Here's how the live streaming space will play out

Though the sequencing is rough, here's how the live streaming market timeline will unfold. We know this because we've seen this play out before, and history repeats itself. Until it doesn't.

  1. The first few apps try this idea fail, for a variety of reasons. Timing matters, distribution matters, whatever the reason, they die off. Remember this?
  2. Because of high profile failures, the idea goes into hibernation. It's always darkest before the sunrise, but also right after the first sunset.
  3. The conditions that make the idea possible, though, still exist. Everyone carries phones that can shoot video, all these phones are connected to networks nearly all of the time, apps can be distributed cheaply and easily through app stores.
  4. Someone decides to release an app doing this same thing, again, because damn it, the idea just makes too much sense, right? One-to-many broadcasting works has been democratized in every other medium so far, why not video? For some reason, it sparks this time, maybe because it builds off of the Twitter graph, maybe because the right set of influencers jump in. This is Meerkat. It looks like it was designed by an engineer, or maybe a 9 year old, with cartoony graphics and a bright yellow background. It doesn't matter, though, because it was first at the right time.
  5. A collective recognition from many in the tech community that it's go time for this space, at long last. Some of those who recognize this are some folks at Twitter, who spend a few days deliberating and then quickly shut off Meerkat's unfettered access to their graph. If you're still naive about platform risk when it comes to social networks, shame on you.
  6. Twitter buys Periscope, an app that is similar to Meerkat, but sleeker in design. People on social media beat up on Twitter for not playing fair, as if the business world were governed by any such ethos.
  7. All the media buzz further boosts exposure of and interest in Meerkat, because all PR is good PR in the early days, and that hubbub furthers interest in live streaming. Think of the possibilities, write many a pundit, but they are all obvious to most everyone.
  8. Periscope launches, the spin cycle picks up speed, like your washer at the end of a wash.
  9. Then the backlash. Many people get notifications about streams that are over before they can even see them. When they do get in, they realize the early streams are largely boring. Tech early adopters can be insular (yet another tech event Meerkat!) and uninteresting to the masses. Another Q&A with a VC? Yawn. Early live streams from the masses are the equivalent of early tweets about what people are eating for lunch. A few writers resuscitate previous pieces about the narcissism of this digital age and do a Find-Replace and substitute in live streaming for photo sharing or Tweeting or whatever social media they wrote about earlier.
  10. More backlash. Someone gets a massive cell phone tab for eating through too much bandwidth, and that's when there is enough of it at all; most times the cell networks can't support the load and so streams keep cutting out. How did we ever think this would scale? At the events you most want to live stream as a form of humblebrag, like a Taylor Swift concert or an NBA Finals game, the network is the least reliable because so many people are on their phones. It's the digital age's Tragedy of the Commons.
  11. Live streaming services work on solving obvious bugs that come with an MVP type launch. Better scheduling, recording, more reliable streaming through better video and audio compression, better discovery of interesting streams by topic, region, etc.
  12. The first new undiscovered live stream star is born. I don't know who that person will be, but that person comes along for every medium. They raise the bar on creativity. I'm not sure what they'll do to take advantage of the medium, but maybe it's a citizen journalist, maybe it's a snarky commentator, maybe it's someone unusually attractive, maybe that's all just one person. Their live streams attract hundreds, then thousands, then tens of thousands of viewers. A year later, they give a TED talk, and then Kara Swisher interviews them on stage at the Code/Media conference.
  13. The collective of Vine stars starts dabbling in a spinoff focused just on live streaming, working through some of the challenges of shooting in real-time, without cuts.
  14. Buzzfeed Studios announces a new live stream division. Funny or Die release their first live stream event, it's of Seth Rogen walking around his house naked while smoking pot. Periscope opens up an LA and NY studio with high end audio and video equipment which the top live stream stars can use for their broadcasts.
  15. The first misguided celebrity tries to ban live video streaming at their concert, leading to a bunch of articles about how stupid it is, how you can't put the genie back in the bottle, and why would you try to suppress exposure when user attention is the most scarce and valuable resource in the known universe now?
  16. The first smart mega-celebrity launches a Meerkat. She is Taylor Swift. She instantly causes tens of millions of fans around the world, most of them teenage girls and their moms, but also many who are embarrassed to admit they're fans of her music, but also many who aren't (like me), to download live streaming apps for the first time, slingshotting them to a new plateau of traffic and prominence. In her first live stream, the largest in history to date, we see one of her cats dancing to Shake it Off. Millions of fans comment with emoji, but included are some spam comments, and so some engineers somewhere start beefing up comment moderation tools. Meanwhile, dozens of unlucky journalists have to write the obligatory story about her live stream, even though everyone already saw it and knew about it, and even though the Buzzfeed post on the live stream will get all the traffic anyway.
  17. The first live video stream is mentioned in a TV show, probably CSI Cyber.
