A brief gallivant about the marketplace of ideas.

Category: Reading

Read : 2019-08-25

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. What companies are for” (The Economist, 2019-08-22). The article raises relevant issues — businesses may not be best suited to addressing and solving all social problems, what is a social goal is not always obvious, the trade-off between stabilizing the status quo and upsetting it — but, in my opinion, misses the mark in analyzing each. If business is not well suited to addressing social problems, and government is gridlocked, what is the answer? (E.g., strengthening local governments at the expense of national ones, ceding more control to individuals and communities rather than to federal entities, etc.) If businesses ought not to pursue certain social goals for lack of information or conflict of interests, could this lack or conflict be addressed? (Let’s be real: Firms already pursue certain social goals behind the scenes, by dint of the products they produce or the lobbying they fund.) Why would corporate activism endanger dynamism? Because of “sheltering” by government? If we as society demand no such sheltering be allowed, would that solve the problem? It seems the bigger danger of corporate activism is it gives an outsize influence (in terms of power and money) to majority interests: Businesses may adopt majority values and goals in the interest of future business. Is majority rule always the best way to solve social problems? (I can think of several examples that suggest, if not prove, the answer to this question is “No”.)
  2. How life became an endless, terrible competition“, by Daniel Markovits (The Atlantic, 2019-09).
  3. Blame economists for the mess we’re in“, by Binyamin Appelbaum (NY Times, 2019-08-25). Appelbaum offers a scapegoat and sacrificial lamb for society’s current problems: Economists.
  4. AI reveals how ‘Old town road’ became the biggest song ever“, by Courtney Linder (Popular Mechanics, 2019-08-15).
  5. In the ultimate power move, Taylor Swift will rerecord — and own — her old albums“, by Michelle Ruiz (Vogue, 2019-08-22). Concerns over the journalist’s highlighting of power aside (I guess all issues come down to a power struggle, in the end, but is it human destiny to continue them, find better ways of resolving them, or something else?), doesn’t it make sense that artists should own their work? Kudos to T-Swift for pursuing what she believes in.

Read : 2019-08-24

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. How to write email with military precision“, by Kabir Sehgal (Harvard Business Review, 2016-11-22).
  2. Taylor Swift on sexism, scrutiny, and standing up for herself“, by Abby Aguirre (Vogue, 2019-08-08).

Read : 2019-08-23

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. The next trick for CRISPR is gene-editing pain away“, by Antonio Regalado (MIT Technology Review, 2019-08-22).
  2. Terry Crews on being dead broke, his career turning point, and the mindset shift that fuels his success“, by Jenna Goudreau (CNBC, 2019-02-13). Accepting responsibility (though Crews’s “any time” is too extreme), doing what it takes, distinguishing money from “equity and honor”, turning goals into habits into you, finding someone you respect to tell you the truth, believing that “[y]ou don’t have to prove anything to anybody”.
  3. Huawei shows the Chinese internet will win“, by Michael K. Spencer (Medium, 2019-05-20).

Read : 2019-08-20

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Eligible“, by Sarah Lyall (NY Times, 2016-04-25). Book review of a Jane Austen “update” by Curtis Sittenfeld.
  2. Great movies“, by Roger Ebert (

Read : 2019-08-16

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. What’s the deal with that inverted yield curve? A sports analogy might help“, by Neil Irwin (NY Times, 2019-08-15).
  2. Many democrats love Elizabeth Warren. They also worry about her.“, by Jonathan Martin (NY Times, 2019-08-15). The article highlights a shocking degree of prejudice and pragmatism in the American electorate.
  3. How world leaders ruined the global economy“, by Steven Rattner (NY Times, 2019-08-15). Technocratic sentiment, through and through, but this quote rings true:

    Any chief executive officer who botched his or her job as badly as most of these leaders have would be fired.

Read : 2019-08-15

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. New proof settles how to approximate numbers like pi“, by Kevin Hartnett (Quanta Magazine, 2019-08-14). A proof of the Duffin-Schaeffer conjecture.
  2. Finally, a Christmas rom-com that doesn’t look terrible“, by Christian Allaire (Vogue, 2019-08-14).
  3. Eventbrite: Not a turnaround yet“, by Gary Alexander (Seeking Alpha, 2019-08-14).
  4. The stock and bond divide“, by Real Vision (Seeking Alpha, 2019-08-06).

Read : 2019-08-13

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Hong Kong protestors overwhelm airports for second day“, by Jon Emont (Wall Street Journal, 2019-08-13).
  2. Protests put Hong Kong on collision course with China’s communist party“, by Javier C. Hernández & Amy Qin (NY Times, 2019-08-12).
  3. With pens, paper and motorcycles, journalists chronicle Kashmir crackdown“, by Sameer Yasir & Jeffrey Gettleman (NY Times, 2019-08-12).
  4. Two ebola drugs show promise amid ongoing outbreak“, by Amy Maxmen (Nature, 2019-08-12). Two drugs, REGN-EB3 and mAB114, are derived from ebola antibodies. Both led to a 90% survival rate when administered shortly after initial infection.
  5. Harry Reid: The filibuster is suffocating the will of the American people“, by Harry Reid (NY Times, 2019-08-12).
  6. It’s 2043. We need a new American dream for the A.I. revolution“, by Baobao Zhang (NY Times, 2019-08-12).

Read : 2019-08-11

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Inside Kashmir, cut off from the world: ‘A living hell’ of anger and fear“, by Sameer Yasir, Suhasini Raj, & Jeffrey Gettleman (NY Times, 2019-08-10).
  2. Half of teachers have ‘seriously considered’ quitting in recent years, survey finds“, by Emily Tate (EdSurge, 2019-08-05).
  3. Teach yourself to echolocate“, by Jessica Leigh Hester (Atlas Obscura, 2018-10-11).
  4. Chill out! The 10 rules for a perfect fridge — from egg storage to deep cleaning“, by Dale Berning Sawa (The Guardian, 2019-08-08).

Read : 2019-08-09

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Our brains tell stories so we can live“, by Robert A. Burton (Nautilus, 2019-08-08).
  2. Best French films of all time” (Films de France).

Read : 2019-07-29

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. The problem of mindfulness“, by Sahanika Ratnayake (Aeon, 2019-07-25).