Daily Productive Sharing 155 - What Does Patrick Collison Think About Future?
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(The English version follows)
今天的分享是 Stripe CEO 的访谈。Patrick Collison 在文中谈到了他对科技的看法，对于未来的乐观，非常有深度。如果你好奇为啥他有如此深入的见解，不妨看看他的书籍推荐，可以在我们的往期推荐中找到。
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Today's share is an interview with Stripe's CEO, Patrick Collison, in which he talks about his views on technology, his optimism for the future and is very insightful. If you're curious as to why he has such insights, check out his book recommendations, which can be found in our previous issues.
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Daily Productive Sharing 155
Hanging out with Patrick will typically always involve him asking you to explain ideas in your area of specialization, which he will typically grasp with unusual alacrity; at least once, he threw a party that consisted of people giving him seminar talks on topics of their choice!
His biggest intellectual interest is the idea of technological progress — what it means, why it happens, and how to encourage more of it.
I think the 2020s are when we'll finally start to understand what's going on with RNA and neurons. Basically, the prevailing idea has been that connections between neurons are how cognition works.
One suggestion is that RNA is actually part of how neurons think and not just an incidental intermediate thing between the genome and proteins.
With Alzheimer's, say, we were stuck for a long time on variants of plaque hypotheses (“this bad stuff accumulates and we have to stop it accumulating”)... it's now getting hard to ignore the fact that the immune system clearly plays a major -- and maybe dominant -- role.
As a prefatory point, "why has progress been slow?" might be approaching things backwards -- maybe it's better to puzzle over "why is it ever fast?" or “why does it exist at all?”.
there's just the status quo bias that naturally ensues from "well, we have a working system; that system naturally resists change".
Nobody in financial services thinks that real-time settlement is a bad idea. Cryptocurrencies show that it is a quite tractable problem.
In terms of what the world needs, improvements in medical technology are probably still #1.
Climate change mitigation technology (cleaner energy generation and CO2 sequestration and so on) is also quite high up.
Overall, though, I worry less about any sector gobbling up all the smart people -- if there really are great opportunities elsewhere, some smart people will see that and things will eventually correct (as happened with finance and tech) -- and worry more about some sectors being structurally inhospitable to very talented people.
High-quality R&D work is among the most important things for our society to effectively support.
Because it’s mostly driven by politics from above, though, I don’t think that “tech competition” is ultimately the right framing... I think there’s government-driven competition that sometimes shows up in tech and in other sectors whether they like it or not.
Most of the world is unbanked! Pretty much every aspect of internet commerce is still shockingly primitive.
So, I remain a very big believer in infrastructure, and I think that Stripe is still early in its journey to unlock all sorts of entrepreneurship and economic activity that wouldn't otherwise have occurred.