Rony Brodsky

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On November 21, 2016, RB commented on Transferwise: No kiosks needed :

Thanks for the interesting post! This is a brilliant example of digital interruption cutting out intermediaries. Right now it seems that the service is mostly used for peer-to-peer transfer in place of Money Unions, but I wonder whether this “ESCROW”-type service can be used for a broader range of commercial transactions. Also, while TransferWise doesn’t necessarily seem suitable for most remittance-type transfers between countries that see much more currency flow in one direction than another, I wonder whether more complex (rather than bi-directional), multi-party transactions can allow for increased share in the remittance service market.

On November 21, 2016, RB commented on Politics in India: The Social Media Elections :

Really interesting post, Divyang– Thanks! I do wonder a lot about one of the things Sean mentioned: In the age of fake news and viral-anything, how can a more robust network of checks and balances develop in order to counter rampant misinformation media? I suspect that educational systems could eventually have an important role here (to train modern citizens how to engage with and judge information), but I doubt there would ever be sufficient political will for this to be pushed by the public sector.

On November 21, 2016, RB commented on Blending of Science and Buddhism at Chinese Temple :

Really interesting post, thanks! I would be curious to learn about the nature (socioeconomic, age, etc.) of those whom Longquan Monastery has been attracting through technological outreach. I wonder how the Longquan Monastery community perceives these demographic shifts in terms of community impact.

On November 21, 2016, RB commented on A Monk in Your Pocket: The Digitization of Mindfulness :

Great post, Sarah, thanks! Barbara, I would be weary of having Headspace customers on youtube and social media because those are hubs of noise and distraction. However, I agree that they should use the calendar to block off times in order to build habit and make this stick. Perhaps Headspace could find synergies with an app like Freedom, which allows users to block websites and social media (or just everything) at predetermined hours.

On November 21, 2016, RB commented on Should Central Banks Issue Digital Currencies? :

Really interesting post, Sotaro, thanks!! Another interesting driver to interrupt cash currency: reduce organised crime. Peter Sands has done some fascinating research into this. https://www.ft.com/content/afe8ed5a-cd10-11e5-986a-62c79fcbcead

Thanks for the great post! As a native DCer who has gone through a handful of these crazy blizzards, I have been pretty shocked at the extent of ‘shut-down’ in response to piles of snow that do not seem so mammoth. I also wonder about alternative markets that might develop in the future in response to the infrastructural blockages (e.g., commercial drone food deliveries, etc.)

Great post, Bhargav!

Maybe the solution here is…. Planters Peanut Milk?

Just kidding. Sort of.

Couple comments:

– You didn’t mention anything about R&D with regards to more water-efficient farming techniques, but I wonder whether that is also under consideration. Water recycling, drip irrigation, and other methods have been used quite impact fully, to my knowledge, with other crops.
– You hinted at this, but I would reiterate: From an environmental perspective, the possibilities to increase geographic diversity should be weighed against the increased carbon footprint from transportation requirements. The latter also involves externalities to almond growers, and it’s important to consider this given that the drought is largely a symptom of the carbon footprint.

Finally, a high-five from another environmentalist vegetarian. Who needs meat when you’ve got those magic burgers Steve advertised??

On November 8, 2016, Rony commented on Climate Change and Brazil’s Energy Matrix :

Super interesting post, Mariana. Thanks! Do you have thoughts on the climate for foreign investment in the Brazilian energy space? I am aware of some restrictions and that a majority of the electricity production infrastructure is state-owned. Considering Brazil’s fiscals woes, do you anticipate any changes in attitude?

Also (and this is a question regardless of supply concerns)– Do you know if smart grid thinking is also being used to lower absolute and peak energy demands? What about ‘smart’/economic responses to supply deficits (e.g., having a form of market to allow those spaces that most need electricity to pay more for it during shortages)?

On November 7, 2016, Rony commented on Losing the LEED :

Really interesting– Thanks for your post! It’s amazing that building efficiency isn’t a hotter topic, considering the costs and carbon footprint of building usage. The LEED trademark has become so widespread– Do you think it will be possible to shift away from it? Or has it become too entrenched in government and policy?

I’m also wondering whether the point-based LEED system had some of its roots in the way that Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) calculate ‘energy savings’ to which they are entitled (that is, the difference between actual energy spending and the counterfactual energy spending). I am sensing a theme here of excess focus on what *can* be measured at the expense of important (and more difficult-to-measure) factors like design.

On November 7, 2016, Rony commented on Impossible Foods: How a Burger Will Save the World :

I am really looking forward to products like this becoming more widespread! Seconding MA’s latter questions– Have you tried it, and was it good? What do you think it’d take to get people to switch (despite sentimental connection, etc)?

Also, do you know what is the soy content of the Impossible Burger? And the sourcing of that soy? As you probably know, soy (a common meat substitute) is itself embroiled in environmental controversy– having driven a lot of deforestation (www.ase.tufts.edu/gdae/Pubs/wp/09-05TransportAmazon.pdf)… So switching away from meat to soy may not necessarily offer as much environmental relief as would a movement to non-soy base.