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Here's what I read in October


Save More Tomorrow, by Shlomo Benartzi. A behavioral finance approach to helping people save more. The book fails to deal with what I think are some glaring income inequality and societal context issues, but I found it interesting as a human-centered approach to finance.

Crossing the Chasm, by Geoffrey A. Moore. My first re-read this year. So much of this comes down to getting over yourself and meeting people where they're at. What I've learned: don't try to cross the chasm before you get to the chasm.

Crucial Conversations, by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, and Ron McMillan. Summary: be clear, be human, and find common ground through empathy and radical clarity. I'm on board.

I am seriously ready to read some non-business books again.

Notable Articles

The awkward questions about slavery from tourists in US South. It's shocking but not surprising to me that the culture of slavery is still woven so deeply into the fabric of the American south. ""Slavery was not that bad - it's probably the number one thing we hear," says plantation tour guide Olivia Williams." Nothing less than glossing over crimes against humanity.

How to Succeed When You’re Marginalized or Discriminated Against at Work. "Some of the best methods to manage our workloads and our careers can be locked off to marginalized people, mostly because of the way we’re perceived by other people." Tools to hack your workplace only work for the privileged.

Why It’s So Hard for Startups to Create Wealth in Europe. There's a subtext here: they're trying to operate like US startups. Europe requires a different approach - and undoubtedly has both a higher floor and a lower ceiling.

Why We Need a Working-Class Media. A dirty secret is that so many people who work in media come from upper middle class backgrounds, and their lenses are calibrated accordingly. What would the media look like if it was set up to benefit the working class?

Afghan Town’s First Female Mayor Awaits Her Assassination. "Zarifa Ghafari, who at 26 became one of Afghanistan’s first female mayors, has said that she fully expects to be assassinated." The bravery of this woman is incredible.

Revealed: Google made large contributions to climate change deniers. Because the people who don't mind killing the planet also want tech to stay deregulated.

The female price of male pleasure. "The world is disturbingly comfortable with the fact that women sometimes leave a sexual encounter in tears. [...] Research shows that 30 percent of women report pain during vaginal sex, 72 percent report pain during anal sex, and "large proportions" don't tell their partners when sex hurts."

Five Years of Tech Diversity Reports - and Little Progress. "It’s been five years since Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft first released diversity reports, revealing the companies’ workforces were overwhelmingly white or Asian men. Five years since Facebook first acknowledged it had “more work to do—a lot more,” and CEO Tim Cook wrote Apple employees a letter promising the company would be “as innovative in advancing diversity as we are in developing products.”" And very little progress has been made.

“It’s a Gold Rush Town”: How Artists Survive in San Francisco. Interviews with people who are still here and still surviving. I'm grateful to know artists in this area, and I'm ashamed of how hard my industry has made it for them.

Booker Prize 2019: What Happened? It turns out - this will shock you - that literary prizes may not be entirely merit based.

Death is a good way to gauge who we think deserves to live. "People die violent deaths in both the US and Nigeria – why do I fear it there and not here? Where people have little power, they become more vulnerable. [...] As I have seen it defined, structural power – or the lack thereof – is most easily measured by the probability of a person dying in unnatural circumstances, such as the shocking, yet not unforeseeable deaths of Joshua Brown, Botham Jean, and countless others."

Media amnesia and the Facebook News Tab. The media industry needs to stop believing Facebook! It is not their friends. It is not anybody's friend.

What’s Left of Condé Nast. "Condé Nast’s future is now being charted by [Anna] Wintour’s new boss, Roger Lynch, the former CEO of Pandora, the music-streaming service he ran until it was sold to SiriusXM in February."

50 years ago today, the internet was born in Room 3420. It's crazy to think of the internet as being fifty years old. And of course, it's gone through many transformations since its inception, not least in the early nineties when commercial access became available.

Slave markets found on Instagram and other apps. And the companies behind them are doing the bare minimum to fix it.


Here's what I read in September, August, July, June, May, April, March, February, and January.

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