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Ask HN: What’s a big trend we should all be following?
155 points by cl42 on June 19, 2020 | hide | past | favorite | 302 comments
Inspired by a similar Reddit question here: https://www.reddit.com/r/startups/comments/hc7vqb/whats_a_big_trend_right_now_we_should_all_be/

Curious what ya'll think is a major trend right now that we should be following and tracking, that might be big in 3-5-10 years.

Remote work. 20 years of progress were consolidated into the last 3 months.

Previously, you saw people living in hubs like SF and NYC for the high salary and high prestige jobs. But when those jobs are available from anywhere, all of a sudden the "lifestyle cities" like Boulder, Boise, Chattanooga, etc. start to look a whole lot better. You no longer have to sacrifice the high-prestige career to live in a lower cost-of-living area with access to outdoors activities.

This is going to exacerbate the divide between the haves – who can bounce from city to city, chasing the best lifestyle at all times, enabled by their remote work – and the have-nots, who are tied to one physical location because of their jobs.

I am really skeptical of this idea that suddenly people will be moving to small cities. For one, this assumes that people just move to big cities to work. Is there any research to prove that ? For most people, especially when they are younger, people gravitate to big cities for all the amenities that come with the big city living, jobs being one of them. So in essence, it is jobs chasing people into big cities, rather than other way round.

It’s kind of both. More people in smaller places means more of the amenities and lifestyle of bigger cities without the cost and hassle. Will there be a massive outmigration? Probably not sufficiently to make NYC a ghost town, but it could absolutely turn second and third tier cities into places where a lot more people want to live. There are a sufficient number of people that move specifically for jobs, but would be happy to live in a smaller place. Even if that’s 5% or 10% of professionals, that’s still a huge impact on the communities they move to.

You don't move to the city until you have the job (or are already the wealth to do so).


It's anecdotal, but a few of my team members have been making moves out of Seattle. I can only imagine the life they can live in other cities on a Seattle-salary.

Nearly everyone I know on my team moved to Seattle for work. I'd say less than 5% are "from" Seattle.

Fresh out of college, I moved from Lubbock (small town) to Dallas (big city), again, for work. Moved from Dallas to Seattle, again, for the job not "for Seattle"

You can get most of what you need in a large town or a small city. I live in a large university town; we have malls, movies, some of the best fashion in the country, every kind of food but no Michelin restaurants, excellent education and schools.

Compare to the big city (Kuala Lumpur) where there's... zoos, opera, symphonies, IKEA, nicer restaurants, libraries.

The offices are there because they're near to rich people homes. The rich people homes are there because they're next to offices.

The city has few parks. Parks are kept clean by shooing away anyone 'loitering', so there's no real leisure spots in the city except malls. It takes half an hour to get to a supermarket because of the traffic, weird highways, and another half hour to find parking. Delivery startups took off, but only in the big city.

This might not be the case with say, NYC, but it's probably similar in many large cities like Jakarta or Bangkok.

It's no coincidence that the highest paying jobs are also in the heart of traffic jams - you'd need to pay me a lot more to commute there and even more to live in such a noisy, polluted area.

It's older research, but this work [0] found that when choosing a city to move, roughly 65% of moves were based on employment and housing (cost, proximity to job, size, etc), and only 25% came from desirability (neighborhood, crime, amenities, etc).

They also assessed the difference in motivation between low-income and high-income movers; the role of desirability was reduced to about 17% for low-income moves, which seems to make intuitive sense since they are less likely to have the luxury of basing a move on less-economic factors.

The authors also observed a trend that younger and more well-educated movers were more likely to choose an urbanized destination, but not by too much (single-digit percentages). In contrast, marital status and whether or not you had children were substantially more influential.

I didn't do too much digging through the followup work, so I can't say anything conclusively about changes in these trends over the last 30 years.

[0]: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/j.1467-9906...

As a 30 something, single developer in boulder, if I knew my current job was going to be remote for the long haul, I would leave this place in heartbeat for some tiny town in Wyoming. Boulder and the rest of colorado have become entirely too crowded.

For an N=1 sample, I'm a younger person who moved to the Bay just for work and chose as out of the way of a place as I could find to live. If I had found a comparable opportunity nearly anywhere else I would have taken it in a heartbeat.

I did wind up liking it here and have a preference toward staying, but starting every morning with a swim in the ocean and having plentiful hiking opportunities is much more of a contributing factor than the city amenities.

It is first career for me then I saw all these art scene and food and stuff but that I can lose.

I'm in for an anecdote. I moved to Manhattan from Upstate for work, primarily. Transit being present and inexpensive takeout options are important when starting off a career ;)

The podcast Pivot has a host who has referred to Coronavirus as "the great accelerator", meaning trends that were grabbing hold have only sped up under the pandemic. Remote work is definitely one of those.

I'm curious if your last paragraph holds true or not. The same thing was said about "digital nomads" in the freelance space. While it certainly got a lot of headlines and made a lot of people have some wonderful fantasies (myself included), the realities of being a digital nomad really kept the trend from taking off. Family, friends, a social group, the desire to put down roots... these are things pretty ingrained in society and are hard to overcome for all but a very small number of people. I wonder if COVID forcing remote work to the mainstream will actually increase the number of digital nomads (as per your last paragraph) or merely lead to a revival of small-sized (but more lifestyle-oriented) cities like your second paragraph speaks to.

If I had to put down a bet, I'd bet on your second paragraph (people moving to smaller cities) and bet against your last paragraph (people moving readily and consistently). I'd bet that it's not the job tying people to a city, but rather their social group.

you don't have to be a digital nomad. We've been living in a rural'ish city (Cedar city, UT), that isn't a tech hub for awhile now. I'm a freelance dev (underpaid probably $40/hr).

But, I like living wherever I want, and not having to move. Plus wife's family is nearby which comes in handy.

I think one big thing though about the have-nots divide increasing is this is going to speed up automation unlike anything we've seen before. Walmart is already testing getting rid of cashiers completely.

Remote work I think (and hope) will end the big cities / tech hubs and make people move further and further out and be more rural, and keep remote working growing..

Check out Robin Hanson's Twitter. His hobby horse recently has been finding _any_ evidence that total employment is affected by recent automation and he's not really finding any.

How about stagnant and declining real wages and decreasing income security for most people?



Sure, there's always more work to be done.

Technological progress in production, like automation, reduces the proportional costs of labor, thereby accelerating inequity.

Because surplus (profit), not siphoned by management, goes to the investors (providers of capital).

This has always been true.

Some notable exceptions are profit sharing arrangements, like early Walmart, Microsoft, etc.

(Edit: Toyota too. They explicitly reward Labor for productivity improvements. I don't know if that's still true, generally. More recently, Haier has their own unique strategy for innovation and empowering labor. I'm super keen to learn more about them. I have no idea if they share the surplus more fairly. Of course, co-ops explicitly share the surplus; can't believe I forgot about them.)


Seems to me that everyone, everyone, is determined to not see the pink elephant sitting in the living room.

Paul Krugman is maybe closest, with his theory that "job stealing robots" is a convenient cover story for decline of Labor.

Like how Big Timber deflected blame for job losses onto the spotted owl away from automation.

When in SE Asia, it's common to see 20 staff in a store the size of a 7-11, while here it's one or two. (Note that most are unpaid interns, but then I'm the only customer.)

So the US has already minimized the number of unskilled staff relative to some other countries.

Ironically, tech companies often have a shadow engineering organization of 10 or more customer service engineers per company sitting around waiting for an email to help onboard a new client.

Removing cashiers and automating checkouts just frees up the staff to focus on other in-store work. But the biggest benefit is higher throughput for checkouts. Self service checkouts or automated checkouts free up space for more such counters.

> Removing cashiers and automating checkouts just frees up the staff to focus on other in-store work.

The supermarkets are functioning fine which leads me to think that there isn't a whole lot of other in-store work waiting to be done if only more staff were free to do it. Automating the checkouts just reduces the levels of staff that you need.

store pickup items is one way. and some can do their own small delivery

There is another angle when it comes to this "remote work revolution" - does it really matter for employer if remotely working employee lives 200 miles away or 10000? Not necessarily. And oh yes, there are plenty of solid and skilled potential employees around the world who will work for fraction of current SV salaries. It looks like widely appraised "disruption" might be coming to SV as well ;-)

Time zone differences make talent in similar time zones more preferable.

But I agree that SV will get greatly affected in a detrimental way by remote work.

You’re right about remote work — but your take on “have and have-nots” is disturbing.

Curious, could you expand on "lifestyle cities like Boulder, Boise, Chattanooga. In which US states are the Boulder, Boise, Chattanooga you are talking about? (there is several cities called with those names in the different US states).

Not the OP, but as I live in a "lifestyle city" (Knoxville, TN) there are several middling big cities that are in close proximity to activities (hiking, climbing, skiing, beaches, etc).

Pretty sure the cities the OP was referring to are Boulder Colorado, Boise Idaho, and Chattanooga Tennessee. My family prefers Knoxville due to it being closer to the Smoky Mountains, but Chatannooga was on our list when we were deciding where to live.

