Saturday Night Live

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Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling


Berlin Wall, Burning Man, Donner party, East Village, illegal immigration, index card, medical residency, pre–internet, rent control, Saturday Night Live, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory

I just have always wanted to see a cool girl having her first kiss with a guy she’s had a crush on, and then have to excuse herself to go trap the pissed-off ghosts of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire or something. In my imagination, I am, of course, one of the ghostbusters, with the likes of say, Emily Blunt, Taraji Henson, and Natalie Portman. Even if I’m not the ringleader, I’m definitely the one who gets to say “I ain’t afraid a no ghost.” At least the first time. Contributing Nothing at Saturday Night Live I WAS A dreadful guest writer on Saturday Night Live. Not like, destructively bad or anything, just a useless, friendly extra body in the SNL offices eating hamburgers for free, like Wimpy from Popeye. I came into the show during the hiatus between seasons two and three of The Office. My friend Mike Schur, who had worked at SNL before The Office, recommended me to Mike Shoemaker, a producer over there. Mike Shoemaker and some others had liked an episode of The Office I’d written called “The Injury,” where Michael grills his foot accidentally in a George Foreman Grill.

Everyone has a moment when they discover they love Amy Poehler. For most people it happened sometime during her run on Saturday Night Live. For some it was when she came back to the show in 2009, nine months’ pregnant, and did that complicated, hard-core Sarah Palin rap on Weekend Update. I first noticed Amy when I was in high school and I saw her on Conan’s first show. She was in a sketch playing Andy Richter’s “little sister Stacey.” Stacey had pigtails and headgear and was obsessed with Conan. As a performer, she was this pretty little gremlin, all elbows and blond hair and manic eyes. As a teenager, I tracked her career as best I could without the Internet, and was overjoyed when I saw she had become a cast member on Saturday Night Live. I loved when she played Kaitlin, with her cool stepdad, Rick. But when this popular, pretty genius made this kind gesture to me?

We were walking by the reservoir one beautiful late-spring afternoon eating ice-cream cones and he was suddenly shot in the back of the head by a deranged man wearing an Antonin Scalia mask. “Scalia” runs away, cackling like the Joker, and hops into an Escalade and peels off. My handsome, innocent husband dies in my arms, the very night he was going to host Saturday Night Live for the first time. (Oh, yes, in this fantasy, my husband is a star point guard for the team that just won the NBA Finals.) They get Jon Hamm to host a very somber Saturday Night Live that night. I can barely do the cameo I was going to do on Weekend Update. Yes, I still do the cameo. I’m sad, but come on—SNL cameo. Seth Meyers can’t muster up the cheerfulness he usually has, either. The day’s horrible events have marred everything. After my husband’s murder, I spend a lot of time doing push-ups and sit-ups, and I cut my hair very short while staring at myself in the mirror with dead eyes.

Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations With Today's Top Comedy Writers by Mike Sacks


Bernie Madoff, Columbine, hive mind, index card, iterative process, Norman Mailer, period drama, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Saturday Night Live, Upton Sinclair

Not really flat, but just on the underneath side.” —Chet Baker “And now I’ll serve you the beans you so justly deserve.” —Chris Elliott as Marlon Brando, Late Night with David Letterman CONTENTS Praise for Mike Sacks Title Page Copyright Dedication Epigraphs Introduction Interview JAMES DOWNEY (Saturday Night Live) Ultraspecific Comedic Knowledge: Writing for Monty Python TERRY JONES Pure, Hard-Core Advice DIABLO CODY: (Juno, Young Adult, Sweet Valley High) Interview MIKE SCHUR (Saturday Night Live, The Office, Parks and Recreation) Ultraspecific Comedic Knowledge: Writing a Submission Packet for Late-Night TV TODD LEVIN (Conan) Pure, Hard-Core Advice ANDRÉS DU BOUCHET (Best Week Ever, Conan) Interview HENRY BEARD (National Lampoon, Bored of the Rings, Latin for All Occasions) Ultraspecific Comedic Knowledge: Getting the Details Right JAMES L.

It is a fragile art. And as you will read here, it is a tough, yet fascinating life. These are writers who do it their way (and always have), and the rest of us, as well as the world of comedy, are much better off for their efforts. —MIKE SACKS JAMES DOWNEY Saturday Night Live has employed hundreds of comedy writers in its four decades on the air, but no writer has been associated with the show longer—or had more of a lasting impact—than James Woodward Downey. If Lorne Michaels is the face of Saturday Night Live, Downey is its behind-the-scenes creative force. Downey first began to consider the possibility of making a living as a writer while at Harvard, where he served as president of the Harvard Lampoon. There he caught the attention of writers Michael O’Donoghue and Doug Kenney (both already stars at The National Lampoon), who suggested he come work with them in New York.

Called by Michaels the best political humorist alive, Downey has been responsible for most of the political-centered pieces during Saturday Night Live’s run (many of which he co-wrote with now Senator Al Franken), starting with Jimmy Carter in the mid-’70s and ending, five administrations later, with Barack Obama. The power of Downey’s political comedy extends beyond laughs; more impressively, his work has influenced the actual political landscape. In 2008—during a live, televised debate seen by millions—Hillary Clinton referred to one of Downey’s recent sketches to make her point that perhaps the press was going just a bit too easy on her opponent. “I just find it curious,” she said, “if anybody saw Saturday Night Live . . . maybe we should ask Barack if he’s comfortable and needs another pillow?” In 2013, after working on SNL off and on for thirty-three of its thirty-eight seasons—and serving as head writer for Late Night with David Letterman in 1982 for two years (where he created the Top Ten List)—Downey retired from the show, and now divides his time between New York City and rural upstate New York, where he hopes to achieve his goal of “harmless eccentric.”

pages: 588 words: 193,087

And Here's the Kicker: Conversations with 21 Top Humor Writers on Their Craft by Mike Sacks


Albert Einstein, Columbine, Donald Trump, Exxon Valdez, fear of failure, game design, illegal immigration, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, index card, Norman Mailer, out of africa, pre–internet, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, upwardly mobile

Show with Bob and David) TODD HANSON (The Onion) MARSHALL BRICKMAN (The Tonight Show, Annie Hall, Manhattan, The Muppet Show) Quick and Painless Advice for the Aspiring Humor Writer, Part Four: Getting Your Humor Piece Published in The New Yorker MITCH HURWITZ (Arrested Development) Quick and Painless Advice for the Aspiring Humor Writer, Part Five: Acquiring an Agent or Manager for Your Script DAVID SEDARIS (Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day) GEORGE MEYER (Army Man, The Simpsons) AL JAFFEE (Mad's Fold-In, “Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions”) ALLISON SILVERMAN (The Daily Show, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Colbert Report) Quick and Painless Advice for the Aspiring Humor Writer, Part Six: Getting a Job as a Writer for Late-Night Television ROBERT SMIGEL (Saturday Night Live, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, “TV Funhouse”) DAVE BARRY (Dave Barry's Guide to Marriage and/or Sex) DICK CAVETT (The Tonight Show, The Dick Cavett Show) LARRY WILMORE (In Living Color, The Bernie Mac Show, The Daily Show, The Office) JACK HANDEY (Saturday Night Live, The New Yorker) LARRY GELBART (Caesar's Hour, M*A*S*H, Tootsie) Quick and Painless Advice for the Aspiring Humor Writer, Part Seven: Getting Your Comic Book or Graphic Novel Published ROZ CHAST (The New Yorker) Quick and Painless Advice for the Aspiring Humor Writer, Part Eight: Getting a Book of Humor Published DANIEL HANDLER (A Series of Unfortunate Events) Quick and Painless Advice for the Aspiring Humor Writer, Part Nine: Selling Your Movie Script to a Studio Executive BRUCE JAY FRIEDMAN (Stir Crazy, Splash) DANIEL CLOWES (Ghost World, Esquire, New York Times Magazine) Canned Laughter: A History Reconstructed Recommended Reading Foreword by Adam McKay There are a few ways that you, the reader, have come to this book.

But that was the problem with the show. The magazine didn't translate to the stage. We tried to write a lot of material that was outrageous for its own sake. But the Lampoon material I really enjoyed was the more subtle work. John Belushi left to do Saturday Night Live in 1975. Were you ever asked to join that show? Lorne Michaels offered me a job after the first year, but I was already writing and performing on SCTV. Lorne didn't offer me a guarantee to perform on SNL — only to write. But I was happily doing both at SCTV. And in a way, and this sounds odd to say, I didn't like Saturday Night Live that much. Really? Why? The people I knew on the show, I'd seen them all do better work. I also thought the writing was a little weak and gratuitous in a lot of ways. I thought the notion of just repeating scenes over and over, week after week, was not a good thing.

This was not far from the truth. And my characters, such as the Guy Under the Seats and the Panicky Guy, and all the “guys” for that matter were basically poking fun at the running characters that were the staples of shows like Saturday Night Live. It was all very anti-performance oriented, but at some point the audience did start laughing, and I gradually evolved into the kind of running character that I was making fun of in the first place. How well did you know Andy Kaufman? He was one of the first people I met when I moved to L.A. in 1977. I had seen him on Saturday Night Live and related to him in a big way, because his pieces seemed so art school — esque to me. So we hung out a little. He had started to do a weekly midnight talk show at the Improv in L.A., which he was calling “Midnight Snacks.”

pages: 401 words: 119,488

Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg


Air France Flight 447, Asperger Syndrome, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, cognitive dissonance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, digital map, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, framing effect, hiring and firing, index card, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, statistical model, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, theory of mind, Toyota Production System, William Langewiesche, Yom Kippur War

This became one of our five key themes, along with dependability, structure/clarity, job meaning, and impact.” would never stop For my understanding of the early days of Saturday Night Live, I am indebted to those writers and cast members who were willing to speak with me, as well as Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller, Live from New York: An Uncensored History of “Saturday Night Live” (Boston: Back Bay Books, 2008); Ellin Stein, That’s Not Funny, That’s Sick: The National Lampoon and the Comedy Insurgents Who Captured the Mainstream (New York: Norton, 2013); Marianne Partridge, ed., “Rolling Stone” Visits “Saturday Night Live” (Garden City, N.Y.: Dolphin Books, 1979); Doug Hill and Jeff Weingrad, Saturday Night: A Backstage History of “Saturday Night Live” (San Francisco: Untreed Reads, 2011). “never be heard from again” In an email sent in response to a fact-checking question, Schiller wrote: “It was an intense experience for me since I had never lived in New York or worked on a comedy-variety show.

The National Lampoon Show was affiliated with National Lampoon magazine, which was founded by the writer Michael O’Donoghue, who lived with another comedy writer named Anne Beatts. All of these people created the first season of Saturday Night Live. Howard Shore, the show’s music director, had gone to summer camp with Michaels. Neil Levy, the show’s talent coordinator, was Michaels’s cousin. Michaels had met Chevy Chase while standing in a line in Hollywood to see Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Tom Schiller, another writer, knew Michaels because they had gone to Joshua Tree to eat hallucinogenic mushrooms together, and Schiller’s father, a Hollywood writer, had taken Michaels under his wing early in the young man’s career. The original cast and writers of Saturday Night Live hailed largely from Canada, Chicago, and Los Angeles and all moved to New York in 1975. “Manhattan was a show business wasteland then,” said Marilyn Suzanne Miller, a writer whom Michaels hired after they collaborated on a Lily Tomlin special in L.A.

(They tend to get complicated, because Michaels was married to writer Rosie Shuster, who eventually ended up with Dan Aykroyd, who had dated Gilda Radner, who everyone suspected was in love with writer Alan Zweibel, who later wrote a book explaining they were in love, but nothing ever happened and, besides, Radner later married a member of the SNL band. “It was the 1970s,” Miller told me. “Sex was what you did.”) Saturday Night Live has been held up as a model of great team dynamics. It is cited in college textbooks as an example of what groups can achieve when the right conditions are in place and a team intensely bonds. The group that created Saturday Night Live came together so successfully, this theory goes, because a communal culture replaced individual needs. There were shared experiences (“We were all the kids who didn’t get to sit at the popular table in high school,” Beatts told me); common social networks (“Lorne was a cult leader,” said writer Bruce McCall.

Girl Walks Into a Bar . . .: Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle by Rachel Dratch


Burning Man, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, East Village, Haight Ashbury, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, the High Line

By this time, I had already started watching Saturday Night Live, during its very first season. Though my parents were young and hip, I didn’t find SNL through them. I discovered SNL the way I discovered all things adult and semi-forbidden: through my friend Jill. It was Jill who told me how babies were made that same year, for though my parents were, as I said, young and hip, Jill’s parents were young, hip, and far more open. Jill was seeing R-rated movies like Jaws, whereas my first R-rated movie was still years away. Although I was jealous of her adult status, when she got home from seeing the movie with her parents, she did throw up. I guess being on the fast track has its drawbacks. Along with introducing me to the world of sex and shark attacks, Jill was also my liaison to Saturday Night Live. The first time I saw the show, I was sleeping over at her house, and her older brother, Mark, was watching it.

I never see you in movies or anything anymore!” said the stranger. “Yeah, well …” “What happened to you?!” How to answer this question: What happened to me? Where have I been since you last saw me on TV? I know where I’ve been. My friends know where I’ve been. They see me all the time. But, to the comedy-viewing public—Where have I been? Sometimes people think I’m still working, because they see me on reruns of Saturday Night Live or King of Queens. People think if they see you on reruns, that means you’re working. No. You are sitting in your apartment watching Judge Mathis. That’s what you are doing. Don’t get me wrong. I’m still a vibrant part of the showbiz community. My agent still calls with offers for work. It goes like this: RRRIIIINNG! RRRIIIINNG! “Yay!” I think to myself. “It’s my agent!” “Hi, Rachel. Is this a bad time?”

In the narrow lens of Hollywood, which wants to give the instant stereotype viewers can zone into, I belong in the lesbian parts. Trolls, ogres, and woodland creatures can be done with CGI, so that leaves yours truly to play the bull dykes. That’s the very quick answer to the question “What happened to me?” But read on—I’ll tell you some more. We’re Going in a Different Direction I was a cast member on Saturday Night Live for seven years. Then my contract was up. I was going to be starring in a new show called 30 Rock in the role of Jenna. Have you guys seen 30 Rock? Yeah … I’m not Jenna. That was back in 2006 and strangers still ask me, “Why aren’t you on 30 Rock?” “What happened with 30 Rock?” “Are we gonna see you on more 30 Rock?” 30 Rock. If you are one of those “Oh! I don’t have a television” people, then I will give you a brief background.

pages: 278 words: 70,416

Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success by Shane Snow


3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, attribution theory, augmented reality, barriers to entry, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, Elon Musk, Fellow of the Royal Society, Filter Bubble, Google X / Alphabet X, hive mind, index card, index fund, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, popular electronics, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Ruby on Rails, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs

He fixated on the careers of comics like Sandler and Spade and tracked the movements of their management teams, agencies, films, and TV shows as if he was earning school credit for it. Jimmy’s goal since childhood, he explained to Siegel, had been to join the cast of Saturday Night Live. He was endearing. After a two-hour call, Siegel offered to represent him. She had one question, however. “Why don’t you stay and graduate?” Jimmy was a semester shy of a degree. Siegel suggested that they get started in the summer, so he’d have a bachelor’s degree to fall back on, just in case. “No, no,” Jimmy insisted. “I need to get on Saturday Night Live, and you’re going to make it happen, because you know Adam Sandler! I don’t want to do anything else.” Siegel knew this was a long shot—and a long-term endeavor—especially for an out-of-town kid with zero acting credits.

I spent a lot of time talking to people around Jimmy Fallon (producers, friends, former colleagues), and after making it through two layers of NBC publicists, got stuck on Jimmy’s personal publicist, who returned one message and then got busy as Jimmy transitioned from Late Night to The Tonight Show. After two dozen attempts to recontact her by phone, e-mail, and LinkedIn, and at least one attempt to smooth talk my way past security at 30 Rock, I gave up. IF YOU READ THIS, JIMMY, AND WANT TO HANG OUT, DM ME ON TWITTER @SHANESNOW! 33 the most Emmy-nominated television show: Saturday Night Live has, at the time of this writing, received 171 Emmy nominations: “Awards Search: Saturday Night Live,” Emmys, (accessed February 15, 2014). 33 the oldest stand-up comedy showcase: The title of world’s longest-running showcase comedy club is self-proclaimed by The Comic Strip: “About the Comic Strip Live Comedy Club,” (accessed February 15, 2014).

Can’t get that horrible plastic “blister pak” for those headphones open? Use a can opener. (It works!) Not enough seats for the four of you? Give yours up and weather the storm with the person of your dreams. The first section of this book discusses how some people use such “hacker” thinking to shorten paths to success. It’s how some people take a few years to become president while others spend 30. It’s how unknown comedians get on Saturday Night Live and Internet companies get to millions of users in months. Lateral thinking doesn’t replace hard work; it eliminates unnecessary cycles. Once they’ve shortened their path, overachievers tend to look for ways to do more with their effort, which brings us to our next section: LEVERAGE Pretend you’re fixing up an old house, and you need to pry a nail out of the wood floor in the living room.

Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life by Steve Martin


Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute couture, Saturday Night Live, telemarketer

But most important, I felt really, really funny. I MOVED TO ASPEN, COLORADO, to be closer to my pals Bill McEuen and the Dirt Band. It was there, on the night of October 11, 1975, that I turned on the TV and watched the premier episode of Saturday Night Live. “Fuck,” I thought, “they did it.” The new comedy had been brought to the airwaves in New York by people I didn’t know, and they were incredibly good at it, too. The show was a heavy blow to my inner belief that I alone was leading the cavalry and carrying the new comedy flag. Saturday Night Live and I, however, were destined to meet. My performing roll continued. Dave Felton, a highly regarded rock-and-roll journalist, interviewed me for an article in Rolling Stone. He did a perceptive job of quoting my act verbatim, using pauses, italics, and sudden jumps into all capital letters.

My father, though, was not impressed. After my first appearance on Saturday Night Live, he wrote a bad review of me in his newsletter for the Newport Beach Association of Realtors, of which he was president: “His performance did nothing to further his career.” Later, shamefaced, my father told me that his best friend had come into his office holding the newsletter, placed it on his desk, and shaken his head sternly, indicating a wordless “This is wrong.” I believe my father didn’t like what I was doing in my work and was embarrassed by it. Perhaps he thought his friends were embarrassed by it, too, and the review was to indicate that he was not sanctioning this new comedy. Later, he gave an interview in a newspaper in which he said, “I think Saturday Night Live is the most horrible thing on television.” I suppressed anything I felt about his comments because I couldn’t let him have power over my work.

When the car got up to speed, the driver pushed him out of the moving vehicle, and he rolled onto the rainy streets of Manhattan. I pictured Danny bouncing down the wet pavement and then said the only thing that came to mind. I asked him if he wanted to go to Saks and shop for clothes. He said, as friendly as he could, “Uh, man, that’s not my thing.” We liked each other, but we were different. I first appeared on Saturday Night Live in October 1976. I felt powerful butterflies just prior to being introduced, especially when I reminded myself that it was live, and anything that went wrong stayed wrong. But it is possible to will confidence. My consistent performing schedule had kept me sharp; it would have been difficult to blow it. I did two monologues straight out of my act; some sketches, including Jeopardy! 1999 (remember, this was 1976); and a spoof commercial where I pitched a dog that was also a watch, called Fido-Flex.

pages: 821 words: 227,742

I Want My MTV by Craig Marks


Bernie Sanders, Bob Geldof, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, haute couture, Live Aid, pre–internet, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, sensible shoes, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, upwardly mobile

CBS Records gave me $5,000 to edit together these videos and present them to a guy at CBS Television. He was sixty-five years old, I had no jacket or tie, and he had no interest whatsoever. JOHN LACK: See, the whole pitch to the board of directors at WASEC had nothing to do with music videos. It had to do with demographics. At that point, there was no television aimed at the twelve- to thirty-four-year-old demographic. Half of the Saturday Night Live audience was over thirty-five. If you were an advertiser buying time on Saturday Night Live to reach young adults, half your money was wasted on thirty-five-plus. We said, If this music channel reaches twelve to thirty-four year olds, we can deliver an audience for advertisers they can’t get through broadcast television. Cable providers would sign up new subscribers, because this would be available only on cable. We would sell second-set hookups because mothers and fathers would not allow this shit to be played in the living room: “Here’s a TV, go play it in your own bedroom!”

CONAN O’BRIEN, TV host: I was a freshman in college and a friend of mine was staying at her grandfather’s apartment in New York. She said, “Come over and hang out.” When I got there, she said, “I’m watching this new channel, MTV.” What a weird thing. What do you mean, they’re showing music videos? What’s a music video? Why would you show that? I can’t stop watching! We watched for six hours. It’s one of those things you can’t describe to anyone who’s younger than you, like the first year of Saturday Night Live. It was like a comet streaking across the sky. DAVE MUSTAINE, Megadeth: My mom moved out when I was fifteen, so I’d been living alone in my apartment for a few years. People would ditch school, come over, buy pot from me, and watch MTV. I’m telling you, man, I had the coolest house in the town. LARS ULRICH, Metallica: I lived with my parents, and we didn’t have cable TV. We had three channels, and PBS.

He offered me a job at The Movie Channel and I took it the next morning. LEE MASTERS, MTV executive: Bob and I met in 1972, when we were both teenage disc jockeys, working in the South. A few years later, Bob hired me to work for him at WNBC as on-air talent, and we did Album Tracks together, which was a precursor to MTV in many ways. There weren’t many outlets for music videos, so Bob had an idea for a show that would run after Saturday Night Live on NBC stations in New York, Chicago, Washington, and LA. We wrote the show and we were the on-camera talent, so to speak. We showed “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” and some Styx clips from The Grand Illusion. It was always album rock. ANDY SETOS, MTV executive: I got a call from John Lack, because I was a cool engineer, and I’d had experience doing stereo television at WNET, the public TV station in New York.

Jim Henson: The Biography by Brian Jay Jones


Asilomar, clean water, corporate raider, financial independence, haute couture, Menlo Park, rolodex, Saturday Night Live

At the same time Brillstein was circulating the Muppet Show pitch reel, he was also lining up an opportunity for Jim and the Muppets to become a regular part of a new late night sketch comedy series being developed by another of Brillstein’s clients, a thirty-year-old producer and former Laugh-In writer named Lorne Michaels. “He described the show, and I really loved it,” said Jim. In August, then, Jim began meeting regularly with Michaels’s writers in preparation for the weekly late night series Jim referred to on his desk calendar only as the “NBC Show,” but which Michaels was calling Saturday Night—and then, eventually, Saturday Night Live. Saturday Night Live was a comedy variety show, but, as envisioned by Michaels and his scrappy team of writers, one unlike any variety show that had ever been seen before. “We wanted to redefine comedy the way the Beatles redefined what being a pop star was,” Michaels said later. The very idea of it—an unpredictable live show unafraid of taking on politicians, presidents, or pop culture—terrified the network even months before it ever went before the cameras.

A bear of a man with a large libido and an even bigger taste for talent, Brillstein was also a master of the art of the deal. He was accustomed to working hard for his clients and determined never to take no for an answer. Brillstein would eventually become one of the most powerful and respected agents, managers, and producers in show business, with an A-list roster of celebrity clients, including, it seemed, nearly the entire cast of Saturday Night Live. In 1960, however, as head of William Morris’s commercial office, his job was recruiting and representing talent for television commercials. Brillstein, an early fan of television, quickly put to rest the showbiz aphorism that television commercials were for has-beens or the hard up, assembling a stable of top-tier clients like Zsa Zsa Gabor, Harpo Marx … and Burr Tillstrom. At the Detroit puppetry convention, Jim mentioned to Tillstrom that he, too, was looking for an agent—that it was becoming increasingly difficult to secure bookings on the variety show circuit, and that an agent was the best way to get a foot in the door.

And as Jim and his team packed up their boxes to leave, Eisner gave them the go-ahead for a Muppet-related pilot. At last, Jim had yes for an answer—and now that he had ABC on board to produce a pilot, Jim was certain a weekly Muppet television show was a sure thing. He would be wrong. CHAPTER EIGHT THE MUCKING FUPPETS 1973–1975 Jim’s Land of Gortch cast from the first season of Saturday Night Live. Left to right: King Ploobis, Wisss, the Mighty Favog, Scred, Queen Peuta, and Vazh. SNL’s human cast members hated giving up on-screen time for the Gortch sketches almost as much as SNL’s writers loathed writing them. (photo credit 8.1) “THE TIME IS RIGHT FOR A VARIETY SHOW HOSTED BY DOGS, FROGS AND monsters,” wrote Jim in his first official pitch for a Muppet-based television show. In the late 1960s, after nearly a decade of appearances on other people’s variety shows, Jim was convinced the Muppets could more than hold their own for thirty minutes each week—and in the summer of 1969, he had prepared his first formal proposal, packaging it under a hand-lettered, full-color cover page, announcing “THE MUPPET SHOW [—] a concept for a half hour PRIME TIME BIG BUDGET SHOW STARRING THE MUPPETS.”

pages: 294 words: 82,438

Simple Rules: How to Thrive in a Complex World by Donald Sull, Kathleen M. Eisenhardt


Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, Basel III, Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, Checklist Manifesto, complexity theory, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversification, drone strike,, European colonialism, Exxon Valdez, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, haute cuisine, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, Kickstarter, late fees, Lean Startup, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nate Silver, Network effects, obamacare, Paul Graham, performance metric, price anchoring, RAND corporation, risk/return, Saturday Night Live, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Startup school, statistical model, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, transportation-network company, two-sided market, Wall-E, web application, Y Combinator, Zipcar

After starting her career as an improvisational comedian at The Second City, Fey took a job writing, and then performing, for Saturday Night Live. There, she became the first female head writer in a profession dominated by men. She went on to produce and star in the highly acclaimed 30 Rock, a show loosely based on her time as head writer. Fey is noteworthy not only for her successes, but for the variety in her career. In the span of two decades, she moved through a series of diverse roles including standup comedy, writing, leading a team of writers, producing a show, and starring in feature films. Fey is an incredibly talented comic, yet simple rules also play a role in her success. In an insightful article, Fey distilled what she learned from her experience with Lorne Michaels, the legendary producer of Saturday Night Live. She articulates nine rules for managing a comedy show, five of which deal with handling extremely creative people.

In 1955 a group of young comedians began acting out scenarios suggested by patrons. Members of the group went on to found The Second City, the improvisational comedy troupe whose alumni read like a who’s who of comedy, including Tina Fey, Mike Myers, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, and Amy Poeh­ler. The form of improvisation pioneered at The Second City inspired influential U.S. television shows including Saturday Night Live, Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and too many movies to mention. In contrast to standup comedians, who succeed or bomb alone onstage, improvisation is a team effort where it is hard to look good unless everyone else does. Few tasks are as daunting as getting onstage with a group of actors whom you may barely know and making up a performance as you go along, with the proviso that your performance must be hilarious.

