The weekend is here! Pour yourself a cup of Bean Box coffee, sit down on the couch, and get ready for our longer weekend reads:
• The illusion of knowledge: I’ve expressed my contempt for forecasts for almost as long as I’ve been writing my memos, starting with The Value of Predictions, or Where All These Rains Came From in February 1993. Over the years since then, I’ve I’ve explained at length why I’m not interested in forecasting – some of my favorite quotes echoing my disdain in the sections below – but I’ve never devoted a note to explaining why making macro forecasts useful is so difficult. So this is it. (Capital Oaktree)
• Most pros can’t beat the market: It remains incredibly difficult to generate returns in the stock market that beat (or outperform) a passively managed fund tracking the S&P 500. According to the S&P Dow Jones Indices (SPDJI), 51.2% of U.S. equity fund managers large caps underperformed the S&P 500 during the first half of 2022 – despite the fact that the S&P itself fell into a bear market during this period. (TKer)
• Market Share: Understanding Competitive Advantage Through Market Power “There is no more important proposition in economic theory than that, under competition, the rate of return on investment tends towards equality in all industries. (Morgan Stanley)
• We spoke with the last person standing in the floppy business It turns out that the obsolete floppy disk is in much more demand than you might think. (AIGA eye on design)
• A GMO purple tomato hits grocery store aisles. Will the United States bite? Most genetically modified foods have been developed to help farmers. This one will try to sway the health-conscious product buyers. (Cable)
• Focus: Once thought to primarily affect hyperstimulated boys, diagnoses of ADHD have increased in adult women. For one writer, coming to terms with his diagnosis later in life put his past and family history in a new light. (Harper’s Bazaar)
• How many people can the Earth handle? By the end of 2022, the human population on Earth is expected to reach eight billion. To mark the occasion, BBC Future takes a look at one of the most controversial topics of our time. Are we too many? Or is this the wrong question? (BBC)
• Can’t we offer something better than liberal democracy? The West’s favorite form of self-government looks cringe-worthy. A jurist and a philosopher offer alternatives. (New Yorker)
• The mysterious and stubborn appeal of mass-produced fried chicken: Why do so many accomplished chefs call Popeyes their favorite fried chicken? (Vice)
• Roger Federer is retiring from tennis – but his mark on the sport is indelible: To understand Roger Federer is to grasp sporting harmony. He talks about his strategy of fire and ice: combining the burning desire to succeed and the composure to keep your cool. His career has been a story of mind and body working together like clockwork, to create an aesthetically delightful state of tennis – and also a method that has led to incredible success. (ESPN) see also Roger Federer as religious experience: (Published in 2006) (New York Times)
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with Albert Wenger, Managing Partner at Union Square Ventures. He co-founded 5 companies; served as president of del.icio.us until the company was sold to Yahoo; angel investor Etsy + Tumblr. Wenger is the author of World After Capital, describing the shift to the knowledge age + its implications for business and society.
End of Covid-19 “in sight”?
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To find out how these readings are put together each day, please see this.