The Wednesday Curator – 3/19/14

March 18, 2014

Lots of interesting reading this week. So much, in fact, that I saved up for next week. Enjoy!

Controversy in 10,000 hour land! Maybe the most famous part of Malcolm Gladwell’s The Outliers relates to the notion that if you practice for 10,000 hours—at two hours per day, every day, that is almost 14 years—you can be world-class anything. Not so fast, says Are Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 Hours of Practice Realy All You Need?, written by Dan Vergano for National Geographic Daily News on March 10. Actually, I think Malcolm Gladwell claimed the practice was necessary but not sufficient. (He expands on the subject in Complexity and the Ten-Thousand-Hour Rule, a New Yorker blog post from August 2013.)

Bill Gurley, an Uber investor/board member posted A Deeper Look at Uber’s Dynamic Pricing Model on March 11 at Mr. Gurley defends with pretty basic supply/demand analysis the car service’s model for meeting demand with higher pricing. I was struck that, with the controversy over Uber, many people seem to like hearing the words “free market” much more than they like living in one.

Here’s a Slate story, published on Monday, about Maria Shriver’s HBO show, Paycheck to Paycheck, which is part of her work on women’s poverty. The story focuses on the fact that the subject of Ms. Shriver’s story is an “attractive almost perfect except she’s poor” white woman, and what really caught my eye was the information in the last paragraph! (No hints!)

And here, almost surely on the top 10 list of circulated articles for the week, is A Startlingly Simple Theory About the Missing Malaysia Airlines Jet, written by Chris Goodfellow for yesterday. Mr. Goodfellow, a pilot, may or may not be right about what happened, and we may never know. Regardless, the article provides clear and simple thinking about the situation. It’s a pleasure to read something non-sensational which adheres to the Occam’s Razor principle “that when you have two competing theories that make exactly the same predictions, the simpler one is the better.”

Finally, a brief story from the Beloit Daily News titled BC Lacrosse Wins at Strong. Go Bucs!!! Go Cate Rubin!!!

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