A brief gallivant about the marketplace of ideas.

Read — 2018/02/18

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. A message from the club no one wants to join“, by Gregory Gibson (NY Times).

    When gun violence becomes commodified as content by the media, we consume it rather than experience it. As a nation, we’re dead to it now. Despite our momentary hysteria, we’ve pretty much compartmentalized gun death, random mass shootings in particular.

  2. In wake of Florida massacre, gun control advocates look to Connecticut“, by Lisa W. Foderaro & Kristin Hussey (NY Times).
  3. The tyranny of convenience“, by Tim Wu (NY Times).
  4. Why ‘Black Panther’ is a defining moment for America“, by Carvell Wallace (NY Times).
  5. Why yoga pants are bad for women“, by Honor Jones (NY Times). Wear what you want.

Read — 2018/02/17

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Stoneman Douglas assistant football coach Aaron Feis killed responding to shooting“, by David Furones (Sun Sentinel). I’m sick of reading about children murdered at school. Let the government fix the problem? Hasn’t happened. I challenge you: Make a deliberate decision how you want to respond to these murders, talk with others, and make stopping the murder of our children the single issue deciding your votes this year.
  2. Cyril Ramaphosa succeeds Zuma as South African president“, (BBC).
  3. Canada firmly in heads of U.S. women’s hockey team players at Winter Olympics“, by Dan Wolken (USA Today). Like it or not, the 2-1 Canada-over-USA outcome in Game 3 of group stage (highlight video here), these teams are likely to match up again next Wednesday in the gold-medal game.
  4. Bitcoin surges back above $10,000“, by Paul Vigna (Wall Street Journal).
  5. Coinbase blames Visa for glitch that overcharged users“, by Fitz Tepper (Tech Crunch).

Read — 2018/02/15

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. A hitchiker’s guide to consensus algorithms“, by Zane Witherspoon (Hacker Hoon).
  2. What happens when your figure skating career ends?“, by Emily Hite (Stanford Magazine).
  3. Germany considers free public transport to address air quality crisis“, by IR (New Europe).
  4. Team USA’s hockey star has a higher goal: equal pay“, by Matt Foley (OZY).
  5. Brian Boyle was intimidated following Hilary Knight in the NHL Skills Accuracy Competition — and for good reason“, by Madeline Dement (Russian Machine Never Breaks).

Read — 2018/02/11

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Tim Harford’s guide to statistics in a misleading age“, by Tim Harford (Financial Times).
  2. The book every programmer should read“, by Vinicius Brasil (Hacker Noon). Spoiler alert: The book is “Clean code“, by Robert C. Martin.
  3. How does Tor *really* work?“, by Brandon Skerritt (Hacker Noon). Even if someone else reads the white paper, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to. Though it also doesn’t mean you can’t be appreciative when they do.

Read — 2018/02/10

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. The era of fiscal austerity is over. Here’s what big deficits mean for the economy“, by Neil Irwin (New York Times). Financial outlook for the short-, medium-, and long-term.
  2. One cause of market turbulence: computer-drive index funds“, by Landon Thomas, Jr. (New York Times). In code we trust?
  3. Insurance 101: Butler undergrads write coverage for dogs and pianos“, by Ron Lieber (New York Times). Learning by doing.

Investing — 2018/02/09

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. A first look at Tesla’s dreadful Q4 results“, by Montana Skeptic (Seeking Alpha). Note: The author discloses she or he is short Tesla.
  2. Weekly update #235: Tax reform & tech M&A” (EquityZen).
  3. Airbnb CFO departs amid tensions, leaving IPO timing unclear“, by Olivia Zaleski (Bloomberg). Brian Chesky, Airbnb’s CEO, is quoted as saying that Airbnb is “not going public in 2018”.

