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Mellody Hobson of Ariel Investments: ‘Capitalism Needs to Work for Everyone’
July 18, 2019 | The New York Times | By David Gelles.

Mellody Hobson was raised by a single mother and endured economic hardship as a child. The phone was shut off. The car was repossessed. Her family was evicted.

Today, Ms. Hobson is one of the most senior black women in finance. She serves on the boards of JPMorgan Chase and Starbucks, and this month was named co-chief executive of Ariel Investments, the largest minority-owned investment firm.......I was in the Woodrow Wilson School of international relations and public policy at Princeton. You have to apply to get in, and I did not originally get in. I lobbied really hard and called many people. I just would not take no for an answer.

I spent a lot of my years in the Woodrow Wilson School studying systems that really oppress people. I wrote my senior thesis on South Africa, and specifically on how children ultimately led to the end of apartheid because of their uprisings.........What do you tell people who are starting on their financial journey, wherever they might be?

I start off by explaining to them that it’s never too late, literally never. I also think the most important thing you can learn about money, and Warren Buffett talks about this, is compound interest. It’s the eighth wonder of the world. If you understand compound interest, you understand money working for or against you.

We talk about long-term patient investing, and that idea that slow and steady does win the race, that time can be your best friend when it comes to investing. That’s why we have a turtle as a logo at Ariel........ I believe in capitalism. It is the best system that has existed in the world. Show me a better one. I can’t find it. But I also believe that capitalism needs to work for everyone, and so I don’t begrudge those people who’ve done extraordinarily well in our society as long as it’s a fair fight.

It isn’t always a fair fight, though, and that’s what we need to fix. That could be anything from our tax bases and how that works, our tax rates, to other issues that occur in our society around fair opportunities for education.

I am a person of color who happens to be a woman as well, and I have firsthand dealt with inequality, despite having shown up with all of the credentials. I do not sit here believing that if you’ve just gone to a great school and this, that and the other, it’s all going to be fine. It just doesn’t work like that in our society. I think about those people who were like me and are like me. That goes into the boardrooms that I’m in. I also think about the people of color who are inside of those companies, making sure they get the same opportunity as those who are in the majority population....
African-Americans  alumni  Ariel  capitalism  CEOs  finance  inequality  investing  Mellody_Hobson  money_management  Princeton  women 
july 2019
Donald Trump’s race-baiting strategy to secure second term
July 17, 2019 | | Financial Times | by Edward Luce.

Telling US-born Democrats to go back to the countries they came from is a departure even by Mr Trump’s standards. In 2016 he attacked immigrants, chiefly Muslim and Mexican, as a threat to national security. Now he is portraying opinionated non-white citizens as un-American. Their citizenship is performance-based.

To Mr Trump, whites are automatically American. Others only qualify if they support his idea of what it is to be American. By any measure, this is textbook racism.

But there is method behind Mr Trump’s nastiness. His goal is to force Democrats to unite behind the so-called “Squad” of four non-white congresswomen, whose radicalism is not popular in the US heartlands. Most Americans are not socialist. Nor do they support paying reparations for slavery, or open borders. Most would probably be suspicious of a Green New Deal that aimed to abolish fossil fuels by 2030. These are the kinds of radical ideas Mr Trump wants to force Democrats to support.
Campaign_2020  Donald_Trump  Edward_Luce  GOP  nativism  non-whites  racism  race-baiting  radical_ideas  whites 
july 2019
You’re Not Paying Attention, but You Really Should Be
July 14, 2019 | The New York Times | By Tim Herrera.

I called up Rob Walker, author of “The Art of Noticing.” In his book, Mr. Walker writes: “To stay eager, to connect, to find interest in the everyday, to notice what everybody else overlooks — these are vital skills and noble goals. They speak between looking and seeing, between hearing and listening, between accepting what the world presents and noticing what matters to you.”.... it’s just about trying to carve out and give yourself permission to have this time where you’re tuning into things, listening to your own curiosity and seeing where that leads you,”......Record 10 metaphor-free observations about the world this week. This is deceptively simplistic: Who couldn’t look at 10 things this week and write them down? The trick is the no metaphors hook. You’re just noticing, not comparing, analyzing or referencing. You’re forced to slow down and truly contemplate the world around you, rather than passively breezing through it.

Remember: It’s looking vs. seeing. Hearing vs. listening. Accepting what the world presents vs. noticing what matters to you.

“There’s nothing more important than the stuff you notice that no one else does,” Mr. Walker said. “That’s where every single innovation begins; that’s where all creativity begins. It’s honoring what you notice, what you tune into and what you care about.”
attention  books  focus  listening  mindfulness  overstimulation  pay_attention  noticing  Slow_Movement 
july 2019
Colin Palmer, Historian of the African Diaspora, Is Dead at 75 - The New York Times
July 11, 2019 | The New York Times | By Neil Genzlinger.

Colin A. Palmer, a historian who broadened the understanding of the African diaspora, showing that the American slave trade was only one part of a phenomenon that spanned centuries and influenced cultures worldwide, died on June 20 in Kingston, Jamaica. He was 75.....Professor Palmer published his first of many books in 1976.....it was called “Slaves of the White God: Blacks in Mexico, 1570-1650,” chronicling a period when the colonies that would become the United States were still in their formative stages. The book set him on a career-long path.....Palmer definitely brought about a deeper, more nuanced understanding of the African diaspora, one that extended well beyond African-American history or the history of the slave trade,” ....Palmer did more than just show that the African diaspora was not a single event; he examined the various strands of it for differences and similarities.....any examination of diaspora began with a study of Africa itself.....Palmer also wrote well-regarded articles and books on the Caribbean countries, including “Eric Williams and the Making of the Modern Caribbean” (2006), about the historian and politician who led Trinidad and Tobago to independence.....Palmer's research showed that the Spaniards had brought in black slaves to Mexico as early as the 1520s.....Palmer identified five streams of African diaspora, the first being the initial spread of humans from Africa in prehistory....There were two other “premodern” streams, as he called them. One involved the movement of Bantu-speaking peoples out of the areas now known as Nigeria and Cameroon to other parts of Africa and India in about 3000 B.C. The other was related to trading in the fifth century B.C.

The Atlantic slave trade, which he said began in earnest in the 15th century, was the fourth stream; the fifth began after slavery’s demise and continues today.
Africa  Afro-Latinos  Caribbean  Diaspora  historians  history  Mexico  obituaries  PhDs  scholars  slavery  UWI 
july 2019
Dear Grads: How to Slay Dragons in the Business World
May 20, 2019 | WSJ | by Andy Kessler.

here’s my simple advice: Be a hero. You’ll have a job with a vague description. Sales. Physician assistant. Manager. Business intelligence. Everyone comes in with a task. Don’t let your job description be a straitjacket. Do something above and beyond. That’s what your employers want, whether they admit it or not.

Im-74937
I’ve seen it again and again. I heard from a woman named Carol working in international marketing for a Midwest company. She was asked by a superior working on a board deck for a list of European competitors. She came up with a single PowerPoint slide that visually showed the reach of each competitor overlaid with her company’s distributors and analysis of how it could best compete. The slide was a huge hit. The chief operating officer thanked her. She got a raise and more responsibilities.

On Wall Street, I used to work with a salesman named Steve. A deal to raise money for a paper company was stuck. No one would touch it at $20. It was uglier than Dunder Mifflin. Steve had a new account in Milwaukee and insisted it buy several million shares, but at $18. On hearing someone was willing to buy, other accounts piled in. Steve is still known as the guy who got the ugly deal done—a hero.

