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Best Articles This Week – 07/05/19

This week’s highlights: Star Wars, Walmart vs. Amazon, and Adjunct Professor Poverty?

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Issue 338

by David Wells – Nashville TN
From business to culture, technology to design, finance to entertainment, each week Fifteen on Friday sources the most thought-provoking articles to help us all live life well and well-informed.  Enjoy.

Food for Thought:

Top Read(s) of the Week:  VF – Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, The Ultimate Preview

Why It Matters:  I was admittedly hesitant to read this month’s cover article of Vanity Fair  fearing spoilers.   When I finally decided to risk it, I very much enjoyed this reflection on Star Wars, its cinematography and broader place in our cultural landscape.  No spoilers that I detected…

“After four decades, Star Wars is drawing to its epic conclusion. Lev Grossman goes behind the scenes with director J.J. Abrams and the cast for the inside scoop on The Rise of Skywalker.”

Consider as well:  

  1. Bloomberg – The Hotel Hackers Are Hiding in the Remote Control Curtains  Back doors to your personal data can be found in everything from smart fish tanks to Wi-Fi pineapples.
  2. NYT – Do Hand Dryers Hurt Kids’ Hearing? This 13-Year-Old Studied It  Nora Keegan noticed that dryers tended to be closer to children’s ears. So she set out on a study that was eventually published in a medical journal in Canada.
  3.  BecMin – This Is What Death Cleaning Taught Me About Life   “Do not ever imagine that anyone will wish—or be able—to schedule time off to take care of what you didn’t bother to take care of yourself. No matter how much they love you, don’t leave this burden to them.”
  4. NYT – How the U.S. Beat England to Reach the World Cup FinalGame time is Sunday at 11 ET / 10 CT – Tune in live or set your DVR

Business/Economics:

Top Read of the Week:  Recode – Inside the conflict at Walmart that’s threatening its high-stakes race with Amazon 

Why It Matters:   Walmart bought Jet.com to compete with Amazon, but Jet founder Marc Lore is feeling the heat as e-commerce losses surpass $1 billion.

Consider as well:

  1. NYT – Apple Watch Hasn’t Crushed the Swiss. Not Yet.
  2. Bloomberg – Can Goldman’s Trading ‘Rainmaker’ Bring Back the Glory Days?
  3. Vox – CEOs made 287 times more money last year than their workers did  Companies have finally started reporting CEO-worker pay ratios.
  4. HBR – When Having Too Many Experts on the Board Backfires

Culture/Tech/Science:

Top Read of the Week:  Splinter – The Revenge of the Poverty-Stricken College Professors Is Underway in Florida. And It’s Big.

Why It Matters:   If I had to guess at the most common misconception about where the average person thinks that runaway college tuition inflation is landing, most people would say in professor’s pockets.   As this article highlights, the use of adjuncts is an expanding phenomena at universities often times at poverty level wages.  This is obviously a multi-faceted issue and probably warrants greater transparency out of Phd programs in certain disciplines about the reality of getting a tenure-track seat.

Consider as well:

  1. Engadget – Apple’s new iOS 13 feature corrects your gaze during video calls.  Finally!
  2. 538 – KD And Kyrie Were The Final Pieces Of Brooklyn’s Brilliant Rebuild
  3. NYT – What’s It Like to Live in Barcelona’s Most Famous Gaudí Home? A Bit Inconvenient
  4. NYT – A Unicorn Lost in the Valley, Evernote Blows Up the ‘Fail Fast’ Gospel

 

Best Articles This Week – 06/28/19

This week’s highlights: The B.A. Breakthrough, Facebook’s Content Moderation Problem, Fixing Email

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Fifteen on Friday – Issue 337

Best,

David


Food for Thought:

Top Read(s) of the Week:  The74 – As School Districts Collaborate With Top Charters and Foundations, We’re on the Cusp of a Breakthrough in Guiding Low-Income & Minority Students to a College Diploma

Why It Matters:  In this excerpt from the forthcoming book, The B.A. Breakthrough, author Richard Whitmire looks at many of the positive developments that are helping to drive academic outcomes and improve access to educational opportunity.

Consider as well:

  1. TorontoLife – The $500-Million Family Feud  Frank Stronach spent decades grooming his daughter, Belinda, to take over his billion-dollar business. Now he wants it back
  2. Elle – His Mood Changed and Our Marriage Imploded. Then He Took a Blood Test.
  3. LA Times – Is this 70-year-old marathon runner from East L.A. a record setter or a cheater?
  4. NYT – In Tennessee, Blackberry Farm Takes Over a Mountain  Can you call it a wellness retreat if you’re drinking and not hiking? Blackberry Mountain says yes. (Just maybe put down your phone.

Business/Economics:

Top Read of the Week:  TheVerge – Bodies in Seats

Why It Matters:   Who are the people hired to police the content posted on Facebook?  In this piece of investigative journalism, we get a deep dive into the world of ‘content moderators’ at one of the outsourced vendors Facebook has hired.  Not surprisingly what is uncovered is deeply disturbing.  Not only is the worst of humanity on display by Facebook’s users, the individuals tasked with the role are under-paid and under-equipped for the psychological effects of the job.  Warning – There is some really disturbing stuff discussed.

Consider as well:

  1. TechCrunch – The Changing Nature of Venture Capital – Credit SG
  2. Bloomberg – The Charmed Life of a Young Tiger Cub With a $4.6 Billion Fortune  Chase Coleman’s tech-focused Tiger Global manages $30 billion, helping land him on Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index.
  3. Kalzumeus – How Discount Brokerages Make Money
  4. FRR – Make Friends With the Monster Chewing on Your Leg, and Other Tips for Surviving Startups

Culture/Tech/Science:

Top Read of the Week:  NYT – Would You Pay $30 a Month to Check Your Email?

Why It Matters:   Slack and others have been trying to make the case that email is dead as a productivity tool.  Here is one start-up that is arguing the opposite, that email itself is not dead, it’s just that the tools we have to manage it (Gmail, Outlook) have seen essentially no innovation in the last 15 years.  “One of Silicon Valley’s buzziest start-ups, Superhuman, is betting its app’s shiny features are worth a premium price.”

Consider as well:

  1. Pocket – How To Read A Self-Help Book In 90 Minutes  Most self-help books are filled with useless fluff. Shave that off and actually learn something valuable.
  2. TheAtlantic – How a Bad Night’s Sleep Birthed the Sound Conditioner  In 1960, a Rubbermaid executive invented a device to tame noise in the home. Its impact has been anything but quiet.
  3. ESPN – Freddy Adu exclusive: ‘I’m not ready to give it up’  Adu was the phenom who would save American soccer from irrelevance. So why didn’t his career materialize?  “It’s a matter of habits, He never had the work rate. He never had to. Things always came easy.”
  4. TNR – I’ve Climbed Everest 21 Times. It’s Not the Mountain It Used to Be.  Over nearly three decades, Apa Sherpa has witnessed the effects of a warming climate and an overcrowded peak.
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