November 2nd – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Do Millennials really want to live together? Plus, the GOP tax proposal, and the greatest sports prediction ever.

WeWork has had a big impact on how people work together in shared office spaces, and that has had a big impact on the company’s valuation (a cool $20 billion). But the efforts to move from shared workspaces to shared living spaces (WeLive) — with communal kitchens and, of course, ping pong tables — hasn’t really taken off. Bloomberg’s Ellen Huet on What Life Is Like Inside WeWork’s Communal Housing Project: “Black mugs in the apartments urge tenants to Live Better Together, and the housekeepers pushing carts down the hallways wear black T-shirts that read, Do What You Love. Both are WeWork slogans. Some of the décor is best viewed at a distance: The record player on the eighth floor is never plugged in, and thousands of books in the building’s lounges have red $1 sale stickers on them from the Strand, a venerable New York bookstore.” The success of WeLive seems to depend on the idea that millennials are, at their core, a different species than the humans that came before them. Aside from a penchant for ironic t-shirts and an over-enthusiasm for facial hair, I think we’ll find that millennials are just like the rest of us.


Everything Now

With many high school seniors (and their parents) in the throes of college application season, the NYT shares a few realities that will either make them feel better, or send them racing to rewrite their personal statement one more time. What Colleges Want in an Applicant (Everything). “Rejection stings. But say these words aloud: The admissions process isn’t fair. Like it or not, colleges aren’t looking to reel in the greatest number of straight-A students who’ve taken seven or more Advanced Placement courses. A rejection isn’t really about you; it’s about a maddening mishmash of competing objectives.”


Tax and Spin

“At 20 percent, we’re very, very competitive with the rest of the world. You’re going to see growth and you’re going to see jobs and you’re going to see really wages going up.” NPR: Republicans Propose Big Tax Cuts, But Target Popular Deductions.

+ CNN: What’s in the House tax bill?

+ WaPo: The state of the American tax system, in 8 charts.

+ “The basic idea is that while most economists believe corporate taxes are primarily paid by owners of capital (that is, people who own stock in corporations) in the form of lower profits, a sizable minority, including White House chief economist Kevin Hassett, think that a large share of the tax is paid by workers in the form of lower wages.” Vox: The House Republican tax bill, explained.

+ In other economic news, President Trump just nominated Jerome Powell to be the next Fed Chair.


Harvey’s Dent

“Sexual harassment is about power, not sex, and it has taken women of extraordinary power to overcome the disadvantage that most accusers face.” The Harvey Weinstein case feels like it could be a watershed moment for sexual harassment accusations. The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer looks at some of the reasons why, with some help from Anita Hill. “People often believe the myth that only conventionally beautiful women are harassed—and so it didn’t seem that far-fetched to people that this would happen to beautiful starlets who we all know and love.”


Houston, We Solved a Problem

Of all the people celebrating the Houston Astros World Series win over the LA Dodgers (and being a Giants fan from the Bay Area, I know a lot of those people), Ben Reiter might be feeling the most pride this morning. Back in 2014, when the Astros, well, sucked, Reiter wrote a cover story for Sports Illustrated in which he explained how the struggling team would rise to power and bring home a World Series win in 2017. “There are rebuilding projects … and there’s what the Astros are trying: an unprecedented burn-the-house-down overhaul. There are innovative front offices … and there is Houston’s, which includes a Nerd Cave led by a former blackjack dealer turned rocket scientist. Can it work? By October 2017, it might seem silly to ask.” Unreal.

+ FiveThirtyEight: The Astros Tanked Their Way To The Top.

+ “In the groggy hours after the emergency surgery to remove that initial tumor, the only way doctors could get her to open her eyes was by lying, and telling her the Astros were on TV.” A very nice piece from the Houston Chronicle: Victory washes away tears of sorrow for Astros fan with brain cancer.

+ Carlos Correa proposed to his girlfriend right after the game. That’s a lot of pressure to put on a pressure-filled game. If they had lost, was he going to suggest they just be friends?

+ ‘Mattress Mac’ Jim McIngvale likes to take risks when it comes to his marketing schemes. The Astros win will cost him $10 million.

+ And in LA, to add insult to injury, Yasiel Puig’s Encino home was burglarized shortly after the Dodgers lost the World Series. That will probably upset Yasiel for a few days. Seeing him repeatedly lick his bat will upset me for a lifetime.


Have Mercer Upon Your Soul?

“The decision, announced in a memo to Renaissance employees, followed a BuzzFeed News exposé revealing the connections of Breitbart News — partially owned by Mercer — to white nationalists and neo-Nazis.” Robert Mercer, the man with money behind Bannon, Breitbart, and to some extent Trump, steps down from his role as co-CEO of Renaissance Technologies.

+ His name might not sound that familiar. But his views definitely will. And there might not be a single person more responsible for Trump’s win than Robert Mercer. Jane Mayer back in March: The Reclusive Hedge-Fund Tycoon Behind the Trump Presidency.


Just Putin This Out There

“Unfortunately, instead of seeing the spread of fake news by Russia as a national-security threat—as almost every member of Congress seemed to, regardless of party, in the hearings this week—Trump has spent a year dismissing concerns about Russian propaganda while echoing its tropes, and attacking the American news media as the real fake news.” This is how Trump helps Russian trolls. (It’s also an example of collusion that’s happening right in front of our eyes — with a lot of help from Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News.)

+ Vanity Fair: “A different level of crazy”: Is a civil war breaking out in the Wall Street Journal over the editorial board’s coverage of Mueller? (Also a Murdoch-owned news source…)

+ Here’s a look at some of the ads Russian trolls wanted you to see.

+ Texas Tribune: A Russian Facebook page organized a protest in Texas. A different Russian page launched the counter-protest.


Why Did the Stricken Cross the Road?

The economic divide is the most important story of our time. And sometimes, you don’t have to look very far to see it playing out. From Topic: Life Inside the RVs of Silicon Valley.


Counter Point

“Remarkably, the founders of the Silicon Valley firm that created PowerPoint did not set out to make presentation software, let alone build a tool that would transform group communication throughout the world. Rather, PowerPoint was a recovery from dashed hopes that pulled a struggling startup back from the brink of failure—and succeeded beyond anything its creators could have imagined.” The Improbable Origins of PowerPoint.


Bottom of the News

“It’s been a trying year for the world’s most visible institutions. Congressional gridlock, partisan divide, and federal indictments torment Washington. Silicon Valley’s biggest companies are under scrutiny — and even headed to Capitol Hill — for their role in foreign interference during the 2016 election. And meanwhile, over at the Unicode Consortium, there is a contentious debate over a scowling pile of shit.” Charlie Warzel takes you Inside The Great Poop Emoji Feud.

+ Audible’s new feature lets you skip right to the most erotic part of romance novels. (This is titillating news for those who haven’t yet discovered the Internet…)

+ Energy Secretary Rick Perry explains how fossil fuels can prevent sexual assault.

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