10 Weekend Reads

The weekend is here! Pour yourself a mug of  coffee, grab a seat outside, and get ready for our longer-form weekend reads:

A Four-Decade Secret: One Man’s Story of Sabotaging Carter’s Re-election: A prominent Texas politician said he unwittingly took part in a 1980 tour of the Middle East with a clandestine agenda. (New York Times)

The venture capitalist’s dilemma: The embarrassing investor meltdown surrounding Silicon Valley Bank should drive us to consider new models. (Molly White) see also Society’s Technical Debt and Software’s Gutenberg Moment. There is immense hyperbole about recent developments in artificial intelligence, especially Large Language Models like ChatGPT. And there is also deserved concern about such technologies’ material impact on jobs. But observers are missing two very important things: Every wave of technological innovation has been unleashed by something costly becoming cheap enough to waste. Software production has been too complex and expensive for too long, which has caused us to underproduce software for decades, resulting in immense, society-wide technical debt. (Irregular Ideas with Paul Kedrosky & Eric Norlin of SKV)

What Is Bill Ackman Up To? The failure of Silicon Valley Bank and the looming bank crisis is fueling the hedge fund manager’s new passion: Twitter. (Institutional Investor)

No, Bitcoin isn’t pumping because it’s a “safe haven” from banks: There are more reasonable explanations for the price increase, and more than a few flaws with the “safe haven” narrative. (Molly White)

The doomers are wrong about humanity’s future — and its past: I could tell you that a little more than 200 years ago, nearly half of all children born died before they reached their 15th birthday, and that today it’s less than 5 percent globally. I could tell you that in pre-industrial times, starvation was a constant specter and life expectancy was in the 30s at best. I could tell you that at the dawn of the 19th century, barely more than one person in 10 was literate, while today that ratio has been nearly reversed. I could tell you that today is, on average, the best time to be alive in human history. But that doesn’t mean you’ll be convinced. (Vox)

The strongest evidence for a Universe before the Big Bang: The hot Big Bang is often touted as the beginning of the Universe. But there’s one piece of evidence we can’t ignore that shows otherwise. (Big Think) see also In Search of Lost Time: The science of the perfect second. When I suggested that Levine and his colleagues are not so much telling time as forecasting it, he nodded excitedly. “It is exactly forecasting!” This is particularly true given the emergence, a few years ago, of so-called rapid UTC, a weekly provisional dissemination of the world’s official time (considered in retrospect) from the authorities in France. (Harper’s)

Iowa’s sharp right turn: From centrist state to ‘Florida of the North’ Republicans in the Iowa legislature, empowered by the state’s recent “red wave,” have embarked on an ambitious new agenda that includes a costly school choice bill and legislation targeting the LGBTQ community, a historic divergence from Iowa’s history as a civil rights bastion. (Washington Post)

Long COVID Comes Into the Light: We’re finally starting to see the truth about the vexing condition. It’s not what we thought. (Slate)

Elon Musk’s Global Empire Has Made Him a Burning Problem for Washington: Between Twitter, Starlink, SpaceX and Tesla, the CEO’s clout — and unilateral decision making — has made him a big headache for Biden. (Bloomberg)

Adam Sandler doesn’t need your respect. But he’s getting it anyway. In a rare sit-down interview, the former SNL star and comedy icon reflects on his career as he receives the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. (Washington Post)

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business next week with Dominique Mielle, (retired) partner at Canyon Capital, a $25 billion hedge fund where she worked there for 20+ years. She is also the author of “Damsel in Distressed,” which turns out to be (surprisingly) the very first memoir written by a woman working at a hedge fund. The book is a fun romp covering the 1998-2018 era.


Banks tried to kill remote work. Now, remote work is trying to kill banks

Source: Dror Poleg


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