Scrooge & Santa, Parenting, Santa Claus, Classic Novels


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Scrooge’s Hedge Fund Writes To Santa Claus

John Gapper | Financial Times | 23rd December 2015 | | Read with 1Pass

Scrooge recants. Santa Claus is right. Scrooge hated Santa's lavish investment in a global gift vertical; but now every child is a brand ambassador for Santa's seasonal monopoly. Even parents who buy their own children's gifts pretend that these come from Santa — which amounts to zero-cost outsourcing. "By combining a jolly presence with sophisticated viral marketing, you have expanded your reach everywhere" (861 words)

Is It OK To Have Kids?

Richard Chappell | Aeon | 24th December 2015

It’s one thing to ask any person to give up a large portion of salary. But it would be still more demanding to ask that an otherwise fortunately situated woman effectively give up her entire life and autonomy to become a living, breathing baby factory. Such a huge personal sacrifice is simply way too much to ask of anyone. So we can reasonably reject any proposed obligation to procreate on that basis (2,500 words)

Santa Hints At Christmas IPO

Robert Cottrell | The Economist | 20th December 2005 | | Read with 1Pass

With Christmas "now the biggest-spending item in most western countries after health care and defence", Santa is poised to sell down and step back — appointing subordinate Clauses, and making a political base in one of the many countries where he might claim citizenship, such as Canada. "After decades of being told that government was 'no Santa Claus', voters might well welcome a government that was, indeed, Santa Claus" (982 words)

The Best Novels in English

Beatrice Wilford | Five Books | 11th December 2015

Robert McCrum explains why he considers the finest novels in English to be Emma, Wuthering Heights, Middlemarch, Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn and Ulysses. "I was reading this year’s Booker Prize shortlist and every one of those feels like a footnote. They’re just so trivial — each doing one thing that Joyce is probably doing a hundred times more brilliantly on any given page of Ulysses" (3,000 words)

The 3D Printing Cognitive Revolution

Clive Thompson | Wired | 23rd November 2015

3D printers are often imagined as tiny factories, enabling a "desktop-sized industrial revolution". But we don't use desktop 2D printers as tiny printing presses. We print pages and pictures so we can think about them. Likewise, 3D models can serve as cognitive tools, helping brain surgeons prepare for surgeries, or blind people understand fractions. "Right now, we don’t value or teach spatial reasoning enough" (634 words)

Video of the day: The Talk

What to expect: Drama. If we told our children the truth. It would be horrible. Not suitable for children, obviously (8'28")

Thought for the day

Economists define adulthood as the moment at which your expenditure on Christmas presents first exceeds the value of the gifts you can expect to receive.
John Kay

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