My longer form 3 day weekend reading! Pull up a cup of coffee and get ready to have your mind expanded:

Slaves to the algorithm: Our age elevates the precision-tooled power of the algorithm over flawed human judgment. This may not be such a good thing (aeon)
Facebook, One Year Later: What Really Happened in the Biggest IPO Flop Ever (Atlantic)
• The Pseudo-Business of the NCAA (priceonomics)
• Mandelbrot Conceived the Mathematics of Roughness (New York Review of Books) see also Unknown Mathematician Proves Elusive Property of Prime Numbers (Wired)
• Left Behind: No break for the wounded  America does a terrible job of caring for its war veterans (The Gazette)
Philosopher Daniel Dennett: Seven Tools For Critical Thinking (Open Culture)
Bret, Unbroken: His brain and body shattered in a horrible accident as a young boy, Bret Dunlap was mess. Then he discovered running. (Runner’s World)
• The Gut-Wrenching Science Behind the World’s Hottest Peppers (Smithsonian)
End it like Beckham: England legend calls time on glittering career and retires (Daily Mail)
• Welcome to Google Island (Wired)

Whats up for your holiday weekend?


Year-to-date asset class returns
Source: Deutsche Bank via @matthewphilips via Abnormal Returns

Category: Financial Press

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

16 Responses to “10 Weekend Reads”

  1. PeterR says:

    From the end of the (startling) Wired article:

    “I put the glasses back on, and took off my pants. We stood, naked, before each other with no secrets, no rules, and no shame. And I knew I never wanted to leave Google Island. Even if I could.”

    . . . Google Being — Here Now . . .

    “I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do.”

    2001 — A Space Odyssey

    This weekend? In the rain — pondering the future — like Chauncey Gardiner in Being There, the remote control seems not to work . . .

  2. chartist says:

    Terrible care for our veterans? Damn straight!……My nephew joined the military in 2003 because he didn’t know what he wanted to study in college and he was getting $25K enlistment money for three years service. After 2-1/2 years of driving a tank around Fort Hood, Texas, he got called to Iraq. With six months to go on his enlistment he got into a fire fight at a checkpoint. He was unhurt, at least physically. He made it home, went into depression with PTSD and shot himself in the chest. Now he lays in a military cemetery. My sister sued the VA hospital and won several hundred thousand dollars. Poor care by the VA? Damn straight!

    • S Brennan says:

      While my comment on the subject is awaiting moderation, let me say how sorry I am to read this.

      Wars of necessity will be with us, but these carefully titrated wars of choice which inflict all their damage on one level of society, while leaving the rest of the nation cocooned in the comfort of their willful ignorance are beyond forbearance.

      Riddle me this, major combat operations and never a sliver of video on the nightly news 2004.5-2013…and nobody notices?

  3. chartist says:

    the biggest reason for Facebook’s flop was the unrelenting hype by CNBC in the weeks and months ahead of the IPO…..

  4. RW says:

    The wages of sin

    Past ‘excess’ doesn’t somehow break an economy; it just confuses the people who run it regarding what is supposed to come next. That might strike some as effective acknowledgement that booms necessarily require penance. If the only way to avoid a painful bust is to employ policy-makers who know just what to do in just the right circumstances, then there is no avoiding a painful bust. But there is an important difference. We, rather than some divine agent of economic karma or physical economic law, are the ones causing the pain. And just because we don’t know any better now doesn’t mean we’ll never learn…. And so I dream of a day when the only people who suffer from money-losing investments are the money-losing investors, whose only penance is lost money.

  5. Lariat1 says:

    My Mom graduated high school class of 1944. Only the girls were there for the ceremony, the boys gone off to war. She is 86 now and can still name the ones that never made it back.

    The local VA hospital was okay in the 70′s but the Nam vets shuddered at being sent to Montrose.

    And this from our upstate paper on this generation of soldiers:

    Take a moment this weekend.

