A brief gallivant about the marketplace of ideas.

Month: September, 2018

Read — 2018-09-28

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Instagram’s Kevin Systrom on the platform he built for one billion users“, by Seth Stevenson (Wall Street Journal, 2018-09-25).
  2. SEC sues Elon Musk for fraud, seeks removal from Tesla“, by Dave Michaels, Susan Pulliam, Tim Higgins, & Michael Rapoport (Wall Street Journal, 2018-09-27).
  3. Why Tesla stock was slammed Friday“, by Daniel Sparks (The Motley Fool, 2018-09-28).
  4. Tesla shares sink on SEC lawsuit; sources say Musk could settle” (Reuters, 2018-09-28).
  5. ‘If they can, they will’: The Ford-Kavanaugh hearing and the angry politics of now“, by Susan B. Glasser (The New Yorker, 2018-09-27). The author comes across as priggish and as closed-minded as the one of “two Americas” she lambasts. What this article offers the reader is not a way forward, or even introspection, but a reaffirmation of “what we already knew”: you are right, and everyone who disagrees with you is wrong.
    Though the road is long, there is a way forward, and it starts with sincere respect for the individual, every individual: that high-school classmate you find yourself sexually attracted to, that politician you find yourself viscerally disgusted by. Righteous anger has its place, but directed against an action or an attitude, not an individual. “Trite and naïve”, you say. “Lovely ideals, but they can never be realized in practice.” Perhaps you are right, for the adults of our time. Perhaps they can never learn to sincerely respect one another. But might we teach children sincere respect for every individual? There I am more optimistic. Though adults, perhaps particularly politicians and those who make a living turning politics into reality TV, are undermining even this chance at creating a better future.

Read — 2018-09-27

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. On Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s indelible memory, and the laughter of men“, by Bridget Read (Vogue, 2018-09-27).
  2. New claims add fuel to showdown over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh“, by Rebecca Ballhaus & Aruna Viswanatha (Wall Street Journal, 2018-09-27).
  3. Learning about teaching now“, by John S. Rosenberg (Harvard Magazine, 2018-09-24). Among other things, discusses the curriculum designed by the Minerva Schools at KGI.
  4. Yale University under federal investigation for use of race in admissions practices“, by Nicole Hong & Melissa Korn (Wall Street Journal, 2018-09-26).
  5. Congress challenges Google on China. Google falls short“, by Issie Lapowsky (Wired, 2018-09-26).
  6. Colleges grapple with where — or whether — to draw the line on free speech“, by Alina Tugend (NY Times, 2018-06-05).
  7. The not-so-great reason divorce rates are declining“, by Joe Pinsker (2018-09-25). More-educated people are waiting longer to marry, less-educated people are simply skipping marriage and cohabitating,–and all this leads to greater social inequality.

Two articles more specifically on investing:

  1. Will Tesla turn a profit in the third quarter?“, by Michael Henage (Seeking Alpha, 2018-09-26). Spoiler alert: The author concludes the answer to his question is “almost impossible”. But the market may focus on (and respond to) progress in production, not whether the company achieved positive profits.
  2. How does Eventbrite make money?“, by Rakesh Sharma (2018-09-25). Someone read the company’s S-1.

Read — 2018-09-25

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Instagram co-founders to step down from Facebook“, by Deepa Seetharaman (Wall Street Journal, 2018-09-25).
  2. Stefan Lofven: Sweden’s parliament ousts prime minister” (BBC, 2018-09-25).
  3. The stoplight battling to end poverty“, by Nick Dall (OZY, 2018-09-25).
  4. Ripple’s co-founder’s token selloff accelerates“, by Tomio Geron (Wall Street Journal, 2018-09-24).
  5. From farm to blockchain: Walmart tracks its lettuce“, by Michael Corkey & Nathaniel Popper (NY Times, 2018-09-24). The article notes that some are skeptical blockchain improves the tracking process.
  6. The moral imperative of quality education“, by Peter Mutharika (Project Syndicate, 2017-11-27). A request from the president of Malawi for benefactors to contribute to education in developing countries.

Read — 2018-09-24

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. A simple and powerful technique for better listening“, by Kenneth E. Miller, PhD (Psychology Today, 2018-09-21). Take a breath before you say anything.
  2. How to *really* know you’re in love“, by Kris Gage (Medium, 2017-08-03). Another affirmation that love is a choice.
  3. Why has Facebook not rebounded yet?“, by Kwan-Chen Ma (Seeking Alpha, 2018-09-23). An argument that Facebook’s current valuation is accurate and will not improve until its regulatory outlook does.

