Thursday, May 19, 2016

This Blog is No Longer Cool

Nor are you.

"Is Paul English the Soul of the New Machine?" by Janelle Nanos Globe Staff  May 12, 2016

For Paul English, the rage had been building, almost subconsciously, for years.

The serial entrepreneur, who cofounded in 2004 and sold the company 10 years later for $2.1 billion, had spent a big chunk of his life building tools that had essentially put travel agents out of business. But over time he realized his technology had removed a critical element: humans. The result was what he calls his “rage against the machine.”

With the launch of the new concierge travel venture, Lola, on Thursday morning, English, 53, said he has found a way to push technology boundaries while putting people back into the equation — a venture that’s generated tremendous anticipation in both the tech and travel industries.

“I want to make humans cool again,” English said.

I didn't know we weren't. 

Furthermore, this article and that sentiment makes it clear is what the privileged elite cla$$ that is in on the secret thinks of the masses. 

When you factor in the rush for drone deliveries, self-driving cars, virtual-reality headsets, and robots working in factories, well, it all looks like some dystopian future without you or me in it -- doesn't it?

Of course, I'm getting paranoid and conspiratorial despite the plans put forth at high levels for just such eventualities to advance the New World Order (for lack of a better term).

The notion of actual human contact in this era of digital solutions for myriad problems is an idea that so intrigued the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tracy Kidder that he spent the last three years profiling English for his upcoming book, which will be released this fall. 

Oh, this whole front-page feature is all a BIG BOOK PROMO!

Imagine that, huh? The notion of interacting with a fellow being. How intriguing an idea! 

Of course, I know some people I wouldn't want to interact with at all.

In the last six weeks, English has launched a trio of separate endeavors that independently might consume an average person. Lola is a chat-based travel planning app that syncs artificial intelligence tools with real-life travel agents. A second project called GetHuman assigns real people to tackle its clients’ customer service woes. And with Summits Education, English created a nonprofit network of schools in Haiti that he calls a rebuttal to tech-driven humanitarian endeavors he’s witnessed other entrepreneurs attempt . . . and fail.

“Technology should enable humans; it shouldn’t get in the way,” he said.

English is a Rubik’s Cube of a human himself: the Boston Latin grad, who now dabbles in Buddhism and talks openly about being bipolar, grew up in West Roxbury, as one of seven children born to a pipe fitter father and social worker mother. (The family is still close. He’s hosted dinner for his siblings every Tuesday for the past decade.) He says if his programming skills hadn’t panned out he would have been a psychotherapist. 

Yes, he's such a complicated puzzle!

The human angle was a question that was rattling around in English’s mind two years ago, when he left Kayak, and began doing the things you’d expect a wealthy, successful entrepreneur to do while he waited out his noncompete agreement, which barred him from starting a new travel company: He launched a startup incubator, Blade, and signed up to drive for Uber, tooling around in his Tesla to learn a bit about more about what it felt like to be rated on an app. (His first ride was on Halloween last year, and he was dressed as a vampire. English enjoys driving so much that he continues to give rides in his spare time.)

He also ramped up his charitable efforts. He’s been on the board of international aid charity Partners in Health since 2003 — its cofounder, Ophelia Dahl, credits him with fortifying the website so that it was able to handle the onslaught of donations that followed the 2010 earthquake — and he now travels to Haiti a half-dozen times a year. 

Where did all that money go anyway, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush?

It’s through that work that he first met Kidder, a fellow board member whose best-selling book “Mountains Beyond Mountains” profiled Dahl’s co-founder, Paul Farmer. Kidder won a Pulitzer Prize in 1980 for writing one of English’s favorite books, “The Soul of a New Machine,” which chronicled the race to build the next-generation computer. Their shared interests eventually evolved into Kidder’s upcoming biography of English, “A Truckful of Money: One Man’s Quest to Recover From Great Success,” which will be released by Random House on Sept. 20.

In addition to pocketing a hefty payout, English took away several lessons from Kayak. The do-it-yourself travel booking platform not only put a lot of travel agents out of business, but over time, he realized, it also made the process of booking travel more complicated for users.


When given too many options, people can get overwhelmed by a phenomenon known as the Paradox of Choice....

That's also the flip side to censorship, and guess what choice I'm making with the rest of this slop.


I need another option myself, but until then let's hit the links:

"In Mashpee, it’s country club vs. Carl Icahn" by Shirley Leung Globe Columnist  May 13, 2016

MASHPEE — These days, instead of working on their handicap, members of the New Seabird country club are gearing up for a legal battle with billionaire investor Carl Icahn, the owner of the 1,500-acre waterfront Cape Cod community. No, it’s not about whether you can wear jeans in the clubhouse, but whether Icahn is violating a 1998 bankruptcy court order that prohibits dramatic changes in membership terms.

But before we get too far, I know what you’re thinking. It can be hard to feel sorry for people with million-dollar second homes.

That's why John Henry sent his Asian woman over to perform some fellatio.

The tit-for-tat began in March when the management of New Seabury Properties, a subsidiary of Icahn Enterprises, sent a letter to its approximately 780 members proposing to streamline the number of membership categories from 33 to 6. Some members got upset because their annual dues could go up as much as 30 percent, and some would lose privileges to a new fitness center and pool.

A group filed a motion in April to reopen the bankruptcy case, alleging that Icahn’s company had violated the original agreement. Members had until May 15 to decide what to do, but after petitioning the court for more time, a judge this week gave them until the end of the month.

Some members aren’t waiting for a court ruling. They’ve resigned, upset over management’s confrontational style. Others are scoping out Willowbend, another exclusive golf community in Mashpee.

Today New Seabury is considered one of the nicest full service resorts on the Cape — one that can appeal to golfers and beach lovers. The community consists of about 2,000 homes, ranging from $300,000 fixer uppers to $5 million McMansions. Popponesset Island is also part of the development, where New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft and his family have a compound....

He tries to keep a low profile.

Opponents say  “follow the money,” and one of the ringleaders behind the insurgency says “It’s the principle of it.” 



Did you see who got the last laugh

And he's supposed to become Trump's Treasury Secretary?


"A new wave of development should soon turn the bustling business district into a place for people, too." 

You are an AFTERTHOUGHT to them!