Garbage In, Garbage Out

June 14, 2024
Leyendecker Executive Search

Welcome to This Week’s Leyendecker View

It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.
John Wooden


Garbage In, Garbage Out

AI…oh AI…oh oh oh AI…What future will you create for us?

Let’s start with what AI seems to be.

Nvidia, and soon some of its eventual competitors, will have chips that can instantaneously access unthinkable amounts of relevant information available online to obtain an answer to almost any question.

Want to analyze all digitally-accessible cases of cancer to reach better conclusions as to what causes it, why it happens, and how to treat it? AI will likely be able to do that.

Want to analyze all traffic patterns to optimize transit systems? AI will likely be able to do that.

Want to analyze all the ways to use hydrocarbons while simultaneously reducing their carbon footprint? AI will likely be able to do that.

As AI gains access to all the data for complex problems, it’s going to be able to come to quicker and more productive conclusions than we humans can.

But what about the quality of AI’s conclusions? That’s a matter of the information it’s processing to reach those conclusions. And that information comes from us. So then what about the quality of human knowledge?

At one time, the greatest scientific minds in the world “knew” the world was flat. And at one time, the greatest scientific minds in the world “knew” the planets in our solar system revolved around the earth. And at one time, the greatest medical minds in the world “knew” that bloodletting was a productive medical procedure.

At one time, leaders “knew” that witches were real and needed to be exterminated. At one time some humans “knew” for sure that other humans were of such a lower order that they were best off as slaves.

Today we know all the above “knowns” of the past are not true. And if we think that all our knowns today are true, then we are just as naive as past generations and societies.

This seems to be how humanity works…

We “know” something. We know it so well that our leaders, generally the government, promote these knowns and use them as the foundation to create laws and systems. Eventually, some new information comes along that exposes some of those “knowns” as incorrect or even delusional.

This is the human condition. Human history and the path to progress are full of mistakes and failures. Unless you believe humans today are nearly godlike in our knowledge and thinking, then this means that some of today’s “knowns” will prove to be false.

What does this mean for AI? It means that, inevitably, some portion of the information we are feeding AI will eventually be proven to be wrong. This means that some of AI’s outputs will be wrong and, eventually, will be proven wrong.

AI is a reflection of us. It is a reflection of collective human knowledge at a given time, and we humans are enduringly fallible. We’ve seen again and again that our knowledge and information is never complete. We are always learning. We are always confronting knowledge dead-ends and having to start over. We are also always discovering new things that challenge old assumptions.

It is a guarantee, then, that AI will not solve all of humanity’s problems—not so long as it is built on the limits and fallibility of human knowledge. In fact, in some cases, AI might even exacerbate our problems.

Garbage in, garbage out. Right?


Consumer inflation is easing
Producer prices are contracting
Fed expects only one rate cut this year
High rates are ballooning the deficit

IMF warns of US debt level
Not to worry, we have the US Mint.

Since the Fed started raising rates
Financial conditions have continued to improve


Food prices to remain volatile
Lots of risks in the world these days.

Have you heard the news?
The world now has a sand shortage

Insurance inflation out of control
Costs we can’t opt out of.


US dock workers threaten to strike
They fear machines will replace them.

Boeing blames workers for its trouble
Usually a good sign it’s a leadership problem.

Gen Z becoming the tool-belt generation
Pays better than Starbucks.
They can earn $44 an hour in an O&G job


European voters move right
Voters rebuke European Union
Italy’s Meloni gains strength
Germany’s Scholz is routed
France’s Macron seeks to stem losses

France’s next leader
Could be a 28-year-old ultra conservative

Italy puts the brakes on solar
Voters don’t want more expensive energy.


G7 leaders get together for talks
Will their shrinking global relevance be a subject?

Mexico’s president embraces judicial reform.
Investors flee the peso

Iran promotes hardliners for president
This ain’t no democracy.


Biden commits big to Ukraine
“Until they prevail in this war.”

US broadens scope of Russian sanctions
Why do we have an inching-up strategy?
G7 tells China to quit helping Russia

Russia releases women in prison.
To be sent to Ukraine war


Civilian bloodshed will help Hamas
Says Gaza’s leader.

The UN wants a cease-fire
Is the UN in charge of countries now?
Hamas’s reaction means war continues

As everyone focuses on Gaza
The war with Hezbollah heats up
Israel strikes Hezbollah in Lebanon
They strike back with 200 rockets into Israel


Russian warships in Cuba
Putin thinks he’s playing poker.

EU puts big tariffs on Chinese EVs
Germany fears a trade war is coming
Does the Chinese economy need the West?

US to offer Saudi Arabia landmark defense deal
The players line up for what?


Private equity is buying CPA firms
How will that affect their independence?
While portfolio company distressed debt grows

AI is now making investment decisions
Can a person beat AI investing?

Global M&A lurches back to life
Bankers are back in the chips!


What retail apocalypse?
Shopping centers make a comeback.

Restaurants are the hot real estate tenant
Who cooks at home anymore?
Restaurants having their biggest year ever

Blackstone’s real estate fund defies gravity
Are they massaging the numbers?
Starwood’s REIT needs cash
Office building losses are piling up
NYC building sells for 67% off


Amazon goes big in Taiwan
Betting against a China takeover.

