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Opinion | How Love Changes - The New York Times
the most important aspect of relationships? People change! One might find the “perfect” soul mate today and a few years later, or even sooner, that person changes, becomes less sharing, turns into a slob, finds a love of gambling or no longer enjoys going to the flea market in Connecticut on Sundays.

Searching for the perfect lifelong mate is a noble goal, but a fool’s errand. During the 60 years that my wife and I have been married, we have both been several different people. Working through those changes is no guarantee of a forever relationship, but thinking that all you need to do is make a good first choice is foolish.
relationships  marriage  romantic_love  letters_to_the_editor  soul_mates 
november 2018
Beware these management myths
November 2, 2018 | The Globe and Mail HARVEY SCHACHTER
goals  Harvey_Schachter  myths 
november 2018
Turn! Turn! Turn! — The Byrds’ 1965 hit used lyrics that dated back more than 2,000 years — FT.com
Nick Keppler OCTOBER 30, 2018

The Byrds’ “Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)” has been used in films and TV shows to evoke collective memories of the 1960s — starting in 1970, when Homer, one of the first coming-of-age films about a Vietnam war soldier, featured the song on its soundtrack. Since then, the unmistakable chord progression and chorus have ceaselessly popped up in 1960s period pieces: More American Graffiti, Heart Like a Wheel, Forrest Gump, TV’s The Wonder Years (in three episodes) and Ken Burns’s documentary series The Vietnam War.

The song reached number one in the US in December 1965. That year, American ground troops arrived in Vietnam, men on campuses burned their draft cards, black civil rights activists withstood fire hoses and police dogs, and President Lyndon Johnson promoted his “great society” reforms. A chorus of shaggy-haired young men pressed the nation to “turn, turn, turn” and accept that change is inevitable, history is a cycle, strife is temporary, and to everything there is a season.

The song also carries the sonic imprints of the era: Byrds frontman Roger McGuinn once called the chord structure “Beatley” and said they borrowed the drum beat from Phil Spector. But the song itself was concocted by the leader of American folk music’s old guard using lyrics that dated back more than 2,000 years.

Pete Seeger composed “Turn! Turn! Turn!” in 1959 in response to a letter from his publisher. “Pete,” it read, “can’t you write another song like ‘Goodnight, Irene'? I can’t sell or promote these protest songs.” ("Goodnight, Irene” was actually written/adapted by Lead Belly, but Seeger had popularised it with The Weavers.) The response from the rabble-rousing troubadour was predictably defiant. “You better find another songwriter,” Seeger wrote. “This is the only kind of song I know how to write.”

He turned to his pocket notebook, where he jotted down pieces of text for recycling. He found parts of the Bible he had copied, “verses by a bearded fellow with sandals, a tough-minded fellow called Ecclesiastes”, Seeger recalled.

Specifically, it was Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, from one of the “wisdom books” of the Old Testament, collections of truths and sayings. The words attributed “a season” to a series of opposing actions: “A time to be born, a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap; a time to kill, a time to heal,” etc. Seeger took the text almost verbatim. He added the “turn, turn, turn” to build a chorus and tacked on his own hopeful concluding line for cold war audiences: “A time of peace; I swear it’s not too late.”
'60s  Beatles  biblical  folk  hits  music  opposing_actions  pairs  protest_movements  scriptures  songs  songwriters  sonic  soundtracks 
november 2018
Squirrel? We must zero in on improving our attention management - The Globe and Mail
Here’s what I discovered along the way:

Being distracted isn’t our fault (it’s the way we’re biologically wired).
Deliberately letting our mind wander is one of the best ways to become more creative.
When our attention is at rest, we think about our goals 14 times as much as when we’re focused.
We accomplish our intentions more often by taming distractions ahead of time. A few ways to do this: Use your phone’s greyscale mode, which turns your screen black-and-white and makes apps far less engaging; enable e-mail notifications for VIP contacts only; and have no-phone dinners with your family.
The most significant idea I encountered was a simple one, but with profound implications: The state of our attention determines the state of our lives. The moments in which we’re distracted accumulate – day by day, week by week, year by year – to create a life that feels distracted and overwhelming.

