10 Weekend Reads

Pour yourself a tall glass of strong brew, and settle in for our long form weekend reads:

• What I Learned from Losing $200 Million (Nautilus)
• Here’s Why the University of California Is Getting Into the Venture Capital Business (Re/code)
• 2015: Apple’s year in beta Everything needs more focus and more time (Verge)
• The Man Who Tried to Redeem the World with Logic (Nautilus)
• For the Wealthiest, a Private Tax System That Saves Them Billions (NYT) see also Paulson Leads Funds to Bermuda Tax Dodge Aiding Billionaires (Bloomberg)
• A Fight for the Soul of Science: String theory, the multiverse and other ideas of modern physics are potentially untestable. At a historic meeting in Munich, scientists and philosophers asked: should we trust them anyway? (Quanta)
• The Siege of Miami: As temperatures climb, so, too, will sea levels. (New Yorker)
• Devils, Deals and the DEA: Why Chapo Guzman was the biggest winner in the DEA’s longest running drug cartel case (ProPublica)
• Donald Trump’s Six Stages Of Doom (FiveThirtyEight)
• Going back home: life as a reverse immigrant (Wilson Quarterly)

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with Venture Capitalist Bill Janeway of Warburg Pincus.


Cumulative Flows Into Passive vs. Active Funds

Source: Bloomberg





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  1. RW commented on Jan 2

    The Return of the 1920s
    There is no period of American history that so pervasively demonstrated the power of ethno-nationalism to suppress pluralist differences as that following the Russian Revolution, the end of the First World War, and then continuing through much of the 1920s. There are many broad parallels between this era and our own. In both historical moments, there is a rising racial nationalism that takes hold of a significant (and demographically similar) portion of the country. Following the 1920s, Franklin Roosevelt’s leadership during the Depression and a massive labor movement—which, at least, in its ideals (if often not its practice) extolled the social solidarity of Americans of all races, ethnicities, and religions—renewed civic nationalism. So, too, did the total mobilization on behalf of prosecuting the Second World War. But civic nationalism, too, was still flawed by institutional racism, and dependent upon extra-national enemies—first German and Japanese totalitarianism and then Soviet communism—to somewhat unify the American political culture. What might we expect to, first, culminate, and, then, follow, the moment of Trump?

    “History never repeats itself, but the Kaleidoscopic combinations of the pictured present often seem to be constructed out of the broken fragments of antique legends.” –Mark Twain & Charles Dudley Warner (The Gilded Age: A Tale of To-Day, 1874 ed)

  2. Jojo commented on Jan 2

    942 Pages Of Reverse Engineering Goodness
    Submitted by rob.schifreen | Last update on 5th December, 2015

    I sometimes try to point out in these columns that a certain featured item may not be of interest to everyone. And if there’s ever been an instance where that’s 100% true, it’s probably this one.

    Reverse Engineering For Beginners, also known as RE4B, is a book about reverse engineering. That is to say, analyzing software as-distributed in order to turn it back into its source code and thus find out precisely what it does. And how it does it. And how you might persuade it to do something slightly different, even if the program isn’t one that you originally wrote.

    If you’re into programming, it’s a fascinating read, as the book goes into stunning, fascinating detail about the subject and includes hundreds of examples.


    • kaleberg commented on Jan 2

      Some years back I reverse engineered a flight planning system for a major airline. They had antique code written in an idiosyncratic version of FORTRAN and wanted to figure out what it did so they could write a new version. Even with access to the source code, it was a challenge. We found all sorts of fascinating features that no one used anymore. We also found all sorts of kludges where it would check some airport code, aircraft model and then add or subtract some mysterious number. Luckily, we had a native informant: “That, oh yeah, crash in Hong Kong back in ’85.”

    • Jojo commented on Jan 3

      Many years ago I wrote a disassembler for IBM object code. That was a fun project! Wish I still had a copy of that old code.

  3. Jojo commented on Jan 2

    Burying dead bodies takes a surprising toll on the environment
    Julia Calderone
    Oct. 30, 2015, 8:28 AM

    The ritual of burying a dead body is so deeply ingrained in religious and cultural history that few of us take a moment to question it.

    But when you dig into the statistics, the process of preserving and sealing corpses into caskets and then plunging them into the ground is extremely environmentally unfriendly.

    Toxic chemicals from the embalming, burial, and cremation process leach into the air and soil, and expose funeral workers to potential hazards. And maintaining the crisp, green memorial plots is extremely land-and-water-heavy.

    For this reason, scientists and conservationists have been looking into more eco-friendly ways to die.



  4. VennData commented on Jan 2

    “If the owner of a female captive, who has a daughter suitable for intercourse, has sexual relations with the latter, he is not permitted to have intercourse with her mother and she is permanently off limits to him. Should he have intercourse with her mother then he is not permitted to have intercourse with her daughter and she is to be off limits to him.”

    Which against sidesteps the ISIS age of non-consent.

  5. romerjt commented on Jan 2

    “Trump Calls His Al Qaeda Recruitment Video Highest-Rated Terror Video Ever
    Donald Trump took to Twitter to crow about his inclusion in a terror video, and tweaked his G.O.P. rivals for failing to be chosen.” From The Borowitz Report This is a joke . . . . probably

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