When the bar closed in May 1993, Cheers was one of the long­est-running network series ever. The simple rules helped the writers to create the vivid characters, smart dialogue, and creative storylines that made the show such a hit. During its long run, Cheers was nominated for 117 Emmys, winning 26. In 2013 TV Guide named Cheers the eleventh-greatest show of all time, beating competition like Star Trek, Saturday Night Live, and Mad Men. Cheers is a remarkably successful example of a show where viewers could tune in at almost any time and feel at home, even if they had missed a few episodes. Its simple rules for writing were geared around this promise: the stable cast of sympathetic (and predictable) characters did not change from episode to episode, each episode had a self-contained story, and shows were written with a brisk rhythm because episodes did not need to fit into a complex storyline.

Comedy Writing Secrets by Mel Helitzer, Mark Shatz


Albert Einstein, Donald Trump, elephant in my pajamas, fear of failure, index card, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, the scientific method, Yogi Berra

This type of joke would be a fun opening for a speech to a PTA-type group because the audience members are likely to share a parent's ambivalence toward children. When school is out, there's always the tearing up of homework, screeching, and giggling. You would think professors would act more dignified! —Paul Sweeney The Next Giant Step: Reverses 135 SHOWTIME The "news" reports on shows such as Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show With Jon Stewart commonly include reverses in the form of onesentence news headlines followed by contradictory tag lines. Write a reverse for each of the following setups, then compare your responses to the pros' versions that appear on the next page. A Harvard Medical School study has determined that rectal thermometers are still the best way to tell a baby's temperature.

Ad for telephone system: From high tech to hi, Mom. Antonyms While synonyms are words or phrases that share the same meaning, antonyms are words or expressions that mean the opposite of each other: hot vs. cold, tall vs. short. Paired antonyms generate humor because they are the simplest form of a reverse. The first word of the phrase starts you in one direction; the antonym flips you in the opposite. When Saturday Night Live was having a bad season, critics were quick to dub it Saturday Night Dead. 142 Comedy Writing Secrets There are good and bad politicians in the government: Some are trying to clean it up; some are trying to clean it out. —Robert Orben Young boy to friend: If I'm too noisy they give me a spanking. If I'm too quiet, they take my temperature. The use of antonym pairs is compatible with humor based on double entendres and puns.

Outrageous Humor: Disguise the Limit Reforming words is an easy way to be shocking. It takes no great talent. The talent comes from suggesting hard-core humor but never actually stating it. A sexually frustrated young girl sat on Pinocchio's nose and said, "Now lie to me. Now tell me the truth. Now lie to me. Now tell me the truth." —Paul Krassner When Ron Nessen, a former presidential assistant, guest hosted Saturday Night Live, writer Alan Zeibel created a skit that reformed presidential elections to presidential erections. That could have been a cheap laugh— and probably wouldn't have been acceptable to NBC censors—but Zeibel finessed that by referring to buildings and monuments. The audience got the point immediately, and the laughter was even louder because the implicitness of the joke made them feel more comfortable.

pages: 204 words: 61,491

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman, Jeff Riggenbach Ph.

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, global village, Index librorum prohibitorum, invention of the printing press, Louis Daguerre, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, the medium is the message

The result is that we are a people on the verge of amusing ourselves to death. As I write, the President of the United States is a former Hollywood movie actor. One of his principal challengers in 1984 was once a featured player on television’s most glamorous show of the 1960’s, that is to say, an astronaut. Naturally, a movie has been made about his extraterrestrial adventure. Former nominee George McGovern has hosted the popular television show “Saturday Night Live.” So has a candidate of more recent vintage, the Reverend Jesse Jackson. Meanwhile, former President Richard Nixon, who once claimed he lost an election because he was sabotaged by make-up men, has offered Senator Edward Kennedy advice on how to make a serious run for the presidency: lose twenty pounds. Although the Constitution makes no mention of it, it would appear that fat people are now effectively excluded from running for high political office.

Vice-presidential candidate William Miller did a commercial for American Express. So did the star of the Watergate Hearings, Senator Sam Ervin. Former President Gerald Ford joined with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger for brief roles on “Dynasty.” Massachusetts Governor Mike Dukakis appeared on “St. Elsewhere.” Speaker of the House Tip O‘Neill did a stint on “Cheers.” Consumer advocate Ralph Nader, George McGovern and Mayor Edward Koch hosted “Saturday Night Live.” Koch also played the role of a fight manager in a made-for-television movie starring James Cagney. Mrs. Nancy Reagan appeared on “Diff’rent Strokes.” Would anyone be surprised if Gary Hart turned up on “Hill Street Blues”? Or if Geraldine Ferraro played a small role as a Queens housewife in a Francis Coppola film? Although it may go too far to say that the politician-as-celebrity has, by itself, made political parties irrelevant, there is certainly a conspicuous correlation between the rise of the former and the decline of the latter.

There are only two answers that come to mind, one of which is nonsense and can be dismissed almost at once; the other is desperate but it is all we have. The nonsensical answer is to create television programs. whose intent would be, not to get people to stop watching television but to demonstrate how television ought to be viewed, to show how television recreates and degrades our conception of news, political debate, religious thought, etc. I imagine such demonstrations would of necessity take the form of parodies, along the lines of “Saturday Night Live” and “Monty Python,” the idea being to induce a nationwide horse laugh over television’s control of public discourse. But, naturally, television would have the last laugh. In order to command an audience large enough to make a difference, one would have to make the programs vastly amusing, in the television style. Thus, the act of criticism itself would, in the end, be co-opted by television.

pages: 790 words: 253,035

Powerhouse: The Untold Story of Hollywood's Creative Artists Agency by James Andrew Miller

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Bonfire of the Vanities, business process, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Donald Trump, family office, interchangeable parts, obamacare, out of africa, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, traveling salesman, union organizing

The story that CAA told itself at La Costa was predictably limited and with no small amount of spin. The full story is far more compelling. This book is the product of both years and decades of work. The interviewing process began several years ago, but CAA has been part of the fabric of two prior books, reporting for which began around the turn of the millennium. Those two books—Live from New York and Those Guys Have All the Fun—were histories of Saturday Night Live and ESPN, respectively. Saturday Night Live is, of course, a television show, and ESPN a network. Both were born in the ’70s and both became world-famous brands. CAA was also a child of the ’70s, and while its initials are not as well-known as SNL’s or ESPN’s, CAA’s breadth and scope are far greater than either. CAA may not come close to matching ESPN’s economic might, but its universe is far more diverse, and while CAA has been written about through the years, this volume marks the first time the agency has ever opened its doors so wide to an inquiring journalist.

My manager at the time said, “There’s this young guy who’s an agent at ICM, maybe you could start with him, you know, someone small.” So I went over there to meet him, and he introduced me to Jack Gilardi, who was married to Annette Funicello of the Mouseketeers. We sat there in Gilardi’s office for a while, and then he stood up and said, “Well, okay, let us know when you get work.” I was kind of amused by that. Three days later, I got the Saturday Night Live job and completely forgot to call him back and say I got work. What a drag. RON MEYER: Marty had gotten us into the film business when he came over, and we all had made the decision that when the TV business was strong enough that it was generating serious revenues, Mike and I would focus entirely on the movie business, and that’s what happened starting late in 1979. Most clients wanted to be in the film business, so we had to make that work.

I went out and tried to get every comedy person alive. I signed Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Albert Brooks, and many others, and for the next two years, all we did was put comedies together. Here’s the killer: Everyone scoffed at us. We got bad press. Sue Mengers laughed at us. She didn’t want any of these people. Old-fashioned and arrogant movie businesspeople were saying movies like Meatballs and Caddyshack would fail, and that movies with Saturday Night Live people in them wouldn’t work because, as they said, “Why would people pay to see things they could see for free?!” There was even an article calling us idiots. I’ll tell you when people all of a sudden woke up: They woke up on Stripes. IVAN REITMAN: Stripes was the first deal I remember that Michael conducted for me. Meatballs wound up at Paramount in part due to Jeff Katzenberg, and it turned out to be their biggest hit of that particular summer.

pages: 465 words: 109,653

Free Ride by Robert Levine


A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Anne Wojcicki, book scanning, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, citizen journalism, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Firefox, future of journalism, Googley, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, Julian Assange,, Kevin Kelly, linear programming, Marc Andreessen, moral panic, offshore financial centre,, publish or perish, race to the bottom, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, subscription business, Telecommunications Act of 1996, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

Acknowledgments Notes Bibliography Index About the Author INTRODUCTION THE ONLINE FREE-FOR-ALL There was a time when NBC lived up to its old slogan, “Must See TV.” For most of the 1980s and 1990s, the network dominated television with iconic hits that shaped the culture of the time: Miami Vice, The Cosby Show, Cheers, Seinfeld, Friends, and more. It had The Today Show in the morning, The Tonight Show in the evening, an unbeatable lineup of sitcoms for Thursday night, and Saturday Night Live every weekend. For some of that time it also showed Major League Baseball, NFL football, NBA basketball, and the Olympics. The network earned its ratings by pushing the boundaries of television: Miami Vice brought MTV visuals to the police drama, Hill Street Blues incorporated gritty realism, and Seinfeld brought self-awareness to sitcoms at a time when most half-hour shows still ended with a hug.

These shows made NBC one of the most profitable divisions of General Electric,1 to which the network returned $800 million in profit in 2003.2 In 2010—just seven years later—the network expected to lose more than $100 million.3 When Comcast agreed to acquire 51 percent of NBC Universal, it was mostly interested in the company’s cable channels—Bravo, Syfy, and others.4 The proposed deal assigned the broadcast network an on-paper value of zero.5 As NBC has faltered, other companies that rely on its programming have thrived. In early 2006, more than five million people watched the famous “Lazy Sunday” Saturday Night Live sketch on YouTube, which was bought for $1.65 billion by Google later that year.6 Heroes, one of the network’s recent hits, became one of the most popular shows on file-sharing services.7 And telecom companies built empires selling bandwidth that lets consumers download or stream pirated television shows without commercials. NBC isn’t the only media institution that has seen its value plummet in the last few years.

Since they don’t have lobbyists, their voices are rarely heard. YouTube is now considered a respectable business, the go-to Web site for viral videos, independent art, and even presidential speeches. But the site became famous—and attracted enough viewers to be sold to Google for $1.65 billion in November 2006—partly for hosting copyrighted clips like music videos and the famous “Lazy Sunday” skit from Saturday Night Live. Although YouTube’s motto is “Broadcast Yourself,” the site used to show plenty of content to which it didn’t have rights. And the company has been sued for copyright infringement by Viacom, as well as by several other companies. “I don’t think anyone anticipated something like YouTube,” says Verizon’s Sarah Deutsch, whose company obviously also benefited from the law. “But where the DMCA didn’t work, Google developed its own filtering technology.”

pages: 410 words: 101,260

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant

Albert Einstein, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, availability heuristic, barriers to entry, business process, business process outsourcing, Cass Sunstein, clean water, cognitive dissonance, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dean Kamen, double helix, Elon Musk, fear of failure, Firefox, George Santayana, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, job-hopping, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, minimum viable product, Network effects, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, risk tolerance, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Wisdom of Crowds, women in the workforce

If you think, “That can’t possibly work because that producer doesn’t have enough experience, or no idea like that has ever worked”—if you have those kinds of roadblocks in your head, you’re going to miss something. One of the best things that I had going for me was the fact that I had never developed a primetime situation comedy, but I was accustomed to offbeat, off-kilter ideas. I could see what worked, and what didn’t work. The time I spent reading Saturday Night Live scripts made me more open to the offbeat storylines that are now legendary on Seinfeld. This unique combination of broad and deep experience is critical for creativity. In a recent study comparing every Nobel Prize–winning scientist from 1901 to 2005 with typical scientists of the same era, both groups attained deep expertise in their respective fields of study. But the Nobel Prize winners were dramatically more likely to be involved in the arts than less accomplished scientists.

But instead of reacting defensively, Dalio responded by asking others who attended the meeting to give him honest feedback and grade him on a scale from A to F. Then, instead of hiding Dalio’s shortcomings or attacking the author of the note, Bridgewater’s co-CEO copied the email trail to the entire company so that everyone could learn from the exchange. In many organizations, people give negative feedback only behind closed doors. As Jack Handey advised in one of his “Deep Thoughts” on Saturday Night Live, before you criticize people, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you’re a mile away and you have their shoes. At Bridgewater, employees are expected to voice concerns and critiques directly to each other. “Don’t let ‘loyalty’ stand in the way of truth and openness,” Dalio writes in the principles. “No one has the right to hold a critical opinion without speaking up about it.”

Bridgewater has prevented groupthink: Personal interviews with Zack Wieder and Mark Kirby, June 24, 2014; personal interviews with Zack Wieder, January 12, February 9 and 16, and April 16, 2015; personal interviews with Ray Dalio, July 31, 2014, and February 12, 2015; and many hours of additional interviews, observations, videos, and cases from current and former Bridgewater employees between June 2014 and January 2015; Ray Dalio, “Principles,”—principles.aspx; Robert Kegan, Lisa Lahey, Andy Fleming, and Matthew Miller, “Making Business Personal,” Harvard Business Review, April 2014, 45–52; Kevin Roose, “Pursuing Self-Interest in Harmony with the Laws of the Universe and Contributing to Evolution Is Universally Rewarded,” New York Magazine, April 10, 2001,; Jeffrey T. Polzer and Heidi K. Gardner, “Bridgewater Associates,” Harvard Business School Video Case 413-702, May 2013, As Jack Handey advised: Jack Handey, Saturday Night Live, 1991. “Cultural fit”: Lauren A. Rivera, “Guess Who Doesn’t Fit In at Work,” The New York Times, May 30, 2015,: IDEO: Personal communication with Duane Bray, January 30, 2014. bring in someone to oppose: Charlan Jeanne Nemeth, “Minority Influence Theory,” in Handbook of Theories in Social Psychology 2 (2012): 362–78; Charlan Nemeth, Keith Brown, and John Rogers, “Devil’s Advocate Versus Authentic Dissent: Stimulating Quantity and Quality,” European Journal of Social Psychology 31 (2001): 707–20; personal communication with Charlan Nemeth, January 15, 2015; Roger B.

Geek Wisdom by Stephen H. Segal


Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, battle of ideas, biofilm, fear of failure, Henri Poincaré, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Mark Zuckerberg, mutually assured destruction, nuclear paranoia, Saturday Night Live, Vernor Vinge

But perhaps you should consider how, whether children in sweatshops or migrants working under substandard conditions, the lifestyle of comfort that we likely take for granted has been built on a foundation of systemic dehumanization. It’s made out of people. The climactic revelation of Soylent Green might be considered a spoiler, but it was seared indelibly into the public consciousness by a hilarious parody from Phil Hartman on Saturday Night Live in the late 1980s. “IDEAS ARE BULLETPROOF.” —V, V FOR VENDETTA IF THERE’S ONE THING Alan Moore is good at, it’s anarchist characters who get to the heart of the matter. (And then perish.) In V for Vendetta both the principled cause and the willingness to die for it are necessary to effect change in a totalitarian regime. Though one hopes that our own society hasn’t quite reached that point, there’s certainly no shortage of legitimate threats today to freedom of ideas.

And to be fair: Dear geeks, We understand where you’re coming from, but every once in a while, if you look closely, there will be someone in the crowd with whom you have something awesome in common. (Hint: +1 for anyone not dancing the Macarena.) Don’t be any more alienated than you really need to be. Only in the tech world can you call someone a “user” and not mean it as a put-down. “I LOVED IT. IT WAS MUCH BETTER THAN CATS. I’M GOING TO SEE IT AGAIN AND AGAIN.” —HYPNOTIZED THEATERGOERS, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE FOR THOSE OF US whose interests lie outside the mainstream—and if you’re reading this book, yours almost certainly do—most of the people who consume a steady diet of American mass-media culture might as well be hypnotized, droning on and on about how much they like the latest bit of predictable blandness that passes for entertainment in the twenty-first century. Even as we yearn for something better, something smarter, something that engages muscles in our brains and souls we haven’t flexed before, we see our neighbors doing little more than repeating what they’ve heard others saying.

pages: 244 words: 70,369

Tough Sh*t: Life Advice From a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good by Kevin Smith


glass ceiling, McJob, Saturday Night Live, short selling, zero-sum game

If you saw a spot before nine P.M., the movie was called simply Zack and Miri. One sounds like it should be banned in a few countries, the other sounds like you could take your grandma to see it. I’d argue that we didn’t need primetime spots, anyway, because the hard-core subject matter meant the mallrats couldn’t even buy tickets to something else and sneak into our flick. One night, while watching Saturday Night Live, the spot that ran wasn’t even for Zack and Miri Make a Porno. It was straight-up Zack and Miri. Friends who marketed for competing studios would send me e-mails warning against the almost weekly changes in the selling approach. They said it was clear we were searching for a story, but if we didn’t pick one, we couldn’t educate the public about the concept. It’s a bromance! It’s a boy/girl love story that’s a little naughty!

So even though we were a church-every-Sunday Catholic family of five, here was my father suborning subversion. And with good reason: As I spun Class Clown for the first time, I was transfixed. This man Carlin spoke the truth, but more important, he was hysterical while doing so—a funny prophet. FM & AM and Class Clown became as memorized and shared in my world as any Monty Python routine or Saturday Night Live sketch. And in the Catholic school world of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, being able to quote a Carlin bit was pure pop-culture currency. In 1982, HBO aired the Carlin at Carnegie stand-up special. A commercial for the premiere featured a clip of Carlin talking about the clichéd warning to criminals, “Don’t try anything funny …” “When they’re not looking,” he added mischievously, “I like to go …” BOOM!

So when I married that empirical knowledge to an old-lady-sounding name like Schwalbach, all I was seeing was this midlife giggling Gretel type, whom I’d likely be wrestling with over the last few Pringles in the can. I was staying at the Bel Age Hotel off Sunset. My Friday was devoted to rehearsing with Rock, interviewing with USA Today, and maybe seeing my ex-girlfriend for dinner. Rock came over around noon, and we ran through the entire script together for two hours, stopping only to have getting-to-know-you chitchat about pussy and Saturday Night Live. I said I was hoping to have dinner with my ex-girlfriend, which Rock insisted was a bad idea. She’d moved on, he guessed; better to instead just get laid in L.A. by anybody but my ex—that way, I’d get on with my life. We all know Chris Rock’s hysterical, but few realize he’s also pretty insightful when it comes to relationships. After our rehearsal, Rock had to go back to the Lethal Weapon set for a night shoot.

pages: 297 words: 89,820

The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness by Steven Levy


Apple II, British Empire, Claude Shannon: information theory,, indoor plumbing, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, social web, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, technology bubble, Thomas L Friedman

This is the tinier iPod introduced at the Macworld Conference & Expo in January 2004, just as the iPod itself was really taking off in the marketplace. The mini's defining attribute, of course, was its size, 35 percent smaUer than its big brother and almost 50 percent smaller than the original iPod. Steve Jobs has always had an insatiable fetish about The Perfect Thing TOO miniaturization. The Saturday Night Live skit where a Jobs imitator (decked out, natch, in black turtleneck and jeans) introduced in rapid succession a fingernail-sized iPod micro, a confetti-sized iPod pequerio, and a final, literally imperceptible iPod invisa (holding eight million songs and every photo ever taken) was a joke rooted in truth. So it was no surprise that just as the original iPod was finding its mass audience, Jobs would exploit the advances of smaller hard drives and lower-tolerance scroll wheels (which in 2002 had gone from a mechanical version to a slimmer solid state version) to shrink the iPod.

He and his partner knew about a set of lectures covering the entire Daf Yomi cycle that had been recorded by a learned rabbi and converted to MP3—more than two thousand hours of commentary—and immediately secured permission to load them onto five hundred iPods that Shmidman was able to buy from an Apple-authorized reseller. They priced a fully loaded iPod for a hundred bucks more than a virgin iPod. They printed brochures (with pictures of a bearded, dark-hatted Orthodox Jew adorned with white earbuds) and secured the use of a newsstand a block away from the venue. The units sold briskly and kept selling after the event on the Internet, especially when the ShasPod was spoofed on Saturday Night Live as the "OyPod." "The thing took off," says Shmidman. "It's tremendous access to everyone in the world to study the next Daf Yomi. But the iPod, period, is a draw." But selling copy-protected audiobooks on the iTunes store, as Audible does, or preloading an iPod with Talmudic content is not quite the same as a broadcasting revolution over the Internet. That Podcast distinction would be reserved for a phenomenon whose name says volumes about the power of the device to capture not only digital sound but our imaginations: "podcasting."

., 6,11,16, 19, 21-22, 28,53,107-18,113,133-34, 230,231 New Yorker, 4,159 New York Times, 6,14, 24, 28, 33, 38, 81,84,132,134,160,190,243, 246 NeXT,53,94, 136,199 Ng, Stan, 58, 59, 62, 63, 72 Nino (PDA), 55 Norman, Don, 90, 102 notebook computers, 44,64 NyTeknik, 185 OmniNerd, 185 "online locker," 140 Ono, Yoko, 83 "Open Source Sex," 244 Ordonez, Jennifer, 86 O'Reilly, Tim, 233 Ostrovsky, Alex, 135-36 Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), 35,46 Pandora, 194 Parkinson, Michael, 30 Paterno, Joe, 33 Paulos, John Allen, 183,185 Pavel, Andreas, 111-12,116-17, 121, 122, 124-25,134 payola scandals, 138 Pearlstine, Norman, 83 personal digital assistants (PDAs), 55,66 Personal Jukebox (PJB), 43,74,215, 234,235 first model of, 43-45 PJB100, 45-46,56 Philadelphia Inquirer, 111, 14'h Philips,55, 112, 114 Pixar Animation Studios, 94, 148, 198, 200, 203, 205, 249, 250, 253 Pixar Entertainment, 8 Pixo, 66-67 Placard Headphone Festivals, 130-31 playlists, 18 behavioral studies on use of, 35-37, 127 ofand for Bush, 29-30 celebrity, 26-27 digital rights management and, 153 ease of music availability and, 23-24 electronic sharing of, 34-41 identity and, 21-27, 34-41 "impression management" and, 36-37,40 "iPod wars" and, 21-23, 24 Pocket DJ, 234 Index podcasting, 3, 227-54 derivation of term, 238-39 development and growth of, 234- 44 education and, 244-46 listening habits change by, 240-41 potential legacy of, 253-54 predecessors to, 227-34 video and television and, 249-53 Pogue, David, 14 portable cassette tape recorders, 114 see also Walkman PortalPlayer, 64-68 Postrel, Virginia, 89,103 Power Mac computers, 12, 48,92 PowerPC computers, 62 Powers, William, 5 Predixis, 194-95 Pressman, 114 Pressplay, 145-46 "Proud Mary," 188 Push Push, 112 Queen's New Year's Honors List, 92 Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, 85 radio, 189-90 see also podcasting radios, transistor, 115-16 Radio Shack, 216 random access memory (RAM), 222 randomness, 169-96 Really Simple Syndication (RSS), 236,242 RealNetworks, 55-56,162 record companies, 248 historically loose ethics of, 145 Internet music services created by, 145-46 ITunes Music Store and, 3-4, 147-55,161-62 lawsuits over file-sharing brought by, 137,140-44,154,163-64, 165 payola scandals and, 138 see also music Recording Academy, 144 Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), 24,137,154, 157 Redell, Dave, 44-45, 234 Rendezvous (Bonjour), 34 Rhapsody, 150,162,212 RioPMP300,137 Robbin, Jeff, 49-51, 59,63-64, 66-67,70,181,210 Robertson, Michael, 138-42,143 Rohde, Carl, 75-76, 88,90, 104 Rolling Stone, 29, 219 Rolling Stones, 155 Rose, Christopher, 133-34 Rose, Errol, 134 Rose, Marshall, 233 Rosen, Christine, 128 Ross, Alex, 4 Rubinstein, Jon "Ruby," 217,218 background of, 53 iPod development role of, 53-54, 56-58, 59, 62-63, 67, 69, 73 Jobs and, 53, 202-03 Ryan, Colleen, 214 Ryan, Sean, 150 sabermetricians, 184 Sagan, Carl, 62 Samsung, 56, 223 Sanneh, Kelefa, 24,160 Sanquini, Richard, 64-65 Sasser, Cabel, 48, 50-52 Saturday Night Live, 101, 231 Schiffer, Michael Brian, 115 Schiller, Phil, 12, 59-61,104, 209 Schwartz, John, 38 Schwartz, Josh, 85 screens, 166, 176,248 Index scroll wheels, 9, 18. 60-61,64, 72,98, 101,176,247 Scrubs, 85 Searls, Doc, 240-41 Second Coming of Steve Jobs, The (Deutschman), 199-200 second-time purchasing, 53 Seinfeld, Jerry, 84, 205 September 11,2001 attacks, 11-12, 15,16,18,19,20 Sex Pistols, 31 Sgt.

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Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks by Ken Jennings


Asperger Syndrome, augmented reality, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, British Empire, clean water, David Brooks, digital map, don't be evil, dumpster diving, Eratosthenes, game design, Google Earth, helicopter parent, hive mind, index card, John Harrison: Longitude, John Snow's cholera map, Mercator projection, Mercator projection distort size, especially Greenland and Africa, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Journalism, openstreetmap, place-making, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Skype, Stewart Brand, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, traveling salesman, urban planning

And that’s not even counting Fox News’s report that Sarah Palin believed that Africa was a country, not a continent. See, she’s a real-life Ali G, only with—respek!—more stylish eyewear. On those rare occasions when a politician does display a knack for geography, he’s treated as a sideshow freak. Al Franken’s favorite party stunt has long been his ability to draw a near-perfect map of the United States freehand, a skill he’s used to great effect doing electoral coverage for Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” and on Comedy Central. In 1987, he amazed a Letterman audience by whipping off one of his Sharpie maps in less than two minutes. When the former comedian somehow got elected to the Senate in 2008, his onetime Stupid Human Trick got rebranded as a wonkishly patriotic bit of Americana and became a staple at campaign events and fund-raisers. But the audience result is still the same: shocked gasps that a U.S. senator might actually know what the United States looks like !

But if Peters’s goal was to shock, it worked on me. I stared at the map endlessly, marveling at the big, muscular Africa dominating its center and the anemic Russia and Alaska hugging the North Pole. I’d been told that the maps I knew were lying to me about the globe, but it was quite another thing to see the evidence with my own eyes. You can trace the decline of the Mercator Projection by looking at the set changes on Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” faux newscast. The world outline map behind the newscasters was an acromegalic Mercator back in the Dan Aykroyd/Jane Curtin era, but under Dennis Miller it was replaced with a less absurd, modified Mercator called the Miller (no relation) cylindrical projection. Today the map behind Seth Meyers is an equirectangular projection called the plate carrée, useless for oceangoing but popular among computer mappers.