  18. Jimmy Fallon launches a recurring segment around live streams from the stars. The first guest is Matthew McConaughey, he live streams while driving around in a Lincoln, muttering to himself. The video goes viral, predictably, and it pops up in your Facebook news feed and Twitter timeline a lot, and though you were too cool to post a link to it because it was too obvious a play for social media distribution, you take note of the volume of mentions on social media.
  19. The MTV Music Awards is the first to be live streamed on purpose. MTV arms a bunch of guests with a dedicated WiFi network and high end smartphones (let's be honest, it's probably Samsung) and has them live stream throughout the program. Many people watch the MTV Music Awards again for the first time in ages, sitting with four connected devices so they can follow along with multiple live streams at the same time. During  a performance by Kendrick Lamar, Taylor Swift live streams herself and her famous, beautiful friends dancing and singing along in the front row, and then the TV cameras catch her dancing and holding her phone to live stream and that plays on your television set at the same moment, and it feels magical, like some form of digital cubism. Kanye's live stream is just continuous pans over to Kim Kardashian's cleavage.
  20. Later, Kanye West briefly live streams himself having sex with Kim Kardashian, but just for a moment, leading millions of people to rush to follow along at the same moment, bringing down the power grid along the Western seaboard.
  21. AT&T and Verizon raise their data fees as they see their network usage rise. They can actually handle the traffic, they just want more money because why the hell not. Ben Thompson links back to his piece on how lots of us didn't really understand what we were bargaining for when we fought for net neutrality.
  22. Thanks to finally having achieved a critical mass of user density, live streaming captures its first journalistic coup. I don't want to speculate on what it will be, but it will be a prolonged and serious event that people have time to hear about and follow live, like the OJ car chase. Some citizen will be there up close for some reason and that person's live stream will be better than anything TV news cameras can capture. Everyone on Twitter and Facebook link to that live stream, and soon even CNN and Fox News and whatever TV news channels are left in the world are just showing that stream live, too. A few reporters rush to write think pieces about how the medium has finally grown up.
  23. Obama live streams from the podium at one of his speeches. As he pans across the faces of the crowd, we see people of all ages and races, and he intones, “The Constitution begins with 'We the people'...” This is the Obama we love, they write.
  24. Netflix signs up its first live streaming show. Directed by David Fincher, it's a show about a powerful VC, played, in a huge coup for the tech industry, by Marc Andreessen. It's released all at once as a continuous 24 hour live stream. During the show, we follow along as Andreessen takes meetings with a variety of people during one packed day in his life. Every so often, he turns his cameraphone on himself to address the audience through the fourth wall in an exaggerated Southern drawl, like Francis Underwood.
  25. Your mom emails you an article from USA Today and asks if you've heard of live streaming. Apparently it's a thing now.
  26. The first live stream ad unit. Until now, the ads have been organic, some live stream stars talking about products and services that pay them for some air time. This, however, is an official ad, from a new live stream ad platform. It runs as a pre-roll before the live stream begins, and the revenue is shared with the content creator. You guessed it, it's an ad for Squarespace, the all-in-one website builder.
  27. Facebook adds a live video streaming button to its app, then shortly after that spins it out into a separate app altogether. They name it Live, and some other company that launched an app called Live that did the same thing a year earlier complains that Facebook stole their name, but no one really pays any attention.
  28. Google launches a wearable VR camera, it is a 360 degree camera helmet that covers your entire head and makes your head look like a fly's eyeball. Some site publishes a piece on how this is the future of VR, and Gruber excerpts a passage and files it away for claim chowder. One of the first beta testers of the camera gets beaten up while walking around the Mission.
  29. Apple files a patent for a compact VR camera that will fit in an iPhone form factor. 
  30. Years later, bandwidth has improved to the point where people can live stream VR. Sort of. The experience is janky, the video super low-res, but it's possible. The first VR live streaming app launches in the iTunes App Store. It's called Cyclops.
  31. VR cameras are too bulky, the video stitching too slow to process in real time, the bandwidth requirements for streaming too onerous. The only people who own such a camera and even know how to set up such a stream are tech early adopters, and so the first VR live stream content is dull, stationary, uninspiring. You get a demo of the product from your geekiest tech friend, and the only VR live stream you can find at that moment is of a pasty-faced VC unboxing the second generation Apple Watch and walking you through its UI. Despite raising a ton of money in a seed round, Cyclops sees little adoption, burns through a ton of cash, and gets acqui-hired by Google. The app shuts down.
  32. The conditions for live streaming VR still exist, though. Somewhere, a young and tech-savvy adult movie star places an order on Kickstarter for a second generation live streaming VR camera which supposedly solves some of the first generation software user experience issues. Wouldn't it be crazy if we could suddenly be in any 3-D immersive environment we wanted at any time? It would be like teleportation! Seriously, maybe, just maybe, there's something there.