Then there’s the coder, Paul. There were long discussions about how his company might get paid for its web service, but no solutions. “On a Friday,” Paul recalls, he sat down and invented one. “It seemed like an interesting problem, so one evening I implemented this content-targeting system, just as a sort of side project, not because I was supposed to.” What became known as AdSense morphed into a $115 billion business. Paul Buchheit was employee No. 23 at Google. He also developed Gmail. Giga-hero.

You don’t have to save a baby from a fire. In Silicon Valley there’s a saying about pain killers versus vitamins: Either save costs or generate revenue. You can be a hero either way.

Another easy route to heroism: Every company has particularly nasty clients. They don’t return calls and they badmouth your products. Everyone avoids them. Instead, go for it. Roll up your sleeves and find something you have in common with them. Better yet, find their weakness. Horse racing. Wilco. Anime. You’ll own them.
advice  Andy_Kessler  Colleges_&_Universities  commencement  cost-cutting  first90days  high-achieving  howto  new_graduates  overachievers  painkillers  pain_points  revenue_generation  speeches  Steve_Jobs  vitamins 
july 2019
The Future Isn’t What It Used to Be
June 17, 2019 | WSJ | by Andy Kessler.

Founded in 1867, the Keuffel & Esser Co. commissioned a study of the future for its 100th anniversary. If you’re of a certain vintage, you might have used a K&E slide rule. Their “visionary” study was a huge dud, missing completely the electronic-calculator boom that came a few years later. They shut down their slide-rule engravers in 1976. As Mark Twain said, “It’s difficult to make predictions, especially about the future.” Or was it Niels Bohr? Maybe Yogi Berra?

My father was a proud member of the Book of the Month Club. Bored on a visit home in 1989, I devoured that month’s selection, “Megamistakes” by Baruch College professor Steven Schnaars, where I read about K&E’s study. The book’s message was simple: Don’t be fooled by prevailing opinion, and don’t extend trend lines into the future. Mr. Schnaars chronicles how 1950s jet-age thinking morphed into ’60s dreams of a space-age utopia. A 1966 study by conglomerate TRW forecast manned lunar bases by 1977, autonomous vehicles by 1979 and intelligent robot soldiers by the ’90s. AT&T ’s Picturephone service, ultrasonically cleaned dishes, cheap energy forever, future shock everywhere—all wrong.

Of course, the 1973 oil embargo changed everything. But by the end of the ’70s, expensive oil was considered permanent and the future was about scarcity and energy saving and we’d all be driving small cars with CB radios and living in R. Buckminster Fuller-inspired geodesic domes. General Electric even ramped up production of small refrigerators. Mistakes!Im-82150

Then the ’80s came along. A bull market and cheap oil lifted the ’70s fog, but everyone believed the Japanese would soon rule the world since they were kicking our butts in manufacturing and the Imperial Palace in Tokyo was worth more than all the real estate in California. Personal computers were mere toys. Oh, and the Soviet Union was a world superpower. Megamistakes!

After the ’87 crash and first Iraq war, the prospects for economic growth in the ’90s were dim. Then Netscape and its browser went public in 1995 and we were off to the races again. By 1999 techno-utopia was in full swing, and all you needed was a good name like burnmoney.com to raise millions and be worth kazillions. Gigamistake!

The Nasdaq’s dot-bomb implosion and 9/11 changed the mood quickly. In 2003 I tried to pitch a book about Silicon Valley and Wall Street and was told nobody would care about them ever again and asked if I knew anything about bioterrorism or Islamic fundamentalism. Uh, no. But I wish I knew about house or derivative flipping - that’s what the aughts were about, until the Great Recession. The 2010s were about holding cash, maybe in your mattress, vs. owning stocks. Oops— Apple , Amazon and Microsoft would soon flirt with trillion-dollar valuations. Teramistake?

Mr. Schnaars advised discounting extrapolations, playing down historical precedent, challenging assumptions, and distinguishing fads from growth markets. Easier said than done. The future happens, just not the way most people think. How you pick your investments, your job and even where you live can end up a dead end or the most vibrant upside imaginable. Choose carefully, but as Mr. Schnaars suggested, think for yourself.

Today low interest rates mean risk is on and caution is old-fashioned. Companies sell at 20 times revenues instead of earnings (Note: Beyond Meat is at 43 times its 2019 sales forecast, and Tableau Software recently sold for 16 times its 2018 revenue.) Politically, populism and nationalism have won the day. Internationally, China is the new U.S.S.R. Economically, the future is now. Will any of it last?

For a while, Tesla was valued as if every new car would soon be electric. The 2020s are still blurry, but apparently that doesn’t cloud the pundit class’s clear vision on climate change, drones, autonomous vehicles and the effect of artificial intelligence. We’ll all share cars, bikes, scooters and even pogo sticks. WeWork is valued as if we’ll all share offices. What’s next, communes?

My experience is that people tend to overestimate the absurd, like Elon Musk’s dreams of building a hyperloop and colonizing Mars, and underestimate the mundane, like improvements in messaging and shopping. I’m usually bullish until dreams become hallucinations. Technology develops in S curves: Things start slow, go into hyperbolic growth, and then roll over. [ JCK: See also John Ruffolo's explanation of Amara’s Law on the effect of technology, which aptly states: “We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.” ] That’s why “the singularity”—self-improving, unrestrained artificial intelligence—probably won’t happen. Don’t extend the trend.

The tempests of change blow hard. Reading the prevailing winds, we’re all about to become robot-replaced, drone-delivered-synthetic-meat-eating, augmented-reality-helmet-wearing, bitcoin-spending, fruit-flavored-vaping, neutered democratic socialists chirping “Comrade” and streaming “The Handmaid’s Tale” Season 10, “Dystopia’s Discontents,” on our watches while collecting universal basic income. You don’t need a slide rule to calculate the megamistakes.
Amara's_Law  Andy_Kessler  forecasting  future  linearity  mistakes  overestimation  predictions  S-curves  straight-lines  underestimation 
july 2019
Caribbean Fried (Sautéed) Smoked Herring Recipe
Ingredients
8 ounces smoked herring fillets
2 tablespoons neutral oil like canola or vegetable
1/2 cup diced onions
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
Minced hot pepper (to taste)
1 clove garlic (crushed)
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
2 green onions sliced thinly (white and green parts)
brunch  Caribbean  cured_and_smoked  fish  recipes 
july 2019
The Man With the $13 Billion Checkbook
July 12, 2019 | The New York Times | By John Leland [John Leland, a Metro reporter, joined The Times in 2000. His most recent book is “Happiness Is a Choice You Make: Lessons From a Year Among the Oldest Old,” based on a Times series. @johnleland]

In the neglected Harlem of the late 1990s, one dynamic player was the Abyssinian Development Corporation, a nonprofit offshoot of the powerful Abyssinian Baptist Church. Harlem then was littered with abandoned buildings that had been repossessed by the city. The development corporation, led by the Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III, leveraged city and private money to restore these shells, then used the profits to acquire and rehab more buildings. Mr. Walker became the organization’s chief operating officer, working out of a basement office to help bring a Pathmark supermarket to 125th Street, the anchor for what would become a thriving commercial corridor in a neighborhood that had been given up for dead.

“Working for Calvin Butts, you saw the power of the black church, the shrewd political instincts of a power player, and the dynamic at the intersection of race, power, geography and culture,” Mr. Walker said. “It gave me tremendous insight into how power at that intersection plays out, and who benefits and who doesn’t benefit.”

