The third cohort of Emergent Ventures recipients

As always, note that the descriptions are mine and reflect my priorities, as the self-descriptions of the applicants may be broader or slightly different.  Here goes:

Jordan Schneider, for newsletter and podcast and writing work “explaining the rise of Chinese tech and its global ramifications.”

Michelle Rorich, for her work in economic development and Africa, to be furthered by a bike trip Cairo to Capetown.

Craig Palsson, Market Power, a new YouTube channel for economics.

Jeffrey C. Huber, to write a book on tech and economic progress from a Christian point of view.

Mayowa Osibodu, building AI programs to preserve endangered languages.

David Forscey, travel grant to look into issues and careers surrounding protection against election fraud.

Jennifer Doleac, Texas A&M, to develop an evidence-based law and economics, crime and punishment podcast.

Fergus McCullough, University of St. Andrews, travel grant to help build a career in law/history/politics/public affairs.

Justin Zheng, a high school student working on biometrics for cryptocurrency.

Matthew Teichman at the University of Chicago, for his work in philosophy podcasting.

Kyle Eschen, comedian and magician and entertainer, to work on an initiative for the concept of “steelmanning” arguments.

Here is the first cohort of winners, and here is the second cohort.  Here is the underlying philosophy behind Emergent Ventures.  Note by the way, if you received an award very recently, you have not been forgotten but rather will show up in the fourth cohort.

Comments

The truly curious would be more interested in second round funding - both for Emergent Ventures itself (maybe there is a recent Mercatus Center press release?), and for those winners who pass VC scrutiny.

So

Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back to your site?
My website is in the exact same area of interest as yours and my users
would really benefit from some of the information you provide here.

Please let me know if this okay with you. Thanks!

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My two cents:
"Jordan Schneider, for newsletter and podcast and writing work “explaining the rise of Chinese tech and its global ramifications.”" - does he speak Mandarin? Is that even necessary?

"Michelle Rorich, for her work in economic development and Africa, to be furthered by a bike trip Cairo to Capetown" - that's crazy. Mr. Rogers of investment banker motorcycle fame did that, it seems dangerous.

"Craig Palsson, Market Power, a new YouTube channel for economics" - I'll check it out... did so, nonsense, but fun. I learned what a "Skrull" is and a "Flerken" - (Wiki: The Flerkens are alien creatures that resemble cats. In addition, their mouths contain pocket dimensions.--SOUNDS LIKE A NORMAL CAT TO ME- RL]

"Jeffrey C. Huber, to write a book on tech and economic progress from a Christian point of view." - is he related to GM Huber?

"Mayowa Osibodu, building AI programs to preserve endangered languages."- what? How? Isn't that what a tape recorder does?

"David Forscey, travel grant to look into issues and careers surrounding protection against election fraud." - voting is getting so hard. It used to be 'vote early and vote often'.

"Jennifer Doleac, Texas A&M, to develop an evidence-based law and economics, crime and punishment podcast." - yeah, right. The average murderer (premeditated) gets 12 years in the USA and 8 years in the EU, but some doctor who prescribed pain killers to an addict who died just got a life sentence.

"Fergus McCullough, University of St. Andrews, travel grant to help build a career in law/history/politics/public affairs." - what? Is this a scholarship?

"Justin Zheng, a high school student working on biometrics for cryptocurrency." - Sounds high-tech; if I was him I'd be tempted to buy off-the-shelf items and pretend I built them myself.

"Matthew Teichman at the University of Chicago, for his work in philosophy podcasting."- what is philosophy? What is truth?

"Kyle Eschen, comedian and magician and entertainer, to work on an initiative for the concept of “steelmanning” arguments."- it's internationally patentable; jokes that is.

As more and more Chinese enter the middle class, more knowledge is being produced there that don't make their way to the Anglo-sphere. Documentation from chips made by say Mediatek or open source software from say Ali Baba are mostly in Chinese. The same with scientific research. To tap into any of that, you gotta know the language.

