this week in highlights

out of context // 20–9–16

  1. There’s a pretty strong argument against the penny: The coins cost nearly twice what they’re worth as currency to produce, and the U.S. Mint lost $72 million on the 7 billion pennies it minted last year.
  2. In actuality, reality is never strange. The only reason it appears to be is because we interact with it through the lens of human consciousness, which itself has its own predispositions and attributes. We view reality with certain expectations, many of which are built over time by personal experience and our logical intuitions.
  3. Unending discussions on the media industry’s revenue declines often fail to address that much of the industry, only in part due to declining revenue, is outputting garbage: shallow and sloppy articles designed to be nothing more than a vehicle for advertising revenue.
  4. …contemporary art always seems to need a crutch. It has to be explained to be appreciated. Merely seeing it is insufficient. One has to know about the artist, what environment s/he came from, what politics they profess, and what goals they have for their art. This is a layer of complexity that prior art does not suffer from. To me, art has value when you want to keep looking at it — for years
  5. …in one study, some older people who had remained cognitively active until their last days were found, at autopsy, to have Alzheimer’s disease. But no one knew it when they were alive. Why? Because even while their brain tissue was being ravaged by the disease, they were constantly building new neural pathways — new roadways — between areas that had become disconnected. As a result, they were hardly diminished in their cognitive capacities.
  6. To a large extent, the Woodward-bashing reflects the common and stubborn belief held by many anti-Trump types that just one more bit of incriminating information at some point in the past, delivered at the right time, would have led to Trump’s downfall.
  7. You may believe yourself to be irreplaceable, but you are the only one who thinks so. Board members can not only replace you; at times, they will instinctively want to.
  8. Facts, like literally everything else in existence, are exploitable by the socially insensitive. The right response isn’t to vilify facts by building them into the characterization of a toxic internet user’s standard profile — it’s to promote healthier discourse norms and to discourage undesirable ones.
  9. Witness the magic that happens when you mash chickpeas: They disappear. In a good way.
  10. “I’m not a racist,” he told the reporter. “All lives matter.” That. Ain’t. It. Chief.

CEO of Medium, partner at Obvious Ventures, co-founder of Twitter, curious consumer of ideas

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