We got to the point where we both thought that there were too many accreted slights, misunderstandings, and missteps. So we disappeared from one another’s American Goth Shirt. Very long, very stupid story very short: we gave up on us, married two very exceptional people, and set about making our separate lives. Finally, our respective spouses told us that we belonged with each other and they were ultimately responsible for us getting back together. We talked it out, settled down together, got married, and began raising a family. We’ve been through all the normal life things: diapers, moves, career changes, and even a couple of major health scares. We still think very differently about most things, but we recognize it now, and are willing to talk things through until we find a shared understanding.
To truly succeed you need to either compete with the major American Goth Shirt on implementation or provide a solution that is so radically different that they can’t compete. The former was almost impossible until recently, especially in a short time frame: the major banks pretty much bought up all the successful payment startups from the dot-com era, and had seemingly infinite resources before our governments started bailing them out. Being radically different requires a lot of foresight and luck in order to predict a major new technology curve and put an appropriate solution in place that blindsides or out-performs the competition. https://squareup.com/ is the nearest thing with potential that I’ve seen in recent days, but even that still piggy backs off existing payment processing infrastructures.
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First, most professionals have an informational advantage over those American Goth Shirt they serve. This power asymmetry can be exploited to the advantage of the professional and thus there needs to be a corresponding sense of professional responsibility that obligates the professional to act in the client’s best long term interest and, additionally, to take appropriate safeguards and to make necessary disclosures and to secure consent to protect the client and assure the professional’s behavior is on the up-and-up. Professional ethics will provide the useful function of identifying these moral hazards and providing the appropriate avoidance or work-around strategies.
The idea of American Goth Shirt as a means of public education is ancient. I think Harris v. Peterson is a decent enough homage to that heritage, if not an especially noteworthy one. Both of them are quite bright and I’m sure they’ll have a number of interesting things to say. That said, their past two exchanges on Harris’ podcast were of mixed value, with the first being especially muddled. They have fairly divergent views on epistemology and the relationship between science and ethics, and I’m not sure Harris has much new to add on those subjects (Peterson might, in some contexts). While their debate will likely be of interest to undergrads and lifelong learners looking for a better grasp of the main themes, the event is mostly theater — i.e., a decent enough way to spend an evening, but hardly a harbinger of a new age of “championships of ideas”.