2022 Robinson R44 Raven II review

Here are some thoughts after flying a factory-new $700,000 Robinson R44 Raven II from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. Our machine is the gold one in the foreground on the ramp at KTOA:

(One of the teachers in the safety course, regarding a photo of the R22, R44, and R66 lined up, said “They’re not going to win any beauty contests.”)

The $25,000 air conditioning is a great luxury and worth the 33 lb. payload penalty. The lack of a sliding window for taking pictures is a continued disappointment. If you want a good aerial photo you need to land, remove a door, take off again, take the photo, land, put the door back on, etc. Bell and Airbus manage to include simple mechanisms for temporarily obtaining an unobstructed camera position. Why can’t Robinson do this?

The $57,000 autopilot should have been a game-changer and it kind of was, but usually not in a good way. I have trained some Blackhawk pilots who were transitioning down to the R44 and they struggled initially because they always flew the Blackhawk with the stability augmentation system (SAS) enabled. The Genesys autopilot’s core mode is SAS, in which it seems to return the helicopter to whatever attitude was preset. The system is hyperactive, however. If there are small attitude changes from extremely light turbulence or just the vibration of the helicopter, the autopilot will fight those small changes. A human pilot would do nothing and assume that the attitude bumps will average out. In straight and level flight, the SAS system is applying a control input literally every second. It is like having the world’s most nervous copilot on the controls with you. It probably should try to figure out if a human pilot is on the controls and, if so, do nothing until there has been at least a 2-degree disturbance in attitude. We were able to get the autopilot to fly a NAV course, go down a glide path on an LPV approach, etc. It more or less works just like an autopilot in an airplane, but because the helicopter shakes so much more it is not as confidence-inspiring. Is it worth $57,000 (the pre-Biden price of an airworthy certified IFR-capable 4-seat airplane)? Maybe! Despite the annoyance factor, I think it is worth enabling SAS for night flights and any time visibility is reduced or there is a chance of inadvertent instrument meteorological conditions (i.e., going into a cloud).

Robinson has limped into the glass cockpit era, but not gracefully. The Garmin G500 is a primary flight display, but not an integrated flight deck like the G1000 (see the Bell 505). So the pilot needs to look at the warning lights above the PFD to see if anything dramatic is wrong with the machine. Although the helicopter is certified for visual flying only and there is nothing on the PFD that is necessary for continued flight and landing, the FAA requires that Robinson install a full set of backup steam gauges. These are much larger and easier to read than what’s on the Garmin glass (the vertical speed indicator, for example, is at least 5X the size).

The G500 does not display a lot of the information that you’d expect it would. For example, it shows the outside air temperature and the aircraft’s altitude. Even without access to the manifold pressure sensor, it could look up in a table to find out what the current maximum continuous manifold pressure should be (corresponds to a horsepower limit) and display that to the pilot. It becomes the pilot’s job to use a table on the checklist or in fine print on the cyclic. Robinson continues to have separate fuel gauges for the main and aux tanks so it becomes the pilot’s job to do a bit of arithmetic and calculate flight time remaining.

Our second radio was a Garmin 225B. It was entirely unreadable/unusable at night due to being so much dimmer than the G500H and the GTN 750 (the NAV/COM1).

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National WASP WWII Museum

As we remember Pearl Harbor today, I will share some photos from a recent visit to the National WASP WWII Museum in Sweetwater, Texas. I learned that just over 1,800 women who’d already earned at least Private certificates were invited to train as Women Airforce Service Pilots (closer to 1,000 completed the program). The museum does a good job of walking visitors through the progression of training to fly military aircraft.

I knew that WASPs had ferried new aircraft from the factory to military bases, but I didn’t realize that they’d also towed targets for live fire practice (video interview). Remarkably, none of the women were killed during this activity.

Some details on the admissions and training processes:

Note that an interview with Florida-native superstar pilot Jacqueline Cochran was required.

The museum preserves some of the trainer aircraft (airworthy, apparently; note the oil drip pans) and shows off the skeleton of a “Bamboo Bomber”:

There are some poignant stories and memorials regarding each of the 38 WASPs who died during the two years that the program existed. No WASP was ever in combat, but there was plenty of potential for a mechanical problem in an airplane made without CNC machine tools. There was no moving map, no GPS, no NEXRAD for weather, etc.

