Google, Facebook & Asteroid Mining; A BCA Reading List

Google and the future of search: Amit Singhal and the Knowledge Graph | Technology | The Observer

That was the time, in the prehistory of about 1995, when our ideas of “search” still carried the sense of the word’s Latin roots – a search was a kind of “arduous quest” that invariably involved “wandering” and “seeking” and “traversing”. Not any longer. For those who are growing up to search in this millennium, it implies nothing more taxing than typing two words into a box – or, increasingly, mumbling them into a phone – and waiting less than an instant for a comprehensive answer, generally involving texts and images and films and books and maps. Search’s sense of questing purpose has already gone the way of other pre-Google concepts, such as “getting lost”.

Study: The New Less-Social Psychology of China’s Generation Without Siblings – Lindsay Abrams – The Atlantic

The State of the Art III: Facebook (and 500px and Flickr) as a Window Into Social Media | Easily Distracted

Why is Facebook such a repeatedly bad actor in its relationship to its users, constantly testing and probing for ways to quietly or secretly breach the privacy constraints that most of its users expect and demand, strategems to invade their carefully maintained social networks? Because it has to. That’s Facebook’s version of the Red Queen’s race, its bargain with investment capital. Facebook will keep coming back and back again with various schemes and interface trickery because if it stops, it will be the LiveJournal or BBS of 2020, a trivia answer and nostalgic memory.

Matt Ridley on Technology and Optimism | FiveBooks | The Browser

World in 2050  The BRICs and beyond: prospects, challenges and opportunities

Asteroid mining: Second company announces plans. Time to stake a claim? (+video) –

Asteroids aren’t just for dodging anymore. Less than a year after a company called Planetary Resources announced plans to survey, then mine, asteroids, a second company has set out its plans to turn orbiting piles of cosmic rubble into rocket fuel, solar panels, and trusses for spacecraft hundreds to thousands of miles above Earth. Suddenly asteroid mining has the potential of becoming a competitive field.

Independent Investment Research

Secrets, Surprises And Survival; A BCA Reading List

Secrets and Lies of the Bailout | Politics News | Rolling Stone | Matt Taibbi

It was all a lie – one of the biggest and most elaborate falsehoods ever sold to the American people. We were told that the taxpayer was stepping in – only temporarily, mind you – to prop up the economy and save the world from financial catastrophe. What we actually ended up doing was the exact opposite: committing American taxpayers to permanent, blind support of an ungovernable, unregulatable, hyperconcentrated new financial system that exacerbates the greed and inequality that caused the crash, and forces Wall Street banks like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup to increase risk rather than reduce it. The result is one of those deals where one wrong decision early on blossoms into a lush nightmare of unintended consequences. We thought we were just letting a friend crash at the house for a few days; we ended up with a family of hillbillies who moved in forever, sleeping nine to a bed and building a meth lab on the front lawn.

Will a Robot Take Your Job? : The New Yorker

Scant Proof Is Found to Back Up Claims by Energy Drinks –

Byron Wien Announces Predictions for Ten Surprises for 2013 – Blackstone

In a surprise reversal the Democrats sponsor a vigorous program to make the United States independent of Middle East oil imports before 2020. The price of West Texas Intermediate crude falls to $70 a barrel.  The Administration proposes easing restrictions on hydraulic fracking for oil and gas in less populated areas and allowing more drilling on Federal land.  They see energy production, infrastructure and housing as the key job creators in the 2013 economy.

How Bucket Shops Lured the Masses Into the Market – Bloomberg

Mawson’s Antarctic Trek: The Greatest Survival Story -National Geographic Magazine

Mawson heard the faint whine of a dog behind him. It must be, he thought, one of the six huskies pulling the rear sledge. But then Mertz, who had been scouting ahead on skis all morning, stopped and turned in his tracks. Mawson saw his look of alarm. He turned and looked back. The featureless plateau of snow and ice stretched into the distance, marked only by the tracks Mawson’s sledge had left. Where was the other sledge?


Independent Investment Research

Predictions, Twitter And Heroes; A BCA Reading List

110 Predictions For the Next 110 Years – Popular Mechanics


· Doctors will check your vital signs around the clock via tiny sensors.
· Stomach chips will monitor your diet to help you lose weight.
· Spinal cord implants will reverse paralysis.
· Brain chips will let you absorb data while you sleep.
· Brain interfaces will help you fully inhabit virtual worlds.

Why your DNA is a goldmine for marketers – The Globe and Mail

They Know What You’re Shopping For –

‘Followers for sale’: Twitter’s very own black market

Did you know that only 29 percent of Lady Gaga’s 30 million followers on Twitter actually exist? Let me just repeat that:29 percent. That’s less than a third. The overwhelming majority are unreal, inert, mere cyphers shackled together in a collective expression of inanimate inanity. Isn’t that extraordinary?

