The reddit Restoring Truthiness @DonorsChoose fundraiser has now broken $200,000!

Wow! Go reddit, go! One redditor, nonexcludable, even geeked out this fun-fact: On average, donators have given $68.26 per MINUTE. Yes, that's over a buck a second.

That even surpasses the amount reddit raised for DirectRelief in Haiti earlier this year. I'm so impressed with the community right now. And I'm thrilled breadpig got to play even a tiny role in the whole thing with a $1,766.63 donation upon hitting the earlier goal of $29,945 in a week (reddit crushed it in <24 hrs).

Stephen Colbert sent me a very special message (w/ photo) for reddit

24 hours ago, reddit started a DonorsChoose fundraiser that has exceeded all expectations. We at breadpig wanted to help and pledged $1,766.63 to the cause, but that number is dwarfed by the $160,000 the reddit community has donated so far (wow!).

Join the conversation on reddit. Or if you're just here for the note (verified from Stephen), here it is:


Dear Redditors,

Ever since the visit of one of your Dear Leaders, Alexis "kn0thing" Ohanian, my inbox has been orangered with pleas to "Restore Truthiness." The track record of your hivemind speaks for itself. Mr. Splashypants got a name. You rescued Soapier. You frightened the sweet-and-sour Jesus out of a 90-year-old man on his birthday. Despite how silly and nonsexual reddit can be, your true colors show when someone is in need.

I almost had a pregnant when I saw what you had done at for classrooms around the country. I am humbled and honored (a rare combination for me), and find myself wishing there was a Look of Approval.

You have inspired me by helping untold thousands of students; with the momentum you've created, we could stage a hundred rallies. I might just call on you, Redditors - for nothing is more terrifying than tens of thousands of Heroes taking to the streets with the faint odor of bacon wafting behind them. Except for bears, obviously.

One huge upvote for you.

Sir Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, DFA


Lessons Learned from MIT StartupBootcamp 2010; or, a recap of my talk that's better than my actual talk

Alexis Ohanian (Reddit/YCombinator) - The Time Is Now

This was by far my favorite talk of the day. Alexis has seen things from both sides of the table as a young 20 something entrepreneur and now as an angel investor via Das Kapital Capital / YCombinator.

Angels Are Everywhere

The recent influx of super angels and costs to get a startup off the ground have made capital widely available to smart entrepreneurs. With ideas costing a fraction of what they used to and more angels available, the number of startups in the wild should be able to increase dramatically. I suggest raising revenue over raising capital, but if it's needed, there is more of it at the early early stage level than ever before.

Live Cheap And Go Far

For the most part, the audience was filled with current college students and some recent graduates. Instead of taking super big salaries from traditional jobs like wall street, you should go start a startup. Now is the best time as the burden of responsibilities are just insanely low. Your standards are also low as well. The difference between ramen profitable for an out of school entrepreneur and an entrepreneur with a wife, mortgage, and 3 kids is vastly different.

Entrepreneurs Are Superheroes

This last point has motivated me a ton over the weekend. Alexis' last two slides referenced the fact that startups can save our country. I truly believe this is the case and in some ways entrepreneurs are like superheroes. We have a higher calling and civic duty that can help save the world. We can create new jobs, provide a rewarding life for our team members, and solve the problems of the real world. We also have a higher tolerance for pain than the normal human. You have to be able to have a high threshold as an entrepreneur, the same way Wolverine has regenerative powers. Get up, get out, and create a company. Now is the time and the world needs you.

I think this recap of my talk is better than my actual talk. Thanks, @jasonlbaptiste!

TEDx Yerevan announces speakers

TEDx Yerevan has announced the speakers selected for its first by-invitation-only event being held on Sept. 25. The theme of the widely anticipated event is “Beyond Borders” and topics of the 6-12 minute TED Talks will include innovation, technology, education, diaspora, and the arts.

The speakers selected after topics were proposed by the public and auditions held over the summer are Michael Aram, Rev. Ktrij (Armen) Devejian, Paula Devejian, Hagop Emrazian, Rich Goldman, Hans Gutbrod, Vardan Hovhannisyan, Hrair Hawk Khatcherian, Meroujan Minassian, Alexis Ohanian, Siemon Scamell-Katz, Timothy Straight, and Anna Yeghoyan (bios available here)

I can't wait to be back in Armenia! If you haven't seen it yet, TEDxYerevan is the site to visit for all the news about the conference. Hope to see you there!

I'm honored to be a part of this.

Westerners vs. the World: We are the WEIRD ones

It turns out the Machiguenga — whose number system goes: one, two, three, many — are not alone in their thinking. Most people from non-Western cultures introduced to the Ultimatum Game play differently than Westerners. And that is one clue that the Western mind differs in fundamental ways from the rest of humanity, according to Dr. Henrich. He and two other UBC researchers authored a paper shaking up the fields of psychology, cognitive science and behavioural economics by questioning whether we can know anything about humanity in general if we only study a "truly unusual group of people" — the privileged products of Western industrial societies, who just happen to make up the vast majority of behavioural science test subjects.

I'd always taken it for granted, but there really is a sample bias in all of our studies thanks to our Western wiring. Fortunately, the times are changing, the subject pool is growing; it's going to be a fascinating century!