WASPs were civilians, though Jimmy Carter retroactively made them military personnel (on the one hand, their job was nowhere near as dangerous as being a combat pilot and they never had to deploy overseas; on the other hand, their job entailed far more danger than that faced by millions of military men, e.g., those who worked stateside at desks). The museum highlights later female-identifying military pilots. The sign below makes it sound like an F-14 crash was the plane’s fault (after mismanaging an approach, Kara Hultgreen stomped on the rudder like a student pilot, which killed one engine, and then failed to manage the single-engine go-around).

The sign below about Colleen Cain caused me to search for more. She and two fellow crewmembers died going out at night into horrific weather to try to save seven sailors on a fishing boat. They had trouble with navigation, plainly, and ended up hitting terrain. They would all likely still be alive today given GPS and moving terrain maps. It is tough to understand how people can be brave enough to fly helicopters for the Coast Guard. A core part of their job is going out into weather bad enough to sink ships.


The museum’s conference room featured incredibly comfortable “sled” chairs that allowed a slight recline and had sufficient cushioning. It looks like they are Office Master OM5 stacker chairs. I am tempted to order some for kitchen table use!

Admission is free, but donations are welcome.

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Which Muslim countries are left in the World Cup?

“Fans pause action for Friday prayers during first World Cup in a Muslim country” (Reuters):

As noon approached, muezzins across Qatar called Muslim soccer players, fans and officials to the first Friday prayers of the first World Cup to take place in a Muslim country.

How’s the World Cup going? Reuters says that this is the first time that a Muslim country has hosted. So it would be exciting if a Muslim country won the tournament. Besides England and France, which Muslim countries remain competitors?

Separately, here’s a guy at London’s Tate Modern studying a soccer game play analysis by Coach Cy Twombly:

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R.I.P. Frank Robinson (and a few notes from the safety course that he loved)

I arrived in Los Angeles for the Robinson Helicopter Company’s safety course on November 13. The engineer who founded the company, Frank Robinson, died the day before at age 92 (AVweb). Frank democratized helicopter flying with his reasonably priced machines that were simple to operate and maintain. I had a few conversations with him over the years and he was always generous in sharing his time and direct in sharing his point of view.

Frank’s son Kurt Robinson now runs the company and he welcomed us to the class: “We want you to know what we know.” He stressed how important the safety course was to his father, a point later backed up by Bob Muse, a legendary LA helicopter pilot and teacher. “Frank missed fewer than 5 safety courses over the years,” Bob noted. “He would reschedule vacations and business meetings so that he could welcome every class of pilots. Frank loved aviation and the company. It was never about money.”

Bell and Airbus (“Eurocopter”) pilots enjoy heaping scorn on Robinsons, but we learned from Bob and Tim Tucker about how the pilots and engineers at all of these companies cooperate and fly each other’s machines. Robinson has been a leader in some safety areas, e.g., crash-resistant fuel bladders and standardizing on the Vuichard technique for recovery from vortex ring state (most likely encountered during a downwind steep approach to an off-airport landing zone).

Some of Bob’s points:

  • we overemphasize autorotations in training; it is rare to see accidents that are caused by something that would require an auto
  • seek recurrent training every 6 months, which is what the most experienced pilots will get
  • look at NTSB Safety Alerts
  • take phones away from mechanics; interruption by phone call is a common reason for a procedure step to be skipped

The previous generation’s aircraft mechanics have been retiring and are being replaced by younger less intelligent less conscientious Americans. Maintenance-related crashes are nearly twice as high a percentage of the total (still less than 10%, however) compared to 10-20 years ago. The biggest causes of Robinson accidents are wire strikes and weather, each contributing roughly 30 percent.

A huge number of safety-related initiatives and FAA regulation updates that would improve safety have been delayed by two years or more due to coronapanic. Everything that was on track to be approved in 2020 is still pending. One big change would be to revoke SFAR 73 and update the Robinson POH to add similar requirements, e.g., 20 hours dual before going solo, to the limitations. The requirements would then apply to international customers as well (currently about 80 percent of Robinson’s production is exported).

