Every Friday I highlight the most interesting or entertaining items from my media diet of the past week.
- Audio’s Opportunity and Who Will Capture It (matthewball.vc): Recent technological advances and business model changes have been a boon for television and video games. Music, has not seen identical economic returns (yet), but a number of big opportunities loom on the horizon.
- Big Banks Entrusted Money to GardaWorld. It Secretly Lost Track of Millions (tampabay.com): Investigative piece that looks into questionable practices, shoddy accounting, internal theft and attempted coverups by a private security and cash management firm.
- Clusters Rule Everything around Me (worksinprogress.co): Why and how do tech clusters—reaping disproportionate economic activity—form in cities like San Francisco, Seattle, Boston?
- Doing Old Things Better vs. Brand New Things (a16z.com): An interesting choice to ponder for entrepreneurs.
- Early Work (paulgraham.com): “One of the biggest things holding people back from doing great work is the fear of making something lame.”
- EB White’s Plain Style at 75 (publicbooks.org): Is there tension between the plain language espoused in White’s “The Elements of Style” (co-authored with William Strunk) and the expressive prose of his children’s books “Stuart Little” and “Charlotte’s Web”?
- Lots of Overnight Tragedies, No Overnight Miracles (collaborativefund.com): Offers perspective on progress and setbacks. The former is slow and incremental (and thus invisible), the latter is often quick and surprising.
- The Mad, Mad World of Niche Sports among Ivy League-Obsessed Parents (theatlantic.com): Sports like lacrosse, fencing, squash and water polo were once seen as a ticket for affluent families into elite colleges, but the pandemic has resulted in cuts to athletic programs, a glut athletes, and parents questioning the ROI.
- Meet the Excel Warriors Saving the World from Spreadsheet Disaster (wired.co.uk): As they say, not all heroes wear capes.
- No More Misunderstandings: Paraphrasing—When, Why, and How (substack.com): How to use paraphrasing to improve the accuracy and quality of interpersonal communications. The tactics recommended might be heavy-handed, but the overarching goal is a good one.
- People Don’t Understand How Hard We Work: Life Inside an LA Mansion Full of TikTok Influencers (esquire.com): Seriously? Is this article one of Dante’s circles of hell? I’m not sure, but I learned something about a completely alien subculture of “content houses” and the influencer industry.
- Should We Cancel the Stoics? (ryanholiday.net): “The more I study Stoicism, the more I find that it possesses the exact formula for getting society out of this polarized, selfish, and deranged mess in which it’s currently submerged.”
- What It’s Like to Experience Homelessness During a Pandemic (5280.com): Follow the life of a homeless man, Alan Mayfield, and his associates as they navigate the streets and tent encampments of Denver, CO.
- When You Get into Unschooling, It’s Almost Like a Religion (nytimes.com): Distance-learning is spurning unschooling, a movement in which rigid curricula, tests, and grades are eschewed in favor of self-directed education and curiosity.
- Boomtown (texasmonthly.com): Engrossing 12-episode series that investigates how the oil boom in the Permian Basin of West Texas is affecting the lives of the people who live and work in the region.
- Deep Dive: Reading, Writing and Learning with David Perell (youtube.com): Ali Abdaal talks to writer and podcaster David Perell.
- Hit Parade: One and Done (slate.com): Pop critic Chris Molanphy offers a rigorous definition for the “one hit wonder” in this fun two-part episode.
- Working: Arranger Alex Lacamoire Breaks Down His Process for Hamilton (slate.com): Host Isaac Butler talks with the arranger, music director, conductor and orchestrator for the hit musical Hamilton. Fascinating look at the creative and collaborative process of bringing songs to life.