Mr. Walker’s time at Abyssinian also taught him what it was like to rely on foundation grants, begging the mighty patron for favors. When he left to join the Rockefeller Foundation and then Ford — and as Abyssinian boomed and busted in a new Harlem — he vowed to change this relationship.
African-Americans  capitalism  Communicating_&_Connecting  contradictions  cultural_institutions  Darren_Walker  Ford_Foundation  Harlem  inequality  museums  patronage  power_brokers  New_York_City  personal_connections  political_power  relationships  tokenism 
july 2019
What would Plato make of Boris Johnson?
June 22nd 2019 | the Economist | by Bagehot.

Classics (Literae Humaniores) is a wide-ranging degree devoted to the study of the literature, history, philosophy, languages and archaeology of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds. It is one of the most interdisciplinary of all degrees, and offers the opportunity to study these two foundational ancient civilisations and their reception in modern times. The degree also permits students to take extensive options in modern philosophy......

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Mr Johnson’s failure to get a first continues to annoy him intensely—and to delight many of his rivals. But in truth it doesn’t matter a jot: the world is full of failures who got firsts, and successes who missed out. The really interesting question is not whether Mr Johnson’s results reveal some great intellectual weakness. It is what light the subject of his studies can throw on his qualifications to be prime minister. The classics corpus is full of meditations on the qualities that make for a good leader. And no classical author thought more profoundly about the subject than Plato, the philosopher who was put at the heart of Oxford’s classics syllabus by Balliol’s greatest master, Benjamin Jowett. What would Plato have made of the classicist who appears destined to be Balliol’s fourth prime minister since 1900?.....In “The Republic”, Plato argued that the most important qualities in a statesman were truthfulness and expertise. A good statesman will “never willingly tolerate an untruth”. (“Is it possible to combine in the same character a love of wisdom and a love of falsehood?” one of Plato’s characters asks. “Quite impossible,” comes the reply.) He will spend his life studying everything that he needs to make him a good captain of the ship of state—“the seasons of the year, the sky, the stars, the winds and other professional subjects”. .......By contrast, Plato argued, the surest signs of a bad leader are narcissism and self-indulgence. The poor statesman is an eloquent flatterer, who relies on his ability to entertain the masses with speeches and comic turns, but doesn’t bother to develop a coherent view of the world. Plato was particularly vitriolic about the scions of the upper classes who are offered the opportunity to study philosophy while young but don’t apply themselves, because they think they are so talented that they needn’t earn their place at the top table.......“The Republic” is haunted by the fear that democracies eventually degenerate into tyrannies. Democracy is the most alluring form of government: “the diversity of its characters, like the different colours in a patterned dress, make it look very attractive.” But it is inherently unstable. Citizens are so consumed by pleasure-seeking that they beggar the economy; so hostile to authority that they ignore the advice of experts; and so committed to liberty that they lose any common purpose......As democracies collapse under the pressure of their contradictions, panicked citizens look for salvation in a demagogue. These are men who love power, but cannot control their own desires for “holidays and dinners and parties and girlfriends and so on”. Plato calls them the “most wretched of men because of the disorder raging within them”. Citizens are so consumed by fear that they think these wretches have magical abilities to solve the country’s problems and restore proper order. Demagogues get their start by “taking over a particularly obedient mob”, before seizing control of the country. But the more power they acquire the worse things become, “for the doctor removes the poison and leaves the healthy elements in the body, while the tyrant does the opposite.”

The shadow on the wall
Democracies have proved more durable than Plato imagined. And his cure for the problems of democracy—the rule of philosopher-kings, who are expected to hold their wives and children in common—is eccentric to put it mildly. But he is right that character matters. Politicians can change their advisers or their policies, but character is sticky. He is also right that democracies can suddenly give way to populist authoritarianism...... The best way to prepare for a Johnson premiership is to re-read “The Republic”, hoping Plato is wrong but preparing for the fact that he may be right
Boris_Johnson  character_traits  contradictions  demagoguery  democracies  Greek  humanities  leaders  leadership  liberal_arts  opposing_actions  Oxford  pairs  philosophers  Plato  politicians  Romans  statesmen  truth-telling  United_Kingdom 
july 2019
Canada’s AI Ecosystem — Toronto - Believing - Medium
Aug 8, 2018
Part 2: Ontario’s complete artificial intelligence value chain
artificial_intelligence  Canada  ecosystems  Ontario  value_chains  Toronto 
july 2019
How do I make the best burgers? - The Globe and Mail
LUCY WAVERMAN FOOD COLUMNIST
SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MA
hamburgers  howto  Lucy_Waverman 
july 2019
The Dead Prussian Podcast
A podcast about war and warfare
podcasts  war  warfare 
july 2019
Texas top ten percent policy provides a cautionary lesson
July 8, 2019 | hechingerreport | by JILL BARSHAY

Texas’s policy to automatically admit the top students in each high school to the state’s flagship universities didn’t expand the number of high schools that send students to Texas A&M University, College Station.

One proposal to boost the number of black and Latino students in elite schools is to cream the top students from every neighborhood or community, rather than admitting only the top students on a national or statewide yardstick. That way the brightest Latino students in a predominantly Latino school, for example, can get a shot at a coveted slot that they otherwise might not get. Bill de Blasio, New York City mayor and Democratic presidential candidate, has floated this idea for diversifying his city’s elite high schools.

But the state of Texas provides a cautionary lesson for how much this sort of well-intended reform can accomplish. Research is showing that a policy that takes the top students from the state’s high schools didn’t increase diversity in Texas’s elite universities or increase the number of high schools that feed them.
admissions  affirmative_action  African-Americans  cautionary_tales  Colleges_&_Universities  diversity  elitism  high-achieving  high_schools  Latinos  students  Texas  workarounds 
july 2019
132. Science Fiction's Hidden Codes | Mad Scientist Laboratory
MARCH 28, 2019 BY USER
132. Science Fiction’s Hidden Codes
[Editor’s Note: Mad Scientist Laboratory is pleased to publish the first of a series of posts from guest blogger Lt Col David Calder
hidden  militaries  science_fiction 
july 2019
‘On to the next’: Masai Ujiri not losing sleep over Kawhi Leonard’s exit - The Globe and Mail
Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri says there’s no need for fans to be concerned over the departure of NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard. He’s already working on his next plan.
basketball  departures  Kawhi_Leonard  Masai_Ujiri  next_play  Toronto_Raptors 
july 2019
Dichotomies and contradictions that managers face - The Globe and Mail
HARVEY SCHACHTER
SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
PUBLISHED 3 DAYS AGO
Harvey_Schachter 
july 2019
Kawhi’s silence was golden for making a deal without making enemies - The Globe and Mail
CATHAL KELLY
PUBLISHED JULY 7, 2019

"Never let anyone outside of the family know what you're thinking.". Vito Corleone.
basketball  Cathal_Kelly  closedmouth  cunning  deal-making  Kawhi_Leonard  lessons_learned  NBA  silence  smart_people  taciturn  Toronto_Raptors  wisdom 
july 2019
Where Does Major American Art Come From? Mapping the Whitney Biennial.
July 5, 2019 | The New York Times | SCOTT REINHARD, DEREK WATKINS, ALICIA DeSANTIS, RUMSEY TAYLOR, and SIDDHARTHA MITTER.