The latest Robinsons all come with dome light cameras (see Time for a robot assistant up in the dome light of the cockpit? for what I think it should do, but of course it doesn’t!). These have been very helpful in investigating accidents. (As with seemingly everything else in aviation, it was already obsolete when installed. The limit on memory card size is 128 GB, which is good for 10-15 hours. There is also an internal 16-hour memory that the pilots can’t access and that is recorded to even when the camera and audio are switched “off”) The dome light camera also provides some interesting cautionary videos. In one video a Bell 407 pilot, who previously did a lot of flying in Robinsons, is getting current again in the R44. She pulls the mixture, thus shutting off the engine, instead of the carb heat. She then immediately pushes the mixture back down, but the engine quits anyway. If they’d crashed, it would have been due to an “unexplained power loss.” (As it happens, the instructor in the left seat pushed the collective down and did a nice autorotation to the side of a railroad track. We then see him frantically pulling on the rotor brake. It turns out that a train was coming!)

My favorite video featured Julie Link on a sightseeing tour in Hawaii. The R44’s engine quits (the mounting block for the magnetos failed; apparently they’re both on the same piece of metal) and she does an autorotation to a field with two tourists in the back who don’t seem to be aware that things have become perilous. After they land, we hear her say “The engine stopped. It happens. It happens to me a lot.” (She previously did a heroic autorotation in an R22 to a street in Honolulu (Daily Mail).)

Once established in an auto, if the low RPM (97%) horn goes on, I like to take out half of the collective check that is in. Bob says to push it all the way down so as to build that reflex and then pull it back up slightly after the RPM is back to 100 percent.

Bob recommended watching a U.S. Army video on mast bumping.

Robinson now offers a polycarbonate windshield that will ruin a bird’s day, but not yours. We talked to a guy who owns 13 R66 (the turbine-powered Robinson) helicopters and he said that the view is distorted (he also said that he’s had disabling engine problems with 4 out of 13 Rolls-Royce turboshaft engines!). Robinson says that they scratch just as easily as the standard acrylic windshields, but the scratches cannot be repaired.

Those are some of the things that Frank Robinson might have wanted you to know! It is sad that he is gone, but he did pack a lot of achievement into his 92 years. He is the only person in world history who built a sustainable piston helicopter business.

After the class, I joined a former student from MIT who was picking up his new R44 Raven II helicopter. We flew from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. together and the only squawk was that the left front door became a little tougher to latch after about 15 hours (we picked it up with 4 hours on the collective Hobbs). It is tough to think of another aircraft manufacturer that delivers this kind of quality, especially down in the piston ghetto. I think it is reasonable to say that the more than 13,000 helicopters Robinson has built are Frank Robinson’s true memorial.

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Meet in Las Vegas this week?

I am headed to Las Vegas today. Would anyone like to meet there or in Pahrump/Death Valley over the next 7 days? No plans currently other than meeting Hunter Biden at Sheri’s Ranch.

The couple next to me on this luxurious private United jet has voluntarily elected to come from San Antonio to Palm Beach for a destination wedding, changing planes in Houston. They have decided to expose themselves, in other words, to every respiratory virus that exists anywhere in half of the U.S. (other guests also traveled in). They’re protecting themselves from exposure on four crammed flights, three airports, one hotel, and multiple restaurants with comfortable non-professionally fit masks.

A 0.5x perspective


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Will Jews have to pay reparations to Kanye West?

Ye (formerly Kanye West) said that Jews controlled the media and, to show how wrong he was, Jews got him removed from all media. He was at least briefly back on Twitter, though, thanks to the non-Jewish Elon Musk. If Congress and Joe Biden get organized with a reparations system for Black Americans (see below), will Jews end up paying Kanye’s $8/month verification fee? And also Louis Farrakhan’s? (“Farrakhan has accused Jews of controlling the media, government, and global economy, along with being behind the Atlantic slave trade, Jim Crow laws, and black oppression in general. He regularly calls Jews “Satanic” and has repeatedly praised Adolf Hitler as a “very great man.””)

Speaking of Farrakhan, the Twitter Righteous apparently never banned him despite his denial of Science (example below implying that ivermectin is effective against SARS-CoV-2). Marjorie Taylor Greene was banned for saying that COVID vaccines did not prevent COVID infection/transmission (ultimately it turned out that Science had always believed and said this). Why didn’t the Misinformation Team promote Online Safety by banning Farrakhan?

