Diana G. Liu

Verizon customer says "Verizon slows data." Verizon says "We treat all traffic equally." Netflix says (paraphrasing) "You most certainly do not, and here's the data to prove you're fucking lying." 

Verizon insists it “treats all traffic equally” but new data from Netflix indicates that the network provider’s customers have seen a degradation in service quality in the past months.

(Source: rose-clementine)

(Source: cute-overload)

1,002,793 plays


:’ )

(Source: joe-gully)

(Source: grinderman2)



Ally Financial agreed on Friday to pay $98 million to settle accusations that it discriminated against minority borrowers who were charged more than white customers for auto loans by car dealers.

Under the settlement, which was announced on Friday by the Justice Department and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Ally will pay $80 million to compensate victims and $18 million to the C.F.P.B.’s civil penalty fund.

The C.F.P.B. found that Ally “had not made sufficient efforts to ensure that it was complying with fair lending laws in its pricing of indirect auto loans,” Richard Cordray, the director of the C.F.P.B., said in a statement announcing the administrative action. Working with the Justice Department, the C.F.P.B. found that 235,000 minority borrowers were paying up to $300 on average more in interest than white borrowers with similar credit profiles.

Hey so charging People of Colour higher interest rates to borrow money is a huge problem and it’s something regulators need to address more. Like, this is an added cost of hundreds to thousands of dollars on relatively everyday transactions that we white people are exempted from for no clear reason. There’s tons of evidence not just with car loans but also with mortgages, which is a way bigger deal because buying a house and then having it appreciate in value is by far the most prevalent way for households in the bottom 99 percent to accumulate wealth over time.

Incidentally, this almost definitely isn’t an artefact of people with better educations being better at bargaining, or something like that. In 1995 two economists paid a bunch of actors to go to car dealerships and negotiate their car purchases off of an identical script. White men got better deals than black men, and white women got better deals than black women. So what’s happening here is that salespeople (overwhelmingly white men, in the case of car dealerships) just like some consumers more than others and are giving them better deals as a result.

Obviously this is totally unacceptable, but I don’t think that fines in the range of tens of millions of dollars are the right way to enforce regulation. Those fines are ultimately paid by the shareholders, and their impact is massively diluted by everything else the company does, and I don’t think the bad publicity matters at all. It would be way more effective to fine the actual salespeople responsible and/or their managers, and optimally ban them from engaging in financial negotiations at their workplace.



Ok Dr. Phil’s wife, Robin, (yes groan, but listen up) has this new app out (iPhone and Android) that’s for people in abusive relationships. It’s called Aspire News and it’s disguised as a regular news app, but when you go to the “Help” section of the app, it leads you to domestic violence resources and also has a “Go Button” that when you press it, if you’re in a compromising situation, alerts local authorities as well as local shelters and starts recording everything that is going on.

Now, if you’re looking up resources on the app and your abuser is near, simply press the X button and it brings you to a random news page. Same goes for the actual foundation site.




Why aren’t there more physician entrepreneurs?


The vast majority of physicians are specialists like cardiologists, neurologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, etc. For the last 10 years their brain has been trained to think in silos. But being an entrepreneur and the leader of a company, you need to be a systems thinker. If you think in silos, your business is over. Companies have a ton of working parts. So if you’re a specialist, you’re probably going to think “If all you have is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail.” So you’re going to probably try and create a business that impacts your specialty. It would be rare for a neurosurgeon to create a health company that affects the general population. So that means, out of the roughly 600,000 practicing physicians, the 150,000 generalists will be the pool that creates health companies that impact the general population.

Physicians are also notoriously inexperienced business people. I remember in medical school, we’d get a special lecture a year on the business of medicine or the legal side of medicine or personal finances. In fact, the last business class I ever took was in 10th grade. I’ve had to teach myself the fundamentals of business. Essentially, I received my MBA from books I’ve read and experience in my previous two companies. 

Also, physicians aren’t so much team players. They’re paid for their own personal opinions, the buck stops with them individually, and they are legally responsible for their own actions. Giving up decision-making control to someone else isn’t in their DNA. But being an entrepreneur requires being a team player, giving up control, and managing people. It’s a skill we have to learn. 

So health companies that affect the general population will very likely come from the 150,000 generalists.

Now what fraction of 150,000 generalists will actually then deny the comfortable straight and narrow, have the creativity for a realistic innovative idea, have the skills to then raise money, build and manage the team, have the skills to build the product or service that people absolutely love, and execute a financially sustainable business over time? 

That 600,000 is quickly whittled down to, I’d wager, way under 100. And the fact that realistic health innovation is so damn few and far between supports this theory.

Of course, there are so many assumptions in this theory, but I’d still generally stand by them.



NASA astronaut Leland D Melvin with his dogs Jake and Scout.

jake and scout

If I’m very decisive and I surround myself with people who just want me to make decisions, then we’ll go off the cliff at 130 miles an hour, because at some point I’ll be wrong. What I need are people who want to come to their own conclusions and are willing to think independently, and can argue with me in the right way so that I will internalize it and keep it objective as opposed to emotional.
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