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Life news: I got a dog


Fooled by Randomness

Nassim Taleb’s Fooled by Randomness (the first in his Incerto series) delightfully yet forcefully causes the reader to confront the fact that random chance rules much of human fate. Emotions are lubricants of reason, aphorisms allow us to judge situations fast and easy.

Taleb hits a number of highlights along the way, such as:

  • Noting the urge to keep up with the Jones’, while we might be happier staying put as the most successful of our original social milieu. (The big fish in the small pond may be happier than the big fish in the big pond.) To this end, much of happiness is derived from the perceived trajectory of your circumstances, rather than the circumstances themselves.
  • Rejecting luck as a reason for our success, but embracing it as a reason for our failure.
  • The real phenomenon of luck-induced dopamine causing self-fulfilling-prophecies of success and charism.
  • The value of a slow information diet, eschewing the daily news cycle.
  • His deep disdain for journalists.

I really enjoy his writing style. A modern man of letters… I’m looking forward to reading the rest of Incerto.

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Vox Media licenses Chorus to Sun-Times; take a look at what the backend’s like

The team at Vox Media deserves all the snaps for its work on Chorus, the once-mythical “unicorn” content management system that does just about everything a digital publisher could want.

EverQuote and patent medicine

In a thread begun October 2016, Washington Post technology director Aram Zucker-Scharff tweeted about the shady advertising practices of EverQuote, a Boston-based startup. Since then these ads have become prolific on the web (and nearly as prolific are Aram’s tweets documenting the malfeasance).

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