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The Week’s Most Interesting Reads – 05/18/18 Edition

This week’s highlights:  The Life Changing Magic of Throwing a Frisbee, Retail isn’t Dead Yet, and Charlie Puth’s Path Through Fame.


Fifteen on Friday – 05/18/18 – Issue 285

Food for Thought:

  1. TheAtlantic – The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy I almost hesitated to include this article because odds are you are going to see it regardless.  That said, it is worth a read and ponder.  The author continues a line of thinking begun by David Brooks in his 2001 Bobos in Paradise that Elizabeth Currid-Halkett picked up last year in her The Sum of Small Things: A Theory of the Aspirational Class.  The question raised is how to handle a society focused on ‘meritocracy’ vs. ‘lineage’ and the accompanying echo-chambers that naturally arrive from that.
  2. WashPo – Less cramming. More Frisbee. At Yale, students learn how to live the good life.  Some 1,200 students were simultaneously taking Santos’s “Psychology and the Good Life” class.  It’s the largest class, by far, in Yale’s 317-year history.
  3. NPR – Why So Many Gifted Yet Struggling Students Are Hidden In Plain Sight
  4. TM – Steve Jobs’ Secret for Eliciting Questions, Overheard at a San Francisco Cafe
  5. NYT – The Case for Having a Hobby  “Last spring, I forgot the word for hobby. I was on a hike with friends, and I was explaining how much happier my spouse had become recently after starting a band with some friends.”


  1. TheCut – The Store (It Would Seem) Is Not Dead (at Least for Now)   Amazon isn’t going anywhere, so shops that would rather not shut down are adapting, resulting in a somewhat surprising retail renaissance.
  2. GMO – Is Investing Starting to Get Difficult Again? I Hope So
  3. TBR – Interview with Jim Chanos of Kynikos Associates 
  4. NYT – Google’s File on Me Was Huge. Here’s Why It Wasn’t as Creepy as My Facebook Data.
  5. HBR – How Netflix Redesigned Board Meetings


  1. Hodinkee – Apple, Influence and Ive. The greatest designer of our generation talks watches for the very first time.
  2. NYT – Charlie Puth Got Famous. Then He Got Good.  Fame almost ate this 26-year-old pop singer and songwriter alive. Now he’s made one of the year’s best pop albums, “Voicenotes.”
  3. Deadspin – The Ridiculous Saga Of Lance Armstrong, The Cheater Who Became An Enemy Of The State
  4. Esquire – Nassim Nicholas Taleb Has Never Borrowed a Cent in His Life. The author of The Black Swan and Skin in the Game on what it’s like to have true financial freedom.
  5. NYT – Chris Paul: Point Guard, Activist, Union Boss  CP3 plays many roles in the N.B.A. Besides being the starting point guard for the Rockets, he is an outspoken voice on social issues, and leads the player union.

The Best Reads This Week – 05/11/18

This week’s highlights:  Surviving Your 40s, Value Investing in Venture Capital, and the Issue with Hermes.


Fifteen on Friday – 05/11/18 – Issue 284

Happy Friday and Happy Steeplechase Weekend to those in Nashville,

May the odds be in your favor tomorrow, if you are playing the ponies.  In case it is helpful as you start pulling together your beach reading for the summer, I posted a list and quick highlights of the Books I Read in April.  There are a few gems in there that would be well worth your time.

All the best,


Food for Thought:

  1. NYT – Meet the Renegades of the Intellectual Dark Web – Credit GR – An alliance of heretics is making an end run around the mainstream conversation. Should we be listening?
  2. NYT – How to Survive Your 40s
  3. GQ – The Great High School Impostor What Artur Samarin pulled off at a school in small-town Pennsylvania is one of the boldest hoaxes of our time.
  4. NYT – At Rockefeller Auction, They Came. They Bid. They Mostly Lost.
  5. NYP – Despite the glamour, the Met Gala is ‘not an enjoyable evening’ The first Monday in May has come and gone…despite the pomp and circumstance, maybe this is one hard to get ticket you wouldn’t want?


  1. IFG – A Value Investor Lost in the Valley, with Chris Douvos.  Patrick O’Shaughnessy’s podcast has become required material for any investor.  This interview is one of the best – an inside look at the VC world.
  2. Medium – The Hyperfragmentation of Retail and Why the Biggest Winners are Digital Ad Platforms, not Microbrands.  
  3. HBR – Why Talented People Don’t Use Their Strengths
  4. Adventure.Es – How to Acquire Your First Small(er) Company
  5. TeamCoCo – Learn How Rich You Could Have Been With Hindsight Financial – Credit PK – Find out how many years earlier you could have retired if you were better at investing your money.


  1. BI – 17 insider facts about shopping at Costco only employees know
  2. NYP – How Robin Williams was being torn apart and couldn’t fight back.
  3. Bloomberg – Nashville’s Wall Street Crowd to Score 87% Savings on Home Taxes – Credit JC – More money, less to spend it on. A shorter trip to work, less to do with the free time. These are some of the trade-offs facing employees of AllianceBernstein Holding LP.
  4. Medium – Hermès is not a luxury brand.   “The entire customer experience is contrary to the brand. Hermès wants to stand for craftsmanship and for beauty. And what they end up standing for is the subordination of the human to money.”
  5. Guardian – Avicii: the poster boy for EDM who struggled with the spotlight.  The death of the 28-year-old Swedish DJ and producer marks a tragic end to an illustrious career underpinned by pressure.
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