hundred years to the Industrial Revolution. So I guess in many ways
you can blame the British for this, but before the Industrial Revolution, around 1800, everyone basically worked from home: we were farmers, we were artisans,
we were craftsmen. Around 1800, modern workplaces
started to be formed, we started to mass
in factories and offices, and the modern form of commuting
to the office and back or to the factory and back
started to be set and stored. But a lot has changed
in the last 200 years, in a sense, we don’t need
to be like this anymore. There’s modern communications,
modern computer systems, the Internet. So one of the things I want to argue is the way that we organize the office,
the way we organize factories is something that is
very backward looking, and it doesn’t need to be
that way anymore. I have kids, and it reminds me a lot
of these long summer holidays. The summer holidays for three months
is a huge challenge for parents. What on earth to do
with your children for three months? You ask, “Why do we have
these long summer holidays?” Again, it’s one of these throw-back things because when the school day
was starting to be structured a couple of hundred years ago, we’d release kids to go
and harvest the fields. And I don’t know about any parents here, but my kids certainly are not doing
any harvesting anymore in the, you know, the bare in the summer. I’m going to argue working from home
is a future-looking technology; I think it has an enormous potential. Now, that’s my claim. What I’m going to talk about
for the rest of the day is some evidence to support that. I wanted to collect evidence
that was scientific. My father is actually a scientist,
he does lots of drugs testing, I talked to him a lot about that. If anyone here is in the pharmaceutical industry or works
at the federal Drug Administration, you know that to prove
something like a medical device, you have to separate out
into a large pool of subjects, randomly pick some treatment
and some control, allow one to take the drug, one not to, and to follow them through
for months on end. So I wanted to do something
very much like that for working from home, to scientifically test it. I was fortunate enough that I found
a company that would do that with me, it’s called Ctrip. They are China’s largest travel agency,
they have about 20,000 employees, they’re worth about
20 billion dollars on Nasdaq. Here’s a picture
of their headquarters in Shanghai. They look like any kind of modern office: very dilbertesque,
lots of desks and cubicles, and thousands of people working,
taking calls, typing on their computers, dealing with customer complaints,
coming out with new products, managing their team. Why would they be interested
in working from home? They’re interested in working from home because Shanghai is a phenomenally
expensive place to run a business; it has incredibly expensive
property prices. And they were growing rapidly. Their aim was to try and grow,
but without increasing their office space. It’s probably a similar thought
for many people here that operate in the Bay area
or in New York or in Chicago or London or Paris or Toronto
or Tokyo or Johannesburg; wherever you are around the world, office space is becoming
very expensive in big cities. So this is what motivated them
to start down this road. Rather than to roll the whole thing out, they thought they would run
a big working-from-home experiment. So they got a large number of volunteers from two divisions,
that wanted to work from home, and they set it up
as a randomized control trial. In a very Chinese style, James Liang,
who is the CEO, pictured here, drew a ping-pong ball out of an urn. The urn said “even,” which meant
everyone who had an even birthday, so was born on the second,
the fourth, the sixth, the eighth, the tenth of the month, got to work at home
for the next nine months. If you had an odd birthday, like myself, the first, the third, the fifth,
the seventh and ninth of the month, you stayed in the office
for the next nine months. In fact, we tracked these two groups
for about two years. This was to set it up
as scientifically as we could. Now, what did we find? Oh, oh… Before we go to the results,
I should point out – Here are the people working from home. It’s not clear,
when looking at these guys, exactly what is going to happen. The person in the bottom right doesn’t look exactly
very enthusiastic to me. I’m somewhat nervous, so are they,
about some of these characters. In the top right is another picture to show
the downside of working from home. That’s her bed in the photo,
so she has about a four-foot commute. Which is great and very efficient. On the other hand, I personally really wouldn’t want
to spend 21-22 hours a day in the same room, day in and day out. It’s certainly not for everyone. To point out, just to get
the experiment clear, they’re typically working
in teams of 10 to 15 people, and they all have the same manager. Here’s a team manager. She’s running her team:
some of them are randomly sent home, some of them are randomly
still left in the office, but they are all working
under the same manager. Those at home come in one day a week. They may all come in on Wednesday; they’re at home on Monday,
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, the whole team is
in the office on Wednesday. She can monitor and see what’s going on, they’re all working the same shift. The only thing that’s really changing
is where they work. So, what do we find? Before I show you the results, I want to prepare you by saying:
remember what motivated it. What motivated it is that Ctrip
was desperate to save money because they are paying an enormous amount
to house all these people in Shanghai. Their view was to save a lot of money
on getting rid of rent; they’d probably take a bit of a hit on people going home
and basically goofing off. I remember one of them saying they were worrying about them watching
the Chinese equivalent of Jerry Springer or playing computer games. They were kind of mildly pessimistic,
and they wanted to see what happens. So what do we find? Well, we found massive,
massive improvement in performances: a 13% improvement in performance
from the people working at home, which is huge! That’s almost one day a week. How on earth did this happen?
Where did this come from? It came from two things. One is: people working from home
really worked their full shift. If you’re in the office, you’re supposed to be there
at 9 till 5, Monday to Friday, but they’d often come in late
because their motorbike broke down, or they had a long lunch break because they were having a drink or two, they leave early for the cable guy. Whatever it is, they were definitely not working
all of the 9 to 5, Monday to Friday, whereas most people at home
were much better at keeping time. The second fact was it’s far easier
to concentrate at home. For all of you that have worked from home, the office is actually
an amazingly noisy environment. You’d hear stories of the person
on the desk next door, how her boyfriend has just
left her, she’s in tears; (Laughter) there’s a cake in a breakout room,
Bob’s leaving, come join; the world cup of sweepstake is going on – whatever it is, the office
is actually super distracting. So that was finding one. Finding two: quit rates dropped by 50%. So for anyone out here that’s a manager, you know the nightmare
of endlessly advertizing, interviewing, recruiting, training,
getting up to speed employees only to see them leave again. Ctrip’s quite rate is about 50% a year, which turns out to be
about the average for the whole U.S. This again is an enormous impact. Basically, employees
are voting with their feet; they love working from home. Not only do the employees benefit,
but the managers benefit because they can spend less of their time painfully advertizing, recruiting,
training, promoting, exiting again, and spend it more on work. Finally, at the end of the experiment, it was so successful that Ctrip
rolled it out to the whole company and let everyone change their minds. Some people actually gave up
working from home. There’s the old saying that the three great enemies
to working from home are the fridge,
the television, and the bed. Some people got overcome
by one or many of those three. (Laughter) They literally said, “I can’t take it anymore,
I’m coming back to the office.” Other people changed their mind. What you saw at the end of it
is performance goes up by 24% because only people that were left, people that were working from home,
were people that could concentrate. Choice in combination
with working from home is just hugely impactful. It doesn’t need to be four days a week;
it can be one day a week, but certainly some combination
of a bit of working from home and a bit of choice
is incredibly impactful. So, what about Ctrip? They reckon they made about 2,000 dollars more profit
per person at home. They were superpositive;
they rolled it out to the whole firm. I want to end by saying I want to kill the cartoon stereotype
of working from home. I love the Simpsons, I love Homer Simpson,
he’s close to my heart, in some ways. I love this cartoon because, A, Homer Simpson is too lazy
to actually to get dressed, he’s wearing his pajamas, or it looks
like Marge’s nightgown, it’s hard to tell, and, B, he’s too lazy to even get to touch the commuties,
pushing it with the broom. I want to kill this stereotype
of working from home and say there are massive benefits. For employees, they are much more
productive and happier; for managers, you don’t have to spend so much of your time recruiting
and training people all the time; for firms, you make far more profit. In Ctrip’s case, they made 2,000 dollars extra per person
from saving rents and productivity. And for society, there’s a huge saving
in reducing congestion, reducing driving time
and ultimately, reducing pollution. So think very seriously, I implore you to think very seriously
about working from home, even if you try just one day a week. Give it a try; there’s not much to lose,
and there’s a lot to get. Thank you. (Applause)

How do we find dignity at work? | Roy Bahat and Bryn Freedman


Bryn Freedman: You’re a guy whose company
funds these AI programs and invests. So why should we trust you
to not have a bias and tell us something really useful
for the rest of us about the future of work? Roy Bahat: Yes, I am. And when you wake up in the morning
and you read the newspaper and it says, “The robots are coming,
they may take all our jobs,” as a start-up investor
focused on the future of work, our fund was the first one to say artificial intelligence
should be a focus for us. So I woke up one morning
and read that and said, “Oh, my gosh, they’re talking about me.
That’s me who’s doing that.” And then I thought: wait a minute. If things continue, then maybe not only will the start-ups
in which we invest struggle because there won’t be people to have jobs to pay for the things
that they make and buy them, but our economy and society
might struggle, too. And look, I should be the guy
who sits here and tells you, “Everything is going to be fine.
