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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

What is Fifteen on Friday?

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.

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