Longreads + Open Thread

Epic, Twitter, Industrial Policy, Clubbing, Stripe, Trains

Programming note: The Diff is off Monday for Memorial Day. Back Tuesday the 31st.



Open Thread

  1. There are some cases where transmitting data is hard because of the same adversariality. One way big institutions collapse is that as local knowledge gets passed up the chain, the good news gets exaggerated and the bad news gets downplayed. This is part of the story of the Vietnam war, the war on drugs, and the declines of companies like US automakers and IBM. That's an adversarial environment, too; if job security and internal politics are more important than the good of the organization as a whole, information decays as it moves up. In that model, newer tools like live dashboards of KPIs are partly a way to reduce the number of steps information has to take before it reaches the people who make decisions around it. They aren't perfect—choose the wrong KPI, and you'll make the wrong decisions—but they illustrate that solutions are feasible for this category of problem.