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Weekly Review #21

Stanford Alumni interview with Chip Conley and his ‘Noble Experiments’ (read: Failures).

  • “You can see who’s most powerful in a society based on who has the tallest buildings. Two hundred years ago it was cathedrals. Fifty years ago it was a government building. Today, in most urban areas, the power rests with business and skyscrapers. Business is the most powerful influence in the world today. Fifty-four of the 100 most powerful entities in the world today are companies, not countries.”
  • “Our work is the most predominant use of our time. We spend more hours in our working life than our family life. Yet for many people their working life leaves an emotional fist print as if they’re getting punched. It creates anxiety, anger, and a sense of being abused. That can have a contagious effect on their family, friends, and everybody around them. How do we measure that? Fifty years ago we had no idea we could measure our ecological footprint. How can we start measuring and managing what’s most important in life?” is a ‘gym membership for the mind’ – you sign up and Andy (the founder) walks you through the steps required to meditate successfully, with regular reminders and all.

NPR’s graphic showing how American spending changes with age. More on Housing, less on Booze.

Pacific Standard deconstructs why the Swedish are pop music maestros. The author points out that the Swedish government subsidized musical instruments from the 1940s onwards, letting later generations grow up with lots of practice time and toys to play with. And, they had social networks of musicians who can learn from one another – sort of like the Silicon Valley of pop music.

  • “Eventually the aesthetics of Swedish music education came around to strikingly modern sensibilities. In the United States, the repertoire of primary and secondary music education still leans heavily toward the marching band. In Sweden, by contrast, rock and pop have been part of the curriculum in music schools since the 1980s, and in the 1990s courses in mixing and recording became available, too.”

AppEmpire teaches you how to flip apps – I haven’t taken the course but I trust the guys behind it.

You can expect more detailed breakdowns of the best online content Charlie Hoehn read in 2013 in Weekly Reviews to come, or you could read them yourself before me.

Google’s 8 Pillars of Innovation:

  • Have a Mission that Matters
  • Think Big, Start Small
  • Strive for Innovation, not Perfection
  • Find Ideas Everywhere
  • Share Everything
  • Spark with imagination, fuel with data
  • Be a Platform (let others play on your creation)
  • Keep Failing

All of our behavioral science learnings come from White Educated Industrialized Rich Democratic (WEIRD) countries, which skews our learnings. There’s something you’ve never thought about before!

I find this Buzzfeed recap of the Deltopia Riots in Santa Barbara interesting not because of the content, but because of the format. It’s Buzzfeed (known for GIFS and paltry entertainment) gathering free market Instagram footage (crowdsourced, neatly organized by hashtag) into a ‘news’ article that is really a titallating wish-you-were-here click for most viewers, which I thin the author realizes as well in her jilted sentence structure that wavers between clean statistics and juicy gossip.

Matt Hershberger argues that there’s no such thing as Fiscally Conservative, Socially Liberal, and explains ‘Freedom From’ rights versus ‘Freedom To’ rights in the follow up. I hope to respond to these ideas soon in a full fledged post.

  • taylor_8

    I’m very skeptical of the point about buildings. I’m not sure what specific city he’s talking about, but in the 1960s it would have been very rare for a city’s tallest building to be a government office, at least in major metropolitan centers.

    And these neat classifications break down on examination. Is the Burj Khalifa — the world’s tallest building, and one that is very much invested in state prestige — a business or government building?

    • True, sheer height isn’t a good metric, but from what I’ve seen of those ugly huge 70s/80s government buildings I think it’s fair to say that they relative size works. The big bureaucratic ones resemble churches in their cavern-ousness. Now the only things that come close are office parks and convention halls.

      It does seem to be him looking at an effect and making up a cause, though.