Summary of “MTV News and the Threats to Negative Criticism”

Late last month, MTV announced that it was dismantling its online news team to concentrate on less spiritually demanding material-or, as the company put it in an exquisitely demoralizing press release, “Shifting resources into short-form video content more in line with young people’s media consumption habits.” For writers and readers of journalism-particularly for writers and readers of criticism-the phrase “Pivot to video” has now become tragicomic shorthand for the continuing degradation of the form.
In October, the critic David Turner published a thoughtful and humane essay on the evolution of his relationship with the music of Chance the Rapper.
As a critical engagement, it is gentle; the most overtly condemning line in the whole thing has to do with Chance’s decision to trot out too many life-size puppets during his stage show.
The story is one of several pieces that MTV News ran about Chance the Rapper that fall; the rest were unilaterally favorable.
Chance’s management saw it, contacted MTV, and, per internal correspondence verified by Sargent, announced that Chance would not work with MTV again, in any capacity.
“Upon the publication of the article, Chance and I got together & both agreed that the article was offensive,” Chance’s manager, Pat Corcoran, admitted to Sargent.
“When we brought our concerns to MTV, our rep agreed that the article was ‘a harsh shot’ & took ownership of the editorial misstep. From there, MTV chose to, on their own volition, to remove the piece. We have a long history with MTV, which we cherish. You may notice, Chance will be appearing in the season opener of Wild ‘N Out tmw night on MTV.”.
Maybe Chance no longer requires MTV, or any major media outlet, to publicize his music.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Messy, always late and swear like a sailor? It just means you’re super smart”

You see, my desk is always messy, I swear like a sailor and I tend to sleep late in the morning – normally because I’ve stayed up into the early hours, watching trash on TV. And while all these things may seem like bad habits, you don’t need to look that hard to find evidence that they’re the opposite.
I’ve carefully cherry-picked research studies to create a greatest hits of egocentric evidence designed to prove that all your bad habits are good habits.
Take, for example, a 2009 study by British researchers entitled “Why Night Owls are More Intelligent”, which posits: “More intelligent children are more likely to grow up to be nocturnal adults who go to bed late and wake up late on both weekdays and weekends.” Apparently, this is explained by evolution.
Staying up late is “Evolutionary novel” behaviour that means you’re more likely to win in life.
A 2013 study from the University of Minnesota found mess makes you more creative.
Rather, per psychologist Dr Linda Sapadin, persistent lateness can come from “An obsessive thinking problem”; you are not late because you don’t care, you are late because you care too much and overthink situations.
Last year a study in the journal Poetics found people who like so-bad-it’s-good movies are of above-average education.
The study, entitled “Enjoying Trash Films: Underlying Features, Viewing Stances, and Experiential Response Dimensions” noted: “The majority of trash film fans appear to be well-educated cultural ‘omnivores’, and they conceive of their preference for trash films in terms of an ironic viewing stance.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Sean Marks Is Lifting the Nets Out of the Abyss”

Over the weekend, the Nets landed DeMarre Carroll and the Raptors’ first- and second-round picks in 2018 for Justin Hamilton, an NBA rotation player who, if we’re being honest, is probably better known as an unlikely narrative device in Zach Lowe’s column on the NBA’s scoring explosion last season than he is as a Nets big man.
To understand what GM Sean Marks has accomplished in his year and a half with the team, you have to hold your nose and take a dive back into that abyss.
In a short time Marks has constructed an identity for the Nets from a transactional perspective: They might be the pettiest little team in the league.
Since Marks took office, the Nets have signed offer sheets with four different restricted free agents and haven’t landed a single one.
The Nets still have one more year of purgatory left to go - no matter how well or how poorly they play next season, they will forfeit their first-round pick to Boston - so loading up on expensive, ineffective players doesn’t exactly affect what the Nets are hoping to achieve.
“So it’s not like last year when there were a couple dozen teams that could offer big salaries. It’s shrinking as it goes. There’s no secret out there now. Every team knows we’ve got plenty of cash to spend and maneuver around. We’ll just be strategic in how we do it.”
Three years ago, a painfully mediocre Brooklyn Nets team paid nearly $90.6 million in luxury tax, a record-obliterating figure that, despite a windfall in team spending power over the past two seasons, has yet to be matched, let alone topped.
True to their strategy, in proving that there is no such thing as an untradable contract, the Nets are also proving that there is no such thing as an unsavable team.