The first Whitney Annual in 1932 was transgressive.....In 1973, the exhibition became a Biennial, and its history is the history of American modern and contemporary art. Or, at least one version of that history: one centered in New York City, one heavily white and male. That is no longer the case. This year, a majority of the show’s artists are women, and they are racially and ethnically diverse. New York, however, remains home to nearly half of them.

Until 1975, the exhibition catalogs listed the addresses of the artists who were included each year. Mapping these locations tells a story of influence and power — but also one of friendships and creative communities, of housing prices and economic change, of landscape and light. Here are some of its facets.
art  artists  bohemians  Chicago  contemporary_art  creative_class  creative_types  diversity  gentrification  geographic_concentration  Greenwich_Village  location  Los_Angeles  Manhattan  mapping  museums  New_York_City  overlay_networks  prestige  proximity  SoHo  transgressiveness  white_men 
july 2019
Opinion: My declining years – and yours
JULY 5, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | by MARGARET WENTE

According to the experts, certain parts of my brain responsible for cognitive function are literally shrinking. My brain’s blood flow is slowing down, just like the rest of me. The inescapable result is lapses in the synapses. I’ve always thought that the worst threat to my vanity was advancing wrinkles. But now I know it’s cognitive slippage.

Perhaps it’s some consolation that my friends are getting dotty, too. Sure, they’re working gamely to keep their brains in tip-top shape. They do word puzzles, or try to learn a language. They take supplements and eat more leafy greens. Good luck to them. So far, nobody has figured out how to turn back the neurological clock.

The more I learn about brain aging, the more obvious it is that the kids really are smarter than we are. “The data are shockingly clear that for most people, in most fields, professional decline starts earlier than almost anyone thinks,” writes Arthur Brooks (no cognitive slouch himself) in a new essay for The Atlantic. He found that most of us reach our mental peak around 20 years after the start of our careers. We do our best work in our 40s and 50s and it’s all downhill from there.

People in different types of work peak at different ages, just as athletes do. Those who rely heavily on fluid intelligence – the ability to reason, think fast and solve problems in unique and novel situations – peak much younger than average. Mr. Brooks says his line of work is a good example. (He has just retired as the head of a well-known U.S. think tank.) “The most profound insights tend to come from those in their 30s and early 40s.”

Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, chess grand masters and nuclear physicists are even more precocious – which means they burn out early. By the time they hit their 30s they’re already in creative decline. By contrast, lawyers, judges and professors draw more on what’s called crystallized intelligence – a stock of knowledge built up over time.They can coast on that knowledge well into their 60s. For most of us, however, cognitive decline begins in middle age.
aging  Arthur_Brooks  cognitive_skills  decline  elderly  elder_wisdom  journalism  Margaret_Wente  mental_dexterity  precociousness  retirement 
july 2019
Opinion | The Dominance of the White Male Critic
July 5, 2019 | The New York Times |By Elizabeth Méndez Berry and Chi-hui Yang. Ms. Méndez Berry and Mr. Yang started a program to amplify the work of critics of color.
aesthetics  art  artists  art_reviews  blind_spots  criticism  culture  cultural_criticism  cultural_interpretation  curation  engaged_citizenry  opinions  opinion_makers  TIFF  white-saviors  white_men 
july 2019
Have Work, Will Travel
July 3, 2019 | The New York Times | By Karen Schwartz.
gig_economy  job_boards  mobile_applications  travel 
july 2019
Plant-based ‘meat’ craze drives demand for yellow peas
JULY 3, 2019 | Financial Times | by Emiko Terazono.

The soaring popularity of plant-based meat substitutes has shone a spotlight on a new star ingredient: the humble pea.....From Beyond Meat, which has seen its shares rocket after a flotation in May, to US meat producer Tyson and Nestlé of Switzerland, food companies are turning to protein from the yellow pea as the key ingredient for plant-based foods including burgers, bacon, tuna and yoghurt...The rush to introduce products amid a spike in demand from consumers has led to a scramble to secure supplies. The squeeze has not been caused by the availability of the yellow pea itself — which is plentiful, boosted by Chinese curbs on Canadian imports in the wake of the Huawei row, and a move by India to place tariffs on pulses — but a lack of processing capacity to produce the protein powder extracted from the legume. Producers have simply not kept pace........companies are received just 25% of their pea-protein orders as suppliers diverted the shipment to other buyers....in the face of increased demand....locking down supplies had been front of mind. “We’ve started building up a stockpile. Everyone else is doing it as well.”....Yellow peas, a pulse or dry edible seed that is part of the legume family alongside soyabeans, lentils and chickpeas, have become the protein source of choice for many food companies as consumers are turning away from soyabeans......there is no exchange-based market for pea protein isolate and prices are hard to track,... demand is so strong that buyers have struggled to secure long-term supply deals. “For companies that want to lock in prices for the remainder of 2019 and 2020, there is reluctance from their suppliers to guarantee higher quantities at lower prices,”...Beyond Meat has signed a three-year contract for its pea protein with Puris, adding to a supply agreement with Roquette, which expires at the end of the year. .....Ripple Foods, a California start-up that produces pea-protein based milk, has seen sales double every year since it launched in 2016. The company, which counts Goldman Sachs among its investors, contracts farmers to grow yellow peas and then processes its own pea protein. That insulates Ripple from price swings.....taking Ripple out of the pea protein market...An increasing number of food and ingredient companies have invested in the pea protein sector over the past few years. Cargill.... backed Puris at the start of last year, putting in $25m and launching a joint venture.

New plants to produce pea protein are expected to get up and running over the next year. Roquette is building a processing plant in Manitoba, Canada, while Verdient Foods of Saskatchewan, a plant protein group backed by James Cameron, the Oscar-winning director of the film Titanic, is also planning new capacity.

.
Beyond_Meat  Big_Food  Cargill  food_tech  legumes  Nestlé  plant-based  pulses  Puris  proteins  Ripple  Roquette  soybeans  stockpiles  supply_chains  supply_chain_squeeze  Tyson  Verdient 
july 2019
Canada’s missed opportunity: Pot industry now being run out of the U.S.
JULY 3, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | by ANDREW WILLIS.

With Bruce Linton’s firing, it’s now all too clear that the biggest companies in Canadian cannabis are run out of New York and the state of Washington. An industry that this country seemed destined to lead when the federal Liberals legalized recreational cannabis last October 2018, is increasingly dominated by foreigners. ...... The opportunity to create global cannabis champions, based in Canada, appears to be vanishing. There should be a conversation around that issue, in political and business circles, before the biggest head offices all disappear... Linton ...lost his job because his visionary approach for Canopy Growth Corp. didn’t fit with the predictable, quarter-by-quarter profits demanded by Constellation Brands Inc....Linton’s departure is similar to what has played out at many startups that get sold to multinational companies. .....Even when we brought Constellation's $5-billion in, I knew, from that change of structure, there would likely be implications for management, but it was the right thing to do for the company.”... our entrepreneurs tend to sell successful startups at a relatively early stage, compared to jurisdictions such as the U.S. and Asia. . The trend, now happening even more rapidly in the cannabis sector, cuts into the potential future prosperity of this country......a study last year from the Washington-based Brookings Institution and the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business – scaling up successful domestic businesses is essential to creating wealth and producing the next generation of corporate leaders. Canadians need to do better at turning their own companies into global champions. Silicon Valley generates enormous wealth out of a vibrant tech community. Why can’t Leamington, Ont., or Nanaimo, B.C., aspire to do the same in cannabis?..Canadian cannabis companies were created by government policy..... federal and provincial regulators granted the licences needed to grow and distribute their products – and local capital markets were receptive to financing them...CEOs, boards and domestic politicians should be asking if the country is best served by a laissez-faire approach to cannabis that created vibrant, valuable businesses following legalization in 2018, then quickly began handing over control of the sector....
Andrew_Willis  Bay_Street  Brookings  cannabis  Canopy_Growth  CEOs  Constellation_Brands  crossborder  departures  firings  global_champions  head_offices  home_grown  industrial_policies  Martin_Prosperity_Institute  missed_opportunities  sellout_culture 
july 2019
Lee Iacocca, car executive, 1924-2019
July 2, 2019 | Financial Times | by Kenneth Gooding 14 HOURS AGO
'80s  automotive_industry  CEOs  Chrysler  Detroit  Ford  obituaries 
july 2019
Keeping Cori Gauff Healthy and Sane
July 2, 2019 | The New York Times | By Christopher Clarey.