Nature – Week 11 Gallery – National Geographic Photo Contest 2012 – National Geographic

Frank Rich on David Petraeus, Lance Armstrong, and Other ‘Super Heroes’ — New York Magazine

Though we’ve also lived of late through the scandals of the Catholic Church and Major League Baseball, the unmasking of mega­ministers and Wall Street titans, and the penile pratfalls of John Edwards and Tiger Woods, our serial susceptibility to bogus heroes and their hoaxes remains undiminished. It’s as if there’s something in the national DNA that makes us suspend disbelief once our icons are anointed. You’d think in our digital age, when everyone can seemingly find out anything about anyone in a nanosecond—when transparency, thy name is Twitter—this pattern would have long since been broken and the country wouldn’t be so easily snowed. Instead, our credulousness seems as entrenched as ever, if not more so, with the same myopia by the press and public alike recurring with scant variation, whether the instance be as chilling as Paterno or as farcical as Petraeus.

Independent Investment Research


Turkey, Touch Football And Trends; A BCA Reading List

The First TV Dinner Was Thanksgiving Leftovers – Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Thanksgiving – TIME

With 260 tons of frozen birds to get rid of, a company salesman named Gerry Thomas ordered 5,000 aluminum trays, recruited an assembly line of women armed with spatulas and ice-cream scoops and began creating mini-feasts of turkey, corn-bread dressing, peas and sweet potatoes — creating the first-ever TV dinner. Thomas later said he got the idea from neatly packaged airplane food.

Kill the Password: Why a String of Characters Can’t Protect Us Anymore | Gadget Lab |

How Long Will a Lie Last? New Study Finds That False Memories Linger for Years | Guest Blog, Scientific American Blog Network

Thanksgiving Touch Football: 29 More Rules—Jason Gay –

If you’re new to a family, hold back a little. A first Thanksgiving with potential future in-laws is not the day for a 400-yard, nine-TD, 15-sack performance. You will wind up eating turkey outside on the porch.

What I Really Think About Facebook « blog maverick Mark Cuban

Five economic trends to be thankful for – Washington Post

There is a dirty little secret about economics writing. The thing that offers the surest path to glory — to front page play for a story, to lots of Web traffic, to a pat on the back from editors — is doom and gloom. When we can point out something that is awful, whether it is a collapsing job market or rising poverty or skyrocketing gasoline prices, the world seems a whole lot more interested in what we have to say. It’s not for nothing they call economics the dismal science.

But Thursday is the day each year Americans set aside to give thanks for what they have, to bask in the good around them. So for Thanksgiving, this economics writer decided to cast aside the usual practice, fire up FRED (a database of economic statistics maintained by the St. Louis Fed), and keep looking until I found five trends that are unambiguously positive.

 Independent Investment Research


DIY, Glasses and Presidential Libations; A BCA Reading List

Chris Anderson on Why He’s Leaving Digital for DIY – Technology – The Atlantic Cities

If the last few decades have been about big digital forces — the Internet, social media — he notes that the future will be about applying all of that in the real world. “Wondrous as the Web is,” he writes, “it doesn’t compare to the real world. Not in economic size (online commerce is less than 10 percent of all sales) and not in its place in our lives. The digital revolution has been largely limited to screens.” But, he adds, the salient fact remains that “we live in homes, drive in cars, and work in offices.” And it is that physical part of the economy that is undergoing the biggest and most fundamental change.

Obama Wins: How Chicago’s Data-Driven Campaign Triumphed |

History Suggests Grand Bargain to Avert Fiscal Cliff – Bloomberg

China: Worse Than You Ever Imagined by Ian Johnson | The New York Review of Books

 “It’s different here,” he said slowly, looking at me carefully, trying to explain something very complex and painful that he wasn’t sure would be comprehensible. “Traditional life was wiped out around the time I was born, fifty years ago. Since then it has been a difficult area, with no foundation to society. Most people in China haven’t heard of this but here in Xinyang, people all know.

“It was called the Xinyang Incident. It destroyed this area like the wrath of God on Judgment Day.”

Chuck Klosterman on the David Petraeus scandal and living a CIA conspiracy theory – Grantland

Sticker shock: Why are glasses so expensive? – CBS News

Secrets, Schemes, and Lots of Guns: Inside John McAfee’s Heart of Darkness

Four More Beers – The Morning News

Presidents, and those aspiring to become president, very rarely cut against the grain of their own public image, and what they drink is an essential part of that. One could say these men are the living embodiments of different drinks: Barack Obama doesn’t just homebrew beer; he is a homebrewed beer. Thomas Jefferson, the closest we’ve come to a philosopher as king, is a bottle of fine wine. Bill Clinton, the closest we’ve ever come to a McConaughey as king, is a Fresca spiked with Old Grand-Dad. Gerald Ford was a Seven & Seven. Mitt Romney is a Shirley Temple.

 Independent Investment Research