Thanks for explaining it! I didn't have also a clear grasp of the term "lifestyle" and "lifestyle city". The term life-style does not have a clear semantic meaning understandable from just the word 'life' and 'style' but it seems like it has a very specific meaning attributed culturally by people in the US (or maybe generically English native speakers).

Boulder, CO is about a hundred times more populous than the next one. I was unable to find another city named Boise. The most populous Chattanooga is about 400 times ahead of the next. It is obvious which cities are being referred to.

I am from Europe. In Europe is very uncommon for two cities to be named the same across two different countries/regions. Clearly if I'm asking such question it means the answer is not obvious to me. To you and the other 3 persons that downvoted my comment: You are implying there is such thing as a stupid question. You should know better.

I am from Europe as well, but I'm not sure how relevant that is. I regret using the word "obvious", I should instead have said "it can safely be assumed that it's the city that's much larger than the others that is being referenced".

Space manufacturing. SpaceX Starship should get a kilogram to orbit for $250 (actually Elon's goal is to get the costs down to $10 per kilogram[1] which seems insanely crazy but be forewarned).

Historic costs[2]:

- Space Shuttle: $41,000/kg (24.4 t, ~$1B)

- Delta IV Heavy: $14,600/kg (24 t, $350M)

- Falcon Heavy 2R: $1,700/kg (57 t, $95M)

A good first product to make in zero G is ZBLAN, fiber optics so clear that they require up to 100x fewer repeaters than ordinary fiber[3], lightweight and very high value.

[1] https://wccftech.com/spacex-launch-costs-down-musk/

[2] https://www.quora.com/How-much-does-it-cost-to-put-1-kilo-in...

[3] https://www.issnationallab.org/blog/taking-zblan-optical-fib...

Which brings us to what I think is a bigger issue: Space is a finite quantity, similar to land and EM spectrum.

It's a land race for space. SpaceX and similar are racing to put their junk up their in orbit as soon as possible so they can squat. So who is going to regulate space? Will China Russia and North Korea respect ownership at 10KM up? What happens when GPS and GLONAS go out because of debris and some stupid war?

Humans have shown no ability to manage resource constraints like this without losing their shit and fucking it up. I have no faith that there won't be space drama in the next few hundred years. Maybe this hundred years.

And, to your point, the fact that it's cheaper, and it will get cheaper yet, is going to exacerbate these space regulatory issues.

> Will China Russia and North Korea respect ownership at 10KM up?

I'm guessing you mean 100KM altitude? What happens at ten is clearly regulated and done so with excellent international cooperation, probably more efficiently than any other aspect of global politics.

> What happens when GPS and GLONAS go out because of debris and some stupid war?

Geostationary Earth Orbits are kept incredibly clean at 38,000km away.

Regardless we use Beidou? Or the Indian version? I have cheap retail gps sensors bought online for a few dollars here that can pick up all of them.

People should be wary of the kneejerk pessimism that permeates online discourse and not underestimate human ability to solve seemingly insurmountable issues.

There is plenty of space in "space" or more like in the earth orbit. Trash is a problem because it may be hard to track or even have unknown trajectory, space isn't. It need global coordination ofc but its not like with planes where everything can changes within minutes due to whether or some kind of emergency. and there is no need for high vehicle density like around an airport.

We used to think that way about oceans: they’re essentially infinite so don’t worry about overfishing, and since the solution to pollution is dilution we can use the “infinite” oceans for that. This was 50–100 years ago and here we are.

There is plenty space in the ocean. We could put all human trash ever created and put it in a box and sink it somewhere in the ocean. there is more than enough space. The problem is we cant make that box and without the box it affects the life. Earth orbit however doesn't have anything that could be affected by trash beside what we put there and deem to not yet be trash.

Also keep in mind that humans may have put several hundred tons into orbit by now in total which is basically nothing if you compare that to the millions of tons of plastic that goes to the ocean every year. And ofc there are many many other things than plastic that ends up in the ocean as well. also most of the stuff we put in orbit came or crashed back to earth especially the large and heavy stuff like MIR and the space shuttles.

> There is plenty of space in "space"

To quote Benjamin Sisko from DS9, "It just doesn't work that way".

Relevant Kurzgesagt https://youtu.be/yS1ibDImAYU

The gist: we could trap ourselves on earth for generations with space debris.

Some time after that (hopefully) technology will reach a new kind of escape velocity where something like an escape to a cabin in the woods becomes viable. If humans are still around that option will do interesting things for regulation. They probably wont see it that way and look back at us in disbelief.

By calling it junk I feel like you’re editorializing.

Doing nothing.

We've been indoctrinated from an early age to be productive, to schedule every moment, to sacrifice sleep, to always be learning, building, networking, searching and improving.

The covid19 lockdown is showing many people the benefits of disconnecting, de-scheduling, refusing or ignoring invitations, and being still with our thoughts for hours or days at a time, producing nothing of tangible economic value.

I love this trend and hope you're right that it grows.

A year ago, all of my hours were optimized, quantified, and monetized. My work and social calendars were equally overstuffed, leading to a frantic feeling of being too busy and falling behind on everything.

Now I have time to experience JOMO, the joy of missing out.

This is great advice but I’m a procrastinator. I have a full time job already in software but it’s incredibly hard for me to get any will power to work on side projects such as getting a business going or just working on open source. I might need to hear the opposite of this.

Is your perception of yourself being a procrastinator a result of having "been indoctrinated from an early age to be productive, to schedule every moment"?

Taking a view from Positive Psychology, the ABCDE explanation for this thought pattern might go something like:

* [Activating event] You observe yourself not working on side projects

* [Belief] People without side projects or their own businesses are failures

* [Consequence] Label oneself a procrastinator, and feel bad

* [Disputation] People can have meaningful/successful lives without having side projects. People require maintenance in the form of leisure/downtime. Your procrastination is yourself striving for leisure/downtime.

* [Effect] Feel good about activities you previously labelled as procrastination.

I'm not qualified in this area, but this helps me, at least.


A lady tells her friend:

- My son adopted Meditation

- Anything is better than just sitting around and doing nothing.

It’s a short joke, but a recurve one :-)

> producing nothing of tangible economic value

Just because something has a low/zero market price does not mean it has no economic value. It just means it is not valued by people with lots of money and their pals in government.

Similarly, just because something has a high market price does not mean it has real economic value. See, e.g. LBO funds and their ridiculous fees.

Market prices are determined as much by market structure as they are by people's preferences.

This is a very good point. If we extend this to the extreme, lets say only 1 person has 99% of the wealth. The whole economic system will only produce goods that are required by that 1 person and their close associates.

Historically, that was a monarch and that led to things like French revolution. I think the US needs one now.

Inversely many working are being exploited to make sure companies stay afloat after many layoffs. Or hospital workers pushing their limits being understaffed.

Many long hours, insanely hard to disconnect, we definitely have two different extremes going on between people.

I have a end-of-fiscal-year crunch at my now WFH job and arranging outdoor activities is harder with all the restrictions, and finding partners is harder when I'm not doing them with my wife.

And, with not as many things to do and more uncertainty, I'm now much more connected (both as far as work goes as people want me to refer them or try to hire me under pretext of "how are you/your job doing in this crisis", and also reading news again which is stupid, watching TV which I normally never do, etc.).

I've never been more stressed out and connected!

> We've been indoctrinated from an early age to be productive, to schedule every moment, to sacrifice sleep, to always be learning, building, networking, searching and improving.

This is definitely more of an American thing in my experience.

In my experience, as a Pakistani who grew up in the middle east and had friends from all over the world in an American college, it is pretty universal to feel pressured to be doing something productive all the time.

Nice, how do I invest?

Grab a drink, grab a chair, walk outside and sit down.

theres an app for that

- Grime music. A UK hybrid of hip-hop and punk, with a focus on showing poverty as a cold reality rather than a hardened persona - removing the "gang" in favor of the "pang". Honesty and sadness in mainstream music is on its way back.

- Self-hosting. A hugely growing movement to host server-side software yourself (on a cloud provider or at home). De-platforming is not possible unless ordinary citizens can host applications on the internet, rather than being relegated to being "clients". Server software needs to be distributed as much as client software, and no re-invention of the wheel is necessary (ie: no blockchain required). I am biased here as I am the founder of a startup focusing on exactly this potential future.

I think self-hosting should be even more "plug and play" to be appealing to more users. During the lockdown I was looking for simple board-like games that could be played over the internet. There were a few promising ones that were only playable on a single hosted domain that hat a capacity of 100 parties. I thought that it couldn't be too asking for the most basic cloud server hardware to serve this game for a few people. I think it should be way more easy and straight-forward for the average user to try out some server application on your own server, be it for playing, collaborative work or organization.

I think Owncloud with its market place is a good example of an engagement into this direction but it looks like it's more like a garden of apps fitted for the platform. What we need is maybe an web-browser accessible hub where we can place or point to an app and quickly configure it to run on the server. SSH optional.

It's a bummer that that there's little demand and awareness for this, especially since we're using our devices in a world of internet services that are either paid or a privacy concern.

Thank you for this. I feel relieved to read two opinions like this in a 15-minute span, the first one being on Reddit.

