Leave the Year Behind

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Indeed 2023 was a year that had some newness (keynotes on Quantum at IIT-Madras, see A Passage in India and Schonfeld, see Quantum for Billionaires, a visit to Princeton, see Air Quantum, creating a South Asian American Distinguished Lecture Series, see La Femme Nikki, that kicks off in 2024, GLIMPSE kick-off and Quantum GAGA for  Q-HOPE) and some repetitiveness (MSOM Conference, see Le Taj, visit to Harvard, Six Invited Pieces and 2022 Tayur Prize).

I suppose one could say the same think about movies this year: we had sequels (of John Wick, see Free Man in Paris, and Mission Impossible) and something new (Barbie, Oppenheimer).

Broadway? Leopoldstadt. (See The Importance of Being Mathematical). Concerts? Beyonce and Eagles.

MPC has meant for many years, and continues to stand for, as you know (see When I was Young): Movies, Physics, Cars. In 2023, it also represented:


Clearly the title of this post is a variation of:

Leave the World Behind is a 2023 American apocalyptic psychological thriller film. The film stars Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, Ethan Hawke, Myha’la, and Kevin Bacon as they attempt to make sense of the gradual breakdown in phones, television, and other regularly used technology which points to a potential cataclysm. From December 4–10, 2023, the film topped the streaming charts and was the number one film on Netflix, with 41.7 million views.

First, Myha’la is a CMU alum (you may have seen her in Industry). Second:

The real eyebrow-raiser here is who produced it — former President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama. The Obamas weren’t just superficial names in the credits — Barack had “a lot of notes” for the creator.

So what does the former president want to say about America with this film — and what does the film say about America? Frankly, it has a pretty low opinion of our culture and our communities, but there are some deeper commentaries too. But ultimately, “we’re living a lie, an agreed-upon mass delusion to help us ignore and keep ignoring how awful we really are.”

It’s an indictment of the sort of performative progressivism we see in our culture today — and it’s fascinating that it would receive the Obama seal of approval.

 Of course, I went to see (although Ford v Ferrari is much more enjoyable, and you know that I like my Ferrari, see True Grip):

Ferrari is a 2023 American biographical sports drama film directed by Michael Mann and written by Troy Kennedy Martin. Based on the 1991 biography Enzo Ferrari: The Man, the Cars, the Races, the Machineby motorsport journalist Brock Yates, the film follows the personal and professional struggles of Enzo Ferrari, the Italian founder of the car manufacturer Ferrari S.p.A., during the summer of 1957. Adam Driver portrays the titular subject, and co-stars Penélope Cruz, Shailene Woodley, and Patrick Dempsey.

The 2023 revised version (of the 1991 original book) is very informative. In particular, I liked the epilogue (written by Yates’ daughter) that summarizes the Ferrari turn-around and business strategy (especially explaining its stock performance since IPO), from 1991- present. (If it is not already, it should be a HBS Case Study.)

The best epilogue I read in a book this year? See Śrīdhara Brāhmaṇa: Chandrasekhar Limit.

Talking about help produce movies, let me take the opportunity to highlight a documentary (the fourth one that I have supported, directed by Bill Lichtenstein, who also made WBCN and the American Revolution, see 2019 Best Documentary Feature):


Here is a trailer (Warning: This is a troubling real-world issue.)


What about Capitalism that supports such Philanthropy? Always nice to receive this kind of email:

Dear Sridhar,

Neotribe will be making a $XX M distribution to the Partners. Including prior distributions of $YY M, total distributions to date will be $ZZ M. This translates to approximately a 4x gross MOIC.

Let me close with some enjoyable movies and series (I will discuss Reacher Season 2 in January when it ends) on streaming services that you may also like.

The Diplomat. Slow Horses. AKA. Khufia. Criminal Code. Payback.

Happy New Year!

1 comment

  1. Wow, I didn’t know DCF was so bad.

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