Cori Gauff studies the map of her predecessors' pitfalls

Tennis has its latest prodigy in Cori Gauff, the 15-year-old American who upset Venus Williams, once a wonder child herself, in the first round of Wimbledon of Monday......The list [of child prodigies] is extensive, punctuated with cautionary tales. As tennis has become a more physically demanding sport, these breakout moments have been trending later.......Corey Gauff, the player’s father, longtime coach and the inspiration for his daughter’s name, has attempted to do what he can to help her chances of long-term success. One of his self-appointed tasks: studying tennis prodigies extensively......“I went through everybody I thought was relevant, that won Grand Slams and were good young,” ....“I went through every one of their situations and looked at where they were at a certain age, what they were doing. I asked a lot of questions, because I was concerned about burnout. Am I doing the right things?”....“I studied and studied to prepare myself to make sure if she was able to meet these goals that we’d be able to help the right way,” he said. “That was important. I still sit there and benchmark: ‘O.K., we’re at this point now. How is she doing physically? Is she growing? This is what Capriati did at this stage. This is what Hingis did at this stage, what the Williams sisters did at this stage.’”....Great stories, which prodigies continue to be, attract not just attention but money from sponsors. Parents and advisers can get more invested in success — and continued success — than the young player, and the result can be traumatic......Some precocious talents have experienced physical abuse,.....There is also the physical and mental toll of competing against older, potentially stronger opposition......“The main thing I looked at was how do you prevent injury,”.........The family has sought frequent outside counsel: “It’s honestly been a village of coaches,” he said.

Cori Gauff chose to sign with Team8, the agency started by Roger Federer and his longtime agent Tony Godsick, in part because the Gauffs believed a long-term approach had worked well for Federer, who turned pro at 17 and is still winning titles at 37.
African-Americans  athletes_&_athletics  benchmarking  cautionary_tales  dark_side  due_diligence  injury_prevention  long-term  outside_counsel  parenting  pitfalls  precociousness  prodigies  sports  systematic_approaches  teenagers  tennis  women 
july 2019
WeWork: the ‘hypothetical’ company at the heart of the property market
July 1, 2019 | | Financial Times | by Eric Platt and Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson in New York 10 HOURS AGO
commercial_real_estate  WeWork 
july 2019
Opinion: George Brown, the futurist
July 1, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | by MOIRA DANN, SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL.

Memories of the people present for Canada’s beginnings can teach us a great deal. Sometimes looking back helps you reconsider and reframe the present, so you can see different possibilities for the future.....George Brown often gets short shrift as a Father of Confederation.....know he was the founder of The Globe, let alone a founder of the country.....Brown wasn’t the charismatic lightning rod his confrère and rival John A. Macdonald was, nor was he as ready to dance and sing and flirt and play his own compositions on the piano, as was his Quebec frenemy, George-Étienne Cartier..... he was the most forward-looking of the lot......Brown came to Toronto from Scotland in 1843 via a short, five-year sojourn in New York working in dry goods and publishing.......It wasn’t long before Brown, defending the principle of the government’s responsibility to Parliament, was haranguing Governor-General Charles Metcalfe about public-service appointments made without the approval of the elected representatives. Brown soon enough made the leap from journalism to politics. ...... he was back wearing his journalist’s hat in 1867, writing a 9,000-word front-page editorial for The Globe’s July 1 edition when Canada’s Confederation became a political reality......While still publishing and writing for political-reform-minded Presbyterian church publication The Banner, Brown had foreseen a market trend: He anticipated the desire for (and the money-making potential of) a good newspaper directed less toward partisan believers and more at a general reader, a paper with a strong point of view and attempting a national perspective. He started The Globe on March 5, 1844.......After Brown started The Globe – it merged, in 1936, with the Mail and Empire, to become the newspaper that you are reading today – he was able to print and distribute it widely to extol Confederation because of some forethought: He had started investing in new technology. Just two months after starting The Globe using a hand press that printed 200 copies an hour, he went to New York and purchased a Hoe rotary press that could produce 1,250 copies an hour. His was the first one used in Upper Canada. He also made a deal with a rival publication, the British Colonist, to share the cost of using the telegraph to bring news from New York and Montreal......One thing Brown never allowed to lapse was his dedication to religious liberty, civil rights and the abolition of slavery. .....Brown was also a vocal advocate of prison reform...... the work he most loved: being husband to Anne and father to Margaret (Maggie), Catherine Edith (Oda) and George.
abolitionists  ahead_of_the_curve  Confederation  forethought  futurists  George_Brown  George-Étienne_Cartier  Globe_&_Mail  history  journalists  nation_builders  newspapers  politicians  prison_reform  Sir_John_A._MacDonald  technology 
july 2019
What will Apple do without Jony Ive?
June 27, 2019 | Financial Times | by Tim Bradshaw, Global Technology Correspondent.

Sir Jonathan prepares to move on from Apple to launch his own new venture, LoveFrom, after more than two decades at the Silicon Valley giant.....As a company worth nearly $1tn, Apple today is financially secure. But Sir Jonathan's looming departure will once again raise questions about its future. 

This is not the first time that Sir Jonathan’s role has evolved. In recent years, his design expertise has extended beyond crafting Apple’s pocketable devices. He helped retail chief Angela Ahrendts overhaul its stores, from fixtures such as its tree-lined “Genius Groves”, down to simplifying product packaging. 

More significantly, he oversaw the company’s long-planned move to its new headquarters, Apple Park, which was first conceived with Jobs back in 2004 and designed in partnership with British architects Foster + Partners.....Speaking at a Wired magazine event in 2018, he appeared to suggest that he was back for the long haul, saying: “There’s an awful lot to do and an awful lot of opportunity.” ....Apple Park...brought Apple’s entire design team together for the first time into one purpose-built studio, with industrial designers sitting side by side with font and interface designers......Perhaps the most important legacy that Jon Ive leaves . . . is the team.”.......By Apple’s outsized standards, the tight-knit group of people who work on product design is small. It runs to just a few dozen people out of an organisation that employs some 132,000 staff.....
Yet the team wields a disproportionate influence inside the Cupertino-based company. With an extensive array of tooling and fabrication equipment that is rarely found outside a manufacturing plant, the studio explores new product categories and the materials that might build them, from unique blends of aluminium to ceramics. 

They define not only a product’s appearance but how its software looks and feels, how it responds to gestures, even how an iPhone or Watch gently vibrates to give a user “haptic feedback”. 

