The decision to quit was liberating, terrifying, and confusing. Why did I feel so free when I had given up one of my first loves? But quitting felt good for the reason that starting to play chess felt right in the first place—it was entirely my choice to do so. And with that decision, my competitive, causal chess mindset began to weaken, and my perspective finally cleared.
Meanwhile, Tetris began to fill my gaming void. I play Tetris every day, and every day I pick up the game knowing that I will lose. How long will I play before I lose? How fast will the pieces go? How much will I score? Those are the metrics the game tracks. But I added a way to win—I win if I play Tetris every day.
Not everything in the military can or should come down to direct dollars-and-cents analysis. Good order and discipline is hard to put a pricetag on. But, just because the military doesn’t pay by the hour doesn’t mean that time is free. The costs aren’t reflected in a balance sheet, but they are real, borne by the military and its people.
→ Task and Purpose
The market is giving its own answer to the question “Is honesty for suckers?” Its response is: “No, honesty is for those who want to maximize value over the long term.” Of course, some corporations will get away with cheating. But the risk is always there that they will be caught. And often – especially for corporations whose brands’ reputation is a major asset – the risk just isn’t worth taking.
Honesty maximizes value over the long term, even if by “value” we mean only the monetary return to shareholders. It is even more obviously true if value includes the sense of satisfaction that all those involved take from their work. Several studies have shown that members of the generation that has come of age in the new millennium are more interested in having an impact on the world than in earning money for its own sake. This is the generation that has spawned “effective altruism,” which encourages giving money away, as long as it is done efficiently.
→ Project Syndicate
Although investors were being phished, they “had no reason to be suspicious. They had been told of the wonders of free markets.” But free markets were not so wondrous, because they put the producers of the new, complex, risky securities at a big advantage over the producers of the older, simpler, safer ones. After all, the new securities promised higher returns while disguising the risk of default:
As long as a significant part of the bond-buying public was willing to swallow the myth whole, the investment bankers had an incentive to produce those rotten avocados, and to extract from the agencies the high ratings that would be the cover-up.
On modern advertising and one of my favorite, beloved Ogilvy’s ad :
Akerlof and Shiller think that the idea of phishing also helps to explain modern advertising, especially when we focus on the crucial role of narrative in human thinking. Clever marketers offer simple, attractive stories about their products, and get those stories to stick in the human mind. Consider a famous advertisement for Rolls-Royce, displaying an elegant young mother in the driver’s seat, turned slightly toward her elegant children, who are walking toward the car from outside the entrance to an elegant grocery store. The headline of the copy: “At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock.” Advertisements of this kind tell an appealing story about what life would be like with the product.
→ The New York Review Of Books
In one piece, hopefully :
American Apparel, the one-time arbiter of edgy made-in-America cool, filed for bankruptcy protection early Monday, its business crippled by huge debts, a precipitous fall in sales, employee strife and a drawn-out legal battle with the retailer’s ousted founder, Dov Charney.
→ The New York Times
The cheaters :
Two top Volkswagen engineers who found they couldn’t deliver as promised a clean diesel engine for the U.S. market are at the center of a company probe into the installation of engine software designed to fool regulators, according to people familiar with the matter.
→ The Wall Street Journal
Visa, McDonald’s, and Coca Cola, among the biggest sponsors of the FIFA World Cup, have called on Sepp Blatter, the head of soccer’s governing body, to resign immediately.
Here’s McDonald’s statement:
The events of recent weeks have continued to diminish the reputation of FIFA and public confidence in its leadership. We believe it would be in the best interest of the game for FIFA President Sepp Blatter to step down immediately so that the reform process can proceed with the credibility that is needed.
Coca Cola said:
For the benefit of the game, The Coca-Cola Company is calling for FIFA President Joseph Blatter to step down immediately so that a credible and sustainable reform process can begin in earnest. Every day that passes, the image and reputation of FIFA continues to tarnish. FIFA needs comprehensive and urgent reform, and that can only be accomplished through a truly independent approach.
We believe no meaningful reform can be made under FIFA’s existing leadership. And given the events of last week, it’s clear it would be in the best interests of FIFA and the sport for Sepp Blatter to step down immediately.
→ The Atlantic