The orginal article.

Summary of “MMQB: Cardinals RB David Johnson, Stephon Gilmore, more NFL notes”

Ninety nine percent of all NFL players are explicitly not dumb.
I asked Johnson if, growing up, he would he have believed that one day he’d be in the NFL and running a bread and butter play that hinged on the blocks he gets from, of all people, superstar wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald?
He said: “I’m definitely going to have to say I feel like I should be number one. If there’s a player in the NFL who doesn’t feel that way, they definitely should not be in the NFL. I feel like I should be number one, especially with the season I had last year, helping out the team. And I still have a lot of room to improve.”
SMARTER FOOTBALL: A series examining the cerebral side of the sport, including technology, analytics, how a brainy linebacker prepares and just what goes into a typical NFL play.
NFL players don’t grow as a film student on their own.
” Clark, who now works as an analyst for ESPN, works with a handful of NFL players, watching their tape and providing feedback, and when possible, training with the guy.
BREAKING DOWN THE NUANCES OF AN NFL PLAY: James Urban, one of the league’s most respected assistants, with a lesson in play design.
The difference? Rodgers still makes plays, even on the snaps where he misses plays.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The man who built a $1bn firm in his basement”

After a month of working “Crazy hours”, Mr Rodrigues had come up with his first fully formed idea – a software system that allowed the user to control his or her mobile phone from their laptop.
Naming his company Soti, sales of the system started to grow slowly, until 12 months later Mr Rodrigues got a phone call out of the blue from one of the UK’s largest supermarket groups.
“Mr Rodrigues, now 55 and Soti’s chief executive, says:”I was still in my basement when I got a call from the company, saying they would like to place an order.
Soti has never looked back; and while most people have never heard of the firm – because it sells its mobile technology software systems to companies instead of consumers – it today has annual revenues of $80m. This is despite Mr Rodrigues not needing any external investment.
Instead of still being based in Mr Rodrigues’ basement, its headquarters is split across two buildings in Mississauga, which borders Toronto in the Canadian province of Ontario.
Technology journalist Martin Veitch who has followed Mr Rodrigues’ career, says Soti has been so successful because of its specialised approach.
One problem Mr Rodrigues says the company has faced, is struggling to recruit enough good computer programmers.
While Mr Rodrigues no longer has to work from his basement, his mother-in-law still lives with him, his wife and their two sons.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Capitalism the Apple Way vs. Capitalism the Google Way”

While lots of attention is directed toward identifying the next great start-up, the defining tech-industry story of the last decade has been the rise of Apple and Google.
The greatest collision between Apple and Google is little noticed.
A few weeks after Apple’s concession to shareholders, the founders of Google announced a new share structure that would defend against a similar situation: The structure gave the founders’ shares 10 times the voting power of regular shares, ensuring they’d dictate the company’s strategy long into the future and that Google was, in the words of the founders, “Set up for success for decades to come.”
What has happened to Google and Apple in the wake of these events is the defining story of early 21st-century capitalism.
Several hedge funds started asking for much larger payouts, with some of them filing suits against Apple and even proposing an “iPref”-a new type of share that would allow Apple to release much more cash in a way that didn’t incur as high of a tax bill.
What has Google done in that same period? Google is, like Apple, making loads of money.
The paths taken by Apple and Google manifest alternative answers to one of the main questions facing capitalism today: What should public companies do with all of the money that they’re making? Even as corporations have brought in enormous profits, there has been a shortage of lucrative opportunities for investment and growth, creating surpluses of cash.
Who’s right? Which principal-agent problem is more vexing? Stock-market returns are one, albeit imperfect, way of answering this question and since the initial developments, Google has far outperformed Apple.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Problem with Being a Top Performer”

