The Birkenstock Doctor
I recently replaced a 15-year-old pair of Birks. Next time I'll just get them repaired!
Shoes are often sent in with letters from their wearers. “One guy wrote a note that said, ‘Make sure you take good care of these shoes, this is the second longest relationship I’ve ever had,’ referring to his wife,” Longeran says, “Turns out he’d had ’em for 27 years.”
A bunch of great Michael Jordan stories in here. Can only imagine what it would have been like if his career too place today.
Woven into The Jordan Rules is a simple thesis. Michael Jordan was the best player in the NBA. But basketball is a team game. So for the Bulls to finally win a title, Jordan had to rise above petty concerns like his scoring average and learn to include his teammates.
I totally meant to respond to this earlier, but I didn’t know the answer to your question and I kept not caring enough to ask anyone. Now a weird amount of time has passed, so I’m going to loop Laura (cc’d) into this e-mail thread to see if she can handle this. Laura?
Gonna miss this guy. Would love to see him join Ty Montgomery in Green Bay or become the offensive centerpiece on the Patriots.
At Stanford, McCaffrey’s multi-hyphenate performances — as runner, receiver, and returner — both made his star and cemented his legacy after he set the all-purpose record last year and quietly led the FBS in that category again in the 2016 regular season.
And ultimately, I think this is a test of potential impact for any new technology: What fundamental truth does it speak to? How can it be best leveraged to impact that truth most directly?
I love what The Rock has become, and in 2017 Dwayne Johnson stars in Fast 8, Baywatch, and Jumanji. Can't wait.
When The Rock started out, he was not a good actor. I mean that as a compliment.
Because it demonstrates the single most important thing about Dwayne Johnson. It’s not even a secret. The Rock was not born with a God-given talent for acting, he wasn’t born with pecs you can open bottles off of, he wasn’t born with a natural charisma. He worked to get there. In the end, he’s the only actor willing to admit that it’s never “effortless.”
No third-party candidate has won multiple electoral votes since George Wallace’s campaign as the candidate of the anti-civil-rights American Independent Party, in 1968.* Wallace, who focussed on his base, in the South, did not try to win the election; rather, he wanted to win enough electoral votes to deny a majority to the Democratic and Republican candidates. According to the Constitution, if no candidate receives a majority of electoral votes—two hundred and seventy—the contest is decided by the House of Representatives, where each state’s delegation has a single vote. When pressed, Johnson conceded that this is his real strategy. His targets, aside from his home state of New Mexico, are states in the West and the Great Plains that have been Libertarian Party strongholds in the past: Utah, Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, Alaska, and the Dakotas.
“If it gets thrown to the House of Representatives and it goes beyond one ballot, I could be President,” Johnson said, smiling at the absurdity of the idea. “Because, if it goes beyond one ballot, Democrats are not going to cross over the line to change to Trump, and Republicans are not going to go over the line to support Clinton. They’re going to have to compromise, and I’d be the compromise.”
It was always different with Derrick. Who else was announced with their hometown instead of their college? Who else gets drafted into a city with the skyscrapers already tattooed on their hands and a neighborhood scribbled across their arm? Who else shows up to funerals of murdered children they never met just because he could relate a little too well?
As someone that has joked/dreamed of kickstarting a local club as the first step (of many) to bring an EPL team to NYC (I know...), this was a really fun read. Looking forward to tracking Stockade FC's progress.
Great visuals for anyone that does A/B testing as part of their product development process.
While undeniably useful, A/B testing is sometimes said to encourage too much “hill climbing”, an incremental and short-sighted style of product development that emphasizes easy and immediate wins.
Discussion around hill climbing can sometimes get a bit vague, so I thought I would make some animations that describe four distinct pitfalls that can emerge from an overreliance on hill climbing.
If the 10–15 year pattern repeats itself, the next computing era should enter its growth phase in the next few years. In that scenario, we should already be in the gestation phase. There are a number of important trends in both hardware and software that give us a glimpse into what the next era of computing might be.
Great data science work is built on a hierarchy of basic needs: powerful data infrastructure that is well maintained, protection from ad-hoc distractions, high quality data, strong team research processes, and access to open-minded decision-makers with high leverage problems to solve.
The travesty of the decision to not go for two points cannot be understated: it robbed Aaron Rodgers of completing arguably the greatest drive in NFL history.
Separately, I thought this footnote (excerpted) was noteworthy. I cringe every time I hear Michael Wilbon rail on "analytics" on PTI, and it happens all too frequently on an otherwise excellent sports show (the only one I've found worth watching regularly).
