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News of Very Narrow Interest

My last wallet

Retirement is a time when you are asked to make all kinds of choices about your uncertain future. For the headline issues — Social Security, 401(k)distributions, Medicare and prescription drug plans — there is an avalanche of available information (and misinformation).

One sign of our changing culture: my last wallet

Retirement is a time when you are asked to make all kinds of choices about your uncertain future. For the headline issues — Social Security, 401(k)distributions, Medicare, and prescription drug plans — there is an avalanche of available information (and misinformation).

Lost in space, or the end of sense

The other night I was watching “Billions” on Showtime. For the uninitiated, as opposed to those who are too embarrassed to admit that they watch it, “Billions” is an extremely exaggerated look at Wall Street, politics and the hedge fund industry. Money, sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll on steroids. Recently, the character running for New York attorney general was propelled to victory after publicly announcing that he and his wife were into sadomasochism. OK, maybe it’s not so exaggerated.  

Lost in space

The other night I was watching “Billions” on Showtime. For the uninitiated, as opposed to those who are too embarrassed to admit that they watch it, “Billions” is an extremely exaggerated look at Wall Street, politics and the hedge fund industry. Money, sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll on steroids. Recently, the character running for New York attorney general was propelled to victory after publicly announcing that he and his wife were into sadomasochism. OK, maybe it’s not so exaggerated.  

My friend the epidemiologist

When my friend Matt became an epidemiologist, my first thought (and I’m not proud of this) was how does this benefit me? Actually, that was my second thought. My first thought was: What is epidemiology and what does an epidemiologist do? I found the explanation very long and somewhat incomprehensible for my 21st century attention span. I think it would have perplexed a 19th century attention span. And they had a lot more time to think about stuff back then. So, I asked for the watered-down version.

My curated life, and yours, too

Louis Pasteur (yes, the milk guy) observed that “chance favors the prepared mind.” Americans prefer to focus on luck as in “you make your own luck.” Chance? Not so much. We fancy ourselves as a nation of entrepreneurs, but, when it comes down to it, we really don’t like taking chances ... on anything. 

From the folksy staff picks at a bookstore to the commercial surveillance of Amazon, increasingly, we want everything curated. The day is long gone when curators were confined to museums. 

Up close and personal

Some men wrest a living from nature and with their hands; this is called work.

Some men wrest a living from those who wrest a living from nature and with their hands; this is called trade.

Some men wrest a living from those who wrest a living from those who wrest a living from nature and with their hands; this is called finance.

 

My curated life, and yours too

Louis Pasteur (yes, the milk guy) observed that “chance favors the prepared mind.” Americans prefer to focus on luck as in “you make your own luck.” Chance? Not so much. We fancy ourselves as a nation of entrepreneurs, but, when it comes down to it, we really don’t like taking chances . . . on anything. 

From the folksy staff picks at a bookstore to the commercial surveillance of Amazon, increasingly, we want everything curated. The day is long gone when curators were confined to museums. 

The virtue of being up close and personal

Some men wrest a living from nature and with their hands; this is called work.

Some men wrest a living from those who wrest a living from nature and with their hands; this is called trade.

Some men wrest a living from those who wrest a living from those who wrest a living from nature and with their hands; this is called finance.

 

Checking in with the Tooth Fairy

Is the economy strong or is it tanking? Should we be worried? Let’s face it, our concern about the health of the economy is an exercise in blatant self-interest poorly disguised as concern for the big picture. Is the reassurance we’re looking for found in a mountain of financial algorithms, neural networks and investment advice? Possibly.