The weekend is here! Pour yourself a mug of weekend house K Cup coffee (ugh), grab a seat on the hammock, and get ready for our longer-form weekend reads:
• How America Sold Out Little League Baseball The privatization of American youth sports over the past 40 years is one of those revolutions of late-stage capitalism that should shock us more than it does. We have commodified the play of millions of children into a $19.2 billion business, weakening volunteer-based programs that promise affordable sports for all children. It is a trend mirrored by our schools, hospitals and military. Once-proud public institutions are being privatized, with many unintended consequences. (America)
• Crypto’s Future Is Even More Exciting, and Maybe More Volatile, Than Its Present: Yet despite its vast technological and financial potential, the crypto industry is finding it tough to break into the mainstream, as investors retrench into safer assets while regulators bear down with more rules. (Barron’s)
• The Dead End of Corporate Activism Companies are unreliable allies in the fight for queer rights and social justice. We must rebuild a working people’s movement. (Boston Review) see also How Capitalism Drives Cancel Culture: Beware splashy corporate gestures when they leave existing power structures intact (The Atlantic)
• The Woes of Being Addicted to Streaming: After a decade under the influence of music algorithms, a look at what streaming services afford the most engaged fans and what lingers below the surface. (Pitchfork)
• Newton’s Alchemy: A Celebration of Failed Experiments and Progress Like a good bubble, alchemy’s promise of gold and immortality attracted a swarm of smart people, including Newton, to try to crack the code. The exhaust of their failed attempt created a new, bigger, and much more important field of study. (Not Boring)
• Seven Varieties of Stupidity (and what to do about them) Many words have been expended on the nature of intelligence, while the topic of stupidity is comparatively neglected – even though it is all around us, screwing us up. That’s probably because we assume stupidity is just a lack of intelligence. I think there’s more to it than that. It comes in many different forms; what follows is by no means comprehensive. (The Ruffian)
• The Government Finally Figured Out What Hackers Are the Good Guys The more interesting—and potentially more important—elements of the new charging policy are the ones that focus on security research and what it means to exceed authorized access. (Slate) see also How GDPR Is Failing The world-leading data law changed how companies work. But four years on, there’s a lag on cleaning up Big Tech. (Wired)
• This Old Man: Life in the nineties: I’m ninety-three, and I’m feeling great. Well, pretty great, unless I’ve forgotten to take a couple of Tylenols in the past four or five hours, in which case I’ve begun to feel some jagged little pains shooting down my left forearm and into the base of the thumb. Shingles, in 1996, with resultant nerve damage. (New Yorker)
• They all starred in ‘Godspell.’ Then they became comedy legends. An oral history of the improbable 1972 Toronto production, featuring Martin Short, Eugene Levy, Gilda Radner, Andrea Martin, Victor Garber and Paul Shaffer. (Washington Post)
• The surprising secrets behind Oklahoma softball, the most dominant team in sports. The most inevitable hitter and the most inevitable team in softball have trampled another pesky opponent, because they almost always trample pesky opponents: The University of Oklahoma softball team is not just breaking the mold on dominance. It’s breaking the mold on how to be dominant. (ESPN)
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business next week with Adam Parker, founder of Trivariate Research. Formerly Head of Research at Sanford C. Bernstein, he was #1 ranked semi analyst, before becoming Chief US Equity Strategist and Director of Global Quant Research at Morgan Stanley. As a member of MS’s global investment committee, he helped oversee $2 trillion in private wealth.
A Marvelous acquisition. Disney’s acquisition of Marvel was genius
To learn how these reads are assembled each day, please see this.