Wednesday, January 03, 2024

What I Wish Someone Had Told Me

 That’s the funny thing about heroes” (she said) “Some people love them, but a whole lot of people hate them.”

~ Shiver me witches by A A Albright.

The World’s Top Thinkers 2024: ideas for a world on the brink

As a planet and a civilisation we are approaching tipping points—some frightening, others freeing—that will transform life as we know it. Here, we present our annual list of intellectuals—from priests and strategists to neuroscientists and historians—who will help us navigate the world in the year ahead

What I Wish Someone Had Told Me

  1. Optimism, obsession, self-belief, raw horsepower and personal connections are how things get started.
  2. Cohesive teams, the right combination of calmness and urgency, and unreasonable commitment are how things get finished. Long-term orientation is in short supply; try not to worry about what people think in the short term, which will get easier over time.
  3. It is easier for a team to do a hard thing that really matters than to do an easy thing that doesn’t really matter; audacious ideas motivate people.
  4. Incentives are superpowers; set them carefully.
  5. Concentrate your resources on a small number of high-conviction bets; this is easy to say but evidently hard to do. You can delete more stuff than you think.
  6. Communicate clearly and concisely.
  7. Fight bullshit and bureaucracy every time you see it and get other people to fight it too. Do not let the org chart get in the way of people working productively together.
  8. Outcomes are what count; don’t let good process excuse bad results.
  9. Spend more time recruiting. Take risks on high-potential people with a fast rate of improvement. Look for evidence of getting stuff done in addition to intelligence.
  10. Superstars are even more valuable than they seem, but you have to evaluate people on their net impact on the performance of the organization.
  11. Fast iteration can make up for a lot; it’s usually ok to be wrong if you iterate quickly. Plans should be measured in decades, execution should be measured in weeks.
  12. Don’t fight the business equivalent of the laws of physics.
  13. Inspiration is perishable and life goes by fast. Inaction is a particularly insidious type of risk.
  14. Scale often has surprising emergent properties.
  15. Compounding exponentials are magic. In particular, you really want to build a business that gets a compounding advantage with scale.
  16. Get back up and keep going.
  17. Working with great people is one of the best parts of life.

DOJ Press Release: “In Executive Order 14074, Advancing Effective, Accountable Policing and Criminal Justice Practices to Enhance Public Trust and Public Safety, the President declared a policy to “make policing safer and more effective by strengthening trust between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve.” As explained by the Executive Order, one of the many ways to advance that policy is to “commit to new practices in law enforcement recruitment, hiring, promotion, and retention, as well as training, oversight, and accountability.” In furtherance of these goals and to promote new and strengthened practices in the hiring, promotion, and retention of law enforcement officers, the Executive Order directed the Attorney General to establish a National Law Enforcement Accountability Database for official records of law enforcement officer misconduct, commendations, and awards…”

CRS – Access to Government Information: An Overview Updated December 18, 2023: “Congress has long recognized the people’s right to know about the operations and actions of the federal government. A series of modern statutes provides a framework for ways the public may access government information. 

Built up over the past 60 years, these key statutes allow the public to access information about the federal government’s operations, information the government might collect on individuals, and insight into some of the government’s
decisionmaking processes. These key statutes include the

  • Freedom of Information Act (FOIA; 5 U.S.C. §552),
  • Privacy Act of 1974 (Privacy Act; 5 U.S.C. §552a),
  • Government in the Sunshine Act (Sunshine Act; 5 U.S.C. §552b), and
  • Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA; 5 U.S.C. Chapter 10).

These statutes generally operate by using one or two access mechanisms: a request-based system for information, and proactive or contemporaneous disclosure of the information in an open forum…After enactment of these statutes and subsequent evolution in their implementation, Congress has continued to question whether they provide for sufficient public inspection of government activity and whether federal government actors are complying with or circumventing the intent of these statutes. 

To help determine whether or not information can be sufficiently accessed, Congress might evaluate multiple questions, including whether the sought-after information is exclusive to certain individuals or software, at what point the information can be retrieved during decisionmaking processes, and if the information provided is sufficient to determine the context in which it was created. This report provides an overview of each of the four statutes and includes a discussion of policy questions and legislative considerations for each one.”