My interview with Pioneer

Short, and mostly about boyhood, here is one bit:

If you became really good at something (physics, programming, art, music), how exactly did you first get hooked?

Learning is fun. I found that social sciences are a good vehicle for learning things all the time. That got me hooked. It made my travel more salient, and it enriched the time I spent with music and the arts. It helped me make sense of people, too. All that at once. That was a pretty potent brew, and it still is.

What are some weird things you worked on or did as a teenager?

These days, what’s weird? I play chess intensively for four years, ages 10 to 14. Then I studied economics for the rest of my life. Arguably I was less weird as a teenager than I am today. What’s weird is that I haven’t matured into a less intensive course of study.

Here is the full link, here is a link to Pioneer, a new venture capital enterprise to discover the “lost Einsteins.”  That may be you, so go apply.  Here is a Pioneer list of some specific projects of interest.


Great projects! I don’t have time or skill set to follow up on this, so I’ll throw this idea out there. Instead of a pharmacy but with regard to to sugar consumption - instead of a pharmaceutical option that might have unwanted side affects, how about a hypnosis or subliminal suggestion app that makes you believe that sugar will make you nauseous.

Or a placebo pill (not made of sugar, haha)....

Several of the ideas are just "build an app"--are they looking for Einstein or Dilbert? Also corporate culture surveys are trash (if the only way to get feedback is a survey, you already have a shitty culture).

At least a couple of them are bigger problems, I admit.

True, although given the context of Pioneer I think it's inherently going to be tech-y and Silicon Valley-centric. Not as wide ranging as say Emergent Ventures. There seems to be a number of these tournament-based or competitive grants-for-ideas organizations sprouting up. Thiel's academy for skipping college is another version, with an even more narrow or specific aim.

Why are overlooked technologists called “lost Einsteins” rather than "lost Edisons"?

Fun fact I hadn't known until recently: Einstein, himself, loved inventing gizmos and filed for dozens of patents, such as a new kind of refrigerator. But few of his patents enjoyed much commercial success.

Fascinating. Having worked in a Patent office,the techniques of filing for patents must have been an easy task.

Feeds the Zionist mythology that Einstein was a super-wizard who didn't steal most of what he published.

Chess was big when I was growing up. A good percentage of a random selection played it off and on.

If the suicide-instinct in Americans be seen by the NYT need to politicize mass traumas, the drug addiction impulse can be seen in the "Dodgers need game 2" headline.

Pioneer looks quite google specific, without even looking at any further information.

Checking the About Us info, it looks almost as if we have reached the end of Animal Farm, where the effective philanthropists and the venture capitalists merge into a single group indistinguishable to those looking into the where both groups mingle and merge.

Pioneer speakers. Awesome! Good goin.

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