Issue 353 – 11/08/19

This week’s highlights: the football town, rock climbing, and Alzheimer’s.

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Issue 353

by David Wells – Nashville TN
Happy Friday Everyone,

Hope you are able to get out and enjoy a nice fall weekend!

All the best,

David

Food for Thought:

Top Read of the Week:  NYT – The people of Maiden, N.C., population 3,419, like to call their home “the biggest little football town in the world.” Maiden has a problem, though. 

Why It Matters:  Football participation rates are falling nationwide.  This article looks into the phenomena in greater detail and includes an impressive chart with state by state data.  Bottom line – Michael Lewis’ 2017 call to ‘short the NFL” looks more and more prescient.

Consider as well:  

  1. NewYorker – The Myth and Magic of Generating New Ideas  A mathematician on how to get the mind into motion.
  2. NYT – Martin Scorsese: I Said Marvel Movies Aren’t Cinema. Let Me Explain.  Cinema is an art form that brings you the unexpected. In superhero movies, nothing is at risk, a director says.
  3. WSJ – The Truth About Income Inequality– Note Paywall –   “The census fails to account for taxes and most welfare payments, painting a distorted picture.”
  4. Tennessean – Tennessee to hire 80 new employees, consider outsourcing to help ease driver’s license wait times

Business/Economics:

Top Read of the Week: CBR – What the success of rock climbing tells us about economic growth

Why It Matters:  “Machines are not the only engines of greater productivity”

Consider as well:

  1. B-side – Buyers of Pacific Steel Casting ‘looted’ its assets, made ‘insider deals,’ according to bankruptcy trustee – Credit Brent B – What could go wrong when you buy a company for $11MM, but only have to put $2.5MM down…
  2. JoS – Ben and Jerry’s vs. Amazon  Written in 2000, this is a really interesting reflection on two paths to building a company
  3. GD – Letter to a friend who may start a new investment platform  “Are you ready to fully own the ambiguity of a new initiative?”
  4. AQR – It’s Time for a Venial Value-Timing Sin

Culture/Tech/Science:

Top Read of the Week:  NYT – Why Didn’t She Get Alzheimer’s? The Answer Could Hold a Key to Fighting the Disease 

Why It Matters:  Researchers have found a woman with a rare genetic mutation that has protected her from dementia even though her brain has developed major neurological features of the disease.

Consider as well:

  1. NYT – Even ‘Project Runway’ Couldn’t Save Zac Posen  The designer is closing his brand. What went wrong?
  2. TheAtlantic – Managing Your Friendships, With Software  A slew of new start-ups want to help people manage their relationships the way they would sales leads. Should we be worried about our friends turning us into data points?
  3. NYT – Wait a Minute. How Can They Afford That When I Can’t?  Those expensive vacations and costly college educations may not be as hard-earned as you thought.
  4. The Economist – Japan’s emperor is a prisoner in his own palaces  Stifling bureaucracy and ritual are making Naruhito irrelevant to his subjects

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