It’s all going to work out great. Hey, when they introduced the ATM machine, years later, there’s more
tellers in banks.” It’s true. And yet, when I looked at it, I thought,
“This is going to accelerate. And if it does accelerate,
there’s a chance the center doesn’t hold.” But I figured somebody must know
the answer to this; there are so many ideas out there. And I read all the books,
and I went to the conferences, and at one point, we counted more than
100 efforts to study the future of work. And it was a frustrating experience, because I’d hear the same back-and-forth
over and over again: “The robots are coming!” And then somebody else would say, “Oh, don’t worry about that, they’ve
always said that and it turns out OK.” Then somebody else would say, “Well, it’s really about the meaning
of your job, anyway.” And then everybody would shrug
and go off and have a drink. And it felt like there was this
Kabuki theater of this discussion, where nobody was talking to each other. And many of the people that I knew
and worked with in the technology world were not speaking to policy makers; the policy makers
were not speaking to them. And so we partnered with a nonpartisan
think tank NGO called New America to study this issue. And we brought together a group of people, including an AI czar
at a technology company and a video game designer and a heartland conservative and a Wall Street investor and a socialist magazine editor — literally, all in the same room;
it was occasionally awkward — to try to figure out
what is it that will happen here. The question we asked was simple. It was: What is the effect of technology
on work going to be? And we looked out 10 to 20 years, because we wanted to look out far enough
that there could be real change, but soon enough that we weren’t talking
about teleportation or anything like that. And we recognized — and I think every year
we’re reminded of this in the world — that predicting what’s
going to happen is hard. So instead of predicting,
there are other things you can do. You can try to imagine
alternate possible futures, which is what we did. We did a scenario-planning exercise, and we imagined cases
where no job is safe. We imagined cases where every job is safe. And we imagined every
distinct possibility we could. And the result, which really surprised us, was when you think through those futures
and you think what should we do, the answers about what we should do
actually turn out to be the same, no matter what happens. And the irony of looking out
10 to 20 years into the future is, you realize that the things
we want to act on are actually already happening right now. The automation is right now,
the future is right now. BF: So what does that mean,
and what does that tell us? If the future is now, what is it
that we should be doing, and what should we be thinking about? RB: We have to understand
the problem first. And so the data are that as the economy
becomes more productive and individual workers
become more productive, their wages haven’t risen. If you look at the proportion
of prime working-age men, in the United States at least, who work now versus in 1960, we have three times
as many men not working. And then you hear the stories. I sat down with a group
of Walmart workers and said, “What do you think about this cashier,
this futuristic self-checkout thing?” They said, “That’s nice, but have
you heard about the cash recycler? That’s a machine that’s being
installed right now, and is eliminating two jobs
at every Walmart right now.” And so we just thought, “Geez. We don’t
understand the problem.” And so we looked at the voices
that were the ones that were excluded, which is all of the people
affected by this change. And we decided to listen to them, sort of “automation and its discontents.” And I’ve spent the last
couple of years doing that. I’ve been to Flint, Michigan,
and Youngstown, Ohio, talking about entrepreneurs,
trying to make it work in a very different environment
from New York or San Francisco or London or Tokyo. I’ve been to prisons twice to talk to inmates about
their jobs after they leave. I’ve sat down with truck drivers
to ask them about the self-driving truck, with people who, in addition
to their full-time job, care for an aging relative. And when you talk to people, there were two themes
that came out loud and clear. The first one was that people
are less looking for more money or get out of the fear
of the robot taking their job, and they just want something stable. They want something predictable. So if you survey people and ask them
what they want out of work, for everybody who makes
less than 150,000 dollars a year, they’ll take a more stable
and secure income, on average, over earning more money. And if you think about the fact that not only for all of the people
across the earth who don’t earn a living, but for those who do, the vast majority earn a different
amount from month to month and have an instability, all of a sudden you realize, “Wait a minute. We have
a real problem on our hands.” And the second thing they say,
which took us a longer time to understand, is they say they want dignity. And that concept
of self-worth through work emerged again and again and again
in our conversations. BF: So, I certainly
appreciate this answer. But you can’t eat dignity, you can’t clothe your children
with self-esteem. So, what is that, how do you reconcile — what does dignity mean, and what is the relationship
between dignity and stability? RB: You can’t eat dignity.
You need stability first. And the good news is, many of the conversations
that are happening right now are about how we solve that. You know, I’m a proponent
of studying guaranteed income, as one example, conversations about how
health care gets provided and other benefits. Those conversations are happening, and we’re at a time
where we must figure that out. It is the crisis of our era. And my point of view
after talking to people is that we may do that, and it still might not be enough. Because what we need to do
from the beginning is understand what is it about work
that gives people dignity, so they can live the lives
that they want to live. And so that concept of dignity is … it’s difficult to get your hands around, because when many people hear it —
especially, to be honest, rich people — they hear “meaning.” They hear “My work is important to me.” And again, if you survey people
and you ask them, “How important is it to you
that your work be important to you?” only people who make
150,000 dollars a year or more say that it is important to them
that their work be important. BF: Meaning, meaningful? RB: Just defined as,
“Is your work important to you?” Whatever somebody took that to mean. And yet, of course dignity is essential. We talked to truck drivers who said, “I saw my cousin drive, and I got
on the open road and it was amazing. And I started making more money
than people who went to college.” Then they’d get to the end
of their thought and say something like, “People need their fruits
and vegetables in the morning, and I’m the guy who gets it to them.” We talked to somebody who, in addition
to his job, was caring for his aunt. He was making plenty of money. At one point we just asked, “What is it about caring for your aunt?
Can’t you just pay somebody to do it?” He said, “My aunt doesn’t want
somebody we pay for. My aunt wants me.” So there was this concept there
of being needed. If you study the word
“dignity,” it’s fascinating. It’s one of the oldest words
in the English language, from antiquity. And it has two meanings: one is self-worth, and the other is that something
is suitable, it’s fitting, meaning that you’re part
of something greater than yourself, and it connects to some broader whole. In other words, that you’re needed. BF: So how do you answer this question, this concept that we don’t pay teachers, and we don’t pay eldercare workers, and we don’t pay people
who really care for people and are needed, enough? RB: Well, the good news is,
people are finally asking the question. So as AI investors,
we often get phone calls from foundations or CEOs
and boardrooms saying, “What do we do about this?” And they used to be asking, “What do we do about
introducing automation?” And now they’re asking,
“What do we do about self-worth?” And they know that the employees
who work for them who have a spouse who cares for somebody, that dignity is essential
to their ability to just do their job. I think there’s two kinds of answers: there’s the money side
of just making your life work. That’s stability. You need to eat. And then you think about
our culture more broadly, and you ask: Who do we make into heroes? And, you know, what I want
is to see the magazine cover that is the person
who is the heroic caregiver. Or the Netflix series
that dramatizes the person who makes all of our other lives work
so we can do the things we do. Let’s make heroes out of those people. That’s the Netflix show
that I would binge. And we’ve had chroniclers
of this before — Studs Terkel, the oral history of the working
experience in the United States. And what we need is the experience
of needing one another and being connected to each other. Maybe that’s the answer
for how we all fit as a society. And the thought exercise, to me, is: if you were to go back 100 years
and have people — my grandparents, great-grandparents,
a tailor, worked in a mine — they look at what all of us do
for a living and say, “That’s not work.” We sit there and type and talk,
and there’s no danger of getting hurt. And my guess is that if you were
to imagine 100 years from now, we’ll still be doing things
for each other. We’ll still need one another. And we just will think of it as work. The entire thing I’m trying to say is that dignity should not
just be about having a job. Because if you say
you need a job to have dignity, which many people say, the second you say that,
you say to all the parents and all the teachers
and all the caregivers that all of a sudden, because they’re not being paid
for what they’re doing, it somehow lacks this
essential human quality. To me, that’s the great
puzzle of our time: Can we figure out how to provide
that stability throughout life, and then can we figure out
how to create an inclusive, not just racially, gender,
but multigenerationally inclusive — I mean, every different
human experience included — in this way of understanding
how we can be needed by one another. BF: Thank you.
RB: Thank you. BF: Thank you very much
for your participation. (Applause)

Brad Wright Working On New Stargate


For those who have been waiting with bated
breath for news about the future of the Stargate franchise, the first sign of things to come
has arrived in the form of an interview with Stargate veteran Brad Wright. In a recent appearance on the Nerks of the
Hub Podcast, the Stargate SG-1, Atlantis, and Universe co-creator confirmed that conversations
to move the Stargate franchise forward are happening in the halls of MGM — and even
more importantly, that he is involved in those talks. “MGM has recognized that they have a genuine
franchise in their hands, and they’re looking at it quite seriously,” Wright said on the podcast. “So our first conversation was after Stargate
Origins … They had reached out to interview me for the twentieth anniversary [of SG-1],
which would have been lovely. But I said: ‘I’m surprised you want to
talk to me since you seem in your latest effort to be trying to avoid Stargate SG-1’s canon,
and anything that I had contributed.’” He then added: “And that may have been so,
but they have since changed their mind.” Now in regards to Wright’s comment about
SG-1 canon, it’s important to understand the context around Stargate Origins. In February of 2018, MGM released the modestly
budgeted, 10-part digital series Stargate Origins — which was the first Stargate to
be produced since SGU’s series finale, “Gauntlet,” which aired in 2011. Origins followed the adventures of a young
Catherine Langford in a story that took its tonal, thematic, and narrative cues from the
original 1994 Stargate feature film. In the vein of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”
and “Jurassic World,” Origins attempted to recapture the feeling of the original movie
that birthed a franchise. Origins worked to tell an in-canon story that
celebrated the source material, yet also furthered the franchise’s greater mythology. Now, whether it achieved that is up to an
individual viewer’s discretion. But Origins’ objective was clear: cultivate
nostalgia, and tell a retro story that re-energized fandom as a tease for things to come. Origins wrapped up its 10-part story last
March, and was later re-released in the form of a feature cut called “Stargate Origins:
Catherine” — sold exclusively on digital markets. But while Origins was meant to reopen the
franchise, things fell quiet after the feature cut’s June release date. The first sign of any progress came last September
at Gatecon: The Invasion where former Stargate producer Brad Wright revealed that he and
MGM are once again talking about the Stargate franchise. At the same time, he was rather vague about
details, and his brief mention sounded more like a non-statement than a tease for things to come. But Wright’s more recent statements should
give more confidence to fans who are hoping one day to see the full-fledged return of
Stargate — and also assure them that a high standard of quality will be required for whatever
the studio decides to produce. Wright explained: “We’ve had conversations
about what may or may not be able to happen going forward, and it’s sort of starting
from scratch in so many ways. And very much in the acknowledgment that whatever
the next step forward is, it has to be of certain quality and honor the several hundred
hours of show that’s already out there. I don’t mean ‘honor’ — I mean acknowledge it. And they agreed.” He added: “That’s really still where we
are, I don’t expect — and certainly don’t anyone expect — another television show
to appear around the corner. But Stargate is an important part of their library. And so … maybe we’ll think of something! That’s all I can tell you! We’re working on it.” So nearly a year after MGM tested the waters
with Stargate Origins, it sounds like the studio is actively eyeing options
to move the franchise forward. And while we don’t know what the plan is
yet, at least the maestro himself is involved in the planning stage. He isn’t just “talking” with MGM: he’s
talking about Stargate’s future. Wright also opened up in the podcast about
the impact of MGM’s bankruptcy on Stargate Universe’s lack of a third season renewal
back in 2010. He explained: “What happened with Stargate
Universe is MGM went through a major restructuring — basically a structured bankruptcy. Everyone who I knew at MGM simply was gone
within a month of this event. And so even Syfy — who wanted to talk about
a third season, or at least have the conversation — really had no one that they could talk to.” He also admitted: “It was kind of sad. And it was kind of a perfect storm of not
great ratings and the studio disappearing.” You can listen to Brad Wright’s 50-minute
conversation with Nerks of the Hub now at Anchor, iTunes, or wherever you find your podcasts. As always, be sure to follow GateWorld in
2019 for breaking news, editorials, videos, interviews, and all things Stargate! Subscribe to the channel now below, and click
the bell icon to enable alerts. You can find all the latest Stargate news
and features at GateWorld.net.

Is Time Travel Really Possible?


