Google, Fitness, Fat Leonard, Ancient Art, America


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Working In Tech

Anonymous | Marginal Revolution | 7th March 2018

Google veteran compares work cultures at Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook. “Google was awash in money and happy to spray it all over its employees. Amazon took a very different tack. We hired a fair number of Amazon refugees. They were really happy to be in Google, generally — not necessarily to either of our benefit. Google did a lot of awesome stuff, but it had incalculable waste and missed opportunities because of the level of pampering and scattershot approach. If you want a real tech company model, I’d pick Amazon” (2,100 words)

Body Work

Barbara Ehrenreich | Baffler | 9th March 2018

Joining the dots between working and working-out. “There’s a suspicion that if you can’t control your own body you’re not fit to control anyone else. We are talking here about a relative elite of people who are more likely to give orders than to take them. In this class, there are steep penalties for being overweight or in any other way apparently unhealthy. Flabby people are less likely to be hired or promoted” (2,600 words)

Fat Leonard’s Crimes On The High Seas

Jesse Hyde | Roling Stone | 11th March 2018

The life and crimes of a defence contractor who built up a $250 million business provisioning US Navy ships on port calls in Asia. “He held claim to nearly the entire Pacific, a region spanning 48 million square miles, with a Naval presence of some 70 ships and 20,000 personnel”. Unhappily for the Navy, he also corrupted 30 of its 200 admirals along the way, with cash, drink, and sex. “In terms of someone infiltrating the military, we’ve never seen anything like it” (6,650 words)

Sex And Death In The Classical World

Mary Beard | New Statesman | 2nd March 2018

Notes on place of the fine arts — especially sculpture and coffin portraiture — in Ancient Greece and Rome. “Marks of domestic wear and tear on some of these coffins, even occasionally some children’s scribbling, suggest that before being buried in the ground, they had a place in the family home. These portraits, then, were not just memorials. They were attempts to keep the dead present among the living and to blur the boundary between this world and the next” (2,400 words)

A Tale Of Two Moralities

Will Wilkinson | Niskanen Center | 19th January 2017

On the economic and demographic underpinnings of America’s political and cultural polarisation. “A shrinking number of counties accounts for a rising proportion of America’s wealth. This is a recipe for political dominance of the less economically productive conservative white minority, who control most of the country’s territory, over the liberal multicultural majority who live in increasingly concentrated urban centers of wealth. This is not a stable situation, and bodes ill for the future of American freedom” (5,400 words)

Video of the day Levi Lights

What to expect:

Northern Lights seen from Kittilä in Finland. By Timo Oksanen with music by Mike Kelleher (1’55”)

Thought for the day

Consistency is the playground of dull minds
Yuval Noah Harari

Podcast of the day Fordlandia | 99% Invisible

Roman Mars recalls Henry Ford’s failed dream of creating an industrial utopia in the Brazilian jungle
(30m 12s)

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