It looks like the Anti-Defamation League supports reparations (example 1: example 2). (CEO Jonathan Greenblatt is closing in on $1 million/year according to IRS filings so he can afford to pay Kanye a significant amount.) I would love to see tweets from Kanye West and Louis Farrakhan talking about all of the stuff that they did with the reparations they received from Jews!

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Italy as tax haven (living under fascism for 100,000 euro per year)

I was chatting with a Dutch friend on WhatsApp on Thanksgiving Day, reminding him that we were celebrating our theft of an entire continent from the benevolent peace-loving Earth-preserving Native Americans. I shared a photo from the morning golden retriever walk:

For his part, he shared the European perspective: “There are two ways to live life. Short and violent or long and miserable.”

What else did I learn? “The left-wing parties control Dutch cities and say that they want immigrants to Holland, but don’t want the immigrants congregating in the cities that they rule. So they’ve been trying to force immigrants to settle in the conservative country towns. That hasn’t worked because the provincial towns have refused to provide free housing for migrants. So the Hague just passed a law forcing the country towns to take these immigrants.”

What are the Dutch with money doing? “Moving to Italy,” he responded. “The Italians let foreigners who move there pay 100,000 euro per year in tax. After that you can have 100 million euro in capital gains, dividends, etc. and they won’t even ask about it. It’s actually better than moving to a Caribbean tax haven because you get rebates on all of the withholding taxes on dividends because Italy has a tax treaty with the Netherlands.” (fact check: the scheme seems to have started in 2017) He said “You have to make sure that you don’t stay more than 182 days per year in the Netherlands or have kids in school here. Like New York State chasing after people who move to Florida, the Dutch government will try to find any excuse it can to continue collecting taxes. But it is really not a hardship to live in a Tuscan villa.”

Separately, the newspapers that warned us of the fascist takeover of Italy have gone silent regarding Giorgia Meloni’s dictatorship. Based on this Reuters article, it looks like the main program of fascism is stoking inflation via bigger government:

Italy’s new right-wing government signed off on its first budget in the early hours of Tuesday, a package focusing on curbing sky-high energy bills and cutting taxes…

Next year’s budget deficit is targeted to fall to 4.5% of gross domestic product from 5.6% this year. The package is still expansionary because under an unchanged policy scenario the deficit ratio was headed for 3.4%.

The budget contains almost 35 billion euros ($35.95 billion) of increased spending or tax cuts. Some 60% to be financed through increased borrowing.

Over 21 billion euros to help firms and households pay electricity and gas bills, mainly through subsidies for energy-intensive firms and low income families.

Next year Italians will be able to draw a pension from the age of 62 provided they have paid in at least 41 years of contributions.

That compares with the current rule, put in place for just this year by the previous government, allowing people to retire at 64 provided they have worked for 38 years.

The budget also extends to 2023, with adjustments, an early retirement scheme for women. Beneficiaries will be able to draw a pension at 58 if they have at least two children, at 59 with just one child, and otherwise at 60.

So, just like Americans under transferism, the Italians under fascism are going to work less and spend more!


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Getting half of someone’s earnings without going to family court

The U.S. has been the world leader in enabling a plaintiff to go to family court and obtain half (or more) of a defendant’s future earnings (see Real World Divorce and a recent enhancement for alimony and child support plaintiffs in Maskachusetts).

This week, however, we’ve learned of a way to get half of a target’s earnings without needing to walk down to the courthouse. From the Righteous, “United States Women’s National Team earns more money from men’s World Cup than its previous two women’s tournaments” (CNN):

The United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) earned more money from its male equivalent reaching the knockout stages of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar than it did from winning its own tournaments in 2015 and 2019.

“This is a truly historic moment,” US Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone said in a statement in May. “These agreements have changed the game forever here in the United States and have the potential to change the game around the world.”

