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Marc Andreessen “reads backward” to reveal the patterns of societal reaction to new technology, optimistic and pessimistic scenarios for the future of the Internet, and why he thinks the education system is unfixable

Marc Andreessen: Interview with an Icon

Marc Andreessen: Interview with an Icon

The Knowledge Project

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Marc asks the following questions to better understand claims about the negative effects of technology:

  • Is this the first generation of technology for which they have made those claims?
  • Were the claims different or were they the same? If they are, how are they playing out diff...

How Does Technology Impact Social Hierarchies?

It’s basically a battle between top-down hierarchy and lateral network building, 

The way that power has been exercised in our society through these decades of mass systems has been about people in conference rooms arguing with each other over control of these mass mechanisms. They argue ov...

The new kids on the block are educated on the internet, their depth of technological, financial, and cultural knowledge is very broad. They are idealists and have an intuitive sense of how new technologies could be harnessed to improve the world, and they actually have the power to do it.

T...

Based on 1984, a novel by George Orwell technology is used to control the masses. Technology with the potential to disrupt hierarchical control instead ends up enabling top-down control.

Analyzing Martin Gurri’s scenario of nihilism Marc says Peer-to-peer networks are good at destroying but...

How to Extract the Right Lesson From an Experience?

Learning from experience is natural, but you have to understand the domain in which you are operating

In a deterministic domain (e.g. standardized testing) not getting a 100% and asking what you did wrong makes sense; you didn’t study enough, read the material, etc.

But this doesn’t w...

MARC ANDREESSEN

I no longer think there are any qualified people starting tech companies that have bad ideas, it’s just a question of timing and execution.

How Probabilistic Thinking Can Help You Make Great Decisions

What every venture capital capitalist of all time has in common is that each of them missed almost all of the great deals of their generation.

The bad news is that you are going to make that kind of mistake. But the good news is that you don’t have to score 100%; you can take chance...

If the strategy involves 10 bets, you don’t get evaluated based on any particular bet, or even an average, yet the total performance of the basket investment

If one of those bets accounts for 99% of the profit of the basket then that is a perfectly fine outcome. You can make risky b...

The Problem With the Education System

In Marc’s view, the education system is completely unfixable

It’s an old system that has been on autopilot for 100 years and doesn’t fit anywhere anymore. It suffered the same fate as every institution that goes across multiple generations.

He doesn’t believe in schoo...

Mental Models of Highly Successful People (Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Andy Grove, and Others)

You can “borrow” mental models of people you admire; Ask yourself, what would they say in the face of any particular challenge you are trying to solve.

Read about their thought process if they have talked about or written about it.

Ellon Musk uses first principles thi...

MARC ANDREESSEN

Stress test your ideas through a lens that’s not just your preconceptions.

Books which Marc keeps coming back to

The WEIRDest People in the World by Joseph Henrich

The Machiavellians: Defenders of Freedom by James Burnham

The best book on politics of the 20th century

The Revolt of The Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium by Martin Gurri

The Ancient City by Numa De...

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created 2 ideas

An anti-mentor is someone who, when they look down on you or disagree with you, you know you're doing something right.

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