  6. hue says:

    America’s Broken Bridges (BusinessWeek)

    Study: Easy To Determine Someone’s Identity With Cell Phone Data (

    Tribute To Graffiti: 50 Beautiful Artworks (Smashing Mag)

  7. truthseeker says:

    Once again, Barry, the high value of your blog is demonstrated with your sharing of the Deutsche Bank chart, Year-to-date asset class returns. It’s an easy-to-read and understand display that helps me to know what’s happened in the financial markets this year around the world. Thank you for showing it, and thanks to Matthew Philips at Abnormal Returns for sharing it with you.

  8. S Brennan says:

    While much of this unadulterated crap under the Bush/Obama administration proceeds Chuck Hagel’s tenure, he has the power to act and congress has the duty to provide sufficient non-fungible/segregated funds to insure our wounded soldiers are treated with a modicum of decency.

    “…41 Fort Carson soldiers designated as wounded (those in the medical discharge process) who were targeted for a misconduct discharge in 2012, 80 percent were cut loose…In the WTU, where soldiers by definition have complex medical issues, the rate of discharge was just as high. Of the five soldiers up for punishment, all but one were kicked out…In 2011, it was even more harsh. Of four WTU soldiers targeted for misconduct, all were kicked out.”

    Let me take this opportunity to prophylactically flip the bird to those who blame soldiers for war. Bush wanted to invade Iraq, Obama wanted to escalate AF-PAK from 18,000 troops in well defended positions, to 135,000 troops in exposed forward posts. The nation wanted neither war, either in 2003, or in 2009.

  9. Mr.Tuxedo says:

    We have had some bowls of homemade lentil soup to offset the deluge here in chilly New England.
    We are doing some reading, early today watched some of the Memorial day programming on TMC.
    One in particular, an 11 min. short called The Ash Can Fleet on, the story of Colonial American David Bushnell, inventor of the submarine and depth charge, was new to me, and was instrumental in helping us sink the UBoats in the Atlantic, and defeat Nazi Germany.
    Of course we have a fire going to keep the the cats content.

  10. GeorgeBurnsWasRight says:

    The algorithm article got me to thinking about how so many people think that the FBI can monitor and predict the behavior of hundreds of thousands of people whose names have come to their attention as possibly connected to terrorism.

    The pressure to pre-emptively act to prevent terrorism is mounting, and we need to beware of the downside.

  11. PeterR says:

    John Mauldin’s newsletter just out — The Mother of All Painted-In Corners

    “The government of Japan has no choice. They are painting themselves into the Mother of All Painted-In Corners, yet they must continue to paint or collapse. They have fired the first shot in what will be the first real currency war of our lives, not the little sandbox versions we have experienced so far. There is NO historical analogy. None. The last major currency war, in the 1930s, happened when the world was largely on a gold standard. We now live in a world awash in fiat currency. Can Europe sit by and watch the yen fall 50% from where it is today? Will Germany allow it?

    “What will China do? If they respond in kind, they risk inflation. If they don’t, they risk losing export sales and jobs. Malaysia is on a borrowing binge to finance its real estate growth. Indonesia? And Korea certainly can’t sit idle and watch its chaibols (the Korean version of the Japanese keiretsu) get hammered, can it?”

    Food for thought . . .

  12. rd says:

    What happens when you design bridges using the same approaches used to design the financial system:

  13. rd says:

    Here is an interesting article regarding a shortage of newborn IV nutrients that is causing seriosu issues with premature babies and infants with medical conditions. This issue appear to be generally unique to the US and the Third World.

    One of the reasons for the shortage is that newer formulations used in Europe and elsewhere are not approved by the FDA. Everybody wants to blame the FDA, but much of the hue and cry over safety of drug imports has been due to Big Pharma not wanting cheaper foreign sources taking over their US cash cow. There don’t seem to be too many deaths due to bad drugs in Canada and France, but it is nearly impossible to import drugs from there to here.