Mark Twain – The Majority

Quote I’m thinking about this week.

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” – Mark Twain.

Make it a great week.


Weekly Roundup – December 30th

What I’m reading, watching, enjoying this week.
  1. America’s Achilles Heel
    • In my lifetime, there have been two utterly massive news stories. News stories that riveted the public, obsessed the media, and that had endings that very few people expected. These stories took on lives of their own. They became bigger than anyone imagined. They were covered nonstop. These were stories that Americans watched longer and with more intensity than wars and natural disasters combined. Race came into the stories. Gender came into the stories. Everyone was watching. And then there was a twist almost no one expected.
  2. More Young Americans Living with Their Parents
    • More young people are returning to their childhood bedroom than in decades. An analysis from real estate company Trulia found that nearly 40% of young people were shacking up with their parents, siblings or other relatives in 2015, the Wall Street Journal reported. That’s the largest share of young people living at home since 1940.
  3. Drones keep South Africa safe from sharks
    • Next to the United States and Australia, South Africa is the country with the highest recorded shark attacks in the world…South Africa has recorded 393 shark attacks since the year 1900, according to the International Shark Attack File, which keeps track of shark attacks…South African company weFix, mostly known for its cellphone repair services, has partnered with non-profit organization Shark Spotters to help it use drones to spot sharks more effectively.
  4. Nike’s quest for the 2-hour marathon
    • THE WORLD RECORD for a marathon, set by Dennis Kimetto of Kenya in Berlin in September 2014, stands at two hours, two minutes, and 57 seconds. If that number means nothing to you, understand this: running 26.2 miles in 2:02:57 is absurdly fast. The speed required, a little under 13 mph for a little over two hours, is unimaginable for all but a few of the world’s very best marathoners, and it causes even those East African supermen to glimpse the abyss. I remember watching Kimetto’s mouth pursed with agony as he approached the Brandenburg Gate on the cool, sunny day he broke the record, and thinking he might split in two from the effort.
  5. Netflix, Amazon, and HBO combined for 70% of Golden Globe nominations
    • Streaming heavyweights Netflix and Amazon are spending gargantuan amounts of money on TV shows, and it’s getting results. On Monday, this year’s Golden Globe nominations came out, and the two streaming services combined to snag 40% of the best TV show nominations. Netflix and Amazon have both been making major investments in original TV…
    • Netflix plans to spend $6 billion on content in 2017, and eventually wants to have about a 50/50 mix between licensed and original content, according to CFO David Wells…
    • Amazon is doubling its spend on video content in the second half of 2016, compared with last year, according to the company’s CFO, Brian Olsavsky. Amazon most recently disclosed its investment amount on video content back in 2014, when it spent $1.3 billion.
  6. Lewis Pugh swimming the world’s coldest oceans to try and save them from humanity
    • Lewis Pugh realized just how extreme the conditions were when he saw a wave in the choppy Antarctic waters wash over his boat and freeze instantly, creating a layer of ice on the clothes and gear of the people on board. The sea, because it was salty, was already below freezing. But the air temperature was -37°C (-35°F). It was February 2015. Pugh was wearing swimming trunks. And he was about to jump in the water.
  7. Why time management is ruining our lives
    • Most of us have experienced this creeping sense of being overwhelmed: the feeling not merely that our lives are full of activity – that can be exhilarating – but that time is slipping out of our control. And today, the personal productivity movement that Mann helped launch – which promises to ease the pain with time-management advice tailored to the era of smartphones and the internet – is flourishing as never before. There are now thousands of apps in the “productivity” category of the Apple app store, including software to simulate the ambient noise of working in a coffee shop (this has been shown, in psychology experiments, to help people focus on work), and a text editor that deletes the words you have written if you don’t keep typing fast enough.
  8. How Social Isolation is Killing Us
    • My patient and I both knew he was dying. Not the long kind of dying that stretches on for months or years. He would die today. Maybe tomorrow. And if not tomorrow, the next day. Was there someone I should call? Someone he wanted to see? Not a one, he told me. No immediate family. No close friends. He had a niece down South, maybe, but they hadn’t spoken in years. For me, the sadness of his death was surpassed only by the sadness of his solitude. I wondered whether his isolation was a driving force of his premature death, not just an unhappy circumstance.