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GM Huber = Google Maps Jeff Huber?

no relation

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yes I speak Mandarin (HSK5+ currently but getting better day by day...) and yes it is necessary!
Check out the newsletter and podcast here:
newsletter:
https://chinaecontalk.substack.com
podcast:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/chinaecontalk/id1289062927?mt=2

Mandarin to an English speaker is a surprising language. Both easier and harder than it looks. Easier in that once you get the tones (a few weeks) you can talk like a precocious 6 year old pretty quickly. Grammar has no conjugations, declensions, or gender, and word order has enough similarities to English. The written language though is pretty hopeless. Expect a long grind to gain basic literacy.

'Expect a long grind to gain basic literacy.'

Yes, speaking/listening is probably not the relevant skill.

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Jordan Schneider's podcast, China Econ Talk, is incredibly insightful and enjoyable to anyone interested in Chinese tech companies, industries, policies and economic history. The host and every one of his distinguished guests have authoritative knowledge of the subject matter and they converse in a compelling, no-jargon way. Jordan's newsletter is also very thoughtful and sheds light on the most heated topics in the market. While lots of analysts and researchers cover China, Jordan found a niche and produces meaningful content. Definitely worth a listen/read!

Have you considered applying to Emergent Ventures for a travel grant to help build a career in public relations/marketing?

I don't think I need to travel to work in PR. But thanks for the recommendation!

Emergent Ventures seems to be interested in travel to further careers.

Like this - 'travel grant to look into issues and careers surrounding protection against election fraud' or this - 'travel grant to help build a career in law/history/politics/public affairs'. And arguably this - 'for her work in economic development and Africa, to be furthered by a bike trip Cairo to Capetown.'

That is three out of eleven grants, so the odds are not bad, assuming you enjoy travelling.

c_p, you're a smart guy, and you often make good points. I do not think you are (or mean to be) a troll. But you cannot imagine how little respect I and others have for you when you persist in making these bizarre, sarcastic comments, especially on an essentially celebratory post like this one where you're simply trying to rain an others' parades.

"I do not think you are (or mean to be) a troll" - you can't be serious. If the word has any meaning, that's exactly what he is. He's a one target troll, and c_p has never said anything disputing that.

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I knew one of these guys when he was in high school. He's great. Good choice.

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Biometrics and cryptocurrency. The increasing use of biometrics for identification is concerning. My son has a new i-phone with facial identification. He just looks at the phone and it unlocks not only the phone but apps on the phone. Will the day arrive when facial identification will be used for entry into, well, everywhere, from public buildings to public spaces. Isn't it ironic that biometrics might be applied to cryptocurrency? Security is the central feature of cryptocurrency, so much so that people have resorted to hypnosis to recall their "lost" passwords (a previous Cowen blog post). With biometics (e..g., facial identification), one need not remember passwords. Would biometrics make cryptocurrency more or less secure? China is the leader in developing AI, including facial recognition. Does that make one feel more or less secure? You cannot hide.

Hey! Justin here. That's definitely a concern for us. We have a few plans for dealing with this. We'll be moving towards using multiple biometrics in order to reduce the possibility that someone can steal it.

However, this still won't be good enough so we'll be moving into next-gen biometrics that are much harder to take without consent.

To answer your question, "Would biometrics make cryptocurrency more or less secure?", I think that overall, we may be slightly weakening someone's security, but most people don't have their crypto stolen from a personal wallet, they lose/forget their keys or have their crypto stolen from an exchange.

Hi Justin,

Is there somewhere I could read more about your project? Interested in the application of biometrics + crypto. Feel free to shoot me a message at bsparango@gmail.com

Thanks!

Yep! There's a writeup here, https://www.notion.so/Matrix23-Info-Sheet-f2777f50a6d446b2a61692b64d53a528

I'll send over an email!

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