“No group within Apple has more power than the industrial designers,” ......Jonathan Ive has thousands of patents to his name, encompassing the original iPod and iPhone to more obscure innovations, including the iPad’s magnetic cover, the Apple Store’s wooden tables and a lanyard used to attach an iPod to a wrist......Jonathan’s departure is likely to reopen a debate that has been simmering for several years — namely how will Apple come up with a new hit product that can match the unprecedented success of the iPhone, whose record-breaking profits propelled Apple to become the first trillion-dollar company last year........it may be that no single product ever will top the iPhone — for any tech company, not just Apple. It is a question that hangs over Silicon Valley as the industry casts around for a new platform, be it virtual reality or smart speakers, that might become as ubiquitous and essential as the smartphone.........Apple is also putting greater attention on an expanding portfolio of online services, including games, news and video........Tim Cook and Jonathan Ive have both pointed to healthcare as a potential new market for Apple, building on the Watch’s new capabilities for detecting heart irregularities.....Healthcare is just one example of how the battleground has changed for Apple in recent years. Despite pioneering virtual assistants with Siri, Apple found itself outflanked by Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant in both sales of smart speakers and artificial intelligence capabilities.

New blood at Apple

Some analysts believe that new blood could invigorate Apple’s response to these challenges. Alongside the high-profile departures of Ms Ahrendts and Sir Jonathan, Apple poached John Giannandrea from Google to become its head of machine learning and AI strategy, as well as Hollywood veterans Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amberg from Sony Pictures Television to run its push into original video. 

“The apparent acceleration in the pace of change within Apple at the executive level reflects the paradigm shift the company is undergoing from a hardware-driven story to ‘Apple as a service’,....... the most significant concern for investors will be that Sir Jonathan’s departure will take away another arbiter of focus and product direction that Apple had already lost with the death of Jobs.....Jonathan’s focus is growing beyond the steel and glass borders of Apple Park, saying he wants to “solve some complicated problems”. .....“One defining characteristics is almost a fanatical curiosity,” he said. “But if you don’t have the space, if you don’t have the tools and the infrastructure, that curiosity can often not have the opportunity to be pursued.”

LoveFrom itself defies traditional categorisation. “I have no interest in creating yet another design agency,” he said firmly. “What’s important is the values and what motivates that collection of people …Small groups of people, I think as Apple has demonstrated over the years, can do some extraordinary things.”

 

 

 
Alexa  Apple  Apple_IDs  Apple_Park  artificial_intelligence  breakthroughs  curiosity  design  departures  exits  Google_Assistant  haptics  healthcare  Jonathan_Ive  LoveFrom  new_categories  new_products  patents  services  Silicon_Valley  Siri  smart_speakers  subscriptions  teams  Tim_Cook  virtual_assistants 
june 2019
Opinion | How Artificial Intelligence Can Save Your Life
June 24, 2019 | The New York Times | By David Brooks.
Opinion Columnist

In his book “Deep Medicine,” which is about how A.I. is changing medicine across all fields, Eric Topol describes a study in which a learning algorithm was given medical records to predict who was likely to attempt suicide. It accurately predicted attempts nearly 80 percent of the time. By incorporating data of real-world interactions such as laughter and anger, an algorithm in a similar study was able to reach 93 percent accuracy.....
algorithms  artificial_intelligence  books  clinical_depression  David_Brooks  diagnostic  doctors  medical  mens'_health  mental_health  op-ed  pattern_recognition  predictive_analytics  tools  visual_cues 
june 2019
Six ways to get noticed and get ahead
JUNE 25, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | by ROY OSING, SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL.

**INVISIBILITY BEGETS IGNORABILITY
Get noticed in a crowd of people all looking to advance themselves. Be competent in your current role, of course, but stand out.....Develop a “be visible” plan that, in a simple and factual way, presents your achievements and what you do day-in and day-out to execute your organization’s strategy.

**VALUE IS THE END GAME
Create value that people care about. The focus must be on the benefits you create for the organization (and for people), .....Realize that the project or task you’ve been given is just the internal vehicle for adding value. Keep your eyes on your contribution to the marketplace within which your organization operates.

**DIFFERENCES MUST DEFINE YOU
Be the only one that does what you do:

* Invent your own problem-solving method using crowd sourcing, or canvassing others;
* Do more of what was asked;
* Do the opposite of what the pundits preach;
* Use trusted external resources for added credibility;
* Launch additional projects from your original task.

** DOING IT IS 10 TIMES BETTER THAN TALKING ABOUT IT
“A little less conversation, a little more action please.” – Elvis Presley

It’s not about intent; it’s about getting stuff done in the trenches where life is messy and people never behave the way you expect them to.

**FIND A ‘DONE IT’ MENTOR
Find a mentor who has done stuff.....plenty of smart people who have achieved less than their potential because they put all their trust in the way things should work – based on theory – as opposed to pouring their energy into finding a way to make them work in the hard realities of people’s biases and internal politics.

My mentors always had the subliminal tag “master crafter in doing stuff” associated with their name.

** BE OPEN TO ANYTHING
Do anything asked of you and do it with eagerness and an open mind. Don't be too picky.... upwardly mobile people are expected to overreach every once in a while, to go for something that is beyond their capability.
action_plans  advice  differentiation  execution  ignorability  implementation  individual_initiative  internal_politics  invisibility  in_the_real_world  Managing_Your_Career  mentoring  messiness  movingonup  new_graduates  open_mind  overdeliver  overreach  realities  Roy_Osing  sophisticated  torchbearers  urgency  value_creation 
june 2019
Review: A reminder of why 1999 was the best movie year ever
June 22, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | by BARRY HERTZ.

Brian Raftery’s new book, Best. Movie. Year. Ever: How 1999 Blew Up the Big Screen, both an exciting and dubious proposition. We are barely halfway through 2019, and yet I feel as if I’ve already read everything that I could possibly need to know about the cinema of two decades years ago. (Admittedly, this is because I’ve written more than a few thousand words about the era myself. Hey, these pages aren’t going to fill themselves.) By this point, don’t we all know why Galaxy Quest and Go and Run Lola Run and American Beauty are important to today’s cultural firmament, in one way or another? Thankfully, the answer is: no.
'90s  anniversaries  annus_mirabilis  books  book_reviews  cultural_touchpoints  films  generational_touchstones  movies  popular_culture 
june 2019
Opinion | Why Harvard Was Wrong to Make Me Step Down
June 24, 2019 | The New York Times | By Ronald S. Sullivan Jr., Mr. Sullivan is a law professor at Harvard Law School.

In May, Harvard College announced that it would not renew the appointment of me and my wife, Stephanie Robinson, as faculty deans of Winthrop House, one of Harvard’s undergraduate residential houses, because I am one of the lawyers who represented the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein in advance of his coming sexual assault trial. The administration’s decision followed reports by some students that they felt “unsafe” in an institution led by a lawyer who would take on Mr. Weinstein as a client.

I am willing to believe that some students felt unsafe. But feelings alone should not drive university policy. Administrators must help students distinguish between feelings that have a rational basis and those that do not. In my case, Harvard missed an opportunity to help students do that......I would hope that any student who felt unsafe as a result of my representation of Mr. Weinstein might, after a reasoned discussion of the relevant facts, question whether his or her feelings were warranted. But Harvard was not interested in having that discussion. Nor was Harvard interested in facilitating conversations about the appropriate role of its faculty in addressing sexual violence and the tension between protecting the rights of the criminally accused and treating survivors of sexual violence with respect.

