Tag Archives: James Surowiecki

May 19, 2014 The New Yorker

On May 19, 2014, The New Yorker magazine’s James Surowiecki wrote “Epic Fails of the Startup World” about how entrepreneurs tend to be over confident or optimistic about the likely success of their startup companies. Failing has become a cult in Silicon Valley. Past failure may predict future failure. Most may try but few will succeed.

Alec Wilkinson wrote “A Voice from the Past” about Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory Prof. Carl Haber’s efforts to salvage and restore old audio recordings. Essentially they scan old wax cylinders, paper player piano rolls and ceramic records and create new digital sound files.

Dale Russakoff wrote “Schooled” about how Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie tried to improve the Newark public schools.

Copyright 2014 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Mar. 3, 2014 The New Yorker

On Mar. 3, 2014, The New Yorker magazine’s James Surowiecki wrote “The Mobility Myth” about the lack of social mobility in the United States over the past thirty years. The goal may not be social mobility but raising the standard of living for the poor and middle class. The strategy that worked after WWII was raising wages and taxing the wealthy to create a rising standard of living for all Americans.

Raffi Khatchadourian wrote “A Star in a Bottle” about the International Thermonuclear Reactor in the south of France.

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Nov. 25, 2013 The New Yorker

On Nov. 11, 2013 The New Yorker‘s James Surowiecki wrote “Gross Domestic Freebie” about how disruptive technology like free information on the internet may be good for consumers may not be good for the growth of the economy as a whole.

Nathan Heller wrote “Naked Launch” about the transition of technology companies from New Age communes to male dominated corporate giants.

Kim Tingley wrote “The Body Electric” about the increase in high technology body implants to monitor and enhance performance.

Burkhard Bilger wrote “Auto Correct” about Google’s development of a self-driving car.

Copyright 2013 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Sep. 23, 2013 The New Yorker

On Sep. 23, 2013 The New Yorker‘s James Surowiecki wrote “Coring the Big Apple” about New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s election in response to the destruction of the middle class and growing income inequality. Long term reforms may include taxing the rich or ending their subsidies or living wages for the poor.

Copyright 2014 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Sep. 16, 2013 The New Yorker

On Sep. 16, 2013 The New Yorker‘s James Surowiecki wrote “Uber Alles”about the hype surrounding the sharing economy. Millennials are so mired in student debt they will never be able to have a middle class lifestyle of owning cars or houses. The response has been Uber and Airbnb, where companies supply a service and you get no money or benefits in your struggle to stay alive. This is not sustainable. Real jobs and real pay lead to real growth.

Andrew Marantz wrote “Unreality Star” about people who think they are in their own “Truman Show”. Maybe they are being watched right now. :-)

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Aug. 12, 2013 The New Yorker

On Aug. 12, 2013 The New Yorker‘s James Surowiecki wrote “The Pay Is Too Damn Low” about raising the minimum wage to lift workers out of poverty. Possible solutions include expanding government  programs for earned income tax credits, access to child care and health care. The real solution is the creation of middle class jobs like improving infrastructure.

Sarah Stillman wrote “Taken” about the police and governments seizing what little property the innocent poor still own by calling it asset forfeiture. It is based on the  eighteenth century Royal British idea called “writs of assistance” but was one the reasons for the American Revolution. The founding fathers saw it as unreasonable search and seizure, but it was revived during the Reagan Administration. The reduction in taxes forced police to raise money through seizures. It could happen anywhere but there are places to avoid. Avoid Tehana, Texas. Avoid Tulsa Oklahoma. Avoid the District of Columbia. Avoid Monroe, North Carolina. Avoid Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Avoid Emporia, Virginia. Avoid Phoenix, Arizona. Bal Harbor, Florida. Avoid Detroit, Michigan.

Copyright 2013 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Jul. 8, 2013 The New Yorker

On Jul. 8, 2013 The New Yorker‘s James Surowiecki wrote “Middle-Class Militants” about a Brazil’s middle class being a force for progress and reform.

Jeffrey Bartholet wrote “Aflame” about Tibetans protesting Chinese occupation with self-immolation.

Nicholson Baker wrote “A Fourth State of Matter” about LCD screen research and development in South Korea.

Copyright 2013 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Mar. 18, 2013 The New Yorker

On Mar. 18, 2013 The New Yorker‘s James Surowiecki wrote “Face Time” about Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer insisting employees show up at work. On those occasions where people need to work on a task alone, working from home may make sense, but socialization is best done face to face. Casual and formal meetings in person at work can be more productive than telecommuting for a company. You are less likely to trust someone who works from home even if it is one day a week.

Jill Lepore wrote “The Dark Ages” about the history of torture and terrorism.

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Mar. 4, 2013 The New Yorker

On Mar. 4, 2013 The New Yorker‘s James Surowiecki wrote “Eyeing Apple” about how experts predict Apple’s demise in spite of its continued success. It succeeds because it does  things other companies either cannot or decide not to do.

