The weekend is here! Pour yourself a mug of Danish blend coffee, grab a seat in the sun, and get ready for our longer-form weekend reads:
• Five reasons the sanctions are working In lieu of a military response, Biden and his allies are waging economic war on Putin’s Russia. It’s not a close fight. (Full Stack Economics) see also Russia’s Economic Stagnation in Five Charts Former vassal countries of the Soviet Union that joined the EU have left their neighbor in the economic dust. (Bloomberg)
• The Bond King’s Genius Was No Match for His Ego In an excerpt from her new book, Mary Childs, the co-host of NPR’s Planet Money, takes a close look at the rise and fall of billionaire investor Bill Gross. (Businessweek)
• ESG and Alpha: Sales or Substance? Managers of ESG investments create false hope, oversell outperformance, and contribute to the delay of long-past-due regulatory action. (Institutional Investor)
• The Elephant in the Courtroom A curious legal crusade to redefine personhood is raising profound questions about the interdependence of the animal and human kingdoms. (New Yorker)
• Why we need to expand our crop menu Climate variability and extremes like floods, storms and droughts were a key driver of global hunger and malnutrition in 2021. The proportion of low- and middle-income countries exposed to climate extremes has increased from 76% to 98% between 2000 and 2020, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. (BBC)
• Twitter Wants to Reinvent Itself, by Merging the Old With the New The company is undertaking a far-reaching effort to change how it works. For some, it is an echo of their early idealism and a vision for what the internet could have been. (New York Times) see also How Telegram Became the Anti-Facebook Hundreds of millions of users. No algorithm. No ads. Courage in the face of autocracy. Sound like a dream? Careful what you wish for. How Telegram Became the Anti-Facebook (Wired)
• The Varieties of Bullshit Frankfurt is right about some cases of bullshit, but I maintain that there is more bullshit out there than Frankfurt seems to recognize, and this leads him to construct a theory of bullshit that is too narrow. If we want a reliable theory of bullshit we need to consider these additional cases. And ultimately, it will be necessary to revisit some of those propaganda models that are built on Frankfurt’s theory of bullshit. Is Frankfurt’s theory of bullshit itself an example of bullshit? Or is it merely bullshit for us to continue to embrace that theory? Let’s see! (Medium)
• The philosopher’s zombie The infamous thought experiment, flawed as it is, does demonstrate one thing: physics alone can’t explain consciousness (Aeon)
• A Deepening Crisis Forces Physicists to Rethink Structure of Nature’s Laws For three decades, researchers hunted in vain for new elementary particles that would have explained why nature looks the way it does. As physicists confront that failure, they’re reexamining a longstanding assumption: that big stuff consists of smaller stuff. (Quanta Magazine)
• Inside the push to study sex in space: NASA is weirdly prudish when it comes to doin’ it in the final frontier. These researchers want to change that. (Mic)
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with David Kotok, who co-founded Cumberland Advisors in 1973. The firm manages $4 billion in assets. Kotok is Program Chairman of the Global Interdependence Center (GIC), and was on the Treasury Transition Teams for New Jersey Governors Tom Kean and Christine Whitman, but is probably best known as the creator of Camp Kotok. His recent research is on the Economic Consequences of Pandemics, and What Long Covid Means for Financial Markets.
A Guide to Cannabis in the U.S.
Source: Visual Capitalist
To learn how these reads are assembled each day, please see this.