Reading Feed (November 2017)
Blog: American Affairs | The Western Elite from a Chinese Perspective — "One class was about strategy. It focused on how corporate mottos and logos could inspire employees. Many of the students had worked for nonprofits or health care or tech companies, all of which had mottos about changing the world, saving lives, saving the planet, etc. The professor seemed to like these mottos. I told him that at Goldman our motto was “be long-term greedy.” The professor couldn’t understand this motto or why it was inspiring. I explained to him that everyone else in the market was short-term greedy and, as a result, we took all their money. Since traders like money, this was inspiring. He asked if perhaps there was another motto or logo that my other classmates might connect with. I told him about the black swan I kept on my desk as a reminder that low probability events happen with high frequency. He didn’t like that motto either and decided to call on another student, who had worked at Pfizer. Their motto was “all people deserve to live healthy lives.” The professor thought this was much better. I didn’t understand how it would motivate employees, but this was exactly why I had come to Stanford: to learn the key lessons of interpersonal communication and leadership."
Blog: Don't Worry About the Vase | The Darwin Game — "In college I once took a class called Rational Choice. Because obviously. Each week we got the rules for, played and discussed a game. It was awesome. For the grand finale, and to determine the winner of the prestigious Golden Shark Award for best overall performance, we submitted computer program architectures (we’d tell the professor what our program did, within reason, and he’d code it for us) to play The Darwin Game."
Blog: Marginal Revolution | Supply and Demand — "One way to think about it is that the enormous increase in wealth generated by the tech boom is largely captured by homeowners in the urban core who bought before the boom." / "The second negative consequence of the region’s restrictive housing policies in the urban core is environmental degradation on the periphery. Good environmental stewardship suggests that we should build more in the urban core near transit and jobs and less on the fringes. Yet because of cities’ strict housing regulations, we build more on farmland on the region’s outskirts and less in the city center where demand is higher." / "It’s economics 101 not rocket science but few people have an interest in denying the truths of rocket science."
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