Monthly Archives: February 2005

4info launches

Pankaj Shah and Zaw Thet are launching 4iNFO. This is a very cool SMS service that i have been beta testing for the last month.

Essentially you can SMS a information request (like “weather new york”) to 44636 (4INFO) and get back an SMS with your information. i’ve tried this for flight times, movie times, yellow pages look-ups, stocks, and more.

they even have an undergrad feature called “shot” that will SMS you back a random shot (if you happen to want to impress people at a bar)…

on religion

After just celebrating Christmas and Hanukkah, I have been thinking a lot about religion….

In the U.S., parents generally no longer determine a child’s profession, whom they marry, where they live, what they study, who their friends are, etc. … but parents still determine their child’s religion — arguable one of the most important aspects of someone’s life and soul. why?

there are many great religions out there — why are most people’s religion chosen by one’s parents?

and though some religions simultaneous act as cultures — like the Jewish culture — culture is much different then religion. culture is much more about your background and where your ancestors came from — and one should celebrate that. but religion is much more about who *you* are.

Now many people change their religion or convert to a new religion then their parents — but they are a very small minority. The biggest predictor of a person’s religion is what their parents’ religion is (and the only time people tend to change their religion is right before marriage). That’s not as true in profession, field of study, favorite hobbies, favorite authors, or even political party.

Why? Why don’t people choose a religion for themselves?

Books: The Wisdom of Crowds

Review of: The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations by James Surowiecki

This is an absolutely marvelous book recommended to me by Craig Johnson at Heller Ehrman Venture Law Group.

After reading the Tipping Point, Six Degrees, Linked, The Influentials, etc etc one would think there’s not much else to learn on this subject. and so it was with some skepticism that i downloaded the Wisdom of Crowds audio book.

but i was immediately surprised and excited by the content and the insights. it was also fortuitous that i listened to the book at the same time is was reading Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Taleb — they have a lot of commonalities (and Fooled is even mentioned a few times in Wisdom).

summation: i strongly suggest you read/listen to this book. if you are an avid audible user as i am, put this book on the top of your download queue.