Since the WFH, I've been getting more and more meeting requests, often in the form of a calendar invite coming by mail. That gave me the idea of self-hosting my calendar (email is already de-googled, I have my domain + a hosting plan, etc.). I've literally spent a whole day looking at all the existing options, trying a few of them on my VPS and my Pi, etc. Incomplete documentation, abandonware, half-baked tutorials. No one seem to come close to Google calendar (the most common for the layman).

And I'm saddened that every time I want to make such a move, it's like everything is telling me to learn a skill (Python, Docker, code, etc.) before achieving my goals. This is appealing to the average user. I have a day job (that is nowhere close to tech and programming) and if something has to require not only involvement but also learning new skills before being done, it's barely worth the cost. That's, for example, why GUI took over the console for the general public.

Back to my issue, I've decided to create a Google account (without Gmail) for the sake of Calendar, Drive, etc. Unfortunately. If someone like Mozilla offered an alternative productivity suite, I'd pay for it in a heartbeat. In the mean time, I'll have to go back to big-G. Unfortunately.

This is something that I’ve been thinking a lot about recently. I’ve been able to self host quite easily as I’m very technical and capable of setting up and managing a Raspberry Pi, a NAS, and a VPS.

One of my dreams is to make a device that would make self hosting easy and cheap enough that anyone can do it. Something like a Chromecast, where it’s a <$50 device you plug in and an app guides you through your setup. From there, the device could have a platform like Cloudron or YUNOHOST where you install services via an “App Store” like index.

The open source, self hosting community is getting quite robust now and I don’t think it will be long before it’s really feasible.

This is almost exactly what I'm working on! :D

Very cool! From the link in your bio, it looks more like a B2B Product than a consumer one though. Are you looking at a consumer product as well? The same underlying platform would probably be useful.

I think with popularity of docker, self hosting become a lot easier now as almost all server-side apps are available as a docker image. Ten years ago it was quite a struggle self-hosting multiple apps on a single servers due to dependency hell, but now it's as simple as maintaining a single docker-compose.yml that contains the definition of all your self-hosted app. Sure it still requires knowledge in basic linux and docker administration, but I think it still a lot easier to figure out than trying to fix dependency hell due to installing some random packages from random repos.

> What we need is maybe an web-browser accessible hub where we can place or point to an app and quickly configure it to run on the server. SSH optional.

I love hearing this, because this is exactly what I'm building. Not quite there yet, but that's exactly the dream! We just posted a blog about setting up a home server and attaching it if you're interested https://kubesail.com/blog/microk8s-raspberry-pi/

I love grime but only know the more mainstream artists (stormzy, dizzee rascal, bugzy Malone), do you have any recommendations for any more under the radar artists?

I've been going mental over grime for the past year. It's such a tiny little scene, absolutely did not expect to see it mentioned on HN. I'm generally into the weirder/more patois stuff, I'll try not to link too much.

YGG (PK is my all time favourite), Mez, D Double E, Flirta D., Faultsz, The Square, Crafty 893, Jamakabi, Manga St. Hilaire, Killa P, Flowdan, Riko Dan

I truly believe grime is a live genre. Some good sets off the top of my head: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44bc9rCInXk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaK4kEJYRn8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HB1tLmfANR0

And a youtube playlist of video clips I made for a friend: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkli19FNT4VvLAJCHcm6h...

there's also the famous bbc1xtra takeover :


with a surprise at the end that will please the jungleists

I think slowthai's "Nothing Great About Britain" is a gold standard of newer artists, but he's hardly under the radar these days. I like noname and Izzie Gibbs a ton too. Check out Pete & Bas for a laugh as well.

JME, Kano, the god father of grime: Wiley. Chip, Trim, CASISDEAD, cadet, jay jar. Enjoy.


Isn't grime a decade or so old by now?

2 decades old now. Wiley and Dizzee Rascal have tracks dating back to the year 2000.

>Grime music

To each his own, I gave it a try and couldn't stand it


This may not be the future but I really want it to become true and am willing to devote significant money and time to make it a reality. If anyone wants to join me feel free to reach me via email.

That was a rabbit hole you sent me to, and I must say I absolutely love grime now, stormzy rocks.

Great stuff, keep up the good work!

I'm having flashbacks to 2013 where JS was used to enhance the experience, not build it.

The golden age of web app development was 2012-2013.

The state of the art in the browser was jQuery and ES5. CoffeeScript was mature and stable. The Express framework and Node.js 0.8 were perfect for server-side JavaScript.

It was blazing fast, unopinionated, and minimal. It's too bad it didn't last.

The reason it didn’t last is because of blog-driven development. How does Udemy make money if everyone is using Rails with CoffeeScript and JQuery? How does Medium drive new articles and new authors? They can’t. So new authors have to drive new trends, which their audience grabs onto and forces into the mainstream.

Recently I had a discussion on here about React vs PHP. The conclusion seemed to be that PHP died for no reason and on second thought it’s more popular now than it’s ever been. That might be a mainstream opinion today but five years ago? How dare you speak against the React/Node hegemony.

Hopefully people come around to the idea that newer is not always better and older tech is sometimes only considered outdated because the trendy blogs don’t talk about those languages/frameworks anymore. JavaScript everywhere isn’t the answer and server side languages/frameworks are often better.

Phoenix LiveView might not win but it’s certainly going to define what the web looks like over the next few years.

Do you really believe there's some conspiracy between Udemy, Medium and the like to drive JS development such that they could get more engagement? It seems that's a reversal of cause and effect, people like to make new stuff which Udemy and Medium were then able to capitalize on, nothing more.

I believe the author is theorising a phenomenon not a conspiracy.

As ptcampbell stated, I do not believe there is any collusion. It's just natural... people will get tired of reading about the same thing and stop visiting your site. So you hype up something else and see a ton of new visitors. After a while people get tired of reading about that so you come up with something new to write about which drives more hits. Eventually a pattern becomes clear, you either need to constantly write about new things or your site will be forgotten.

The changes are not being driven by any need for a new language or framework, just the hype cycle of technology. And when your business depends on that hype cycle, it is in your best interest to keep that spinning as fast as possible. No collusion or conspiracy needed.

And it was an absolute fucking nightmare to maintain and work on. You either never did serious front end dev at the time or you just have an extreme case of rose tinted glasses.

Compared to now?! Or you mean it was already terrible by then, bring back HTML, CSS, and Flash?

I agree with GP, that stack described above was a fucking nightmare.

Typescript and react are a joy to work with. I miss them every day I do only python, which has been my bread and butter for 16 years.

The framework landscape for SSR is not as good but it's getting there definitely. Nextjs is promising nowadays.

> The golden age of web app development was 2012-2013.

I have the opposite feeling. 2010ish was when companies really started leaning in to building desktop experiences on the web and 2012/2013 was when it was clear the tools were coming up short. I don't know about you but I don't look back on Backbone fondly. It's not a coincidence that React, Vue, and Angular2 all came out around 2013/2014.

I'd say the golden age of web app development is now. Most people who want a web app can have one. And it can do most of what they want it to do. And it doesn't take months or years to get it there.

Golden age? ES6 changed everything in JS land, and killed jQuery effectively. I can't call anything before ES6 a golden age.

Blazor's WebAssembly variant is much more interesting and exciting in my opinion than the server-side model. Finally, a language for the frontend that's a joy to use.

Still early days of course, but something I'll be watching closely.

I'm sure some hybrid will come, as I can see some features being wasm and some being server side, depending on use case (eg. ease of maintenance vs. offline support).

There's also JavaScript frameworks that have started adding more server side rendering. It's really interesting to see this switch back. But I think the performance benefit will be great.

Indeed, like Next.js, a React based server side rendering framework which can also produce static html for the pages that can be precompiled.


I use Blazor day to day. It’s really awesome. You are trading off ease of development for a potentially laggy UI connection, since each UI action re renders across the wire.

I see it being used heavily for enterprises that know C#, don’t care to learn the latest JS framework, and just want to make a SPA quickly and cheaply.

WASM or client side blazor is definitely interesting, though the client must download the whole .net core runtime when they visit your site.

Open to any questions about Blazor! Big fan of Elixir, but haven’t used LiveView yet.

Blazor (client-side) is definitely interesting technology if it ever gets uptake.

I can just imagine the performance of a desktop app on the browser (via WASM) without having to fiddle around with JS, front-end frameworks, event models etc. and just write software as if they were targeted towards the desktop.

Software development would get easier again and it would be possible for more people to write desktop-class software for the browser. I'm thinking a lot of engineering/technical software that were previously not feasible on a browser could be rewritten for the browser.

What % do you see Blazor eating React's lunch?

This isn't a JS framework, or even a framework, but I'm really liking crystal's type safety applied to .ecr simple html template files.

Phoenix LiveView?

Investing in yourself, your craft, your empathic capacity, critical thinking, integrity. And in relationships around us, family, friends, business partners, colleagues, clients...

I truly believe that these kind of things bring happiness and stability.

Any resources to develop these?

Mushrooms, a satisfying customer service or labor position, are a couple ways.

Electric bicycles (and other light electrics) are going to remake the world's cities in the next 30 years. The signs are already in place. The biggest transformational factor is the lack of exhaust allowing a lot of personal transport to be moved indoors.

https://micromobility.io/podcast is a good podcast on this topic.

