Monthly Archives: July 2006

Is natural selection on intelligence dead?

Though I don’t agree with the argument, one could argue that richer people are more likely to be intelligent. And richer people today are undoubtedly having fewer kids. So one could draw the conclusion that natural selection on intelligence is dying.

On Monday night, I had dinner with friends Andy Choy and Fabrice Grinda and we got into a long discussion on natural selection, population trends, etc. Another interesting point: the more religious you are, the more likely you will have a bigger family. So one could say that the country is becoming more religious but more likely is that those who are more religious are contributing to a larger part of the new population.

will our generation ever have a US President??

i wrote this 3.5 years ago back in january 2003 but it came up in a discussion I had recently:


The current President of the United States, George W. Bush, is a boomer. So was his predecessor Bill Clinton. Boomers were born from 1943-1960 and experienced the sixties and Vietnam in their youth and the eighties prosperity/optimism in their rising adulthood. Given that most boomers are just now dominating the political landscape, I expect their generation to be a force for a long time to come.

The generation before the boomers, the Silent Generation (born 1925-1942) never had a president. They still have a few chances – but I expect they never will win the nation’s highest office. People like Dick Cheney, Mike Dukakis, Gary Hart, Walter Mondale, and Colin Powell are all members of the Silent Generation – serious leaders but none of them ever becoming President.

For 32 years (1961-1993), the Presidency was dominated by the generation that preceded the Silents – commonly referred to as the G.I. Generation (or as Tom Brokaw likes to say, “the greatest generation”). Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Bush 41 all reached young adulthood during World War II. That generation effectively led America through the cold war to its completion.

Because of population trends, I’d argue that the boomer generation has a good chance of doing the same thing and will lead us through the 20-30 year war on terrorism we are now facing.

But were does that leave my generation, Generation X (born 1961-1980)? My generation is saddled right at the bottom of the baby bust. The next generation (the Millennials born from 1981-2002) has experienced one of the largest baby booms in our nation’s history. And though we are represented by people like Congressmen Harold Ford and Devin Nunes, and Senators John Sununu and Norm Coleman, we might never have a President of our own.


Rapleaf raises small angel round

you can tell i’ve been consumed by Rapleaf as i have not had a chance to keep up summation lately.

about 6 weeks ago we raised a small angel round (about one million dollars) led by Peter Thiel (who has been super helpful). Other active angels include: Michael Birch, Jeff Clavier, James Currier, Ron Conway, Eric Di Benedetto, Founders Fund, Oliver Jung, Peter Kellner, Alex Lloyd, and Aydin Senkut.

we just hired two people (who start in a few weeks). and we are looking to hire three more amazing software developers. and we’re offer a $5000 referral reward to anyone that refers us a software engineer that we hire.

Book: Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson is a wonderful listen. what an amazing story about an amazing man. and Isaacson (who wrote another great book: The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made) is a great storyteller.

to me this book says a lot about having strong principles but also understanding that the perfect is the enemy of the good.

summation: read/listen this book