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The Genius and Tragedy of Patrick McKenzie

I. This post outlines Patrick McKenzie - a brilliant technologist and entrepreneur - how he's done such amazing things and learned so much, and why he's getting drastically underpaid and how it's his own fault. This post will be most valuable for technologists who underestimate themselves and undervalue themselves.

II. Hacker News is the best tech community on the internet, and patio11 - Patrick McKenzie - is the best contributor there. I don't even think that's controversial, I think it would be near universally agreed by the HN crowd that Patrick has made as many or more important contributions as anyone.

If you're from Hacker News, you know Patrick already. But for my readers that don't know him, let me give you a quick overview.

III. Patrick is a multi-faceted genius, and I don't throw the word genius around casually.

Patrick McKenzie is many things - he's an expatriate to Japan, he's a talented coder, tester, metrics/split-testing/analytics user, a great writer, extremely modest and helpful. He can recruit people, evaluate talent, and manage people well. He understands ROI very well and is good at purchasing advertising. He's good at customer service. Outsourcing. Automation. Coding. Ecommerce.

The Art of Mainstream Rap

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The whole idea behind TED Talks have been brought under heavy criticism recently. TED is a platform that has the slogan "Ideas Worth Spreading" and it seems to be only that. Many good ideas float around TED conferences, but little to nothing happens. The ideas of each talk are interesting, but eventually put in the back of people's heads without any action being taken. So, I want to try to take an idea from a TED Talk and actually do something with it.

I recently watched this TED Talk by British hip hop artist Akala. In it, he discuses the origins of hip hop. It started off as a platform for musicians to transmit ideas, to transmit knowledge. Rappers are modern versions of Shakespeare. He ends his talk by talking about how music is able to unite people, something I touched upon in my comparison of country and rap music.

I enjoy music for this sense. It does bring people together. And, I believe it still spreads messages. Sure they are not all intellectual, but each song has a meaning regardless.

I will readily admit I do listen to a lot of hip hop and rap, but my preferences are more mainstream. For example, I am an avid Kanye West fan and most of the music I listen to experiences heavy radio airplay. I don't listen to artists known for their lyrics such as Nas. I still believe though that the music I listen to does have meaning and does convey knowledge.

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