See toponyms Plessis, Denis Martineau du, 36 Poe, Edgar Allan, 184 POI (points of interest), 211, 231 Poison, two-armed drummer from, 193 Pokémons, more interesting than actual animals, 45 populations, 4 Port-au-Prince, 2010 earthquake, 228–30, 229 Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, A (Joyce), 13 Potter, Jonathan, 82 Powers of Ten, 214 Pratchett, Terry, 118 Preuss, Charles, 247 Prime Meridian, 240 projections, 64, 77–78, 221–24, 223 pronunciation of place-names, 73 Proust, Marcel, 73 Ptolemy, 77, 86–87 pundits, 89 “Purloined Letter, The” (Poe), 184 quadrangle maps, 60 Rademacher, Paul, 226–27 Rand McNally, 175–77, 234–36, 244, 246 corporate history of, 175–76, 234–35 Simpsons joke about, 36 rebellib stick charts, 20, 21 Reagan, Ronald, 68 Remembrance of Things Past (Proust), 73 Rennell, James, 89 Rhodes, Cecil, 207 rhumb lines, 221 Ringmann, Matthias, 76 road atlases, 148, 160, 167, 175–77, 235–36 in map rallies, 177–85 roadgeeks, 166–73, 184–85 as archaeologists, 172 and the Internet, 168 public servants, 171–72 road rallies, 177, 180 road signs, 167, 171–72 Robinson, Arthur, 222 Rockall, 161 role-playing games, 112, 116 Roosevelt, Theodore, 58, 165 Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Stoppard), 42 Rothman, Leonard, 97–98, 101–4 Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, 49 Rowling, J. K., 199–200, 213 Royal Geographical Society, 75, 79, 89–91 Rumsey, David, 98 Salisbury, 3rd Marquess of, 207 Salman, Benjamin, 109–12, 129–31, 134, 137 Saltonstall, Wye, 45 Sanderson, Brandon, 113–14, 116–19 sandwich, Earth, 240–42 Saturday Night Live, 38, 223–24 Scott, Robert Falcon, 90, 205 Scripps National Spelling Bee, 124, 146–47 selective availability, 187 Seoul, South Korea. See under Jennings, Ken Seven Cities of Gold, 85 Sexmoan, Philippines, 70 sexuality, 70–71, 77 Shackleton, Ernest, 90 Shultz, George, leaky deck of, 98 Shuster, Bud, 170 Simon, Phil, 97–98, 101–4 Simpsons, The, 36 Sims, John and Ashley, 140 Sinclair, Jim and Sue, 177–81, 183–84 Singh, Nain, 89 Sloane, Hans, 98 Smiley, E.

pages: 430 words: 109,064

13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown by Simon Johnson, James Kwak


Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, break the buck, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, Edward Glaeser, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial repression, fixed income, George Akerlof, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Home mortgage interest deduction, Hyman Minsky, income per capita, information asymmetry, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Kenneth Rogoff, laissez-faire capitalism, late fees, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage tax deduction, Myron Scholes, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, price stability, profit maximization, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, Robert Bork, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Satyajit Das, sovereign wealth fund, The Myth of the Rational Market, too big to fail, transaction costs, value at risk, yield curve

See also Mike Konczal, “PPIP Gets Its Debut,” Rortybomb, September 18, 2009, available at 39. David Enrich, Dan Fitzpatrick, and Marshall Eckblad, “Banks Won Concessions on Tests: Fed Cut Billions off Some Initial Capital-Shortfall Estimates; Tempers Flare at Wells,” The Wall Street Journal, May 9, 2009, available at 40. Saturday Night Live (NBC television broadcast May 11, 2009), available at 41. Tim Geithner, “Written Testimony: Congressional Oversight Panel,” April 21, 2009, available at 42. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, The Supervisory Capital Assessment Program: Overview of Results, May 7, 2009, available at

.* The stated purpose of the exercise was to test whether the banks could withstand a severe economic downturn, quantify the amount of capital they would need in a worst-case scenario, and force them to raise that capital. But the more important purpose was to bolster confidence in the financial system. On one level, the exercise failed; many people doubted that the tests painted a true portrait of the banks’ potential losses, especially when it came out that the Fed actually negotiated the results with the major banks, in some cases dramatically improving the banks’ performance at the last minute.39 (Saturday Night Live’s parody of Geithner, to some, seemed not too far from the truth: “Eventually, at the banks’ suggestion, we dropped the asterisk and went with a pass/pass system. Tonight, I am proud to say that after the written tests were examined, every one of the nineteen banks scored a pass.”)40 But on another level, the stress tests worked. For months, leading government figures had repeatedly assured the public that the banking system was secure.

pages: 534 words: 15,752

The Sushi Economy: Globalization and the Making of a Modern Delicacy by Sasha Issenberg


air freight, Akira Okazaki, anti-communist, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, call centre, creative destruction, Deng Xiaoping, global supply chain, haute cuisine, means of production, Nixon shock, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, telemarketer, trade route, urban renewal

Second-wave restaurants catered to upscale white diners, American tastemakers who might not have traveled to Japan but made sushi’s acquaintance though mass media fascinated by the culinary curiosity, such as a 1977 Esquire article headlined “Wake Up, Little Su-ushi, Wake Up!” By the following year, sushi had become so ingrained in Southern California life—and so familiar around the rest of the country as one of that region’s typically fey indulgences—that it appeared as a referent in a Saturday Night Live bit. An episode starring New York City Mayor Ed Koch and the Rolling Stones featured a short film called “Shiller’s Reel: Sushi by the Pool,” with Hal Holbrook and Carrie Fisher. The setting was a trendy home in the hills, with a tableau of poolside Bacchanalia: bikinis, backgammon, butler, plate of sushi. “Hello, Hal Shimpy’s sushi party,” the phone is answered. Desi Arnaz, Jr. and Steven Keats share a bit of explanatory dialogue about the hors d’oeuvres—“What’s this stuff?”

: Waters. 96 97 “California Dietetic Association”: San Diego Tribune, May 2, 1984. “actor Richard Dreyfuss”: “Richard 97 Dreyfuss: Persona Grata,” by Fiona Lewis, Los Angeles Times, May 22, 1977. “1977 Esquire article”: “Wake Up, Little Suu-shi, Wake Up!” Esquire, April 1977. (“Okay, 98 that’s a silly title, but we had to get your attention,” the magazine conceded in the article’s first sentence.) “ a Saturday Night Live bit”: The episode 98 aired on October 7, 1978. “inclusion of tuna sashimi”: Piesman. 98 “restaurant critic Lois Dwan”: “Chef Nozawa 101 —A Ten,” by Lois Dwan, Los Angeles Times, June 20, 1982. “a group of Ovitz’s former employees”: 101 Nation’s Restaurant News, September 11, 2000. 102 “Entertainment Tonight”: The segment aired on September 4, 2006. “chefs who worked just blocks apart”: Descriptions of Masa Takayama’s Ginza 104 Sushi-Ko and Matsuhisa at their peak are in Gold’s Counter Intelligence.

., nigiri-hayatsuke Nihon Freezer Nishimura, Shoichi Nixon, Richard NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Nobu restaurants Nobu-style cuisine North Carolina fish, “north of the orient” journey Lindbergh Notar, Richie Nozawa, Kazunori ocean perch Ohnuki-Tierney, Emiko Okai, Yoshi Okazaki, Akira Okazaki, Kaheita Okubo, Yoshio omakase Onchi, Tetsuro onigiri (rice balls) Onodera, Morihiro Ono, Tadashi ooba opening ceremonies, Nobu restaurants Osaka Expo (1970) oshibori (little damp towels) “outsourcing,” overfishing Pacific flight of tuna Paloma Reefer (ship) incident Pearl Harbor “perfect cultivation,” Perry, Mathew Peru pet food and Boston bluefin “phantom fish” (kue) Phillips, Julia Phillips, Saul “pickle trade” (takuwan boeki) Pina, Lucas piracy Plaza Accord (1985) Pleasures of Japanese Cooking, The (Tanaka) pollock ponzu Port Lincoln, Australia See also ranching tun preparing fresh tuna by auction houses prep work by sushi chefs Presland, Shaun pressing prices black market seafood commerce bluefin tuna Boston bluefin leveler of taste ranched tuna restaurant’s identity and prices (continued) short-term losses to strengthen long-term Prince Edward Island, Canada private-treaty exchange processors produce, dishes based on producers, regulating production and technology production costs, China profit margins for tuna profit-sharing system protein in Japanese cuisine Puglisi, Joe purse-seine pushing items to control inventory Qaddafi, Moammar “quick sushi” (haya-zushi) Qui, Paul quotas (catch) black market ranching tuna ranching tuna black market business Tsukiji Market raw vs. cooked fish Raymond, Billy red tide (algal blooms) refrigerated containers (“refcons”) regulation of producers Reichl, Ruth restaurants, fast-food sushi return-pricing, rice balls (onigiri) rice, fast-food sushi rice sandwiches risks of ranching tuna seasonal economy Road to a Higher Value Added Tuna Industry, The (Jeffriess) Robbins, Floyd Robuchon, Joël Rockwell David Rome Monte ronin (“wave man”) rubber boots, Tsukiji Market 16 Russo-Japanese War Safina, Carl Saio, Masa Sampson, Anthony Samuelsson, Marcus samurai swordmakers as knife producers Sanfilippo, Angela Santic, Tony Sarin, Sam Sato, Humberto sawagani seafood trading houses (suisan “seafood business,” “the seven sisters”) seasonal economy, risks of sea urchin (uni) second-day tuna second-wave sushi restaurants “seeing a tuna,” Sendai, China Sendai Market servers “seven sisters” (seafood trading houses) Sheraton, Mimi Sherman, Gene Shibata, Yoko “Shiller’s Reel: Sushi by the Pool” (Saturday Night Live), Shintoism Shiogama auction house shipping containers Shiraishi, Yoshiaki Shizuoka University Showa Dynasty simultaneous bids Slow Food movement Smith, Charles W. sociability and sushi chefs sopa criolla Soviet Union soy sauce SPAM Spanish bluefin tuna “special economic zones,” spicy-tuna roll sportsfishing and bluefin status object, legally ranched tuna as status system of Japanese sushi culture Stehr, Hagen Stehr, Marcus Steingarten, Jeffrey stock exchange, ranching tuna Stoddart, Alex “strategic tuna reserve,” Japan street snack, sushi as street stalls suburban sushi bars suisan (seafood trading houses) superfreezer surf clam sushi bars fast food, sushi as hierarchical division of labor revenue from slang workspace sushi chefs apprenticeship buying fish by career paths of Caucasian China female gratuities, pooling head sushi chef inventory control Los Angeles, California manual dexterity of mechanics/musicians mystique of prep work by role of rules for sociability and technique Texas sushi shokunin sushi economy birth of modern sushi black market seafood commerce Boston bluefin boom and bust China fast food, sushi as Los Angeles, California Narita Airport Nobu-style cuisine ranching tuna Texas sushi shokunin See also sushi chefs; Tsukiji Market (Tokyo) sushi salads sushi vernacular Sydney, Australia Sydney Fish Market tail of tuna Takayama, Masa takeout sushi takuwan boeki (“pickle trade”) Tanaka, Heihachi technology advancement Teper, Meir Terauchi, Jay Texas sushi shokunin Thai Airways “Things Yuppies Eat for Lunch,” Three Bar tiraditos Tohto Suisan (Tohsui) auction house Tokugawa leyasu “Tokyo’s Pantry,” See also Tsukiji Market (Tokyo) Tony’s Tuna toro (fatty, pink belly meat) tossing a tuna (“flying fish”) Townsend, Denny trade imbalance, U.S. and Japan traders, Tsukiji Market “traditional” vs. new sushi transportation revolutions Trillin, Calvin trust relationship between seller and buyer tsuke Tsukiji Market (Tokyo) auctioneers auction licenses auctions bidding at Boston bluefin Gloucester fishermen and preparing fresh tuna ranched tuna records at sales (dollars) at Sendai Market vs. short-term losses to strengthen long-term simultaneous bids stalls at Umai Sushikan in value assessment weather impact See also sushi economy tsuma tsunami (December 2004) Tudela, Sergi tuna See also sushi economy tuna barons tuna cowboys tunafish vs. tuna Tunarama Festival Tuna-Ranching Intelligence Unit reports tuna usage, calculating Tunisia Turkey “turnover sushi” (kaiten-zushi) twentieth century (late) invention of sushi Two Bar two-stock theory of Atlantic bluefin Ueno, Takamasa Umai Sushikan Unification Church uni (sea urchin) United States devaluing of dollar Strategic Petroleum Reserve sushi future trade imbalance with Japan See also Los Angeles California Usami, Satoshi Ushizima, Kinya (“potato king”) usuzukuri Uwate, Matao value-added products, Japan value added to fish value assessment Vancouver, Canada Vongerichten, Jean-Georges Wade, Michael “Wake Up, Little Su-u-shi, Wake Up!”

Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson


impulse control, Mason jar, Rubik’s Cube, Saturday Night Live, telemarketer, Y2K

The drive to the party was long, which worked against me, because already the sedatives I’d taken were wearing off, and it gave me more time to worry about our choice of costumes. We were dressed as Craig and Arianna, the Spartan cheerleaders from Saturday Night Live. When I’d bought the costumes I’d thought it was a pretty iconic pop-culture reference, but when Hailey’s babysitter arrived she’d had no damn idea who we were. Victor and me as Craig and Arianna. One of us is not even fucking trying. “You know? The Spartans? From Saturday Night Live?” I asked, trying not to let the hysteria seep into my voice as Victor (who had never wanted to be a male cheerleader in the first place and still hadn’t forgiven me for picking out the costume) just glared at me. The babysitter stared at me blankly.

Then he pulled his (still aghast) face from mine to turn toward the door, and that’s when he noticed that no one in the house was wearing costumes. “What. The. Fuck?” was all he managed to get out before a man in his late fifties opened the door. The man looked at us strangely, which I thought was rather rude for a host, and I thought I’d just get it out of the way, so I blurted out, “You know . . . the Spartans? From Saturday Night Live?” He just kept staring, with his brow furrowed like he was still trying to place us, and I shrugged in defeat and said, “Meh. Don’t worry about it. The babysitter didn’t get it either.” Victor cleared his throat and gave me the “Please shut up” look, while the man at the door said, “I’m sorry. Can I help you?” Then Victor explained that we were here for the party and that apparently we’d read the invitation wrong (insert unnecessary glare at me), because we’d thought it was a costume party, and that’s when the guy stopped us and said, “There’s no party here.”

pages: 388 words: 106,138

The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory by John Seabrook


barriers to entry, financial independence, game design, peer-to-peer, Ponzi scheme, Saturday Night Live, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, trade route

IN PURSUIT OF A new sound and new collaborators, Max Martin started spending time in post-9/11 New York with Swedish colleagues and friends, going around to clubs. They needed a nightlife guide, a disco Virgil. An American demo singer who had sung background on some Cheiron productions had a boyfriend who was DJing in a couple cool clubs. His name was Lukasz Gottwald, but in the clubs and on his mix tapes he was called Dr. Luke. Gottwald, twenty-eight, was also a guitar player; he had a regular gig with the house band for Saturday Night Live, a job he’d had for six years. He had an unusual range of musical skills. He had studied both rock and jazz, was a pretty good drummer, and he could sing, in a high voice. His job at SNL had acquainted him with a vast repertoire of American popular music, ranging over almost a century. As a producer, he knew his way around Pro Tools as well as anyone; he was as skilled at programming music as he was at playing his instrument.

Maybe you should listen to Miles Davis.’ ” But within a year he was good enough to get a weekly gig playing at Augie’s Jazz Bar, on 106th and Broadway. Gottwald made his first real money writing commercial jingles. He did the music for a popular Nike ad that ran during the 1994 World Cup. He hated it. “I didn’t like the people who were deciding things,” he says. He wanted to be the decider. In 1997, Lenny Pickett, the Saturday Night Live bandleader, put out the word around music schools that he was looking for a young guitar player for the band. It had to be someone who could sight-read music. As he explains, “We had only two hours for rehearsal, so I needed someone who could pick the music up quickly.” Pickett, who was the tenor sax soloist in the band (before SNL, he was a horn player in Tower of Power), auditioned about forty young players.

,” 223 Rushfield, Richard, 128 Russell, Mark, 151 “Russian Roulette,” 227 Ruthless!, 85 Rythm Syndicate, 173 sado-masochism (S&M), 91 Sahdeeq, Shabaam, 245 St. Petersburg Times, 103 Sakamoto, Kyu, 160 Salk School of Science, 307 Samsung, 151 Sandberg, Karl Martin, 64–67, 135 childhood and education of, 65 songwriting and performing of, 65–67 see also White, Martin “S&M,” 227, 228–29 Sandpiper Club, 24 “Sao Paulo,” 270 Saturday Night Live (SNL), 134, 135, 243–44 Schlager music, 37 Schmidt, Eric, 16 Schmidt-Holtz, Rolf, 14 Schnitzler, Conrad, 30 Schoolly D, 60 Schoun, Andy, 96–97 Schultz, Jake, 64, 104 Scott, Dick, 49–50 Scott, Tee, 60 Seacrest, Ryan, 126, 128 SeaWorld, 54–55, 74 Sebert, Kesha Rose, see Kesha Sebert, Pebe, 269, 277, 278–79 Secret, The (film), 205–6 Secret Garden studio, 240 Sedaka, Neil, 69 Seo Taiji and Boys, 151 Seoul, 150–53, 155–58, 161–63 Gangnam district in, 155–56 “September,” 171 S.E.S., 152, 153 session musicians, 6, 58, 59, 201 Sex Pistols, 8, 37, 290 Sgt.

Life of the Party: Stories of a Perpetual Man-Child by Bert Kreischer


airport security, blood diamonds, pre–internet, Saturday Night Live

Funny how meaningful an event can be when the person you have it with is attractive. Had she been a fat chick, I probably would have been in the hospital but seen no hidden meaning. Regardless, I spent the remainder of the time before that night’s show focusing on how I could turn this bit of kismet into a kismet bit. My focus shifted when I saw Tracy Morgan walk up to the club. At the time, Tracy was just beginning his reign at Saturday Night Live and he had the strut of a fourth grader coming back from the principal’s office. The comics at the club said he looked healthy, which seemed odd to me because he didn’t, but apparently this was an improvement. They also told me he was hilarious, which I believed because just watching him interact was comical. His mouth would purse, he’d laugh loud, then stop suddenly and stare at the person, lift up his shirt and rub his belly, then embrace the person and walk away.

Always the friend, Tony motioned me over and introduced me to Tracy Morgan. “Yo Tray, this is my man, Bert, but I call him Sugar Bear.” Tracy gave me a long stare, a mean mug, and a nod, and continued the conversation he had been having. Making sure not to overstep my bounds, I went back to barking, only this time with much more ammo. “Hey guys, we have a great show tonight. Tony Woods, D.C. Benny, Judah Friedlander, and from Saturday Night Live, Tracy Morgan.” By the time Tracy hit the stage I had brought in enough patrons to earn myself a few minutes to watch a pro at work. At this time in my career, anyone who had made it out of the clubs and onto TV, but who still came back to the clubs to work out material, earned all the respect I had. So I stood in the back and watched as Tracy Morgan took the stage. “Alright, we all do crazy shit,” he opened a bit.

pages: 86 words: 14,764

Free-Range Chickens by Simon Rich


Saturday Night Live, Stephen Hawking

Last but not least, I want to thank my friends at Fishkill Farms: Josh Morgenthau, Jake Luce, and Josh Koenigsberg. You gave me more than a place to live last year, and I am forever in your debt. For quality you can taste, choose Fishkill Farms, the last word in premium free-range chicken products. Available at fine markets throughout the New York area. ABOUT THE AUTHOR SIMON RICH was born in New York City in 1984. He has written jokes for Mad magazine, The New Yorker, Saturday Night Live, and The Harvard Lampoon. His first book, Ant Farm and Other Desperate Situations, was published in 2007. ALSO BY SIMON RICH Ant Farm Copyright © 2008 by Simon Rich All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Random House, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York. RANDOM HOUSE and colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.

pages: 900 words: 241,741

Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Peter Petre


Berlin Wall, California gold rush, call centre, clean water, cleantech, Donald Trump, financial independence, Golden Gate Park, illegal immigration, index card, Maui Hawaii, Mikhail Gorbachev, oil shale / tar sands, pension reform, risk tolerance, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Y2K

The crowd was a fantastic medley of writers, socialites, hipsters, entertainers, executives, critics, artists, fashion models, and bodybuilding fans—including Andy Warhol; Diana Vreeland; actresses Carroll Baker, Sylvia Miles, and Shelley Winters; actor Tony Perkins and his wife, fashion photographer Berry Berenson; writer Tom Wolfe; the model Apollonia van Ravenstein; porn star Harry Reems; and half the cast of Saturday Night Live. James Taylor came with his wife, Carly Simon, who was pregnant. She flexed a biceps for the cameras and told a reporter that her hit song “You’re So Vain” wasn’t about a bodybuilder. The bodybuilders themselves made a dramatic entrance. While everybody was milling around in the lobby sipping white wine, in swept six of the giants from the film, including Franco, Lou Ferrigno, and Robby “the Black Prince” Robinson, who was decked out in a black velvet cape and wearing a diamond earring.

He was on a different plane, like Woody Allen, who could show up for a black-tie event wearing a tux and white tennis shoes, and nobody would object. It was his way of saying “Fuck you. The invitation said black tie, so I wore the black tie, but I also came as Woody Allen, on my feet.” I admired the audacity that he and Nureyev shared. As for downtown, the Greenwich Village restaurant One Fifth was a great spot. Late on Saturday nights, following Saturday Night Live, that was where cast members John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, and Laraine Newman would hang out. Often I’d watch them perform the show at NBC Studios in Rockefeller Plaza, and then meet them down at One Fifth—after which we’d all head back uptown to Elaine’s. The best downtown parties were thrown by Ara Gallant, a skinny little guy in his midforties who always wore tight leather or denim, high-heeled cowboy boots with silver toes, a little black cap with jingling gold charms, black sideburns, and, at night, eyeliner.

It was funny to be posing all oiled up in little skinny briefs in front of all these people, trying to be the world’s most muscular man. It was funny getting paid millions of dollars to fight a predator from outer space. It was funny going through Lamaze classes trying to pretend that pregnancy is a team effort. I saw great humor in Maria and me coming from totally opposite upbringings. I laughed about my accent, and I loved Saturday Night Live’s Hans and Franz characters takeoff on me. I’d always been the perfect target for jokes; there was so much material to work with. Being Austrian, marrying Maria, being Republican, the accent. With all this going for you, you need a sense of humor so you can join the fun. In 1985, the year after The Terminator became a hit, I was at a dinner in Denver on the eve of the Carousel Ball, a famous charity extravaganza organized by Marvin and Barbara Davis.

pages: 58 words: 18,747

The Rent Is Too Damn High: What to Do About It, and Why It Matters More Than You Think by Matthew Yglesias

Edward Glaeser, falling living standards, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, industrial robot, Jane Jacobs, land reform, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism,, rent control, rent-seeking, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, statistical model, transcontinental railway, urban sprawl, white picket fence

McMillan, as it turns out, is a lovable crank born for the era of YouTube and Twitter. The sixty-four-year-old martial arts instructor, former mailman, and self-proclaimed “Black Hulk Hogan” was a sensation. With his silver mane, wild beard, black gloves, and concise, disciplined message (“The rent is too damn high!”), he was an instant star. Clips of the debate went viral on the Web the next day, McMillan was featured in a memorable Saturday Night Live sketch, and months after the debate, the memory of McMillan was resuscitated in WPIX local news promos as the man himself proclaimed, “The weather is too damn cold,” before touting the station’s weather broadcasts as a potential solution. Unfortunately, the package, the eccentricity, and the hoopla tended to obscure McMillan’s core point. Rent in New York City is, in fact, too damn high.

Attempting Normal by Marc Maron


back-to-the-land, desegregation, medical malpractice, Saturday Night Live

That said, be careful not to medicate bitterness because you’ve mistaken it for depression, because the truth is, you’re right: Everything does suck most of the time and there’s a fine line between bitterness and astute cultural observation. I had many dreams as a teenager. One was to be an artist—any kind of artist, preferably a comic. And if I was a comic, I wanted to be on Saturday Night Live. I loved John Belushi and Chevy Chase. Nowadays, that dream doesn’t even make sense to me: I never really did characters other than the one I am becoming and I certainly haven’t watched the show in years. But back in 1994 it almost happened. I had a meeting with Lorne Michaels. Lorne had seen me a couple of times and was considering me for the cast of Saturday Night Live. Along with SNL, Michaels produced Late Night with Conan O’Brien. I had appeared on the O’Brien show the night before the meeting. I was feeling like a player. I had smoked a little weed that morning so I was a little buzzed.

pages: 200 words: 64,050

I See You Made an Effort: Compliments, Indignities, and Survival Stories From the Edge of 50 by Annabelle Gurwitch

McMansion, Saturday Night Live, Steve Jobs, urban planning, zero-sum game

It might have been me—I think it was me, but it was hard to tell; we were giggling and crying and working together as one unit. This is exactly the way I want to go, I said to myself: in a circle of love. By this point she had Paxil, Wellbutrin, morphine, oxycodone and Haldol in her system and still she was totally lucid. “You’re incredibly drug resistant,” someone said. “You should have done heroin!” Okay, I said that. Her first job out of college had been as a page on Saturday Night Live, working with some of the great drug addicts of all time. Oh, the parties she’d excused herself from. If only she’d known. Was this the learn-from-my-life moment? We sat by the bed while Robin dozed on and off for the next few hours, but she wasn’t going under. Every time she stirred, all five of us would jump to help. If she wanted her mouth swabbed or needed to throw up, we attended to her needs.

I took home the books that I’d authored and had inscribed to her, along with her collection of inscribed books from other writers. I couldn’t bear to think of them ending up in an anonymous thrift store, though it’s likely her books, along with the contents of my bookshelves, will end up there one day in the hopefully distant future. If the future is completely paperless, my books, which now include Robin’s copy of Live from NewYork: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live in which her name is spelled incorrectly, will spend eternity decomposing in the Puente Hills landfill just outside of Los Angeles County. I left with a few choice bottles of wine in tow. Witnessing the passing of our friends, our pets, and our heroes is increasing in regularity and is giving rise to all manner of negotiations. Especially regarding our own demise. I met up with my single friend Lauren for lunch and when I inquired how she was doing, she blurted out, “I don’t want my cats to eat me.

pages: 487 words: 132,252

The Fry Chronicles: An Autobiography by Stephen Fry


Alistair Cooke, back-to-the-land, Desert Island Discs, Etonian, Isaac Newton, Live Aid, loadsamoney, pre–internet, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Sloane Ranger, South China Sea, The Wisdom of Crowds, University of East Anglia, Winter of Discontent

For one excruciating week we all had to undergo a kind of comedy-writing masterclass with Bernie Sahlins, one of the producers of the Second City revue group and television show. Bernie, brother of the anthropologist Marshall Sahlins, was from a tradition of improvisation that he helped create back in the days of Mike Nichols and Elaine May, a tradition that had burst into television and more recently film with the Saturday Night Live generation of Aykroyd, Chase, Murray, Belushi and Radner. Ben wrote alone and wasn’t faintly interested in the styles and techniques of Chicago improv. Hugh and I were pretty appalled too at the idea of ‘building a scene’ through improvisational dialogue in the approved American way. When we wrote together we sometimes did improvise, inasmuch as we made a sketch up out loud as we went along before committing it to paper.