On the other hand, when we focus for longer periods on what’s productive and meaningful – important conversations, big work projects and experiences with loved ones – our lives improve by virtually every measure. We get more done, dive deeper into our experiences and notice more meaning around us, because we process the world with greater intention.
attention_spans  distractions  interruptions  squirrel-like_behaviour 
november 2018
What the lessons of 1918 can teach today’s world leaders
NOVEMBER 1, 2018 | Financial Times | Simon Kuper.

The Armistice of 1918 is a model for how not to treat other countries. The historian Margaret MacMillan points out that Germany’s humiliation didn’t mechanically cause the second world war: there were 20 years in-between. Still, visiting Compiègne, you inevitably think of contemporary parallels. Here are some lessons for world leaders gathering in Paris next week to commemorate 1918:

• In international relations, treat even your opponents like long-term business partners.
• Nationalist passions are easy to excite and hard to put back in the bottle.
• A humiliated country will look for scapegoats — and some people will jump from angry words to violence.
• Prosperity is fragile.
• Wars beget wars. Foch helped beget Hitler; the Middle Eastern borders drawn at Versailles helped beget today’s conflicts in the region; the Korean war isn’t dead yet either, and the American civil war lives on as a north-south culture clash....Still, peace in the region cannot remain the EU’s selling point. Precisely because Europeans have come to take peace for granted, they now (rightly) ask: “What have you done for me lately?”
• Absence of war is always a political achievement.
anniversaries  Armistice  Brexit  fragility  humiliations  leaders  lessons_learned  Margaret_McMillian  Simon_Kuper  WWI 
november 2018
Why boring government matters
November 1, 2018 | | Financial Times | Brooke Masters.

The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy, by Michael Lewis, Allen Lane, RRP£20, 219 pages.

John MacWilliams is a former Goldman Sachs investment banker who becomes the risk manager for the department of energy. He regales Lewis with a horrific catalogue of all the things that can go wrong if a government takes its eye off the ball, and provides the book with its title. Asked to name the five things that worry him the most, he lists the usual risks that one would expect — accidents, the North Koreans, Iran — but adds that the “fifth risk” is “project management”.

Lewis explains that “this is the risk society runs when it falls into the habit of responding to long-term risks with short-term solutions.” In other words, America will suffer if it stops caring about the unsung but vital programmes that decontaminate billions of tonnes of nuclear waste, fund basic scientific research and gather weather data.

That trap, he makes clear with instance after instance of the Trump administration failing to heed or even meet with his heroic bureaucrats, is what America is falling into now.

We should all be frightened.
books  book_reviews  boring  bureaucracy  bureaucrats  cynicism  Department_of_Energy  government  Michael_Lewis  public_servants  risks  technocrats  unglamorous  writers  short-term_thinking  competence  sovereign-risk  civics  risk-management 
november 2018
Michael Ovitz, Hollywood super-agent, on ‘winning at all costs’
SEPTEMBER 28, 2018 | Financial Times | by Matthew Garrahan.

In Ovtiz's 20 years at CAA, it assembled hit after hit, including Jurassic Park, Tootsie, Goodfellas and Dances with Wolves. He talks about the agency as though describing a military campaign (he is a keen student of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War). “When I was at CAA, I had a singular mission, which was to win at all costs,” he says. “We were ultra-competitive and we were in a service business but my thesis was that we weren’t selling a product. We were selling and putting together people’s dreams . . . if we showed a weak link then we would be vulnerable. Vulnerability was a sin.”....Ovitz explains that the memoir evolved from an earlier idea about a book on deals. He played a leading role in the arrival of Japanese companies in Hollywood three decades ago, advising Sony on its 1989 purchase of Columbia Pictures and the sale a year later of Lew Wasserman’s MCA (later renamed Universal, and now part of Sky’s new owner Comcast) to Matsushita. Advising Japanese buyers was a strategic move, he explains. “If the studios are in trouble and going to go out of business, we lose leverage and our clients lose jobs. But if we can bring people in to buy the studios, not only do clients continue to get jobs but we’re the people talking to the owners.”...Ron Meyer and Ovitz
slowly built an empire, starting in television and moving into films, with the aim of representing every significant writer, director and star in town: “no conflict, no interest” was his mantra. It was a radically different model to what had come before. “Agents traditionally fielded orders, so if I was your agent and someone had a job, they’d call me and ask for you,” he says. “Or they’d tell me they had an assignment and, if you happened to be available, I’d pitch you.” Agencies were like “clearing-houses”.....that was archaic. You’re a writer, you’re loaded with ideas . . . why don’t we take those ideas and add elements to them and then sell the whole thing and let you control it? Why would we just wait to answer the phone?”.....Agents took on a more central role in Hollywood after CAA’s rise to power, assembling the composite parts of a film or television project before taking the “package” of script, star and director to the studios....."[Endeavour's] thesis is very similar to the thesis we had [at CAA], which is to expand into new areas that can service clients.”
actors  books  CAA  creating_valuable_content  dealmakers  deal-making  Hollywood  memoirs  Michael_Ovitz  professional_service_firms  Sun_Tzu  talent_management  talent_representation  vindictiveness  Lew_Wasserman 
october 2018
50 Years Later, a New Spin on the Beatles’ ‘White Album’ - WSJ
By Darryn King
Oct. 30, 2018