The genre fiction revolution

The landscape of realism has narrowed. If you think of the straight literary novels of the past decade—The Marriage Plot, The Interestings, The Art of Fielding, Freedom—they often deal with stories and characters from a very particular economic and social position. Realism, as a literary project, has taken as its principle subject the minute social struggles of people who have graduated mainly from Ivy League schools. The great gift of literary realism has always been its characteristic ability to capture the shifting weather of inner life, but the mechanisms of that inner life and whose inner lives are under discussion have become as generic as any vampire book: These are books about privileged people with relatively small problems.
Not that these small problems can't be fascinating. It is exactly the best realist novels of our moment which are the most miniature: In Teju Cole's Open City, a man and his thoughts wander over various cities. In Adelle Waldman's The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., the action consists of the tiny fluctuations of the inordinate vanity and self-loathing of the main character. Both novels are superb, and both are focused on the most minute of details. They draw larger significances from those details, certainly, but the constraints are ferocious. Any discussions of politics or any broader aspect of the human condition are funneled through the characters' fine judgments.
In the wide-open spaces left by the narrowing of realism, genre becomes the place where grand philosophical questions can be worked out on narrative terms.

Stephen Marche on how genre fiction has become more important than literary fiction.

Genres that endure in any medium across time—the western, horror stories, gangster films, fairy tales, detective novels, landscape paintings, superhero origins, to name just a few—fascinate me. For a genre to resonate across long periods of time, it usually is about some deep-seated human condition or social issue, allowing the artist to make a statement about that merely by manipulating the conventional elements of the form. The genre is like a ritual known to both the artist and the audience, allowing an immediate and efficient engagement between the two parties.

Why there are faux Irish pubs everywhere

Ireland, as much of the world knows it, was invented in 1991. That year, the Irish Pub Company formed with a mission to populate the world with authentic Irish bars. Whether you are in Kazakhstan or the Canary Islands, you can now hear the lilt of an Irish brogue over the sound of the Pogues as you wait for your Guinness to settle. A Gaelic road sign may hang above the wooden bar and a fiddle may be lying in a corner. As you gaze around, you might think of the Irish—O, that friendly, hard-drinking, sweater-wearing people!—and smile. Your smile has been carefully calculated.
In the last 15 years, Dublin-based IPCo and its competitors have fabricated and installed more than 1,800 watering holes in more than 50 countries. Guinness threw its weight (and that of its global parent Diageo) behind the movement, and an industry was built around the reproduction of "Irishness" on every continent—and even in Ireland itself. IPCo has built 40 ersatz pubs on the Emerald Isle, opening them beside the long-standing establishments on which they were based. 
IPCo's designers claim to have "developed ways of re-creating Irish pubs which would be successful, culturally and commercially, anywhere in the world." To wit, they offer five basic styles: The "Country Cottage," with its timber beams and stone floors, is supposed to resemble a rural house that gradually became a commercial establishment. The "Gaelic" design features rough-hewn doors and murals based on Irish folklore. You might, instead, choose the "Traditional Pub Shop," which includes a fake store (like an apothecary), or the "Brewery" style, which includes empty casks and other brewery detritus, or "Victorian Dublin," an upscale stained-glass joint. IPCo will assemble your chosen pub in Ireland. Then they'll bring the whole thing to your space and set it up. All you have to do is some basic prep, and voilà! Ireland arrives in Dubai. (IPCo has built several pubs and a mock village there.)

