Keith Bender

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On November 15, 2018, Keith Bender commented on StoryCorps: Crowdsourcing to Preserve Humanity’s Stories :

This is a great point and one that they will need to consider in light of their aims. However, I imagine that StoryCorps will always opt for more stories over fewer, leaving later generations to the challenge of sifting through the troves of unstructured data. In the meantime, they will continue to identify compelling content for the present moment at its point of creation by prioritizing stories recorded in person by trained facilitators.

I feel like there is a TOMS Shoes model lurking somewhere in this business plan… perhaps New Story and Icon can scale even faster while addressing some overcrowding or managing sustainable infill in developed cities. The ability to scale, however, seems limited by the portability of the printing technology; it is the singular bottleneck and the output remains 1 printed house per day, whereas a coordinated construction team might be able to hit an exponentially higher output rate — albeit more expensively. A TOMS model might allow for developing markets to be prioritized, while the donor/buyer elects to defer construction of his/her home until the costs to create the printer have come down to the point that it can mass-distributed.

On November 15, 2018, Keith Bender commented on 3D Printing the Future of Rail at Deutsche Bahn :

Thanks for sharing, Sam! One of my favorite museums in the world is the Cable Car Museum in San Francisco — if you look beneath the museum floor and beside the massive wheels that move tens of thousands of feet of cable throughout the city, you can see the machine shop where engineers still to this day hand-forge replacement parts for the fleet. Surely, the ROI on using AM for future cable car parts is minimal — the fleet is small and the parts are highly customize, and it would take eons to 3D-model and blueprint all of the antiquated parts for each distinct car in the fleet. But a forward-looking management team at another railway would be wise to require the blueprints with future part orders, as you mention — lest they ride the same road (well, really, rail… there’s a good #billypun for you) to obsolescence.

The secondary ticket market is a vital part of ensuring that anyone who would like to go to can ultimately attend whatever event they would like to attend — if they are willing to pay market price. Teams, musicians, and other content providers who issue tickets have every right to want to capture more of the value that falls to the secondary ticket market. But imposing the “verified fan” program to do so and preventing the tickets from being sold on the resale market runs counter to fans’ wishes — ultimately, fewer fans have the possibility of attending a game if attendance is restricted to only the initial ticketholder. Content providers wishing to capture more of the resale market value would be better off hosting their own independent resale platform and charging higher fee percentages — while this would frustrate sellers, it discourages profit-seeking in the same way that the “verified fan” program does while also ensuring that the market remains able to set the final price for the ticket.

If we were to assume that the vast majority of users were willing to make this trade-off in the interest of international security and counterterrorism, Facebook would go public with their decision and alert their massive user base of the change. Even if Facebook did not send a push notification to every user to communicate this use of data, given its controversial nature, the media coverage would be overwhelming. At that point, I have to imagine that terrorist operatives with any level of sophistication would 1) disseminate false information / decoy tactics through Facebook or 2) abandon Facebook as a communication channel altogether. While this seems like a beneficial albeit controversial application of Facebook technology, I ultimately worry about its intelligence-gathering practicality more than its polarizing privacy implications.


Just as in the development of autonomous vehicles, there is a great amount of “consumer” education that needs to happen to meaningfully advance autonomous aviation. I wonder what Boeing could learn from the burgeoning effort in the former industry to render autonomy commonplace and acceptable in the consumer mind. Unlike operating a vehicle, the typical consumer does not have insight into the operation of an aircraft — which means they may have a less biased starting point and may counterintuitively be more inclined to accept autonomous aviation (with remote manual human oversight).

On November 15, 2018, Keith Bender commented on FOLIO: Challenging the Status Quo Through Community-Based Development :

Open source innovation in the public sector suggests that collaborators will contribute to a project to resolve their independent pain points, creating a collective solution with a “whole is greater than the sum of the parts” benefit. What I wonder most about this project is if the incremental benefit and competitive advantage over existing solutions is enough to attract developer talent — e.g., are the pain points that you describe burdensome enough to current users that systems managers will dedicate resources to this effort. I might consider outsourcing some of the rote development work to computer science students at universities and even high schools across the U.S. through exercise-based, modular work pieces overseen by regional volunteer “managers.” It would provide both a learning opportunity and a means to accomplish some of the more basic tasks of development, freeing the principal contributors to focus on setting direction.