Imagine you own a watch that let’s you travel through time. One day, you get the bright idea to travel back to the 1920’s to mess with your grandparents. You press a few buttons, and suddenly you’re standing beside old Pappy who is taking in the scenery at the precipice of the Grand Canyon. Since you’ve never been the biggest fan of your grandfather, you decide to push him over the edge. Gravity does its thing, and a few seconds later, no more Pappy. But wait, if you killed your grandfather before he ever met your grandmother… you wouldn’t have been born to be able to go back in time and kill him! Here’s the problem. If you didn’t exist and killed your grandfather, you couldn’t have killed him… Because you didn’t kill him, he’s still alive. but that would mean that you yourself would be alive and now you can go back in time to kill him. And so the endless loop goes on. This is called the Grandfather Paradox. And it’s part of what makes time travel so interesting. The grandfather paradox deals with time travel on a significant scale. But why don’t we start with something a little smaller? Let’s say you and I are wearing identical watches and we synchronize them right before I blast off into space. In the space shuttle, I’m traveling at roughly 28,000 kilometers per hour relative to the Earth. If I make a few orbits around the Earth before I return, when we compare watches, we’ll see that less time has passed for me. A very, very tiny amount of time, but is there nonetheless. This is called time dilation, and it simply means that according to Einstein’s theory of Relativity, Time measured along different trajectories is affected by differences in either gravity or velocity – each of which affects time in different ways. One example of time dilation is when we compare the passage of time on the ISS versus on Earth. After spending six months on the Space Station, astronauts have aged approximately .005 seconds less than those of us here on Earth. Of course, this is a very insignificant amount of time, but it would be much more apparent if the astronauts were able to travel to closer to the speed of light. Interestingly, the effects of time dilation are fairly minor, even up to around 70% of the speed of light. However, once we reach 75% or so, the effects become dramatic. Now, bear with me here, because this is where things get a bit weird. Possibly the strangest aspect of special relativity is the distances shrink in the direction of motion. When we think of traveling to a point 10 light years away at 90% of light speed, you’d expect it to take 11 years, right? That’s not exactly the case. To a stationary observer, it would indeed
seem to take your vessel 11 years. But to the people inside the vessel,
not only time, but distance would dilate and you would reach that point in only 4.4 years. Want to play with time dilation yourself? I’ve added a link down below to a time dilation calculator. Okay, that’s all really fascinating, but is it really time travel? Perhaps not in the sense that we usually think of it, but according to the nature of
space-time, it is. If you were to return home from your 90% light speed trip, you would be almost 9 years older. But everyone back on Earth would have aged 22 years. So in essence, you’ve traveled 13 years into the future relative to your time in space. let’s look at another example. In the film Interstellar, Cooper and his team land on a large watery planet, on which gravity is 30% stronger than on Earth.
This planet is situated very close to a supermassive black hole called Gargantua, which it orbits at 55% of light. Gargantua’s mass is equal to that of 100,000,000 suns and spins at 99.8% the speed of light. The combination of all these factors have the effect of slowing down time relative to the astronaut left aboard the ship, by a staggering 61,000 times. That means that 1 hour on the planet is equal to seven years aboard the ship. When the team makes it back to the vessel after a little over three of their hours, their friend had aged by 23 years. The craziest part is that this isn’t just science fiction. Those calculations all check out. That’s exactly how it would happen in real life. So in essence, the crew had traveled 23 years into the future. Now so far, we’ve only explored traveling into the future. Is it possible to travel backwards in time? According to some theories, specific types of motion in space might allow time travel into the past and future, if these geometries and motions were possible. However, that’s a big if. It would require something called a closed timelike curve, or CTC for short. A CTC is a closed loop in space-time which could theoretically allow an object to return to its own past. The science behind time travel to the past,
is incredibly complex and speculative and many scientists suspect that it is not possible at all,
because of the issue of causality. That bring us back to the Grandfather Paradox, if in fact these scientists are correct and assuming traveling to the past would cause a paradox then we have our answer, time travel to the past is impossible. If however, the Novikov Self-Consistency Principle is correct, then there is still a chance. The Novikov Principle states that if an event exists that would cause a paradox or any change to the past whatsoever, then the probability of that event is zero. It would thus be impossible to create time paradoxes. Unfortunately, for any would-be time travelers, the Novikov Principle is not widely accepted. Another possibility would be the existence of wormholes, which are technically permitted by general relativity.
– In order to travel through time using a wormhole, it would have to be what is known as a
Transversable Wormhole. Brace yourself for more strange
space-time shenanigans here. In order to be able to travel through time using a Transversable Wormhole, its creation would have to be in one of two ways. Option one, one end of the wormhole would have to be accelerated to a significant portion of the speed of light, then brought back to the origin point. time dilation would result in an accelerated wormhole entrance aging less than the stationary one as seen by an external observer Option 2 requires one end of the wormhole to be placed within the gravitational field of an object with higher gravity than the other entrrance and then returned to a position near the other entrance This is a difficult concept to grasp So think of it this way, imagine you and I synchronize our watches to both display the year 2000 I hop in my ship and accelerate one entrance to the wormhole to near light speed and then bring it back My watch now reads 2004 And yours reads 2012 If someone were then to enter the accelerated entrance they would now exit the stationary entrance in the year 2004 the same location, but 8 years in their past It’s incredibly complicated stuff But an easier way to look at it is by picturing by a piece of paper This paper represent space time, a wormhole is an area of warped spacetime with an entrance and an exit which you can imagine as the paper being folded back on itself with a hole poked through it essentially you’re simply skipping all the time and distance between the two points The problem with transversable wormholes is that you can’t possibly travel back further than the initial creation of the wormhole So…really it’s more a path through time rather than a device propels itself back and forth through the years at will It could be useful for the people in the distant future wanting to come observe our time but if we created such a portal today we couldn’t use it to go visit the dinosaurs One final method that could potentially allow an individual to more or less travel through time is cryopreservation The branch of science concerned specifically with preserving human is called cryonics and the practice has been around since the late 1960s. Cryonics is on the speculative edge of medicine as its proponents suggest that Death is not a singular event, but a process it would have to be for the practice to be successful because it’s currently illegal for a human to be frozen before they die One a person opted to be cryo-preserved their bodies prepared minutes after official death the theory is that by reducing the patient’s body temperature to around -130 degrees celcius enough brain information will be retained in an accessible state for doctors and scientists of the far future to revive the patient temperatures of that low inevitably cause significant damage to the human body regardless of prior-preservation safeguards so the doctors of today are relying on the development of future technology that will allow the brain to be repaired at the molecular level and restored to functioning condition if someday technology has advanced far enough to revive cryo-preserved humans they will have essentially time traveled to the future it’s not quite as easy as shows like futurama make it seem but it is theoretically possible and that’s time travel in a nutshell you really can move forward through time by traveling at an immense speeds or through cryo-preservation But travel to the past is likely impossible of course the science of quantum physics and time travel is incredibly vast and well beyond the grasp of most normal people so we may be missing just one crucial element to understanding exactly how spacetime works but who knows? maybe someone from the far future will show up in our time and give us the key to unlocking the mystery or…would that cause a paradox as always, I’ve included sources and links for further reading in the description if you enjoy this video please take a moment to subscribe my channel your support helps me keep releasing two videos every week feel free to leave a like or dislike as you please and share your thoughts on time travel in the comments thanks for watching! And I’ll see you in the next video

Chatting with a 23-year-old Stock Trading Millionaire


Hey, I made her Hales welcome to another edition of chatting with I’m here with Umar. Hey, how you doing guys My name is omar ashraf and i’m a stock trader. Thank you so much for being here. Thank you for having me man Let’s see stock trader. Is that different from stock broker? Yeah, it’s a lot of people get that idea very confused. They Confuse me with the stock broker But there’s a huge difference between them a stock broker somebody that allows that kind of purchases shares for you You give them a call they purchase itself for you and stock traders somebody who does it themselves, you know for him or herself Yeah, you’re like buying and selling stocks like the same day, right? Ah, not not always I’m sometimes buying it and holding for two three weeks. Sometimes I’m buying it and Buying the same day selling it the same day. It’s just different strategy some days. I’m day trading some days I’m swing trading it just it all depends. How old are you? I’m 23. Oh Wow So this could be 23 year old. Are you a millionaire? Yeah Yeah, this would be the title then. So basically I started trading when I was 18 That’s when I first got into the market and when I first started I literally had no idea What I was doing was just like hey, I want to dabble into stocks I want to make money and I know so many people make money off stocks. Hmm So I was like, let me jump into it I had about 20 grand saved up at the time and the money I had saved up What I did was I put all of it into the market without having any knowledge. So I took all my monies rusty Yeah, but at the time, you know, you’re young you kind of wanna you think you know it all mmm So I’m like, oh, I know everything I know what I’m doing Let me just take all my money and dump it into the market Okay I dumped in too much was that how much is what how much did you have that you 2010? That was all the money. I had to put one every day exactly everything Wow. So now once I put everything into the market Next thing, you know is I made a few trades. I remember the first stock I bought was JCPenney So the first trade I made was around It was it was a January because that’s when my birthday is and I turned 18 I opened up a brokerage account and I bought JCPenney and I made 25 hundred on that trade so now After that, I kept taking all my money and dumping it into one stock. No risk management not okay. Hold on Why did you choose JCPenney? Absolutely, no reason I just saw the stock and I was like, oh, I think it’s a good buy and I bought you spam Why did you think it was a good buy? I I just looked at the charts and I had no idea what he was telling me but I just felt like it was a good Buy and I and I put money into it anyone else. Yeah, like with me not knowing anything I see like what it’s normally and if it’s low then I’m like, alright, it will probably go back up It was something like that because I know retail at that at the time was having a huge problem Retail was falling. So I was like aha JC Penney. They’re never gonna go down. Let me buy them So I bought them and next thing, you know They went up two days later and I made about twenty five hundred bucks and you sold it Yeah, and I sold that made twenty five hundred bucks now Oh you put 20k into one stock Wow and it went up I think interesting new percentage and As they went up it might might before you when I’m twenty-five hundred bucks is the the fee what were you doing etrade? what I Scottrade Scottrade Okay, that’s like one of the many yeah Scottrade They got bought out by teaching now, but at the time, you know, it’s like $15 per traders It was seven seven dollars of trades 7 2 by 7 to sell. Okay, no percentages or anything. No, no, no. No, okay There’s no just seven seven seven four. Yeah, that’s about us when you’re 18 Yeah, so I’m in high school right now. Cuz I like I said, I have a early birthday So I just made 2500 off one trade. Yeah, so now I’m like, wow, I’m in high school. I made 