Focus on Quality + Entertainment: what makes US successful

General

Very interesting insights in this thread about the US from an immigrant entrepreneur perspective:

Many cultures focus on costs. But cutting costs translates quickly into a culture of “good enough” work, where feedback is met with excuses, not iterations. But the iterations make the difference. You can always do better if u put quality first. Never be satisfied. /10

https://twitter.com/cesifoti/status/1317576525202530304?s=21

The fact that entertainment is a shared value is simple, but it matters. You do not need to argue for it in meetings. People get it. Everyone agrees that the content you produce, or the product that you make, has to be entertaining. It is a key value. /16

https://twitter.com/cesifoti/status/1317576532878106624?s=21

What do you think? Here’s the full Twitter thread.

I love this country

General

I hope my Republican & Democrat (& other) friends can rally behind this simple truth. We all love this country and we all want to keep making it better.

As a naturalized citizen, I am very proud of the United States. It has given me a sense of security, safety and also given me hope that life is worth living. Nowhere else in the world is it this easy for an outsider to just show up and integrate as it is in the United States. Americans are some of the friendliest and nicest people I know. Diversity and inclusivity is ingrained in the culture. People born and/or brought up in the US may not appreciate how liberating and freeing it feels to be an American. When I was a young boy in India facing state persecution, it was the United States that gave me hope that there were better people in the world and that I had a chance at a better life.

It is so disheartening to learn that many of my Liberal friends do not feel proud of this country. They think the US is not good enough. I wish I could show them how wrong they are. I wish I could tell them how important it is to recognize how good the United States is, as doing that directly translates to improving the expectations and standards all over the world. It’s very useful to be critical, and we should always strive to improve, but we also have to recognize all the amazing work we are building on. The liberal cynicism often ends up hurting the world.

Is is also equally disheartening to see my Conservative friends rally behind someone who is no longer functioning in the best long term interest of our great country. We are defined by our values, and we have such inspiring values. Our government functions under some basic assumptions of propriety and we have stretched and strained the limits almost to the breaking point. We need to restore accountability, checks and balances, and truthfulness.

This is such a hard year for all of us. All over the world. The United States has an opportunity to demonstrate to the world how to focus on things that really matter. How we can roll up our sleeves and get going. We have already started new businesses at the fastest rate in a decade. Here’s to us working together, helping each other avoid our blind spots, and keep running this inspiring experiment that this great country is!

The importance of disagreement through the relationship between Justice Ginsburg and Justice Scalia

General

A very inspiring insight in this article:

Justice Ginsburg and Justice Scalia, each firmly believed that mature people could in good faith take different views on even the most important legal questions without being histrionic or posing a threat to their adversary’s feelings. Instead, they saw their differences as providing each other with an opportunity to sharpen their own thinking. Justice Ginsburg put it best: “When we disagreed,” she said, “my final opinion was always clearer and more convincing than my initial circulation. Justice Scalia honed in on all the soft spots, energizing me to strengthen my presentation.”

Justice Ginsburg & Justice Scalia on a trip to India

Once, the two had been on a trip to India, where they rode together on an elephant. At a joint appearance following the trip, Justice Scalia asked her if her feminist friends were disturbed that he was sitting in front. Not at all, she replied. She had explained to them that the elephant driver had said their placement was “a matter of distribution of weight.” The audience roared, as did Justice Scalia.

About two years ago, Justice Ginsburg wrote the foreword to Scalia Speaks, an edited collection of Scalia’s speeches. She concluded the foreword: “If our friendship encourages others to appreciate that some very good people have ideas with which we disagree, and that, despite differences, people of goodwill can pull together for the well-being of the institutions we serve and our country, I will be overjoyed, as I am confident Justice Scalia would be.”

Source: The Federalist Society

The cost of American Retreat

General
Protests at the San Francisco airport against the “Muslim Ban” in 2016

 

I moved to the United States because it inspired me. No where else in the world did I find the security, equality and opportunity to positively impact the world that the United States provides. Something I still entirely believe today, which is why I have made this my home. When I moved here, I was impressed by the humility of the Americans I met. They were self critical and had the objectivity to focus on continuing to improve the system. This was refreshing. Where I came from, there was not much civic engagement, and people complained without taking much initiative to actually do anything.

However, many of my American friends nowadays have become more cynical than ever, focusing entirely on the negatives and have lost the appreciation for all the good this system has brought to the world. Countless people around the world (including me) have come out of poverty and exploitation because of the American system of liberalism and economics. Yes, the United States has been involved in some really bad situations and has caused great harm in many instances. But there’s absolutely no doubt that it has been a net positive influence on the world as measured by most metrics we all care about.