I spent almost all of Christmas Day in my hotel room shivering, throbbing and shaking with sunstroke and sunburn, much to the amusement of Billy Connolly and Pamela Stephenson, who were staying in the same hotel. Back in England Hugh and I turned our minds to the Channel 4 show that Paul Jackson had mentioned to us. Seamus Cassidy, the young commissioner at C4, was anxious for something akin to America’s long-running Saturday Night Live. Our show, he decided, was to be called Saturday Live. I thought of him ever after, not unaffectionately, as Shameless Cassidy. Stand-up was taking over the world. Our brand of sketch comedy, it seemed to Hugh and me, was in danger of looking more and more dated as each month passed, certainly as far as the prospect of live TV was concerned. The problem with being a duo rather than a solo performer is that you speak to each other, rather than out front to the audience.

Steven Patrick Morrissey), 324 Mulville, Jimmy, 403–4 Nation, Terry, 218 Neatnews (radio programme), 328–9 Nederlander, James, 411–14, 420 Neil, Mr (grocer), 10–11 Nelson, Admral Horatio, 1st Viscount, 26 Neumann, Martin (SF’s grandfather), 9–10, 28 New Statesman, The (play), 254 New York, 409–16, 420–2 New York Times, 419, 423 Newell, Mike, 353 Newman, Rob, 121 Newsbeat (radio programme), 328 Newton, Sir Isaac, 70 Nichols, Mike, 240 Nightcap (Cambridge Footlights revue), 127–9 Noel Gay Artists (agency), 175, 235–6, 261–2, 291 Noel Gay Music (agency), 359 Norfolk College of Arts and Technology (NORCAT), King’s Lynn, 26, 92 Norton, Graham, 332 Not the Nine O’Clock News (TV programme), 180–1, 193, 207, 209, 239, 383 Nunn, Trevor, 108, 135 Ockrent, Mike: directs Me and My Girl revival, 266–7, 269–70, 338, 340, 349; background, 269; and Stephen Sondheim’s exploitation of SF’s fax machine, 300–1; and Me and My Girl in Australia, 391; and Terry Allen Kramer, 414; in New York with Me and My Girl, 422–3 Oldman, Gary, 150 Olivier, Sir Laurence (later Baron), 93–4, 336, 351–2 Only Fools and Horses (TV programme), 215 Orme, Stuart, 228 Ornstein, Dita (SF’s great-aunt), 422 Orton, Joe: Loot, 346 Oulton, Caroline, 141–3, 152, 388 Oxford, 70–1, 129; see also Playhouse Theatre Oxford and Cambridge Club, London, 377–8 Oxford Theatre Group, 197 Palin, Michael, 71, 129, 348 Palmer, James, 171 Paltrow, Gwyneth, 324 Parker, Alan, 234 Parkinson, Cecil, Baron, 101 Parkinson, Sir Michael, 138 Pascal, Blaise, 226 Paston School, North Walsham, Norfolk, 26 Paxman, Jeremy, 139 Perrier Award (Edinburgh Festival), 20, 199, 202, 210 Perry Mason (US TV series), 416–17 Philips (schoolboy), 40–2 Pinter, Harold: friendship with Simon Gray, 46–7; watches cricket, 52; social awkwardness, 53; smoking, 57; David Aukin produces, 268 Playhouse Theatre, Oxford, 195 Plowman, Jon, 210–11, 213 Plunkett, Maryann, 416, 418, 424 Poliakoff, Stephen: City Sugar, 134 Pols, Bob, 92 Pope-Hennessy, James, 49 Popplewell, Oliver, 32 Posner, Geoff, 396 Potter, Dennis, 268; The Singing Detective, 353 Powell, Enoch, 102 Praed, Michael, 258 Prince, Hal, 300 Prince, Peter, 353 Pringle, Derek, 146 Private Function, A (film), 348 Producers, The (Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan; play and stage musical), 423 Pucklechurch, Gloucestershire, 27, 30, 360 Puttnam, Sir David (later Baron), 147–8, 234, 298 QI (TV programme): publicity, 55; taping, 63 Queen’s Head (bar), Chelsea, 221 Queen’s Theatre, London, 340, 344, 346 Quiller-Couch, Sir Arthur, 318 Quinton, Anthony, Baron, 335 Rand, Ayn: Atlas Shrugged, 303–4 Rashbrook, Stephen, 336 Rattigan, Sir Terence, 337 Ravens, Jan, 144, 191 Reagan, Ronald, 188, 201 Redgrave, Sir Michael, 95, 108, 183 Redmond, Siobhan, 211, 239, 241 Reeves, Vic, 296 Regent Square, Bloomsbury, 340 Reitel, Enn, 291, 415 Rice, Matthew, 337–8, 357 Rice, Peter, 337 Rich, Frank, 419, 422–3 Richard, Sir Cliff, 324 Richardson, Charles, 394 Richardson, Christopher, 130, 196 Richardson, Miranda, 382, 384 Richardson, Peter, 214 Ridley, Nicholas, Bishop of London, 70 Rising Damp (TV sitcom), 207 Roberts, Michael, 308, 310 Robinson, Robert, 139 Robinson, Tony, 382, 384 Rolfe, Frederick see Corvo, Baron Rose, Arthur, 268 Rosen, Ralph, 423 Rosengard, Peter, 208 Ross, Jonathan, 6 Ross, Sandy, 210–11, 213, 229, 241 Rossiter, Leonard, 346 Rumney, Peter, 122, 126 Russell, Bertrand, 69, 185, 335 Rylands, George (‘Dadie’), 95 Sachs, Andrew, 332 Sahlins, Bernie, 240–1 Sahlins, Marshall, 240 St Mark’s Rise, Dalston, 365 Sands, Bobby, 201 Sarchet, Tony, 331 Sassoon, Siegfried, 176 Sastry, Sunetra (Mrs Rowan Atkinson), 387–8 Saturday Live (TV programme), 391, 394–7, 402, 409 Saturday Night Live (TV programme), 240 Saunders, Jennifer, 209, 214, 296, 364 Savident, John, 297 Sax, Geoffrey, 254 Sayle, Alexei, 205–7, 209, 239 Sayle, Linda, 206 Scargill, Arthur, 201 Schlesinger, John, 401 Schlesinger, Paul, 189 Scofield, Paul, 164 Scotsman, The (newspaper), 127, 155–6 Scott, Ridley, 234 Scott, Tony, 234 Scott’s Porage Oats, 19 Sessions, John, 44, 46, 49, 252 Sewell, Brian, 319, 332 sex: and smoking, 24–5 Shakespeare, William, 85–6, 94; All’s Well That Ends Well, 149; Love’s Labour’s Lost, 188–9, 282; Macbeth, 135–6; The Tempest, 113–16, 136, 160 Shand, Neil, 333 Shaw, George Bernard, 57 Shearer, Paul: in Alfresco, 20; in Footlights revue, 172, 190, 192; Armitage signs up, 194, 262; and Elton’s The Young Ones, 210; and televising of The Cellar Tapes, 214; leaves There’s Nothing to Worry About, 229; in The Crystal Cube, 297 Shepherd, Peter, 306 Sherlock Holmes Society of London, 19 Sherriff, R.C., 60 Sherrin, Ned, 329–30, 333–4 Short Circuit (film), 88 Short, Nigel, 81 Simpkin, Paul, 176 Sinclair, John Gordon, 44, 48–9 Skeat, W.W., 89 Slattery, Tony, 155, 190, 213–14, 259, 262, 332 Smith, Arthur, 332 Smith, Dame Maggie, 348 Smith, Mel, 180, 209, 247, 296 Smith, Sir Paul, 293 smoking: SF’s addiction to, 23–30, 33–4, 37–40, 50, 56–8; and sex, 24–5; Simon Gray’s addiction to, 44–5, 50, 57; SF gives up, 53–6, 58–9, 62–3, 424 Snow, Greg, 176 Softley, Ian, 113–15, 136 Sondheim, Stephen, 300–5 Sophocles: Oedipus Rex, 121–2, 124, 126–7 Southgate Road, London, 352, 354, 363 Speak, Peter, 82–3 Spearing, A.C., 78 Speight, Johnny, 402 Spenser, Edmund, 106 Spitting Image (TV programme), 383, 394 Stamp, Gavin, 319 Stebbing Park, Essex, 258, 296 Stevenson, Pamela, 391 Stewart, Patrick, 93 Stiller, Jerry, 61 Sting (born Gordon Sumner), 324 Stoker, Bram: Dracula, 190, 205 Stone, Adam, 176 Stoppard, Sir Tom, 52–3, 57, 64; Travesties, 97, 152 Stormbreaker (film), 255 Stouts Hill (school), 11, 13 Strachey, Lytton, 69 Sturridge, Mary-Lou, 406 Suchet, David, 191 sugar beet, 10 Sugar Puffs (cereal), 6–8, 10–11, 19 Sullivan, John, 215 sweets and chocolate, 12–17, 19–20 Swinnerton-Dyer, Sir Peter, 157 Swinton, Tilda, 181–2, 259 Sykes, Eric, 215 Symons, Nick, 342, 353, 363, 365 Tafler, Jonathan, 127, 135–6 Tandy, Jessica, 417 Tatler (magazine), 299, 306, 308–10, 318–20, 324 Taylor, Barry, 114, 136, 149–52 Temple, John G., 241–2 Temple, Julian, 250 Tennant, David, 90 Terrence Higgins Trust, 393 That Was The Week That Was (TV programme), 329 Thatcher, Carol, 332–3 Thatcher, Margaret, Baroness, 83, 201, 208, 294–5, 328, 333, 380 There’s Nothing to Worry About (TV sketch show), 20, 228–9, 238, 280, 373 This Is David Harper (earlier This Is David Lander; TV programme), 332, 356, 404 Thompson, Emma: at Cambridge, 20, 98–101, 128, 143–4, 149, 152, 166, 172, 190, 192; sees Latin in Edinburgh, 156; Armitage signs up, 175, 262; in Memoirs of a Fox revue, 181; background, 208; writes for Granada show, 210; natural gifts, 213; and televising of The Cellar Tapes, 214; performs in Ben Elton sketches, 228, 239; visits Richard Armitage, 258; in The Crystal Cube (TV programme), 297; moderates work commitments, 321; plays in Me and My Girl, 343, 348 Thompson, Eric, 98 Thornton, Frank, 338, 348 Time Out (magazine), 208, 299 Tinguely, Jean, 152 Toksvig, Sandi, 144 Tolkien, J.R.R., 92 Tolkin, Michael and Stephen, 250–2 Trueman, Brian, 138 Trueman, Fred, 54 Truss, Lynn, 299 Tune, Tommy, 420 Twisk, Russell, 299, 319 Two Ronnies (Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett), 209 United Artists (film corporation), 145 United States of America: SF visits, 59–60, 409–19; SF makes TV travel series on, 63 University Challenge (TV show), 137; parodied, 246–7 Uppingham School, 18–19, 33, 91, 130, 196 Ustinov, Sir Peter, 270 Valentine, Jeremy, 32 Varney, Reg, 336 Wade, Joanna, 154 Wagner, Richard, 82; Ring Cycle, 165 Walker, Mike, 349 Walter, Harriet, 353 Ward, Don, 208 Waugh, Evelyn, 31, 129 Webb, Robert, 121 Webber, Andrew Lloyd, Baron, 160, 258 Webber Douglas Academy, 193 Weiland, Paul, 234–7 Welland, Colin, 145, 352 Welles, Orson, 238 Whalley, Joanne, 353 Whim (burger bar), Cambridge, 177–8 Whitbread (brewers), 234–8 Whitehouse, Paul, 366, 394, 402 Who Dares Wins (TV programme), 403–4 Who Do You Think You Are?

pages: 532 words: 139,706

Googled: The End of the World as We Know It by Ken Auletta


23andMe, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bioinformatics, Burning Man, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, death of newspapers, disintermediation, don't be evil, facts on the ground, Firefox, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, hypertext link, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet Archive, invention of the telephone, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social graph, spectrum auction, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, telemarketer, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Upton Sinclair, X Prize, yield management, zero-sum game

And this number was soaring. What visitors viewed on YouTube was mostly “user-generated content,” or short homemade video clips: a pet trick, an artfully told joke, firsthand footage of the devastation from Hurricane Ka trina, Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” at the Super Bowl—that users uploaded and sent to YouTube. Increasingly, though, YouTube was expanding its audience with clips from Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, with sports highlights and music videos; these, too, were recorded and shared by users, arousing piracy concerns. The reason YouTube was persuaded to sell, said cofounder Chad Hurley, then twenty-nine, was simple: They feared the site lacked the resources to cope with its explosive growth. “When we started, we thought one million daily uploads would be great.”

After months of negotiations, traditional media walked away. “They didn’t value our content at a price point we thought was worthwhile,” said NBC/Universal CEO Jeff Zucker. “They built YouTube on the back of our content, and wouldn’t pay us.” NBC, like other television and cable networks, refused to allow their programs to appear on You Tube, though the network has not loudly protested as YouTube clips boosted the ratings of, for example, Saturday Night Live. Philippe Daumann, the CEO of Viacom and Sumner Redstone’s longtime legal adviser, complained that it was frustrating to negotiate with Google. “Every time we thought we came down to a certain point, they changed their mind,” he said. “And they changed the people in the negotiations. I learned that Google had an interesting management structure. I talked to their CEO, and then when Eric went down a certain path he had to have a discussion back in Mountain View with his two associates.

Just as the invention of the telephone crushed the telegraph, so motion pictures crippled vaudeville, television eclipsed radio, cable weakened broadcasting, and iTunes shattered CD music album sales. In some cases, new technologies brought new opportunities. The movie studios, after huffing about television, belatedly discovered a lucrative new platform to sell their movies. Exposure on YouTube has broadened the audience for Saturday Night Live. If advertisers can sell their ads more cheaply and better target them through Google, should they fret that they are harming Irwin Gotlieb’s business? What we don’t know is whether the new digital distribution systems will generate sufficient revenue to adequately pay content providers. David L. Calhoun spent his career at General Electric, where he rose to vice chairman. He left to become chairman and CEO of The Nielsen Company in 2006.

pages: 205 words: 18,208

The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Privacy and Freedom? by David Brin


affirmative action, airport security, Ayatollah Khomeini, clean water, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, data acquisition, death of newspapers, Extropian, Howard Rheingold, illegal immigration, informal economy, information asymmetry, Iridium satellite, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, means of production, mutually assured destruction, offshore financial centre, open economy, packet switching, pattern recognition, pirate software, placebo effect, Plutocrats, plutocrats, prediction markets, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Robert Bork, Saturday Night Live, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, telepresence, trade route, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game, Zimmermann PGP

While some people are blinded by all-pervading noise, others acquire X-ray eyes, letting them see beyond all the old, traditional walls. For a while, this will create a golden time of opportunity for swindlers, blackmailers, and all kinds of cheaters. Then we will adapt . M. N. PLANO Credibility Ratings Some years ago, writer-director Buck Henry illustrated “credibility ratings” through a skit on Saturday Night Live . Ostensibly, all the seats in the audience had been equipped with “attention monitors” that would make Henryʼs television image diminish when viewers got bored, and grow when they were interested. As he droned on about the advantages of this technology, Henryʼs face shrank and a worried expression took over ... until he shouted, “Sex!” Abruptly, his image filled the screen. Thereafter, it stayed large so long as he pandered to the audience, telling them all the salacious, low-brow things he did not plan on talking about.

Later, it might lead to demarchy, a chilling form of democracy, in which television viewers watch shallow five-minute arguments on the tube and then vote yes or no with a button on their remote control, no longer delegating their authority to elected deliberators, but instead exercising sovereign power each night, deciding issues of the day after the most superficial forms of “debate.” Will we find Buck Henryʼs Saturday Night Live skit about slavery to instant audience reactions dismally prophetic? Does it illustrate the decadent, homogenized future awaiting us as soon as the low-class masses gain total control of content through high-speed feedback mechanisms? Or did Henryʼs satirical little play demonstrate something else? Perhaps that people already have a sense of humor and perspective about this very topic, and are willing to laugh at such tendencies in themselves?

If the “societal Tcell” exists, it is more likely that we will someday recognize it as an “emergent property” of a new type of civilization, rather than an intentional innovation we can feel proud of. Grateful for, yes; aware of, certainly. But a deliberate policy? Iʼm not quite paranoid enough to credit a scenario so convoluted or bizarre. 139 ... self-righteousness addicts ... Regarding the habit-forming properties of indignation, I am reminded of a hilarious yet wise skit that appeared on televisionʼs Saturday Night Live . The scene was set in a hospital, where a harried female nurse had to deal with a series of outraged males, each of them storming in to make demands. IRATE YOUNG COP: “How DARE you keep me from the patient! She was a witness to a crime! I have a sacred duty to protect the public!” IRATE YOUNG REPORTER: “How DARE you keep me from the patient! She was a witness to a crime! I have a sacred duty to in form the public!”

The Diet Myth: Why America's Obsessions With Weight Is Hazardous to Your Health by Paul Campos

cognitive dissonance, correlation does not imply causation, feminist movement, moral hazard, moral panic, profit maximization, Saturday Night Live, upwardly mobile

In recent years journalism, and television journalism in particular, has come to value image over substance to a remarkable degree. Ed Murrow would never be given a news show to host today: His Q rating simply wouldn’t be high enough. Murrow might still do the behindthe-scenes reporting, but his words (suitably edited to take into account the sensitivities of key advertisers) would be put in the mouths of the likes of Deborah Norville and Stone Phillips. Recently, the comedy program Saturday Night Live did an amusing sketch, in which an actor playing the role of Phillips did numerous takes of links introducing segments of Dateline NBC. (“Next, we have a report on dangerous children’s toys,” etc.) The sketch was funny because of its pointed emphasis that journalists like Phillips don’t really do anything: They just stand there looking good, while introducing the work others have done. In other words, they are models.

They thought I would drop dead of a heart attack or something. —BILL CLINTON, APRIL 2002 15 The Feeding of the President E ARLY IN 1994, Hillary Rodham Clinton made a little-noted but fateful decision: She decided her husband needed to lose weight. This decision was in part a reaction to the seemingly endless series of fat jokes that had marked the first year of the Clinton presidency. Who could forget the Saturday Night Live sketch in which Clinton went on a jog with his Secret Service agents, which lasted about two hundred yards before detouring into a McDonald’s? Once inside, Bill gobbled up cheeseburgers and fries belonging to bemused customers, while using the rapidly disappearing food items as props for an impromptu speech about Somali warlords. Clinton was often photographed jogging, and wisecracks about his flabby thighs and jiggling belly became staples for Jay Leno and David Letterman, as well as for dozens of less famous comedians from coast to coast.

See also anorexia nervosa and capitalism; feminist fat; presidential fat politics, bimbo culture, 94–95 Polivy, Janet, 39, 45 Pooling Project, 12 Popper, Karl, 222 Portnick, Jennifer, 226 prejudice against fat Anamarie Regino, 103 288 Index prejudice against fat (cont.) feminist fat, 226–27 journalism and obesity, 62 race and obesity, 82, 83, 87–89 presidential fat, 185–98 appearance as everything, 187–88, 192 cheating on diets, sexual transgressions as, 197 Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, 187–98 disgust and fear of fat, 194–96, 197–98 weaknesses represented by, 185–86, 196 White House chefs, 186–87 President’s Commission on the Health Needs of the Nation, 121 Presley, Elvis, xxiii, 79–81, 86 Prevention, 77 Prichard, Leslie and Troy, 102, 103, 104 Primetime Glick, 84 “professor,” feminist fat, 201 profit margins of diet foods, 74–75 Propecia, 116–17 “Protestant Asceticism and the Spirit of Capitalism” (Weber), 228 Protestant work ethic and diet ethic, 228–29, 231, 233 Prozac, 78 “P.S. phenomenon,” 45–46 psychological energy of war on weight, 174 psychology of fat, 223–27 “pundettes,” feminist fat, 200, 201, 202, 216 Purposes of the Heart (Browning), 187–88 Q qualitative food, key to good health, 248–49 R race and obesity, xxiii, 79–89 disgust and fear of fat, 82, 83, 86 Elvis Presley, 79–81 fat suits as blackface, xxiii, 83–86 Michael Jackson, 86–87 prejudice against fat, 82, 83, 87–89 self-hatred, 86–87 social effects of an idea, 82–83 Redbook, 77 Reeves, Keanu, 51 Regino, Anamarie, 99–106 Regino, Miguel, 100, 105 regulatory capture, 34 research funded by diet industry, 43–46, 60, 221–23 risks assessments, mortality of fat, 15–16 dieting, risks from, 32, 34 overweight, risks from, xv–xvi, xxii, xxv, 137–38 Rivera Live, 200 Roberts, Julia, 84 Rocker, John, 249 Russell, Lillian, 49 S Saguy, Abigail, 235 Sarandon, Susan, 250 Satcher, David, 3, 7, 58 Saturday Night Live, 93, 185 scare statistics by journalists, 58–59 Schleib, Walter, 186–87 Schwartz, Hillel, 39 Schwartzenegger, Arnold, 114 Science, 176 science of fat, 3–40, 219–23 assumptions made by studies, 221 dieting, 5, 7–8 fear created by, 39–40 fitness and activity levels, 34–38, 110, 111, 126, 134–35 gastric bypass surgery, 8 health crisis, 3–4 insurance charts, 5, 6, 9–10, 12, 121 life expectancy and weight, 5–7 litigation, fast-food industry, 4 pharmaceutical industry, 8, 33–34, 42–43 premises of, 38–39 variables ignored by studies, 26–38 weight as predictor of health, xxi–xxii, xxv, 4–5 See also anorexia nervosa and capitalism; Body Mass Index (BMI); dieting; diseases and fat; economics of obesity; mortality of fat Index “scientific policymaking,” 60–61 Sebrell, W.

pages: 250 words: 87,503

The Futurist: The Life and Films of James Cameron by Rebecca Winters Keegan


call centre, Colonization of Mars, cuban missile crisis, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, the payments system

Paxton had directed a funny, bizarre short film called Fish Heads, essentially a music video for a novelty song by a band called Barnes and Barnes, about all the things fish heads can and cannot do (mostly what they cannot do, like wear sweaters, play drums, and drink cappuccino in Italian restaurants with Oriental women). Paxton invited Cameron to a screening of the short at a punk-rock club in the San Fernando Valley. Fish Heads, which would ultimately sell to Saturday Night Live and achieve early-eighties cult status, endeared Paxton to Cameron, who realized the affable Texan had ambitions beyond painting spaceships. Three years later, when Cameron needed a punk rocker to get beaten up by Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator, he thought of Paxton. Over the years, the actor would appear in larger and more significant roles in Aliens, True Lies, Titanic, and Ghosts of the Abyss and become a diving buddy and confidant.

“I’ve teased him that I’m playing Jim Cameron in the movie,” Weaver says. “The character is driven, idealistic, perfectionist, but with great heart underneath.”3 The Volume Cameron’s last movie had involved creating the largest and most meticulously detailed set ever made, a scale replica of the Titanic. By contrast, Avatars performance-capture soundstage, which is called “the volume,” looked like a Saturday Night Live skit about postmodern theater. The warehouse environment was so bizarre and spare, it seemed as if Mike Myers would bound out in a black turtleneck at any moment, demanding to have his monkey touched. Instead of sets, gray-painted triangles and polygons and the occasional tree were moved around to create topography for the actors to navigate. Cameron used more refined versions of the technology he had tested for the prototype.

pages: 329 words: 106,831

All Your Base Are Belong to Us: How Fifty Years of Video Games Conquered Pop Culture by Harold Goldberg


Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, Apple II, cellular automata, Columbine, Conway's Game of Life, game design, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Mars Rover, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Oldenburg, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Great Good Place, Thorstein Veblen, urban planning

Atari was, in the parlance of The Jeffersons, movin’ on up. Home Pong was a fast-selling holiday phenomenon. By the end of 1975, Atari had raked in $40 million in sales from the rabid fans who bought more than 150,000 consoles. And that was just from one retail entity, Sears. Pong was a bona-fide cultural phenomenon, and was even part of an Al Franken skit on the seventh episode of the hottest show on TV, Saturday Night Live. It was also the only arcade game a young Barack Obama ever played. Bushnell had created not one, but two revolutions in gaming. When Pong emerged, it started the arcade revolution. Suddenly, the arcade machine was an essential accoutrement in every bar and bowling alley. Pong was more popular than pinball. Not only was it the first arcade game to make money, it was so exciting to play. The heart rate increased just as the on-screen ball sped up.

In 1999, they released SimCity 3000, starring the shoot-from-the-hip former mayor of New York City Ed Koch. By that time, Trip Hawkins was no longer involved in the company, but his edict to corral superstars for EA games had not been forgotten by what was becoming the world’s biggest videogame software maker. At the time, the crotchety Koch was a bigmouthed star with a series of bestselling books and was featured semiregularly on NBC’s Saturday Night Live. He was the perfect celebrity for SimCity 3000. In part, it was SimAnt that gave Wright the idea for his next series of games. But Wright was also inspired by mathemagician Martin Gardner’s game page in the back of Scientific American. Gardner, who had been a puzzle lover since his first requests to Santa as a child, wrote the column for twenty-five years, until 1981. A game called Party Planner, in which you used variables to simulate the likes and dislikes of party attendees, also fascinated Wright.

pages: 342 words: 94,762

Wait: The Art and Science of Delay by Frank Partnoy


algorithmic trading, Atul Gawande, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, blood diamonds, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, computerized trading, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Flash crash, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, High speed trading, impulse control, income inequality, information asymmetry, Isaac Newton, Long Term Capital Management, Menlo Park, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nick Leeson, paper trading, Paul Graham, payday loans, Ralph Nader, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, six sigma, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, statistical model, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, upwardly mobile, Walter Mischel

They both criticized Morgan even after his apology, at one point saying they could never accept him again (though they later did). But the public accepted Morgan’s apology. People wanted acknowledgment, explanation, remorse, and repair, in that order, and that is what Morgan gave them. His apology reminded them that his numerous previous gay spoofs had been funny, insightful, and obviously ironic—not malicious. No one who watches Saturday Night Live thought Morgan really would need to wolf down the drug Homocil to cope with having a son who likes to bake crème brûlée. By the end of June, Morgan was back onstage, even telling gay jokes: “I’m 42, man, and now all of a sudden I’m homophobic? My father was the lead singer in the Village People … I was sitting right there when he wrote the song, my daddy. The Indian was my godfather.”14 Morgan’s decision to take time and care with his apology paid off.