The top performers in their fields-from LeBron James to Oprah Winfrey to Bill Gates-seem to have it all.
According to a recent estimate, top performers produce 20 to 30 times more than the average employee in their fields.
New research demonstrates that performing at high levels can also come with some heavy costs: It can make our peers resent us and try to undermine our good work.
There’s more: the “Social penalty” that star performers suffer is actually higher in more collaborative workplaces.
This hypothesis might sound far-fetched, but it’s actually common for peers to punish top performers.
The results showed that peers were more likely to belittle, insult, and damage the reputation of high rather than low performers.
The more collaborative the team was, the more peers mistreated high performers.
If resources were shared, peers benefitted from working with a star and thus socially supported the high performer.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Gordon Hayward Is Exactly What The Celtics Needed”

Gordon Hayward, the All-Star forward who was departing the Utah Jazz as a free agent, confirmed on Tuesday night that he was joining the Celtics, which makes them a bit more formidable at a time when the Cavs have their own organizational challenges in front of them.
Hayward is one of the more organic scorers in the NBA and doesn’t need to dominate the ball to make an impact.
Hayward, like many other NBA guards, has nearly perfected the art of drawing fouls as a jump shooter.
That’s part of the reason that Hayward figures to fit so well with Boston.
Boston currently designs many of their sets around Thomas’s quickness – they use handoffs more than any other team because he excels at them – and there’s nothing about Hayward that suggests that will change.
If there’s a clear downside in all this for Boston, it’s that the club still has to make room under the salary cap for Hayward and his max contract, and that means shedding players.
Hayward is best known for what he does on the offensive side of the ball, but he’s no slouch on defense.
As ESPN’s Kevin Pelton noted, the Hayward signing itself may not yield more regular-season wins right off the bat.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Earth’s sixth mass extinction event under way, scientists warn”

A “Biological annihilation” of wildlife in recent decades means a sixth mass extinction in Earth’s history is under way and is more severe than previously feared, according to research.
Scientists analysed both common and rare species and found billions of regional or local populations have been lost.
The new work instead takes a broader view, assessing many common species which are losing populations all over the world as their ranges shrink, but remain present elsewhere.
The scientists found that a third of the thousands of species losing populations are not currently considered endangered and that up to 50% of all individual animals have been lost in recent decades.
The scientists found billions of populations of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians have been lost all over the planet, leading them to say a sixth mass extinction has already progressed further than was thought.
The ultimate cause of all of these factors is “Human overpopulation and continued population growth, and overconsumption, especially by the rich”, say the scientists, who include Prof Paul Ehrlich, at Stanford University in the US, whose 1968 book The Population Bomb is a seminal, if controversial, work.
Prof Stuart Pimm, at Duke University in the US and not involved in the new work, said the overall conclusion is correct, but he disagrees that a sixth mass extinction is already under way: “It is something that hasn’t happened yet – we are on the edge of it.”
A messy prolonged climate change event, again hitting life in shallow seas very hard, killing 70% of species including almost all corals.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How economics became a religion”

We follow an even more powerful religion, around which we have oriented our lives: economics.
At the end of the 20th century, amid an economic boom that saw the western economies become richer than humanity had ever known, economics seemed to have conquered the globe.
The hubris in economics came not from a moral failing among economists, but from a false conviction: the belief that theirs was a science.
The American Economic Association, to which Robert Lucas gave his address, was created in 1885, just when economics was starting to define itself as a distinct discipline.
Such responses served to remind practitioners of the taboos of economics: a gentle nudge to a young academic that such shibboleths might not sound so good before a tenure committee.
If you think describing economics as a religion debunks it, you’re wrong.
Paradoxically as economics becomes more truly scientific, it will become less of a science.
This is an edited extract from Twilight of the Money Gods: Economics as a Religion and How it all Went Wrong by John Rapley, published by Simon & Schuster on 13 July at £20.

The orginal article.