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What to Read – This Week – 06/01/18 Edition

Jun 1, 2018 | Fifteen on Friday

This week’s highlights:  Football Corruption, More Bird Scooters, and The Diamond Market.



Fifteen on Friday – 06/01/18 – Issue 287

Do we dare pick on college football?

It is safe to say that baseball, once the nation’s darling national pastime, has been been replaced by football, a fact that is most likely not a surprise to you, dear reader.  And yet, despite a shift in cultural allegiance, we are only now beginning to be confronted by the implications of such a change.  Our lead article this week is a tremendous piece of investigative journalism, looking at the NCAA’s investigation into recruiting violations in the state of Mississippi.  But, if we are honest, I think we all know that these sorts of things are going on at all the major college programs.

Malcolm Gladwell addresses the subject from a different facet in his Episode 2 of Season 3 of his podcast, Revisionist History.  “In 2013, Malcolm gave a talk at the University of Pennsylvania on the subject of proof. How much evidence do we need of the harmfulness of some behavior, before we act? The lecture was about the long-ago fight over miner’s asthma — and about the unexpected death of a Penn student named Owen Thomas. Revisionist History returns to the question at the heart of the the talk, with a visit to Owen Thomas’s family.”

Much to contemplate – cheers to your weekend,


Food for Thought:

  1. SBNation – Crooked Letters.  Inside the NCAA’s years-long, twisting investigation into Mississippi football
  2. The Atlantic – Unfortunately, the Electric Scooters Are Fantastic.  But can they succeed despite their essential dorkiness?
  3. NYT – The Strange Failure of the Educated Elite The essential point is this: Those dimwitted, stuck up blue bloods in the old establishment had something we meritocrats lack — a civic consciousness, a sense that we live life embedded in community and nation, that we owe a debt to community and nation and that the essence of the admirable life is community before self.
  4. NYMag – Somebody had to foot the bill for Anna Delvey’s fabulous new life. The city was full of marks.  “Anna looked at the soul of New York and recognized that if you distract people with shiny objects, with large wads of cash, with the indicia of wealth, if you show them the money, they will be virtually unable to see anything else. And the thing was: It was so easy.”
  5. Today – You shouldn’t rinse dishes before you put them in the dishwasher (seriously) Running some tests on this personally, but so far it seems to be playing out.


  1. NYT – ‘Diamonds Are Forever,’ and Made by Machine Unlike a CZ, lab-created diamonds are chemically identical to their natural made counter-parts.  While De Beers claims their new line is different from ‘true diamonds’, I would argue that this marks the beginning of the end of the most elaborate marketing ploy of all time, that a diamond is rare and valuable, instead of the reality that they are plentiful and price controlled, by a monopoly more powerful than OPEC.
  2. VanityFair – “I Have Never Seen Revenue Grow This Fast”: Could A Scooter Start-Up Really Be Worth $1 Billion?
  3. Forbes – Tesla’s Simultaneous Brilliance And Incompetence Revealed In Teardown Of Model 3
  4. KPCB – Internet Trends 2018 Long time technology analyst, Mary Meeker, with her 2018 take on the goings on in technology.
  5. II – Surviving Prison as a Wall Street Convict


  1. Curbed – We need a new kind of HGTV.  The network’s “reality” offerings should look more like reality.
  2. Bon Appetit – How to Get the Most Out of Your Sommelier.  Ask a lot of questions, don’t be afraid to send back wine you don’t like, and more expert advice from somm Martin Ho.
  3. NYTimes – The Problem With Body Positivity
  4. Racked – It Costs $2.50 to Make Lipstick — Here’s Why You’re Charged So Much More  This is not a matter of “you get what you pay for.”
  5. NYT – A Warning to Women of a Certain Age: Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Nightdress


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Nashville, TN