2500 Oh man. This is it This is what I’m gonna do for the rest of my life and it kept going well for me. It was all beginner’s luck So my account went from the 20 grand to 35. Okay a matter of two months Then you put 35 into one thing everything into one thing. I knew no risk management. I’d had no idea what I was doing So it was working for me right like every book I’ve read on it says don’t do that don’t Exactly, but I didn’t read anything. I just dumped my money into into that one stock over and over again The sun’s like too good to be true. Yeah, and then I mean obviously everything that’s too good to be true goes downhill Okay, so now once I built my count to thirty five thousand in two months What do you think happened? Next you the loss at all? I lost it. All everything went down everything everything went downhill in a matter of six months bad trade here bad trade there bad trade here bad trade there and Everything just went down and my account finally hit about 2000 bucks. Okay in a matter of four or five months Mm-hmm and now once that happened I took a step back and everyone around me was like stocks or risky stocks at gambling and don’t touch stock. Stay away from stocks So I’ve started you know, it kind of got to me. I’m like, ah man maybe stocks isn’t the right way to go It’s something I should stay away from. Mm-hmm. But uh, I was like, you know what? I know so many people that actually make money off stocks So let me actually keep focusing on this. I didn’t know what I was doing So now let me take a step back and actually try to learn the right way Because in the stock market, there’s always a winner and there’s a loser. So if I lose 2,000 you made two thousand So it’s like you’re kind of taking my two thousand from me and the broker just makes his or her Commission. Mm-hmm So I was like, okay. I lost it. Somebody beat me they beat me at the game. So I just need to get better Yeah, so now long story short. I for the next six seven months All I did was I was focused price Li just on the market. Okay, I just focus Directly in the stock market how it’s moving. I was watching youtube videos, whatever. I was watching. I would apply it with real money So yeah, you got down to two thousand. You’re like 19 or still 18 still 18. Okay. Um, did you ever have a job? Uh, yeah, I was doing delivery at the time. Okay, so starting from 2000 you worked way back Oh, yeah, so starting from 2000. I worked my way back up, but I Started my account in the next January when I was 19. Hmm. But now when I restarted my account I started with started with 5,000 okay, so I saved the money I had 5,000 and now when I had 5,000 I kept trading and he put it all into what Now I was a little little bit smarter. Okay. Now I knew what I was doing, huh? So instead of me putting all 5,000 into a trade, whatever what I was doing was I was taking smaller positions Hmm, the purpose of that was for me to learn I was like, okay You know instead of me putting 5,000 and losing five six percent Let me only put a thousand now if every five six percent on a thousand fifty sixty bucks But I’m getting the learning learning experience, okay? so now once I started doing that I gave that about two three months and I would learn so many new things on my own like, oh, wow when this line crosses that line the stock moves up Yeah, when this goes here the stock goes down So I started picking up all these things as I was reading books because I was reading and then I would apply it Wow Now as that started going more and more I was like I need more money Hmm. So the best one of the best things I ever did was I open up a credit card when I was 18, so When I opened up the credit card, they allowed you to have balance transfers. Mm-hmm So what I did was I took a cash advance check which it’s only a 3% fee. It’s not like 25% fee There’s a three percent fee. You don’t pay for 18 months. So I took that and I had a twenty thousand limit So I took fifteen thousand out of that and put it up my bumhole To put it into the market Okay, because I was like I was like I need more money. I five thousand is enough I need to diversify our map my account and things like that So once I took all of that amount, I just started training my first year wasn’t the greatest I made money But I think it was maybe I made around 20-some thousand. It wasn’t this is all short-term stuff all short-term Yeah, all short-term and now you’re a millionaire. Yeah, it took me Three years by twenty twelve million. Was there any big break like where like Yeah, I have you a good I had big breaks with gold last year gold Yeah in 2017. Ah gold this ETF for gold. Mmm. They were spiking up like crazy I remember it went from like 18 bucks to 80 dollars in a matter of a month So every day I would be trading it Wow It would go up and I was margining the whole trade margin is when you borrowed the brokers money Why was it going up? You thing? I it was going up at the time. I don’t remember I know the US dollar was taking a hit I don’t remember the exact reason it was I was going it was going up But I know the US dollar was taking a hit There’s a lot of stuff going on with the feds and and yelling and interest rates, which was so many factors There’s a lot of factors. Yeah, but it was just on a solid uptrend So I was like just buy buy buy buy it is always a gamble at the end of the day. Not really It’s not a gamble. That’s where a lot of people are wrong They think stocks are gambling but the way you have to look at it is you have to look at it from An aspect where how much you’re looking to lose and how much you’re looking to make? Right. So now think of it like this, let’s say you make 10 trades, right? You make the total 10 trades each trade. You have a ratio of three to one Meaning you make 3,000 you’re right and you lose $1 when you’re wrong Okay. So now then out of those 10 trades, even if you’re right only three times you make nine And usual if you’re wrong, I mean you lose seven you see what Wall Street. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, that’s broken, right? Wolf of Wall Street is yeah. They’re brokers. And oh, yeah. Yeah, they just They don’t care whether it goes up or down there. They just get the Commission exactly like that That was how they made McConaughey part. Yeah. Yeah Yeah, but yeah, he so but he you know, he claims no one can knows whether it’s up or down It’s relatively impossible for you. Don’t know if it stocks when we go up or down Yeah, so the whole concept of it is to manage your trade. Yeah What do you think of Bitcoin I? Think personally, I think it has it has long-term potential. Mmm. I just think right now Crypto is being used more. So as a way to make money Yeah, and as a form of currency, of course, you know, so with that being said there’s too much fluctuation is going on but I do think crypto itself will be big and I think one of the biggest reasons is blotching. Blockchain is is enormous. Yeah. Yeah. Well Do you think Bitcoin will eventually replace the dollar? I don’t know if there will be Bitcoin cuz I don’t see anything special about Bitcoin, but I do believe Long run crypto will have a place in the market. I don’t know if it’s gonna replace it I think it should because the dollar just value just keeps going down So it’s it’s relatively that’s where the dollar keeps going dollars value keeps going down inflation If you look at what what the relic could have got gotten you a hundred years ago poster now again, it’s insane. Yeah, interesting Do you think the banks will regulate Bitcoin banks That’s the biggest problem banks don’t want Bitcoin or crypto to be a big thing. Right? But I Personally feel like it just eliminates so much stuff like paying fees it’s like you have to pay fees to take your own money out and Banks don’t have control which is the biggest thing that they’re facing which is why they will try to regulate Yeah, but it’s just tough to see how they’re gonna regulate it. Yeah. Yeah because it’s blocked chance. It’s like that’s the weight of the other way exactly the way they did I know change try to Regulated was they weren’t allowing any transactions to Cohen base go through them. Mm-hmm. So they have they have contact So if coinbase is one of the brokers to you know, buy bitcoin and stuff So if you made a transaction to put money into coinbase, they would block it. Hmm I don’t know if they’re doing that now, but I know they did that a few months ago. Hmm Do you own a Bitcoin? No, I have like coin I have ripple and I have you doing Bitcoin I don’t have any Bitcoin one week. I’m not a big fan of Bitcoin bitcoins the rock star, isn’t it? It is the rock star but a long term, I don’t see anything special in it. Hmm. I Feel like the biggest ones probably gonna make it. It’s like, oh not in the long run it’s it’s probably I personally feel like it’s probably gonna keep going up and then You know eventually once it does come become a form of quantity, I don’t see anything special in Bitcoin Well, what difference does it make it’s all electronic, right? Yeah, but some of them is some of them are quicker Some of them have more features more benefits things along along the lines of that. Mm-hmm. What’s the best book? For someone just getting in for them to start one of the dead folks I read was Trading for a living. I don’t remember the author’s name. Okay Trading for a living. Yeah, I think that’s that’s actually a very good book I’ll link that in the description is actually my very good book with my Amazon link Yeah, that’s that’s actually a very good book train : you have a million dollars in cash or assets or now stocks right now my brokerage account I have 600 in my brokerage account from building that up and I I constantly keep taking it out now I have other cash that I’m sitting on. Mm-hmm where I’m looking to invest but now this is my dilemma with investing right now I personally feel like the markets going to crash well within the next year or two Doing all right, and I feel like it’s very extended So what I want to do is I’m trying to accumulate a lot of cash. Yeah, and Save it purchased, you know a lot of stuff at that time How why do you think is gonna crash? I just feel like it’s very extended it’s it’s for extending yourself out like it’s it’s kind of like a Extent, what’s I mean? so we we we’ve went through we went through cycles in the market where You know when the market runs for a very long time it needs to pull back or come into recovery mode recession But not a session, but it needs it needs to come into mode for recovery mode that hasn’t happened but now the factors I think that’s going to drive us into hitting recession or – one is Student loans. Yeah student loans are it’s a very high and they’re not. Yeah, I don’t see them getting paid back There’s no jobs out there for them to get paid back Yeah, and second auto loans auto you can literally anyone can go buy any car without having any proof It’s the same thing that happened with the housing market in Oh seven, you know you don’t need to provide proof of income and proof of employment anything. So people are You know putting on more depth on them and they’re they’re purchasing these vehicles which is kind of out of their reach So I feel like that market is kind of Oversaturated so then we’re gonna need another bailout from the government. Uh, We got to see what’s gonna happen, I just feel like it’s everything is building up And as soon as one thing is pulled out anything’s gonna fall anything. That’s like I Ivan We’re so a year two years and this is a crazy part. I think the only reason it hasn’t happened sooner it’s because of Trump Wow, I think Trump has been doing a great job with the Like Peter car. Yeah. No, I don’t know agree with a lot of stuff he does but with the economy I think he has been bringing it up You know, if you look if you know this with the market and housing market, everything’s been going up. That’s a great office. Yeah Hmm. What are some I guess techniques So some techniques that I feel like a lot of people mess up on. Mm-hmm is people go right into indicators Such as the RSI MACD and they look at that to buy or sell stock I think you should gather as much as information as you can from the chart. Mm-hm and see the trend Stop see what direction the stock is going yet, like did a feeling so it’s kind of like this It’s kind of like this. Right and this is like the easiest to explain it So think about it as in you’re driving from here to New York Right, so if you’re driving from here to New York You’re gonna take breaks, right? You’re gonna you’re gonna because it takes for three days, I think Mm-hmm, right, so you’re gonna take gas stops. You’re gonna start to sleep and things of that nature. I Stock is very similar You have to understand where it’s headed. You have to know. Hey the stocks headed from here to Miami here to California I mean here to New York here to Philadelphia. Whatever. What is the trend? What is the direction the stocks going yet? How do you know where it’s hurting? All right, when you look at the chart it shows you if it’s going up or down so there’s really three directions There’s an uptrend meaning starts going up There’s a downtrend meaning the stock is on its way down and there’s a sideways trend and use trading between a range Okay. So once you understand the overall Trend of the stock. Mm-hmm. Now your job is to focus on when it’s gonna take a break. Yeah When is it gonna pull over for a gas stop when is again? Uh, but when is the person gonna sleep when is when it’s stopping to sleep for quite some time? Mmm That’s the next step. You have to look at What people do is they look at look at the RSI or MACD or technical indicators, but they don’t know the trend They don’t know where the car is going Yeah, if you know where the car is going It makes the whole process that much easier you think Tesla