10 Sunday Reads

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

Is artificial intelligence the great filter that makes advanced technical civilisations rare in the universe? Through the lens of SETI, we reflect on humanity’s current technological trajectory – the modest projections for L suggested here, underscore the critical need to quickly establish regulatory frameworks for AI development on Earth and the advancement of a multiplanetary society to mitigate against such existential threats. The persistence of intelligent and conscious life in the universe could hinge on the timely and effective implementation of such international regulatory measures and technological endeavours. (Science Direct)

The Most Feared and Least Known Political Operative in America: Susie Wiles helped dismantle Ron DeSantis and salvaged Donald Trump’s campaign. Is she a MAGA hero or an enemy of democracy? (Politico) see also How Far Trump Would Go: Six months from the 2024 presidential election, Trump is better positioned to win the White House than at any point in either of his previous campaigns. He leads Joe Biden by slim margins in most polls, including in several of the seven swing states likely to determine the outcome. (Time)

Why China Is So Bad at Disinformation: China’s state-sponsored disinformation campaign has been running at a massive scale for seven years—but no one is looking at it. (Wired)

The News is Making You Miserable: The world has always been a mess. There have always been awful people. There have always been problems. The difference is now we are constantly reminded of them. We now get more news in a single day than most people ever saw in their lifetimes just a few short centuries ago. It started with newspapers, then the radio, and then television. We’ve accelerated the process in recent decades through the Internet, social media, and smartphones. Our brains aren’t hardwired to have this much information thrown at them. (A Wealth of Common Sense) see also Lose the News: news is hardly new. The vast majority of it is backward-looking, informing you as to what has happened already. Investing is about what is going to happen; what’s occurred in the past may be of interest, but it’s hardly germane to the investment process. Indeed, by the time the news is “out,” it already has been built into the stock price. Worse yet, old news can have an impact on your thought process. (The Big Picture)

The Sci-Fi Writer Who Invented Conspiracy Theory: It all goes back to one man in the 1950s: a military-intelligence expert in psychological warfare. (The Atlantic)

Cigna saves millions of dollars by having its doctors reject their patients’ claims: “Deny, deny, deny. That’s how you hit your numbers.” A Doctor at Cigna Said Her Bosses Pressured Her to Review Patients’ Cases Too Quickly. Cigna Threatened to Fire Her. Cigna tracks every minute that its staff doctors spend deciding whether to pay for health care. Dr. Debby Day said her bosses cared more about being fast than being right. (ProPublica)

Airlines Mishandled 2.8 Million Bags In 2023, These Were The Worst Offenders: Allegiant Air proved to be the most competent airline in getting bags to their destination last year. American Airlines was the worst airline for lost luggage, accounting for 28.5% of all bags mishandled; United was #2, Alaska Airlines was #3. (Jalopnik)

The problem isn’t that life is unfair – it’s your broken idea of fairness: But never fall for the collective delusion that there’s not a competition going on. People dress up to win partners. They interview to win jobs. If you deny that competition exists, you’re just losing. Everything in demand is on a competitive scale. And the best is only available to those who are willing to truly fight for it. (Oliver Emberton)

Wait, why are there so few dead bugs on my windshield these days? You’ve probably noticed it, too. On long summer road trips, tiny corpses once formed a crust so thick that the reduced visibility posed a legitimate safety risk. Now, many folks we spoke with can’t remember the last time they had to scour the bug gore from their RAV4. From 1996 to 2017, insect splatters fell by 80 percent. (Washington Post)

Just a Long List of Stuff That Brian Cox Hates: The legendary actor and Succession star Brian Cox has publicly hated on many people, things, and ideas. Here is a list of all of them. (GQ)

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business this weekend with Joanne Bradford, who held executive leadership positions at Microsoft, Yahoo, Pinterest, Demand Media and BusinessWeek. She served as the Chief Revenue Officer at Microsoft, COO, and Chief Marketing Officer at SoFi (2015-2019), Most recently, she was President of Honey, where she orchestrated the sale of to Paypal for $4 billion. She was named one of Ad Age’s 100 Most Influential Women in Advertising.


WHERE DID ALL THE STOCKS GO? The number of public companies has fallen fast

Source: Sherwood


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