Longreads + Open Thread

R&D Politics, Coffeehouses, Chargers, Digital Currency, Greedy Algorithms, Civil War



Open Thread

Some organizations start out being exclusive and interesting, but end up being exclusive and dominated by social climbers. Which have avoided this pathology, and are there any good examples of an organization that went back to being more meritocratic over time?

  1. I’m running the modern equivalent of this arbitrage as I write this, using a coffee shop as a co-working space. There’s a balance to maintain on this arbitrage, where I want the coffee shop to feel as much like a co-working space as possible, so the more arbitrageurs, the better. But if too many people are hogging tables for most of the day (as I’m guilty of), coffee shops have to raise their prices in response, killing the arbitrage. (Right now, I’m pleased to say the coffee shop is ⅓ the price of a co-working space with a healthy population of regular co-workers, but there’s some network effects to co-working, and the price of coffee has been rising for a year so it’s unlikely my arbitrage continues to be as lucrative into the future.)