will keep going up Tesla’s very tricky Yeah, very tricky very tricky because um Elon was very tricky. Yeah. He just started some shit like a week ago Yeah, he made that he made the tweet. Yeah, the tweet is uh, He’s gonna get in trouble for that. I feel like he shouldn’t he can’t really make that tweet. He couldn’t put that tweet out I didn’t even see the tweet. I just saw like an article He just wants to go private private But you can’t announce it because now what if they really are going private let you say hmm It’s gonna boost up the stock price to four or fifteen or whatever. He’s taking in private at so now Anyone can literally buy the stock and make money off it if they go private Wow, which is why he shouldn’t have made that tweet Yeah, it goes against SEC rules for him to do so SCC SEC there, they’re like the cops of the stock market Wow What are some no nose for SEC like insider trading? I had biggest one insider trading, uh People get two people to do it people get away with it. Well, that’s a big no-no Yeah, you can go to like prison. Yeah, a lot of people have you done any shady shit. I Don’t know Yeah, great. Great place to ask that. Yeah a lot of ah No, I’ve gotten there’s actually a funny story about that There’s actually a funny story about about that thing with the company. I’ll talk about it right now. Mmm-hmm So, yeah, actually I didn’t do anything shady, but I did get into trouble for something. So this was two years ago and There’s a company called Sun works right there. They they work with solar solar panels and snoring so what I did was I was invested into a stock and the company was getting a project from Fresno a ten million dollar project Mm-hmm, but nobody knew about the project. How did you know, so now I knew that they’re bidding with the city They’re bidding with the state. So if you’re bidding with the state or city, it’s available to the residents Right, so I figured that out that it has to be somewhere out there So I kept digging digging digging I made accounts in this and that to you know Get access to the bidding portal and I finally got access Right and I saw that they actually benefit ten million and they had the job Where I messed up was I actually posted it on StockTwits so StockTwits is a Twitter for stocks, stock trade Yeah, so I posted it on StockTwits. Now what happened the people on StockTwits started calling him Fresno They started saying hey when we’re not there gonna win the job When are they gonna get the project bla bla bla and now they got fed up with it Because they’re dealing with the public company so they cancelled the contract Now as they cancel the contract the stock plummeted. Yeah, and now I get a call one day from this CEO of the company Right his name was Jim. He… and I remember I was driving and I get a call from like a California number and I’m like California and I pick up he’s like hey This is Jim. Is this Umar speaking? This is Jim from Sunworks Yeah. Hey Jim. He’s lke yeah how you doing? How’s everything? I just wanted to update you about Fresno You know, we’re still working with them, but you know, please stop posting stuff It’s like it’s really getting to them and they’re there. They’re probably not gonna give us the project if they keep getting bothered So, please stop putting information out there and please don’t tell anyone I even called you so That was really it but that that wasn’t anything with SEC but uh that that turned out to be a huge thing How did you first hear about some words? I was just trading it just popped up you scanned So you do something called scanning when you scan you’re looking for certain indicators certain stocks? So when I was scanning some Brooks popped up. Yeah as it popped up was it kind of like a penny stock? No it was This is thing with penny stocks lot. Uh The the actual term of penny stocks or any stocks under $5, right, right I look at penny stocks anything under a dollar. So it just depends on where you’re going And with the stop is priced around 250 280 at the time So technically yes, it was a penny stock. But in my book it wasn’t couldn’t you like post like, oh, I think So and so is going down on stock twits and be like not a better sell like people do that Try to get people people do that. That’s why if you’re somebody that gets influenced by others easily Yeah, stay away from stock – it’s okay. Because now if you’re going to stop – it’s you’re gonna see crazy comments Hey, the stocks can go to 10. The stock can go – ah, yeah, so anyone can say sure Yeah, so what’s the point of stock twists? There or there is that 10% Of stuff that that is valuable out of the hundred Yeah, there’s very few stuff that is value like somebody does research and they find something so they post it But it’s very little little stuff. So it sometimes what did you go through it with your knowledge. You can come. Yeah Yeah filter out all the bad stuff. You have any other investments? Uh I have stock market lab I am working on an app I do have money, you know into tech stuff that I don’t make no I really can’t speak about right now Okay, they are like I’m trying to get into tech industry. It’s related to investing know It’s it’s it’s yeah, it’s a game. Yeah I want to make it like it just a simple like yeah Yeah blowing up insane I have like a like eight youtuber friends that have their own like a little game app Yeah, there’s this that app call. What’s that? What’s that company called? Twitch. Twitch is blowing off Yeah, but just blown up. I’d still need to get into that which is it’s insane for unit. Twitch man. That’s that’s something else Hmm, you have some stalking twitch note Which is owned by I believe Twitter know Amazon Amazon owns him Amazon owns twitch, okay They the Amazon bought at twitch. So Amazon owns. And so if you own twitch you own Amazon. Yeah Amazon I heard took him like 10 years to be profitable No, they were profitable all the time. Only thing is they would take the profits and reinvest it right all in a research and development You have some stock in Amazon. I traded it, but I’m not really I don’t long-term I’m not I’m not even anything long time right now. How did you find me through just three? I actually yeah III was watching YouTube and and you came up and I saw you into because I remember I saw you and YouTube Three years ago. Yeah, ah, are you doing something completely different new pranks? Yeah pranks and stuff and then I I saw you on YouTube for you were doing interviews and then I saw with real estate and this and that and I was like, oh Let me reach out to you cool, right? That’s how I can cause you yeah, I appreciate it. No, I appreciate you man Thank you. Um, I need any last words anything you want. Shout out your Instagram uh, yeah if you guys have any questions about stocks or you know, I want to ask me anything you guys can my Instagram is Omar uh sure if you ma are a sh RAF or almost Yeah so you guys can DM me ask me any questions you guys have about stocks and I’ll To help you guys out as much as I can sweet Well, yeah, that was totally wraps it up. Yeah. Thank you so much Thanks for watching. Thanks for subscribing. Let us know what you think of everything we talked about here and I will see you next week

Why we make bad decisions | Dan Gilbert


We all make decisions every day; we want to know what the right thing is to do — in domains from the financial to the gastronomic to the professional to the romantic. And surely, if somebody could really tell us how to do exactly the right thing at all possible times, that would be a tremendous gift. It turns out that, in fact, the world was given this gift in 1738 by a Dutch polymath named Daniel Bernoulli. And what I want to talk to you about today is what that gift is, and I also want to explain to you why it is that it hasn’t made a damn bit of difference. Now, this is Bernoulli’s gift. This is a direct quote. And if it looks like Greek to you, it’s because, well, it’s Greek. But the simple English translation — much less precise, but it captures the gist of what Bernoulli had to say — was this: The expected value of any of our actions — that is, the goodness that we can count on getting — is the product of two simple things: the odds that this action will allow us to gain something, and the value of that gain to us. In a sense, what Bernoulli was saying is, if we can estimate and multiply these two things, we will always know precisely how we should behave. Now, this simple equation, even for those of you who don’t like equations, is something that you’re quite used to. Here’s an example: if I were to tell you, let’s play a little coin toss game, and I’m going to flip a coin, and if it comes up heads, I’m going to pay you 10 dollars, but you have to pay four dollars for the privilege of playing with me, most of you would say, sure, I’ll take that bet. Because you know that the odds of you winning are one half, the gain if you do is 10 dollars, that multiplies to five, and that’s more than I’m charging you to play. So, the answer is, yes. This is what statisticians technically call a damn fine bet. Now, the idea is simple when we’re applying it to coin tosses, but in fact, it’s not very simple in everyday life. People are horrible at estimating both of these things, and that’s what I want to talk to you about today. There are two kinds of errors people make when trying to decide what the right thing is to do, and those are errors in estimating the odds that they’re going to succeed, and errors in estimating the value of their own success. Now, let me talk about the first one first. Calculating odds would seem to be something rather easy: there are six sides to a die, two sides to a coin, 52 cards in a deck. You all know what the likelihood is of pulling the ace of spades or of flipping a heads. But as it turns out, this is not a very easy idea to apply in everyday life. That’s why Americans spend more — I should say, lose more — gambling than on all other forms of entertainment combined. The reason is, this isn’t how people do odds. The way people figure odds requires that we first talk a bit about pigs. Now, the question I’m going to put to you is whether you think there are more dogs or pigs on leashes observed in any particular day in Oxford. And of course, you all know that the answer is dogs. And the way that you know that the answer is dogs is you quickly reviewed in memory the times you’ve seen dogs and pigs on leashes. It was very easy to remember seeing dogs, not so easy to remember pigs. And each one of you assumed that if dogs on leashes came more quickly to your mind, then dogs on leashes are more probable. That’s not a bad rule of thumb, except when it is. So, for example, here’s a word puzzle. Are there more four-letter English words with R in the third place or R in the first place? Well, you check memory very briefly, make a quick scan, and it’s awfully easy to say to yourself, Ring, Rang, Rung, and very hard to say to yourself, Pare, Park: they come more slowly. But in fact, there are many more words in the English language with R in the third than the first place. The reason words with R in the third place come slowly to your mind isn’t because they’re improbable, unlikely or infrequent. It’s because the mind recalls words by their first letter. You kind of shout out the sound, S — and the word comes. It’s like the dictionary; it’s hard to look things up by the third letter. So, this is an example of how this idea that the quickness with which things come to mind can give you a sense of their probability — how this idea could lead you astray. It’s not just puzzles, though. For example, when Americans are asked to estimate the odds that they will die in a variety of interesting ways — these are estimates of number of deaths per year per 200 million U.S. citizens. And these are just ordinary people like yourselves who are asked to guess how many people die from tornado, fireworks, asthma, drowning, etc. Compare these to the actual numbers. Now, you see a very interesting pattern here, which is first of all, two things are vastly over-estimated, namely tornadoes and fireworks. Two things are vastly underestimated: dying by drowning and dying by asthma. Why? When was the last time that you picked up a newspaper and the headline was, “Boy dies of Asthma?” It’s not interesting because it’s so common. It’s very easy for all of us to bring to mind instances of news stories or newsreels where we’ve seen tornadoes devastating cities, or some poor schmuck who’s blown his hands off with a firework on the Fourth of July. Drownings and asthma deaths don’t get much coverage. They don’t come quickly to mind, and as a result, we vastly underestimate them. Indeed, this is kind of like the Sesame Street game of “Which thing doesn’t belong?” And you’re right to say it’s the swimming pool that doesn’t belong, because the swimming pool is the only thing on this slide that’s actually very dangerous. The way that more of you are likely to die than the combination of all three of the others that you see on the slide. The lottery is an excellent example, of course — an excellent test-case of people’s ability to compute probabilities. And economists — forgive me, for those of you who play the lottery — but economists, at least among themselves, refer to the lottery as a stupidity tax, because the odds of getting any payoff by investing your money in a lottery ticket are approximately equivalent to flushing the money directly down the toilet — which, by the way, doesn’t require that you actually go to the store and buy anything. Why in the world would anybody ever play the lottery? Well, there are many answers, but one answer surely is, we see a lot of winners. Right? When this couple wins the lottery, or Ed McMahon shows up at your door with this giant check — how the hell do you cash things that size, I don’t know. We see