The weekend is here! Pour yourself a mug of Danish Blend coffee, grab a seat by the fire, and get ready for our longer-form weekend reads:
• Vigilantes Are Hunting Crypto Scams in $100 Billion DeFi Market These types of scams are exploding in DeFi, the wild west of the crypto market. There, anyone and everyone can mint digital tokens — some that create outrageous fortunes, and far more that flop within hours. FOMO coin culture is the perfect breeding ground for fraudsters looking to take investors’ money and run. (Bloomberg)
• How Complex Systems Fail Being a Short Treatise on the Nature of Failure; How Failure is Evaluated; How Failure is Attributed to Proximate Cause; and the Resulting New Understanding of Patient Safety (How.ComplexSystems.Fail)
• The futuristic plan to fix America’s power grid This year, millions of Americans across the country lost power at times when they needed it most. As the US power grid deals with an onslaught of heat waves, winter storms, and stronger hurricanes caused by climate change, these kinds of failures are happening more often, taking longer to fix, and harming more people. Power blackouts, which used to be mostly seasonal occurrences, now occur year-round. Winter is often the season for blackouts. Smart grids could change that. (Vox)
• Up all night with a Twitch millionaire: The loneliness and rage of the Internet’s new rock stars The punishing need to stay relevant in a supersaturated market is also fueling severe burnout. After five years of building an unapologetically aggressive persona for an audience of mostly young men can be exhausting by the expectations of an unforgiving crowd. Ten hours a day, streamers are broadcasting lives of obsession and wealth for an unforgiving crowd. How long can any of them last? (Washington Post)
• From contemptuous to indifferent to curious to pretty damn excited: my journey to web3 DAOs are a bit like publicly-traded corporations. Each member is like a shareholder. So, if the DAO thrives, the members can see their investment grow; if it fails, they lose. So, in the case of Planet Money, if the show grows in audience and revenue and the degree of interest continues to grow, those $TOXIE coins will be worth more and more money. DAOs are, also, a lot like a co-op. Deliberation happens in meetings of standing member committees. Financial decisions are made through voting. (Adam Davidson)
• The Science of Mind Reading The results of the study were published in The New England Journal of Medicine. The paper caused a sensation. The Los Angeles Times wrote a story about it, with the headline “brains of vegetative patients show life.” It weas estimated that 20% of patients who were presumed to be vegetative were actually awake. (New Yorker)
• How my 84-year-old dad helped me see the folly of Gen Z My dad’s breadth of life experience and wisdom woke me to the transience of today’s fads and fallacies. It’s hard to humor my peers who demand safe spaces and trigger warnings when my best friend remembers the plights of World War II. It’s impossible to flirt with socialist politics when my father recalls the rise and fall of the USSR. It’s hard to spend my days scrolling through TikTok when my dad is a living testament to the wisdom a lifetime of reading can foster. (New York Post)
• The Webb Space Telescope Will Rewrite Cosmic History. If It Works. The James Webb Space Telescope has been designed to answer many of the core questions that have animated astronomers over the past half-century. With a $10 billion price tag, it is one of the most ambitious engineering initiatives ever attempted. But for it to achieve its potential — nothing less than to rewrite the history of the cosmos and reshape humanity’s position within it — a lot of things have to work just right. (Quanta Magazine)
• The Sex Parties Really Are Better Than Ever Optimists predicted a horny free-for-all post-lockdown. They were right. Over the course of the summer and early fall, I attended four different New York–based sex parties: None of the parties allowed phones. Two of the four parties required proof of vaccination; the other two allowed a negative COVID test. Party guests and employees told me that people seemed hungrier to attend — and, once they were there, to explore — than ever. (The Cut)
• Mel Brooks Keeps It Very Light in ‘All About Me!’ Brooks himself reads as the opposite of acrophobic: scaling the icy pinnacles of Hollywood without anything more than a pang of self-doubt, using humor as his alpenstock. Fear of heights is closely related to fear of falling; falling (not failing) was a measure of achievement for Brooks and his cohort. Before it was an acronym, they embodied ROFL, forever collapsing to the ground in mirth. (New York Times)
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins. Doerrr has backed some of the most successful tech start-ups, including Compaq, Netscape, Symantec, Sun Microsystems, Amazon.com, Intuit, Macromedia, and Google. He is also the author of the best-selling Measure What Matters; his latest book is Speed & Scale: An Action Plan for Solving Our Climate Crisis Now.
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To learn how these reads are assembled each day, please see this.