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jerryking : shared_experiences   7

Michael Lewis Makes Boring Stuff Interesting - WSJ
May 17, 2019 | THE WALL STREET JOURNAL | By Richard Turner.

The writer’s new podcast ‘Against the Rules’ asks what has happened to fairness in the U.S.......Michael Lewis doesn’t really need this gig. His new podcast, “Against the Rules,” doesn’t pay anything close to his book-writing day job. It’s unlikely to turn into a movie. Plus, the podcast’s subject is pretty abstract: Who are the referees in our society? Who determines what is fair and even what is true? Is our whole system rigged from stem to stern, as everyone from President Donald Trump to sports fans to the Black Lives Matter movement insists?.....The idea ...is to examine “what’s happened to fairness” in an age when America’s arbiters are no longer trusted. The Walter Cronkites of the world are gone, and those assigned to make the tough calls are reviled, threatened and assumed (sometimes correctly) to be corrupt.....“It’s a big problem for democracy if people don’t have a shared reality,” Mr. Lewis says. “It’s difficult to establish a referee in an increasingly unequal environment” like today’s U.S., “when there are powerful parties and not-so powerful ones. .......Mr. Lewis’s skills turn out to be well-suited to the podcast medium. His calling card, echoed by untold critics and readers, is this: He makes boring stuff interesting. He collects disparate ingredients, whips them up with character and narrative, and distills human stories into engrossing big-picture explainers........Lewis keeps seeing failures of refereeing. “There was no referee at the interface between Wall Street and the consumers—consumer finance. I saw the birth of that, when Wall Street hit segments of society it had never touched, through subprime mortgages, for car loans, through asset-backed securities. There was no one saying, ‘That’s fair and that’s not.’”.......Among his topics: correct English usage, judges, used cars, identity theft, credit-card companies, student-loan abuses, Cambridge Analytica, King Solomon and the famed mediator Kenneth Feinberg, who handled victim compensation for 9/11 families and those affected by the 2010 BP oil spill. Listeners can imagine myriad future topics related to fairness: expanding the Supreme Court, machines calling balls and strikes, cable-news coverage of the Trump presidency and so on.
boring  consumer_finance  credit-ratings  democracy  failure  fairness  gaming_the_system  Michael_Lewis  NBA  podcasting  podcasts  refereeing  rules_of_the_game  shared_experiences  unglamorous  Wall_Street  writers 
may 2019 by jerryking
Opinion | The Best Year of Our Lives
April 6, 2019 | The New York Times | By Ross Douthat.

There’s a theory of human psychology that holds that the time you enter maturity becomes fixed in your mind as a civilizational peak — with everything since a falling-off that conveniently matches your own stagger toward the grave. Thus it doesn’t matter if you came of age in the Great Depression or some other nadir; because you were 18 then, it must have been a golden age......I’ve been thinking about how good we had it lately because we’re 20 years out from 1999, and the cultural press is thick with reminders that it was a pop-culture annus mirabilis — from the premiere of “The Sopranos” that defined a golden age of television, to the yearlong cascade of brilliant movies .....from a Hollywood not yet captive to the superhero era......Widen the aperture a little, so that the “Xennial” cultural era covers 1995 to 2005, and you get everything from the perfection of the sitcom (late “Seinfeld,” season one of “Friends,” the silver age of “The Simpsons,” “Arrested Development”) to the peak of HBO (when “The Wire” and “The Sopranos” and “Deadwood” and “Sex and the City” were all airing). Oh, and those were also the days when George R.R. Martin could publish three “Game of Thrones” novels in five years, inventing all the good parts of the TV show’s plot in an end-of-millennium rush.....cold hard economic data also suggest that ours was a uniquely blessed coming-of-age: a time of low unemployment, surging productivity, strong working-class wage growth — and all without a huge overhang of public and private debt.......a statement about generational experiences, Alter was basically right. If you were born around 1980, you grew up in a space happily between — between eras of existential threat (Cold War/War on Terror, or Cold War/climate change), between foreign policy debacles (Vietnam/Iraq), between epidemics (crack and AIDS/opioids and suicide), and between two different periods of economic stagnation (the ’70s and early Aughts).
'90s  op-ed  Alexandria_Ocasio-Cortez  annus_mirabilis  coming-of-age  cultural_gatekeepers  films  generational_touchstones  golden_age  millennials  movies  noughties  popular_culture  Ross_Douthat  television  shared_consciousness  shared_experiences  The_Wire  wage_growth 
april 2019 by jerryking
‘Farsighted’ Review: How to Make Up Your Mind - WSJ
14 COMMENTS
By David A. Shaywitz
Sept. 11, 2018