Louis Menand wrote “How The Deal Went Down” about how the President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal saved democracy. FDR was so unpopular among the one percent that he was re-elected four times.

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Feb. 4, 2013 The New Yorker

On Feb. 4, 2013 The New Yorker‘s James Surowiecki wrote “Requiem for a Dreamliner” about Boeing’s new 787 passenger jet. Complex outsourced supply chains increase the probability of mistakes. In the end, bringing in laid-off local union aerospace workers helped make all the pieces fit.

Tad Friend wrote “Home Economics” about city and county governments using eminent domain to take foreclosed homes in their communities and auctioning them off at affordable prices. Homeowners like it and banks hate it.

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Dec. 24, 2012 The New Yorker

On Dec. 24, 2012 The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki wrote “In Funds We Trust” about how Social Security and Medicare help older Americans and keep health care costs down.

Elizabeth Kobert wrote “Recall of the Wild” about the recreation of a Paleolithic wild animal preserve in the Netherlands.

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Dec. 10, 2012 The New Yorker

On Dec. 10, 2012 The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki wrote “Warren’s Way” about Warren Buffet’s campaign to persuade other billionaires to pay their taxes.

Ken Auletta wrote “The Heiress” about the rise of Fox News Rupert Murdoch’s daughter Elisabeth Murdoch.

Pankaj Mishra wrote “The Hungry Years” about China’s Great Famine of 1958-1962.

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Sep. 24, 2012 The New Yorker

On Sep. 24, 2012 The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki wrote “Calculating Campaigns” about how lots of money in politics cannot beat a real grassroots campaign.

Jill Lepore wrote “The Lie Factory” about wealthy San Francisco political conservatives Leone Baxter and Clem Whitaker became spin doctors that stopped Upton Sinclair’s End Poverty in California campaign in the 1930s and national health insurance in the 1940s. Their tactics are used today. They perfected the attack ad and quoting out of context. Never lobby. Woo voters. create a straw man opponent. Create a simple theme that rhymes. Never explain anything. Repeat the message until it is accepted as true. Fan flames by creating a controversy, a fight or show.

Copyright 2012 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Sep. 10, 2012 The New Yorker

On Sep. 10, 2012 The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki wrote “Clarifying Romney” about John Sides and Lynn Vivrek book “The Gamble”. Apparently most Americans will not vote for Mitt Romney because they blame the economic collapse of 2008 on George Bush versus Barack Obama because it happened during the Bush administration. Duh.

Aleksandar Hemon wrote “Beyond The Matrix” about Lana Wachowski and Alan Wachowski creating the movie “The Cloud Atlas”. It stars Tom Hanks in a variety of roles over several hundred years in the struggle for freedom.

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Jul. 9, 2012 The New Yorker

On Jul. 9, 2012 The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki wrote “Mind The Gap” about the perplexing problem of employers who will not hire anyone who does not already have a job. This keeps unemployment high and economic growth low. If employers cannot find qualified candidates they need to have more realistic expectations. People can be hired and trained. Also, company websites have become so automated that it is unlikely a real human will look at a resume and hire someone. The talent is out there. Employers have to want it.

Michael Specter wrote “The Mosquito Solution” about controlling the spread of mosquito born diseases like yellow fever and Dengue fever. Pesticides and medications are becoming less effective protecting millions of people. The Aedes Aegypti mosquito is already in the San Francisco Bay area. One solution is to genetically modify mosquitoes (OX513A) to interfere with their growing populations.

Nathan Heller wrote “Listen And Learn” about the crazy world of TED talks.

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May 28, 2012 The New Yorker

On May 28, 2012 The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki wrote “Unequal Shares” about Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg creating two classes of shares in the IPO in what is called a dual class structure. Google, Groupon, LinkedIn, Yelp and Zynga did the same when it went public. It is a strategy to keep control of a company and avoid short term pressure from investors but the stock can under perform in the market. IPOs are not as attractive as remaining private or being bought by another company.

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May 14, 2012 The New Yorker

On May 14, 2012 The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki wrote “Invisible Hand Greased Palm” about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) of 1977. Multinational corporations used to engage in corruption like bribery without fear of prosecution at home. They have learned that corruption increases business costs. It can be fought with transparency and broad enforcement of existing laws.

Nick Paumgarten wrote “Here’s Looking At You” about the rise of drones and surveillance.

David Owen wrote “The Artificial Leaf” about Daniel Nocera’s efforts to use artificial photosynthesis to create sustainable energy. He wants solar powered electrolysis to separate the hydrogen atoms from oxygen atoms in water to create cheap energy.

Larissa MacFarquhar wrote “When Giants Fail” about Clayton Christensen who created the Innovator’s Dilemma.

Michael Specter wrote “Climate Fixers” about various risky strategies to stop global warming. The cure might be worse than disease.

Joan Acocella wrote “The English Wars” about the American Heritage Dictionary and changing usage in the English language.

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Apr. 30, 2012 The New Yorker

On Apr. 30, 2012 The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki wrote “No End In Sight” about how the slow economic recovery has increased long term unemployment. European countries like Germany are keeping their people employed so their economies are ready to rebound.