Why is that useful? Who is clamouring to rebuild all the existing roads - which bikes already work on? Who is hoping to ride miles and miles in underground tunnels and pay to build them?

Underground tunnels for fast no-traffic movement of people already exist as subways, and move orders of magnitude more people, many times faster.

As always the answer is some synthesis of the many viewpoints.

Above-ground routes are much easier (thus cheaper) to adapt and change. Connecting outer-suburbs to an existing underground network is extremely difficult, it takes decades. It's hard to increase the capacity of existing networks. Not to say they aren't useful, but increasing capacity with above-ground cycle networks is much easier.

Encouraging people to cycle for shorter journeys further frees up capacity for longer trips where trains make more sense.

Roads as they are currently massively favour cars, to an unacceptable degree. I would cycle where I am if it didn't substantially increase my risk of death.

Existing roads will slowly become populated with light electrics and covered (perhaps seasonally) with no need to deal with exhaust gases. Some businesses will begin to provide indoor parking for the electrics. Some parking garages will be turned over to electrics exclusively. There will be almost no new roads or tunnels. It will be a very inexpensive, organic and practical transition.

But why will they become covered? We don't cover sidewalks or bike paths or pedestrian only areas, we don't cover parks and walkways through them, we don't cover beaches or ground level car parks, or anywhere else people walk and run and skate and bike outside. What would be the push to cover roadways - to the point where the parent poster thinks it will be a "big trend everyone should follow"?

There's tiny advantage to not being rained on, but you will already want outdoors clothing for wind chill unless your entire route end to end is covered and heated, and if you're on an electric bike or scooter doing 20+mph you'll want some kind of protective wear as well, most likely.

In Phoenix the roads are unlikely to be covered, whereas in Seattle or Buffalo they might want to cover them in winter. Either way, because of the lack of exhaust fumes, it would be financially viable to cover them whether they decide to or not.

I went on a voi (electric scooter) today. It was fun but I would probably crash about once a week, they are much more dangerous than a bicycle. The upshot is that I can leave them anywhere and take mostly the route I want. Downside is that I can't drive them as fast as they should be driven (they are legally restricted to 20km/h here, a better speed would be 30) and renting one was so expensive I could have taken the bus, if it wasn't because I try to avoid public transportation right now.

I don't see the electric scooter or bicycle replace the car, I see it can become a competitor to the bicycle.

The people I hear from are not replacing their cars with electric bicycles (mostly) they are replacing their manual bicycles, or getting one for the first time in a long time.

The people you hear from might have a been a bad sample. In the bike crazy Netherlands, where last year they bought more e-bikes than regular bikes, the most common use of e-bikes is to replace car trips of up to 15km distance. That is my personal experience as well and I was quite surprised.

Veganism, because we cannot afford for another planet, forests like other resources on earth are finite. It is a big trend and it will eventually become the dominant one as the trends show. However reaching a mostly-vegan nutrition in our lifetimes globally will change the course of environmental distraction and massive extinctions to come.

You can't break down the environmental impact of foods by saying "meat bad, veg good" - it's far more nuanced than that. Most of the environmental impact of any food comes from clearing land for monoculture, subsidized water supply systems, pesticides and herbicides to keep competing plants at bay, labor intensive harvesting, transportation, storage and the distribution supply chain. I could grow my own lettuce (best), buy it from a local farmer (good) or buy it from a supermarket (worst) - how it gets to your table is by far the biggest driver of environmental impact, not the food itself.

Sure, we should be eating less meat. But it's not a panacea, we must address the systemic problems of industrial agriculture that makes veganism possible.

Vegetarianism seems like it should be enough - if your argument is ecological.

Do you have a source on that? A source which takes into account "milk cows" being slaughtered and eaten after max. 4 years too? Accounting for the fact the cows only produce milk when having baby cows and some of these being male?

I am highly sceptical cutting meat is enough. Animal based protein, and energy is just inherently wasteful since 3/4 of intake energy is radiated away as body heat. (Yes, there is this super small niche of grass land unsuitable for humans feeding agriculture.)

I am not sure about the thermodynamics and ecology of fish in general, but I think eating predatory fish is an ecological disaster regardless of the carbon footprint.

Just to make sure, I don't think you have to quit all animal products for a sustainable future. If people go 95% plant based calorie-wise that's probably enough. Celebrate a steak once a month, commit to that, pay the real price for that!

"GHG emissions in kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalents per day (kgCO2e/day) were 7.19 (7.16, 7.22) for high meat-eaters ( > = 100 g/d), 5.63 (5.61, 5.65) for medium meat-eaters (50-99 g/d), 4.67 (4.65, 4.70) for low meat-eaters ( < 50 g/d), 3.91 (3.88, 3.94) for fish-eaters, 3.81 (3.79, 3.83) for vegetarians and 2.89 (2.83, 2.94) for vegans"


I don't know what reduction is enough.

I think this study does not address my point and includes dairy products as their partial footprint of growing cow. The problem is: no meat, no milk.

The low footprint of vegetarianism only works as long as there are meat eaters eating the "milk cows". If everyone stopped eating meat, the dead cows would end up on the vegetarian's bill. I hope this doesn't sound stupid and you get my twist :)

My wife has recently cut out a lot of dairy products and tried to replace them with vegan alternatives. The problem is most of the alternatives you can buy from the supermarket are made from coconut oil, soybeans, or some kind of exotic nut - which typically aren't grown here in Europe. I'm not sure if these are any better than dairy products, especially if you take into account conversion of rain forests (in places with less stringent regulations than the West) to agricultural land to grow these crops.

This "argument" gets repeated over and over...

Every plant based product is better than their equivalent animal (warm-blooded mamals) product. Animals radiate away about 3/4 of the energy they consume. This means generally speaking land use for every x amount of animal produce, you'd only need 1/4 of the land to feed humans on plant produce. Of course some plant are worse than others nutritionally, but I think the overall idea of energy waste by warm-bodied animals is pretty self-evident. Soy is a pretty high quality protein mix and overall, it's questionable if overfeeding on easy proteins is a good idea health wise, e.g. see methionine, IGF-1 and cancer risk.

Fun fact: Almost all soy for human consumption in Europe is actually grown in Europe. The rainforest killing soy is grown to feed cows. See above...

Oh look it's even worse: only about 10% of intake energy is fixated (plant matter -> meat) in the next trophic level.


Wikipedia says ATP generation alone loses 60% of energy regardless if ecto- or endothermal organism. ATP is the energy curency of life. So 60% of energy lost, before any synthesis, signaling, membrane transport, ... even happened.

I don't disagree that eating plants is more efficient than eating animal products, but what I'd like to know is how much it costs to transport these products.

Is coconut oil grown and processed in Thailand, then flown to Europe and transported by truck another few thousand miles, still better than butter made from cows milk that are raised 20km away?

I doubt the transportation has a huge impact, but either way it's an issue of its own. You don't have to eat vegan products grown across the globe. Bringing this up is as relevant as talking about the footprint of the clothes you wear while eating. Btw. the soy grown in the Amazonian ex-rainforest to feed cows, isn't magically appearing on American farms either.

Geometric algebra

It's an algebra which unifies linear algebra with quaternions and tensors.

My implementation in Julia is at https://github.com/chakravala/Grassmann.jl

We have a chat community of geometric algebra enthusiasts at https://bivector.net

Actually I want to suggest this topic as well.

Modern breakthroughs for example Maxwell's Equation and Einstein's Relativity are both heavily relied on quaternion for their discovery. For Maxwell's Equation you only need one equation with quarternion instead of four separate equations as proposed by Heaviside!

The problem is that the majority of academics and scholars are still stucked with complex number, and they are the same people who are wondering why complex number concept was originally rejected by the academics and scholars when it was first introduced.

Anybody have an idea for how much hardware acceleration is possible for these types? I had a mathematician come to me with a proposal to develop an instruction set, but I don’t think I know enough to say whether it’s worth it versus emulation with real vectors.

Okay, time to have another shot at understanding Clifford Algebra!


But, what's the practical/applied angle here?

The discovery and research of CRISPR makes in vivo genetic modification possible and safe, is going to absolutely revolutionize humanity. Imagine a world completely devoid of genetic diseases or with treatment for those diseases. Imagine a reduction in occurrence of over 50% of cancers. Imagine being able to change fundamental aspects of yourself. Imagine a grad student learning tools that can be used to recreate smallpox or make influenza cause cancer. This revolution is happening _right now_.


I can recommend the documentary about this on Netflix called "Unnatural Selection".


If you're looking for what is going to be the next digital/industrial/etc revolution, CRISPR is that thing.

totally agree, can't agree more, 1000% agree.

I have a collection of medical complications which are a result of genetic traits I've inherited, and I have lived the first 20 or so years of my life in varying degrees of constant pain. It frustrates me greatly when people immediately assign genetic engineering a negative title "b-b-because the Nazis and GATTACA", and this shortsightedness flippantly ignores the true consequences of inaction.

There are others like me, and of course a great deal more who have it far far worse, and I firmly believe that I should have never been allowed to happen. A part of me resents my mother and father for deciding to have another child after they knew that something like me was possible: my younger brother has a similar set of medical conditions.

