Every Friday I highlight the most interesting or entertaining items from my media diet from the past week.
- 162 Benefits of Coronavirus (lesswrong.com): Even the worst crises generate opportunity and silver lining (this in no way detracts from the enormity of the pandemic). Interesting list of positive consequences from COVID-19.
- AskHN: Is There a Search Engine Which Excludes the World’s Biggest Websites? (ycombinator.com): As search results become less efficient due to SEO and results-gaming, it’s worth considering solutions that bypass sites that are overrepresented in most search indices.
- DoorDash and Pizza Arbitrage (substack.com): Food delivery platforms engage in a host of questionable tactics. One clever observer notes a flaw and, with the help of a small pizzeria, exploits a gap in the system to make a profit.
- The Epic Games Primer (matthewball.vc): If you are interested in the video game industry, this 6-part in-depth business analysis on the company Epic Games (maker of Fortnite and, more importantly, the Unreal Game Engine) is a must-read.
- The Erosion of Deep Literacy (nationalaffairs.com): Sobering. “If you do not deep read, you do not cultivate a capacity to think, imagine, and create.”
- How Google, Doordash, and Grubhub Conspire to Screw Local Restaurants (saddlebackbbq.com): “DoorDash & GrubHub charge restaurants an advertising fee and then use that money to pay Google to run advertisements…to divert customers away from our website to our competitors on their platform.”
- If I Could Bring One Thing Back to the Internet it Would Be Blogs (tttthis.com): The blogs are still out there but they got smothered by the noise from the big social media platforms. Discoverability is a bigger problem than ever for quality blog content.
- It’s Time to Get Back into RSS (danielmiessler.com): An antidote to the blog discoverability problem?
- The Sickness in Our Food Supply (nyboooks.com): Michael Pollan explores the weak links in our food chain exposed by COVID-19.
- When SimCity Got Serious: The Story of Maxis Business Simulations and SimRefinery (obscuritory.com): In the 1990s, Maxis (maker of SimCity) spun off a division called Maxis Business Simulations that created professional simulations for business use (e.g. SimRefinery was created for Chevron to teach employees how oil refineries work).
- Why Podcasts Are My New Wikipedia—the Perfect Informal Learning Resource (listennotes.com): The founder of the podcast annotation site Listen Notes explains his approach to podcast listening.
- How To! With Charles Duhigg (apple.com): The Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and author of “The Power of Habit” helps listeners with their most vexing problems.
- Invest Like the Best: Hamilton Helmer—Power + Business (investorfieldguide.com): Host Patrick O’Shaugnessy talks to guest Hamilton Helmer; Helmer has a particularly keen eye for understanding business strategy.
- Rivals: Beatle Brawls Parts 1 & 2 (iheart.com): Part-one covers the Lennon-McCartney rivalry and Part-two covers the rivalry between Lennon-McCartney and George Harrison.
- Asian-Americans (pbs.org): A five hour documentary series about the history, identity, challenges, and contributions of Asian-Americans from the gold rush era to the present. A must-watch for all Americans.