Trusted Information and Autonomy

Your weekly 5 things from the mind of Miles Lasater

Happy Saturday! Here are your 5 things from the mind of Miles for this week.

  1. Information Source Review. To improve the way I learn about and understand the world, I went back and reviewed the first quarter of 2020. I learned about Covid from trusted sources in early 2020 but I was slow to attach to my own life or investment strategy. Good to review and think through what I could have done better. One thing I realized is that once I knew of massive lockdowns in China, I should have taken more action. Going forward I want to pay more attention to big actions of other governments. The information my trusted sources provided, holds up well in hindsight. Have you ever done such a review on any topic?

  2. The Best Newsletters. On that theme, what are your top newsletter, blogs, podcasts, vlogs or micro-publications?

  3. Airminers Boot Up. So, I dropped out from the Airminers Boot Up class. Working on other things. I still wanted to give it a plug.  It is  a great program. They offer a free 4-week course to pull carbon from air and fight climate change. It includes video chat discussions with a reading group and a Slack group. If you don’t want to join the class, you can read the source material on your own time.

  4. Defending Against Deepfakes. In thinking about the defense side of deepfakes, I don’t see a near-term market solution. At least until we have a larger problem that is more widely experienced. The social media, search engine and large media platforms have the resources to catch many deepfakes.  But is selling to those handful of companies enough of a market to fund the development of an arm’s race technology? I talked to a few founders working in the space and they had trouble finding customers. To my mind, attesting to the authenticity of a digital record is one of the best uses of blockchain. For example, should we have C-SPAN and similar written to blockchain? Should the camera manufactures write hashes of pictures to the blockchain? Will public figures film themselves continuously and defensively to prove they didn’t do or say the things depicted in deepfakes? 

  5. Covid Passports. I’ve been wondering about covid passports for over a year. I’m curious to learn more about any scaled implementations and their perceived downsides and risks. Are people reluctant about them mainly from an autonomy perspective? (not liking being told what to do - but yet we require many vaccinations to go to school which is mandatory.) What exactly is the privacy concern? Are people remembering that you need a yellow fever vaccine to enter many countries? Is doubt fueled by a mistrust of government? Is the concern that once this system is in place it will be used for other things? Or questions about vaccine safety? Some of the more credible efforts I’ve found are VCI, CommonPass or Travel Pass. I’d love your thoughts.

Until next week,

Miles