Good Things: August 31st, 2016

  1. The ATF is responsible for running traces on guns used in crimes. They are also legally forbidden from using computers to keep track of the guns. The system they use instead is insane. (Jeanne Marie Laskas / GQ)
  2. Taffy Brodesser-Akner had a teenage crush on Christian Slater when he was a bad boy actor. Now that he’s straight edge, is he the same guy? (Taffy Brodesser-Akner / GQ)
  3. What Matt Levine is doing with his daily newsletter Money Stuff is art, and today’s was masterful. He covers the Apple tax case, sell-side research, blockchains, Swiss monetary policy, and, of course, bond market liquidity. (Matt Levine / Bloomberg View)
  4. This profile of Trump’s national finance chairman reveals why any respectable people are helping his campaign: it’s the pain trade. As a political outsider and establishment pariah, Trump offers the unique opportunity for people to buy an undervalued asset, so to speak. (Max Abelson and Zachary Mider / Bloomberg Businessweek)
  5. When thinking about who will dominate the transportation-as-a-service market, it’s important to remember that the service includes drivers (for now), cars, mapping, riders, and routing. (Ben Thompson / Stratechery)
  6. “[Amazon] is the fifth-most valuable in the world: Its market capitalization is about $366 billion, which is roughly equal to the combined worth of Walmart, FedEx, and Boeing.” (Devin Leonard / Bloomberg Businessweek)
  7. Twitter is most certainly a love-hate relationship. I’m currently on a break with it. (Felix Biederman / Deadspin)
  8. John Bogle, the founder of Vanguard, continues to be underrated. (Hamilton Nolan / Deadspin)
  9. “Conor had to go up, just for it to be fair — a bold and almost gentlemanly move designed to level the playing field. (Weight classes exist for a reason, and by gaining the weight, McGregor, already a title holder at 145, was risking a real reduction in his agility.) Anyway, Conor was ready; all he had to do was gain some weight. Nate was not ready. He barely had time to sober up from his endless stream of marijuana. No way Conor could lose.” (Taffy Brodesser-Akner / GQ)
  10. “Prophet Muhammad wasn’t just a prophet. He was also a politician, and not just a politician, but a head of state and a state-builder. If Prophet Muhammad was in a position of holding territory and governing territory, then presumably the Quran would have to have something to say about governance. Otherwise, how would Prophet Muhammad be guided? That’s one thing intertwining the religion and politics that isn’t accidental, and was meant to be that way.” (Shadi Hamid via Isaac Chotiner / Slate)
  11. The zen of American river rafting. (Ryan Cooper / The Week)

Hope you had a good Wednesday,

Alec

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