The new album was chaotic where “Sgt. Pepper” was kaleidoscopic. Acoustic ballads (“Blackbird,” “Julia”) alternated with scorching rock (“Helter Skelter,” “Yer Blues”). The playfulness of “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da,” “Honey Pie” and “Piggies” contrasted with the extended, serious-minded sound experiment “Revolution 9.”

Over the years, the patchwork nature of the album has led to speculation that it chronicled the discord among the band members. But new special-anniversary editions, to be released on Nov. 9, may dispel that idea.
anniversaries  Beatles  music  George_Martin  1968  '60s 
october 2018
China’s New Billionaires Are Young, Fast Workers With an Appetite for Risk
Oct. 29, 2018 | The New York Times |

Technology is helping to line the pockets of many new Chinese billionaires — including Zhang Yiming of the video-sharing app ByteDance and Wang Jian, the co-founder of the Shenzhen-based gene sequencing company BGI. China is now producing almost as many unicorns, or companies worth at least $1 billion, as the United States.

But China’s billionaires differ markedly from their global peers. With an average age of 55 years, they are almost a decade younger. They create wealth faster and take their companies public earlier; 17 percent of China’s new billionaires founded their businesses within the last ten years, more than twice as many as in the United States.
China  high_net_worth  moguls  wealth_creation 
october 2018
The scoop on frozen desserts | Canadian Grocer
By Chris Powell  |  June 14, 2017

Though it’s still a beloved summer treat, ice cream is travelling a bit of a rocky road in Canada. According to Mintel, 90% of Canadians consume single-flavoured ice cream during the summer months, contributing to annual sales of $284 million. (Mintel pegs the value of the entire frozen desserts category—including frozen yogurt, gelato and sorbet—at $409 million.)

But while penetration remains high, the market research firm also says Canadians’ enthusiasm for ice cream seems to be cooling: annual consumption has fallen from 7.7 litres per person in 2008 to 6.8 litres in 2015, with an older population creating “headwinds” for the category.
frozen_foods  desserts  ice_cream  Canadian  statistics 
october 2018
Five trends affecting Canada’s frozen dessert industry - Restobiz
Five trends affecting Canada’s frozen dessert industry
By Camille Bedu
July 24, 2014
desserts  frozen_foods  trends  Canada 
october 2018
Roaring Out of Recession
Ranjay GulatiNitin NohriaFranz Wohlgezogen
FROM THE MARCH 2010 ISSUE
HBS  economic_downturn 
october 2018
Sweet Dreams at Gelato School - WSJ
By Aaron Maines
Updated Dec. 29, 2010 12:01 a.m.
gelato  ice_cream 
october 2018
Opinion | Playing the Long Game for the Supreme Court - The New York Times
By Linda Greenhouse
Contributing Opinion Writer

Oct. 25, 2018

Consider two news items from last week that serve to illuminate the current reality. One was the revelation that the Heritage Foundation, a deeply conservative policy shop in Washington that has partnered with the Federalist Society in providing President Trump with judicial nominees, was running a secretive training academy for ideologically vetted judicial law clerks. The foundation suspended the program after the report.