  9. Technology destroys people and places. I’m rejecting it.
    • I’ll never know how many people liked this article, shared it or found it irrelevant, anti-progressive or ironic. Nor will I get to read comments about my personal hygiene, or suggesting that a luddite like me needs to embrace industrialism. And that is no bad thing, for the moment writing becomes a popularity contest – rewarding sensationalism, groupthink and deceit over honest exploration of complex matters – people and places lose, and those who need to be held to account win. Win, that is, for a shortsighted moment.
  10. Why our thinking of addiction needs to change
    • If addiction changes the brain and drugs cause addiction, the argument went, then perhaps drugs unleash pathological changes, literally damaging neural tissue. The implication that addicts do the things they do because they are ill, not because they are weak, self-indulgent, spineless pariahs also seemed to benefit addicts and their families. The anger and disgust they often experienced could be mitigated by the presumption of illness; and social stigmatisation could be relieved, even reversed, by the simple assumption that addicts can’t help themselves. If only the disease model worked…

Weekly Roundup – December 23rd 2016

What I’m reading, watching, enjoying this week.


  1. How Americans Die May Depend on Where They Live
    • Mortality due to substance abuse has increased in Appalachia by more than 1,000 percent since 1980. Deaths from diabetes, blood and endocrine diseases also increased in most counties in the United States during that time.

      That’s according to a new study, published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, examining the mortality rates for 21 leading causes of death. The study also found that the death rate from cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of mortality in the U.S., is down in most parts of the country. And the research highlights numerous disparities between counties.

  2. For Curry, KD, and The Warriors, It’s Gotta Be The Shoes
    • With big stars and bigger shoe deals dotting the roster, sneakers are serious business for the Warriors. How do Steph, Klay and KD decide which kicks to lace up?
  3. A laundry-folding robot pushes the limits of Machine Learning
    • Folding laundry, it turns out, is really hard to automate. Researchers from the UK, Czech Republic and Greece have used this seemingly simple task to extend the limits of machine learning and robotics. Andreas Doumanoglou, a PhD Student at Imperial College London, and his team programmed a two-armed robot to identify and fold laundry through a series of steps, each one with it’s own challenges.
  4. California ordered Uber to halt its self-driving cars
    • Talk about a bad first day. Uber said today (Dec. 14) that it had begun picking up passengers in its self-driving cars in San Francisco, despite failing to get a permit for autonomous vehicle testing from the California Department of Motor Vehicles. It is the second city where Uber has introduced autonomous cars through its ride-hailing platform, after a September debut of the technology in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
  5. Zappos struggling with Holacracy because humans aren’t designed to operate like software
    • “We want to believe that we are thinking, rational people and on occasion tangle with emotion, flick it out of the way, and go back to thinking,” renown vulnerability expert Brene Brown told a packed house in Las Vegas. “That is not the truth. The truth is we are emotional beings who on occasion think.”
    • Holacracy was developed by software engineer Brian Robertson, who has sold CEOs like Hsieh on a product that promises to push humans to run like a computer operating system. The biggest barrier to such hyper-efficiency is the complexity of human emotion. Holacracy doctrine, in turn, attempts to eliminate or compartmentalize the ways in which our humanity interferes with productivity.
  6. The Power of Vulnerability – Brene Brown
    • In a poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. A talk everyone should watch.


As you start to think about the new year, resolutions and new beginnings, here are some quotes to think about:

Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner. – Lao Tzu

I can’t give you a surefire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time. – Herbert Bayard Swope

Make it a great week!

Weekly Roundup – December 16th 2016

What I’m reading, watching, enjoying this week.

  1. Neil Gaiman – “Make Great Art” Commencement Speech
  2. Why Does America Love Bass Fishing?
    • All around the boat, Lake El Salto was waking up. A purple glow seeped over the Sierra Madres, turning the lake’s surface into a puddle of ink. Tropical birds stirred along the bank, whooping like monkeys; high above them, an eagle circled with the regularity of a drone. In the little inlet where our boat was currently parked, fish the size of saucers — tilapia, gray with flamingo-pink-mottled bellies — flipped briefly out of the water and back in, like badly skipped stones, snatching at bugs no bigger than motes of dust.
  3. Marathon Man
    • Who wants to run 26.2 miles through the Maine North Woods in the middle of December? And who really believes that doing so will make a lick of difference for a mill town on the ropes? This guy does.
  4. Google, democracy and the truth about internet search
    • With all the stories coming out about fake news, I found this article rather interesting as well. Here’s what you don’t want to do late on a Sunday night. You do not want to type seven letters into Google. That’s all I did. I typed: “a-r-e”. And then “j-e-w-s”.
  5. Student is suing Oxford for $1 million for failing to make him rich and successful
    1. This one just makes me laugh. Who said millennials get a bad rap? This reminds me of the guy who tried to sue SFO Airport for breaking up his marriage due to the noise!

Make it a great weekend…