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Articles & Podcasts of Note (Week of 01/20/2020)

  • 2020 Startup Themes ( A Silicon Valley entrepreneur and angel investor offers a list of 11 market trends for the near future.
  • American Factory ( Documentary film about a glass factory the Chinese opened in Ohio. The Chinese management team hires American workers (former auto plant workers downsized during the Great Recession) and the two groups attempt to reach profitability despite tremendous cultural differences.
  • The Amish Keep to Themselves. And They’re Hiding a Horrifying Secret ( This is a difficult read, but an important story about sexual power, predation and abuse.
  • Comparing Urban Footprints ( 2014 infographic survey of the geometry of urban footprints from around the world.
  • Google’s Latest User-Hostile Design Change Makes Ads and Search Results Look Identical ( Users are perplexed over the recent visual changes made to Google’s search results. The thin line between advertisement and genuine content has been erased.
  • The Internet of Beefs ( “A beef-only thinker is someone you cannot simply talk to. Anything that is not an expression of pure, unqualified support for whatever they are doing or saying is received as a mark of disrespect, and a provocation to conflict.”
  • Jim Butcher on Writing ( Reference collection of links from author Jim Butcher’s blog and interviews from the aughts.
  • Jordan Peterson’s Essay Writing Guide ( Jordan Peterson’s guide will teach you how to “formulate and organize an informed, coherent and sophisticated set of ideas about something important.”
  • Planet Money Podcast: The Rise of Putin ( Short overview of the improbable but meteoric rise of Vladimir Putin from KGB officer to de facto Russian Tsar. This is a rebroadcast of an earlier episode from another NPR program, Throughline.
  • The Rise of Coffee ( “From humble origins in Africa, this plant's flavorful seeds started as a botanical curiosity and expanded to a worldwide staple.”
  • Tricks to Start Working Despite Not Feeling Like It ( Recommends three approaches: (1) “screw it, let’s do it,” (2) start sloppy, and (3) start small.
  • Why Procrastination Is About Managing Emotions, Not Time ( We put off tasks that make us feel bad (e.g. too boring, too difficult, too stressful) and opt for activities that make us feel better in the moment. There is cause for hope though as “research shows that once the first step is made towards a task, following through becomes easier.”

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