The other was the confirmation hearing the Republicans of the Senate Judiciary Committee held (the Democratic senators boycotted it) for Allison Jones Rushing, the president’s nominee for a vacancy on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Ms. Rushing’s conservative credentials are impeccable, including ties to the Alliance Defending Freedom, a religious-right litigating organization. Ms. Rushing clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas and for Neil Gorsuch when he was a federal appeals court judge; those clerkships evidently accounted for the “incredible wealth of judicial experience” praised by one of her Judiciary Committee supporters, Senator Thom Tillis, Republican of North Carolina. She graduated from law school 11 years ago. She is 36 years old.

How do those two developments relate to each other and to the legacy of the Bork battle? Following Judge Bork’s defeat, conservatives didn’t waste time licking their wounds. They got busy building the infrastructure necessary to accomplish their thwarted goals. The Federalist Society had been founded five years earlier by a handful of law students; Robert Bork and Antonin Scalia, then a law professor, both spoke at its first symposium.

The organization offered the perfect vehicle for cultivating a new generation of young conservative lawyers to enter the pipeline, serving as law clerks by the side of growing numbers of conservative judges and — like Justice Gorsuch and Justice Brett Kavanaugh, both former Supreme Court law clerks — becoming judges themselves.
conservatism  GOP  law  political_infrastructure  Robert_Bork  U.S._Supreme_Court  talent_pipelines  long-term 
october 2018
Opinion | The Secret Lives of Central Bankers - The New York Times
By Annelise Riles
Ms. Riles, a professor of law and anthropology, is the author of “Financial Citizenship: Experts, Publics, and the Politics of Central Banking.”

Oct. 20, 2018

The acculturation process for central bankers begins early. Most of them attend a handful of elite universities — the University of Chicago, Harvard, Yale, Oxford, Cambridge — to study neoclassical economics, and their early training often involves a secondment to the central banking institutions of another country. In Tokyo or Frankfurt or New York, they operate within a closed set......Central banks should think more boldly about diversity, by welcoming not just more women and people of color, but also more people with real-world economic and business expertise, rather than only Ph.D.s. Central bankers already meet regularly with academics and financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs. Why not also meet with civil society groups that critique their work?..arrogance, toward the public and even toward one another, undermines central banks’ effectiveness. One of the goals of monetary policy is to shape people’s behavior. When a central bank says it anticipates that prices are going to rise, it expects the public to take that advice seriously. If people do, and they buy things now before prices rise, then perhaps prices won’t rise as much. But central banks need credibility for this stabilizing mechanism to work.

Some countries do have this level of public trust, built carefully over decades. In Denmark, for example, central bank officials make a concerted effort, in speeches and other public comments, to tell the story of how their work contributes to the egalitarian society that Danes value. Danes love their central bank..
books  central_banking  diversity  economics  monetary_policy  secondments 
october 2018
Mark Cuban wakes up at 6:30 each morning—here's the 1st thing he does
Mark Cuban's 3 tips for success. Get the
(1) Sales cures all.
(2) Don't ask for help. Help yourself. Don't wait for mentors, tutors. It should be ready, fire, aim! GO!
(3) Be prepared. Know more about your business, your industry, your customer than anybody else in the world. If others know more, why would they purchase from you? customer's business than anybody else. You can control your effort.
early_risers  It's_up_to_me  ksfs  Mark_Cuban  preparation  tips 
october 2018
Sandra Day O’Connor, first female justice on U.S. Supreme Court, reveals she has dementia - The Globe and Mail
OCTOBER 23, 2018 | THE NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | MATTHEW HAAG.

Ms. O’Connor was born in El Paso, Texas, and grew up in Arizona on the Lazy B Ranch, 250 square miles of high desert along the state’s border with New Mexico. Her upbringing has remained a point of pride, and she has often referred to herself as a cowgirl.

“It is possible to survive and even make a living in that formidable terrain,” she wrote in her memoir of her childhood, “Lazy B,” in 2002. “The Day family did it for years; but it was never easy. It takes planning, patience, skill and endurance.”

She left Arizona for Stanford Law School, where she finished third in her class in 1952. It was also where she met her future husband, a fellow law-review editor at the university.

