10 Weekend Reads

That was a week for the record books. Settle into your favorite easy chair, fill a mug of hot joe, and enjoy our longer form weekend reads:

• Google Search Will Be Your Next Brain (Medium)
• How stories change hearts and brains (Aeon) see also What are some of the most mind-blowing facts that sound like “BS”, but are actually true? (Quora)
• Drones are getting better faster than anyone expected (The Verge)
• We Know How You Feel: Computers are learning to read emotion, and the business world can’t wait. (New Yorker)
• The Cannabis Queen of Beverly Hills (NYT Magazine)
• 2014 Breaks Heat Record, Challenging Global Warming Skeptics (NYT) see also Scientists react to warmest year: 2014 underscores ‘undeniable fact’ of human-caused climate change (WaPo)
• Inside the World’s Most Advanced Coffee Laboratory (Vice)
• The NY Police vs. the Mayor (NYRoB) see also The NY Police Union’s Civil War (Daily Beast)
• The Picasso Variations: Why the painter’s late work veers from the sloppy to the sublime. (The Nation)
• The Dark Science of Pop Music (The Atlantic) see also In Music, Uniformity Sells (The Atlantic)

Be sure to check out this week’s Masters in Business show, part I of our two part interview with Bill Gross of Janus Capital.



One picture illustrates collapse of Soviet Union and  the rise of Putin and foreshadows the future of Russia.

Source: Brookings Institution


What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. ilsm commented on Jan 17

    Police unions and high ranking police tilting with mayors insisting no one question police are like the pentagon. They are not doing any good for those they ‘serve and protect’ just like the pentagon. Usless police chiefs like US generals, adoring followers inside the controlled ‘clubhouse’, no results in the real world.

    • willid3 commented on Jan 17

      goes along with not taking pictures. seems like some want to be above the law. but not all of them

  2. VennData commented on Jan 17

    Pop music is garbage? Really? What a shocker! Hip Hop? EDM? Seriously? You mean to tell me all that guitar hero swill is just Target-esque product?

    Anyone who doesn’t know pop music is garbage needs some serious time with an analyst. And I’m not talking about someone who’s predicting Target’s earnings.

    • howardoark commented on Jan 17

      Mozart was the pop music of his day. The 99% of the rest of the music that hasn’t been played in 2 centuries was the garbage. You’ll need to come back in 2215 to see if Taylor Swift was garbage or not.

    • rd commented on Jan 19

      Sturgeon’s Law applies to pop music, classical music, literature etc. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sturgeon%27s_law

      Theodore Sturgeon pronounced “90% of everything is crap” when critics were complaining about science fiction writing. This applied to “classical music 200, 300, 400 years ago. There were hundreds of composers churning away then that nobody has heard of today. The Bach family, Mozart, Beethoven etc. are loved today as “Classical music” because they were good and so survived the filter of hundreds of years. They were “pop music” back then as every little count and duke would retain composers and a chamber orchestra to keep up appearances.

      We still hum along to “Greensleeves” and other folk tunes from the last millennium. People today play “The Great American Songbook”, a bunch of tunes culled from 10s of thousands written in the 20th century.

      Science isn’t much different. Much of the research out there gets buried in the sands of time as it didn’t contribute much except some data confirming proven hypotheses. But every now and then…..

      Most of pop music is crap. A bunch of dung has to be created in order to find the occasional gem. Some of those gems will survive. I was at a wedding this weekend with a bunch of 20 year olds dancing away to “She was standing there” by the Beatles and a handful of other tunes written and performed 50 years ago along with stuff from the past couple of years.

      That is the way art, music, literature, and science progresses.

  3. VennData commented on Jan 17

    Ronald Reagan’s Million Jobs Month – Really? You gonna believe that? The media who doesn’t really check the figures and blindly follows the daily GOP Media Machine facts seems to parrot it back.


    Anyone ’round here ever heard of this Invictus? What a clever, data-focused, fact spewer. We need more like him.

  4. RW commented on Jan 17

    The “all or nothing” model of union representation and collective bargaining has fallen on hard times and union membership continues to decline but there have been few times in modern history when workers needed union bargaining strength more.

    Labor at a Crossroads: In Defense of Members-Only Unionism

    Allowing members-only unions would protect the rights of those who wish to bargain collectively even if they fail to surmount all the legal hurdles necessary to establish the union as the representative of all employees in the workplace. ….