The strange true-life story of how Ireland packaged and exported a version of its culture all over the world, and how it boomeranged back to Ireland in the form of added tourism revenue. As with technology apps these days, it's all about marketing and distribution.

The Jinx

This week I finally caught the finale of The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst. If you haven't seen it yet, then avoid the SPOILERS in this post ahead and move on.

The ending, as many have noted, was stunning, like some Michael Haneke movie come to life. Rarely has a still shot of an empty room been so fraught with horror. Just before then, when confronted with handwriting evidence that seemed to implicate him irrefutably, Durst started burping loudly, as if his subconscious was about to regurgitate the truth on camera. And then it did? Durst muttering “Killed them all, of course.” into a hot mic while he was in the bathroom alone couldn't be any more of a Shakespearean soliloquy if it came from the pen of the Bard himself.

The hot mic's the thing, wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king.

Like some, however, I take issue with some of Jarecki's choices. The first is his use of reenactments. I yearn for more just talking heads when it comes to documentary style, so I can understand the temptation of reenactments. Rather than just having someone talk about something that happened, you can hand the viewer a visual.

In doing so, though, you rob the viewer of their imagination, and you unconsciously bias them in all sorts of ways. One person might claim something happened. By actually enacting that moment on screen, that testimony gains corporeal form and feels more real. Or, if the reenactment is lousy, it seems less credible. Either way, the visuals overpower the spoken word, even as one is just one filmmaker's fancy.

Richard Brody writes:

Reënactments aren’t what-ifs, they’re as-ifs, replete with approximations and suppositions that definitively detach the image from the event, the vision from the experience. One of Jarecki’s reënactments leaves me strangely obsessed with an insignificant detail that takes on an outsized significance in revealing the inadequacy of his method for the emotional essence of the story. In the second episode, Kathie Durst’s friend Gilberte Najamy tells Jarecki that, before her disappearance, Kathie Durst went to a party at her house, where she told Najamy that she was afraid of Robert Durst, and insisted that, if anything happened to her, Najamy should “check it out.” To signify that there had indeed been a party at Najamy’s house, Jarecki offers a tracking shot of a table laden with platters of food—including a pasta salad with a single pitted black olive sticking up from it. I’m obsessed with that olive. Did Najamy describe to Jarecki the dishes that she served? Did she describe the table itself, the room? Did Jarecki film this scene where Najamy lived at the time, or where she lives now? Or did Jarecki assume that Najamy, or someone like Najamy (whatever he’d mean by that), would at the time have served that kind of pasta salad at a party that might look like that? Najamy’s account is powerful; Jarecki’s image is generic. Najamy is specific, concrete, and detailed. She delivers a crucial piece of her life, whole, to Jarecki—who treats it like a hack’s screenplay and makes a facile illustration of it.
Beyond the awe-inspiring (and sometimes awful) recollections of people involved in the past events that are at the center of the drama, Jarecki brings into play actual objects that bear a physical connection to them—which is why the objects of dubious provenance (such as a box of police records relating to Kathie Durst’s disappearance, sealed with red “evidence” tape) are such offenses to the dignity of the film’s subjects. Jarecki shows this box being taken from a shelf; he puts the camera inside the shelf and shows the box being put back there; he shows the box being unsealed and then sealed again. It’s impossible to know whether this is the actual evidence box for the case; whether the handwriting on the box is actually that of a police clerk from the time; whether the files pulled from it were handled by the actual investigators who worked on the case; whether the room where it’s stored is the actual file room or a studio mockup.

Jarecki doesn't just shoot conventional re-enactments, either. They are highly stylized. In my memory's eye, two shots from the series I can't shake (besides the last one of the series) are one of some actress playing Durst's mother committing suicide and the other of some actress playing Susan Berman toppling after being shot in the head. Both are images of female bodies falling, and both are played in slow motion, over and over, like something fetishistic shot from 300.

What's a shame is the series doesn't need them. Some of the reenactments are less stylized, but that just makes them harder to distinguish from live shots from the present. I don't mind a mixture of fiction and non-fiction in documentaries, but some spirit of fair play seems called for, especially when it's documentary as investigative journalism.