., III, 72, 77 attack by, 74–75 high-pressure situation for, 73–74 Rooney, Andy, 187 Rosenthal, Robert, 85, 86, 87 Ross, Wilbur L., Jr., 177 Ruffle, Bradley, 92, 93 Rule, Nicholas: female CEOs and, 91 Rumsfeld, Donald: unknown unknowns and, 245 Safety, 13, 233, 243 panic and, 104 paying for, 241 St. Augustine, 149, 151 Sampras, Pete, 23 Sanford, Mark, 143 Sarkozy, Nicolas, 234, 235, 236 Sarnoff, Dorothy: on speaking/listening, 115 Saturday Night Live, Morgan and, 140 Saturday Night Massacre, 132 Sawyer, Diane: Gibson and, 141 Scheele, Carl Wilhelm: Priestly and, 229 Schelling, Thomas: on planning, 244–245 Schlosser, Eric, 54 Schwarzenegger, Arnold: apology by, 143 Scully, Vin, 114 Securities, 176 trading, 33–34, 39–40 Securities and Exchange Commission, 35 “See-prepare-hit” strategy, 24, 25, 127 Self-consciousness, 111, 113, 116 Self-control, 13, 14, 15 Self-esteem, 14, 149, 152 Sen, Amartya, 233 Senate Watergate Committee, Thompson and, 132 “Sentence, The” (Gilbert), 112, 120–121 Service return, 22–23, 26, 29, 30, 244 fast, 24–25 gathering/processing information and, 24 second stage of, 22 speed of, 19–20 time for, 21 Sexual transgressions, apologizing for, 142–143, 144 Shop It To Me, 224 Shriver, Maria, 143 Shtudiner, Ze’ev, 92, 93 Signals picking up, 128 reptilian/mammalian, 10 sex, 91 Silence, 107n, 109, 190 communication and, 115 speech and, 116 Silver, Spencer, 213–214, 218, 225, 226 big ideas and, 215 creative thinking and, 230 experimenting by, 211, 212, 216–217 Minnesota Mining and, 228–229 Post-It and, 227 Simon, Paul, 107n 60 Minutes, 187, 188, 192, 195 Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, 34 Skills, 25–26, 165 social, 14 unconscious, 17 Skin conduction, 95, 96 Slow motion, 24, 122 Smith, Adam: on wages, 241 Society for Psychophysiological Research, 2, 3, 8 Socrates, 245 Speaking, 101 listening and, 115 Speech defect, 115 silence and, 116 Spitzer, Eliot: apology by, 143 Sports, superfast, 27, 28, 29, 47, 126, 183, 191 Spread Networks, 40 Squirmish, 109, 113, 180 Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, 41 Standardized tests, delayed gratification and, 13 Steel, Piers: procrastination and, 150, 151 Stereotypes, 81, 83, 100, 101 Stern, Nicholas, 239 Sternberg, Robert J.: on intelligence, 244 Stetson, Chess, 104 Stewart, Jackie, 105–106, 194 Stewart, Jon, 107, 113–114 Palin and, 108 pauses by, 115–116 punch lines and, 126 Sticky bookmarks, 216, 217, 218, 225 Sticky notes, 225–226, 227 Stiglitz, Joseph, 147–148, 152, 153–154, 155, 171, 233–234, 235 Stimulus, 9, 54, 69, 95–96 decision-making and, 70 fast food, 57, 58 memories and, 105 visual, 5, 21, 50 Stock trading, 38, 40, 43 breaks in, 46–47 computers and, 35 continuous, 46–47 high-speed, 41, 42 superfast, 35, 48 Strategies, 24, 25, 26, 45, 47, 127, 209, 243 Strengths, 111, 128, 129 Stress, 5, 6, 10, 98, 152, 201, 204 anticipatory, 96 body/brain and, 80 coping with, 14 reducing, 207 time and, 105, 206 Stumbling on Happiness (Gilbert), 120 Subliminal messages, 50, 64 behavior and, 60 fast food, 53–58 faster lives and, 59 influence of, 52–53, 59, 60–61 Subliminal Project Company, 51 Sun Tzu, 125, 191 Surgical procedures, slowing down, 182–183 Sustainability, 236–237, 240 discount rates and, 238–239 System 1: 67, 68, 70, 113, 128, 174 automatic reactions of, 64, 103 responding with, 134 System 2: 64, 67, 68, 113, 128, 174 breakdown of, 69–70, 103 responding with, 135 Taleb, Nassim, 245 Tasks, 126, 200 accomplishing, 169 putting off, 165, 169 Taylor, Frederick Winslow, 200, 201 Teamsters, 131, 132 Technology, xi, 151, 201, 202, 208, 212, 215 communication, 38 impact of, 199 information, 203 journalism and, 192, 193 understanding, 194 Telecommunications, 39, 58 Tension, 110n, 108, 112 Testosterone, 97, 98 Thaler, Richard, 157, 158, 159–160, 176 Thin slicing, 8, 85–86, 88, 88n, 90–91, 93, 98, 119 double-edge of, 91–92 mantra for, 86–87 snap judgment and, 89 time intervals and, 89 unconscious system and, 87 Thinking, 114, 121, 136 analytical, 180, 186 behavior and, 122–123 future-oriented, 45 innovative, 221, 230 intuitive, 181, 184, 186 long-term, 233 outside-the-box, 230 unconscious, 121 Thompson, Fred, 141 apology by, 133–134, 134–135 Clinton and, 131–132 delay by, 134, 147 on eating crow, 145 Three-move solution, 219 (fig.), 221 described, 219–220 Thrombolysis, 82, 99 Thucydides, 149 Thyroid function, 167, 184 Time behavior and, 71–72, 197 brain and, 105 decision-making and, x, xi delay and, 121 economy and, 200, 203 employers/employees and, 201 future and, 123 incentives and, 53 measures of, 200, 200n money and, 203, 204, 205 panic and, 104, 106, 116 psychology and, 199 risk and, 157 as slippery concept, 16–17 stress and, 105, 108, 205, 206 stretching, 113, 122 thin slicing and, 89 units of, 198 work, 201–202 Time cycle, 125–126 Time inconsistency, 158, 160 Time management, 16, 165, 173, 196 Time warping, 104–150, 106 Timing, xii, 63, 191 jokes and, 106–108 precise, 121 questions of, 138 scientific analysis of, 200 superfast, 30 To-do lists, 169, 198–199 Tokyo Stock Exchange, 46 Tolerance, x, 81, 217 Tompkins, Al, 191 Trade-offs, 165, 196 Trading, 41, 176 costs, 37 high-frequency, 35, 40, 43, 44, 45–46, 47, 244 high-speed, 36, 40 Trading firms, 4, 44, 45, 179 Transmission Control Protocol, 214 Tversky, Amos, 157, 176 Twain, Mark: on delay, 155 Twitter, 142, 224 Two-Marshmallow Child, 14 Unconscious, 70, 85, 111, 113 decision-making and, 83 Understanding, 137, 194 Unemployment, 201, 236 Unocal, CNOOC and, 192 UNX, Inc., 33–35, 36, 37, 38, 47, 48, 126 US Army Research Institute for Behavioral and Social Sciences, 70 USS Vincennes, 72, 73, 74, 75 Vagal nerve, 8–9, 10, 11 research on, 16–17 role of, 1–2, 245 Vermeil, Dick: on Gibson’s decision, 79 Veronica Mars, 110 Vicary, James, 50, 51, 53 Virtulink LLC, thin slicing and, 86 Viscusi, Kip, 242 Voice, 136 opportunity for, 137 Von Clausewitz, Carl, 245 Waddell & Reed, 41, 42, 43, 46 Wall Street Journal, 149–150, 167, 192 Wallace, David Foster, 20 Walt Disney Company, 52 Weaknesses, 98, 111, 128, 129 Weiner, Anthony: apology by, 142–143, 144 Welch, Jack, 227–228 Well-being, 233, 236, 237, 243 “What Physicians Can Learn from Firefighters” (Klein), 180 When Harry Met Sally (movie), 7 Where Good Ideas Come From (Johnson), 215 Whitworth, Ralph, 177 Willard, Greg, 83, 84 Williams, Ted, 25 Williams, Venus, 21 Wire, The, (television series), 53 Wired magazine, 203 Wohlstetter, Roberta, 244 Women, attractive, 91, 92, 93 Work hourly, 203, 204, 206 time stress about, 201 World Wide Web, 214 “Worms in a fight” metaphor, 109 Writing, 194 news gathering and, 193 Yap, Andy, 97 Yuen, Lenora, 149 Zellweger, Renee, 95 Zhong, Chen-Bo, 55, 56, 57 Zimbardo, Philip, 199–200 Zoosk, 118, 119 ABOUT THE AUTHOR FRANK PARTNOY is the author of F.I.A.S.C.O., Infectious Greed, and The Match King.

Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy by Lawrence Lessig


Amazon Web Services, Andrew Keen, Benjamin Mako Hill, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Brewster Kahle, Cass Sunstein, collaborative editing, commoditize, disintermediation, don't be evil, Erik Brynjolfsson, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Larry Wall, late fees, Mark Shuttleworth, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, optical character recognition, PageRank, peer-to-peer, recommendation engine, revision control, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Saturday Night Live, SETI@home, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, thinkpad, transaction costs, VA Linux, yellow journalism

Fox rejected it, but Lonely Island posted the pilot in full on the Web under a CC license. The collective used the license both to encourage the spread of its work and, as its members commented in an interview, to “protect ourselves and our fans. That’s what sold us on it. It lets everyone know that they are free to share and remix our stuff, all the rules are right there—they don’t even need to ask permission.”4 Someone at Saturday Night Live saw the group’s work and loved 80706 i-xxiv 001-328 r4nk.indd 227 8/12/08 1:55:54 AM REMI X 228 it. In the fall of 2005, one member of the collective joined SNL as a cast member; the other two joined as writers. Their work continues to be available under the CC license. But the licenses also helped them cross over to a commercial economy. Strong Incentives Will Increasingly Drive Commercial Entities to Hybrids Their rhetoric notwithstanding, hybrids are in it for the money.

., 206 RW (Read/Write) culture, 28–29, 33, 34–35, 50, 51–83, 116, 252, 253, 274 copyright law and, 97, 100–105, 108 economic value promoted by, 88–90 importance and value of, 106–8 media in, 68–83 RO culture compared with, 84–114 text in, 57–68, 69 value of works created in, 90–97 values and, 85–88 Sadler, Sim, 72–73 Safari Books Online, 235–36 sampling, 53–54, 104, 273 San Francisco Chronicle, 190 Sanger, Larry, 156, 157 Saturday Night Live, 227–28 Scherf, Steve, 237–28 Scholastic, 206 Second Life, 213, 214–20, 236 Sefton-Green, Julia, 78 segregation, 257–58 SETI, 167 Sendmail, 163–64 sharecropping, 243–48 sharing economies, 116, 118–19, 143–76, 177, 223 commercial economies and, 145–51, 177–78, 225–26, 252 crossovers and, 227–28 hybrid economies and, 177–78, 225; see also hybrid economies on Internet, 119, 155–72 motivations for participation in, 151–54, 172–76, 291 parallel economies and, 225–26 thick, 152, 154 thin, 152–54 tools signaling, 226–27 Sherman, Cary, 114 Shuttleworth, Mark, 184–85 SilviaO, 15–17, 95 Sims, Charles, 91–92, 93, 95 8/12/08 1:56:33 AM 326 IND E X Six Apart, 233 Skype, 153 slander, 275 Slashdot, 198–99 Smith, Adam, 49–50 Smith, Marc, 201–2 Söderberg, Johan, 70, 73, 75, 273 software, 221 free and open-source, 163–66, 172, 173–75, 179–85, 219, 220, 240–43, 291 Sony, xxi, 2, 10, 40, 102, 241, 244, 249 Sousa, John Philip, 23–29, 31–33, 35, 36, 50, 56, 82, 132, 254, 280 Southwestern Bell, 181–82 spam, 58 Spears, Britney, 95–96 spillovers, 229–31 Stallman, Richard, 157, 163, 179, 182, 183 Star Wars, 245–46, 247 Sterling, Thomas, 180 stock markets, 152–53, 154 Stone, Victor, 75, 97 Success of Open Source, The (Weber), 174–75 Sun Microsystems, 181, 232 Sunstein, Cass, 126 Supreme Court, U.S., 102, 110, 123, 225, 291–92 MGM v.

pages: 304 words: 93,494

Hatching Twitter by Nick Bilton


4chan, Airbus A320, Burning Man, friendly fire, index card, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg,, rolodex, Ruby on Rails, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, social web, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technology bubble, traveling salesman, US Airways Flight 1549, WikiLeaks

They were soon shuffled inside the main ballroom at Lincoln Center for dinner. Biz and Livy found their assigned seats at table 10. They chatted with Lauren Bush, the former first cousin, and Jon Favreau, the personal speechwriter for the president of the United States. As Jack found his way to his seat on the upper level, he scanned the room, looking for Ev. He caught a glimpse of Michelle Obama, then spotted Lorne Michaels, producer of Saturday Night Live, who looked like a forlorn teenager as he played with his phone and ignored everyone around him. Close by, Glenn Beck, the conservative Fox host, was snapping pictures with his smart phone while he chatted with Arianna Huffington, the liberal blogger. Behind them Jimmy Fallon gave a small laugh at a joke. Then Jack saw him. Ev, seated at table 2, literally the best seat in the house, in front of the stage where Michelle Obama stood.

Before he knew it, he started ignoring his computer science assignments and instead spent his evenings on a small stage near campus performing stand-up comedy. Although he graduated with a number of job offers from big tech companies, Dick instead chose to pursue his new and improved dream of becoming a world-famous actor, comedian, or both. He packed his bags and set out to Chicago to join the Second City sketch-comedy and improv troupe in hopes of eventually making it on Saturday Night Live or getting his own TV show. It didn’t work out that way. Although Dick was a talented comedian, he found himself doing improv shows at night and working in a Crate & Barrel, wrapping flatware and selling place settings, during the day to pay the bills. Eventually this wore thin, and in the early 1990s he decided it was time to put his computer science degree to work and took a job at Andersen Consulting to subsidize his comedy career.

pages: 407 words: 103,501

The Digital Divide: Arguments for and Against Facebook, Google, Texting, and the Age of Social Netwo Rking by Mark Bauerlein


Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, centre right, citizen journalism, collaborative editing, computer age, computer vision, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, disintermediation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Howard Rheingold, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telephone, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, peer-to-peer,, Results Only Work Environment, Saturday Night Live, search engine result page, semantic web, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social graph, social web, software as a service, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technology bubble, Ted Nelson, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thorstein Veblen, web application

Henry brought a cardboard sign with him to a televised wrestling event, pushed his way through the crowd, and got on camera so he could send Sarah a broadcast message. Popular culture also helped to bridge the awkward silences in my exchanges with Sarah’s parents. I had wondered what a media scholar from “the People’s Republic of Cambridge” would say to two retired Air Force officers from Nebraska. As Sarah’s mother and I sat in the arcade, trying to dodge religion and politics, we found common ground discussing Star Trek, the original Saturday Night Live cast, and of course, Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. Henry and Sarah broke up sometime after that trip—not because they had met online or because the real-life experience hadn’t lived up to their expectations but because they were fifteen, their interests shifted, and they never really overcame her father’s opposition. Henry’s next relationship was also online—with a girl from Melbourne, Australia, and that experience broadened his perspective on the world, at the price of much sleep as they negotiated time differences.

., and Pong (video game) Portraits Post-Gutenberg economics Postman, Neil Post-traumatic dissociative disorders PowerPoint Prensky, Marc The Principles of Scientific Management (Taylor) Printing press Privacy Procter & Gamble Producer public Progressive Group of Insurance Companies Project Muse Protean self The Protean Self (Lifton) Proust, Marcel Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain (Wolf) Psychoanalysis schools Ptolemy Publishing Purohit, Sanjay Python Quake (video game) Ranadive, Vivek Rather, Dan Raymond, Eric RAZR phone Reading brain and deep expert Internet use and teenagers’ skills at time spend in Web use skills and Real-time feedback loops Real-time search Real World (television series) Reason Foundation Reflection Reformation Reintermediation Religious fundamentalism Republic (Plato) Research skills, Internet use and Research strategies Results-only work environment (ROWE) Reynolds, Glenn Rheingold, Howard Robinson, Marilynne Rock, Jennifer Romanticism Romantic solitude Rosen, Jay ROWE. See Results-only work environment RSS Rushkoff, Douglas Rutgers University Safire, William Samsung San Francisco Chronicle Sanger, Larry SAP Sartre, Jean-Paul Saturated self Saturday Night Live (television series) Scalable Fabric Scarcity Scherf, Steve Schindler’s List (film) Schmidt, Eric Science (journal) Scientific Learning Scientific management Scion Scope Screenagers Scrutiny The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture (Battelle) Search Engine Results Page (SERP) Search engines. See also specific sites Search strategies Search Wiki Sebald, W.

pages: 313 words: 93,214

Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape by Peggy Orenstein


affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Golden Gate Park, index card, Menlo Park, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Skype, Snapchat, software studies

When Roiphe lost her novelty, reporters turned to Camille Paglia, who proclaimed, “date rape is bullshit,” and Christina Hoff Sommers, currently a resident scholar at the right-wing American Enterprise Institute, whose book Who Stole Feminism accused Koss of “[opening] the door wide to regarding as a rape victim anyone who regretted her liaison of the previous night.” (Of course, by excluding alcohol-facilitated rape, Sommers herself would slam shut the door on “regarding as a rape victim” anyone who was penetrated while passed out drunk.) By October 1993, campus antirape activism was so maligned that it became fodder for a notorious Saturday Night Live sketch, a mock game show called “Is It Date Rape?” Ostensibly set at Antioch College, it lampooned that school’s pioneering requirement that partners obtain a clear, verbal “yes” before engaging in sexual activity. Chris Farley, as a frat boy, squared off against Shannen Doherty, as a dowdy “Victimization Studies” major—yes, that’s funny—over categories such as “Halter Top,” “She Was Drunk,” “I Was Drunk,” “Kegger,” “Off-Campus Kegger,” and “Ragin’ Kegger.”

., 181, 182, 183 Luker, Kristin, 208 L Word, The, 153 Manago, Adriana, 19 Maroon 5, 2 marriage, 107, 208 divorce and, 92 rape in, 172 same-sex, 36, 148 sex education and, 209–10 masculinity, 162, 163, 233 Massoud, Megan, 122 masturbation, 62, 65, 66, 78, 90, 128–29, 206, 234 McClelland, Sara, 5–6, 71–72 McElroy, Wendy, 194 McNeill, Amber, 141–42, 147–66 Hannah and, 154–55, 157–60, 166 Jake and, 151–52, 153, 155, 160 “Jake” identity of, 149–50 Minaj, Nicki, 24–27, 65–66 Mindy Project, The, 105 Moran, Caitlin, 12 Moran, Jeffrey, 209 Morning After, The (Roiphe), 171–72 motherhood, teen, 209, 219 MTV Video Music Awards, 28 National Commission on Adolescent Sexual Health, 5 National Institute of Mental Health, 170 National Panhellenic Conference, 114 Navarro, Christina, 75–77, 78–79, 81, 83, 84, 95–101 NBC News, 51 Netherlands, 219–23, 232, 235 New Year’s resolutions, 17 New York Magazine, 186 New York Times, 48, 50, 172, 173, 179 New York Times Magazine, 207 New York University, 50 No Child Left Behind, 211 Nodianos, Michael, 181 Not Under My Roof (Schalet), 220 NPR, 171 Obama, Barack, 2, 177, 211 objectification, 14, 15, 133, 140 self-, 2, 12–13, 39, 67 O’Connor, Sinead, 28–29 Odd Girl Out (Simmons), 20 Oh, Matilda, 19, 25–26, 27 Oliver, John, 200 O Magazine, 51 Online College Social Life Survey, 105, 176–77 oral sex, 47–61, 71, 78, 104, 217, 224–25 in hookups, 105, 106, 127–28 STDs and, 53 virginity and, 89, 98, 100 see also cunnilingus; fellatio Orange Is the New Black, 40 orgasm, 62, 66, 70, 71, 72, 101, 223, 234 faking of, 125–26 first, 129 in hookups, 106 Ortiz, Camila, 7–12, 15, 200 Out Online, 146 Paglia, Camille, 172, 177 pain, 70, 71, 72, 223 anal sex and, 70 Paper, 25, 41–42 Parenting Institute, 50 parents: and talking about sex, 234–36 and teens’ assertion of independence, 221–22 Parsons, Rehtaeh, 181, 182 Pattinson, Robert, 64–65 Paul, Bryant, 35 Paul, Pamela, 37 People, 51, 170 photographs, 21 of assaults, 181–82 posing in, 18 revenge porn, 22 selfies, 20–21, 23, 25 sexting and, 21–23 plastic surgery, 21 labiaplasty, 69 Playboy, 41 Pollitt, Katha, 198–99, 201 Population Council, 207 Pornified (Paul), 37 pornography, 32–40, 46, 71, 90, 94, 145, 182, 232, 233 Reddit and, 146 Pott, Audrie, 181, 182 pregnancy, 53, 233 abstinence-only education and, 211 teen, 209, 219 virginity pledges and, 89 Princeton University, 13 Protestants, 88 pubic hair, 67–69 Pulp Fiction, 122 Purity Balls, 84–85, 86–87, 90–91, 93–95 Purity Myth, The (Valenti), 78, 101 queefing, 63–64 racism, 115, 116 rainbow parties, 51 rape, 167–204 acquaintance, 170 alcohol and, 171, 172–73, 177, 185–89, 192–93 Brown University list and, 170 civil court and, 178 on college campuses, 168, 170–73, 176–83, 185, 187–88, 192–95, 198, 199, 201 college campus party culture and, 129–34, 136, 185 consent and, see consent convictions and punishments for, 182–83 date, 171, 172, 173 defining, 172, 176, 192–93, 233 Epifano and, 178 false charges of, 194 Glen Ridge case, 168, 169–70, 180, 182 as “hilarious,” 181–82 investigation of college cases of, 179–80 Louisville case, 181, 182, 183 marital, 172 Kennedy Smith case, 169, 170 photographs and videos of, 181–82 Pott and, 181, 182 recantations of, 194 Reed and, 167, 174–75, 183–85, 189–92, 204 refusal skills and, 196–99 reporting of, 133, 193, 194–95 Rolling Stone article on Uxniversity of Virginia case, 193–94 Steubenville, Ohio, 180–81, 182 Sulkowicz and, 179 sympathy for perpetrators of, 182–83 Tyson case, 169, 170 Rape Is Rape (Raphael), 194 Raphael, Jody, 194 Ravitch, Diane, 209 Reagan, Ronald, 210 Reddit, 146 Reed, Maddie, 167, 174–75, 183–85, 189–92, 204 Regnerus, Mark, 88 relationships, 107, 111, 120–21, 138, 140 abuse in, 111 defining, 139 friends with benefits, 105, 106, 138–39 hooking up and, 109–11 identity and, 107–8 learning from, 108–9 religion, 90 evangelical Christians, 88, 89–90 revenge porn, 22 Rogen, Seth, 36 Roiphe, Katie, 171–72, 177 Rolling Stone, 193–94 roofies, 188 Rouillard, André, 193 Ryan, Caitlin, 148, 157 Salon, 186 Samberg, Andy, 64 same-sex marriage, 36, 148 Sandler, Adam, 64 San Francisco State University, 148 Saturday Night Live (SNL), 173, 199 Scarleteen, 146 Schalet, Amy, 220–23, 235 Schumer, Amy, 25 scripts, 34–35, 43, 105, 160 Second Life, 39, 147 Segel, Jason, 64 self-esteem, 12–13 selfies, 20–21, 23 butt, 25 self-improvement, 17, 107 Selfish (Kardashian), 42 self-objectification, 2, 12–13, 39, 67 Selter, Jen, 25 sex: definition of, 100, 104, 224 teen independence and, 221–22 Sex, Etc., 146 Sex and the City, 68 sex education, 52, 62, 205–36 ABCD model for raising sexually healthy children, 235 abstinence-only, 52, 75, 76–77, 89, 210–12, 221 Denison and, 205–7, 208, 213–19, 222, 223–33 Devine and, 234 in Holland, 219–23, 232, 235 marriage and, 209–10 parents and, 234–36 Sex in America, 49 Sex Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), 209 sexism, litmus test for, 12 Sex Lives of College Students, The, 125–26, 153 Sex Made Easy (Herbenick), 67 sexting, 21–23 sexual activity, overestimating, 105, 231 sexual assault, 58, 59, 131, 168 as “hilarious,” 181–82 investigation of college cases of, 179–80 photo/videos of, 181–82 refusal skills and, 196–99 reporting of, 133 among secondary students, 180 see also rape sexual harassment, 8–11, 16, 132 peer-to-peer, law against, 199–200 sexual intercourse, 104, 209 first, 3, 77–78, 79–82, 86 in hookups, 105, 106 and number of partners, 98 sexualization, 94, 233 purity and, 94 sexuality and, 15 sexual learning, 93 sexually active, being, 73, 78 evangelicals and, 88 sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), 53, 222 abstinence and, 85 HIV/AIDS, 52, 157, 210–11 HPV, 100 protection against, 88, 89, 211, 221 pubic hair and, 67 virginity pledges and, 89 sexual manipulation, 195–97, 223 sexual orientation and identity, 141–66 asexual, 142 bisexual, 152–53, 159, 162 cis-gender, 163 coming out and, 148, 156–57, 158 coming out videos, 155–56 femininity and, 162, 163, 165 genderqueer, 162, 165 homosexual, see homosexuality Internet and, 142, 144, 145–48, 149 lesbian, see lesbians LGBTQ, 17, 146, 156–57, 166 masculinity and, 162, 163 rejection and, 157 and tensions between butch women and transmen, 164–65 transgender, 161–65 sexual partners, number of, 98, 105, 126–27 sexual revolution, 104, 208, 209, 220 sexual satisfaction, 69–72 in hookups, 106–7, 126 orgasm, see orgasm shame, walk of, 132 shaming, 3, 29, 86, 114, 124 shaving: of legs and armpits, 67, 69 of pubic hair, 67 Silver Ring Thing, 85 Simmons, Rachel, 20 Simpson Rowe, Lorelei, 195–97, 198 Sims, The, 147 Slate DoubleX, 185–86 sleepovers, 222, 235 “slut,” 3, 9, 14, 54, 81, 98, 124–25, 223, 230 Slutwalks, 16 Smith, William Kennedy, 169, 170 Snapchat, 22 social media, 17–21 Facebook, 18, 19, 20 Instagram, 9–10, 18, 19, 20, 25, 32, 41, 66, 135, 181 Reddit, 146 selfies on, 20–21, 23 Tumblr, 153–54 Twitter, 10, 200 YouTube, see YouTube Sociological Images, 42 Sommers, Christina Hoff, 172–73, 177, 194 sororities, 113–16, 133 Southern Baptist Convention, 85 South Park, 64 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, 24, 26 Starr, Martin, 64 STDs, see sexually transmitted diseases Stenzel, Pam, 75–77, 86, 89, 100 Steubenville, Ohio, 180–81, 182 Student Success Act, 211–12 suicide, 85–86, 157, 181 Sulkowicz, Emma, 179 Supreme Court, 148, 170, 208 S.W.A.T.

pages: 293 words: 88,490

The End of Theory: Financial Crises, the Failure of Economics, and the Sweep of Human Interaction by Richard Bookstaber

asset allocation, bank run, bitcoin, butterfly effect, capital asset pricing model, cellular automata, collateralized debt obligation, conceptual framework, constrained optimization, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, dark matter, disintermediation, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, epigenetics, feminist movement, financial innovation, fixed income, Flash crash, Henri Poincaré, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Conway, John Meriwether, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market clearing, market microstructure, money market fund, Paul Samuelson, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Piper Alpha, Ponzi scheme, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, railway mania, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk/return, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, sovereign wealth fund, the map is not the territory, The Predators' Ball, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, Turing machine, Turing test, yield curve

Each will have its own course for propagating through the system, and these various shocks can occur in sequence. For example, in addition to the asset shock, we could insert an exogenous funding or credit shock in one of the periods. In such cases, the progress of the dynamic will generally be extended. As we will see in section V, for the 2008 crisis these channels were important. 12 Liquidity and Crashes In one news segment on Saturday Night Live, the newscaster announces, “And today on the New York Stock Exchange, no shares changed hands. Everyone finally has what they want.” The punch line raises a legitimate point: Shares are always trading. We are never satisfied with what we have. The principal reason that prices vary, especially in the short term, is the demand for liquidity that results from our apparent fickleness. If you want to buy or sell a stock—or if you have to—you are a liquidity demander.