this on TV; we read about it in the paper. When was the last time that you saw extensive interviews with everybody who lost? Indeed, if we required that television stations run a 30-second interview with each loser every time they interview a winner, the 100 million losers in the last lottery would require nine-and-a-half years of your undivided attention just to watch them say, “Me? I lost.” “Me? I lost.” Now, if you watch nine-and-a-half years of television — no sleep, no potty breaks — and you saw loss after loss after loss, and then at the end there’s 30 seconds of, “and I won,” the likelihood that you would play the lottery is very small. Look, I can prove this to you: here’s a little lottery. There’s 10 tickets in this lottery. Nine of them have been sold to these individuals. It costs you a dollar to buy the ticket and, if you win, you get 20 bucks. Is this a good bet? Well, Bernoulli tells us it is. The expected value of this lottery is two dollars; this is a lottery in which you should invest your money. And most people say, “OK, I’ll play.” Now, a slightly different version of this lottery: imagine that the nine tickets are all owned by one fat guy named Leroy. Leroy has nine tickets; there’s one left. Do you want it? Most people won’t play this lottery. Now, you can see the odds of winning haven’t changed, but it’s now fantastically easy to imagine who’s going to win. It’s easy to see Leroy getting the check, right? You can’t say to yourself, “I’m as likely to win as anybody,” because you’re not as likely to win as Leroy. The fact that all those tickets are owned by one guy changes your decision to play, even though it does nothing whatsoever to the odds. Now, estimating odds, as difficult as it may seem, is a piece of cake compared to trying to estimate value: trying to say what something is worth, how much we’ll enjoy it, how much pleasure it will give us. I want to talk now about errors in value. How much is this Big Mac worth? Is it worth 25 dollars? Most of you have the intuition that it’s not — you wouldn’t pay that for it. But in fact, to decide whether a Big Mac is worth 25 dollars requires that you ask one, and only one question, which is: What else can I do with 25 dollars? If you’ve ever gotten on one of those long-haul flights to Australia and realized that they’re not going to serve you any food, but somebody in the row in front of you has just opened the McDonald’s bag, and the smell of golden arches is wafting over the seat, you think, I can’t do anything else with this 25 dollars for 16 hours. I can’t even set it on fire — they took my cigarette lighter! Suddenly, 25 dollars for a Big Mac might be a good deal. On the other hand, if you’re visiting an underdeveloped country, and 25 dollars buys you a gourmet meal, it’s exorbitant for a Big Mac. Why were you all sure that the answer to the question was no, before I’d even told you anything about the context? Because most of you compared the price of this Big Mac to the price you’re used to paying. Rather than asking, “What else can I do with my money,” comparing this investment to other possible investments, you compared to the past. And this is a systematic error people make. What you knew is, you paid three dollars in the past; 25 is outrageous. This is an error, and I can prove it to you by showing the kinds of irrationalities to which it leads. For example, this is, of course, one of the most delicious tricks in marketing, is to say something used to be higher, and suddenly it seems like a very good deal. When people are asked about these two different jobs: a job where you make 60K, then 50K, then 40K, a job where you’re getting a salary cut each year, and one in which you’re getting a salary increase, people like the second job better than the first, despite the fact they’re all told they make much less money. Why? Because they had the sense that declining wages are worse than rising wages, even when the total amount of wages is higher in the declining period. Here’s another nice example. Here’s a $2,000 Hawaiian vacation package; it’s now on sale for 1,600. Assuming you wanted to go to Hawaii, would you buy this package? Most people say they would. Here’s a slightly different story: $2,000 Hawaiian vacation package is now on sale for 700 dollars, so you decide to mull it over for a week. By the time you get to the ticket agency, the best fares are gone — the package now costs 1,500. Would you buy it? Most people say, no. Why? Because it used to cost 700, and there’s no way I’m paying 1,500 for something that was 700 last week. This tendency to compare to the past is causing people to pass up the better deal. In other words, a good deal that used to be a great deal is not nearly as good as an awful deal that was once a horrible deal. Here’s another example of how comparing to the past can befuddle our decisions. Imagine that you’re going to the theater. You’re on your way to the theater. In your wallet you have a ticket, for which you paid 20 dollars. You also have a 20-dollar bill. When you arrive at the theater, you discover that somewhere along the way you’ve lost the ticket. Would you spend your remaining money on replacing it? Most people answer, no. Now, let’s just change one thing in this scenario. You’re on your way to the theater, and in your wallet you have two 20-dollar bills. When you arrive you discover you’ve lost one of them. Would you spend your remaining 20 dollars on a ticket? Well, of course, I went to the theater to see the play. What does the loss of 20 dollars along the way have to do? Now, just in case you’re not getting it, here’s a schematic of what happened, OK? (Laughter) Along the way, you lost something. In both cases, it was a piece of paper. In one case, it had a U.S. president on it; in the other case it didn’t. What the hell difference should it make? The difference is that when you lost the ticket you say to yourself, I’m not paying twice for the same thing. You compare the cost of the play now — 40 dollars — to the cost that it used to have — 20 dollars — and you say it’s a bad deal. Comparing with the past causes many of the problems that behavioral economists and psychologists identify in people’s attempts to assign value. But even when we compare with the possible, instead of the past, we still make certain kinds of mistakes. And I’m going to show you one or two of them. One of the things we know about comparison: that when we compare one thing to the other, it changes its value. So in 1992, this fellow, George Bush, for those of us who were kind of on the liberal side of the political spectrum, didn’t seem like such a great guy. Suddenly, we’re almost longing for him to return. (Laughter) The comparison changes how we evaluate him. Now, retailers knew this long before anybody else did, of course, and they use this wisdom to help you — spare you the undue burden of money. And so a retailer, if you were to go into a wine shop and you had to buy a bottle of wine, and you see them here for eight, 27 and 33 dollars, what would you do? Most people don’t want the most expensive, they don’t want the least expensive. So, they will opt for the item in the middle. If you’re a smart retailer, then, you will put a very expensive item that nobody will ever buy on the shelf, because suddenly the $33 wine doesn’t look as expensive in comparison. So I’m telling you something you already knew: namely, that comparison changes the value of things. Here’s why that’s a problem: the problem is that when you get that $33 bottle of wine home, it won’t matter what it used to be sitting on the shelf next to. The comparisons we make when we are appraising value, where we’re trying to estimate how much we’ll like things, are not the same comparisons we’ll be making when we consume them. This problem of shifting comparisons can bedevil our attempts to make rational decisions. Let me just give you an example. I have to show you something from my own lab, so let me sneak this in. These are subjects coming to an experiment to be asked the simplest of all questions: How much will you enjoy eating potato chips one minute from now? They’re sitting in a room with potato chips in front of them. For some of the subjects, sitting in the far corner of a room is a box of Godiva chocolates, and for others is a can of Spam. In fact, these items that are sitting in the room change how much the subjects think they’re going to enjoy the potato chips. Namely, those who are looking at Spam think potato chips are going to be quite tasty; those who are looking at Godiva chocolate think they won’t be nearly so tasty. Of course, what happens when they eat the potato chips? Well, look, you didn’t need a psychologist to tell you that when you have a mouthful of greasy, salty, crispy, delicious snacks, what’s sitting in the corner of the room makes not a damn bit of difference to your gustatory experience. Nonetheless, their predictions are perverted by a comparison that then does not carry through and change their experience. You’ve all experienced this yourself, even if you’ve never come into our lab to eat potato chips. So here’s a question: You want to buy a car stereo. The dealer near your house sells this particular stereo for 200 dollars, but if you drive across town, you can get it for 100 bucks. So would you drive to get 50 percent off, saving 100 dollars? Most people say they would. They can’t imagine buying it for twice the price when, with one trip across town, they can get it for half off. Now, let’s imagine instead you wanted to buy a car that had a stereo, and the dealer near your house had it for 31,000. But if you drove across town, you could get it for 30,900. Would you drive to get it? At this point, 0.003 savings — the 100 dollars. Most people say, no, I’m going to schlep across town to save 100 bucks on the purchase of a car? This kind of thinking drives economists crazy, and it should. Because this 100 dollars that you save — hello! — doesn’t know where it came from. It doesn’t know what you saved it on. When you go to buy groceries with it, it doesn’t go, I’m the money saved on the car stereo, or, I’m the dumb money saved on the car. It’s money. And if a drive across town is worth 100 bucks, it’s worth 100 bucks no matter what you’re saving it on. People don’t think that way. That’s why they don’t know whether their mutual fund manager is taking 0.1 percent or 0.15 percent of their investment, but they clip coupons to save one dollar off of toothpaste. Now, you can see, this is the problem of shifting comparisons, because what you’re doing is, you’re comparing the 100 bucks to the purchase that you’re making, but when you go to spend that money you won’t be making that comparison. You’ve all had this experience. If you’re an American, for example, you’ve probably traveled in France. And at some point you may have met a couple from your own hometown, and you thought, “Oh, my God, these people are so warm. They’re so nice to me. I mean, compared to all these people who hate me when I try to speak their language and hate me more when I don’t, these people are just wonderful.” And so you tour France with them, and then you get home and you invite them over for dinner, and what do you find? Compared to your regular friends, they are boring and dull, right? Because in this new context, the comparison is very, very different. In fact, you find yourself disliking them enough almost to qualify for French citizenship. Now, you have exactly the same problem when you shop for a stereo. You go to the stereo store, you see two sets of speakers — these big, boxy, monoliths, and these little, sleek speakers, and you play them, and you go, you know, I do hear a difference: the big ones sound a little better. And so you buy them, and you bring them home, and you entirely violate the décor of your house. And the problem, of course, is that this comparison you made in the store is a comparison you’ll never make again. What are the odds that years later you’ll turn on the stereo and go, “Sounds so much better than those little ones,” which you can’t even remember hearing. The problem of shifting comparisons is even more difficult when these choices are arrayed over time. People have a lot of trouble making decisions about things that will happen at different points in time. And what psychologists and behavioral economists have discovered is that by and large people use two simple rules. So let me give you one very easy problem, a second very easy problem and then a third, hard, problem. Here’s the first easy problem: You can have 60 dollars now or 50 dollars now. Which would you prefer? This is what we call a one-item IQ test, OK? All of us, I hope, prefer more money, and the reason is, we believe more is better than less. Here’s the second problem: You can have 60 dollars today or 60 dollars in a month. Which would you prefer? Again, an easy decision, because we all know that now is better than later. What’s hard in our decision-making is when these two rules conflict. For example, when you’re offered 50 dollars now or 60 dollars in a month. This typifies a lot of situations in life in which you will gain by waiting, but you have to be patient. What do we know? What do people do in these kinds of situations? Well, by and large people are enormously impatient. That is, they require interest rates in the hundred or thousands of percents in order to delay gratification and wait until next month for the extra 10 dollars. Maybe that isn’t so remarkable, but what is remarkable is how easy it is to make this impatience go away by simply changing when the delivery of these monetary units will happen. Imagine that you can have 50 dollars in a year — that’s 12 months — or 60 dollars in 13 months. What do we find now? People are gladly willing to wait: as long as they’re waiting 12, they might as well wait 13. What makes this