Read — 2018-09-23

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. The patriarchy will always have its revenge“, by Jennifer Weiner (NY Times, 2018-09-22). Do we want revenge, or do we want progress? The two are not mutually exclusive. But their essences are at loggerheads: Revenge stems from the desire to make someone else feel our pain; progress stems from the desire to spare someone else our pain. Which we seek speaks our motives more loudly and truly than any words we might say.
    The sentiments in this article cry out to me. My heart resonates with their plea. We want progress, we “swallow our pain”, we suppress our desire for revenge,…but the progress does not happen. How long must we wait? How many others must suffer as we have?
    Waiting for those “in power” to fix things for us may be part of the problem. Do those in power have sufficient incentive to change or dismantle a system that has put them “on top”? Seeking revenge is one way of seizing the power of change for ourselves. But it is not the only way. And it may not be the best one.
    Be chary of stereotyping. There are egregious examples of men who refuse to accept responsibility or to apologize. This does not mean that men as a group do not know how to be sorry. Stereotyping in any sphere or debate tends to the same results: artificial boundaries, oversimplified analysis, and avoidable resentment.
  2. Tech thinks is has a fix for the problems it created: blockchain“, by Nathaniel Popper (NY Times, 2018-04-01).
  3. Web application security: understanding the browser“, by Alex Nadalin (freeCodeCamp, 2018-09-19). An overview of how a web browser works. This explanation sets the stage for subsequent articles on security.

Read — 2018-09-22

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Alibaba vs. Amazon: A simple choice“, by The Growth Guy (Seeking Alpha, 2018-09-21). Is it so simple? Peruse the article and comments and judge for yourself. (Also keep in mind that these are two of millions of ways to put your money to work.)
  2. How to scrape websites with Python and BeautifulSoup“, by Leonard Mok & Justin Yek (freeCodeCamp, 2017-06-10).
  3. Blake Lively reveals a brand new look in Paris“, by Edward Barsamian (Vogue, 2018-09-20). I love the outfit, the hair, the saddle bag, everything. French grey!
  4. Icarus (2017 film)” (Wikipedia).
  5. These are the four big personality types, according to science“, by Jamie Ducharme (Time, 2018-09-18).
  6. The 3 keys to becoming irresistable“, by John Gorman (Medium, 2018-03-25). Whether you agree with the author’s conclusions (or his choice of titular adjective), his discipline to sit down and think things over bears emulation.

Read — 2018-09-21

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Titans of mathematics clash over epic proof of abc conjecture“, by Erica Klarreich (Quanta Magazine, 2018-09-20). The abc conjecture is a relatively simple problem to state, and it has many important implications.
  2. Claude Shannon: How a genius solves problems“, by Zat Rana (Medium, 2018-08-15).
  3. New theory cracks open the black box of deep learning“, by Natalie Wolchover (Quanta Magazine, 2017-09-21).
  4. Drug pair shows promise for treating sleep apnea“, by Meredith Wadman (Science, 2018-09-21).
  5. Ripple (XRP) is up almost 50% in 24 hours on exciting new feature“, by Billy Bambrough (Forbes, 2018-09-21). Ripple announces its xRapid product. As per a Ripple spokesperson, “there isn’t currently an official commercial release timeline for xRapid”.
  6. Eventbrite: Plenty of upside left in this stellar IPO“, by Gary Alexander (Seeking Alpha, 2018-09-21). Note that the author indicates he may take a long position in EB.

Read — 2018-09-16

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Eliud Kipchoge crushes marathon world record at Berlin Marathon“, by Roger Robinson (2018-09-16). Kipchoge covers 42.2 km in 2:01:39. Here are video highlights and his wicked fast and steady splits.

    The lesson of running is to train well, and then have full faith in your training and show the proof in the race.

  2. Step up to the net with the top volleyball teams in the country” (NCAA, 2018-09-13). Alternatively titled, “Why volleyball is (going to be) bigger than football: A short video for the unbeliever”. See especially 0:50. Volleyball has been doing this for years. Football finally figured out that throwing the football really hard against the ground could be replaced by coordinated team celebrations, what, like, last year?

Read — 2018-09-15

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. China can’t afford a cashless society“, by Rui Zhong (Foreign Policy, 2018-09-11). Government mandates and insistence that firms and citizens accept cash is one way to deal with changing times. Ensuring that all citizens (and others) have access to banking and other services is another. (Decentralized cash systems is a third.)
  2. Austin needs to do a better job of recruiting tech talent“, by Derek Hutson (Venture Beat, 2018-09-15).
  3. Lyft is planning its IPO, trying to beat Uber to the punch, sources say“, by Eric Newcomer & Alex Barinka (LA Times, 2018-08-31). This article points out that, in the US, underwriters for one IPO cannot underwrite IPOs of direct competitors (due to potential conflicts of interest).
  4. Airbnb aims to be ‘ready’ to go public from June 30, 2019, creates cash bonus program for staff“, by Ingrid Lunden & Romain Dillet (Tech Crunch, 2018-06).
  5. Many ways to be a girl, but one way to be a boy: the new gender rules“, by Claire Cain Miller (NY Times, 2018-09-14).

Read — 2018-09-14

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. The literature of liberalism” (The Economist, 2018-08-29).
  2. ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ cast previews a darker show than you might expect“, by Samantha Highfill (Entertainment Weekly, 2018-09-13). Netflix original series starring Kiernan Shipka.
  3. Musial earns C-USA athlete of the week“, by Kenny Bybee (Rice, 2018-09-11).
  4. 46 years ago, I left Yale for J.D. Salinger — this fall, I’m returning“, by Joyce Maynard (Vogue, 2018-09-13).