See also Russell, Bertrand; Whitehead, Alfred North radical uncertainty, 12, 18; defined as, 50–51; economists’ view of, 197; and heuristics, 68; and the Library of Babel, 63 (see also Library of Babel); and the limits to knowledge, 52; and the nature of humanity, 60; and risk management, 121; in unknown state versus unknown probabilities, 198; and warfare, 117, 121 railroads, 4 rational expectations, 86 Rational Expectations Hypothesis (REH); fallibility and, 175; and reflexivity, 175; reflexivity, comparison to, 115 rationality, 87 reflexivity, 58, 60, 113; and complexity, 115, 122; and the cognitive function, 114, 137–138; and elements in modeling, 114; and fallibility, 59; and heuristics, 115; manipulative function in, 114, 137–138; time-and-context in, 183 regime shift, 105 regularity conditions, 29 regulators, 15 representative agent, 81–82 reproduction, 72–73 Reynolds, Craig, and boids, 37 Ricardo, David, 3–4, 91, 188 risk management: radical uncertainty in, 121 (see also radical uncertainty); in warfare, 121 risk transformations, 131 Rome, 131 Rorty, Richard, 178 Rothschild, Baron, 4 Royal Society, 52 Rumsfeld, Donald, 50 Russell, Bertrand, 52–53 Saari, Donald, 29 Samuelson, Paul, 84 Sartre, Jean-Paul, 77 Sargent, Thomas, 71, 103 Saturday Night Live, 144 Say, Jean-Baptiste, 4 Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), 147–148 securities lenders, 136 self-fulfilling prophecy, 113 self-referential systems, 57, 60 self-replication, 31 Shackle, G.L.S., 85 Sharpe, William, 85 Shereshevsky, Solomon, 76–77 Simon, Herbert, 110 SIVs, 161, 165 Slick, Grace, 50 Smith, Adam, 3–4, 188 Societie Generale (SocGen), 164 Solow, Robert, 92 Soros, George, 83, 115, 137; and reflexivity, 58–59 stampede: and emergence, 35–36; Hajj, example of, 34–36 Standard & Poor’s, 160 stock market crash (October 1987): and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), 145–147; and portfolio insurance, 145–147 (see also portfolio insurance); and the S&P 500, 145–147 subprime mortgages, 160–161 Sun Pin, 117 Syll, Lars, 138 Thomas Theorem, 108 tight coupling, 112 Turing, Alan: and David Hilbert’s program, 54 (see also halting problem); and the halting problem, 31, 55; and the printing problem, 55; and Turing test, 196; and the universal Turing machine (UTM), 54 (see also universal Turing machine) Tversky, Amos, 45–47 Unbearable Lightness of Being, The, 60–61 uncertainty principle, 56–57; and the limits to knowledge, 51 universal Turing machine (UTM), 32, 54–56 University of Chicago, 3 Victorian England, 3–4 Volcker Rule, 156, 158 Walras, Leon, 194 Washington Mutual, 11 white night, 131 Whitehead, Alfred North, 52–53 Wittgenstein, Ludwig, 40 Wolfram, Stephen, 26–27 A NOTE ON THE TYPE This book has been composed in Adobe Text and Gotham.

I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron


Norman Mailer, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live

Shawn,” and they dropped his name in hushed tones as if he were the Ba‘al Shem Tov; we, on the other hand, jumped from Harold to Clay and back again. They thought we were egomaniacs; we thought they were weird. I was the sort of person Lillian Ross would hate, if she even knew who I was, or so it seemed to me one night in 1978 when I was pulled across a room to meet her. I was at a party at the home of Lorne Michaels, the producer of Saturday Night Live. Lillian Ross had been reporting a profile of Lorne for eight years. “You two must meet,” Lorne was saying, as he brought us together. I could see in an instant that Lillian Ross did not share this imperative. “You have so much in common,” he said, as he sat us down on the sofa. “It’s so nice to meet you,” I said. “And you,” she said. She was a tiny woman with short curly hair and bright blue eyes, and she smiled and waited for me to begin.

pages: 158 words: 35,552

The Last Girlfriend on Earth: And Other Love Stories by Simon Rich


British Empire, place-making, pre–internet, Saturday Night Live

And thanks also to: Christoph Niemann, Matthew Schoch, Marlena Bittner, Deborah Jacobs, Michael Pietsch, Andrew Steele, Rachel Goldenberg, Dan Abramson, Lorne Michaels, Steve Higgins, Marika Sawyer, John Mulaney, Seth Meyers, Farley Katz, Monica Padrick, Lee Eastman, Gregory McKnight, Keith Sears, Mary Coleman, Pete Docter, Jonas Rivera, and Wikipedia. Most of all, though, I want to thank my beautiful, brilliant, magical girlfriend Kathleen, who inspired all the best parts of this book. I love you. About the Author Simon Rich is the author of Ant Farm, Free-Range Chickens, Elliot Allagash, and What in God’s Name. He has written for The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, Saturday Night Live, and Pixar. He lives in Brooklyn. Also by Simon Rich What in God’s Name Elliot Allagash Free-Range Chickens Ant Farm Thank you for buying this e-book, published by Hachette Digital. To receive special offers, bonus content, and news about our latest e-books and apps, sign up for our newsletter. Sign Up Or visit us at Contents Welcome Dedication Boy Meets Girl Unprotected Magical Mr.

pages: 661 words: 187,613

The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language by Steven Pinker


Albert Einstein, cloud computing, David Attenborough, double helix, Drosophila, elephant in my pajamas, finite state, illegal immigration, Loebner Prize, mass immigration, Maui Hawaii, meta analysis, meta-analysis, natural language processing, out of africa, P = NP, phenotype, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Saturday Night Live, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, transatlantic slave trade, Turing machine, Turing test, Yogi Berra

Words, Words, Words The word glamour comes from the word grammar, and since the Chomskyan revolution the etymology has been fitting. Who could not be dazzled by the creative power of the mental grammar, by its ability to convey an infinite number of thoughts with a finite set of rules? There has been a book on mind and matter called Grammatical Man, and a Nobel Prize lecture comparing the machinery of life to a generative grammar. Chomsky has been interviewed in Rolling Stone and alluded to on Saturday Night Live. In Woody Allen’s story “The Whore of Mensa,” the patron asks, “Suppose I wanted Noam Chomsky explained to me by two girls?” “It’d cost you,” she replies. Unlike the mental grammar, the mental dictionary has had no cachet. It seems like nothing more than a humdrum list of words, each transcribed into the head by dull-witted rote memorization. In the preface to his Dictionary, Samuel Johnson wrote: It is the fate of those who dwell at the lower employments of life, to be rather driven by the fear of evil, than attracted by the prospect of good; to be exposed to censure, without hope of praise; to be disgraced by miscarriage, or punished for neglect, where success would have been without applause, and diligence without reward.

By changing the tension and position of the vocal folds, we can control the frequency and hence the pitch. This is most obvious in humming or singing, but we also change pitch continuously over the course of a sentence, a process called intonation. Normal intonation is what makes natural speech sound different from the speech of robots in old science fiction movies and of the Coneheads on Saturday Night Live. Intonation is also controlled in sarcasm, emphasis, and an emotional tone of voice such as anger or cheeriness. In “tone languages” like Chinese, rising or falling tones distinguish certain vowels from others. Though voicing creates a sound wave with a dominant frequency of vibration, it is not like a tuning fork or a test of the Emergency Broadcasting System, a pure tone with that frequency alone.

If the expectations are accurate enough, the acoustic analysis can be fairly crude; what the sound wave lacks, the context can fill in. For example, if you are listening to a discussion about the destruction of ecological habitats, you might be on the lookout for words pertaining to threatened animals and plants, and then when you hear speech sounds whose phonemes you cannot pick out like “eesees,” you would perceive it correctly as species—unless you are Emily Litella, the hearing-impaired editorialist on Saturday Night Live who argued passionately against the campaign to protect endangered feces. (Indeed, the humor in the Gilda Radner character, who also fulminated against saving Soviet jewelry, stopping violins in the streets, and preserving natural racehorses, comes not from her impairment at the bottom of the speech-processing system but from her ditziness at the top, the level that should have prevented her from arriving at her interpretations.)

pages: 901 words: 234,905

The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature by Steven Pinker

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anti-communist, British Empire, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, conceptual framework, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Defenestration of Prague, desegregation, epigenetics, Exxon Valdez, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, Hobbesian trap, income inequality, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, long peace, meta analysis, meta-analysis, More Guns, Less Crime, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, Norman Mailer, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Potemkin village, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Bork, Rodney Brooks, Saturday Night Live, speech recognition, stem cell, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the new new thing, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, ultimatum game, urban renewal, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

People are not helplessly programmed with images; they can evaluate and interpret what they see using everything else they know, such as the credibility and motives of the source. The postmodernist equating of images with thoughts has not only made a hash of several scholarly disciplines but has laid waste to the world of contemporary art. If images are the disease, the reasoning goes, then art is the cure. Artists can neutralize the power of media images by distorting them or reproducing them in odd contexts (like the ad parodies in Mad magazine or on Saturday Night Live, only not funny). Anyone familiar with contemporary art has seen the countless works in which stereotypes of women, minorities, or gay people are “reinforced, parodied, or actively contested.” A prototypical example is a 1994 exhibit at the Whitney Museum in New York called “Black Male: Representations of Masculinity in Contemporary Art.” It aimed to take apart the way that African American men are culturally constructed in demonizing and marginalizing visual stereotypes such as the sex symbol, the athlete, the Sambo, and the photograph in a Wanted poster.

To say that women and men do not have interchangeable minds, that people have desires other than power, and that motives belong to individual people and not just to entire genders is not to attack feminism or to compromise the interests of women, despite the misconception that gender feminism speaks in their name. All the arguments in the remainder of this chapter have been advanced most forcefully by women. WHY ARE PEOPLE so afraid of the idea that the minds of men and women are not identical in every respect? Would we really be better off if everyone were like Pat, the androgynous nerd from Saturday Night Live? The fear, of course, is that different implies unequal—that if the sexes differed in any way, then men would have to be better, or more dominant, or have all the fun. Nothing could be farther from biological thinking. Trivers alluded to a “symmetry in human relationships,” which embraced a “genetic equality of the sexes.”22 From a gene’s point of view, being in the body of a male and being in the body of a female are equally good strategies, at least on average (circumstances can nudge the advantage somewhat in either direction).23 Natural selection thus tends toward an equal investment in the two sexes: equal numbers, an equal complexity of bodies and brains, and equally effective designs for survival.

Rockwell, Norman Roiphe, Katie Roman Catholic Church romanticism see also naturalistic fallacy; Noble Savage Romer, Paul Roosevelt, Theodore Rorty, Richard Rose, Hilary Rose, Steven Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Stoppard) Rossi, Alice Rousseau, Jean-Jacques Rowe, David Rozin, Paul Rumelhart, David Rummel, R. J. Russell, Bertrand Russian Revolution Ryle, Gilbert Sahlins, Marshall St. Helena Salmon, Catherine Samoans Sanger, Margaret Sapir, Edward Sargent, John Singer Sarich, Vincent Sartre, Jean-Paul Satel, Sally Saturday Night Live Saving Private Ryan Scandinavia Scarr, Sandra Scarry, Elaine Schelling, Thomas schizophrenia Schlesinger, Laura Schwartz, Felice Schwarzenegger, Arnold science studies Scopes Monkey Trial Scott, Dred Scott, James Searle, John Segal, Nancy Sejnowski, Terrence self, unified self-deception Selfish Gene, The (Dawkins) selfishness Sen, Amartya Serrano, Andres Seville Statement sex differences in brain discomfort about gender gap and in parenting in violence women as researchers on sex discrimination sexual assault, see rape sexual behavior sexual competition arts and sexual orientation Shakespeare, William Shalit, Wendy Shastri, Lokendra Shatz, Carla Shaw, George Bernard Shaywitz, Sally Shepard, Roger Sherman, Cindy Shockley, William Shosha (Singer) Shweder, Richard sibling conflict sickle cell anemia sign language Silk, Joan Silver,Ron Simon, Herbert Simon, Julian Simon, Paul Singer, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Peter Skinner, B.

pages: 441 words: 136,954

That Used to Be Us by Thomas L. Friedman, Michael Mandelbaum


3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Andy Kessler, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, centre right, Climatic Research Unit, cloud computing, collective bargaining, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, energy security, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, full employment, Google Earth, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), job automation, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, Lean Startup, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, mass immigration, more computing power than Apollo, Network effects, obamacare, oil shock, pension reform, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, University of East Anglia, WikiLeaks

It is 1787 “and we’re in Philadelphia, we’re trying to hammer out the Constitution. Tell me how the twenty-four-hour news cycle would have affected writing the Constitution. Cable networks are outside Independence Hall. Ben Franklin walks out. He gets ambushed by Fox News. ‘Is it true you’re caving on a small [state] representation? What power do you give small states?’ I’ve always thought Saturday Night Live should do this. Think of a skit in which Ben Franklin is walking down the streets and people are just eating him alive. And you have Glenn Beck right outside saying, ‘They’re selling us out.’ You’ve got Rachel Maddow throwing herself in front of the door. Okay, so now, fast-forward. The twenty-four-hour news cycle makes compromise difficult because things get leaked and the momentum to find consensus is deterred.

(Engel) RedPrairie Reed, Kasim Reed College regulations; climate change and; economic; environnmental; local; recycling Reichert, Jeff Reid, Harry Reinhart, Carmen Religious Independence, Virginia statute for Rendell, Ed Republican Party; campaign contributions to; economic and fiscal policies of; energy and climate policies of; immigration policy of; news media and; origins of; polarization of Democratic Party and; Tea Party and research and development; in China; energy; investment in; outsourcing of facilities for; public-private partnership and Reset (Andersen) Reuters News Service Reva Electric Car Company Rhee, Michelle Ringwald, Alexis Ripon Society Rise and Decline of Nations, The (Olson) Ritter, Bill Robinson, Ken Rockefeller, Nelson Rocky Mountain Institute Rodgers, Daniel T. Rogoff, Kenneth Rolling Stone magazine Roman Empire Romm, Joseph Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Theodore Rosen, Amy Rosenberg, Diane Rosenberg, Mark Ross, Benjamin Rubenstein, David Russia; communist, see Soviet Union S St. Louis Samuelson, Robert Sandel, Michael J. San Diego (California) San Francisco Chronicle Sarles, Richard Saturday Night Live (television series) Saturn V rocket Saudi Arabia Savage, Michael Schapiro, Morton Owen Schell, Orville Schilling, Curt Schleicher, Andreas Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) Schuck, Peter Schwarzenegger, Arnold science; of climate change; education in; jobs in; see also physics Science magazine Seattle (Washington) Seattle Post-Intelligencer Second Civil War, The (Brownstein) Secret Service Securities Act (1933) Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Seib, Gerald Seidman, Dov Senate, U.S.; campaigning for; climate change legislation in; Environment and Public Works Committee; Finance Committee; partisan polarization in September 11, 2001 (9/11) terrorist attacks Servicemen’s Readjustment Act (1944) Shahmirian, Sarine Gayaneh “Sham News Network” (SNN) Shanghai Sharma, Sunanda Sharma, Virender K.

pages: 744 words: 142,748

Exploding the Phone: The Untold Story of the Teenagers and Outlaws Who Hacked Ma Bell by Phil Lapsley


air freight, Apple II, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Bob Noyce, card file, Chance favours the prepared mind, cuban missile crisis, dumpster diving, Hush-A-Phone, index card, Jason Scott:, John Markoff, Menlo Park, popular electronics, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, the new new thing, the scientific method, urban renewal, wikimedia commons

Ernestine struck a chord not just with the public but also with the telephone company’s rank and file, and she hit a nerve with their higher-ups too. Telephone operators in Southern California made Tomlin an honorary operator and presented her with a trophy, the Cracked Bell Award. “They love the character, Ernestine, but they said the phone company is a little uptight,” Tomlin told newspapers at the time. A few years later, in a fake television commercial shown on Saturday Night Live, Ernestine captured the telephone company’s perceived incompetence—“You see, the phone system consists of a multibillion-dollar matrix of space-age technology that is so sophisticated even we can’t handle it”—and immortalized its perceived arrogance with the motto “We don’t care. We don’t have to. We’re the phone company.” So, sure, lots of people disliked the telephone company back in 1970, Fierstein included.

Covey, “The Bell System’s Best Sellers,” Bell Telephone Magazine, Summer 1952, p. 88 <db1027>. 191 “Sweeping, General”: “Sweeping, General,” Bell System Practice 770-130-301, August 1952, available from 191 “robotic man in a three piece suit”: Irv Slifkin, Videohound’s Groovy Movies: Far Out Films of the Psychedelic Era (Canton, MI: Visible Ink Press, 2004), pp. 52–54. 191 “find it hard to fault”: Maurice Rapf, “Bright Debut by Slapstick Satirists,” Life, January 26, 1968, p. 8. 191 “If we do not receive payment”: Lily Tomlin, This Is a Recording, Polydor Records, 1971. 192 “They love the character”: Gene Handsaker (AP), “Gal on Laugh-In Talks Spontaneously,” Kentucky New Era, February 3, 1970, p. 9. 192 “We don’t care. We don’t have to.”: Lily Tomlin on Saturday Night Live, season 2, episode 1, September 18, 1976. See 192 telephone excise tax: Louis Allen Talley, “Telephone Excise Tax,” Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, RS20119, September 15, 2000. The tax was largely gutted in 2006; see “U.S. to Repeal Long-Distance Telephone Tax,” New York Times, May 26, 2006. 192 $1.5 billion, 10 percent: “Telephone Excise Tax Receipts 1899–2005,” Tax Policy Center, at

pages: 523 words: 143,639

Red November: Inside the Secret U.S.-Soviet Submarine War by W. Craig Reed


Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, cable laying ship, centre right, cuban missile crisis,, nuclear winter, operation paperclip, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, upwardly mobile

My father took me to visit Olaf’s studio in San Diego, where the humble master showed me authentic Indian head-dresses and vintage frontier rifles. I told Olaf that I intended to follow in my father’s footsteps and join the navy. Olaf said that was admirable but encouraged me not to volunteer for submarines. As an outdoors-man, the very thought of living in a sewer pipe made him cringe. Ignoring Olaf’s admonition, I volunteered for submarines and began my adventure on October 21, 1975, ten days after watching the first episode of Saturday Night Live, with George Carlin hosting. That night I stepped off a bus and walked through the gates of the Naval Training Center in San Diego. The navy stripped me of my clothes and ego and over the next eight weeks molded me into a sailor. After boot camp and six weeks of basic electronics school, I crossed the country to complete submarine school and almost eighteen months of fire-control-technician weapons-systems training at the submarine base in Groton, Connecticut.

., 44–45 Rozier, Charles, 159, 161–64 Rule, James, 319–22, 324, 328–31, 372n Rules of engagement, 70–71, 76, 93, 102, 128, 129, 150, 152 Rusk, Dean, 62, 102, 148 Rutherford, Mark, 231–33, 247–48, 249, 256, 261, 263, 283–86 Rybachiy Naval Base, 205 Rybalko, Galena, 61 Rybalko, Leonid, 57–61, 68, 70–71, 82 Rybalko, Natasha, 61 Safety of submarines, 187–88 Safford, Laurance F., 45 Sanders, Royden, Jr., 141–42 Sanders Associates, 141–46, 189–90, 209 San Diego Naval Training Center, 265 San Francisco Giants, 100 Santa Fe Springs High School, 234 Saparov, V. G., 75, 84–86, 96, 99, 110–14, 164, 166–67 Sargasso Sea, 61, 65, 93–100, 108 Satellite communications, 341–42 Saturation diving, 229–30, 237–51 training, 237, 242–45 Saturday Night Live (TV program), 265 Savitsky, Vitali, 70–77, 107, 125, 149–56, 158–59 Saxon, Ross “Zipperhead,” 233, 237, 238 Sayda Bay, 65–68, 88, 115, 176 SBD radios, 61, 93–94, 133–34, 206, 357n SC–35, 201–2 Scali, John, 147–48, 156 Schade, Arnold F., 212 Schlesinger, James R., 227 Scorpion, USS, 62–63, 212–14, 235, 279–80 Scratchy (bear), 23–26, 34 Seadragon, USS, 180 SeaLab, 229 SEALs, 234, 296–99, 338–39, 340 Sea of Okhotsk, cable–tapping missions, 228–31, 233–34, 238, 245–51, 287–89, 291–93, 319, 324–27, 332–36 Sea Robin, USS, 180 Sea Scope, 223 Seawolf, USS, 13–15, 282–89, 291, 319–31 cable–tapping missions, 248–51, 287–89, 324–27 sand–stuck ordeal, 325–31 Seawolf–class submarines, 13–14, 193, 338–39, 375n Sequoia, USS, 236 Sevastopol, 11–12, 52 Sevastopol, 259–60 Shackleton aircraft, 85–86 Shaddock, 193 Shakespeare, William, 282 Shchuka, 301 Sheets, Mack, 354n Ships Inertial Navigation System (SINS), 328 Ship submersible nuclear (SSN), 8–10 Shkval, 86, 115 Shot lines, 158 Shumkov, Nikolai, 60, 65, 69–77, 107, 130–34, 164–68, 172, 175 Signal intelligence (SIGINT), 5 Signal–to–Noise Enhancement Program (SNEP), 353n Situation report (SITREP), 117 Sizov, F.

pages: 385 words: 25,673

Word Freak: Heartbreak, Triumph, Genius, and Obsession in the World of Competitive ScrabblePlayers by Stefan Fatsis


deliberate practice, Donner party, East Village, forensic accounting, Golden Gate Park, Gödel, Escher, Bach, index card, Saturday Night Live, zero-sum game

In the third, when the audience jumps on a punch line, Matt sarcastically thanks them for laughing in the wrong place, and someone boos. Matt on stage is Matt in Scrabble: smart, sophisticated, extremely creative, but volatile, hair-trigger angry, easily provoked, self-conscious, paranoid. “Just one chromosome up from the guy in Silence of the Lambs,” one Scrabble veteran says. Pushed by a new girlfriend to be more responsible for himself, and helped by his old one, Matt in mid-1998 decided to find a job. Saturday Night Live was looking for writers, Matt knew one of the cast members, and a few weeks before the Nationals, he was hired for the fall season. “This motherfucker go from two feet in the ground to this job with six figures,” Marlon Hill, my other penniless Scrabble genius friend, said. “I was, like, just lemme know when Toni Braxton be on that motherfucker.” Still, Matt was down because his girlfriend had broken up with him.

I think I can play great Scrabble.” 158 ❑ Word Freak It was like that before the 1997 Worlds: Matt had been on a partying jag, stopped two weeks before the event, studied round the clock, and finished second. But the success didn’t materialize in Chicago, where he drew poorly and couldn’t mount the charge he did at the Worlds in Washington, and Matt sat sulking in the rear of the ballroom as the bland, unflappable Brian Cappelletto collected his $25,000 check. Matt started at Saturday Night Live in September. In October, he was fired. More than a month after his firing, Matt told me what happened. He said he was cranking out twenty jokes a day for his segment, “Weekend Update,” but he couldn’t get any of them on the show — only one the first week, and none the second, third, or fourth. The segment producer told him it takes time, but no one was helpful and nothing he wrote seemed to be good enough.

pages: 311 words: 130,761

Framing Class: Media Representations of Wealth and Poverty in America by Diana Elizabeth Kendall


Bernie Madoff, blue-collar work, Bonfire of the Vanities, call centre, David Brooks, declining real wages, Donald Trump, employer provided health coverage, ending welfare as we know it, fixed income, framing effect, Georg Cantor, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, haute couture, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, lump of labour, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, payday loans, Ponzi scheme, Ray Oldenburg, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, telemarketer, The Great Good Place, Thorstein Veblen, trickle-down economics, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban planning, working poor

According to this media account, Brooks’s daughter is a hedge fund director in New York, but it makes no mention of the fact that the family has remained close to controversial money issues in the aftermath of the earlier scandal.48 Wealthy celebrities accused of offenses such as insider trading, collusion, and even more mundane crimes like shoplifting typically receive extensive media coverage. Two examples of bad-apple-with-good-taste framing for shoplifting involve actress Winona Ryder and Dallas socialite Brooke Stollenwerck Aldridge. The Winona Ryder shoplifting trial became a topic not only of newspaper and magazine accounts but also of such television entertainment shows as E!, Entertainment Tonight, Inside Edition, and Access Hollywood. Writers for Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and Late Night with David Letterman created numerous jokes about “Winona’s five-finger discount” and the expensive designer clothing she wore to her trial (“no cheap orange jump suit for Winona,” for example). In bad-apple-with-good-taste framing of stories about rich celebrities like Ryder, no detail is spared, particularly when it involves the individual’s insatiable desire for expensive goods or the preferential treatment he or she receives in everyday life: Probably the biggest gasp in the Winona Ryder shoplifting trial . . . came when two sales clerks in a row testified that the willowy actress had asked them to fetch her Coca-Colas from the Saks Fifth Avenue cafeteria.

