What is Fifteen on Friday?

Fifteen on Friday (Fof) is a weekly newsletter that is delivered every Friday afternoon directly to your inbox.  The goal is to curate a thoughtful list of the most interesting pieces of the week, across a wide range of subjects from arts, culture, economics, science, technology and occasionally fashion.

The Week’s Most Interesting Reads – 04/13/18

This week’s highlights:  No More Preventative Care?, Dis-economies of Scale, and Hedonic Adaptation


Fifteen on Friday – 04/13/18 – Issue 280

Food for Thought:

  1. LH – Barbara Ehrenreich: Why I’m Giving Up On Preventative Care.  Once I realized I was old enough to die, I decided that I was also old enough not to incur any more suffering, annoyance, or boredom in the pursuit of a longer life. As for medical care: I will seek help for an urgent problem, but I am no longer interested in looking for problems that remain undetectable to me.
  2. NewYorker – Malcolm Gladwell – Where Ideas Come From  David Remnick speaks with Malcolm Gladwell about how he arrived at his particular approach to storytelling.
  3. WashPo – No, Mark Zuckerberg, we’re not really in control of our data. “Some 45 times — I was counting — the Facebook CEO told members of Congress that we’re in control of our data, when it’s plainly impossible for most people to figure out how to do so. That makes it hard to buy what he’s selling, even if it’s free.”
  4. Racked – I Made a Massive Spreadsheet of All My Clothes.  My economics degree has trained me that any problem can be solved with the right data set. So as part of my great wardrobe redo, I spent 13 hours on a Saturday cataloging the entirety of my wardrobe in a massive spreadsheet.  By the end of the day, the spreadsheet had more than 4,000 cells and 28 tabs. Here’s what I found.
  5. SethMeyers – Seth Meyers’ Wife Gave Birth in Their Apartment Lobby  Congrats to Seth / What an insane story


  1. MIT – The End of Scale  New technology-driven business models are undercutting the traditional advantages of economies of scale. But large companies still have strengths to exploit — if they move quickly.
  2. Bloomberg – A Millionaire Mindset Never Made Anyone Rich  The notion that just thinking something can make it happen is a joke. Too bad some people fall for it.
  3. NYT – The 10-Year Baby Window That Is the Key to the Women’s Pay Gap.  Women who have their first child before 25 or after 35 eventually close the salary divide with their husbands. It’s the years in between that are most problematic, research shows.
  4. PiperJaffray – The 35th Annual Taking Stock with Teens Survey  What matters to teens now?
  5. NYT – With Tesla in a Danger Zone, Can Model 3 Carry It to Safety?


  1. MMM –  Hacking Hedonic Adaptation to Get Way More For Your Money
  2. WM – How Minimalism With a Family is Possible (& Life Changing!)
  3. GQ – Nordstrom’s New York Store Is Like Shopping Online—Only in Real Life
  4. VF – “The Clock Is Ticking”: Inside The Worst U.S. Maritime Disaster In DecadesA recording salvaged from three miles deep tells the story of the doomed “El Faro,” a cargo ship engulfed by a hurricane.
  5. RollingStone – That One Night: The Oral History of the Greatest ‘Office’ Episode Eve

The Week’s Best Articles – 04/06/18

This week’s highlights:  Why You Should Own a Flip Phone, RV’s and the Economy, and Quincy Jones’ Take on Life.


Fifteen on Friday – 04/06/18 – Issue 279

Happy Friday,

Each quarter, Woodmont publishes our take on the goings-on in the markets and broader economy.  On Wednesday, we published our reflections on the first quarter of 2018 entitled “March Madness: In More Ways than One.”  It is well worth five minutes of your time (only 5 pages).  You can access it here.

All the best,


Food for Thought:

  1. TheGuardian – I’ve decided to reclaim my life – by using an old Nokia phone “My wife and I have two young children. On a good night, we’re lucky to get a couple of hours together. More often than not, you’ll find us on the couch, in silence, each staring into a phone.  And yet, one night not so long ago, a handful of my enslaved brain cells sparked unexpectedly to life. I looked up from Twitter. “Is this how it all ends?” I wondered out loud. “Is this what we’ll do for the rest of our lives?”
  2. NYT – The ISIS Files: When Terrorists Run City Hall. “We unearthed thousands of internal documents that help explain how the Islamic State stayed in power so long.”
  3. Time – It’s Time to Tell Your Kids It Doesn’t Matter Where They Go To College
  4. NYT – Redemption of a Lost Prodigy – Credit SF – As a teenager, he was an elite violinist, a rare talent. Then, something happened. Fifty years later, he has found a refuge in a City Island boatyard.
  5. WashPo – 40 comedies from the past 40 years that changed the way we talk – Credit SF – Some movies have a way of infiltrating our everyday conversations.


  1. Stratechery – The End of Windows
  2. WSJ – The Future of America’s Economy Looks a Lot Like Elkhart, Indiana.  The capital of RV manufacturing, which once had the worst unemployment rate in the U.S., is now facing labor shortages and rising home prices and wages.
  3. NYT – With Changing Students and Times, Colleges Are Going Back to School.  The ‘business of higher education’ for several decades has been driven by runaway cost inflation and excessive construction of new facilities.  Now, some educational institutions are facing strategic challenges as students weigh the real cost/benefit of a degree when it is accompanied by hefty student loans.
  4. Imprimis – How to Meet the Strategic Challenge Posed by China0
  5. VanityFair – Inside The Strange Odyssey Of Hedge-Fund King Eddie Lampert In 2003, many were skeptical when Lampert married Sears to Kmart. Now, with hundreds of stores closed and thousands thrown out of work, Lampert defends his strategies in his first in-depth interview in 15 years.


  1. GQ – Quincy Jones Has a Story About That Definitely a little PG-13 in places – but this is a fascinating piece. “Frank Sinatra. Michael Jackson. Ray Charles. Malcolm X. Elon Musk. Truman Capote. Buzz Aldrin. Prince. Tupac. Even Leni Riefenstahl. Quincy Jones has run with them all. Chris Heath stays up late with the 84-year-old music legend who has a tale to go with every famous name.”
  2. NYT – Hunting — and Haunted by — a Serial Killer  Three days before she died, Michelle McNamara typed some notes in a cryptic to-do list on her laptop.
  3. DD – Dogs of the World and Their Countries of Origin. A neat map tracing the geographic origin of your favorite breed.
  4. GQ – The Masters Merchandise Is Like Supreme for Dads.  For seven days a year at Augusta National Golf Club, golf fans descend upon the Masters Golf Shop to score rare hats, polos, and some unnecessary memorabilia.
  5. WashPo – 2018 NHL Stanley Cup playoff odds: Predators, Golden Knights and Bruins the early favoritesGo Preds!
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