Many probably find all of this to be nitpicking and may not have had any problems with the series as filmed. It may be easier to understand if we examine the question using a series that many grouped with The Jinx, the podcast Serial. Imagine in Serial if, after Sarah heard testimony from a witness like Jay about seeing Hae's body in the trunk of the car at Best Buy, she put together an audio recreation of those events. If Sarah had hired some voice actors to play Adnan and Jay, recreating the conversation as Jay recalled it, layering in sound effects like a trunk popping open. Regardless of whether listeners felt Adnan was guilty, many would be uncomfortable with the technique.

The last episode steers clear of reenactments, but the cumulative effect of the one's from the first five episodes was such that I wasn't sure whether to buy the shots of Jarecki himself in the finale, speaking about how he feared for his life (this piece at Buzzfeed goes into a more in-depth stylistic breakdown of the narrative manipulation at work). Jarecki clearly doesn't shy from drama, but the use of all these tricks leads one to discount everything on screen, the way one applies a base level of skepticism to stories from a proven drama queen.

Another issue with the series is Jarecki's manipulation of the timeline. In the last episode, it seems as if Robert Durst agrees to sit with Jarecki for another interview (the now infamous one which concludes the series) only after police arrest Durst outside his brother's home. I thought for sure that was the sequence of events because it's shown in that order, and the series includes audio from a phone call from Durst to Jarecki asking for the director's help.

But when Jarecki was asked about whether he had manipulated this timeline in the NYTimes, he suddenly seemed as uncomfortable as Durst was in the last interview of The Jinx.

When did you discover the piece of audio from the bathroom, in which Mr. Durst seemed to confess?
Jarecki: That was at the tail end of a piece of an interview. I don’t know if you’ve ever edited anything — things get loaded into the editing machine but not everything gets loaded. The sound recorder isn’t listening after a guy gets up and says he wants a sandwich. It often doesn’t get marked and get loaded. That didn’t get loaded for quite a while. We hired some new assistants and they were going through some old material. That was quite a bit later. Let me look at my list. It was June 12, 2014.
So it was more than two years later. From watching the episode, it seemed as if the 2013 arrest of Robert Durst for violating the order of protection by walking on his brother Douglas’s brownstone steps happened after the second interview.
Jarecki (to Smerling): I’m hearing a lot of noise. And if we’re going to talk about the timeline, we should actually sit in front of the timeline. So that’s my suggestion, if that’s the subject you want to talk about.
I’m just trying to clarify if the arrest for being on Douglas Durst’s property happened after the second interview.
Jarecki: Yeah, I think I’ve got to get back to you with a proper response on that.

Someone check the tails of that audio recording of Jarecki's interview, maybe his mic was still hot?

Maybe, as some have put it, we're a bunch of whiny brats all that matters is we caught that murderer and got six hours of lurid, compelling TV to boot. Judging by what critical reception I've seen, The Jinx was a resounding success, and so, perhaps as the underrated movie Nightcrawler depicted, we'll happily go along with a coming wave of vigilante journalism.

Perhaps the filming of The Jinx can be the subject of Serial, Season 2. Vigilante journalism recursion, the snake eating its own tail. Who am I kidding, I wouldn't be able to look away.

The incident of the dog in the night-time

The Department of Justice’s report on the Ferguson Police Department is full of eye-catching numbers that reveal a culture plagued by significant racism. Statistically significant. For instance, nearly ninety per cent of the people who prompted a “use of force” by the F.P.D. were black. Even among such skewed percentages, there are some standouts. Among cases in which a suspect was bitten by an attack dog and the suspect’s race was recorded, what percentage were black?
A hundred per cent.
There is little nuance in the incidents described in the report; the police simply sicced their dogs on unarmed black males. According to the F.P.D’s own guidelines, handlers should not release the hounds “if a lower level of force could reasonably be expected to control the suspect or allow for the apprehension.” But the report reveals that the F.P.D. is quick to set loose its trained attack dogs—often on black children.

The damning DOJ report on Ferguson is a great example of data as an objective racism detector. This might be an example of dogs revealing the racism of their owners.