I so desperately wish to see corrective genetic engineering become commonplace, and it is one of the few things which provides a faint hope for the future to me these days.

Life being worse, year on year average, rather than better for most people in most of the richer countries.

It's been mostly going sideways since 2008, now it's trending down.

This changes everything. It's like a bear market for culture.

Economic downturns are often times of great cultural movements. The renaissance, hip hop, punk/ post punk all emerged from economies in decline

Politically, I'm a bit anarchistic, so I totally get this. It feels like sometimes you need shit to start flying before change happens. Look at the talk on M4A since the virus started and I think we've gotten more accomplished for civil rights in 3 weeks than 40 years after the George Floyd murder. (Still we're less than 10% of where we need to be though to wrap that up).

> Look at the talk on M4A since the virus started and I think we've gotten more accomplished for civil rights in 3 weeks than 40 years after the George Floyd murder.

All I see is a couple states passing some laws about police needing to use cameras and not choking people. In the last 40 years, civil rights has progressed to legalizing gay marriage and laws against discrimination for sexual orientation. I would also count marijuana legalization in some states as a civil rights matter since I believe it was used to target the black population.

Economic downturns are also often times of great wars, social unrest and revolution.

Several of those weren't really great times.

The Renaissance, particularly, was particularly troubled, according to a source ... I cannot locate presently. (Podcast, history hasn't turned it up).

There’s a long essay about how terrible the renaissance was at https://www.exurbe.com/black-death-covid-and-why-we-keep-tel...

Ada Palmer's essay is remarkably close to what I had in mind, and she's talked on that topic on a few recent podcasts, that could well be it.

Thank you.

Do you have a source that backs this claim up, or is it just anecdotal?

“Cancel culture” is making it worse for everyone. Say or do the wrong thing on social media at any point in time in history and you can lose everything.

Social media has become a groupthink bent toward disorder. I just pick up on a lot more hostility than I remember from even 10 years ago.

All the polls showing people expecting to wind up worse off than their parents and the consistent results for older generations views.

Maybe you shouldn't get to say everything out loud without backlash? Maybe being more considerate to others is something we should all strive for? I was like you, I hated this culture. I felt like someone was taking my liberties away. Then I decided to actually talk to be people with less privilege and I noticed that me talking shit on the internet isn't something that's necessary for me. I'd rather have everyone be respected and taken care of.

Maybe you should first read your history (much of it still alive in “less privileged” countries), and then decide that your witch hunting is the new best religion. Full disclosure: I am living in middle east. I am disabled. I believe in equality of opportunity and even unfair taxation to help less fortunate people. I believe in universal healthcare and education. I believe that the world is full of discrimination. And I believe that the new woke religion is actually a product of excess privilege, combined with selfish manipulators, and it will not at all better the lives of most under-privileged people. Yes, the “activists” and politicians who rise from the underprivileged classes will reap a lot of benefits, but not the masses. The privileged people will also be better off, as they do nothing but marginalize others based on their beliefs, and then pat themselves on the back.

Part of respecting and taking care of one another is honoring that everyone’s not perfect and is capable of faults. Let people have their “worts” acknowledging that people aren’t always at their best.

Are you aware that the Golden Age fallacy is thousands of years old?

Personally, this feels different. The Golden Age fallacy is where one person goes "hey I dislike this because it's different". This is speedily increasing amounts of young people suffering mental illness. https://www.cdc.gov/childrensmentalhealth/data.html#:~:text=....

I agree. This is probably more akin to what the Japanese youth felt after the bubble burst in the 90s there. We didn't hear personal anecdotes about it then because no internet and language barriers.

Yep. For some metrics, we're killing it.

Others, we're really fucking up.

Genuine happiness/fulfilled-ness and creativity are some of those.

I think we need proof cause thats has pretty much been proven to be untrue by a few sources I've seen.

Lower birth rates, marriage rates, wage growth (negative even), home ownership comes later in life, education is more expensive, fewer areas with job markets with good wages, so housing is more expensive, etc.




I feel this; do you have any resources you can share regarding this phenomenon?

Interesting. Do you have links or papers that provide data or details?

My acquaintances (esp those who tend to be more 'pro-capitalism') cite Steven Pinker's 'Enlightenment Now' as a source that current economic systems aren't ripe for disruption because things are 'generally better than they were before.' While it's often vague responses when we're in conversations, I'd like to review information that articulates the opposite POV - especially in-light of higher cost of living, stagnating wages, and increasing income inequality.

“Cheap” biotech. Where yesterday’s billion dollar tools are applied to $10M problems. Starting with food and materials and industrial commodities, but rapidly altering the industrial and commercial and even consumer landscapes once one demonstration ‘works’. And then onto cosmetic, health, aesthetic and other ancillary spaces.

Notice companies like Bolt Threads, Impossible foods, Zymergen, and why they are different. And if/when they actually start winning they’ll dramatically change the entire landscape.

Honestly not sure those are great examples. E.g. Impossible Foods is not an innovator in any sense, just a 'startup' with an average vegan product that got $$ for marketing and pretends to be premium. I'm happy that they got mainstream attention and (again) showed that vegan/vegetarian food can be diverse but I don't see them applying any revolutionary tech - everything they do has been standard food industry practices for decades.

I don't know enough about the others, but there are many e.g. cosmetic/skincare startup that take advantage of cheap production facilities to produce basic creams/whatever with standard ingredients and add marketing spin to pretend it's something special.

That’s a bit like saying Dropbox is just rsync.

I’m imagining a direct-to-consumer artisanal line of GMO veggies

Increasing skepticism of science and evidence-based decision making.

Increased skepticism of scientism, and evidence-based decision making instead.

Unfortunately, the scientific method has been replaced by trust of authorities, which are proving themselves untrustworthy. The implosion of fraudulent monetary systems will complete this cycle.

Evidence-based reality will resume its ascendency, when fraudulent money is no longer available to cover over bad decision-making.

Observe specifically what happens to municipalities that depend on government largesse, and have no productive agricultural or engineering capacity, and few in the community with internal moral imperative, and the will and capability to defend the innocent...

I am 100% s believer in science but the challenge is the signal to noise ratio - there's so much outputs that even niche experts struggle to follow their own field; for the population it's really hard to follow what is or isn't right. And often the advice/results are contradictory due to different focus. Nutrition research suggests to eat frequent small meals (is this still the right advice?), but also that fasting can be helpful. And if I stick to the small meals schedule my dentist will tell me that snacking is not good for the teeth as it keeps the mouth constantly acidic.

Similarly at policy level: there is much research, but often its application is very much dependent on the frame (eg city vs region vs national scale; strong-trust Nordic country context vs low-trust Balkans or US; etc).

In the end you need the policy decision to be well reasoned and evidence-based, but this is often difficult to manage and even more difficult to communicate (especially in a polarized society like the US where everyone is either friend or enemy in the political space).

I understand there's a replication crisis in many fields, and people need to be taught not to blindly trust any old graph that's shoved at them... but when it comes to pursuit of better understanding about these issues and others, what else is there that we can all agree upon besides science and evidence-based reasoning?

Yeah, most of us could probably stand to be more empathetic, but part of how we know this is because of evidence. Your statement is too simple.

I think the parent is pointing out the trend, as a worrying trend. Trust in science is definitely getting worse, primarily because the truth is becoming more and more inconvenient.

The condradictions shown between coronavirus lockdown and BLM protests will have made this far worse.

Can you elaborate on your reasoning? You are stating that everyone should suddenly start exercising caution w.r.t. scientific evidence, which is quite a broad over-arching, determination.

I think you misunderstood the parent, who seems to be pointing out a broader cultural trend towards skepticism of science as a trend to follow closely, not necessarily one to embrace or support.

Skepticism is science. Check out Kuhn’s “Structure of Scientific Revolutions”.

What are some good resources to improve decision making and planning skills.



Replication crisis could be called “eliminating false ideas.”

It’s only been the last 100ish years of the masses shifting from sky wizards to science.

There’s gonna be a learning curve and lots of “nope, not that.”

The paranoia over science and the replication issue is overblown.

What you should probably be skeptical of is not “science” as a concept but what other humans tell you it means. Which is just good life advice.

There is no replication crisis. The correct approach is always to just see each study as one data point and in Popper's suggestion each time a study points in one direction this lends the relevant theory more weight. You might be able to repeat experiments but outside the hard sciences there simply is no one truth to rule them all, and even if you manage to replicate this is neither proof nor disproof that the theory/interpretation is fully right or that the results ate generalisable.

Digitization of national currencies [0] -- don't think cryptocurrencies, but rather a harmonized API for financial transactions. In particular, I expect this to drastically affect cross-border transactions by substantially lowering the bar to implementing them (as compared to SWIFT, for example) by whatever country gets there first, in the hope that their digital currency might replace the USD as de facto international reserve currency by virtue of ease of use.

[0]: https://www.npr.org/2020/01/13/795988512/china-to-test-digit...

Can you summarize what the real advantage of digital currencies are? What does it enable that the current system doesn't?

Advantage for governments is more control. For citizens, not much. Should the virus be around during this push, it'll be promoted as a "safer alternative" to physical cash.