  5. S Brennan commented on Jan 17

    There is no doubt that the US seeks to bring the Russians to their knees again the way we did before and the Brookings Institute subtly makes the case, be it with plausible deniability. Kerry’s visit to the Saudi Fiefdom in September was part of just such an effort.

    The USSR went quietly into the night when we did this before, will the Russians? Dunno, but American foreign policy, [under no plausible threat], seems to want test the conjecture that Russia will do the same. All great wars start with miscalculations.

    As an enlisted in the US Army I can attest, Americans are happy warriors…so long as they can have the lower classes suffer the consequence. We assume that when we war, it will always be on distant shores, in proxy wars with colonial nationals suffering the civilian causalities.

    However, an Angry Bear could be another kettle of fish, the recent past is a great exception, when an existential threat has existed, the Russian people have responded by crushing their enemy. Then too, MIRV’d SLBMs on a depressed trajectory will largely make their mark, there is no practical missile defense for such a creature. The US may have to accept suffering losses many magnitudes greater than all wars throughout history.

    Should the reader survive this1in1,000 conflagration lotto, everything we know and love will be gone. All this risk, just to humiliate a country that poses no real threat*…

    *And no, the US organized/funded/armed/trained coup using Nazis in Ukraine is not Russian Aggression…the US has very, very, very long history of such things, so Ambassador Nuland publicly bragging about spending $5,000,000,000.00 for such an outcome should come as no surprise.

    …..and MH-17 being shot down by Russia, c’mon how stupid could we be, it happens four day before a conference on imposing Russian Sanctions…and kills mostly Dutch, one of Russia’s most active trading partners…like the sarin-gas/false-flag in Syria just as inspectors arrive at the scene, it takes a verifiable idiot to buy this bulldinky.

    • ilsm commented on Jan 18

      After 33 years and hundreds of billions of buck: ” largely make their mark, there is no practical missile defense for such a creature. ”

      US has no defense for ANY existing missile threat, star wars is devised and spendinh huge sums to engage threats that do not exist, NK, Iran……

      I never served in missile defense, way after my “time”, however, I keep up. US has no ‘sensors’ that can discriminate or fix position tightly of incoming warheads, no position data near enough to shoot it, the nearly able are THAAD radars which are short range, few and very expensive. THAAD interceptors are short range only a bit longer range than Patriot. So US has very few point defenses not able to queue to targets for hit to kill dumb interceptors.

      Most pentagon systems are selling Brooklyn bridges.

    • rd commented on Jan 19

      Its a sad day when the Pope is way out in front of the US Congress on science issues.

      The Catholic Church has generally made a point of being a couple of centuries behind science. The US has historically been at the fore of scientific research and achievement.

  6. Jojo commented on Jan 17

    This is an interesting twist!
    Teens Take Politicians To Court Over Climate Change
    Posted: 01/17/2015

    For politicians who fail to act on climate change, Kelsey Juliana has a few words.

    “I want to remind them that we are their employer,” said Juliana, 18, a native of Eugene, Oregon, and freshman at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina. “The government works for us. If you’re not doing your job, then I’m going to call you out on it.”

    Those aren’t idle words, either. Juliana is a plaintiff in a potentially precedent-setting court case against Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) and the state. She and co-plaintiff Olivia Chernaik, 14, claim that their government isn’t doing enough to protect its current and future citizens from the devastating effects of climate change.

    Pre-trial motions were filed in circuit court Jan. 9 and argument on the motions has been scheduled for March.

    “This could be a landmark decision on the question: Does government, as trustee over our essential natural resources, have to protect it from carbon pollution and the impacts of climate disruption?” said Julia Olson, executive director of the nonprofit Our Children’s Trust, and originator of a suite of youth-led lawsuits since 2011.



    • ilsm commented on Jan 17

      Retirement planning…….

      If the excess SS payroll taxes (in the ’60’s we called them FICA premiums) had not been tossed away on $28T (2015 USD) of waste for pentagon troughers’ welfare, the US might have a reitrement plan for the boomers as promised.

  7. Jojo commented on Jan 17

    Still thinking that Christy might have a chance of becoming president? With his economic record for NJ (my former home state many years ago) + Bridgegate, you can fuhgeddaboudit….
    Tuesday, Jan 13, 2015
    Chris Christie’s Jersey nightmare: Why his state hasn’t touched the economic recovery
    Why do half of his state’s residents want to leave? Strip away his antics, and there’s a devastating economic story

    Robert Hennelly



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