Ken Auletta wrote about Stanford University’s close relationship with Silicon Valley and the university’s attempt to transition into the digital age.

 

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Mar. 26, 2012 The New Yorker

On Mar. 26, 2012 The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki wrote “The More The Merrier” about research by MIT’s Zeynep Ton. Retailers that reduce the number of employees and wages hurt their business in the long run. “…you can only outsource so much work before alienating your customers.” Ton examined companies that took care of their employees like Costco, Trader Joe’s, QuickTrip and Mercadona. They hire full time employees and train them. “Spending more on workers led to higher sales.”

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Mar. 5, 2012 The New Yorker

On Mar. 5, 2012 The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki wrote “Unjustice” about how hiring only attractive people is not a pretty business.

William Finnegan wrote “The Storm” about Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s union busting campaign backfired.

Jonah Lehrer wrote “Kin And Kind” about naturalist E.O. Wilson’s thoughts on evolution, altruism and genetics.

Nick Baumgarten wrote “Magic Mountain” about the World Economic Conference at Davos Switzerland.

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Feb. 13, 2012 The New Yorker

On Feb. 13, 2012 The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki wrote “Blackberry Season” about the rise and fall of the Blackberry in the face of the Apple iPhone and Google Android.  The Blackberry followed the historical model of adopting technology. The telegraph and typewriters were adopted by businesses before migrating to consumer markets. What killed the Blackberry was the idea of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) where consumers brought their own smartphones and corporate IT departments had to adopt or adapt to the new situation.

Jane Mayer wrote “Attack Dog” about political consultant Larry McCarthy and the creation of the attack ad.

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Jan. 30, 2012 The New Yorker

On Jan. 30, 2012 The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki wrote “Private Inequity” about private equity firms like Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital that buy companies and then lay off workers. Their profits are dependent on taking on debt and giving themselves large dividends or management fees. A company they buy may go under but they will still make money.

Jonah Lehrer wrote “Groupthink” about Alex Osborn’s strategy for teams of people to fix problems. “The most creative spaces are those which hurl us together. It is the human friction that makes the sparks.”

Adam Gopnik wrote “The Caging Of America” about why America has more people prison than any other country. Six million people.

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Jan. 16, 2012 The New Yorker

On Jan. 16, 2012 The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki wrote “Year Of The Yo-Yo” about how market volatility is good for traders but lousy for ordinary people. “the only way to win the games is not to play.

John Seabrook wrote “Streaming Dreams” about the history of YouTube and the increasing amount of professional content.

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Jan. 2, 2012 The New Yorker

On Jan. 2, 2012 The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki wrote “Delayed Gratification” about how companies try to get consumers to buy on credit rather than waiting until they can afford it.

Margaret Talbot wrote “Stumptown Girl” about Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen, the creators of Portlandia.

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Dec. 19, 2011 The New Yorker

On Dec. 19, 2011 The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki wrote “Living By Default” about how corporations declare bankruptcy at the drop of a hat but are worried that individuals will do the same to them.

Elif Batuman wrote “The Sanctuary” about a 10,000 year old Neolithic site called Gobekli Tepe near Urfa in Turkey. It was built by hunter gatherers as a religious sanctuary and then suddenly buried around 8200 BCE. There are carvings of boars, foxes, lions, scorpions, spiders, snakes and vultures. The people who built it were taller and healthier than the agricultural people who showed up later. Jared Diamond, author of Guns Germs And Steel, thinks that the transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture was a mistake that led to “…gross social and sexual inequality, the disease and despotism, that curse our existence.”

Burhard Bilger wrote “The Great Oasis” about various attempts to turn back to growing deserts like the Sahara using both complex and simple ideas.

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Nov. 21, 2011 The New Yorker

Nov. 21, 2011 The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki wrote “Debt By Degrees” about student college loan debt that is so high, that young people will not be able to go into further debt by buying cars or houses, getting married or having children. “Two million college graduates are unemployed and millions more are underemployed.” We need to change the way we educate people and the way we pay for it.

Jane Kramer wrote “The Food At Our Feet” about Denmark’s Rene Redzepi. He is reviving foraging for food by identifying the best foods for his restaurant customers.

Thomas Mallon wrote “Never Happened.” about the counterfactual or alternative histories of Monica Ali, Michael Chabon, Nicholas DiChario, Philip K. Dick, Don DeLillo, Harlan Ellison, Niall Ferguson, Elizabeth Gaffney, William Gibson, Jeff Greenfield, Robert Harris, Samantha Hunt, Stephen King, Thomas Pynchon, Philip Roth, J.C. Squire, Bruce Sterling, and Harry Turtledove.

Malcolm Gladwell wrote “The Tweaker” about what made Apple CEO Steve Jobs so successful.

Jill Lepore wrote “Birthright” about the history and future of Planned Parenthood.

Copyright 2011 DJ Cline All rights reserved.