Read : 2019-03-03

by shwolff

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Dollars on the margins“, by Matthew Desmond (NY Times, 2019-02-21).
  2. The benefits of optimism are real“, by Emily Esfahani Smith (Atlantic, 2013-03-01). The films Silver linings playbook and Life of Pi form a launch pad for a correlation between positivity and resilience. In particular, psychologists like Barbara Fredrickson often cite people’s mindset about challenges: Are they opportunities for growth, or threats?
  3. Estonia is running its country like a tech company“, by Kersti Kalijulaid (Quartz, 2019-02-19). Estonian President Kalijulaid touches on several interesting points:
    • Trade-offs exist. Trade-offs are real and (in the short-term, at least) unavoidable. Early in its independence from the USSR, Estonia had to decide how to allocate its limited budget: how much to physical infrastructure, and how much to digital?
    • Innovation versus invention. Often, we don’t need to invent new tools, just apply existing tools in novel (or perhaps even well known) ways.
    • Max min. Reminiscent of John Rawls’ principles of justice, improving the lot of the least-well-off can improve the lot of society more widely. President Kalijulaid explicitly (and perhaps politically) emphasizes the importance of making basic technology accessible to all, rather than top technology to a select few.
    • Legal framework. Incentives, and the ability to enforce, depend heavily on the law. Personally, I would add that ideally this law be simple, so that it is both known and understood by the public generally, and fair, whose definition is open to debate.
    • Security is never absolute. This applies to physical, digital, blockchain, you name it.
    • Importance of trust. President Kalijulaid ends by asserting digital transformation is available to all countries. However, one of her three sine qua non is “the trust of your people”. Polls suggest that in many western democracies (e.g., the US), this trust is at or near historic lows.
  4. Why do you want a partner in your life?“, by Marion Lb (Medium, 2019-02-01). A proposal to view relationships as shared opportunities for growth. Under this view, growth requires challenge, and that can be uncomfortable. Relationships are not about “fixing” the other person, but “about being there…whilst they are fixing themselves[,] and loving them for it”.
  5. Doctors plan to test a gene therapy that could prevent Alzheimer’s disease“, by Antonio Regalado (MIT Technology Review, 2019-02-25). A new attempt to stave off the onset of Alzheimer’s by flooding at-risk patients with APOE2.
  6. Apple and Facebook fighting international encryption battle“, by Robert McMillan & Dustin Volz (Wall Street Journal, 2019-02-26).
  7. Should you invest in Uber or Lyft’s IPOs next year? Try neither“, by Tiernan Ray (The Street, 2018-12-12).
  8. Everything you wanted to know about the biomechanics of the Nike Vaporfly 4%“, by Allison Goldstein (Runner’s World, 2019-02-23).
  9. Emma Stone talks ‘Irrational man’, the Sony hack and keeping her personal life private“, by Josh Eells (Wall Street Journal, 2015-06-17). Through the looking glass back to the summer of 2015. Also, I did not realize that Emma Stone appeared in an episode of “Malcolm in the middle”.
  10. Oscars 2019: The full list of winners” (Vogue, 2019-02-24). Fashion photos at end.