..mission planners first systematically widened their thinking to define their options as broadly as possible, seeking a “full-spectrum appraisal of the state of things and a comprehensive list of potential choices.” Then they coned down the alternatives by playing out multiple scenarios, exploring all the ways the mission could go wrong........When faced with complex choices we tend to frame problems in a narrow fashion. .......seek participation from as broad and diverse a group as possible.....a diversity of viewpoints isn’t enough. Citing the legal scholar Cass Sunstein, Mr. Johnson observes that, although “groups often possess a rich mix of information distributed among their members,” when they assemble “they tend to focus on shared information.” Thus it is important to design a process that exposes “unshared information”—by meeting individually with stakeholders, for instance, instead of merely convening a town hall. Similarly, he cites research revealing that two-thirds of organizational decisions never contemplate more than a single option. There is a “gravitational pull toward the initial framing of the decision.” To overcome it, he suggests considering what might be done if the presumptive path forward were suddenly blocked....“Uncertainty can’t simply be analyzed out of existence,” ...What scenarios and simulations can offer is a way to “prepare you for the many ways that the future might unexpectedly veer.”..... Linear value modeling, for example, weighs the relative importance of different goals, while a bad-outcomes approach examines worst-case possibilities........given the challenges of making high-stakes global decisions. How should we respond, as a planet, to the challenges of addressing climate change, communicating with alien life forms or managing computers with superintelligence? The answer seems to be: by convening diverse experts and hoping for the best. ....... Great novels matter [JCK; great novels = *fiction*] because “they let us experience parallel lives, and see the complexity of those experiences in vivid detail.”........ fundamentally, choices concern competing narratives, and we’re likely to make better choices if we have richer stories, with more fleshed-out characters, a more nuanced understanding of motives, and a deeper appreciation of how decisions are likely to reverberate and resound.
books  book_reviews  Cass_Sunstein  choices  decision_making  far-sightedness  fiction  howto  narrow-framing  novels  presumptions  scenario-planning  shared_experiences  Steven_Johnson  systematic_approaches  thinking_tragically  uncertainty  unshared_information  wide-framing  worst-case 
november 2018 by jerryking
Physical campus still counts in virtual world
Winter 2014 | Western Alumni | by Paul Wells, BA'89.

A campus isn’t just a luxury from an earlier and more genteel era, it’s starting to seem central to the work a university does. And Western’s lovelier-than-average campus is starting to look like a considerable competitive asset.....I don’t want to overstate the significance of all this. If a university offers a lousy education or does timid, incremental research, it doesn’t matter how fluffy the seat cushions are. Western’s real strengths are in its lecture halls and labs. But I was reminded how, despite its largely utilitarian function — the simultaneous education of tens of thousands of young people — Western remains a pleasant place to be. This matters because the traditional model of the university — a physical place where people convene in large numbers for extended stays to learn and exchange ideas — doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon.
Paul_Wells  UWO  Colleges_&_Universities  MOOCs  aesthetics  physical_place  shared_experiences  shared_consciousness 
january 2014 by jerryking
The FDIC's Sheila Bair: Going bare-knuckled against Wall Street - The Globe and Mail
Jun. 22 2013 | The Globe and Mail | KEVIN CARMICHAEL.

Deposit insurance agencies are vital to the smooth functioning of the financial system. Without them, banks would face cascading withdrawals at the first whisper of trouble. Yet within the constellation of financial regulators, deposit insurance agencies are more like Mars or Venus, dominated by the Jupiter-like presences of the finance ministries, central banks and securities commissions....Sherrod Brown and David Vitter, Democratic and Republican senators respectively, have co-sponsored legislation that would force the biggest banks to hold equity equal to 15 per cent of assets, which is much more onerous than current law. An idea that Ms. Bair long has advocated as a way to make the biggest banks less risky – forcing them to hold higher levels of long-term debt – is catching on with policy makers.....How did it get so bad? Ms. Bair has a theory. Over eggs and oatmeal in December, she explained what it was like to be on Capitol Hill in the 1980s, when Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill, the Democratic speaker of the House of Representatives, made an agreement to overhaul the tax code. That generation of leaders was influenced by the Second World War; many had fought in it. Such experience teaches you to “put country first,” Ms. Bair says. “We’re the pampered Baby Boom generation. We’re not willing to make the sacrifices as much as our parents were.”
too_big_to_fail  FDIC  financial_system  Sheila_Bair  profile  women  Wall_Street  WWII  the_Greatest_Generation  regulators  sacrifice  baby_boomers  Kevin_Carmichael  shared_experiences  shared_consciousness  policymaking  tax_codes 
june 2013 by jerryking
How GE Teaches Teams to Lead Change
January 009 | HBR | by Steven Prokesch.

Idea in Brief

Management development programs that focus on teaching and inspiring individuals to apply new approaches have a fundamental flaw: If other members of an individual’s team have not taken the course, they may resist efforts to change.

The antidote to this problem is training intact management teams.

When managers go through a program together, they emerge with a consensus view of the opportunities and problems and how best to attack them. The result: faster and more effective change.
HBR  GE  teaching  teams  change  change_management  shared_consciousness  shared_experiences  Jeffrey_Immelt  training  leadership_development  innovation  growth 
november 2011 by jerryking

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