Portrait of a would-be world-changer Who is Sam Altman, the new head of Y Combinator? What does he want to do/for all of us? New Yorker portrait by Tad Friend. [more inside]
Paul Graham weighs in on what happened at Yahoo. TLDR: too much money and adult supervision.
Paul Graham recently wrote an essay. And saved all his edits, so you can replay it in entirety just as he wrote it.* It's quite fascinating to see if you ever wondered how he (or other writers) went about their job. And here's the Hacker News thread he initiated. This can be a very useful tool to watch and understand your own writing process, or understand and help your students write. Like cvs/svn mirror for long form writing. [more inside]
Another Paul Graham essay, Cities and Ambition. This one's one of his better ones though. His claim: each city sends its inhabitants a distinct message about how they should live their lives. New York City sends the message that you should be richer. Cambridge sends the message that you should be smarter. Berkeley sends the message that you should live better. Consequently, the city you live in has a profound effect on what you strive for, what you value, and how you channel your ambitions. Place matters; choose wisely. [more inside]
The Hierarchy of Disagreement: Based on Paul Graham's essay "How to Disagree" (prev), the diagram ranks the types of arguments that can be made. Not quite the same as logical fallacies but a useful guide to measure whether you're making a good argument or if "you are an ass hat".
The head of a small company may still choose to be a tyrant; a large organization is compelled by its structure to be one
In an artificial world, only extremists live naturally. Or: You weren't meant to have a boss. On the other hand, maybe you are.
I've thought a lot over the last couple years about the problem of trolls. It's an old one, as old as forums, but we're still just learning what the causes are and how to address them.
Mind the Gap: an essay by Paul Graham on wealth, riches, poverty, and why income inequality might not be so bad. [more inside]
A 'startup school' was hosted by net guru Paul Graham in late fall in Boston last year, which brought together a few hundred would-be Web 2.0 success stories to hear advice from previous success stories, players in the tech industry, and even a few pieces of legend. The Presentations page contains links and slideshows for each presenter, and you get to hear (mp3) from an excellent cross-section of some of the modern web's most influential tinkerers.
What the (Internet) Bubble Got Right Paul Graham has written a thought-provoking essay on the positive lessons we should have taken away from the Internet bubble of the late 90s.
"Why Nerds are Unpopular" is an essay by Paul Graham that looks at how being smarter than the average bear -- usually an advantage in "the real world" -- is a liability in the Lord of the Flies world of adolescence. It's a long read, but an engaging writeup of the high school pecking order, how the school structure encourages this behaviour, the freak/geek alliance and gives some hope to the current crop of high school nerds (my fellow dweebs, it does get better). Even though high school is something like twenty years in my past, I still winced when I read the essay. Were you one of the high school geeks? Are you one now?