Instead, the administration capitulated to protesters. Given that universities are supposed to be places of considered and civil discourse, where people are forced to wrestle with difficult, controversial and unfamiliar ideas, this is disappointing......reasoned discourse lost out to raw feelings......I am not opposed to student protest. Many important social justice movements began with student protests, including movements from which I, as an African-American, have benefited. Had it not been for students who staged sit-ins at lunch counters, I would not have had the opportunity to be trained at Harvard Law School.

But I am profoundly troubled by the reaction of university administrators who are in charge of student growth and development. The job of a teacher is to help students think through what constitutes a reasonable argument. It is a dereliction of duty for administrators to allow themselves to be bullied into ..Unchecked emotion has replaced thoughtful reasoning on campus. Feelings are no longer subjected to evidence, analysis or empirical defense. Angry demands, rather than rigorous arguments, now appear to guide university policy.
African-Americans  bullying  capitulation  Colleges_&_Universities  critical_thinking  firings  gut_feelings  Harvard  Harvey_Weinstein  HLS  intolerance  logic_&_reasoning  missed_opportunities  op-ed  policymaking  political_correctness  professors  protests  students 
june 2019
British quantum computing experts leave for Silicon Valley
June 24, 2019 | Financial Times Madhumita Murgia in London.

A group of Britain’s best-known quantum computing scientists have quietly moved to Silicon Valley to found a start-up called PsiQ that believes it can produce a commercial quantum computer within five years.

The departure of some of the UK’s leading experts in a potentially revolutionary new field of technology will raise fresh concerns over the country’s ability to develop industrial champions in the sector.

The news comes just weeks after the successes of the British start-up scene were extolled at London Tech Week, where prime minister Theresa May pledged £150m specifically to help develop commercial applications for quantum computing.

The scientists’ move to Silicon Valley was driven partly by a need to raise capital. “The story is that the best of Britain is going to the United States to scale up,” said Hermann Hauser, co-founder of UK-based chip designer Arm, which is now owned by Japan’s SoftBank, and an early investor in PsiQ.

“They rightly concluded that they couldn’t access the capital in Europe so moved to the Valley,” he added. So far PsiQ has received investment from Playground Global, a venture firm started by Android founder Andy Rubin.

PsiQ, which has 50 employees according to LinkedIn, was co-founded by Jeremy O’Brien, a physicist at the University of Bristol and Terry Rudolph, a professor at Imperial College London. Several PhD graduates of the two UK labs have followed the researchers to Palo Alto, where the start-up has set up shop close to Stanford University.

Chief operating officer Stu Aaron was previously a partner at premier Silicon Valley investment firm Khosla Ventures and has worked for at least five start-ups based in California. 
carve_outs  funding  package_deals  Palo_Alto  PsiQ  quantum_computing  relocations  Silicon_Valley  start_ups  United_Kingdom 
june 2019
How to wing it when you need to make a speech
June 23, 2019 | Financial Times | Pilita Clark.

Mr Vine one night witnessed the wang-like magnificence of Mr Johnson, who hurtled in hopelessly late to a bankers’ awards ceremony at a fancy London hotel, only to learn he was due on stage in minutes to give the after-dinner speech.

As stressed organisers looked on, the MP frantically ascertained what the awards were for, demanded a biro, scribbled some notes on the back of a menu and, to Mr Vine’s astonishment, delivered a paralysingly funny speech — despite having left his scrawled notes on the table.

First he told a story about a sheep, then another about a shark and a third about a drunk, to which he completely forgot the punchline. He ended by observing that a glass trophy Mr Vine was there to hand out looked like “a sort of elongated lozenge”. The crowd was in fits.....Mr Johnson’s performance was also a masterclass in three great truths of public speaking, starting with a lesson that is obvious yet too often overlooked: don’t be afraid to be funny. Not every speech needs to be crammed with gags and not every speaker can deliver one as deftly as Mr Johnson. But most talks are immeasurably improved by at least one attempt at a well-chosen joke, and preferably two.

Mr Johnson also deployed what is known as the rule of three. Too many speeches are littered with a torrent of information that makes them hard to deliver and digest. The best are often broken up into just three points, or at least have a beginning, a middle and an end. A sheep, a shark and a drunk will not suit every occasion, but the principle still applies.

Finally, and most importantly, there is the need for preparation. Mr Johnson’s contrived bluster concealed a man who was fantastically well prepared. The best speakers usually are. For most of us, the only way to look as if you are winging it is to practice so ferociously that you eventually sound spontaneous.

As the speaker guide for the ubiquitous TED talks puts it: “Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse!”
Boris_Johnson  Communicating_&_Connecting  howto  humour  practice  preparation  public_speaking  rehearsals  speeches  TED  think_threes  Toastmasters 
june 2019
How non-engineer Stewart Butterfield reached top of Silicon Valley
JUNE 21, 2019 | Financial Times | by Richard Waters in San Francisco.

Silicon Valley loves its engineer-founders. They are members of the region’s highest caste, the entrepreneurs trusted to turn bits and bytes into the next hit digital products, and the people venture capitalists most like to back.

Stewart Butterfield, co-founder and chief executive of the workplace chat app Slack, is not one of them. He stands out as a philosophy major in a start-up world full of software engineers, a non-techie who has made it to the top of the tech heap......Slack’s listing on the New York Stock Exchange this week has cemented his reputation as one of the Valley’s most creative product designers — and values his own stake in the company at $1.6bn.

“He is your quintessential, product-oriented founder-leader,” ......In a nod to an unconventional streak in Mr Butterfield’s personality that separates him from the herd, Mr Levie adds: “He has just the right level of quirkiness.”.....Butterfield got a philosophy degree at the University of Victoria, followed by a master of philosophy at Cambridge, before being bitten by the internet bug at the end of the 1990s and moving to Silicon Valley........Pressed on how he can withstand the Microsoft onslaught, Mr Butterfield defaults to the quiet, analytical self-assurance. “There has been a long history of the small, focused start-up taking on the large incumbent with multiple lines of business and being successful” — starting, he added, with a small and scrappy Microsoft itself taking on the giant IBM.
artisan_hobbies_&_crafts  CEOs  chat  craftsmanship  engineering  Flickr  founders  Gulliver_strategies  IBM  Microsoft  mobile_applications  product_design  product-orientated  quirky  Richard_Waters  Silicon_Valley  Slack  start_ups  Stewart_Butterfield  workplaces 
june 2019
Anthony Price, British author of thrillers with deep links to history, dies at 90 - The Washington Post
By Matt Schudel June 15

Add to my reading list saved on the Toronto Public Library (TPL)'s website.

his favourite Le Carré novel, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, was pipped to the 1974 Gold Dagger award by his own Other Paths to Glory.

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For two decades Price juggled careers as a newspaper editor, book reviewer and author, with his wife Ann acting as his unofficial business manager. The success of his first novel resulted in rapid election in 1971 to the Detection Club, where he met and befriended many of the authors he admired, including Eric Ambler, and gained international recognition with the Martin Beck award from the Swedish Crime Writers’ Academy in 1978.

All his novels reflected his deep interest in military history, and sub-plots and background settings could contain elements of Roman legions on Hadrian’s Wall, the Camelot of King Arthur, Napoleonic warships and the battlegrounds of the American civil war and the first world war. In his research for Other Paths to Glory he visited western front battle sites well before there was an established visitor trail there, and taped interviews with survivors in the Oxford area.

The second world war got the Price treatment in two thrillers: The Hour of the Donkey (1980, Dunkirk) and Here Be Monsters (1985, D-day).

