Thursday, November 10th, 2022


What the FTX?

Some days I worry that being too old, ignorant, and intellectually lazy to understand crypto means I'm leaving money on the table. Other days, it's a relief because, all of a sudden, the money is gone ... and so is the table. It's only now that many of us are really getting a grip on what FTX is and that confusion may have been shrewd in retrospect, although, this could be the crypto version of the subprime mortgage crisis: Even if you didn't participate or understand it, you still get hurt. In the NYT, Kevin Roose does a good job of explaining how to make sense of the industry-shaking collapse of FTX. This is a gift article (the one form of alternative currency I'm an expert on). Is This Crypto's Lehman Moment? Word is that Michael Lewis has been working on a crypto-related book that in part tracks FTX founder and former billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried. This should be a pretty riveting chapter.

+ In tech news that hits a little closer to home for me, the platform to which I was for so long so happily addicted is in chaos. Elon Musk is putting Twitter at risk of billions in fines, warns company lawyer. "The company's chief privacy officer Damien Kieran, chief information security officer Lea Kissner, and chief compliance officer Marianne Fogarty have all resigned."


CRT Monitors

"The precise logical relation between the conservative-libertarian axis of billionaires who wish to privatize public education—notably among them Betsy DeVos, who was Secretary of Education under Trump—and the rank-and-file right-wing moms who back "Don't Say Gay" is as yet unclear. For the moment, at least, their desires match—as Tuesday night's election results have demonstrated—and nowhere is their bond stronger than in their shared antipathy for teachers' unions, even in states where much of the meaningful work that unions do has been outlawed." A lot of craziness was rejected during the midterms, but at the very local level, it fared depressingly well. The New Yorker: How "Education Freedom" Played in the Midterms.


Teen Titans

‘At first, we were afraid ... I was scared I was going to be killed. But I saw that thousands of young people have been killed for freedom. I told myself that my blood is no more colourful than the blood of other young girls, so I am choosing not to be silent." ‘I prepare to die every time I leave the house' – the teenage girls leading Iran's revolution.


Ketchup Cuts the Mustard

"In Heinz's squeezable upside-down ketchup bottle, the plastic cap is designed to dispense a standard blob of sauce without spilling. It works. But it can't easily be recycled, so the Kraft Heinz Company decided to design an alternative. Nine years later—after 185,000 hours of product development, $1.2 million in investment, and 45 different iterations—a new design will be rolling out." FastCo: Why Heinz spent 185,000 hours redesigning this ketchup bottle cap. (When I was a kid, that was how long it took just to get enough ketchup out of the bottle for a side of fries.)


Extra, Extra

The Check is the Mail: "Players can take days or even weeks to take a turn, and they have embraced the use of software to find the best moves." NYT: Why Correspondence Chess Is Still Popular Among Elite Players.

+ Putin Perspective: "The most senior US general estimates that around 100,000 Russian and 100,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed or injured in the war in Ukraine. Gen Mark Milley, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, also suggested that around 40,000 civilians had died after being caught up in the conflict." Look at the insane amount of damage one madman can inflict. Meanwhile, Putin will not attend the Group of 20 summit. Forget punishing him, can we at least excise this monster from the guest list?

+ Green Day: You may not still recognize those green symbols in your stock portfolio, so here's a refresher. They mean the share price is going up. And they're back today after a report showed inflation in the United States slowed last month by even more than expected.

+ Gogh Fund Me: "The auction house said works by Vincent van Gogh, Georges Seurat, Paul Gauguin, Paul Cezanne and Gustav Klimt each sold for more than $100m, breaking individual records for those artists." Paul Allen had good taste when it came to art. And that's lucky for the charities that will benefit from a record-breaking $1.5bn art sale.

+ Watermelon Sugar Low: What's it like being a former One Direction member and watching Harry Styles become a global solo superstar? Louis Tomlinson explains.


Bottom of the News

Now this is a lede. "KFC has apologized after sending a promotional message to customers in Germany, urging them to commemorate Kristallnacht with cheesy chicken." (This is doubly offensive since most of us Jews are lactose intolerant.)

+ "California's pot businesses have a new worry to add to the long list of problems facing the industry: customers suing cannabis brands for allegedly not getting them high enough." (I was going to join this suit, but instead I just took another hit.)