How is there more control for government? Just that it cannot be printed into currency?

Because even now, most wealth is in banks and government can freeze them when they want to.

Homomorphic encryption.


[IndieWeb][1] and how to own all your content online, linking your posts and their responses(likes, replies) on your own website that is called [WebMention][2].

Maybe some trend on how to [annotate and bookmark][3] content online you find interesting in your own collected notes.

Speaking of some note taking, there's method called [Zettelkasten][4] and a trend software is called [Roam Research][5]. It is currently trending invite only software besides new mail provider ["Hey"][6].


[1]: https://indieweb.org/

[2]: https://indieweb.org/webmention

[3]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23227186

[4]: https://blog.viktomas.com/posts/slip-box/

[5]: https://roamresearch.com/

[6]: https://hey.com/

How machine learning will be used with physical tech unlike many other software tech. Everything from generative design, to designing new chemicals, self driving cars, and everything between I believe will be very big in the future.

I also think unlike software it will take very few of those new technologies to change how we live in a huge way.

Photonics and its impact in (classical and quantum) computing, VR/AR/Lidar, telecoms, particle accelerators, etc.

There are some incredible advances being made in many areas of photonics, including in everything from how to perform computations on chip (which are marked improvements over how were trying to do this back in the 90s, to little success) [0] all the way to how to construct tiny, ultrafast on-chip lasers for Lidar [1], all the way to how to do in-vivo measurement of quantities of certain compounds (which is useful for things like diabetes monitoring among many, many other things) [2]. There are also the usual applications to AR/VR as we've recently also seen [3], and other medical uses like chip-sized particle accelerators for therapy [4]. The classic other use case, for further in the future, is as a quantum computational platform [5].

The problem is that, like many physics fields, photonics is really, really damned technical and unintuitive (and I say this as a mathematician who works in the field!), so it's very hard to simply take a glance at it and know the benefits. On the other hand, I think this is where a huge amount of innovations in the next 2-5-10 years will be coming from and it's really going to change how we view and interact with the world.


Note: I've mixed in both papers and popular descriptions of much of the work, but either can be found for all of the things I've stated above!

[0] https://www.osapublishing.org/prj/abstract.cfm?uri=prj-1-1-1

[1] https://phys.org/news/2020-04-key-component-autonomous-cars....

[2] https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7782291

[3] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200603151151.h...

[4] https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/y3mgn5/scientists-built-a...

[5] https://www.nature.com/articles/s41578-018-0008-9?proof=true...

Photonics seems like a really cool field and I started looking into recently after being intrigued by VLC (visible light communications) technology. In fact I actually bought some books on VLC systems and hope to design a toy one some time soon. There are some online courses on optical engineering, unfortunately I havent had a physics or math class outside of high school so now way I could make sense of that.

Industries in the US favoring contractors/freelancers over fulltime employees.

I personally know people who have been affected by this or witnessed this first hand in well known media companies and more recently at a casino.

Most were laid off and replaced with contractors, but in some cases the media people and their respective departments were demoted to freelance workers. In doing this, companies avoid covering benefits, unemployment insurance, liability costs, paid time off, etc. They're also off the hook when it comes to traditional working hours/days. At least one person has said that working 7 days a week tends to be the norm for them.

The casino employees have been threatened with layoffs if they did not return to work during the pandemic. Those who were laid off have been replaced by contractors.

It wouldn't be all that surprising if this became more prevalent across industries.

A nice follow-up to these kinds of threads would be "and how do I get involved?"

Some are self-explanatory (server side rendering), while others I would have no idea how to get started in (space manufacturing). There's value in merely observing trends, but if I want to be actively involved... how do I get started?

Black Lives Matter


For much of U.S. history, law enforcement meant implementing laws that were explicitly designed to subjugate Black people and enforce white supremacy. That’s why Black people, along with hundreds of thousands of others, are calling for city, state, and federal governments to abolish policing as we currently understand it. We must divest from excessive, brutal, and discriminatory policing and invest in a vision of community safety that works for everyone, not just an elite few.

We know the safest communities in America are places that don’t center the police. What we’re looking for already exists, and we already know it works. We need look no further than neighborhoods where the wealthy, well-connected, and well-off live, or anywhere there is easy access to living wages, healthcare, quality public education and freedom from police terror.

We can’t stand by while our city, state, and federal governments continue to fund an excessive, brutal, and discriminatory system of policing. We will no longer be told that what we deserve is not politically viable or logistically possible. We will no longer be deprived of what others have long enjoyed in this country: basic rights, safety, and freedom.

> We know the safest communities in America are places that don’t center the police.

Worth thinking about: https://www.wsj.com/articles/good-policing-saves-black-lives...

This disregards broader system dynamics. We are not simply looking to cut back on policing and stop there. The objective is to invest in people and attend to their fundamental needs in a way which produces lasting change. This goes beyond the particular short-term reactions to parameter changes in the system.

Through the lens of Donella Meadow's work in complex systems, we can we policing pulling back and homicides increasing as:

9. Constants, parameters, numbers (subsidies, taxes, standards).

8. Regulating negative feedback loops.

7. Driving positive feedback loops.

Yet, this movement seeks to operate at a greater leverage point of:

2. The goals of the system.

1. The mindset or paradigm out of which the system — its goals, power structure, rules, its culture — arises.

--- Leverage Points: Places to Intervene in a System


Information bubbles on all sides of the spectrum.

People not willing to compromise and move in small steps.

Making bogeymen out of your opponents.

And, obviously, downvoting all the dissenters into the oblivion.

I think this comment exhibits a few problems as part of the conversation on systemic racism.

"Information bubbles on all sides" is vague, but it seems to imply people trying to fight racism are either fighting for the wrong reasons or misunderstand the problem they're facing. Without more detail, it doesn't contribute anything meaningful for people to take away.

And what is there to compromise on racism? The comment doesn't say any more, so it's again hard to know what it's referring to.

Commenting on the "refusal to take small steps" or "making bogeymen" also detracts from the issue by shifting the conversation to the methods and approach the movement is taking. You may earnestly believe that the protesters and the movement could benefit from changing their approach. Unfortunately, on a wider scale, this sort of rhetoric is consistently used to delegitimize dissenting voices by refusing to cooperate or acknowledge a problem unless dissenters behave themselves. It also implies that doing things in a "respectable" manner is more important than hearing and addressing the problems people are protesting.

"Information bubbles" means that people on both sides are only willing to communicate with those who supports and shares their own opinion. People are not listening to each other, people are not giving the benefit of doubt and even heavily ostracize those who suggests there may be "some fine people" on both sides of the barricade.

A compromise on racism is easy: for most people being non-racist is enough to make this world better. We cannot and we should not mandate everyone to be actively anti-racist. Race relations is a complex topic. It's actually more complex than most people think and there are no easy answers. The same way like everyone should not be actively anti-covid: leave it to doctors and nurses and simply do your part not to make the problem worse.

The BLM issue is too vague to detract it further: the way it's put now it's "against all bad and for all good". Is it about black lives? Or about police brutality? Or about police accountability (or lack thereof)? Or about racism - in its direct sense when people are laid off purely because the color of their skin? Or about black culture which does not promote education and other "white people values"? Or about economic inequality that went through the roof?

And, by the way, when I wrote about refusing to make a compromise, I was thinking more about police unions: they've built the dam that is now broke open.

On top of this. Understanding the difference between acceptance, and being 'non-racist' vs being 'anti-racist' - which is what the movement needs more than anything. True allies are embracing the 'anti-racist' term and shutting down every symbol of racism. Look at the rebranding of Mrs. Butterworths, Aunt Jemima, Cream of Wheat, Uncle Ben.

Look at cities willing to remove Christopher Columbus statues, etc.. there's been a tectonic shift in public opinion, maybe unlike anything we've ever seen. I'm proud to see so many people of all colors marching together for the BlackLivesMatter movement, gives me hope in humanity.

I vehemently disagree. This hysterical scramble to label everything as racist regardless of merit, and suffocate any rational discussion of issues, is tearing the fabric of society apart, and only serves to dilute the message against police brutality.

The US was founded on slavery and racism. The majority of Constitutional signatories owned slaves. Slavery was written into the Constitution in the 3/5ths clause. The majority of people on our paper money owned slaves. Black people make far less money than white people, they are vastly under represented in politics, far more likely to be imprisoned, have lower life expectancy, have far lower accrued wealth, rarely see themselves represented reasonably in media, are far less likely to hold professional or C-level jobs, and are far more likely to grow up in poverty in single parent households. If it isn’t the case that “everything is racist” (i.e. our society harbors deep cultural, institutional, and systemic racism) then that’s a hell of a coincidence.

Worth a watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRCzZp1J0v0

The interviewee expands essence of the parent comment out into a coherent argument.

I can’t wait until this “intellectual dark web” stuff is consigned to the drawer where we keep other embarrassing movements like phrenology.

> only serves to dilute the message against police brutality.

As much as I agree with the sentiments of BLM, this cannot be overstated.

Media conglomerates are amplifying the BLM "white/black divide" to distract from the fact that law enforcement bullies and assaults EVERY ONE OF US if the circumstances are right.

