This week’s highlights:  Cultural Lies, Venture Capital, and the Blurry Line Between Rap and Country

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Issue 328

Happy Passover and Easter Weekend,

David


Food for Thought:

Top Read(s) of the Week:  NYT – Five Lies Our Culture Tells  

Why It Matters:  David Brooks continues to thoughtfully deconstruct our present cultural meta-narrative.  As he highlights, politics follows from culture – and a toxicity of culture is a proximate cause to our current political climate.

Consider as well:

  1. WSJ

    tion too as I watched Notre Dame burn. Destroyed beauty is a spiritual event.”

  2. NYT – Melinda Gates on tech innovation, global health and her own privilege.
  3. CityLab – The Hidden Horror of Hudson Yards Is How It Was Financed  Manhattan’s new luxury mega-project was partially bankrolled by an investor visa program called EB-5, which was meant to help poverty-stricken areas.
  4. TheAtlantic – How the Ballpoint Pen Killed Cursive

Business/Economics:

Top Read of the Week:  Upfront Ventures – Is VC Still a Thing?

Why It Matters:  The early stage market has been seemingly transformed as companies stay private for longer.  This short presentation is chock full of data about what is actually going on in VC.

Consider as well:

  1. HBR – How to Make Startup Stock Options a Better Deal for Employees – Tying into our headline story, when companies stay private longer, it dramatically changes the worth of stock options.
  2. Nautilus – What I Learned From Losing $200 Million  The 2008 financial crisis taught me about the illusion of control, and how to give it up.
  3. Bloomberg – The Twilight of Combustion Comes for Germany’s Empire of Engines  The nation that invented the heart of the car at the dawn of the 20th century might struggle to adapt to the coming electric era.
  4. JohnMaudlin – Japanified World Ahead – Credit SF – Low interest rates, slow growth and no inflation….

Culture/Tech/Science:

Top Read of the Week:  NYT – Lil Nas X’s Smash Makes Country Wonder if Rap Is Friend or Foe. Again.

Why It Matters:  A huge thanks to podcast Switched on Pop‘s episode this week on Lil Nas X’s hit song, “Old Town Road.”  This current (and catchy) chart-topper shows us the difficulty of assigning a song to a genre.

Consider as well:

  1. FastCo – This brilliant brick tower stores energy with gravity instead of batteries The Energy Vault can store solar energy, then generate electricity when the sun isn’t shining
  2. Quanta – What the Sight of a Black Hole Means to a Black Hole Physicist
  3. Jalopnik – Silicon Valley Invents Taxi Lines  Lyft is testing out a daring new feature the company hopes will make airport pickups easier. It’s called a line.
  4. 99PI – Froebel’s Gifts  In the late 1700s, a young man named Freidrich Froebel was on track to become an architect when a friend convinced him to pursue a path toward education instead. And in changing course, Froebel arguably ended up having more influence on the world of architecture and design than any single architect — all because Friedrich Froebel created kindergarten.