March 25th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

The best way to respond to terrorism, the most addicted phone users, and weekend reads.

Jeff Eggers is a retired Navy SEAL Officer and a former special assistant to the president for national security affairs. He’s also one of the smartest people I know, especially when it comes to understanding the underlying goals of terrorism. In this short piece, he explains how many of our instinctual reactions actually help terrorists achieve their goals, and can turn a “tactical tragedy into a strategic threat.” Be sure to read: How the Terrorists Lose: “The most important step is to deny them the political change they seek. In this context of the Islamic State group, it means rejecting their narrative of a pending clash of civilizations. It can be counterintuitive, particularly in the emotional wake of tragedy, but the most effective antidote to jihadist terrorism is to police them as criminals, assimilate minorities and get back to business.”

+ Two NY siblings were among the victims of the Brussels attack. And a teen who was in Paris, near the Boston bombings, and injured in Brussels, talks about the experience.

+ Reveal: How two-hour airport lines can be a security threat.

+ “We are systematically eliminating ISIL’s cabinet.” A senior Islamic State commander was killed in a recent airstrike. Lost in some of the recent news is the fact that ISIS has been losing ground and members of its leadership.


Tramps Like Us

Oh those Millennials, always staring at their phones. And the teenagers. Do they even have any real life exchanges anymore? Yeah, yeah. Young people are addicted to technology. Just not as addicted as Baby Boomers and Generation X.

+ This makes total sense. We are part of a generation caught in the middle. We’re young enough to use the technology and old enough to be overwhelmed by it. I wrote about this topic in my post: Adolescence in the Age of Pay-Per-Minute P*rn.


Weekend Reads

“Maybe it’s Vogue, but for degenerates, and Phelps is skateboarding’s Anna Wintour.” In California Sunday Magazine, Willy Staley profiles Jake Phelps, who has run the bible for skaters for more than two decades.

+ Fortune’s Adam Lashinsky provides an excellent look into the mind and management style of Jeff Bezos (and his weird idea to enable WaPo users to remove all the vowels from a story). Bezos Prime.

+ “How did countries with disparate histories, languages, and even geographical features — Finland is known for its birch forests, while Iceland is largely tree-free — become lumped together in a single design movement?” Sarah Hucal on how Scandinavian design took over the world.

+ A weekend watch: The folks at Epic teamed up with JJ Abrams to produce a series of short documentaries on the inventors and dreamers vying for Google’s $30 million XPrize.


Et Tu, Donald?

“Two forces eerily contemporary have traditionally been thought to bring down ancient republics: the oligarch and the demagogue. What makes republics fragile are compacts of the very rich confiscating wealth in ways that makes injustice too palpable, and the demagogue who, usually rising as an opportunist among the oligarchs, can manipulate the incoherent discontent of the plebeians.” Hey, I’m not saying America’s superpower status is on the way out in the near-term. But, the paragraph above does sound more than a little familiar. Adam Gopnik in The New Yorker: A Walk in Rome in the Days of Trump.


We Gotta Get Out of This Place

We have plenty of data to suggest that location can have a big impact on one’s future prospects. But now, as NYT Upshot reports, we know that growing up in a bad neighborhood does even more harm than we thought.


Nice Guys

“Nice guys finish first. If you don’t know that, then you don’t know where the finish line is.” So wrote Garry Shandling in his What I’ve Learned piece for Esquire. Shandling died unexpectedly at the age of 66. If you like the high quality content you see on television today, then you owe some gratitude to Garry Shandling.

+ His last interview was on Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. It’s title: It’s Great That Garry Shandling Is Still Alive.

+ Amy Wallace: The last email Garry Shandling ever sent me.

+ We also lost Ken Howard this week. A good actor and, by all accounts, a great guy. And as Tim Goodman explains: For a certain segment of TV viewers, Howard will always be remembered as The White Shadow.


Let’s Get Mikey…

“From meat to spices, is anything we eat what we think it is?” FT’s Natalie Whittle goes behind the scenes at Institute for Global Food Security to find out if anything we eat is really what we think it is.

+ NY Mag: Why these recipe videos are taking over your Facebook wall. (I always figured Zuck could tell when I was hungry.)


He Definitely Went Viral

“For a man who had lived the first three decades of his life in virtual obscurity, he attracted a remarkable following in only a few years.” In Vanity Fair, an obituary writer for the NYT takes a crack at writing one for Jesus.


Enough Dave Already!

A couple weeks ago at the Near Future Summit, I had an interesting conversation with Evan Williams and Arianna Huffington about the future (and past) of media. I wrote up an overview of what we discussed (along with a fascinating tidbit about my neck hair): My Lunch With Ev and the Birth of New Media.

+ Also, many of you asked some great questions in my Product Hunt Live chat. Thanks for attending. If you missed it, you can enjoy it right here.


Bottom of the News

From Elle Hunt in The Guardian: “How many New Zealanders does it take to change a flag? It’s the 27-million-dollar question to which, after 10 months, 10,300 designs and two public referendums, we still don’t know the answer — because after all that, the vote was to stick with the same old flag.” (That’s the correct outcome for most design deliberations.)

+ PRI: 11 towns and cities with suggestive names.

+ Check out how a vinyl record is made. (If you’re an audiophile or a hipster, this video may not be safe for work.)

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