Newsletter 850

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Best of the Moment

How To Get Start-Up Ideas

Paul Graham | Paul Graham | 20 November 2012

"Ask yourself: who wants this right now? Who wants this so much that they'll use it even when it's a crappy version made by a two-person startup they've never heard of? If you can't answer that, the idea is probably bad" Comments (

The Hard Life Of An NFL Long Shot

Charles Siebert | NYT | 21 November 2012

Superb account of college football star trying to make it in the NFL as an undrafted free agent. Siebert followed Pat Schiller closely for this story and got to know him well. As well he might; he's the linebacker's uncle Comments (

On The Road To Zero Growth

Jeremy Grantham | GMO | 21 November 2012

"We cling to the idea of the good old days. [But] the US GDP growth rate that we have become accustomed to for over a hundred years – in excess of 3% a year – is not just hiding behind temporary setbacks. It is gone forever" (PDF) Comments (

America, Israel, Gaza, The World

Walter Russell Mead | American Interest | 18 November 2012

When Israel bombards Gaza many ask why America doesn't criticise Israel. It's not Islamophobia, lobby power, neocon dreams. "It’s something much simpler: many though not all Americans look at war through a distinctive cultural lens" Comments (

Three Act Journey In The Land Of Screenwriting Gurus

Jonathan Zimmerman | LA Review Of Books | 21 November 2012

On screenwriting manuals. "I now own about 25 screenwriting books, a drop in the bucket of the over 1,500 Amazon claims to carry. While their titles line my bookcase, I wouldn’t be caught dead reading any of these books in public" Comments (

Bike Polo: The World's Fast Growing Sport (That's Played On Wheels with Mallets)

Adam Doster | Classical | 20 November 2012

Invented by underemployed bike messengers. Contact is allowed but only like-to-like, so no t-boning your opponent's legs with your bike. Keep your feet off the ground, try to pass in triangles. Above all, "don't be a dick" Comments (

FiveBooks Interview


Colin Calloway on Native Americans and Colonisers

As Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, the history professor tells us why there's a lot more to the story of colonists and Native Americans than the tale of the first Thanksgiving taught in school Read on (


Epic Adventures

Extreme tourism, unwise adventure and plain bad luck. Enjoy it all from the comfort of your armchair Read on (

Reader Recommendations

@henrylf (  Self-Taught Teen Prodigy From Sierra Leone Wows MIT Engineers: A truly amazing 15yr old  #video (!/search?q=#video)  #browsings (!/search?q=#browsings)
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Book of the Day

Book of the Day (

In the Name of Honor  by Mukhtar Mai

Kwame Anthony Appiah says ( : "She is one of my heroes and this is a book about how someone who grasps dignity, which is a form of honour based in our humanity, can resist the world of the negative side of honour, where women are punished because they are pawns in a game of honour between men"
FiveBooks Archive (

Video of the Day

Onion Talks: Social Media


From the uncanny valley between satire and reality More videos (

Quote of the Day

Paul Graham, on start-ups (

"Live in the future, then build what's missing"

More quotes (

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