📺 Charlie Rose May 19, 2017

Charlie Rose: Trump's first foreign trip; John Carlin, Remembering Roger Ailes, Adam Lindemann by Charlie Rose (PBS)
Ian Bremmer, the president of the Eurasia Group, and Michael Hanna, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation, on Donald Trump's first foreign trip of his presidency. A discussion of Robert Mueller's special counsel appointment with John Carlin, the former assistant Attorney General for national security and Chief of Staff to Robert Mueller. Gabe Sherman and Jim Rutenberg reflect on the legacy of the late media titan Roger Ailes, known for launching Fox News in 1996. Adam Lindemann, an art collector and gallery owner who held the previous auction record for a Jean Michel Basquiat painting with his sale of Untitled (Devil) for $57.3 million last year.

I haven’t been following the deeper analysis of Trump’s Middle East trip, but Ian Bremmer’s pre-analysis here which I’ll synopsize as Trump is taking a cheese-puff trip to areas where he’s likely to be loved, adored, and appreciated (surprise!!) and which the US won’t really benefit from in the coming decades seems sadly correct. I suppose it’s better for him to focus on his vanity rather than destroying value.

I could have appreciated another 20 minutes on Ailes and analysis on his ongoing influence, but then again, it’s just as well to relegate him to the dustbin of history.

📺 PBS NewsHour full episode May 22, 2017

NewsHour May 22, 2017 (PBS)
Monday on the NewsHour, President Trump visits Israel, insisting that peace in the Middle East requires resolving the long-standing conflict with the Palestinians. Also: What's on Trump's budget chopping block, how Medicaid cuts would affect special ed, a political storm at home while the president is overseas, Tunisians revive a treasured city center and finding a sweet way to make a difference.

📺 Dialysis: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Dialysis by John Oliver (HBO/YouTube)
For-profit dialysis companies often maximize their profits at the expense of their patients. John Oliver explores why a medical clinic is nothing like a Taco Bell.

The lack of humanity showed by these corporations is simply horrific. Certainly a market failure which is causing some painful externalities. We need something more significant to fix the inequities that are happening here.

Also, what a terrifically hilarious episode!

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👓 Life Without a Destiny | Susan J. Fowler

Life Without a Destiny by Susan J. Fowler
I have no singular destiny, no one true passion, no goal. I flutter from one thing to the next. I want to be a physicist and a mathematician and a novelist and write a sitcom and write a symphony and design buildings and be a mother. I want to run a magazine and understand the lives of ants and be a philosopher and be a computer scientist and write an epic poem and understand every ancient language. I don't just want one thing. I want it all.
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👓 Five Things Tech Companies Can Do Better | Susan J. Fowler

Five Things Tech Companies Can Do Better by Susan J. Fowler
I believe that tech companies should make a commitment to their employees, a commitment that they will act ethically, legally, responsibly, and transparently with regard to harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and other unlawful behavior. In my opinion, this commitment requires five things: ending forced arbitration, ending the practice of buying employees' silence, ending unnecessarily strict confidentiality agreements, instituting helpful harassment and discrimination training, and enforcing zero-tolerance policies toward unlawful and/or inappropriate behavior. Without further ado, here is a list of those five things, the reasons they're important, and how companies can implement them.

This sounds like for solid advice for all companies, not just those in the tech sector.

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👓 We tracked the Trump scandals on right-wing news sites. Here’s how they covered it. | Vox

We tracked the Trump scandals on right-wing news sites. Here’s how they covered it. by Alvin Chang (Vox)
We’re experiencing these historical events very differently.
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👓 I worked in a video store for 25 years. Here’s what I learned as my industry died. | Vox

I worked in a video store for 25 years. Here’s what I learned as my industry died. by Dennis Perkins (Vox)

Some interesting analysis of what we’re loosing with the death of video stores. In particular, we’re losing some of the same type of recommendations and serendipity we’re loosing with the rise of e-books and less use of libraries/librarians. In particular, loosing well-curated collections is a big issue as we replace them with streaming services which don’t seem to have the same curatorial business models.

I particularly enjoyed this quote:

A great video store’s library of films is like a little bubble outside the march of technology or economics, preserving the fringes, the forgotten, the noncommercial, or the straight-up weird. Championed by a store’s small army of film geeks, such movies get more traffic than they did in their first life in the theater, or any time since. Not everything that was on VHS made the transition to DVD, and not every movie on DVD is available to stream. The decision to leave a movie behind on the next technological leap is market-driven, which makes video stores the last safety net for things our corporate overlords discard.

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📖 Read loc 1440-2080 of 12932 (16.08%) of American Amnesia by Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson

📖 Read loc 1440-2080 of 12932 (16.08%) of American Amnesia by Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson

Examples and discussion of how markets can manage to fail and why we need good government to fill in the (gaping) holes.

There’s also some good discussion of rent seeking behavior here too. The more I read, the more I think this should be required reading for everyone. I could see a need for taking just the first three chapters and expanding them out into their own book.

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📖 Read pages 58-73 of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

📖 Read pages 58-73 of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

The big day finally arrives and the children enter the chocolate factory with Mr. Willy Wonka. We see the chocolate waterfall and river and see the first Oompa-Loompas.

I’m not quite sure how Mr. Wonka (and interestingly he’s always called Mr.), managed to get sunlight down into his underground chocolate room–I’m presuming all the edible plants grow somehow.

 

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📺 Watched Madame Secretary, S3 E22: Revelation

Revelation, S3 E22 (Madam Secretary (CBS))
During the G20 conference, Elizabeth worries about Henry who was sent to Israel to intercept the VFF's bio-weapon. Blake reveals a secret to former colleagues. Elizabeth goes behind Stevie's back to get her off the Harvard Law waiting list.

Madam Secretary S3 E22Blake’s reveal that he’s bisexual was a nice bit of cultural touchstone to put into the episode.

The wrap up of the ongoing secondary story arc with the religious nuts and the biological weapon was done too quickly and too neatly given how much of the season had been dedicated to it thus far.

Hard to believe the next episode is the season ender already.

📺 Watched Madame Secretary, S3 E21: The Seventh Floor

The Seventh Floor, S3 E21 (Madame Secretary (CBS))
The Secretary and her team must help save an American journalist held hostage in Sudan.

Madam SecretaryThe opening seemed like it was going to be an out of the ordinary episode that followed a day in the life of one of the secondary characters (Blake), but left off after the first few minutes. I almost wished it had followed on the way it started to provide some variety in this type of show. I remember there were West Wing episodes that did this, but I suppose that was a much more balanced ensemble while this series is a bit more lopsided in its character involvement.

The reveal of Daisy’s pregnancy and peoples’ reactions was relatively interesting.

There was a short, but nice turn in this by Skipp Sudduth who I haven’t been seeing as much as I feel I ought to lately.