dynamic inconsistency happen? Comparison. Troubling comparison. Let me show you. This is just a graph showing the results that I just suggested you would show if I gave you time to respond, which is, people find that the subjective value of 50 is higher than the subjective value of 60 when they’ll be delivered in now or one month, respectively — a 30-day delay — but they show the reverse pattern when you push the entire decision off into the future a year. Now, why in the world do you get this pattern of results? These guys can tell us. What you see here are two lads, one of them larger than the other: the fireman and the fiddler. They are going to recede towards the vanishing point in the horizon, and I want you to notice two things. At no point will the fireman look taller than the fiddler. No point. However, the difference between them seems to be getting smaller. First it’s an inch in your view, then it’s a quarter-inch, then a half-inch, and then finally they go off the edge of the earth. Here are the results of what I just showed you. This is the subjective height — the height you saw of these guys at various points. And I want you to see that two things are true. One, the farther away they are, the smaller they look; and two, the fireman is always bigger than the fiddler. But watch what happens when we make some of them disappear. Right. At a very close distance, the fiddler looks taller than the fireman, but at a far distance their normal, their true, relations are preserved. As Plato said, what space is to size, time is to value. These are the results of the hard problem I gave you: 60 now or 50 in a month? And these are subjective values, and what you can see is, our two rules are preserved. People always think more is better than less: 60 is always better than 50, and they always think now is better than later: the bars on this side are higher than the bars on this side. Watch what happens when we drop some out. Suddenly we have the dynamic inconsistency that puzzled us. We have the tendency for people to go for 50 dollars now over waiting a month, but not if that decision is far in the future. Notice something interesting that this implies — namely, that when people get to the future, they will change their minds. That is, as that month 12 approaches, you will say, what was I thinking, waiting an extra month for 60 dollars? I’ll take the 50 dollars now. Well, the question with which I’d like to end is this: If we’re so damn stupid, how did we get to the moon? Because I could go on for about two hours with evidence of people’s inability to estimate odds and inability to estimate value. The answer to this question, I think, is an answer you’ve already heard in some of the talks, and I dare say you will hear again: namely, that our brains were evolved for a very different world than the one in which we are living. They were evolved for a world in which people lived in very small groups, rarely met anybody who was terribly different from themselves, had rather short lives in which there were few choices and the highest priority was to eat and mate today. Bernoulli’s gift, Bernoulli’s little formula, allows us, it tells us how we should think in a world for which nature never designed us. That explains why we are so bad at using it, but it also explains why it is so terribly important that we become good, fast. We are the only species on this planet that has ever held its own fate in its hands. We have no significant predators, we’re the masters of our physical environment; the things that normally cause species to become extinct are no longer any threat to us. The only thing — the only thing — that can destroy us and doom us are our own decisions. If we’re not here in 10,000 years, it’s going to be because we could not take advantage of the gift given to us by a young Dutch fellow in 1738, because we underestimated the odds of our future pains and overestimated the value of our present pleasures. Thank you. (Applause) Chris Anderson: That was remarkable. We have time for some questions for Dan Gilbert. One and two. Bill Lyell: Would you say that this mechanism is in part how terrorism actually works to frighten us, and is there some way that we could counteract that? Dan Gilbert: I actually was consulting recently with the Department of Homeland Security, which generally believes that American security dollars should go to making borders safer. I tried to point out to them that terrorism was a name based on people’s psychological reaction to a set of events, and that if they were concerned about terrorism they might ask what causes terror and how can we stop people from being terrified, rather than — not rather than, but in addition to stopping the atrocities that we’re all concerned about. Surely the kinds of play that at least American media give to — and forgive me, but in raw numbers these are very tiny accidents. We already know, for example, in the United States, more people have died as a result of not taking airplanes — because they were scared — and driving on highways, than were killed in 9/11. OK? If I told you that there was a plague that was going to kill 15,000 Americans next year, you might be alarmed if you didn’t find out it was the flu. These are small-scale accidents, and we should be wondering whether they should get the kind of play, the kind of coverage, that they do. Surely that causes people to overestimate the likelihood that they’ll be hurt in these various ways, and gives power to the very people who want to frighten us. CA: Dan, I’d like to hear more on this. So, you’re saying that our response to terror is, I mean, it’s a form of mental bug? Talk more about it. DG: It’s out-sized. I mean, look. If Australia disappears tomorrow, terror is probably the right response. That’s an awful large lot of very nice people. On the other hand, when a bus blows up and 30 people are killed, more people than that were killed by not using their seatbelts in the same country. Is terror the right response? CA: What causes the bug? Is it the drama of the event — that it’s so spectacular? Is it the fact that it’s an intentional attack by, quote, outsiders? What is it? DG: Yes. It’s a number of things, and you hit on several of them. First, it’s a human agent trying to kill us — it’s not a tree falling on us by accident. Second, these are enemies who may want to strike and hurt us again. People are being killed for no reason instead of good reason — as if there’s good reason, but sometimes people think there are. So there are a number of things that together make this seem like a fantastic event, but let’s not play down the fact that newspapers sell when people see something in it they want to read. So there’s a large role here played by the media, who want these things to be as spectacular as they possibly can. CA: I mean, what would it take to persuade our culture to downplay it? DG: Well, go to Israel. You know, go to Israel. And a mall blows up, and then everybody’s unhappy about it, and an hour-and-a-half later — at least when I was there, and I was 150 feet from the mall when it blew up — I went back to my hotel and the wedding that was planned was still going on. And as the Israeli mother said, she said, “We never let them win by stopping weddings.” I mean, this is a society that has learned — and there are others too — that has learned to live with a certain amount of terrorism and not be quite as upset by it, shall I say, as those of us who have not had many terror attacks. CA: But is there a rational fear that actually, the reason we’re frightened about this is because we think that the Big One is to come? DG: Yes, of course. So, if we knew that this was the worst attack there would ever be, there might be more and more buses of 30 people — we would probably not be nearly so frightened. I don’t want to say — please, I’m going to get quoted somewhere as saying, “Terrorism is fine and we shouldn’t be so distressed.” That’s not my point at all. What I’m saying is that, surely, rationally, our distress about things that happen, about threats, should be roughly proportional to the size of those threats and threats to come. I think in the case of terrorism, it isn’t. And many of the things we’ve heard about from our speakers today — how many people do you know got up and said, Poverty! I can’t believe what poverty is doing to us. People get up in the morning; they don’t care about poverty. It’s not making headlines, it’s not making news, it’s not flashy. There are no guns going off. I mean, if you had to solve one of these problems, Chris, which would you solve? Terrorism or poverty? (Laughter) (Applause) That’s a tough one. CA: There’s no question. Poverty, by an order of magnitude, a huge order of magnitude, unless someone can show that there’s, you know, terrorists with a nuke are really likely to come. The latest I’ve read, seen, thought is that it’s incredibly hard for them to do that. If that turns out to be wrong, we all look silly, but with poverty it’s a bit — DG: Even if that were true, still more people die from poverty. CA: We’ve evolved to get all excited about these dramatic attacks. Is that because in the past, in the ancient past, we just didn’t understand things like disease and systems that cause poverty and so forth, and so it made no sense for us as a species to put any energy into worrying about those things? People died; so be it. But if you got attacked, that was something you could do something about. And so we evolved these responses. Is that what happened? DG: Well, you know, the people who are most skeptical about leaping to evolutionary explanations for everything are the evolutionary psychologists themselves. My guess is that there’s nothing quite that specific in our evolutionary past. But rather, if you’re looking for an evolutionary explanation, you might say that most organisms are neo-phobic — that is, they’re a little scared of stuff that’s new and different. And there’s a good reason to be, because old stuff didn’t eat you. Right? Any animal you see that you’ve seen before is less likely to be a predator than one that you’ve never seen before. So, you know, when a school bus is blown up and we’ve never seen this before, our general tendency is to orient towards that which is new and novel is activated. I don’t think it’s quite as specific a mechanism as the one you alluded to, but maybe a more fundamental one underlying it. Jay Walker: You know, economists love to talk about the stupidity of people who buy lottery tickets. But I suspect you’re making the exact same error you’re accusing those people of, which is the error of value. I know, because I’ve interviewed about 1,000 lottery buyers over the years. It turns out that the value of buying a lottery ticket is not winning. That’s what you think it is. All right? The average lottery buyer buys about 150 tickets a year, so the buyer knows full well that he or she is going to lose, and yet she buys 150 tickets a year. Why is that? It’s not because she is stupid or he is stupid. It’s because the anticipation of possibly winning releases serotonin in the brain, and actually provides a good feeling until the drawing indicates you’ve lost. Or, to put it another way, for the dollar investment, you can have a much better feeling than flushing the money down the toilet, which you cannot have a good feeling from. Now, economists tend to — (Applause) — economists tend to view the world through their own lenses, which is: this is just a bunch of stupid people. And as a result, many people look at economists as stupid people. And so fundamentally, the reason we got to the moon is, we didn’t listen to the economists. Thank you very much. (Applause) DG: Well, no, it’s a great point. It remains to be seen whether the joy of anticipation is exactly equaled by the amount of disappointment after the lottery. Because remember, people who didn’t buy tickets don’t feel awful the next day either, even though they don’t feel great during the drawing. I would disagree that people know they’re not going to win. I think they think it’s unlikely, but it could happen, which is why they prefer that to the flushing. But certainly I see your point: that there can be some utility to buying a lottery ticket other than winning. Now, I think there’s many good reasons not to listen to economists. That isn’t one of them, for me, but there’s many others. CA: Last question. Aubrey de Grey: My name’s Aubrey de Grey, from Cambridge. I work on the thing that kills more people than anything else kills — I work on aging — and I’m interested in doing something about it, as we’ll all hear tomorrow. I very much resonate with what you’re saying, because it seems to me that the problem with getting people interested in doing anything about aging is that by the time aging is about to kill you it looks like cancer or heart disease or whatever. Do you have any advice? (Laughter) DG: For you or for them? AdG: In persuading them. DG: Ah, for you in persuading them. Well, it’s notoriously difficult to get people to be farsighted. But one thing that psychologists have tried that seems to work is to get people to imagine the future more vividly. One of the problems with making decisions about the far future and the near future is that we imagine the near future much more vividly than the far future. To the extent that you can equalize the amount of detail that people put into the mental representations of near and far future, people begin to make decisions about the two in the same way. So, would you like to have an extra 100,000 dollars when you’re 65 is a question that’s very different than, imagine who you’ll be when you’re 65: will you be living, what will you look like, how much hair will you have, who will you be living with. Once we have all the details of that imaginary scenario, suddenly we feel like it might be important to save so that that guy has a little retirement money. But these are tricks around the margins. I think in general you’re battling a very fundamental human tendency, which is to say, “I’m here today, and so now is more important than later.” CA: Dan, thank you. Members of the audience, that was a fantastic session. Thank you. (Applause)

