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David has been writing and publishing since 2006.  

Best Articles This Week – 05/31/19 Edition

May 31, 2019 | Fifteen on Friday

Highlights:  Proximity in Housing, Blackrock’s Succession Question, and The Shaping of Taste


Fifteen on Friday – Issue 334

Food for Thought:

Top Read(s) of the Week:  TheAtlantic – Having a Library or Café Down the Block Could Change Your Life

Why It Matters:  The shape of the built environment we surround ourselves with continues to be confirmed as having powerful effects on health and happiness.  “Living close to public amenities—from parks to grocery stores—increases trust, decreases loneliness, and restores faith in local government.”

Consider as well:

  1. VF – Inside the Decades-Long Match Between Zuckerberg and the Winkleoss Twins  In this exclusive excerpt from Bitcoin Billionaires, Ben Mezrich traces the world’s biggest crypto cash-out back to a conference-room showdown featuring a booster seat, a handshake, and $65 million.
  2. NYT – Welcome to Galaxy’s Edge  Disney finds another way to take money from our pockets, but even at $199 a go, the build-your-own lightsaber workshop is bound to be a hit….”Disneyland’s “Star Wars” expansion is the biggest in the park’s history, and a bet that Wookiees and Stormtroopers will draw visitors as well as princesses.”
  3. TheStartup – Google’s Powerful Secret to be a Good Manager  Hint – it’s not technical ability
  4. Vox – The case for caseless iPhones  Fanatics of case-free phones say it’s about design, but could it really be about status?


Top Read of the Week:  II – The Race to Replace Larry Fink

Why It Matters:   Arguably no one has navigated this cycle in the financial markets better than Fink and Blackrock.  “He’s the Steve Jobs of the money game. Who will be his Tim Cook?”

Consider as well:

  1. Inc – This Startup Learned the Hard Way What It’s Like to Work With the Pentagon  What happens when a wildly ambitious young startup decides to work with the military? It’s complicated.
  2. Fortune – America’s 40 Richest Under 40 Sure, they’re poorer than last year (well, most of them). But they’ve still got you beat – Credit SB – Now almost 20 years later, these dollar amounts seem almost pedestrian.
  3. Vox – The controversy over WeWork’s $47 billion valuation and impending IPO, explained  A chorus of critics argue the high-flying startup is peddling financial snake oil.
  4. BothSides – Managing Your Startup Board — A Short Presentation


Top Read of the Week:  GQ – Meet Aurel Bacs, the Man Who Sparked the Vintage Watch Boom

Why It Matters:   Those who consider themselves to possess ‘taste’ arguably believe they arrived at their opinions through superior knowledge and judgement.  This interesting piece about the vintage watch market is an interesting look at the power that a single individual can have in shaping the views of the cognoscenti.  “Why are classic timepieces suddenly more sought-after, more Instagrammed, and more valuable than ever before? The answer has a lot to do with auctioneer extraordinaire Aurel Bacs.”

Consider as well:

  1. NYT – ‘It Was Like a Zoo’: Death on an Unruly, Overcrowded Everest.  The pictures in this article of lines up to the summit are breathtaking – has adventure-tourism gone too far?
  2. PS – The Many Health Benefits of Meth  In low, pharmaceutical-grade doses, methamphetamine may actually repair and protect the brain in certain circumstances. But stigma against the drug could be harming patients and holding back research.
  3. NYT – How Data (and Some Breathtaking Soccer) Brought Liverpool to the Cusp of Glory  The club is finishing a phenomenal season — thanks in part to an unrivaled reliance on analytics.
  4. WashPo – National Spelling Bee uses ‘octochamps’ in a sentence, crowning eight co-champions  In a stunning conclusion to the competition, event organizers took the unprecedented step of naming eight co-champions after they all withstood 20 rounds of increasingly difficult words.


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