A 2011 study published in the journal Animal Cognition found that even expertly trained dogs and the most professional handlers cannot evade what is called the Clever Hans effect. In tests, dogs trained to detect explosives and drugs were sent, with their handlers, into a series of rooms to find non-existent contraband. In one room, there was a decoy that had been scented with sausage; in another, there was an unscented decoy accompanied by a sign telling the handler, falsely, that it smelled of contraband; a control room had no decoys. The investigators found, overall, that “human more than dog influences affected alert locations”: the meat decoy attracted more false alarms than anything in the control room, but the decoy with the sign prompted nearly twice as many false alerts as the one with the tempting scent. In other words, the dogs found their handlers’ unconscious cues significantly more compelling than the sausage. Trained animals, it turns out, are arguably better at reading our cues than we are at suppressing them.

Remember, there are no racist dogs, only racist owners.

California's water shortage

The recent report that California has just one year's worth of water left has made the rounds. Alex Tabarrok has a good primer or overview on the situation.

California has plenty of water…just not enough to satisfy every possible use of water that people can imagine when the price is close to zero. As David Zetland points out in an excellent interview with Russ Roberts, people in San Diego county use around 150 gallons of water a day. Meanwhile in Sydney Australia, with a roughly comparable climate and standard of living, people use about half that amount. Trust me, no one in Sydney is going thirsty.
So how much are people in San Diego paying for their daily use of 150 gallons of water? About 78 cents. As Matt Kahn puts it:
Where in the Constitution does it say that the people of California have the right to pay .5 cents per gallon of water?
Water is such a small share of most people’s budgets that it could double in price and the effect on income would still be low. Moreover, we don’t even have to increase the price of water for residential or industrial uses. As The Economist points out:
Agriculture accounts for 80% of water consumption in California, for example, but only 2% of economic activity.
What that means is that if agriculture used 12.5% less water we could increase the amount available for every residential and industrial use by 50%–grow those lawns, fill those swimming pools, manufacture those chips!–and the cost would be minimal even if we simply shut down 12.5% of all farms.

Water should cost more, and a few farms should shut down. Sounds sensible.

Wage inequality

A novelist, academic and CEO might have very similar intellect and skill levels, but their income could differ by factors of thousands - and, as Will points out, academics' working conditions are deteriorating. Why the difference?

The conventional neoclassical answer is that wages equal marginal product, and that CEOs have a higher marginal product than others. This is a just-so story which glosses over a lot.

For one thing, what matters is that one's product be monetizable and appropriable. The great writer or musician creates an enormous amount of consumer surplus, but she cannot capture this for herself. Quite the opposite; as Gillian Welch sang*, she is under pressure to give away her work. Similarly, if you believe human capital theory, academics - at least the better ones - create billions of pounds of value. But they don't see much of it. By contrast, the CEO's output is more monetizable.

On marginal product and incomes. Five reasons are offered for why the CEO makes so much more, it's worth a read.

I link to this post because a lot of folks in tech have the same misconception about the money-making potential of their app or business as people have about wages, that they simply equal marginal productivity. If only life were so simple.

The paradox of choice

From an AMA with Barry Schwartz, author of The Paradox of Choice and Practical Wisdom: The Right Way to Do the Right Thing:

Those are some really interesting talks. I'm curious though - do you believe that the most successful and affluent people in our society tend to be not much happier (or even less happy?) than poorer people? It sounds like you believe that an increase in material wealth can easily lead to a confusing overabundance of choices. I'd think, though, in a capitalist society the richest citizens eventually reach a point where their wealth opens pretty much any door for them, and the abundance of available choices becomes liberating and gratifying to the ego (basically if you desire it, you can have it). I can't imagine, say, Donald Trump or Jay-Z getting upset over having too many choices. Admittedly this level of wealth and influence is unattainable for most, but I think the fantasy of one day getting there is something that drives a lot of people... 

The data say that increased material wealth has only a marginal positive effect on happiness, at least above subsistence. Below subsistence, material improvements make a huge difference. The thing about the megarich, I think, is that they have a bevy of assistants to make many choices for them, or to reduce the options to a few. Plus, if they make a mistake, it's no big deal. Just buy the Ferrari and let the Maserati sit idle in your garage. I think Donald Trump and Jay-Z are bad models to build a theory on.

Wise words to live by, not just when it comes to modeling choice, but most anything: Donald Trump and Jay-Z are bad models to build a theory on.