Apple announces their AI system
Will it be world-changing good?
Apple partners with OpenAI
Musk will ban Apple if OpenAI is in its OS

Indian billionaires challenge Musk
A private space race is coming.

Social media drains people of their free will
Says Twitter founder, and Elon Musk.


The behind-the-scenes, big AI winner
Looks to be Microsoft
While Amazon stumbles badly

IMF sees big AI risks
When economic downturn comes

Silicon Valley in major uproar
Over California’s proposed AI regulation.


Science is often proven wrong.
Because it’s dominated by groupthink

Some illegal immigrants are terrorists
When will we experience an “event”?

Stanford reinstates test scores
Meritocracy returning?


Who is ready for Universe 25?
We really don’t want to go there.

Anyone remember disco ecstasy?
It may be legal soon
But it just hit an FDA roadblock

New England kids flock to Southern colleges
Warm, fun, cheaper and not woke.


California goes nuclear on fossil fuels
What if fossil fuels left the state?

Is the climate crisis ending?
Is reality finally setting in?

Shrink the economy to save the world
But who will get shrunk?


Norway strikes gold.
With large rare-earths minerals find

Next-gen nuclear plant breaks ground
Bill Gates wants to build lots of these.

The cheapest way to make green hydrogen
Could be to mimic trees


You may be able to afford an EV.
But can you afford to insure it?

EV profits are years away
Says Ford CEO.

Volvo moving EVs out of China
They’ll make them in Belgium, instead.


China building megaport in Peru
Cheap stuff headed to South America.

China exports picked up in May
Their services economy is also growing
But can we trust their numbers?

Since China took over Hong Kong
Their office market has lost $270B


SCOTUS rejects abortion pill challenge
What happened to Christian nationalism?
Is Christian nationalism the left’s new bogeyman?

USPS’s $40B overhaul
Is not going very well.

Your government at work
Bad ideas, bad execution.


The Trump trial was politically motivated.
That’s what most voters believe

Wall Street billionaires get behind Trump
Will he become their patsy?

Trump wants to eliminate taxes on tips
Would certainly be helpful to workers.


Tools for critical thinking
Train your brain to work better.

The secret to modern friendships
Friends make everything better.

The importance of social fitness
It helps all parts of your life.


The perils and pleasures of bartending
In Antarctica. Really?

The AI beauty pageant finalists
Don’t fall out of your chair, or your mind.

Have you tried 23andMe?
Have you looked at your feet?


Ridley Scott will rent you his villa
Who’s up for a trip to France?

Thailand gets White Lotus tourist bump
Tourists get ahead of the next season.

Are national parks too crowded?
Try these stunning national forests


South African jazz is coolsville
Fine music from Cape Town

Ngwana O Ya Lela
Grooving with Philip Tabane.

Cool vibes from Hugh Masekela.


An interview of Netflix founder, Reed Hastings
How to cultivate high performance.


RIP, Jerry West
Mr. Clutch was a legend

Wolfs trailer.
Brad Pitt and George Clooney fun.

Sasquatch Sunset trailer.
“A unicorn of a movie.”

The Thelma trailer.
GO, granny, GO!


The Blue Zones Kitchen cookbook
100 recipes to live to 100.

How to make the juiciest steak
Butter, baby, butter.
And/or marinate it in soda

More avocado is good for you
Is TexMex good for you, too?


The history of civilization is filled with conflicts born from ambition, greed, betrayal and revenge. What makes us think things are any different today? Or ever will be?

For some reason, it seems the news media and legacy politicians like to talk about populism as a negative concept. But weren’t those legacy politicians once popular themselves? Wasn’t their election also a populist event?

Washington is working hard to ensure that Americans have only one vehicle choice—an EV. Much criticism has been focused on the lack of charging stations, and now some are starting to wonder what it’s going to take for power generation and electricity to meet the challenge. But no one seems to be pondering the environmental costs of making billions of batteries, solar panels and wind turbines and then disposing of them once they are useless. If smart minds and AI will eventually solve battery, windmill and solar panel challenges, then why can’t the same smart minds and AI solve the supposed carbon emissions problem today?

Billions of dollars were invested in technology startups just before ChatGPT arrived on the scene. How much are these companies now worth in the new era of AI? How many will AI destroy? How many will AI enhance?

The economy is going to slow down at some point. Inflation will turn to deflation at some point. Job layoffs will show up at some point. Nothing ever stays the same.

If the old Wall Street adage “buy on rumor and sell on news” holds true, does it mean the stock market is going to fall when the Fed finally cuts interest rates? The rumor has been that the Fed will cut interest rates. When it does, won’t that be the news?

What seems to be holding our economy up are the billions in fiscal stimulus Washington has doled out by way of the Chips Act, Infrastructure Bill and Inflation Reduction Act. Along with the millions of new illegal immigrants becoming consumers. Along with the recent stock market gains.

Why do we assume that all innovation is good for humanity? Maybe we need a new view on what defines progress.


The Innovation-War Cycle
June 7, 2024

Under the Radar
May 31, 2024

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