The top graduate in her class was William H. Rehnquist, the future chief justice, who received a clerkship on the Supreme Court.
cancers  civics  dementia  judges  lawyers  Sandra_Day_O'Connor  trailblazers  U.S._Supreme_Court  women  Alzheimer’s_disease 
october 2018
I’ve Interviewed 300 High Achievers About Their Morning Routines. Here’s What I’ve Learned. - The New York Times
By Benjamin Spall
Oct. 21, 2018
Experiment with your wake-up time
While the majority of the people I’ve interviewed tend to get up early — the average wake-up time for everyone I’ve talked to is 6:27 a.m. — successful people like to experiment to find the sweet spot that works for them.......Make time for whatever energizes you
Most successful people carve out time in their morning to commit to things that make them feel relaxed, energized and motivated. That can mean working out, reading, meditating or just spending time with your loved ones.....
Get enough sleep
The quality of your sleep the night before directly impacts your ability to perform the next day and, indeed, your ability to enjoy your day. Your morning routine means nothing without a good night’s sleep behind it. Not getting enough sleep has been linked to chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease, and might even decrease the effectiveness of your immune system.

Don’t become complacent about how much sleep you need; most people require between seven and nine hours of sleep a night. If you’re constantly trying to get by on less than seven hours of sleep, it will catch up with you, likely sooner rather than later......Adapt your routine to different situations
While it might not always be possible to keep your full morning routine in place when you’re away from home, it is possible to have a travel-ready routine that is always there when you need it.....Don’t beat yourself up
Nearly everyone I’ve talked to said they don’t consider one, two or even three missed days of their morning routine a failure, so long as they get back to it as soon as they can.
GTD  productivity  routines  lessons_learned  insomnia  adaptability  best_practices  choices  serenity  sleep  high-achieving  early_risers  diabetes  immune_system 
october 2018
Engaging with the world’s ills beats hiding in a bunker
OCTOBER 18, 2018 | Financial Times | Stephen Foley.

those with real ambition are not planning for a life underground down under. They are building philanthropic ventures to tackle the world’s ills, or striving to effect change through the political process, or starting new mission-driven businesses.

The bunker mentality is the polar opposite of the optimism displayed by the likes of Jeff Bezos, who set out his philanthropic credo in September alongside his plan to build a network of Montessori-inspired preschools across the US. He talked of his “belief in the potential for hard work from anyone to serve others”, from “business innovators who invent products that empower, authors who write books that inspire, government officials who serve their communities, teachers, doctors, carpenters, entertainers who make us laugh and cry, parents who raise children who go on to live lives of courage and compassion”.

“It fills me with gratitude and optimism,” he said, “to be part of a species so bent on self-improvement.”

Bezos has decided to focus his charity on children, as many of his peers have done. From Mark Zuckerberg promising to fund a technological revolution in the way kids are taught, to the slew of east coast hedge fund managers promoting charter schools as a way to shake-up public education, philanthropists know instinctively that childhood is their point of maximum leverage.....engagement trumps disengagement. Public service matters, even if one is only stealing apocalyptic proclamations from a presidential desk. It beats burying one’s head in the New Zealand soil.

Many of the world’s richest individuals are working to avert the war, pestilence or revolution that would make a withdrawal from society seem attractive in the first place. Philanthropists who are funding human rights campaigns, or drug research, or novel approaches to tackling inequality — these are the real survivalists.
apocalypses  bolt-holes  catastrophes  charities  childhood  children  disasters  disaster_preparedness  engaged_citizenry  hard_work  high_net_worth  Jeff_Bezos  mission-driven  moguls  Montessori  New_Zealand  novel  off-grid  optimism  Peter_Thiel  self-improvement  philanthropy  public_service  survivalists 
october 2018
Family offices are in a talent grab for young impact investors
OCTOBER 15, 2018 | Financial Times | Madison Darbyshire.

While the number of family offices managing assets at this scale is small — assets under management of a family office average about £300m, says Heather Jablow, head of global private client practice at Cambridge Associates — the trend of family offices turning to impact investing is growing — and quickly.

Some $22.89tn in assets were held globally in socially responsible investments as of 2016, up 25 per cent from 2014, according to the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance. Many family offices see impact investments, such as environmental funds and fossil fuel alternatives, as logical, smart investments for the future.

