Apparently this is a thing…
Sometimes you have to remind yourself that they also sell a beverage.
A long (and now, dated) but interesting article on Livestrong. I found this particular quote interesting:
Equally interesting is what the foundation doesn’t do. Most people—including nearly everybody I surveyed while reporting this story—assume that Livestrong funnels large amounts of money into cancer research. Nope. The foundation gave out a total of $20 million in research grants between 1998 and 2005, the year it began phasing out its support of hard science. A note on the foundation’s website informs visitors that, as of 2010, it no longer even accepts research proposals.
It’s Not About The Lab Rats [Outside Online]
Following on from the recent article I posted about cheating in marathon running, here’s an article about cheating in a totally different activity (sport?): chess.
But by 2007, a chess engine called Rybka was routinely shutting out grandmasters even when spotting the humans a pawn and taking black, thereby letting humans go first, the more statistically desirable position. Computers have gotten noticeably better since then; humans haven’t.
The man-machine war in chess is no longer contested: “Computers are better than us,” says USCF president Ruth Haring.
A couple years ago, I spoke with Larry Kaufman, a designer of the Rybka software, regarded in recent years as the strongest chess engine on the market. I asked if he worried that his brainchild would be abused by bad guys. Never, he said.
“The cheating part isn’t hard,” Kaufman told me. “Getting away with it is. I don’t think chess players are good enough to get away with it.”
The evolution of cheating in chess [Grantland]
How a dentist’s amazing results has confused the amateur marathon community in the US.
Is Kip Litton a Marathon Fraud? [The New Yorker]
An interesting interview of a book by Tyler Hamilton, the convicted drug cheat and team-mate of Lance Armstrong.
Here’s the reality: The Secret Race isn’t just a game changer for the Lance Armstrong myth. It’s the game ender. No one can read this book with an open mind and still credibly believe that Armstrong didn’t dope. It’s impossible. That doesn’t change the fact that he survived cancer and helped millions of people through Livestrong, but the myth of the clean-racing hero who came back from the dead is, well, dead.
Tyler Hamilton on Lance Armstrong: The Secret Is Out [Outside Online]
Joel Spolsky explains that some companies would be suited better to a bottom-up management approach. I really just love this article for the quote about people trying to emulate Steve Jobs (who was definitely a top-down manager).
And yes, you’re right, Steve Jobs didn’t manage this way. He was a dictatorial, autocratic asshole who ruled by fiat and fear. Maybe he made great products this way. But you? You are not Steve Jobs. You are not better at design than everyone in your company. You are not better at programming than every engineer in your company. You are not better at sales than every salesperson in the company.
It is not, as it turns out, necessary to be a micromanaging psychopath with narcissistic personality disorder (or even to pretend to be one) if you just hire smart people and give them real authority. The saddest thing about the Steve Jobs hagiography is all the young “incubator twerps” strutting around Mountain View deliberately cultivating their worst personality traits because they imagine that’s what made Steve Jobs a design genius. Cum hoc ergo propter hoc, young twerp. Maybe try wearing a black turtleneck too.
The Management Team [AVC]
An interesting article that envisages that the NFL may come to an end in the not-too-distant future due to the amount of head injuries and the flow-on effect from reduced participation in high schools.
Imagine the timeline. A couple more college players — or worse, high schoolers — commit suicide with autopsies showing CTE. A jury makes a huge award of $20 million to a family. A class-action suit shapes up with real legs, the NFL keeps changing its rules, but it turns out that less than concussion levels of constant head contact still produce CTE. Technological solutions (new helmets, pads) are tried and they fail to solve the problem. Soon high schools decide it isn’t worth it. The Ivy League quits football, then California shuts down its participation, busting up the Pac-12. Then the Big Ten calls it quits, followed by the East Coast schools. Now it’s mainly a regional sport in the southeast and Texas/Oklahoma. The socioeconomic picture of a football player becomes more homogeneous: poor, weak home life, poorly educated. Ford and Chevy pull their advertising, as does IBM and eventually the beer companies.
What Would the End of Football Look Like? [Grantland]
Finally, a one minute video explaining Schrödinger’s Cat. I’m a sucker for this style of YouTube videos. This is now one of my three YouTube subscriptions (the others being My Drunk Kitchen and Natalie Tran).