“Male equivalent”? Aren’t the male equivalents of the USA Women the local 14-year-old boys’ teams? (“FC Dallas under-15 boys squad beat the U.S. Women’s National Team in a scrimmage” (CBS))

Let’s check the Deplorables… “World Cup 2022: US women’s soccer team earns nice payday thanks to men’s win over Iran” (Fox Business):

The U.S. men’s national team defeated Iran 1-0 on Tuesday to move onto the knockout stage of the World Cup for the first time since 2014.

While the entire U.S. cheered on Christian Pulisic and company in the exciting defeat of their final Group B opponent, it was the U.S. women’s soccer team that really won big without having to put a cleat on.

The U.S. men’s team is guaranteed a payout of $13 million for making it to the knockout stage of the World Cup, and because the U.S. women’s team struck a historic deal to receive equal pay with the men and split prize money 50/50, they are guaranteed at least $6.5 million.

The prize for the men making it to the round of 16 is more than the women earned for winning the 2015 and 2019 World Cups combined. According to Yahoo Sports, the women’s team earned $2 million in 2015 and $4 million in 2019.

Who has been watching the World Cup? I’ve got the cable TV box, which sits powered off for months at a time, programmed to record all of the games. Which ones are worth reviewing?

One thing that I’ve noticed is that “crypto.com” is an advertiser inside the stadium. How is this company different from what Sam Bankman-Fried was running? It is an exchange and holds crypto on behalf of customers and also issues its own coin? Wouldn’t users worry about being Bankman-Frieded?

I also noticed that Google is a huge advertiser. How is this consistent with the company’s commitment to social justice? Wikipedia says “Sexual acts of male homosexuality are illegal in Qatar, with a punishment for all convicts of up to three years in prison and a fine, … The Qatari government does not recognize same-sex marriage or civil partnerships, nor does it allow people in Qatar to campaign for LGBT rights.”

Volkswagen stopped advertising on Twitter because 1 in 100,000+ tweets contained some words that are sometimes used in an anti-2SLGBTQQIA+ context (stats), but it is enthusiastically advertising in partnership with Qatar.

Today was a sad day for the USA Women as the players whose income they are tapping failed to prevail over the Netherlands, a country with a smaller population than Greater New York City, my Dutch friend pointed out (he is not a fan; “soccer is traditionally a sport of the lower classes here”).

Why is the World Cup worth watching? The players don’t usually play together on a team, right? Each national team is hastily assembled from among city-affiliated teams, right? How can these games stir as much passion among fans as regular soccer games among European or Brazilian cities? What would happen if Fußball-Club Bayern München could enter the World Cup? Would the city team beat all of the national teams due to general coherence and experience playing together? Or are the national teams stronger because they assemble stars from many city teams?

One of the new stadiums from the official Qatari web site:

The site also has a guide to cultural norms:

People can generally wear their clothing of choice. Shoulders and knees should be covered when visiting public places like museums and other government buildings. Swimwear is commonly worn at hotel beaches and pools.

Qatar has a very family friendly culture. Children are welcome in almost all premises, including restaurants, malls, cultural establishments and fan zones, all day and late into the evening.

Public displays of affection are not part of local culture, but making new friends and celebrating together are.

How about cultural appropriation? Justin Trudeau would be safe here:

While international visitors and residents wear a wide variety of clothing styles, Qatari citizens usually wear traditional attire. Visitors are welcome to wear traditional Qatari clothing if they choose to.

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Elizabeth Holmes as seen by those who knew her best

Letters sent to the judge (public because they were officially filed in the case) reveal a more positive side of Elizabeth Holmes, now sentenced to serve 11 years in Federal prison (but maybe Joe Biden will pardon her?). But the letters also reveal a lot about their authors and show that Elizabeth Holmes’s capacity for self-delusion might not be unique.

From the father of her children:

Liz and I met at a friend’s Fleet Week charity event in the fall of 2017. …

When our dog Balto had been carried away by a mountain lion from our front porch Liz had faith that he could still be alive. She searched for 16 hours in brambles, and poison oak to find him. It was only once she saw his lifeless body that she could come to realize that he was gone. It crushed her.

Her selflessness knows no bounds. … So much of what has been written about Liz is untrue.

Her nightmare of being raped at Stanford was replaced by the nightmare of 12 monstrous years with Sunny which was then replaced by the nightmare of losing her life’s work and the vilification to follow. It’s been a long road of hardship for her.