Price also used military history in his cold war spy thrillers as, in effect, long diversions, – almost “shaggy dog stories” – providing red herrings for the characters, and for readers. The actual espionage in his plots, which Price always insisted were straightforward and simple, would be resolved in last-minute flurries of action and recrimination. It was a technique which, as one reviewer pointed out, put him “in the upper IQ spy story bracket”. With such praise, and the constant use of the adjectives “ingenious” and “intelligent” by the critics, Price’s books were never likely to appeal to a mass readership, which preferred more blood with their thunder.
books  Cold_War  espionage  fiction  journalists  military_history  obituaries 
june 2019
Opinion: Why economics must go digital - The Globe and Mail
DIANE COYLE
CAMBRIDGE
CONTRIBUTED TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
PUBLISHED JUNE 9, 2019

But economists’ benchmark mental world – particularly their instinctive framework for thinking about public policy questions – is one where competition is static, preferences are fixed and individual, rival goods are the norm, and so on.

Starting from there leads inexorably to presuming the “free market” paradigm. As any applied economist knows, this paradigm is named for a mythical entity. But this knowledge somehow does not give rise to an alternative presumption, say, that governments should supply certain products.......Having led a review of the spread of anti-microbial resistance – which will kill millions of people if new drugs are not discovered – O’Neill is dismayed by the lack of progress made by private pharmaceutical companies.

Drug discovery is an information industry, and information is a non-rival public good which the private sector, not surprisingly, is under-supplying. That conclusion is not remotely outlandish in terms of economic analysis. And yet, the idea of nationalizing part of the pharmaceutical industry is outlandish from the perspective of the prevailing economic-policy paradigm......Or consider the issue of data, which has lately greatly exercised policymakers. Should data collection by digital firms be further regulated? Should individuals be paid for providing personal data? And if a sensor in a smart-city environment records that I walk past it, is that my data, too? The standard economic framework of individual choices made independently of one another, with no externalities, and monetary exchange for the transfer of private property
Big_Tech  digital_economy  drug_development  economics  increasing_returns_to_scale  market_power  network_effects  personal_data  pharmaceutical_industry  platforms 
june 2019
Undiscovered Italy: The Strange and Splendid Carso Region WSJ
June 20, 2019 | WSJ | Tara Isabella Burton.

We were in Ivan Pernarcich’s “osmiza”—the local word for tavern—in the town of Visogliano, part of a region known as the Carso. Named for its limestone, Adriatic-facing cliffs, the region was once part of imperial Austria-Hungary. Most of the smaller Carso towns are now Slovene-speaking. The nearest city, the Italian port of Trieste, has at various points in its history been Austrian, Italian, Slavic and even independent. (As a result, Trieste has a dialect so distinctively eclectic, it’s said to have shaped longtime resident James Joyce’s “Finnegan’s Wake.”)
Carso  Italy  things_to_do 
june 2019
Opinion: Ottawa seems to be out of ideas on devising a new kind of China policy
JUNE 19, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | by DAVID MULRONEY. SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND
David Mulroney was Canada’s ambassador to China from 2009 to 2012.

A new approach is needed to managing Canada’s relationship with China – one that’s alive to Canadian vulnerabilities as well as our national interests.....There are many smart reasons for engaging China, but flattering the leadership in Beijing isn’t one of them. Good ideas emerge from hard thinking about long-term Canadian interests. Even summoning the vision and courage to think strategically would mark a significant improvement over our current China policy, which appears to be conjured up from equal measures of wishful thinking and parliamentary politics.....Thinking strategically requires asking why China is being so assertive, (e.g. building a blue-water navy, militarizing rocks and shoals in the South China Sea)....These are part of a patient and persistent Chinese effort to push the U.S. out of Asia and achieve regional dominance – and that is clearly not in Canada’s interest. The U.S.’s commitment to Asia enabled regional balance and, with it, peace and rising prosperity. More to the point, a China-dominated Asia would hardly be friendly to Canadian values and ideas.
(1) Abandon our current policy of “comprehensive engagement” – the notion that we should say yes to just about anything related to China. Cancel the commitment of $256-million over five years to the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
(2) reassessment of our relationship with Taiwan.
(3) move from talking about human rights in China to actually doing something about them. We normally count on the United Nations to address major human-rights abuses, but the UN, anxious to avoid offending Beijing, has been silent in the face of the government’s mass detention of Uyghurs and its brutal assault on their religion, language and culture.
(4) do the same for China’s beleaguered Tibetans. Canada’s commitment would be a welcome signal to both communities that they haven’t been forgotten.
(5) investment at home, too. Put more money into domestic security, combatting Chinese interference more effectively. And we shouldn’t be afraid to name and shame perpetrators when we discover examples of meddling; Beijing won’t like it, but it will also probably tone down its more egregious activities.
(6) invest in China competence in Ottawa, where the commodity is alarmingly scarce. Future leaders in key departments, in the security agencies and in the Canadian Forces need to be far more aware of how China works and how it thinks. This isn’t about agreeing with China, but about understanding it – something that we’re having a hard time doing at present. To do so, Ottawa should create a special “China School” that not only offers language training but also exposes top people across government to the best thinking on China’s politics, economics and security issues.
AIIB  Beijing  bootcamps  Canada  Canada-China_relations  Canadian_Forces  China  China_rising  David_Mulroney  DND  human_rights  ideas  idea_generation  maritime  national_interests  op-ed  policymaking  policymakers  political_staffers  reassessments  reinvention  security_&_intelligence  South_China_Sea  strategic_thinking  Taiwan  Tibet  Uyghurs  values  wishful_thinking 
june 2019
How ‘The Pump’ can help give your muscles – and ego – a quick boost - The Globe and Mail
PAUL LANDINI
SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
PUBLISHED 7 HOURS AGO

If, however, you’ve been putting in the hours and you’ve already built an appreciable amount of muscle that’s not hidden underneath a smooth layer of fat, keep reading, because you’re a prime candidate for taking advantage of the vainglorious lifter’s best friend – “the pump.”

Immortalized by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1977 documentary Pumping Iron, “the pump” is the temporary increase in a muscle’s size that follows ultraintense sets of high-repetition resistance exercises. As your muscles contract during a lift, metabolic compounds such as lactic acid accumulate in and around the muscle cells. Water and blood is then drawn into the muscle (“pumped,” if you will) as a defence mechanism against the inflammation brought on by these compounds. The longer and more taxing the set, the more fluid that enters the cells, the ultimate result being a muscle that looks like it’s been shrink-wrapped.

A side benefit of this practical biological function? For up to about an hour afterward your muscles will appear significantly larger, providing an instant ego boost before strutting one’s stuff on the beach-side boardwalk or disrobing for a photo shoot. But the pump isn’t all smoke and mirrors. This style of training forms the basis of all bodybuilding programs, where the end goal is the accumulation of maximum muscle........The pump-training protocol is the exact opposite of strength training. Whereas strength gains come from lifting relatively heavy weights for low reps with up to two minutes of rest between sets, building a pump is all about high volume and minimal rest. Anywhere from 12 to 20 reps will suffice, with 30 to 45 seconds of rest max. Adding some pauses at the end-point of the exercises will increase the intensity and test your mental fortitude, as will employing “finishers” such as drop sets, in which you extend the set for as long as you can by continually reducing the weight once you’ve hit failure so you can keep firing off a few more reps.

Resistance bands are the perfect tool for building a pump, as they offer constant tension throughout the entire range of motion during each exercise, never giving your muscles a chance to rest.
exercise  fitness  strength_training  power_of_the_pause  metabolism 
june 2019
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