In my opinion, the term “analytics” is one of the worst things to happen to serious sports analysis, as it created an artificial barrier between traditionally informed methods and data-informed methods. Either way, the goal is to understand the dynamics of a sport to figure out where winning comes from. Some analysts study film, some build statistical models — each method has strengths and weaknesses.
Too much in here to pick an excerpt. Highly recommended for anyone working on a content discovery or feed-based product.
Calvin was a lot of things, just like every child. He was a budding inventor, a gifted artist, an enterprising entrepreneur, and a self-taught pundit. He was a good friend, an annoying neighbor, clever and conniving, lonely and loyal and, yeah, maybe a little hyperactive. But whatever he was, he taught an entire generation of children that though sadness and disappointment and loneliness may come prepackaged in life, that all could be weathered, so long as you had hope and a really good friend to see you through.
Taleb employed a “barbell strategy”—that is, two risk extremes with no medium level. He put a big majority of his money in the safest assets he could find, such as treasury bills or cash. The rest he put into what are called way out of the money options—put options that are massively below the current market price of the stock, or call options that are massively above, and are priced as being extremely improbable events. The strategy is to make sure you could lose all of your money each time without getting wiped out, because you only need to be right once. And indeed, in the 1987 crash Taleb made tens of millions of dollars, and in the 2008 crash he did it again.
There is a similar strategy available to those who would devote themselves to a craft. The heart of Taleb’s philosophy is that you should minimize the downside risk to yourself, while maximizing the potential upside. When it comes to a craft, the best way to accomplish this is to prepare yourself for the possibility that all you will get out of it is the enjoyment of doing something well. Meanwhile, you should be putting your work out on the public web in order to make it possible for it to get a lot of attention—but again, only if you can emotionally prepare yourself for the fact that it probably won’t.
Everywhere, studio suits are recruiting creatives who can weave characters and story lines into decades-spanning tapestries of prequels, side-quels, TV shows, games, toys, and so on. Brand awareness goes through the roof; audiences get a steady, soothing mainline drip of familiar characters.
Forget the business implications for a moment, though. The shared universe represents something rare in Hollywood: a new idea. It evolved from the narrative techniques not of auteur or blockbuster films but of comic books and TV, and porting that model over isn’t easy. It needs different kinds of writers and directors and a different way of looking at the structure of storytelling itself. Marvel prototyped the process; Lucasfilm is trying to industrialize it.
Even if you have no interest in video games, if you are interested in media, you should be interested in PC gaming. Over the past decade, PC gaming has, for a variety of reasons, become a hotbed of experimentation. These experiments have resulted in a new practices and business models — some of them surprising and counterintuitive — that provide valuable lessons for the rest of the media industry.
"We call it Project Lightning," jokes Nate Weiner
That’s why the lesson to be learned from Grantland may be the exact opposite of what it seems: the problem isn’t that ESPN spent too much money on a web site that couldn’t monetize, it’s that the web site should only have been step one to a multi-media endeavor that converted visitors to fans willing to invest time in formats that can actually pay the bills.
The next platform that scratches this itch will be an Interest Feed. It knows what we like. It brings us the best of the Internet based on what we like. Straight killer no filler. It doesn’t exist yet. Pinterest, Snapchat, Instagram, Medium, and Facebook are all circling the target but if history is any guide none will complete the pivot and hit the mark. Startups like Pocket are building a relevant dataset. Single-interest or media-type-specific apps are too narrow and not intuitive enough. I love this feeling that it’s right around the corner, and it’s huge, but it’s anyone’s game.
This is insane.
The Bookmark represents what we wish for. It’s the earliest indicator of intention, and the most vulnerable; by definition, the act of saving something for later means that whatever we hope for hasn’t happened yet. Bookmarks are placeholders for the future. By thumbing through them, we can start to see what might happen next.
After dinner, “Larry leaned back in his chair and offered me some advice,” Ms. Warren writes. “I had a choice. I could be an insider or I could be an outsider. Outsiders can say whatever they want. But people on the inside don’t listen to them. Insiders, however, get lots of access and a chance to push their ideas. People — powerful people — listen to what they have to say. But insiders also understand one unbreakable rule: They don’t criticize other insiders.
Take photos where your subjects aren't looking directly into the lens.
Even if you don't apply one of Instagram's preset filters, the mere act of photography is a form of filtering. It's not just what you crop out of the photo, but how many pics you toss before finding one suitable for sharing with your social media following.
One of many nuggets in this piece.
During internal testing, his team realized that if you don’t recognize a single artist in a playlist, you might question if it’s actually geared for you. That’s why the playlist is intended to have a mix of mostly new tracks with a few songs you’ve heard before.