You cant just disagree... really, no one asked. BLM demands.

And that's why no one here should follow that trend. Also p sure it will cool off within months. Everyone is already tired of it. Might come back to media attention later this year if enough blacks get killed just like with covid19.

Black Lives Matter.

Black live matter more than the next stupid tech trend to ride the Gartner hype cycle. Tech that doesn't include everyone shouldn't be built. Stop reading HN and get out into the streets and support your fellow human beings.

No tech in history has ever included everyone. All ideologies are lies, “buy low sell high” bullshit. Build any tech that makes the world a better place, and try to make it as inclusive as possible. My intuition is that for breakthroughs to occur, we need new technologies in creating markets for activities with high positive externalities. Look at education, for example. The budget on that seems mostly wasted, because there is not a good market to direct the spending to efficient solutions. If we look at MOOCs and KhanAcademy and similar projects, it’s clear that they are more or less worse versions of a traditional class. They could be so much more. We could have great interactive, multimedia textbooks with integrated teacher support that answer questions, and integrated exercises that auto-grade and tell you how to fix your mistakes. We could have platforms that measure and certify productivity of workers, so that the current credentialism and mad-high university prices crash down. Our problems won’t be solved by religions. Religions have never worked. The only thing that can solve our problems is social innovation. We need better institutions that align incentives of decision-makers to their people, and create competition to drive progress. If you look at why first world countries are better than third world countries, you’ll see it’s because of better institutions, not religions. In fact, third world countries are much more keen on religion and virtue signaling. Religion thrives on poverty and corruption.

Black Lives Matter.

It needs to be said more. Not sorry.

Abolition of the Prison-Industrial Complex

More humility and reassessment of our way of life.

We need a fundamental reassessment of our impact on the environment and planet, and how to reshape our economies and lifestyle to avert climate warming, more severe hurricane and wildfire seasons.

There’s so much human ingenuity and i believe we can overcome these challenges.. but despite all the technological advancements, we still know so little of how our planet and climate work.

We think we are the apex predator, and yet we’re still held hostage by an invisible virus.

Decentrailzed, encrypted data store. This will be the base on which next generation of applications will be written on - users want privacy and the ability to own their data.

Any companies or organisations working on this ?

IPFS is just the file system, you still gotta store the data somewhere and if the node is offline so is the data..

The right answer is something climate related. I’m not knowledgeable enough to say exactly what, though.

Check this out https://scitechdaily.com/solar-power-satellite-hardware-that...

A few years ago I read about a Japanese firm that wanted to cover massive areas on the moon with solar panels and use a similar beaming technique to send the electricity back to Earth. Hopefully they are still moving forward with that.

This implies there's only one right answer, which I disagree with.

Nearly every reply in this thread only lists one answer though?

Scientific machine learning. The ability to mix scientific knowledge with machine learning in order to allow it to extrapolate accurately from small amounts of data. As machine learning tries to move towards areas where large-scale data gathering is prohibitively expensive or even unethical (like in clinical trials: you can't have a million failures to train a neural network!), mixing scientific models with machine learning will be required to bring AI into these domains in a way that's beyond hype. Physics-informed neural networks [1], differentiable programming [2], universal differential equations [3], SInDy [4], etc. are all ideas directions I think is the next direction for machine learning.

  [1] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0021999118307125
  [2] https://arxiv.org/abs/1907.07587
  [3] https://arxiv.org/abs/2001.04385
  [4] https://www.pnas.org/content/113/15/3932

Applied Machine Learning. Areas such Real Time communications like Zoom, Meet, etc were very mature technologies, now with ML you can add features like Face recognition, echo cancellation, backgrounds, etc

Creating ways of sustaining yourself in this volatile, insecure, economic environment we now live in. Gone are the days of decade long job security, and firm trust in firms and institutions.

Synthetic food.

It's already happening with meat made from plants, but going further, you shouldn't need a cow to make milk, or a fruit tree for orange juice, or even a whole wheat grass for flour.

I'd have rather said Organic food. Generally, the least processed food are the most beneficial to our digestive systems, which have evolved a long way to assimilate them optimally

Robinhood. r/wallstreetbets and other mainstream amateur investors investing or betting on crazy risky assets from crypto to options.

Indie hackers - the last 5 or so years is the first time I’ve seen a lot of info laid out for this group to thrive. The traditional business and startup advice doesn’t apply directly. Expect to see a lot more people doing this as they get dissatisfied from work or just need a bit of extra income.

Netflix and other networks raising awareness of social issues and kind of being in charge of what social issues get to be covered and what don’t. Related is education from Netflix instead of other sources.

Online universities becoming the de facto way to get a degree and people opting for those kind of degrees to cut costs and get a job. So study CS or Stats rather than Chemistry (which requires a lab). Non remote degrees seen as an upper middle class luxury and will get more expensive.

> Netflix and other networks raising awareness of social issues and kind of being in charge of what social issues get to be covered and what don’t. Related is education from Netflix instead of other sources.

I started noticing this recently where even in Netflix shows (not documentaries) there are subtle messages. Honestly, I find it annoying because I'm there to decompress for an hour or so and not have these issues following me in one of the means of entertainments (i have enough of it at work and online already).

You literally cannot consume media without this feature [1,2]. There is nothing new under the sun.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manufacturing_Consent

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Necessary_Illusions

I'd be wary of Robinhood. Not only has its primary attractor (zero-fee trading) been replicated by all the big brokerages, it has also shown itself time and again to be really fast and loose in areas of finance that both hurt people and attract strong government oversight:

  * https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23523246
  * https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18699995
Between stepping on toes and having the market for investors eaten away by bigger players, I would guess at either a slow decline or an acquisition is in RH's future.

Absolutely I’m just using RH as the lead example like MySpace or FriendsReunited was for social networks. I can see a lot of sports punters moving to become financial market gamblers, using platforms like this.

> Robinhood

Well, you know the saying about fools and their money...

UAVs are a trend that I believe will be far bigger than most people are expecting.

Autonomous cars are a difficult problem, autonomous drones are much simpler.

Package delivery, food delivery, air taxis, and a lot of previously cost prohibitive applications as well.

The cost and complexity of a drone is low, and an airbag should mitigate much of the risk.

What/who does an airbag in a drone protect?

People the drone might fall on.

And...the drone.

Are the drone's airbags deployed on impact like a car's? If that's the case, it's not protecting people it could hit because it's already hit them at that point.

Is the idea that it has some kind of collision detection system and deploys them in advance of the collision?

Edit: Did a quick search, I see now that one of the ideas is that it auto-deploys in case of malfunction that is likely to lead to a crash.

They deploy based on anomalies. Unexpected loss of altitude or attitude, primarily. Or an obstacle rapidly approaching.

I'm guessing that Rust will be quite ubiquitous in 3-5, especially as front-end stuff matures (Yew + co).

More software outsourcing to places where the work can be done cheaper. Now that wfh is becoming common, companies will start to realize that if most of their employees are working remotely, then they might as well hire from cheaper cities or countries.

People think this is similar to the outsourcing trend of the past. No this is bigger than that. The big difference is that in the past there was a difference between outsourced vs working from the office employees. This time there will be no difference. All employees will be the same and employees will be employed based on merit to the company without any stigma.

Also, it's going to be a long time before we go back to normal so companies will need to adapt. Once things change to work from home first it will be hard to go back to an office only work environment.

There will still continue to be large gaps in command of operating language, and baseline skills.

But that's part of my point, people will be hired based on their abilities and how much they contribute to the company now. That was not necessarily the case in the past. And the reality now is that there are parts in the US that have a low cost of living that are now open for people to work from.

I know that I would be willing to work from a low cost coast city if I only need to show up to my office 1 or 2 times a month. I'm even willing to get paid a bit less.

Software engineering salaries will go significantly down as a result of this, wont they?

Yup, top notch engineer will always get paid well but most salaries will fall. 1st the engineering pool will increase both due to the distance between employees and employers not being a big obstacle and more people who can choose it as a career will choose it. 2nd engineers can now live in a lower cost community and will be willing to settle for a lower salary.

As always employer will look to pay the least so they will do their best to push salaries down when ever they can.

But keep in mind it will still be a well paid job when compared to other careers.

Minimalism, by opposition of capitalism, consumerism-driven economy. It has been said in other comments, things like lockdowns opened up people's mind. Living more simply, is not only beneficial to oneself, but also for environment, which in return also bring benefits to us

We should rethink various jobs and activities, in the angle of "usefulness" or "toxicity". Consider advertisement, entertainment, luxury, tourism, skiing, golf, air-travel, .. even space industry as well since it's mentioned in comments here for example on one side, and permacultures, remote-work, environment-friendly transports, environmental-friendly leisure and sports,.. on the other side

I'm not saying we should live like thousands years ago, no, we should just try to stop wasting and harming our limited environment and ourselves as well, with this consumerism frenzy of products and services

Those problems are a function of "size" (and "density") of the human group, and also of its degree of technocracy and centralization.

Leopold Kohr and Jacques Ellul pointed it out.

Low-code software solutions like Airtable and Monday. They're finally entering the mainstream and gaining widespread adoption.