., 126, 128, 129, 130 Pullman Palace Car Company, 128 Quaker Oats, 171–72 Quayle, Dan, 182 Quecreek Mine accident, 140 rags-to-riches stories, 40–42 Rappaport, Ben, 155 Reading the Homeless: The Media’s Image of Homeless Culture (Min), 104 Reagan, Ronald, 175 Real Housewives franchise, 6, 12–13 reality, as socially constructed, 2–4, 6–7, 218–19 Real Time with Bill Maher, 144 Red Cross, 115 Redneck Comedy Tour, 146 Rednour, Richard, 153 Redstone, Sumner, 44 Rehn, Trista, 13 Reiner, Rob, 150 Remini, Leah, 151 Remmler, John, 86 Rich Kids, 12 Riesel, Victor, 129 The Rise of the Creative Class (Florida), 166, 206 Rivlin, Gary, 158, 159 Robb Report, 45 Rockefeller Foundation, 162 Rockwell, Norman, 171 Rojecki, Andrew, 22, 83 Roman, Nan, 89 Rose, Charlie, 37 Roseanne, 142, 151, 152 Rowan, Kelly, 60 Ryder, Winona, 68–69 San Francisco Chronicle, 1, 127, 204 San Francisco Examiner, 204 Santorum, Rick, 96 9781442202238.print.indb 297 297 Sargent, Ben, 196 The Saturday Evening Post, 171 Saturday Night Live, 68 Sawyer, Diane, 99 schadenfreude, 53, 77 schemas, 22 schools, affiliation and class, 4 Schor, Juliet B., 212, 217–18 Schwartz, Josh, 60 Season for Caring campaigns, 113–14 self-empowerment, 41 Selling New York, 44 Service Employees International Union, 137 7th Heaven, 114 sewing women, 127 shady framing, 130–37, 160–61 Shipler, David K., 158 Shulman, Beth, 158 Silverstein, Michael J., 65 The Simpsons, 147, 149 The Sims, 49 60 Minutes, 70, 129, 215 Smith, Adam, 126 Snooki, 209 Snow, David A., 8–9 Snyder, Mary Gail, 207, 208 SOAPnet, 58 social information, paths of, 22 socialization, class consciousness and, 14 social movements, news coverage of, 8 Society Page, 23–51 Soon-Shiong, Patrick, 15 The Sopranos, 135–36, 149 Sotheby’s, 65, 67, 78 sour-grapes framing, 17–18, 29, 53, 55–61, 77, 80 Spagnole, Richie, 110–11 Spears, Britney, 79, 145 spin, as framing, 5 squeeze framing, 167, 170, 175, 189– 95, 206 Stanford, R.

pages: 162 words: 50,108

The Little Book of Hedge Funds by Anthony Scaramucci


Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, Bernie Madoff, business process, carried interest, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fear of failure, fixed income, follow your passion, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, index fund, John Meriwether, Long Term Capital Management, mail merge, margin call, mass immigration, merger arbitrage, money market fund, Myron Scholes, NetJets, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, the new new thing, too big to fail, transaction costs, Vanguard fund, Y2K, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

They are supposed to make money all the time, and when they fail at this, their investors redeem and go to someone else who has recently been making money. Every three or four years, they deliver a one-in-a-hundred-year flood. Although I may be biased toward my talented friend Cliff—who if he weren’t running AQR might be writing comedy sketches for Jimmy Fallon or, better yet, could replace Seth Meyers on Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update”—his humorous definition is chock-full of vital information about hedge funds that completes the discovery process and enables us to fully learn the sum of a hedge fund’s parts. Now, although we may never agree on a universal definition of hedge fund, you will notice that all four of these definitions have a few terms in common. So, let’s put down that scalpel and start examining the extrapolated components so that we can form our own definition.

pages: 202 words: 59,883

Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy by Robert Scoble, Shel Israel


Albert Einstein, Apple II, augmented reality, call centre, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, connected car, Edward Snowden, Edward Thorp, Elon Musk, factory automation, Filter Bubble, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Internet of things, job automation, John Markoff, Kickstarter, lifelogging, Marc Andreessen, Mars Rover, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, New Urbanism, PageRank, pattern recognition, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, sensor fusion, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, urban planning, Zipcar

The front component also contains an inwardly directed microphone, an eye sensor and Wifi and Bluetooth connectivity. The wide, right-hand stem serves as a touchpad. This is where you tap or slide your fingers to give commands or scroll through content. Due to battery limitations, the device always defaults to “off.” To wake it, you blink, press a small button or tilt your head back. The tilting gesture is a bit odd to behold. A Saturday Night Live skit had a field day mocking this feature. We think most people will stick to taps and blinks. Two magic words bring Glass to life: “OK Glass…” cues it that a voice command such as “take a picture” is coming. The microphone is intentionally pointed inward. Glass is not great for conducting interviews or recording an eavesdropped conversation. The quality of non-wearer voices deteriorates just a few feet away.

pages: 170 words: 51,205

Information Doesn't Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age by Cory Doctorow, Amanda Palmer, Neil Gaiman


Airbnb, barriers to entry, Brewster Kahle, cloud computing, Dean Kamen, Edward Snowden, game design, Internet Archive, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, optical character recognition, Plutocrats, plutocrats, pre–internet, profit maximization, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Saturday Night Live, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, transfer pricing, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy

He’s not going to get paid what he’s owed on the iTunes sales of his last record. The reason the deal is nonnegotiable is that it is industry-wide. There are only three major record labels, and they all offer the same rotten terms to their new artists. When you’re the only game in town, you get to make up the rules, and tilt them to your benefit. It’s a little like the old Lily Tomlin bit from Saturday Night Live: “So, the next time you complain about your phone service, why don’t you try using two Dixie cups with a string? We don’t care. We don’t have to. We’re the Phone Company.” Even for very successful artists, a new contract negotiation was always bounded by the “two Dixie cups and a string” ultimatum. As in, “None of the Big Three are going to give you what you’re asking for. And if you don’t like it, try getting your music to your audience without us.”

pages: 215 words: 52,743

Elliot Allagash: A Novel by Simon Rich


rolodex, Saturday Night Live

I dedicated the book to him, but he probably belongs on the cover. I consider this book his as much as mine. ABOUT THE AUTHOR SIMON RICH has written for The New Yorker, GQ, Mad, The Harvard Lampoon, and other magazines. He is the author of two humor collections, Free-Range Chickens and Ant Farm, which was a finalist for the 2008 Thurber Prize for American Humor. He lives in Brooklyn and writes for Saturday Night Live. Elliot Allagash is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. Copyright © 2010 by Simon Rich All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Random House, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.

pages: 192 words: 45,091

What in God's Name: A Novel by Simon Rich


Rubik’s Cube, Saturday Night Live, US Airways Flight 1549

Thanks also to Dustin Lushing, Amelia Gonzalez, Marika Sawyer, John Mulaney, Seth Meyers, Lorne Michaels, Steve Higgins, Andrew Singer, Marlena Bittner, Sarah Murphy, Rebecca Gray, Anna-Marie Fitzgerald, Kathleen Hale, Peg Anderson, Melissa Fuller, Deborah Jacobs, Laura Tisdel, Peggy Leith Anderson, Jon Klemm, Erik Motyl, Montague Wines and Spirits, Pixar, and Tabasco sauce. You all helped in your own way. Thanks to all my friends for putting up with me. And thanks, above all, to my wonderful big brother Nat, who taught me everything I know about books, life, and baseball. This one’s for you. About the Author Simon Rich has written comedy for The New Yorker, Pixar, Saturday Night Live, McSweeney’s, The Believer, and various movie studios. He’s the author of two collections, Free-Range Chickens and Ant Farm, which was a finalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor. His first novel, Elliot Allagash, was optioned for a film by Jason Reitman. Rich lives in Brooklyn. Also by Simon Rich Elliot Allagash Free-Range Chickens Ant Farm: And Other Desperate Situations Contents Title Page Dedication Epigraph Part I Part II Part III Epilogue Acknowledgments About the Author Also by Simon Rich Copyright The characters and events in this book are fictitious.

pages: 159 words: 46,518

The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy


clean water, Saturday Night Live, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh

With Big Mo on their side, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them expand into other markets. Google was a small, struggling search engine for a while; today it, too, owns more than 60 percent of its market. YouTube, the video-sharing space created in February 2005, officially launched in November of that year. But it wasn’t until they featured the “Lazy Sunday” digital short that originally aired on Saturday Night Live that people started going to YouTube in huge numbers to find it. That YouTube video clip went viral—it got more than 5 million views before NBC asked to have it taken down. Then, there was no way to catch them—they had Mo. Today YouTube owns more than 60 percent of the video market! Google caught up with You Tube’s two young founders and paid them $1.65 billion to buy their Mo. Wow! What do Michael Phelps, Apple, Google, and YouTube have in common?

pages: 204 words: 63,571

You're Not Doing It Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death, and Other Humiliations by Michael Ian Black

Albert Einstein, fear of failure, life extension, placebo effect, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), upwardly mobile

She grew up in Minnesota, started college there, spent a year in Paris, came home broke, worked to save money, transferred to a college in Washington, D.C., and finally graduated the previous spring. Now she’s in New York and living with her boyfriend, Christopher, who is a (self-important, phony asshole) great guy. In fact, I’d probably like him a lot, she tells me. I’m sure I would. One night, a friend invites me to a party for Saturday Night Live at one of those posh New York restaurants where nobody in New York actually eats. When we arrive, I station myself near the kitchen door to catch each waiter on his way out so I get first dibs on the yummy little meaty things on sticks. I take many. From my satellite position on the fringes, I notice that the party seems to radiate outward from a roped-off area where I am not allowed to go.

pages: 236 words: 77,098

I Live in the Future & Here's How It Works: Why Your World, Work, and Brain Are Being Creatively Disrupted by Nick Bilton


3D printing, 4chan, Albert Einstein, augmented reality, barriers to entry, book scanning, Cass Sunstein, death of newspapers,, Internet of things, John Gruber, John Markoff, Marshall McLuhan, Nicholas Carr, QR code, recommendation engine, RFID, Saturday Night Live, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand

My reliance on—and participation in—social networks and the anchoring community they provide hastened my transition from cable TV to a computer hooked up to my TV, from a landline for a telephone to an all-mobile household, and from print books and newspapers to digital readers. I moved to the new systems because I want everything I encounter and take in to be shareable, amendable, and receivable. It’s not about watching Saturday Night Live on cable TV versus watching it online; it’s that the people I share information with will cut the best clips out of the latest episode and share them with me. In the same respect, I don’t want to be like my grandmother and clip articles from the paper and mail them; rather, I want to share the two or three interesting articles I find on each day electronically with everyone who shares news with me.

pages: 83 words: 7,274

Buyology by Martin Lindstrom


anti-work, Berlin Wall, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Mikhail Gorbachev, Saturday Night Live, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker

Tom Dickson resembles any midwestern, middle-aged suburban dad. But this suburban dad has a rather out-of-the-ordinary job. He sells blenders. But that’s not what’s most bizarre about him. To advertise the blenders, he has created a series of short videos, available on the Blendtec Blender Web site (which have migrated virally over to YouTube), which open with the question “Will it blend?”—a concept likely borrowed from Dan Aykroyd’s famous Saturday Night Live skit, in which he used a blender to pulverize a sea bass. As viewers look on saucer-eyed, Tom Dickson proceeds to grind, chop, mash, mince, puree, and annihilate a series of objects inside his kitchen blender. Bic lighters. A tiki torch. A length of garden hose. Three hockey pucks. Even an Apple iPhone. Every week, Tom Dickson makes it his mission to pulverize something new and seemingly unpulverizable.

pages: 222 words: 75,778

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh


call centre, crowdsourcing, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Lao Tzu, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Saturday Night Live, science of happiness, Silicon Valley, Tony Hsieh, Y2K

It quickly spilled over into everything we did and manifested in things like themed interview rooms where candidates would be more likely to relax, respond to questions truthfully, and show their own personality and creativity. It even showed up in new hire orientation. As part of the paperwork we cover, one deals with the expectations for the four-week new hire class—which are essentially a list of reasons a person might get fired in those first weeks. Talk about a buzz kill on the first day. Yes, the information is important and needs to be shared, but how do we do it in a Zappos way? Thanks to two loyal Saturday Night Live watchers on my team, we decided to “steal” a few well-known and loved characters from the show and perform skits to convey the information but in a very over-the-top and funny way. There are many more examples I could give but suffice it to say that five years later, when I look at my team and what we have done at Zappos, I am so very proud and so very fulfilled in our work. The problem when someone feels burned out, bored, unchallenged, or stifled by their work is not the job itself but rather the environment and playground rules given to them to do the job at hand.

pages: 264 words: 79,589

Kingpin: How One Hacker Took Over the Billion-Dollar Cybercrime Underground by Kevin Poulsen


Apple II, Brian Krebs, Burning Man, corporate governance, dumpster diving, Exxon Valdez, Hacker Ethic, hive mind, index card, McMansion, Mercator projection, offshore financial centre, packet switching, pirate software, Ponzi scheme, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, traffic fines, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day, Zipcar

Stolen credit cards could be canceled before they were used. The meeting lasted twenty minutes. When he returned to Pittsburgh on October 7, Mularski had written approval to acquire DarkMarket. Iceman was still listed as a subject of the undercover operation, but now JiLsi and DarkMarket’s other leaders were the primary targets. Once his wife went to bed, Mularski settled in front of his couch, turned on Saturday Night Live, and looked for JiLsi on ICQ. After some pleasantries, he got down to business. DarkMarket was under yet another DDoS attack, and Mularski, as Master Splyntr, was ready to take the site onto a secure server—JiLsi need only say the word, and his problems with Iceman would be history. JiLsi had some reservations. DarkMarket was his baby, and he didn’t want to be perceived by the community as ceding control.

pages: 287 words: 81,970

The Dollar Meltdown: Surviving the Coming Currency Crisis With Gold, Oil, and Other Unconventional Investments by Charles Goyette


bank run, banking crisis, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, California gold rush, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Deng Xiaoping, diversified portfolio, Elliott wave, fiat currency, fixed income, Fractional reserve banking, housing crisis, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop - Herbert Stein's Law, index fund, Lao Tzu, margin call, market bubble, McMansion, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, oil shock, peak oil, pushing on a string, reserve currency, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, short selling, Silicon Valley, transaction costs

What demands repeating of this obsession is that it is really not prices, which have no volition of their own, but parties to commercial transactions that are being controlled in this chronic busybody-ism. The government, deciding to favor one party against another, intrudes in mutually voluntary relationships to mandate prices. Sometimes governments set minimum prices or price floors. These encourage overproduction and result in gluts and waste. From Saturday Night Live many will remember comedian Chris Farley’s hilarious portrayal of the character Matt Foley, a motivational speaker who lived in a van down by the river, and subsisted by “eating a steady diet of government cheese.” That government cheese was the result of the glut produced by government price interference. Well-connected parties commonly use their political clout to have politicians force the public to pay artificially high prices for their goods.

Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned" by Lena Dunham


book scanning, Mason jar, Saturday Night Live, sexual politics, zero-sum game

My mother expressed distress, not only at having strange men in her house but at the fact that I had an interest in such a thankless activity. “It’s worse than fucking them all!” she said. “You don’t owe everybody a crash pad,” my father said. They didn’t get it. They didn’t get any of it. Hadn’t they ever felt alone before? I remembered seventh grade, when my friend Natalie and I started sleeping in her TV room on Friday and Saturday nights, every weekend. We would watch Comedy Central or Saturday Night Live and eat cold pizza until one or two, pass out on the foldout couch, then awake at dawn to see her older sister Holly and her albino boyfriend sneaking into her bedroom. This went on for a few months, reliable and blissful and oddly domestic, our routine as set as any eighty-year-old couple’s. But one Friday after school she coolly told me she “needed space” (where a twelve-year-old girl got this line I will never know), and I was devastated.

One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B. J. Novak


Bernie Madoff, carbon-based life, citation needed, dark matter, F. W. de Klerk, Saturday Night Live

I look out the window, and I play these stupid little games in my head where I wonder if any of the cars coming down the street is yours, and I see how many seconds until I can rule that out as your car, because every car I see is yours in my mind until it isn’t. Does that make any sense? It’s so stupid. And I have this fantasy”—she started crying again—“this stupid fantasy … I don’t know.” And she kept crying, louder and louder. “Hey,” I said. “It’s going to be okay. Come with me. Let’s go somewhere.” And this was the moment—as everyone knows by now, and as Saturday Night Live has made famous—that I decided to return the first artificially intelligent being capable of love, which is why you heard about me, and which is what set in motion the events that led to where everything is now. Sophia waited in the car outside Practical Concepts. Inside, Derek asked me a number of questions about why I wasn’t satisfied with Sophia. Their return policy didn’t require me to state a reason, but Derek clearly wanted to learn for his own sake, which I respected.

pages: 221 words: 64,080

Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd by Youngme Moon


AltaVista, Atul Gawande, commoditize, creative destruction, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Saturday Night Live, selection bias, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thorstein Veblen, young professional

We need to know what something is before we can figure out how we’re supposed to relate to it. So we have categories for people: white-col ar, blue-col ar. For things: solids, liquids, gases. For colors: blue, red, green. And so on. And if it just so happens that we encounter something that we are unable to peg—say, a passerby with indeterminate gender—the ambiguity has the potential to stop us in our tracks: Hey, was that a man or a woman? It’s like that old Saturday Night Live sketch featuring Julia Sweeney as the androgynous “Pat;” we have trouble moving forward until we get the basic definitions sorted out. And yet here is the thing. When it comes to the physical sciences, our categorizations tend to be, for the most part, rigorous and objective; they reflect innate differences between solids and liquids, or between protons and neutrons. When it comes to the biological sciences, our categorizations are equal y non-discretionary; they reflect intrinsic discrepancies between mammals and fish, or between DNA and RNA.

pages: 286 words: 79,601

Great American Hypocrites: Toppling the Big Myths of Republican Politics by Glenn Greenwald


affirmative action, anti-communist, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, national security letter, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith

KLEIN: Well, that was probably the coolest presidential image since Bill Pullman played the jet fighter pilot in the movie Independence Day. That was the first thing that came to mind for me. And it just shows you how high a mountain these Democrats are going to have to climb. You compare that image, which everybody across the world saw, with this debate last night where you have nine people on a stage and it doesn’t air until 11:30 at night, up against Saturday Night Live, and you see what a major, major struggle the Democrats are going to have to try and beat a popular incumbent president. Brit Hume hailed Bush’s courage in undertaking this dangerous mission: But this was risky business. You know, there’s grease and oil on the decks of those aircraft carriers. The wind’s blowing. All kinds of stuff could have gone wrong. It didn’t, he carried it off.

pages: 219 words: 73,623

You'll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein


Airbnb, index card, pre–internet, Saturday Night Live

My mother was an English teacher who patiently taught me where to put my periods and commas, and my father, who loves books more than anyone I know, taught me from an early age that books are precious and should be handled gently, “like butterflies.” This butterfly exists because of, and for, them. About the Author Jessi Klein is the Emmy- and Peabody Award–winning head writer and an executive producer of Comedy Central’s critically acclaimed series Inside Amy Schumer. She’s also written for Amazon’s Transparent as well as Saturday Night Live. She has been featured on the popular storytelling series The Moth, and has been a regular panelist on NPR’s Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! She’s been published in Esquire and Cosmopolitan, and has had her own half-hour Comedy Central stand-up special. Thank you for buying this ebook, published by Hachette Digital. To receive special offers, bonus content, and news about our latest ebooks and apps, sign up for our newsletters.

pages: 265 words: 83,677

The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone by Olivia Laing


East Village, forensic accounting, global village, late capitalism, Saturday Night Live, Skype, Snapchat

‘It was like he was from a different planet and his parents were calling him home. When the smoke cleared, he was gone.’ Nomi’s career exploded from that moment. At first, his shows were put together by a group of friends, who collaborated on writing songs, making videos and creating costumes, developing together the Nomi universe, the New Wave alien aesthetic. On 15 September 1979 he appeared with Arias as backing singers for David Bowie on Saturday Night Live, both dressed in robes by Thierry Mugler. There was an elaborate live show, growing crowds, a tour of America. Nomi wanted success, but he didn’t find it quite as fulfilling as he’d expected. According to the testimony of Andrew Horn’s affecting 2004 documentary, The Nomi Song, the alien act arose in part from a refined and hypermodern theatrical sensibility – that post-punk, Cold War infused infatuation with the apocalypse and outer space – and in part from a genuine sense of being freakishly other.

pages: 260 words: 76,340

When You Find Out the World Is Against You: And Other Funny Memories About Awful Moments by Kelly Oxford

Donald Trump, Saturday Night Live, Skype, Snapchat

I asked, even though my soul mate Ted Danson was no longer there and I was certain that he was really the only one who would get me. “Are you guys from around here?” I asked, and Tim raised his hand. “Cool, I have a cabin here but I’m from Edmonton.” “Edmonton, weeeelllll,” Adam whined in a lady voice. Tim laughed. “Oh la, la, Edmonton and a cabin! Isn’t that speeecial!” Adam held his hands effeminately under his chin. “Oh!” I laughed, stopping short of him and kicking at some dandelions. “The Church Lady. I love Saturday Night Live. Isn’t she speeeeeecial.” I laughed. “Great for you,” Adam suddenly said, cold again . . . Man, Adam was hard to read. “So where are you from, Adam?” “Bowden.” I laughed, hard enough that I bent slightly at the waist, and wide enough that I felt it necessary to cover my mouth (even though my teeth were straight). “Wow!” Adam’s eyes shifted to Tim and back; suddenly he looked uncomfortable.

pages: 666 words: 181,495

In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives by Steven Levy


23andMe, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, business process, clean water, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Dean Kamen, discounted cash flows, don't be evil, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, El Camino Real, fault tolerance, Firefox, Gerard Salton, Gerard Salton, Google bus, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Googley, HyperCard, hypertext link, IBM and the Holocaust, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, one-China policy, optical character recognition, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Potemkin village, prediction markets, recommendation engine, risk tolerance, Rubik’s Cube, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, search inside the book, second-price auction, selection bias, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, slashdot, social graph, social software, social web, spectrum auction, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, trade route, traveling salesman, turn-by-turn navigation, Vannevar Bush, web application, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

In contrast, YouTube was dead simple: everything was free, you could find clips from just about anything, and it played inside your browser. God knows where its users had gotten access to some of the stuff they put up there, but because of the company’s lax policy of policing its archives, YouTube managed to have just about anything you were looking for. YouTube users had uploaded a popular clip from Saturday Night Live called “Lazy Sunday,” which became a phenomenon—5 million people streamed it until NBC demanded that YouTube remove the clip seven weeks after its appearance. The clip jacked up YouTube’s traffic by 83 percent. Later, it was cited as the event that restored luster to the aging SNL. Content providers were confused about how to deal with YouTube, but they were beginning to realize that its popularity made it impossible to ignore.

“I would say we were not executing well in the social space in general,” said Google VP Bradley Horowitz. “We had a bunch of different projects, but we didn’t have a coordinated goal that was going to get us in the conversation.” In early 2009, Horowitz’s team began work on yet another new product that, Horowitz predicted, “would blow Twitter away.” Its code name was Taco Town, named after a Saturday Night Live parody of a Taco Bell commercial where a tortilla-covered snack is increasingly, and absurdly, slathered with more food. (“And it gets even awesomer when we take a deep-fried gordita shell, smear on a little of our special ‘guacamolito’ sauce, and wrap that around the outside!”) That reflected Googlers’ judgment of the Internet’s current social strategy: big, messy layers of greasy, unwholesome stuff whose caloric volume tried to compensate for satisfying essence.

pages: 728 words: 233,687

My Boring-Ass Life: The Uncomfortably Candid Diary of Kevin Smith by Kevin Smith


back-to-the-land, British Empire, Burning Man, mutually assured destruction, pre–internet, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Wall-E

After I drop the girls off, I try to figure out what to do with the two or three hours I have to kill before pickup. I call Burke Williams about getting a massage, but they’ve got me on hold so long that I give up. I stop at Book Soup on Sunset to see if the new Empire is out (it’s not), then opt to head home. I let the dogs out on the patio, then grab a bite in the kitchen. I head downstairs to check out my TiVo options, and settle on a Saturday Night Live from 1980 (the barely-watchable Denny Dillon/Charles Rocket year before the rise of Eddie Murphy). Jen calls, and I head over to the Valley to grab her from Orso’s. I say hi to the mom-squad in attendance, then whisk Schwalbach away because I’m parked in front of a fire hydrant. Jen wants to stop at In-N-Out on the way home, so I grab an iced tea. We get home, get into our jammies, then crash, watching some TiVo.

As Hank Kingsley on The Larry Sanders Show, he introduced “Hey, now!” into our lexicon, and he played both George and Oscar Bluth on one of my all-time favorite shows, Arrested Development. Give it up for a star of stage and screen, and a funny motherfucker... MR. JEFFREY TAMBOR. I’m pretty sure our next reader is the only cat in the room tonight who’s been on the stage at the World Famous Apollo. He’s just finished his first season on Saturday Night Live as a full-fledged cast member and he’s got a comedy DVD coming soon called I’m Snap Famous. Give it up for the man from Hot-Lanta, Starkisha himself... MR. FINESSE MITCHELL. Our next reader is the first of two living legends in the house tonight. Nobody knows who created the Greek gods of myth, but when it comes to twentieth-century mythology, we can all say we KNOW who created some of the biggest icons of pop culture history: Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, the X-Men.

pages: 829 words: 186,976

The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-But Some Don't by Nate Silver


airport security, availability heuristic, Bayesian statistics, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Black Swan, Broken windows theory, Carmen Reinhart, Claude Shannon: information theory, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversification, Donald Trump, Edmond Halley, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory,, equity premium, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, fear of failure, Fellow of the Royal Society, Freestyle chess, fudge factor, George Akerlof, haute cuisine, Henri Poincaré, high batting average, housing crisis, income per capita, index fund, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, locking in a profit, Loma Prieta earthquake, market bubble, Mikhail Gorbachev, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Monroe Doctrine, mortgage debt, Nate Silver, negative equity, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition,, Pierre-Simon Laplace, prediction markets, Productivity paradox, random walk, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, savings glut, security theater, short selling, Skype, statistical model, Steven Pinker, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, transaction costs, transfer pricing, University of East Anglia, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, wikimedia commons

It’s exactly when we think we have overcome the flaws in our judgment that something as powerful as the American economy can be brought to a screeching halt. 2 ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A TELEVISION PUNDIT? For many people, political prediction is synonymous with the television program The McLaughlin Group, a political roundtable that has been broadcast continually each Sunday since 1982 and parodied by Saturday Night Live for nearly as long. The show, hosted by John McLaughlin, a cantankerous octogenarian who ran a failed bid for the United States Senate in 1970, treats political punditry as sport, cycling through four or five subjects in the half hour, with McLaughlin barking at his panelists for answers on subjects from Australian politics to the prospects for extraterrestrial intelligence. At the end of each edition of The McLaughlin Group, the program has a final segment called “Predictions,” in which the panelists are given a few seconds to weigh in on some matter of the day.

If they suddenly had to produce a vaccine that guarded against H1N1—and particularly if they were going to produce enough of it for the entire nation—they would need to get started immediately. Meanwhile, Ford was struggling to overcome a public perception that he was slow-witted and unsure of himself—an impression that grew more entrenched every weekend with Chevy Chase’s bumbling-and-stumbling caricature of him on NBC’s new hit show, Saturday Night Live. So Ford took the resolute step of asking Congress to authorize some 200 million doses of vaccine, and ordered a mass vaccination program, the first the country had seen since Jonas Salk had developed the polio vaccine in the 1950s. The press portrayed the mass vaccination program as a gamble.9 But Ford thought of it as a gamble between money and lives, and one that he was on the right side of.

pages: 593 words: 189,857

Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises by Timothy F. Geithner


Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, asset-backed security, Atul Gawande, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, break the buck, Buckminster Fuller, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, Doomsday Book, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, Flash crash, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, implied volatility, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, McMansion, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Nate Silver, negative equity, Northern Rock, obamacare, paradox of thrift,, price stability, profit maximization, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, Saturday Night Live, savings glut, selection bias, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, The Great Moderation, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Tobin tax, too big to fail, working poor

After I finished, I sat down with the NBC anchor Brian Williams—my first television interview ever—and saw a graphic on the screen: “Is Geithner’s Neck on the Line?” Williams began by invoking a prominent financial commentator. “I heard Larry Kudlow say: ‘Geithner was really kind of a disaster,’ ” he said. “Mr. Secretary, that was among the nicer comments I heard from Larry Kudlow.” Kudlow was not an outlier. I didn’t read the reviews at the time, but the phrase “deer in the headlights” appeared in a lot of them. An actor playing me opened Saturday Night Live by announcing that my solution to the crisis was to give $420 billion to the first caller with a solution to the crisis. The substantive critiques were just as withering. “Someone should have told Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner that the one thing to avoid at a time of uncertainty is raising more questions,” the New York Times editorial board declared. The widely respected Financial Times columnist Martin Wolf actually began his analysis: “Has Barack Obama’s presidency already failed?”