Many people will make arguments that you should have leniency to ensure she can help others, to ensure she can invent great things or lift up a woman facing the unimaginable reality that she has been raped, and incarceration will limit her capacity to do those things.

From her dad:

Church was a very important part of our life together. Even that became an adventure. The priest at Holy Trinity in Washington DC conducted a children’s Mass with a little blue puppet known as Mr. Blue. We learned a lot from Mr. Blue.

We only learned of the true nature of Sunny Balwani’s abuse after she finally left him in 2016. … For us as a family, one painful lesson is how critical it is for rape and abuse victims, as well as the families of the victims, to understand how vulnerable they are to abuse and control, how that plays out over time and how to psychologically respond to that. … Elizabeth’s relationship with Mr. Balwani was not one of conspiracy as the media contended. The relationship was one of fear, control, and submission.

Personal wealth has not been a motivator for Elizabeth in her life.

From a pilot and military drone pioneer:

(For the record, I agree with Mr. Blue! It is the investors in Theranos who should be imprisoned, not the young Stanford dropout whom the investors believed was more capable than the file cabinets full of chemistry PhDs at Philips, Siemens, Roche, et al.)

From Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey:

I knew Ms. Holmes for about six years before charges were brought against her. We first met at a public policy conference hosted by the late Senator John McCain, bonding at a dinner when we discovered we were both vegan – there was nothing to eat, and we shared a small bag of almonds. … she was not only sincere about her interests but a person who would indeed dedicate herself to making positive contributions in the world beyond her company. … I believe that Ms. Holmes has within her a sincere desire to help others, to be of meaningful service, and possesses the capacity to redeem herself.

From Timothy Draper, bigshot venture capitalist (partner more famous due to various encounters with Silicon Valley females, all of whom were having sex with a slate of other guys (when do these folks have time to work?)):

I am a venture capitalist and have been one for over 35 years. I have seen a wide variety of companies in a wide variety of industries. Some succeed and some fail. We backed Tesla, when it was just an idea on paper, agreed to an investment in Skype when it was an entirely different business than the one they ended up with, backed Baidu when no other US investor was even looking at China. When we backed Theranos, we knew it was a long shot. Elizabeth, at 19 came to us and said, “We will change health care as we know it.” She told me how passionate she was about the need for change, and said she would be making the sacrifice of dropping out of Stanford to create the business.

Now we have a horrifying situation. A potentially great entrepreneur with extraordinary vision is being condemned by society for taking that enormous risk, sacrificing everything and failing, by not properly communicating her side of the story to the public.

Elizabeth has a lot of brilliance in her. She will continue to be a positive contributor to society. Her vision for healthcare was only partially portrayed in her efforts at Theranos, and her ideas could save millions of lives over the course of the next few decades. Restraining her would be a travesty. People have asked me if I would back her again. My answer: Not as a CEO, but as an entrepreneur and Chief Science Officer, absolutely!

Who agrees with me that this Draper guy is the one who should be imprisoned? A college dropout as Chief Science Officer? “Vision” as a substitute for achievement?

Jessica Ewing, a former product manager at Google, reminds us that it is women who are the real victims:

And when I saw Elizabeth do that, I questioned my own life. What was I doing with my time, why couldn’t I do something at a larger scale that helped more people? Elizabeth inspired me to start my own company, Literati, which helps kids find books and become stronger readers. We all need heroes that look like us.

(Speaking for myself, it would be a challenge to regard anyone who looked like me as a hero.)

Speaking as a woman who has raised $60M in venture capital, I can confirm it is not easy. It is not easy for anyone, but I feel it’s worth noting that approximately 3% of venture capital goes to women CEOs.

$60 million in capital for a kids’ book club service?!? The home page shows that they send out Women Who Dared, a book that is available for free in our kids’ book club service, a.k.a. The Palm Beach County Public Library. How are the investors ever going to get a return from this when the competition is funded by an infinite river of property taxes?