Read — 2018/02/07

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. People with depression use language differently — here’s how to spot it“, by Mohammed Al-Mosaiwi (The Conversation). More absolutist words (e.g., “always”, “never”), first-person pronouns, and negative-emotion qualifiers.
  2. Can you still date a co-worker? Well, it’s complicated“, by Yoree Koh & Rachel Feintzeig (Wall Street Journal). It’s not so complicated: The answer is yes. You must accept responsibility if you abuse power in the workplace, as anywhere else. You must respect your fellow human beings in the workplace, as anywhere else. This whole company as chaperone thing is a disgusting display of how litigious American society has become and how much we let corporate America rule our lives.
  3. Revolutionary War — SNL“, by Saturday Night Live (YouTube). A comedy sketch on the eve of Super Bowl LII.

Read — 2018/02/03

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. A brainy new way of looking at friendship“, by Tom Jacobs (Pacific Standard Magazine). A summary of this recent article in Nature Communications that investigates similar brain activity among friends.
  2. At the foot of the ladder“, by Divya Subrahmanyam (Yale Daily News, 2009-09-21).
  3. Tech giants power to new heights“, by Laura Stevens, Tripp Mickle, & Jack Nicas (Wall Street Journal). Alphabet, Amazon, and Apple “report record results” and “all boosted growth by broadening their reach into new areas”.
  4. Chinese startups put the pedal down on electric cars“, by Charles Clover & Sherry Fei Ju (OZY).
  5. Pyramid schemes cause huge social harm in China” (The Economist).
  6. This Patriot took a long and winding road to the Super Bowl“, by Jeff Fedotin (OZY). If at first you don’t succeed…note survivor bias? At any rate, best wishes to Ricky Jean Francois!

And selected articles on crypto-assets (these focus on the currencies, not technologies):

  1. Bitcoin has its worst month in three years“, by Steven Russolillo & Eun-Young Jeong (Wall Street Journal).
  2. Tether exchanges: How to avoid getting ‘Tethered’“, by Bitfinex’ed (Medium, 2018-01-30).

Super Bowl LII : Football primer

A selection of references explaining American football:

  1. A beginner’s guide to American football” (NFL). A 1:18 YouTube video explaining the basic objectives.
  2. Rule book: A beginner’s guide to football” (NFL). A dry explanation of the rules.
  3. Super Bowl 51: A beginner’s guide to American football” (BBC). Written for last year’s Super Bowl, this article makes the cut because it uses words like “pitch” (for “field”) and “defence” (for “defense”).

Read — 2018/01/31

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Fact check: Trump’s State of the Union address” (NPR).
  2. The mistakes you make in a meeting’s first milliseconds“, by Sue Shellenbarger (Wall Street Journal).

In crypto news:

  1. U.S. regulators subpoena crypto exchange Bitfinex, Tether“, by Matthew Leising (Bloomberg, 2018-01-30).
  2. The Lightning Network could make bitcoin faster — and cheaper“, by Sandra Upson (Wired, 2018-01-19). Exciting idea. In a nutshell, pay once to open a private channel on top of a crypto-asset network, and (!) be able to connect that private channel to other private channels.
  3. Hong Kong to educate public on crypto and ICOs“, by Wolfie Zhao (CoinDesk, 2018-01-30). In theory, an admirable if paternalistic use of public funds and public power. In practice, it sounds like the campaign is the government using people’s funds to remind them they must mind their taxes and regulations.
  4. German regulator orders crypto exchange to halt brokerage business“, by Sujha Sundararajan (CoinDesk, 2018-01-30).
  5. Cryptocurrency scams are just straight-up trolling at this point“, by Louise Matsakis (Wired, 2018-01-30). Disgusting greed.
  6. A debate about bitcoin that was a debate about nothing“, by Erin Griffith (Wired, 2018-01-29). Sad times.
  7. Inside the group chats where people pump and dump cryptocurrency“, by Paris Martineau (The Outline, 2018-01-23). Remember, in most regulated markets in most developed countries, market manipulation is illegal. And even if it weren’t, do you really want to get rich by screwing your neighbor?
  8. South Korea won’t ban crypto trading, says minister“, by Daniel Palmer (CoinDesk, 2018-01-31). South Korea’s Minister of Finance Kim Dong-yeon is quoted as saying “there is no intention to ban or suppress cryptocurrency”.