What’s Next — Unsexy, Art, History

by Jordan Gonen | 8.27.2018

Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

Hey there 👋Happy Monday!

I hope you have a great week. Let me know if anything I can do to be helpful :)

Articles to Read.

The Great Chinese Art Heist:

The patterns of the heists were evident only later, but their audacity was clear from the start. The spree began in Stockholm in 2010, with cars burning in the streets on a foggy summer evening. The fires had been lit as a distraction, a ploy to lure the attention of the police. As the vehicles blazed, a band of thieves raced toward the Swedish royal residence and smashed their way into the Chinese Pavilion on the grounds of Drottningholm Palace. There they grabbed what they wanted from the permanent state collection of art and antiquities. Police told the press the thieves had fled by moped to a nearby lake, ditched their bikes into the water, and escaped by speedboat. The heist took less than six minutes.


The Dialysis Industry is Failing America:

America’s reactive model of kidney care enriches an oligopolistic dialysis industry, wastes billions of dollars a year, and creates worse health outcomes for millions of Americans each decade. This model evolved due in part to well-meaning but misguided government policies over the past decades — we must realign incentives and shift to a preventative, value-based care model that addresses the root causes of chronic kidney disease.



Teaching Iteration:

So here’s my one small idea: I’d begin to teach iteration. Iteration as a subject, equivalient to math, science, history, language, art, music, etc. How do you make something better over time? How do you return to something that you’ve done and see it with fresh eyes? How do you apply new perspective to an old problem? Where do you find that new perspective? What trails do you follow and which do you ignore? How do you smash the familiar and reassemble something new from the same pieces?

So, perhaps for a final assignment (no matter the subject), students should be able to choose something they did earlier in the year and get a chance to improve on it. Make version 2. I think working on four things, and getting a chance to redo one of them would be more valuable than working on five separate things. It would be a better education.


Google Should Open a Bank:

Google Bank augments your transactions with data it already has about you and the things you interact with.

At Google Bank there are no fiddly toolbars to choose dates, you simply type or speak a search query and Google Bank fetches the results. At Google Bank, querying and searching transactions uses Google’s core technology — search.


Should Prison Sentences Be Based On Crimes That Haven’t Been Committed Yet?:

Criminal sentencing has long been based on the present crime and, sometimes, the defendant’s past criminal record. In Pennsylvania, judges could soon consider a new dimension: the future.


Artwork Personalization at Netflix:

For many years, the main goal of the Netflix personalized recommendation system has been to get the right titles in front each of our members at the right time. With a catalog spanning thousands of titles and a diverse member base spanning over a hundred million accounts, recommending the titles that are just right for each member is crucial. But the job of recommendation does not end there. Why should you care about any particular title we recommend? What can we say about a new and unfamiliar title that will pique your interest? How do we convince you that a title is worth watching? Answering these questions is critical in helping our members discover great content, especially for unfamiliar titles.

One avenue to address this challenge is to consider the artwork or imagery we use to portray the titles. If the artwork representing a title captures something compelling to you, then it acts as a gateway into that title and gives you some visual “evidence” for why the title might be good for you. The artwork may highlight an actor that you recognize, capture an exciting moment like a car chase, or contain a dramatic scene that conveys the essence of a movie or TV show. If we present that perfect image on your homepage (and as they say: an image is worth a thousand words), then maybe, just maybe, you will give it a try. This is yet another way Netflix differs from traditional media offerings: we don’t have one product but over a 100 million different products with one for each of our members with personalized recommendations and personalized visuals.


America’s Invisible Pot Addicts:

Health experts also cited an uncomfortable truth about allowing a vice product to be widely available, loosely regulated, and fully commercialized: Heavy users will make up a huge share of sales, with businesses wanting them to buy more and spend more and use more, despite any health consequences.

More to Check Out:
- History of Wells Fargo
- Anthony Bourdain Documentary
- Falling in Love
- Imaginary Landscapes
- How Much Space Does $1,500 Rent You in the 100 Most Populous US Cities?Like reading books? Check out Bookclub.


Podcasts to Listen To:

- Hardcore History 43–47 — Wrath of the Khans Series (my favorite new podcast — costs $10)


My Update:

- Landed in St. Louis yesterday for the start of my Senior Year. Excited to be back!

- I had ideas for a class and a summer camp — let me know what you think.

- Let me know how I can be helpful :)