How to have better conversations. A clever project that makes art out of food. A look at what Ayn Rand would think of Paul Ryan. Reflections from a writer taking a year-long break from the Internet. And more. Enjoy!
Arts and Culture
How We Talk To One Another / Nick Pyati / Gotta Have A Code
"The only way to 'win' a discussion is to come away with the soundest position possible, regardless of whether it is what you believed when you came in." How often do you discuss, versus just debate?
The Best Exam Question Ever / Chris Blattman
A short and sweet blog post on a short and sweet exam question.
Urban Meyer Will Be Home For Dinner / Wright Thompson / ESPN
A spectacular piece on the price of perfectionism, the quest for balance, and the promises a star football coach made to his family on the way to redemption.
Big Appetites / Christopher Boffoli
An immensely enjoyable and witty art project; the bar code lineup, cinnamon lumberjacks, and unionized mustard spreader are my favorites.
PSY's Gangnam Style Is The Best Invisible Horse-Riding Rap Video You'll See All Week / Melissa Locker / Time
This tongue-in-cheek Korean music video has gone global, thanks to its infectious beats, over-the-top fashion, and wry sense of humor. (via Bo)
Politics and World Affairs
Atlas Spurned / Jennifer Burns / The New York Times
What Ayn Rand would think of Paul Ryan and other politicians who claim her as their intellectual inspiration.
Philanthropist Wants To Be Rid Of His Last $1.5 Billion / Jim Dwyer / The New York Times
Inspiring story of a self-made billionaire who gave anonymously for decades, still flies coach, and intends for his foundation to spend all its money and close its doors by 2020.
Big Med / Atul Gawande / The New Yorker
The always-worth-reading surgeon and writer asks what hospitals can learn from restaurant chains like the Cheesecake Factory.
Have Obama And Romney Forgotten Afghanistan? / Dexter Filkins / The New Yorker
"After eleven years, more than four-hundred billion dollars spent and two thousand Americans dead," we've built a deeply corrupt and weak Afghan government. What happens when we leave?
What Would It Take To Start A Gun Control Debate In The US? / Ethan Zuckerman / My Heart's In Accra
Important piece on "agenda setting" — how what is debated and acted on in politics is actually decided.
Business and Economics
Alan Greenspan On His Fed Legacy And The Economy / Devin Leonard and Peter Coy / BusinessWeek
A surprisingly candid Greenspan on how Ayn Rand changed his life, how he met his wife Andrea Mitchell, and why his speeches were so filled with jargon and "Fed speak."
World's Largest Economies / Andrew Bergmann / CNN Money
Animated chart shows the rise of various economies from 2000 to 2017 (projected); it's interesting to watch China go from 1/10 to 2/3 of the US in that time.
Working 9 To 12 / Richard Posner / The New York Times
John Maynard Keynes predicted we'd become so productive that we'd only need to work 15 hours a week. This book review looks at our lack of leisure and asks if that's a bad thing.
Dear Facebook Employees: Here's The Truth About Your Stock Price / Henry Blodget / Business Insider
Long, clear, and well-argued case for why Facebook's stock is still overvalued and likely won't hit bottom for a while.
Science and Technology
Are We All Braggarts Now? / Elizabeth Bernstein / The Wall Street Journal
One side effect of Facebook, Twitter, and the like: "We've become so accustomed to boasting that we don't even realize what we're doing."
The Desert That Creates The Rainforest / Maggie Koerth-Baker / Boing Boing
How a small patch of African desert makes the biodiversity of the Amazon rainforest possible. (via Albert)
Thomas Kuhn: The Man Who Changed The Way The World Looked At Science / John Naughton / The Guardian
An appreciation of "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions," a landmark book that undermined conventional notions of intellectual progress and introduced the phrase "paradigm shift."
Offline: How's It Going? / Paul Miller / The Verge
A technology writer who is getting paid to not use the Internet for a year weighs in on how his life is different, what he's learning, and what he misses.
Curiosity Rover: Martian Solar Day 2 / 360 Pano
Amazing: a 360-degree panoramic view from the Mars rover.
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