The weekend is here! Pour yourself a mug of French Roast coffee, grab a seat on the bear skin rug, and get ready for our longer form weekend reads:
• Inside the Reddit army that’s crushing Wall Street This past week has been a banner one for Reddit’s island of misfit investors, as WallStreetBets exploded into the mainstream, moving from the front page of Reddit to the front page of the New York Times and nearly every other major news site. Describing itself as if “4chan found a Bloomberg terminal,” the forum’s giddy nihilism, inscrutable language and memes fueled a war on a perceived corrupted mainstream. (CNN)
• Why iPhone is today’s Kodak Brownie Camera Photography as we know it has been around for about 150 years. But it has never been so visceral, and so much a part of our daily lives, as it is now. Whether it was new chemicals or new film or new sensors, technological advances in this area have — by and large — been about making it simpler for us to capture the moment. All of it has brought us to today, when we have quietly passed the cultural tipping point where taking a photo is as second nature as breathing. (Om)
• How the Most Hyped U.S. Oil Merger in a Decade Went Bust As CEO of Occidental Petroleum, Vicki Hollub made the biggest deal the oil business had seen in years. Will it also go down as the biggest failure? (Texas Monthly)
• What to Know About Music’s Copyright Gold Rush Neil Young, Lindsey Buckingham, Shakira, and others recently sold their song catalogs to the flashy music publishing upstart Hipgnosis, in deals that have implications for the future of the recording industry (Pitchfork)
• Who’s Making All Those Scam Calls? Every year, tens of millions of Americans collectively lose billions of dollars to scam callers. Where does the other end of the line lead? (New York Times)
• The 1920s Roared After a Pandemic, and the 2020s Will Try The modern economy sprang to life in the Jazz Age, but today’s secular stagnation will be tough to overcome. (Businessweek)
• The People the Suburbs Were Built for Are Gone A new book documents the “retrofitting” of obsolete suburban malls, box stores, office parks, parking lots, motels, and more. (Vice) see also Nextdoor Is Quietly Replacing the Small-Town Paper While Facebook and Twitter get the scrutiny, Nextdoor is reshaping politics one neighborhood at a time (Medium)
• The problem with prediction Cognitive scientists and corporations alike see human minds as predictive machines. Right or wrong, they will change how we think (Aeon)
• The 1938 Deplatforming of Father Coughlin The story of the anti-Semitic radio priest offers an intriguing analog-age precedent to the digital-age debates over the limits of free expression. (Slate)
• How the Biden administration can save the Postal Service The Postal Service has to do more than deliver mail if it wants to survive. (Vox)
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with the legendary fund manager Ron Baron of Baron Funds. Founded in 1982, the firm is known for long-term, fundamental, active approach to growth investing, and has $49 billion in AUM. 16 of 17 Baron Funds, representing 98.3% of assets outperformed their passive benchmark since inception; the Baron Partners Fund was up +148% in 2020.
A Monster Wind Turbine Is Upending an Industry
Source: New York Times
To learn how these reads are assembled each day, please see this.