(Not) boring finds for September 2016


Here is our harvest of handpicked insights for the curious and inquisitive. These are just some of the thought provoking and illuminating reads that came across our radar this month. Some relate to investing. Others simply captured our imaginations and made us ponder.

The New York Times -- Envisioning Bitcoin's Technology at the Heart of Global Finance

A good primer on the potential impact of blockchain technology on finance. With bank margins thin, this is a potential cost-saver for the entire system.

The Economist -- Technology Quarterly: The Future of Agriculture, Factory Fresh

“His farm is wired up like a lab rat. Or, to be more accurate, it is wirelessed up. Moisture sensors planted throughout the nut groves keep track of what is going on in the soil. They send their results to a computer in the cloud (the network of servers that does an increasing amount of the world’s heavy-duty computing) to be crunched. The results are passed back to the farm’s irrigation system—a grid of drip tapes (hoses with holes punched in them) that are filled by pumps.”

Nautilus -- The Unique Neurology of the Sports Fan's Brain

“There is a script of being a good fan which means talking sh*t to the other fans,” says Cikara. “That allows for the enactment of some of these tribal behaviors in a space where it is acceptable and anticipated. Sports is a place where we as a society have decided that it’s OK to say nasty things and root for the downfall of another.” And that is perhaps more gratifying than we realize.

TED Talks (Video) -- Why You Think You're Right -- Even if You're Wrong

“Perspective is everything, especially when it comes to examining your beliefs. Are you a soldier, prone to defending your viewpoint at all costs — or a scout, spurred by curiosity? Julia Galef examines the motivations behind these two mindsets and how they shape the way we interpret information."

The New York Times -- What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team

“To be fully present at work, to feel ‘‘psychologically safe,’’ we must know that we can be free enough, sometimes, to share the things that scare us without fear of recriminations. We must be able to talk about what is messy or sad, to have hard conversations with colleagues who are driving us crazy. We can’t be focused just on efficiency.”

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