Growing up, at least during crop season, Monday morning came late Sunday night. That's when the farm next door shifted the water our way for a spell. Once we were done with it, we'd push that cool H₂O down to the Sorenson family. Their Tuesday morning came late Monday night.
My brother and I came to dread Sunday evenings. We'd put on those oversized water boots and slouch toward Grandpa's truck. Without fail, he'd see us dragging our feet and holler, "Looks like we got a couple of no goods up to some good for once."
You could set your watch to him saying those words, followed by that deep laugh of his. We never laughed. I don't remember cracking a smile. Not sure we knew what he meant; not sure I know to this day.
I've sure been thinking about it a lot.
A couple of no goods up to good. Upon reflection, well, I'm not sure we deserve to spend a day trying to become something better than that.
With the U.S. rapidly approaching its debt limit of $31.381 Trillion, a high-stakes bipartisan meeting is set for May 9th at the White House to discuss a path forward. Last month, the House narrowly passed Kevin McCarthy's debt ceiling bill, but negotiations on the debt ceiling remain stalled, with both parties refusing to compromise. Republicans demand spending cuts and other cost savings, while President Biden has opposed tying spending cuts to raising the debt ceiling.
With Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warning of the potentially devastating economic consequences, if lawmakers don't act, the May 9th meeting with Republican and Democratic leaders is set to be a significant moment in the ongoing debt ceiling debate.
As Ukraine prepares for a spring offensive, some U.S. and European officials believe it could result in negotiations between Kyiv and Moscow by year's end, with China potentially playing a role in bringing Russia to the table. Despite previous skepticism, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently expressed optimism that Beijing could help defuse the conflict. While European officials push for negotiations, countries like Poland and the Baltic states believe Ukraine should be given time to make gains, even if the coming spring offensive doesn't reshape the battlefield. As the conflict continues, the international community hopes a diplomatic resolution can be reached to end the ongoing violence and suffering.
Google is set to revolutionize once again the way we search online. The tech giant recently announced plans to upgrade its search engine with A.I. chat and video clips, allowing users to conduct conversations with an A.I. program under a project code-named "Magi." This new approach will search more "visual, snackable, personal, and human," according to Google. With this overhaul, users can expect to find more relevant content besides traditional web pages from video and social media sources.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that employers added 253,000 jobs in April, surpassing the expected 180,000. However, previous months' employment data saw significant downward revisions, and the Federal Reserve's tighter monetary policy could soon impact the labor market. Demand for workers still outstrips supply in the hospitality and food service industries, pushing wages upward.
Inflation in the goods and energy sectors has shifted to hotels, air travel, and childcare services. A weaker economy could reduce demand for these services, stabilizing prices and limiting wage growth. The U.S. will likely witness a layoff rise soon as the Fed begins its tightening cycle in mid-March 2022.
Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) left Department of Energy Deputy Secretary David Turk stumbling for answers during a Senate hearing on the impact of spending $50 trillion to reduce global temperatures. Kennedy pressed Turk on the cost required for the United States to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, which Turk did not provide.
The Louisiana senator voiced his concerns over the proposed budget request for a 38% increase in green energy funding, the cutting of nuclear energy funding, and a barely increasing allocation for fossil fuel energy funding.
A Wall Street Journal report has claimed that TikTok employees may have had access to user data related to LGBT content. While the company has stated that the dashboard to access the data was deleted in the U.S. almost a year ago, this news will likely add to fears of a nationwide TikTok ban. Such a ban could have cascading effects worldwide and may be a part of the US-China geopolitical struggle for technological superiority. With 1.8 billion globally, TikTok is a prime example of Chinese tech service success globally.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has raised concerns over the U.S.'s response to COVID-19 and the safety of vaccines. In an appearance on The All-In Podcast, Kennedy questioned why the U.S. has one of the highest COVID-19 death rates in the world and yet spends the most on healthcare. Kennedy has also been against mandatory vaccines, citing inadequate testing and government oversight. While some may question Kennedy's expertise, he's long been involved in healthcare advocacy.
The Future of Work With Leading Expert Tony Jamous
May 11, 2023 | 12:00 MST | Oyster CEO Tony Jamous
Tony created Oyster to remove the remaining barriers to successful remote work, including hiring, compensating, and managing team members far from the office.
The rapid development of A.I. technologies has raised concerns about the potential misuse of these systems, prompting President Biden to restrict the sale of advanced computer chips to China. This decision highlights the need for arms control in the A.I. era. The race to develop AI-powered weapons increases the risk of accidental strikes and decisions based on misleading or false information.
Negotiating such agreements is challenging due to national security and strategic advantage concerns. Still, it underscores the need for an arms control regime that addresses both state and non-state actors who might exploit A.I. for malicious purposes.
The banking crisis that began with the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank has resulted in plunging stock prices for regional banks such as PacWest and Western Alliance. First Republic Bank's failure, which JP Morgan Chase mostly took over on May 1st, is expected to cost the FDIC $13 billion.
The ongoing crisis has led analysts to believe that regional banks face a problem of confidence, prompting discussions around the need to urgently address the rules allowing small banks to operate with thin safety cushions and stress-test the whole system for risks from rising interest rates, following European standards.
Legendary former NBA coach Phil Jackson recently sat down with music producer Rick Rubin for an in-depth conversation on the latter's new podcast, "Tetragrammaton with Rick Rubin." The interview covered various topics, including Jackson's coaching style, key lessons he learned throughout his career, and his diverse religious upbringing.
Jackson discussed his coaching style, which is inspired by Zen philosophy. He compared basketball to a jazz quintet, where players take turns being the lead or background, and instructed his players never to hold the ball more than a two-count rhythm to maintain spacing and timing. He also shared essential lessons for coaching, such as setting the standard for being on time, doing everything as a team, and empowering players to provide insights and offer suggestions.
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman recently discussed Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) and Large Language Models (LLMs) like GPT-4 on The Lex Fridman Podcast. While Altman is hopeful about the potential of future A.I. models, he does not consider GPT-4 an AGI. He admits that it would be "crazy" not to be slightly afraid of AGI due to the potential for disinformation problems or economic shocks at levels far beyond what society is prepared to handle.
Altman also acknowledges the impending surge of capable open-source LLMs with minimal safety controls, underscoring the importance of addressing A.I. safety and updating A.I. safety work. Ultimately, Altman stresses the importance of discussing and addressing the possibility of AGI posing an existential threat to humanity, advocating for discovering new techniques to mitigate potential dangers, and iterating through complex problems.
"Connectography: Mapping the Future of Civilization" by Parag Khanna
"Connectography: Mapping the Future of Civilization" by Parag Khanna is an insightful and thought-provoking book that examines connectivity's role in shaping humanity's future. Khanna, a global strategist, presents a compelling argument that connectivity, rather than traditional geopolitical boundaries, is becoming the primary determinant of wealth and power in the 21st century.
Presidential Candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in conversation with the Besties
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