Note the contempt by this elite feminist for “the masses”:

I’m not sure what actual purpose decades in prison would serve Elizabeth. She is not a threat to society and does not require further rehabilitation. She has already lost her net worth, has been mocked, ridiculed, and has seen her genuine effort to achieve her soul’s highest purpose turned into home entertainment for the masses. In short, I believe my friend has suffered enough for her sins, and putting her away would effectively do nothing but discourage more women from starting businesses

(The lowest risk and highest return business for a young woman to start in California involves meeting with venture capitalists, but no pitch deck is required. See Litigious Minds Think Alike: Divorce litigators react to the Ellen Pao v. Kleiner Perkins lawsuit for a calculation of the child support profits available by formula under California law.)

Jimmy Carter’s Director of the CDC weighs in. Just as today’s CDC figured out that cloth masks and bandanas were effective PPE against an aerosol virus, such that vulnerable people could feel free to leave their COVID-safe homes, yesterday’s CDC figured out that the best place to look for scientific knowledge is not among those who actually studied science, e.g., by going to grad school in science and then working as a post-doc:

I was impressed by her scientific knowledge… Ms. Holmes has scientific gifts …

He ultimately joined what he refers to as Theranos’s “Board”. I’m not sure if this was a medical advisory board or the corporate board. Either way, I think that he is more deserving of prison than Holmes.

More on the subject of why women have to lead differently, stretching the truth as necessary:

A couple of letters down, Andrew Goldberg agrees that “It’s incredibly difficult to be a startup founder, let alone a female startup founder.” How does Andrew know? He/she/ze/they was originally Angelina Goldberg and switched to a male-sounding name in order to escape prejudice?

A woman who knew Holmes as a Stanford undergraduate writes “my own experiences had led me to believe that the justice system favored men” (94 percent of Californians collecting child support, i.e., the victors of the winner-take-all family court system in that state, identify as women in Census data (source)). She reminds us of who the real criminal in U.S. society is: “we have seen our democracy nearly overthrown”.

It is almost impossible for a woman to get ahead, writes Genta H. Holmes, Bill Clinton’s U.S. Ambassador to Australia:

She contradicts my theory that the real villains of the story are the professional investors. In fact, it is “social media” that we should blame:

Scanning through the 281 pages of letters, the overall portrait is of a deluded person and the authors of the letters show that delusion is an all too common human trait. Even after the exposure of Theranos in Bad Blood, the letter authors haven’t processed that the person with no scientific or engineering training was not and is not on track to make a scientific/engineering difference to the 8 billion humans who infest what used to be a great planet.

Retail investors weren’t harmed by the Theranos fraud. I’m not sure that patients were harmed by the Theranos fraud, other than being worried for a few days in between a Theranos test and an accurate blood test. I guess the 11-year sentence has to be understood also in the context of Holmes’s refusal to plead guilty. The whole criminal justice system is set up with long sentences for those who insist on rolling the dice at trial, thus forcing the government to work. The idea is that the accused will plead guilty and receive what used to be the standard sentence for someone who had been convicted at trial. Holmes will thus serve 3 years for what she did at Theranos and 8 years for trying and failing to pin all of the blame on Sunny Balwani, the old guy with $40+ million with whom she was having sex.


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Matt Taibbi’s story about Twitter’s suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story

Have folks tried to follow and understand the story about Twitter’s pre-election-2020 suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story and other material that politicians asked them to deep-six?

I think there is supposed to be a narrative in here, but it is so chopped up by the presentation as individual tweets that it is tough to follow.

Has Matt Taibbi mostly proved that Twitter needs a substantial re-thinking to be suitable for long-form text? (I think tweets should be allowed at any length up to the standard relational database CLOB (character large object) limit of 2 billion characters, but a reader sees only a short summary (that long-form authors are forced to craft) until he/she/ze/they clicks “more”)

Readers: Have you figured out whether there is anything of interest in this reveal of internal Twitter machinations?

Update: In the official NYT version of history, Twitter’s shaping of what viewpoints people could express (or send to each other in private messages) never happened. The front page of the NYT time has space to talk about “notable diversity” of the U.S. World Cup team, but there is nothing about the Twitter files reveal. (Separately, I dispute that the US team is diverse. There are no gender ID requirements for World Cup players and yet for some reason players of only one gender ID have been selected.)

(Joe Biden’s granddaughter also does not exist according to the NYT. A search for plaintiff “Lunden” Roberts or granddaughter “Navy Joan” yields no results on nytimes.com.)

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