10 Sunday Reads

Avert your eyes! My Sunday morning look at incompetency, corruption and policy failures:

The truffle industry is a big scam. Not just truffle oil, everything: You may be familiar with the truffle oil scam, but everything else you think you know about truffles is probably a lie too. (Taste Atlas)

The Damar Hamlin injury provokes a wave of ignorant anti-vaccine propaganda: It also has provoked a wave of responses not so refreshing: utterly unfounded conjecture that his collapse had something to do with the COVID-19 vaccines. Before proceeding to scrutinize this surge of ignorance, let’s set forth what learned and legitimate medical experts are thinking. (Los Angeles Timessee also A vaccine scientist’s discredited claims have bolstered a movement of misinformation: His claims and suggestions have been discredited and denounced by medical professionals as not only wrong, but also dangerous. Twitter barred him for violating the platform’s coronavirus misinformation policy, but he has found platforms elsewhere — recently appearing on an episode of Joe Rogan’s wildly popular podcast, which averages 11 million listeners per episode. (Washington Post)

The Story of Japan’s Lost Decade: Japan’s Bubble-Burst: The Party That Wasn’t Supposed to End Uncovering Japan’s lost decade (1991-2001); The tragic tale of the economic bubble burst and its consequences. (Konichi Value)

Investing Novices Are Calling the Shots for $4 Trillion at US Pensions: Public-employee plans are underfunded, chasing higher returns and underperforming international peers overseen by professionals. (Bloomberg)

Troubles at Sam Bankman-Fried’s Alameda Began Well Before Crypto Crash: Trading firm took big gambles, winning some and losing plenty; ‘complete lack of a risk-management framework.’ (Wall Street Journal)

My High School’s Secret Fantasy Slut League: Our wealthy California school had a hookup game where boys “drafted” girls, then tracked their sex acts. A decade later, my classmates still debate whether “FSL” was harmless teenage hijinks or a symptom of toxic rot in our elite enclave. (Narratively)

Why Not Mars? Because: The goal of this essay is to persuade you that we shouldn’t send human beings to Mars, at least not anytime soon. Landing on Mars with existing technology would be a destructive, wasteful stunt whose only legacy would be to ruin the greatest natural history experiment in the Solar System. It would no more open a new era of spaceflight than a Phoenician sailor crossing the Atlantic in 500 B.C. would have opened up the New World. And it wouldn’t even be that much fun. (Idle Words)

They Called 911 for Help. Police and Prosecutors Used a New Junk Science to Decide They Were Liars. Tracing the fallacy of 911 call analysis through the justice system, from Quantico to the courtroom. (ProPublica)

Inside the Jan. 6 committee’s massive new evidence trove: The panel’s evidence provides the clearest glimpse yet at the well-coordinated effort by some Trump allies to help Trump seize a second term he didn’t win. (Politico) but see also The Jan. 6 committee’s final report says some key questions remain unanswered. Here are 8 of them. They include how pipe bombs got to the DNC and RNC headquarters, and how much Trump and his allies knew ahead of the attack. (Grid)

Did smartphones get dozens of Russian soldiers killed? Armies around the world are struggling to keep troops off their phones. The Ukrainian attack against a Russian barracks may be the deadliest example of why soldiers shouldn’t use smartphones. (Grid)

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with John Mack, former CEO of Morgan Stanley. He was the architect of the firm’s merger with Dean Witter and then returned as CEO to lead the firm through the financial crisis. He is the author of a new autobiography, “Up Close and All In: Life Lessons from a Wall Street Warrior.”


Cost of owning vs. renting a home at historically high premium

Source: @RickPalaciosJr


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