What kind of things are people using them for? It seems like most of the low-code stuff I see is more low-code tools and examples of things that can be done with low-code. Are there examples of things that are really novel with low code?

Why does it need to be novel? Simply being able to put boring but practical things together in hours vs weeks/months is more than enough imho. There are enough people who have to build a little crud tool and end up spending weeks/months adding features that these low/no code tools simply have standard. That + no deployment, no maintenance (besides the data models and business logic) etc. Sure it is far more expensive, especially when you get many users, but there is a sweetspot for these things, again, imho.

Personal well-being investments - health, Mind, Body if isn't already a big trend, it sure will continue to be. With the pandemic triggering the fear in the hearts of people, the focus on personal well being will be higher.

My 2 cents: https://www.slowernews.com

I (try to) extract relevant trends, micro-trends and some edge cases from daily news.

I think that the current world situation is going to be a large boost for VR (Virtual Reality). Before the pandemic I was much more in favour of AR (Augmented Reality) as a form of entertainment. VR requires so much more precision to get right and also (generally) prevents you from moving around too much in meat space. AR allows you to walk around an interact with things, which seems to be a much easier lift. However, with the social restrictions currently in place (and possibly going forward) the benefits of VR have outstripped its limitations, at least in my mind.

Picture this, instead of leaving your house to work (or go to school) you put on your headset and enter your work/school environment immediately. This solves the problems of travelling (time wasted, environmental impact, etc.) as well as being physically isolated. Most of this type of activity is performed sitting down so VR is a good fit.

It's not even particularity expensive or technologically difficult, especially if you work in an office job. Instead of requiring a large, expensive monitor (or multiple monitors) you can use a VR rig to have as many monitors as you wish. I can imagine being very productive in such a world. I'm already doing all of my inter-personal contact using video conferencing and VR would only make that better; I love the idea of not having to worry what my hair looks like or trying to remember not to pick my nose while I'm on camera.

I think education would see major benefits of VR, especially as you have to isolate everyone anyway. My wife is an educator and next year's teaching environment is radically different than previous years. The current plans include having kids staying in one classroom all day, reducing free time, no large groups for anything (field day, pep rally, etc.) However, if you embrace VR you can take the whole class on a field trip to every museum on Earth, dig deep into science (this Magic School Bus), or even meet with kids from other countries. This is all (relatively) cheap and easy to do.

This all said, there are definitely opportunities to make VR better and cheaper. Right now, it can be expensive on the individual level to get a good set up, but if you factor in office space costs the price looks more reasonable. Add in advances in light projection and head tracking hardware I think the price begins to plummet and the quality gets better and better.

I'm a firm believer that VR will go mainstream and be useful for countless different applications once the headsets improve enough. https://www.highfidelity.com/blog/requiem-for-the-hmd

Pre-rendered CDN websites https://jamstack.org/

Cloud gaming. GeForce Now immediately upgrades a $500 laptop to a $1500 gaming desktop with modern GPUs.

I definitely see this as a trend, but I genuinely hope it doesn't become one. Cloud gaming is yet another step in the slow erosion of our ability to actually own stuff, and would be bad for everything from selling games to making mods to video game preservation.

It's disheartening how many people don't see the dangers in only being able to access media/software at the whim of a large corporation who can shut said access off at any time for any reason.

I'm unsure on this one; cloud gaming has been around for 10 years and little to no progress has been made on the technical issues in that time i.e. compression artifacts, latency, lack of support from developers/publishers.

shadow.tech has a 13€ offer that work really well with little to no latency.

Given a good connection and not being too far from the datacenters, it really is viable.

The Department of Education is the largest financial institution in the world.

People aren't just not paying their rent and mortgages in the US - they're not paying their student loans at an alarming rate.

You can repossess homes - you cannot repossess knowledge.

Demise of the US dollar as the reserve currency.

FYI post was removed by mods

That pretty much going the opposite. The Euro is in real trouble, the pound can't because the UK economy is too small, and no one trust china with any power.

Why would the euro be in real trouble.

The only thing I see is Hungary and interference of China, but those things will usually resolve themselves.

Nobody trusts China = I agree.

I don't think anyone considers even the pound.

But, Trump made sure that a lot of people are starting to back away from the US. So I can't agree with the "going the opposite part".

If Trump would see another term i foresee huge troubles ahead, the US dollar would be the least of the troubles.

Not only US citizens distrust him. There is not a single ally that Trump hasn't stabbed in the back.

Eg. Trying to force Russia into the G7 is just one example.

> Why would the euro be in real trouble.

How about zero net economic growth for 20-25 years and no prospect of that trend changing?

Countries in the Eurzone who have seen negative real economic growth since 2007 or 2008:

Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain

The only growth economies over the past decade are smaller: Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Ireland

In 2008 Germany's GDP per capita hit $45,400. In 2019 it was $46,500. That's a massive real negative contraction given the debasement of the Euro and even a tiny bit of real inflation per year. That's the most potent economy in all of Europe and certainly in the Eurozone. The outcomes for France, Italy and Spain are that much worse over that span of time. Now Germany is facing a big hit to their advanced industrial foundations, as China and electric cars eat into the things they do particularly well. Germany will suffer de-industrialization (which they've held off longer than anyone else) and they have no replacement plan for that situation. Will Germany somehow come up with a massive, global tech economy to rival the US and China? There's no evidence of trend in the past decade. How does the Eurozone fare well without Germany moving it forward? It doesn't.

In the time the Eurozone has stagnated the US went from a GDP per capita of $48,300 to $65,000 and the US economy will again recover from the pandemic faster than Europe's economy, broadly, will; for the exact same reason it did with the great recession. That will add further weakness to the Euro by contrast.

Here's what that stagnation looks like: https://i.imgur.com/ep9kSOw.jpg

Besides that giant problem, Germany is going to again face enormous pressure around the way they inflate the value of the Euro at the expense of Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece (making them not-as-competitive on exports). As with the non-recovery after the great recession, that problem will again be amplified and felt as these economies attempt to recover from the pandemic recession. They all know it's unfair that Germany gets to free-ride on a cheap currency (cheap for Germany, expensive for Italy & Co), producing the world's largest trade imbalance.

So the Eurozone is already on year 12-13 of negative growth. They were just beginning to inch above the great recession line of 2007-2008 in nominal terms. Now they've been reset by a minimum of five years, given how slow the major Eurozone economies have been growing. More likely, it's going to be a lost 20-25 years in total, stretching from 2007 to 2027 or 2032 approximately. And then at some point the next recession will hit, and on it goes.

The Euro is not going to do well accordingly.

To be honest, that's a pretty good answer and I will have to take some time to adjust my opinion with this information and study it. I realized this ( cfr. Why Germany benefits from the Euro), but I didn't realize the exact extend of it.

But there is no alternative for the current situation, breaking up the euro zone would be very bad.

Since I don't have a good response for now, I do wish to mention that the eurozone is still very "young".

And for Belgium. Please check out the numbers for Flemish part vs Wallonia. Wallonia is out little place similar to Greece... They are not improving and just want more money, but it's already going on for >50 years. It's kinda depressing.

( I'm from Belgium)

Ps. Do you have keybase? I would be interested in asynchronous discussions :)

Where is your data for GDP per capita from? I tried to look up the same on below links but the values and trends are very different from yours. Maybe it is measuring something different but I can't tell the difference.

https://tradingeconomics.com/germany/gdp-per-capita https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/gdp-per-capita

I don't know what you're talking about. https://db.nomics.world/IMF/WEOAGG?dimensions=%7B%22unit%22%...

Did you just post a link that support the GP's point while arguing against it? Jan 2008 is 12.8k and Jan 2021(forecast?) is 13.6k.

> has stagnated the US went from a GDP per capita of $48,300 to $65,000 .

Largely by adding trillions to the GDP via hedonic and imputed contributions.

GDP exists these days to show that government debt is below x% of GDP.

Everything you wrote is the opposite of true.

The Euro is a scam, with most EU members "sick men" and Germany unwilling to foot their national pensions and welfare schemes.

Allies say they hate Trump publicly, until they need a superpower to intervene, then they all call him Daddy.

US citizens love Trump ... just not the coastal elites and wannabe elites.

Who was the only leader with the common sense to halt air travel from China during a pandemic? While everybody else was virtue signalling, Trump made a command decision that is obviously correct to all in hindsight. The only man on earth the CCP fears is Trump. What does that tell you?

The following link variously calls Italy, Greece, Turkey, France and Portugal "sick men" Not a lot of countries left, is there?


They don't say they hate Trump. Look at how Canada/Trudeau responded on "the situation in the US".

Everyone is being diplomatic about it, while Trump is acting like a baby without candy.

The "elites" have never received this much money because of tax benefits, it's nuts. While the entire country is divided.

Euro is also not a scam, it's just young for the most ambitious project in the world spanning an entire continent.

Ps. 10 years before that, the USSR fell without a single bullet, by the predecessor of EU when it was called the EEC.

I would argue America had far more to do with that especially as Europe was still picking up itself. It did a lot of the heavy lifting during the cold war, rebuilding germany and france. Then export culture and increase military spending to the point the USSR collapse because of unreast.

The only man on earth the CCP fears is Trump. What does that tell you?

Care to support this - with you know - evidence?

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