|From The Undoing Project|
▪ Until 11:59PM PT on 12/18/17, use code BOOKGIFT17 at Amazon for $5 off book purchases over $15 (does not apply to digital content; terms here). Please note that you may have trouble getting the offer to apply at checkout (try copying and pasting the code from above); if that is the case, contact Amazon (use live chat if possible), and they will just credit your account $5. Do this before you place the order. If you like memoirs of brilliant people, I received an alert that Edward Thorp’s A Man for All Markets: From Las Vegas to Wall Street, How I Beat the Dealer and the Market dropped quite a bit in price, so you may consider picking up a copy (now $11.50, or 62% off list). Here are a few books that I read in the last year or so which I would recommend: The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds, Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction, Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, and She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World.
▪ The proliferation of food halls: just an extension of our pathological need to photograph food?
▪ Today is (National? International?) Free Shipping Day, which is a retail holiday dreamt up by some retailers to offer shoppers free standard shipping that also ensures that their orders are received by Christmas Eve. Speaking of retail holidays, I am reminded of this Planet Money episode on “The Holiday Industrial Complex,” which is worth a listen if you are curious about who is behind these “sponsored” holidays.
▪ Take 40% off most full-price styles at J. Crew with code TIME2GIVE. My picks: Drapey Crepe Cap-Sleeve Top (ordered!), Cropped Sequin Top in Rose Gold, Mockneck Cable-Knit Sweater, Boyfriend Cardigan in Supersoft Yarn, V-Neck Boyfriend Striped Sweater, and Fair Isle Striped Sweater.
▪ I had fun using Meitu to troll friends earlier this year, but lurking below Meitu’s (and other apps in its genre) “brightened”, smoothed surface is something rather insidious: the homogenization of “beauty.”
▪ A WaPo food critic set out to “rank” America’s chain restaurants, and I couldn’t disagree with the results more. It comes down to this: I do not want to live in a world in which Crack Barrel is ranked higher than the Olive Garden, Texas Roadhouse, or BWW. Naturally, I dug into this food critic’s history, and sure enough, the “splurge-worthy reasons to eat in New York City” he penned back in November were all pretentious, except for The Grill, which is actually fine.
▪ The best thing I saw on Instagram this week: really fluffy puppies (you may want to mute your speakers before attempting to watch this, as the background music is quite loud).
▪ And the best thing that I watched on YouTube this week: little boy who mistook his sister’s wrestling match for a real fight rushes to her rescue.
▪ Bloomingdale’s “Deal Reveal” sale continues. I had posted about it previously here. Here are some extra 40% off codes: XQ0LCA9M2OIR, XC0FGA9XHQW5, XH0GFA9SIOIB, XS0HCA9RZOCJ, XJ08PA9DVQMD, and XH0Z8A9U1Q11.
▪ I am sure many of you remember that time the internet broke in fall of 2016 (better known as that-time-I-couldn’t-access-Reddit-during-a-meeting) as vividly as I do. What I didn’t realize at the time was that those DDoS attacks were the doings of some crazy college kids trying to profit off Minecraft. It’s a thrilling story that you can read about on Wired.
▪ A reminder that some industries demand to be disrupted: a $21 billion market with millions of underserved customers.
▪ I own a little bit of Bitcoin, because it’s a logistical nightmare to convert it to fiat money, but I am a bona fide Bitcoin pessimist. I will gladly take (and have taken) the “do not buy” and “such a bubble” side of any Bitcoin debate, for the very reasons that the author of “I Was Wrong About Bitcoin. Here’s Why.” gave for why he wasn’t a Bitcoin evangelist. Unlike him, I am unprepared to throw in the towel, and think that perhaps the Bitcoin bubble is just taking longer to burst. After all, Bitcoin is no different intrinsically from other cryptocurrencies. And while this headline doesn’t seem to scare other investors, it scares me: The Bitcoin Whales: 1,000 People Who Own 40 Percent of the Market.
▪ Having grown up in a warm, tight-knit family, the concept of a “lonely death” eludes me. But I guess even the least morbid among us may start to ponder the possibility of dying alone after reading “A Generation in Japan Faces a Lonely Death.” Because, as Hunter Thompson once wrote (this may be the first and last time I quote him), “we are all alone, born alone, die alone … we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way.”
Have a great weekend, everyone!