End of days

No weekly this week, but I recorded a 3Q2022 Market Update on Thursday for about 40 minutes. Feel free to send it along.

Click Here, Passcode: Wmv0@Gq$

Moving on…

$1.7 million down the drain.

One of my business school professors conducted a study years ago – to see if an entrepreneur could follow the rules in an economy that ran on corruption and still be successful.

His test was simple – open a bodega and sell essential goods in a Central American country without bribing or paying off government officials. After four years, they couldn’t even get a business license and eventually shut down the study because they ran out of time and money.

Well, if you swap “Central American country” with “San Francisco” and “bodega” with “toilet,” you pretty much get the summary of a story from the People’s Republic of California this week. 

The city of San Francisco just approved $1.7 million in taxpayer funds to pay for one public toilet to be built at the Noe Valley Town Square. The toilet and surrounding area will be roughly 150 square feet, and the absolute best part of this story is that the toilet won’t be ready for use until 2025.

Sometimes the jokes write themselves, so I’ll stop here.

We’re all going to die.

We’ve programmed computers to beat chess masters, taught robots to perform surgeries, and even built others capable of competing in American Ninja Warrior.

None of these made me think we were one step closer to a Terminator outcome. Sure, watching that Boston Dynamics robot jump around is a little creepy, but it’s also a long way away from passing the Turing Test

But what I saw this week convinced me to build a luxury bunker fully equipped with a wet bar and bowling alley, then stock it with dry foods and handheld artillery. Because Pandora’s Box has been opened, and inside is a robot that can autonomously play ping pong.

Watch this video with extreme caution. Afterward, hug a loved one. There’s simply no future for mankind. It’s just a matter of time.

Because not only is this robot really, really good at ping pong, but it is clearly also capable of contracting and transmitting diseases like COVID-19. I say this because it’s otherwise unclear why the human in the video – the only human in the video – is wearing a mask:

Enjoy the weekend. Hopefully, it won’t be our last.