“Having a little bit of familiarity is key to building trust. It can be exhausting to just listen to stuff you’ve never heard of before,” he says.
Interesting look into what's going on with daily fantasy sports. I'm seeing commercials for them nonstop now that football season has started.
I'm glad Instagram is accommodating the additional aspect ratios, and it's a sign of how powerfully their network has matured. People confuse arbitrary limits on social networks—Twitter's 140 character limit, Instagram's square aspect ratio and limited filters, to take two prominent examples—with their core asset, which is the network itself. Sure, the limits can affect the nature of the content shared, but Instagram is above else a pure and easy way to share visual content with other people and get their feedback. That they started allowing videos and now differing aspect ratios doesn't change the core value of the network, which is the graph.
Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect works as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward-reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.
In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story-and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read with renewed interest as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about far-off Palestine than it was about the story you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.
Today, we have many social media devices that record—and broadcast—our thoughts and decisions. Blogs, for example, are all too similar to commonplace books, as are Tweets, Facebook statuses, and Tumblr posts. In our pursuit of knowledge, we often desire a traceable path in our growth. For our ancestors and a select few modern writers, commonplace books provided a way to look back through past developments and brainstorm new experiences. Where they pasted drawings and photographs, we pin images on Pinterest. Where they jotted down notes and clipped readings, we tweet short blurbs and recommended links. To keep a commonplace is instinctual to intellectual cultivation. Today, commonplacing continues in ways that reflect available technology.
Building a portfolio that can deliver superior performance requires that you evaluate each investment using expected value analysis. What is striking is that the leading thinkers across varied fields — including horse betting, casino gambling, and investing — all emphasize the same point. We call it the Babe Ruth effect: even though Ruth struck out a lot, he was one of baseball’s greatest hitters.
Though Google has all of my data, it is still private. Google does not sell access to my data; it sells access to my attention. Advertisers do not get my information from Google. So as long as I trust Google’s employees, the only two potential breaches of my privacy are from the government or from a hacker. If we accept this as a fact, the fundamental privacy question changes from, “Do you respect my privacy?” to “Is the user experience improvement worth the security risk to my private information?”
The parlor game of What Simmons Does Next is a fascinating one, but that almost doesn't matter. What Simmons was able to pull off from within ESPN -- how he changed that company, via force of laptop -- is almost more impressive than anything he might do in the future with absolute autonomy. You could look at the junk that ESPN produces, from Skip Bayless to Stephen A. Smith to Colin Cowherd to pretty much everything involving its association with the NFL, and you could almost tolerate it, because there was such good elsewhere: A place that could bankroll the Mad Men Power Rankings or Zach Lowe or Jonah Keri or Errol Morris Week or couldn't possibly be all bad. There is still much greatness at ESPN; they're obviously not going anywhere, and Bill Simmons wasn't the only smart person hiring other smart people over there. But the place does feel a little less weird already. It feels a little less daring, a little less scrappy, a little more Under Control.
Somebody—Turner, Fox Sports, Vox, a venture capital firm—is going to give Bill Simmons a dumptruck full of money, and if they are planning on him doing anything other than podcasting full time, they might as well just burn it. Bill Simmons shouldn’t be on TV, and more saliently, hasn’t done anything to prove that he is worth TV money, which is unrealistically inflating budgets even at online-only outlets under the same corporate umbrellas as broadcasters.
Paying Bill Simmons TV money—and the reported $6 million he was seeking from ESPN is TV money, at the term’s most pejorative—is a risky proposition that presumes he has television talent that for some reason never surfaced during his three years on television, and that his petulance won’t get in the way of him finding it. Instead, a smart media company would bring him on as a guy who can do one thing very well (podcasting), and can do another well enough to draw an audience (writing)—and not as the one-man panacea he expects to be paid like. ESPN was tired of hemorrhaging money to Simmons; why should it be different anywhere else?
Grantland, for all its faults, pays real money for writers I like a great deal to write about the things that interest them. It turns out Simmons has better, more catholic tastes than his own writing would suggest, which is the best thing you could ever say about an editor-in-chief.
Enjoyed solving this one.
How to compose a successful critical commentary:
1. Attempt to re-express your target's position so clearly, vividly and fairly that your target says: "Thanks, I wish I'd thought of putting it that way."
2. List any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).
3. Mention anything you have learned from your target.
4. Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.
I've never seen a dog this good at catching things.
At the periphery of the network are Accessories. Accessories are products that rely on the data from the Core. Accessories are so non-essential that the Network Owner may not ever think to build them, may not be well-suited to build them, may be slow to build them, or may fail to build it in a way that's natural and native.