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The Week’s Best Articles – 07/14/17 Edition

Jul 14, 2017 | Fifteen on Friday

This week’s highlights: The Fyre Festival Fiasco, Cult of the Big Green Egg, and the bacteria in your Water Bottle .


Issue 244

A hot, humid Friday greeting from Nashville. A number of interesting articles in store this week – but the real highlights this week are 3 podcast episodes you should be listening to:

  • First – Malcolm Gladwell is back with Season 2 of Revisionist History.  Check out Episode 3, Miss Buchanan’s Period Of Adjustment.  Brown v Board of Education might be the most well-known Supreme Court decision, a major victory in the fight for civil rights. But in Topeka, the city where the case began, the ruling has left a bittersweet legacy.
  • Second – Patrick O’Shaughnessy’s interview of Leigh Drogan should be required listening for any student of the financial markets.  This is an inside look at what algorithmic / quantitative investing firms actually do and how it impacts markets.
  • Finally – Freakonomics Radio’s episode called “When Helping Hurts,” is a serious contemplation of when and how social programs hurt and help the most at-risk in society

Those are quick links to their websites, but are also an easy search in Apple’s Podcasts app for the 97.4% of Fifteen on Friday readers that carry an iPhone.

Food for Thought:

  1. VF – Fyre Festival – Anatomy of a Millennial Marketing Fiasco Waiting to Happen.  Billy McFarland sold elite millennials (and his investors) on an ultra-luxurious “Coachella in the Bahamas,” but the much-ridiculed fiasco that actually took place in April derailed the 25-year-old serial entrepreneur’s checkered bid for moguldom. Inside what could be the biggest scam of the year.
  2. NYT – How We Are Ruining America.  A thoughtful piece by David Brooks. “American upper-middle-class culture (where the opportunities are) is now laced with cultural signifiers that are completely illegible unless you happen to have grown up in this class. They play on the normal human fear of humiliation and exclusion. Their chief message is, “You are not welcome here.””
  3. Boston Globe – In defense of the white male.   Maybe one fine day we’ll learn to eschew labels, or at least see beyond them, and focus on the humanity we share
  4. NBJ – Nashville has greatest cost-of-living increase in the U.S.  This has been making the rounds big time this week.
  5. WashPo – At Tour de France, doping is always part of the story


  1. ME – Former Fed Gov Fisher – “You Look Like I Need a Drink”: Comments Before the National Association of Chain Drug Stores – Credit CD – “Fisher reminds us, after Churchill, “Americans always do the right thing – after they have tried everything else.”
  2. FC – Nest Founder: “I Wake Up In Cold Sweats Thinking, What Did We Bring To The World?”  Tony Fadell, one of the minds behind the iPod and the iPhone, mulls design’s unintended consequences.
  3. CIO – Seeking Higher Returns, Sweden’s AP Pension Pushes into Private Equity  The threshold for illiquid investments will now be 40% of their portfolios, scrapping a prior 5% limit on non-listed investments.
  4. NYT – E-Commerce as a Jobs Engine? One Economist’s Unorthodox View
  5. FS – The Real Estate Investing Rule To Follow: Buy Utility, Rent Luxury.  


  1. Fatherly – A Montessori Chores Chart Showing What Age To Give Your Kid Certain Chores
  2. CM – The Cult of the Big Green Egg
  3. FC – 3 Secrets Of People Who Always Get Job Offers
  4. NYP – You’ll never want to use a reusable water bottle again.  Water bottles harbor huge levels of bacteria.  In fact, researchers revealed that drinking from the average refillable bottle “can be many times worse than licking your dog’s toy.”
  5. Wired – A Math Genius Blooms Late and Conquers His Field


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Nashville, TN