We may not realize this but cynicism is often a sign of privilege. If we can afford to be cynical, maybe we haven’t experienced how bad and unfair life can be without the imperfect systems we criticize. And maybe we have less to lose regardless of the course we take. Before we promote huge course corrections, or propose booting the current orders in favor of alternative systems, we have to do the research to understand humans, to recognize that we are flawed, acknowledge that no system is ever going to be perfect, and that it’s a function of the fundamental nature of reality itself, not due to a lack of effort or foresight.

Many of us Americans like to believe that we are some of the most ignorant people in the world. This is good self-deprecating humor, but this is actually not true at all. We can’t keep criticizing ourselves while incorrectly idealizing everyone else. That actually makes us dumb. There’s ignorance everywhere. But an ignorant farmer in India has less impact on the world than an unfairly self-critical American. So the burden is very high on us here to understand the harm we bring by our cynicism, and our actions and inactions.

Quotes from the article below:

“The dra­matic change of course af­ter 1945 was not due to some sud­den tri­umph of our bet­ter an­gels or em­brace of En­light­en­ment prin­ci­ples that had been around for cen­turies, nor was it the nat­ural un­fold­ing of Uni­ver­sal His­tory in the di­rec­tion of lib­er­al­ism. Lib­eral ideals tri­umphed be­cause, for the first time, they had power be­hind them. A new player arose on the in­ternational scene: the United States. It pos­sessed a unique and ad­van­ta­geous ge­og­ra­phy, a large, pro­duc­tive pop­u­la­tion, un­prece­dented eco­nomic and mil­i­tary power, a na­tional ide­ol­ogy based on lib­eral prin­ci­ples, and a will­ing­ness, af­ter the war, to use its power to es­tab­lish and sus­tain a global or­der roughly con­sis­tent with those prin­ci­ples.”

“The ar­chi­tects of the new or­der were not utopian ide­al­ists. They be­lieved in the in­her­ent sin­ful­ness of hu­mans, the com­pet­i­tive­ness of na­tions and the ten­dency of all or­ders to col­lapse. They had stared into the abyss and seen the depths to which hu­mankind could fall. They knew the world they cre­ated would be flawed and costly to de­fend, but they be­lieved an im­per­fect lib­eral or­der was bet­ter than none at all.”

“We tend to view the decades af­ter 1945 through the lens of the Cold War, and So­viet com­mu­nism cer­tainly pre­oc­cu­pied Amer­i­cans. Yet the re­sponse to the So­viet threat, which in­cluded the de­ploy­ment of U.S. forces per­ma­nently in both Eu­rope and East Asia and the cre­ation of the global al­liance struc­ture, pro­duced a geopo­lit­i­cal rev­o­lu­tion. Within the con­fines of that sys­tem, nor­mal geopo­lit­i­cal com­pe­ti­tion all but ceased. Na­tions within the or­der, in West­ern Eu­rope and East Asia, didn’t com­pete with each for mil­i­tary su­pe­ri­or­ity, form strate­gic al­liances against one an­other or claim spheres of in­flu­ence. Since no bal­ance of power was nec­es­sary to pre­serve the peace among them, as it al­ways had been in the past, they could shift sub­stan­tial re­sources and en­ergy from mil­i­tary to eco­nomic and so­cial pur­poses.”

“Yet Amer­i­can hege­mony was never so in­tol­er­a­ble as to drive other mem­bers out. On the con­trary, na­tions banged on the door to come in. Par­tic­i­pants in the or­der, then and now, have shared the im­plicit un­der­stand­ing that how­ever flawed the Amer­i­can-led lib­eral world or­der might be, the re­al­is­tic al­ter­na­tives would al­most cer­tainly be far worse.”

“To­day many Amer­i­cans seem to have lost sight of that em­i­nently re­al­is­tic judg­ment, and this has hap­pened, un­for­tu­nately, just at the mo­ment when the world is slip­ping back into old pat­terns. Au­toc­racy, not so long ago dis­missed as an anachro­nism, has shown a strength and re­silience that Frank­lin Roo­sevelt’s gen­er­a­tion would have rec­og­nized, while the democ­ra­cies suf­fer from paral­y­sis and self-doubt, as they did in the 1930s.”

[Source: https://www.wsj.com/articles/thecost-of-american-retreat-1536330449]