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Ben’s List 20

I started reading The Emperor’s New Mind by Roger Penrose a few months ago and got captivated by the physicist’s statement that machines can’t be conscious.

In this week’s list, you’ll find a very similar argument exposed by David Hsing:

AI that takes on extremely close likeness to human beings in both physical appearance, as well as behavior, should be strictly banned in the future. Allowing them to exist only creates a world immersed in absurd paranoia.

Check out the link below for the full article and a recollection of thoughts experiments such as the Chinese Room and the Symbol Manipulator.

We also cover community, Big Tech, startup sales, venture capital, design and the creator economy.

Bonus game at the end of the list if you’re missing international travel as much as I am.


Artificial Consciousness Is Impossible

“A claim that all things are conscious (including an AI) as a result of universal consciousness would be conflating two categories simply due to the lack of terms separating them. Just because the term ‘consciousness’ connects all things to the adherents of universal consciousness, doesn’t mean the term itself should be used equivocally.”

Big Tech

Big Tech tax burdens are just 60% of global average

“Countries have been competitively cutting corporate tax rates in an effort to attract global companies. These successive cuts have lightened their burden in what critics call ‘a race to the bottom.’ Meanwhile, companies, particularly in the U.S. and Europe, have spent their tax windfall mainly by rewarding shareholders through stock buybacks and other means. This has contributed to growing wealth and income inequality.”

Inside the rise of ‘Free Speech’ anti-Facebook platforms across Central Europe

“The biggest offenders of press freedom are now posing as defenders of free speech.”

Can Apple change ads?

“Apple regards itself not just as a platform provider but as a system provider. Your iPhone is a system, and Apple decides how it works and what developers can do on it, and just as Apple controls security, wireless networking, power management or multi-tasking, it also controls privacy.”

Creator Economy

From Winner Take All to Win and Help Win: the Original Vision of the Internet is Making a Comeback

“We’re currently living through a shift in the business model of the Internet, from ad-revenue to direct-to-creator monetization. We can’t underscore enough how profoundly this alters incentives – platforms are now less focused on driving eyeballs and more focused on building tools that make creators money.”


Micro-Communities – and why you should start one too

“Take a moment to imagine you had the chance to meet other successful people and be a part of their journey. This includes taking part in brainstorming content and strategy ideas, helping each other grow, and acquire other perspectives — the ROI is almost immeasurable.”

How Dunbar’s Number Makes Or Breaks A Community

“Dunbar’s number is the cognitive limit of the number of stable relationships someone can have. It is commonly known as 150, although the practical number for a community is lower because people always have relationships elsewhere. 150 is the max where a large amount of time is being spent on ‘social grooming.’”

A Slice of Life in My Virtual Community

Old but good: “…community is a matter of the heart and the gut as well as the head. Some of the most important learning will always have to be done by jumping into one corner or another of cyberspace, living there, and getting up to your elbows in the problems that virtual communities face.”

Venture Capital

PODCAST: Global VC view: Funding startups in the next normal

“The boom that tech startups have been experiencing has continued through the pandemic. Two leading venture capitalists talk about how investing in them is changing.”


All Things Sales! 16 Mini-Lessons for Startup Founders

“In this series of snack-sized videos — which you can watch all together, or mix-and-match for your particular questions and needs — Levine distills the fundamentals that every founder should know about sales. The 16 lessons in this “mini-MOOC” offer everything from definitions to concrete guidance for the following”


On Building a Fluid User Interface


City Guesser – Can you guess what city you’re in?


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