“If it were just about values, it wouldn’t have the legs that it has,” says John Goldstein, a managing director with Goldman Sachs Asset Management, who focuses on impact.

As impact investing becomes a priority for younger generations, family offices are becoming a more desirable destination for recent graduates looking to work in finance. Deserved or not, “it’s almost like family offices have this kind of halo now because they’re doing sexy things with their capital”,......Sometimes family offices hit upon an investment strategy that is so successful that they look to create funds around that strategy. Take the Wimmer family office, for example, which takes a three-pronged approach to investing. Its investments include property, SME lending, exchange traded-funds and investing in external hedge funds to yield what it calls an attractive return for its level of risk.
family_office  halo_effects  high-impact  impact_investing  mission-driven  social_impact  talent 
october 2018
Howard Marks, the ultimate bargain hunter
October 17, 2018 | Financial Times | Javier Espinoza.

Howard Marks : “I have a high degree of creativity,” he says. "In order to outdo others you have to think differently from others. If you don’t, how can you expect to have superior results?” His new book is Mastering the Market Cycle.

Mr Marks is the founder of Oaktree Capital Management. Based in Los Angeles, it is one of the world’s most prominent value investors. He makes money by finding situations where he can buy low, especially distressed assets, then sell high.

Today, market conditions mean Mr Marks faces as strong a challenge as ever: trying to sniff out bargains when valuations are steep, debt is cheap and competition fierce.

In 2015 Oaktree raised about $12bn for its distressed-debt fund. It was the second-largest amount in its history......The veteran financier regards delaying gratification as key to success. Like Warren Buffett, he believes waiting for the right investments is an important part of the process.

He often cites Hyman Minsky, the US economist famous for his work on bubbles and crashes....as Minsky would say, ‘there are always cycles’.”

“There are up-cycles with too much enthusiasm, too little discipline and too little risk aversion," he says. "And there are down-cycles when the economy does less well, corporations do less well, security prices fall and there is too much risk aversion, too much fear.”

“A quote said to have been uttered by Mark Twain is: ‘History does not repeat but it does rhyme’. The point is that the patterns of cycles do repeat and the details – the amplitude, the timing, the duration, the speed and the reasons – are different from cycle to cycle but the themes that underlie the causes of cycles are similar from one to the next.”

 
bargain_hunting  books  boom-to-bust  creativity  distressed_debt  economic_cycles  financiers  founders  Howard_Marks  investors  Mark_Twain  moguls  money_management  investment_research  Oaktree  patterns  pattern_recognition  quotes  think_differently  value_investing/investors 
october 2018
Walmart tells investors to expect more risk-taking
October 16, 2018 | Financial Times | Alistair Gray and Pan Kwan Yuk in New York.

Doug McMillon said at an investor meeting on Tuesday that the Arkansas-based company was experimenting with technology ranging from floor-cleaning robots to augmented reality and biometrics as he urged Wall Street to “challenge your thinking about Walmart”.

Walmart superstores have transformed shopping habits and became a dominant force in American retail. The bricks-and-mortar model, however, has been upended in by the rise of ecommerce.

“Looking back, we had a proven model, and we naturally focused on execution. As the numbers grew, we . . . unintentionally became risk averse,” Mr McMillon said at a meeting for investors.

“But today we’re getting to reimagine retail and our business. To do that we take risk — try quite a few things and learn from our failures. That type of behaviour’s in our DNA, and we’re waking up that part of our culture.”.....Online sales, in which Walmart has been investing aggressively as part of its response to Amazon, are expected to increase around 35 per cent for the fiscal 2020 year, compared to the expected 40 per cent for 2019.

Walmart also on Tuesday struck a partnership with Advance Auto Parts, allowing it increase its presence in the car parts business. Under the tie-up the companies will offer home delivery, same-day pick up at each other’s stores and installation of some parts.
Amazon  e-commerce  experimentation  failure  innovation  retailers  risk-taking  Wall_Street  Wal-Mart  augmented_reality  auto_parts  biometrics  bricks-and-mortar  home-delivery  same-day  shopping_habits 
october 2018
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