Is war between China and the US inevitable? | Graham Allison


So, let me thank you
for the opportunity to talk about the biggest international story
of your professional lifetime, which is also the most important
international challenge the world will face
for as far as the eye can see. The story, of course,
is the rise of China. Never before have so many people
risen so far so fast, on so many different dimensions. The challenge is the impact
of China’s rise — the discombobulation
this will cause the Unites States and the international order, of which the US has been
the principal architect and guardian. The past 100 years have been what
historians now call an “American Century.” Americans have become
accustomed to their place at the top of every pecking order. So the very idea of another country that could be as big and strong
as the US — or bigger — strikes many Americans
as an assault on who they are. For perspective on what
we’re now seeing in this rivalry, it’s useful to locate it
on the larger map of history. The past 500 years have seen 16 cases in which a rising power
threatened to displace a ruling power. Twelve of those ended in war. So just in November, we’ll all pause
to mark the 100th anniversary of the final day of a war
that became so encompassing, that it required historians to create
an entirely new category: world war. So, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, the guns of World War I fell silent, but 20 million individuals lay dead. I know that this
is a sophisticated audience, so you know about the rise of China. I’m going to focus, therefore,
on the impact of China’s rise, on the US, on the international order and on the prospects for war and peace. But having taught at Harvard
over many years, I’ve learned that from time to time,
it’s useful to take a short pause, just to make sure we’re all
on the same page. The way I do this is, I call a time-out, I give students a pop quiz —
ungraded, of course. So, let’s try this. Time-out, pop quiz. Question: forty years ago, 1978, China sets out
on its march to the market. At that point, what percentage
of China’s one billion citizens were struggling to survive
on less than two dollars a day? Take a guess — 25 percent? Fifty? Seventy-five? Ninety. What do you think? Ninety. Nine out of every 10
on less than two dollars a day. Twenty eighteen, 40 years later. What about the numbers? What’s your bet? Take a look. Fewer than one in 100 today. And China’s president has promised
that within the next three years, those last tens of millions
will have been raised up above that threshold. So it’s a miracle, actually,
in our lifetime. Hard to believe. But brute facts are even harder to ignore. A nation that didn’t even appear
on any of the international league tables 25 years ago has soared, to rival — and in some areas,
surpass — the United States. Thus, the challenge
that will shape our world: a seemingly unstoppable rising China accelerating towards an apparently
immovable ruling US, on course for what could be
the grandest collision in history. To help us get our minds
around this challenge, I’m going to introduce you
to a great thinker, I’m going to present a big idea, and I’m going to pose a most
consequential question. The great thinker is Thucydides. Now, I know his name is a mouthful, and some people
have trouble pronouncing it. So, let’s do it, one,
two, three, together: Thucydides. One more time: Thucydides. So who was Thucydides? He was the father and founder of history. He wrote the first-ever history book. It’s titled “The History
of the Peloponnesian War,” about the war in Greece, 2500 years ago. So if nothing else today,
you can tweet your friends, “I met a great thinker. And I can even pronounce
his name: Thucydides.” So, about this war
that destroyed classical Greece, Thucydides wrote famously: “It was the rise of Athens
and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made the war inevitable.” So the rise of one and the reaction of the other create a toxic cocktail of pride, arrogance, paranoia, that drug them both to war. Which brings me to the big idea: Thucydides’s Trap. “Thucydides’s Trap” is a term
I coined several years ago, to make vivid Thucydides’s insight. Thucydides’s Trap is the dangerous
dynamic that occurs when a rising power threatens
to displace a ruling power, like Athens — or Germany 100 years ago,
or China today — and their impact on Sparta, or Great Britain 100 years ago,
or the US today. As Henry Kissinger has said, once you get this idea, this concept
of Thucydides’s Trap in your head, it will provide a lens for helping you look through
the news and noise of the day to understand what’s actually going on. So, to the most consequential question
about our world today: Are we going to follow
in the footsteps of history? Or can we, through a combination
of imagination and common sense and courage find a way to manage this rivalry without a war nobody wants, and everybody knows would be catastrophic? Give me five minutes to unpack this, and later this afternoon, when the next
news story pops up for you about China doing this,
or the US reacting like that, you will be able to have a better
understanding of what’s going on and even to explain it to your friends. So as we saw with this flipping
the pyramid of poverty, China has actually soared. It’s meteoric. Former Czech president, Vaclav Havel,
I think, put it best. He said, “All this has happened so fast,
we haven’t yet had time to be astonished.” (Laughter) To remind myself
how astonished I should be, I occasionally look out the window
in my office in Cambridge at this bridge, which goes
across the Charles River, between the Kennedy School
and Harvard Business School. In 2012, the State of Massachusetts said
they were going to renovate this bridge, and it would take two years. In 2014, they said it wasn’t finished. In 2015, they said
it would take one more year. In 2016, they said it’s not finished, we’re not going to tell you
when it’s going to be finished. Finally, last year, it was finished —
three times over budget. Now, compare this to a similar bridge
that I drove across last month in Beijing. It’s called the Sanyuan Bridge. In 2015, the Chinese decided
they wanted to renovate that bridge. It actually has twice as many
lanes of traffic. How long did it take for them
to complete the project? Twenty fifteen, what do you bet? Take a guess — OK, three — Take a look. (Laughter) The answer is 43 hours. (Audience: Wow!) (Laughter) Graham Allison: Now, of course,
that couldn’t happen in New York. (Laughter) Behind this speed in execution
is a purpose-driven leader and a government that works. The most ambitious
and most competent leader on the international stage today
is Chinese President Xi Jinping. And he’s made no secret
about what he wants. As he said when he became
president six years ago, his goal is to make China great again — (Laughter) a banner he raised long before
Donald Trump picked up a version of this. To that end, Xi Jinping has announced
specific targets for specific dates: 2025, 2035, 2049. By 2025, China means to be
the dominant power in the major market
in 10 leading technologies, including driverless cars, robots, artificial intelligence,
quantum computing. By 2035, China means to be
the innovation leader across all the advanced technologies. And by 2049, which is
the 100th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic, China means to be
unambiguously number one, including, [says] Xi Jinping,
an army that he calls “Fight and Win.” So these are audacious goals,
but as you can see, China is already well on its way to these objectives. And we should remember
how fast our world is changing. Thirty years ago, the World Wide Web had not
yet even been invented. Who will feel the impact
of this rise of China most directly? Obviously, the current number one. As China gets bigger
and stronger and richer, technologically more advanced, it will inevitably bump up against
American positions and prerogatives. Now, for red-blooded Americans — and especially for red-necked Americans
like me; I’m from North Carolina — there’s something wrong with this picture. The USA means number one,
that’s who we are. But again, to repeat:
brute facts are hard to ignore. Four years ago, Senator John McCain
asked me to testify about this to his Senate Armed Services Committee. And I made for them a chart
that you can see, that said, compare the US and China to kids on opposite ends
of a seesaw on a playground, each represented by the size
of their economy. As late as 2004,
China was just half our size. By 2014, its GDP was equal to ours. And on the current trajectory,
by 2024, it will be half again larger. The consequences of this tectonic change
will be felt everywhere. For example, in the current
trade conflict, China is already
the number one trading partner of all the major Asian countries. Which brings us back
to our Greek historian. Harvard’s “Thucydides’s Trap Case File”
has reviewed the last 500 years of history and found 16 cases in which a rising power threatened to displace a ruling power. Twelve of these ended in war. And the tragedy of this
is that in very few of these did either of the protagonists want a war; few of these wars were initiated
by either the rising power or the ruling power. So how does this work? What happens is,
a third party’s provocation forces one or the other to react, and that sets in motion a spiral, which drags the two somewhere
they don’t want to go. If that seems crazy, it is. But it’s life. Remember World War I. The provocation in that case was the assassination
of a second-level figure, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which then led
the Austro-Hungarian emperor to issue an ultimatum to Serbia, they dragged in the various allies, within two months,
all of Europe was at war. So imagine if Thucydides were watching
planet Earth today. What would he say? Could he find a more appropriate
leading man for the ruling power than Donald J Trump? (Laughter) Or a more apt lead for the rising
power than Xi Jinping? And he would scratch his head and certainly say he couldn’t think
of more colorful provocateur than North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. Each seems determined
to play his assigned part and is right on script. So finally, we conclude again
with the most consequential question, the question that will have
the gravest consequences for the rest of our lives: Are Americans and Chinese going to let
the forces of history drive us to a war that would be catastrophic for both? Or can we summon
the imagination and courage to find a way to survive together, to share the leadership
in the 21st century, or, as Xi Jinping [said], to create
a new form of great power relations? That’s the issue I’ve been
pursuing passionately for the last two years. I’ve had the opportunity to talk
and, indeed, to listen to leaders of all
the relevant governments — Beijing, Washington, Seoul, Tokyo — and to thought leaders across the spectrum
of both the arts and business. I wish I had more to report. The good news is that leaders
are increasingly aware of this Thucydidean dynamic and the dangers that it poses. The bad news is that
nobody has a feasible plan for escaping history as usual. So it’s clear to me
that we need some ideas outside the box
of conventional statecraft — indeed, from another page
or another space — which is what brings me to TED today and which brings me to a request. This audience includes many
of the most creative minds on the planet, who get up in the morning and think not only about how to manage
the world we have, but how to create worlds that should be. So I’m hopeful that as this sinks in
and as you reflect on it, some of you are going to have
some bold ideas, actually some wild ideas, that when we find, will make
a difference in this space. And just to remind you if you do, this won’t be the first time. Let me remind you of what happened
right after World War II. A remarkable group of Americans
and Europeans and others, not just from government, but from
the world of culture and business, engaged in a collective
surge of imagination. And what they imagined
and what they created was a new international order, the order that’s allowed you and me
to live our lives, all of our lives, without great power war and with more prosperity
than was ever seen before on the planet. So, a remarkable story. Interestingly, every pillar of this
project that produced these results, when first proposed, was rejected by the foreign
policy establishment as naive or unrealistic. My favorite is the Marshall Plan. After World War II,
Americans felt exhausted. They had demobilized 10 million troops, they were focused on
an urgent domestic agenda. But as people began to appreciate
how devastated Europe was and how aggressive Soviet communism was, Americans eventually decided
to tax themselves a percent and a half of GDP
every year for four years and send that money to Europe
to help reconstruct these countries, including Germany and Italy, whose troops had just
been killing Americans. Amazing. This also created the United Nations. Amazing. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The World Bank. NATO. All of these elements of an order
for peace and prosperity. So, in a word, what we need
to do is do it again. And I think now we need a surge
of imagination, creativity, informed by history, for, as the philosopher
Santayana reminded us, in the end, only those
who refuse to study history are condemned to repeat it. Thank you. (Applause)