Monthly Archives: September 2011

Empathy/Judgement/Drives

A beautiful article written by David Brooks on empathy here.

Schools somehow love to teach superficial stuff just to get by. When there’s a trend, all schools follow it and completely overdo the emphasis. I guess empathy is the trend now.

Kids need to develop judgement and not obedience and rules following. They need to have a judgement that tells them when to follow rules and when to break them. They also need to develop a love for something. It’s this love that drives them toward goals, achievements, and contributions.

The question remains how we can use school as a tool, just one of the available tools, to raise our kids to fulfill their potentials. The school is not a be all, end all of education. It’s also important to find a way to take advantage of school, but don’t let it break some of the kids’ greatest gifts, which are their imagination and curiosity.

Very interesting take from a former Netflix insider…

Ex Netflix CEO wrote a piece on the recent pricing debacle here. At first sight, doing both streaming and DVD does not seem that complicated. But apparently it was, according to the ex CEO.

I am still not convinced about this move. There’s no doubt streaming is the future, but I can’t understand why Netflix cannot just do both. An user can have 3 options: streaming only at $8, DVD only at $6, and streaming and DVD at $15. The current flow on the site seems okay: two separate queues, DVD and instant. Users cannot add movies to queues of services that they are not paying for. Or they can add movies to the queues, but they will only become active once paid for. I am a current user and completely okay with the experience.

By separating DVD and streaming, Netfix loses customers who are interested in DVDs. It’s a hassle to have two accounts, one for Netflix and one for Qwickster. Why not keep these DVD customers and convert them to streaming once more content is available?

Nevertheless, I commend the CEO for taking bold action to move forward to the future. It’s precisely because of the uncertainty (possibility of a backlash like this) that deters companies from taking necessary and timely actions to account to changing market landscape. Netflix is very bold, and it MAY pay off for them.

I am just not really buying the focus argument. To me, I am still not clear why separation is that much easier for both the users and Netflix.

Some economics readings…

Roubini on how to save the world.

Systematic evaluation of banks by Taleb.

Didn’t know how dire the situation is in Europe until I read this.

Soros on Europe

This is an interesting and highly complex system. This is why European Union doesn’t work well. Each country has its own interests, and they are not bounded by a common national fabric. If EU defaults, we’ll have very serious problems. This is a real problem, not a manufactured one like the US debt ceiling crisis.