I shared this Bridgewater analysis with the President the day after the stress test results were released. Bridgewater’s positive assessment soon became the consensus view in the markets. Source: Bridgewater. I wasn’t dancing in the end zone, but that was a good day for the home team. NINE Getting Better, Feeling Worse Most Americans never heard about the stress test, and for many of those who did, it sounded like another Washington joke. Saturday Night Live had a field day with it, having an actor playing me open the show by earnestly announcing that we had given every bank a passing grade, since we didn’t want to “unfairly stigmatize banks who scored low on the test because they followed reckless lending practices or were otherwise not good at banking.” The fake me then griped that Citigroup hadn’t taken the written portion of the stress test seriously enough, revealing an answer sheet with “Geithner sucks!”

pages: 224 words: 12,941

From Gutenberg to Google: electronic representations of literary texts by Peter L. Shillingsburg


British Empire, computer age, double helix, HyperCard, hypertext link, interchangeable parts, invention of the telephone, means of production, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, Saturday Night Live, Socratic dialogue

Its short history is remarkably varied. Its early manifestations now make us smile: ftp sites from which one could download an ascii text file without italics or other formatting seemed adequate to many people who thought their personal libraries would be greatly increased at little or no cost. This scheme reduced the rich complexity of the codex into a flat stream of ascii characters. Then virtual worlds arrived, and ‘‘Saturday Night Live’’ satirized the virtual book with images of a book shown on a screen where keyboard commands turned codex pages. Like microfilm and facsimile projects – though actually not a bad place to start – this scheme demonstrates a paucity of imagination trapped in the world of physical objects and photography. In 1993 with the help of Graham Barwell, Paul Eggert, and Chris Tiffin, I drew up a description of what I then thought would be an ideal electronic book, one that took advantage of developing software to provide textual experiences not available in codex forms and stepping gingerly beyond developing software to imagine other possibilities not yet available in prototype form.

pages: 266 words: 78,689

Frommer's Irreverent Guide to Las Vegas by Mary Herczog, Jordan S. Simon


Berlin Wall, Bob Geldof, glass ceiling, haute couture, haute cuisine, Maui Hawaii, Murano, Venice glass, Saturday Night Live, young professional

At the JW Marriott, Gustav Mauler’s Lounge wittily parodies a men’s club: marble tables, forest green upholstery, copper accents, and barrel-vaulted ceilings of stained glass and cedar. It’s a prime spot for Summerlin’s less stuffy young professionals to decompress over a single malt and cigar. However, if you want real lounge lizard action, we mean, the sort that Bill Murray did to perfection on Saturday Night Live, the archetype lounge singer act is Mr. Cook E. Jarr, who must be seen—and you must see him—to be believed. He’s currently booked a couple nights a week at Harrah’s Carnaval Court. If he’s no longer there by the time you read this, he will surface eventually, so check local listings. Tit-illations... The curious or the connoisseurs among you won’t lack for options for some naughty fun. But don’t say we didn’t warn you; most feature dames doing the most desultory of dances, a little sinuous gyration is about all they do to earn their money.

pages: 406 words: 88,820

Television disrupted: the transition from network to networked TV by Shelly Palmer


barriers to entry, call centre, commoditize, disintermediation,, hypertext link, interchangeable parts, invention of movable type, Irwin Jacobs: Qualcomm, James Watt: steam engine, Leonard Kleinrock, linear programming, Marc Andreessen, market design, Metcalfe’s law, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, recommendation engine, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, Skype, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, subscription business, Telecommunications Act of 1996, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, Vickrey auction, Vilfredo Pareto, yield management

137 When you are watching a program on a broadcast television network, why does 30 seconds of your time sell for two to three times as much as it does when you are watching a rerun of that show on a cable network? Ask a television sales executive and you’ll get one answer; ask a cable sales executive and you’ll get another. The actual answer was brilliantly given in a classic sketch from Saturday Night Live. Father Guido Sarducci (Don Novello) gave an economics class in his Five-Minute University. “Economics? Supply and demand. That’s it.” Although he didn’t know it, he was talking about the media business too. For example: to reach the same size audience as you can with one :30 second spot in the Super Bowl you would need to run that spot more than 100 times on a top-rated cable network show.

pages: 304 words: 22,886

Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard H. Thaler, Cass R. Sunstein


Al Roth, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, availability heuristic, call centre, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, continuous integration, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, desegregation, diversification, diversified portfolio, endowment effect, equity premium, feminist movement, fixed income, framing effect, full employment, George Akerlof, index fund, invisible hand, late fees, libertarian paternalism, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, Mason jar, medical malpractice, medical residency, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, money market fund, pension reform, presumed consent, profit maximization, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, Right to Buy, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Saturday Night Live, school choice, school vouchers, transaction costs, Vanguard fund, Zipcar

Ramiro Barrera, a co-owner of Richard’s Pharmacy in Mission, said: “The new Medicare program is a full-time job. We are swamped with requests for help from beneficiaries.”4 The experience in McAllen was hardly unique. Seniors everywhere were confused. So were their doctors and pharmacists. Together they overwhelmed Medicare hot lines set up to help people figure out the best plan for them. Critiquing Medicare Part D’s complexity became so common that Saturday Night Live spoofed the maze of detail in a phony public service commercial. The commercial promised a simple and easy plan to techsavvy seniors who had succeeded in completely mastering their computers, iPods, and satellite televisions. President Bush sympathized with the frustration but said that the program would ultimately be worth the pain. “I knew that when we . . . laid out the idea of giving seniors choices, it would create a little confusion for some,” he told the Florida seniors.

pages: 297 words: 103,910

Free culture: how big media uses technology and the law to lock down culture and control creativity by Lawrence Lessig


Brewster Kahle, Cass Sunstein, creative destruction, future of journalism, George Akerlof, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet Archive, invention of the printing press, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, Louis Daguerre, new economy, prediction markets, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, rent-seeking, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, software patent, transaction costs

Under this rule, the copyright owner could benefit from some royalty, but he would not have the benefit of a full property right (meaning the right to name his own price) unless he registers the work. Who could possibly object to this? And what reason would there be for objecting? We're talking about work that is not now being made; which if made, under this plan, would produce new income for artists. What reason would anyone have to oppose it? In February 2003, DreamWorks studios announced an agreement with Mike Myers, the comic genius of Saturday Night Live and Austin Powers. According to the announcement, Myers and Dream-Works would work together to form a "unique filmmaking pact." Under the agreement, DreamWorks "will acquire the rights to existing motion picture hits and classics, write new storylines and—with the use of stateof-the-art digital technology—insert Myers and other actors into the film, thereby creating an entirely new piece of entertainment."

pages: 300 words: 65,976

The Gospel of Food: Everything You Think You Know About Food Is Wrong by Barry Glassner


Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, Gary Taubes, haute cuisine, income inequality, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Urbanism, placebo effect, profit motive, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Saturday Night Live, stem cell, urban sprawl, working poor

They note, for instance, that people who are more religious have lower rates of smoking.31 Active churchgoers have also been known to frequent those church socials I mentioned before, where in addition to lots of food, there are lots of eaters, a known risk factor for obesity. The more people present at a meal, the more they tend to eat, studies find.32 There may be another reason to stay away from crowds as well. Research by a group of scientists at Wayne State University suggests obesity may be caused by a coldlike virus called adenovirus-36. These biomedical researchers are serious. The idea of “catching obesity” may sound like the premise for a Saturday Night Live skit, but the Wayne State scientists have found that overweight people are four to six times more likely to have the adenovirus than leaner folks. What’s more, when they inoculated chickens, monkeys, and mice with an adenovirus, the animals gained weight and body fat without eating more. The researchers contend that the spread of this virus or its cousins may explain why rates of obesity have been rising throughout the world in recent years.

pages: 350 words: 109,220

In FED We Trust: Ben Bernanke's War on the Great Panic by David Wessel


Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, break the buck, central bank independence, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, debt deflation, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, full employment, George Akerlof, housing crisis, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, Northern Rock, price stability, quantitative easing, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, savings glut, Socratic dialogue, too big to fail

Treasury, demonstrating that years of whispering in the ear of the Treasury secretary doesn’t fully prepare anyone for assuming the role himself. It turned out looks do matter. Appearing younger than his forty-seven years, just two weeks younger than Obama, made it hard for Geithner to project wisdom and experience, and difficult for him to calm the fears of the people and the markets. His habit of answering questions in public as if he were giving a deposition didn’t help. Geithner found himself ridiculed on Saturday Night Live, mocked on YouTube videos, lampooned in political cartoons. The Indianapolis Stars Gary Varvel showed Geithner as an airline pilot, poking his head through the cockpit door and telling alarmed passengers: “I’m Captain Geithner. We’re going to have to try things we’ve never tried before. We will make mistakes.” Mike Luckovich’s take in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution was a bit more sympathetic: “Now, girls,” Michelle Obama tells her daughters, “you know who’ll be in charge of cleaning up the new puppy’s messes, don’t you?”

pages: 240 words: 109,474

Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture by David Kushner


Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, book scanning, Columbine, corporate governance, game design, glass ceiling, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, Marc Andreessen, market design, Marshall McLuhan, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, slashdot, software patent, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, X Prize

The brave few would venture forward with sweaty palms and shaky hands. It happened first outside a CompUSA, when the clerk came sheepishly after Romero, who was getting into his yellow Testarossa, and asked for an autograph. Such displays were becoming a regular occurrence, especially when he donned the “Wrote It” shirt. Gamers began not only asking for autographs but literally falling to their knees and echoing the “we’re not worthy!” refrain that Saturday Night Live characters Wayne and Garth bestowed upon rock royalty. The other guys at id couldn’t believe it. In fact, they were embarrassed by it: We aren’t Metallica, we’re gamers. But as the enigma around the company grew, the fans and media wanted more and more information about just who id was. In response, the guys created a news file that gamers could obtain by sending a message request or, in technical slang, “fingering” id’s computers.

pages: 364 words: 104,697

Were You Born on the Wrong Continent? by Thomas Geoghegan


Albert Einstein, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bob Geldof, collective bargaining, corporate governance, cross-subsidies, dark matter, David Brooks, declining real wages, deindustrialization, ending welfare as we know it, facts on the ground, Gini coefficient, haute cuisine, income inequality, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, low skilled workers, Martin Wolf, McJob, minimum wage unemployment, mittelstand, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, pensions crisis, Plutocrats, plutocrats, purchasing power parity, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, union organizing, Wolfgang Streeck, women in the workforce

He was at the Technical University, which I thought of as a lower-class type of school—a notch below a really elite school like Humboldt or Freie. I told Tom I was trying to write a book about Europe. “I’m especially interested in Germans and their education system.” He laughed. “Why write about the Germans? You should be writing about the French.” He thought the French were ahead. “I can’t write about the French,” I said. “Why not?” “Have you ever seen Saturday Night Live? Well, they used to have a skit about these aliens, the ‘Coneheads,’ and when they were asked where they were from, they’d say, ‘Oh, we’re from France.’And the point is, it would be like writing about the Coneheads. You see, no one has ever seen French people. They don’t have ethnic neighborhoods. I mean, who are they? It’s like no one knows.” “I see,” he said. “I don’t understand, though, why Americans are so against them.”

pages: 537 words: 99,778

Dreaming in Public: Building the Occupy Movement by Amy Lang, Daniel Lang/levitsky


Bay Area Rapid Transit, bonus culture, British Empire, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate personhood, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, deindustrialization, facts on the ground, glass ceiling, housing crisis, Kibera, late capitalism, mass incarceration, Naomi Klein, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Port of Oakland, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Slavoj Žižek, structural adjustment programs, the medium is the message, too big to fail, trade liberalization, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, We are the 99%, white flight, working poor

What’s created is new, perhaps not immediately recognizable to outsiders to the process – and so that much more powerful[…] The boat sails So, as with many evolutions of the last 30 days, though the ‘I’m on a Boat’ meming may have started out as an act of stress-relieving nonsense, relayed from one participant to another and echoed by bemused onlookers (like me), it has nevertheless become a useful metaphor for the Occupy Oakland movement as it enters its second month of life. Navigating treacherous waters as if the city streets and institutions were an uncharted ocean, OO continues to sail, despite hull-breaches and storms, etching a new social and political map of Oakland and the world along the way. – and yes, I know that the ‘I’m on a Boat’ thing is from a Saturday Night Live skit. I still have no idea how it’s come to be an echo, bouncing from node to node at the General Assembly and plaza. Anyone is free to add its origin in that regard to the historical record in my comments section[…] Chris Kendrick says: [23 November 2011 at 5.04pm] I started the boat! I swear on the occupation. You see it all started a day before I arrived at the camp, 1 November. I am from SF but decided to go down to Long Beach to try a new job a couple months ago.

pages: 375 words: 105,067

Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry by Helaine Olen


asset allocation, Bernie Madoff, Cass Sunstein, Credit Default Swap, David Brooks, delayed gratification, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Elliott wave,, estate planning, financial innovation, Flash crash, game design, greed is good, high net worth, impulse control, income inequality, index fund, London Whale, Mark Zuckerberg, money market fund, mortgage debt, oil shock, payday loans, pension reform, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, too big to fail, transaction costs, Unsafe at Any Speed, upwardly mobile, Vanguard fund, wage slave, women in the workforce, working poor, éminence grise

His four-hour show is designed to appeal to the baby boomers and Generation Xers who make up the bulk of his audience, at least as far as Raleigh goes. There are clips from the Bill Murray cult film What About Bob?, Shrek, and Jerry Maguire. He references Darryl and his other brother Darryl from the beloved 1980s sitcom Newhart. A replay of the hilariously infamous Steve Martin, Chris Parnell, and Amy Poehler Saturday Night Live skit “Don’t Buy Stuff” brings down the house. But mostly there is Dave Ramsey and his snappy one-liners like my favorite, “Life happened without a plan and Visa caught your slack. Guess who had a plan?” Ramsey’s politics can best be described as muddled conservative. He appears regularly on Fox Business News (despite the cancellation of his show), proselytizes for supply-side economics, and in 2010 endorsed unsuccessful Republican candidate Zach Wamp for governor of Tennessee.

Kick Me: Adventures in Adolescence by Paul Feig


index card, Saturday Night Live, upwardly mobile

I’d yell enthusiastically into the microphone, as I hunched my shoulders up in a Sullivan-esque fashion. I would then continue talking like Ed Sullivan as I moved the mike away from my mouth, saying things like “All right, Mr. Carter, right this way,” creating the impression that Ed was walking away. When the mike was as far as possible from my mouth, I would go into my half-baked Jimmy Carter impression, which was simply a low-grade imitation of Dan Aykroyd’s impersonation from Saturday Night Live. I’d talk in a Jimmy Carter–like manner, thanking Ed Sullivan as I moved the mike slowly back to my mouth, simulating the approach of our thirty-ninth president. “Well, thank you very much, Mr. Sullivan. My fellow Americans, today I’d like to talk to you about . . . peanuts.” Neither my impressions nor my material were very good but my mike technique was outstanding. And so was my growing resolve that I belonged on the radio.

pages: 335 words: 107,779

Some Remarks by Neal Stephenson


airport security, augmented reality, barriers to entry, British Empire, cable laying ship, call centre, cellular automata, edge city, Eratosthenes, Fellow of the Royal Society, Hacker Ethic, impulse control, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, music of the spheres, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, oil shock, packet switching, pirate software, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social web, Socratic dialogue, South China Sea, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method, trade route, Turing machine, uranium enrichment, Vernor Vinge, X Prize

Styled and informed by pulp novels, comic books, video games and Asian martial arts flicks, science fiction eats this kind of material up, and expresses it in ways that look impossibly weird to people who aren’t used to it. Lack of critical respect means nothing to sci-fi’s creators and fans. They made peace with their own dorkiness long ago. Oh, there was momentary discomfort around the time of William Shatner’s 1987 “Saturday Night Live” sketch, in which he exhorted Trekkies to “get a life.” But this had been fully resolved by 2000, when sci-fi fans voted to give the Hugo Award for best movie to “Galaxy Quest,” a film that revolves around making fun of sci-fi fans. The growing popularity of science fiction, the rise of graphic novels, anime and video games, and the fact that geeks can make lots of money now, have given creators and fans of this kind of art a confidence, even a swagger, that—hard as it is for some of us to believe—is kind of cool.

pages: 310 words: 89,653

The Interstellar Age: Inside the Forty-Year Voyager Mission by Jim Bell


Albert Einstein, crowdsourcing, dark matter, Edmond Halley, Edward Charles Pickering,, Eratosthenes, gravity well, Isaac Newton, Kuiper Belt, Mars Rover, Pierre-Simon Laplace, planetary scale, Pluto: dwarf planet, polynesian navigation, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Stephen Hawking, V2 rocket

Bill Nye recalls, “I was in class at Cornell in the spring of 1977 when Carl Sagan asked us which Chuck Berry song to put on the records. He actually pitched ‘Roll Over Beethoven,’ but we all insisted that the record include ‘Johnny B. Goode’ instead. And so it came to pass.” Passing the youth test, it apparently passed the social-media test of the day as well: Steve Martin did a skit on Saturday Night Live in spring 1978 where an alien’s response to the Voyager record was “Send more Chuck Berry!” “It is a sobering thought, though,” Jon Lomberg nonetheless laments, “that it was easier to send a record into deep space than it was to try to market it here on Earth.” Drake, Lomberg, and the others searched through picture books in libraries, in magazines from National Geographic to Sports Illustrated, and in NASA’s photo services.

pages: 317 words: 100,414

Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction by Philip Tetlock, Dan Gardner


Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, availability heuristic, Black Swan, butterfly effect, cloud computing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, desegregation, drone strike, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, forward guidance, Freestyle chess, fundamental attribution error, germ theory of disease, hindsight bias, index fund, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Arrow, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, Nash equilibrium, Nate Silver, obamacare, pattern recognition, performance metric, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, placebo effect, prediction markets, quantitative easing, random walk, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

We all know Bush 41 lost to Bill Clinton, but you may recall that he was popular after the victory in the Gulf War. So perhaps you thought his chances were pretty good, but, obviously, he also stood a pretty good chance of losing. Maybe it was fifty-fifty? Or maybe you thought the war gave him the edge, with, say, a 60% or 70% chance of winning? In fact, your memory of your judgment is very likely wrong. And in a predictable direction. I can demonstrate by dredging from the archives a 1991 Saturday Night Live skit that captured the received political wisdom in 1991. The scene: a debate among the leading candidates for the Democratic nomination in 1992. Moderator: Good evening. I’m Fay Sullivan of the League of Women Voters. Welcome to this, the first in a series of debates among the five leading Democrats who are trying to avoid being forced by their party into a hopeless race against President George Bush.

pages: 328 words: 93,937

Hot Lights, Cold Steel: Life, Death and Sleepless Nights in a Surgeon's First Years by Michael J. Collins


index card, Saturday Night Live

How can you stand it? How can any good man, any feeling man, stand it? Don’t you care? Don’t you have any feelings? Perhaps that is why I needed to arm myself with memories like the look of that man in the door, the look in which I thought I saw sympathy and admiration. Back in the ER there were six patients, all of them upset at having to wait so long, all of them certain I had been sleeping or watching Saturday Night Live reruns. Connie Fritz, the charge nurse, tried to hand me a chart, but I brushed past her and went back to the call room. I took off my black-spattered lab coat and dropped it in one of the laundry baskets. Then I went into the bathroom to wash the blood off my hands. It seemed to take a long time. Chapter Nineteen October On a quiet Saturday afternoon I was in the call room at St.

pages: 305 words: 89,103

Scarcity: The True Cost of Not Having Enough by Sendhil Mullainathan


American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Andrei Shleifer, Cass Sunstein, clean water, computer vision, delayed gratification, double entry bookkeeping, Exxon Valdez, fault tolerance, happiness index / gross national happiness, impulse control, indoor plumbing, inventory management, knowledge worker, late fees, linear programming, mental accounting, microcredit, p-value, payday loans, purchasing power parity, randomized controlled trial, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Richard Thaler, Saturday Night Live, Walter Mischel, Yogi Berra

Rather than a personal trait, it is the outcome of environmental conditions brought on by scarcity itself, conditions that can often be managed. The more we understand the dynamics of how scarcity works upon the human mind, the more likely we can find ways to avoid or at least alleviate the scarcity trap. 7 POVERTY Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you’re a mile away and you have their shoes. —JACK HANDEY, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE WRITER Poverty is surely the most widespread and important example of scarcity. The breadth and depth of poverty in the modern world is striking. UNICEF estimates that 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. Nearly one billion people are so illiterate that they cannot even sign their names. Half the children in the world live below the global poverty line. Roughly 1.6 billion people live without electricity.

pages: 259 words: 94,135

Spacewalker: My Journey in Space and Faith as NASA's Record-Setting Frequent Flyer by Jerry Lynn Ross, John Norberg


glass ceiling, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live

We called her “Sanitary Mary.” Bryan and Woody were the clowns of the crew. Woody has a silly laugh that sounds like Woody Woodpecker would sound if he were a horse. Woody always had a stupid joke to tell, and he is a lot of fun to be around. Bryan has a wonderful dry wit and did a great imitation of comedian Don Novello’s character Father Guido Sarducci, who frequently appeared on the television show Saturday Night Live. Charlie Walker was an employee of McDonnell Douglas and was on his third flight, more than the rest of the crew combined. He operated the Continuous Flow Electrophoresis experiment that McDonnell Douglas believed held great promise to manufacture new “wonder drug” pharmaceutical products utilizing the zero-g of space; however, process contamination problems and rapid advances in gene splicing technologies doomed their efforts.

pages: 439 words: 104,154

The Clockwork Universe: Saac Newto, Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern WorldI by Edward Dolnick


Albert Einstein, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Arthur Eddington, clockwork universe, complexity theory, double helix, Edmond Halley, Isaac Newton, lone genius, music of the spheres, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Saturday Night Live, Simon Singh, Stephen Hawking, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

In the future, “a voyage to Southern unknown Tracts, yea possibly the Moon, will not be more strange than one to America. To them that come after us, it may be as ordinary to buy a pair of wings to fly into remotest Regions, as now a pair of Boots to ride a Journey.”18 Such forecasts served mainly to inspire the mockers. By 1676 the Royal Society found itself the subject of a hit London comedy, the seventeenth-century counterpart of a running gag on Saturday Night Live. The play was called The Virtuoso, which could mean either “far-ranging scholar” or “dilettante.” Thomas Shadwell, the playwright, lifted much of his dialogue straight from the scientists’ own accounts of their work. Playgoers first encountered the evening’s hero, Sir Nicholas Gimcrack, sprawled on his belly on a table in his laboratory. Sir Nicholas has one end of a string clenched in his teeth; the other end is tied to a frog in a bowl of water.

pages: 336 words: 113,519

The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds by Michael Lewis


Albert Einstein, availability heuristic, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, complexity theory, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, endowment effect, feminist movement, framing effect, hindsight bias, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, loss aversion, medical residency, Menlo Park, Murray Gell-Mann, Nate Silver, New Journalism, Paul Samuelson, Richard Thaler, Saturday Night Live, statistical model, the new new thing, Thomas Bayes, Walter Mischel, Yom Kippur War

There was this beautiful simplicity to Amos: His likes and dislikes could be inferred directly and accurately and at all times from his actions. Amos’s three children have vivid memories of watching their parents drive off to see some movie picked by their mother, only to have their father turn up back at their couch twenty minutes later. Amos would have decided, in the first five minutes, whether the movie was worth seeing—and if it wasn’t he’d just come home and watch Hill Street Blues (his favorite TV drama) or Saturday Night Live (he never missed it) or an NBA game (he was obsessed with basketball). He’d then go back and fetch his wife after her movie ended. “They’ve already taken my money,” he’d explain. “Should I give them my time, too?” If by some freak accident he found himself at a gathering of his fellow human beings that held no appeal for him, he’d become invisible. “He’d walk into a room and decide he didn’t want anything to do with it and he would fade into the background and just vanish,” says Dona.

pages: 324 words: 93,175

The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home by Dan Ariely


Alvin Roth, assortative mating, Burning Man, business process, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, end world poverty, endowment effect, Exxon Valdez, first-price auction, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, happiness index / gross national happiness, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, loss aversion, Peter Singer: altruism, placebo effect, Richard Thaler, Saturday Night Live, second-price auction, software as a service, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, ultimatum game, Upton Sinclair, young professional

.* On top of that, even if both Janet and Julia accurately described themselves as having a sense of humor, what strikes one person as funny is not always funny to another. People who enjoy the Three Stooges may not appreciate Monty Python’s Flying Circus. David Letterman fans may not think much of The Office. Fans of any of these can rightfully claim to have a good sense of humor, but only by experiencing something with another person—say, watching Saturday Night Live together, either in person or in a virtual world—can you tell whether your senses of humor are compatible. SPEED DATING FOR OLDER ADULTS By the way, having an external object to react to works equally well in not-so-romantic encounters. Some time ago, Jeana Frost and I tried to run some speed-dating events for older (age sixty-five and above) adults. The objective was to open up the social circles of people who had just moved to a retirement community and, by doing so, improve their happiness and health.* We expected our speed-dating events to be a great success, but the first few were failures.

pages: 327 words: 88,121

The Vanishing Neighbor: The Transformation of American Community by Marc J. Dunkelman


Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, assortative mating, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, Broken windows theory, call centre, clean water, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, David Brooks, delayed gratification, double helix, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Santayana, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global village, helicopter parent, if you build it, they will come, impulse control, income inequality, invention of movable type, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Khyber Pass, Louis Pasteur, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, McMansion, Nate Silver, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Occupy movement, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, Richard Florida, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban decay, urban planning, Walter Mischel, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

Ornstein, It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism (New York: Basic Books, 2012), 59. 4Bill Carter, “Prime-Time Ratings Bring Speculation of a Shift in Habits,” New York Times, April 23, 2012. 5Eli Pariser, The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You (New York: Penguin Press, 2011), 6–10. 6Cramer, Ruby. “2 Charts That Explain What Your Food Says About Your Politics,”, October 31, 2012, 7Natasha Singer, “Your Online Attention, Bought in an Instant,” New York Times, November 17, 2012. 8Kenneth T. Jackson, Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985). 9Lizabeth Cohen, A Consumer’s Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America (New York: Vintage Books, 2003), 288–89, 292–344. 10Chris Rock, Saturday Night Live, November 2, 1996. 11Cohen, A Consumer’s Republic, 258. 12Douglas S. Massey, Jonathan Rothwell, and Thurston Domina, “The Changing Bases of Segregation in the United States,” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 1, no. 626 (2009): 74–90. 13Claude S. Fischer and Greggor Mattson, “Is America Fragmenting?” American Review of Sociology 35 (2009): 445. 14“Trends in American Values: 1987–2012: Partisan Polarization Surges in Bush, Obama Years,” Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, June 4, 2012, 72–74. 15“Changing Views of Gay Marriage: A Deeper Analysis,” Pew Research Center for People and the Press, May 23, 2012, 16“Inspire Hope Change,” pamphlet published by the It Gets Better Project, accessed December 12, 2013. 17Robert D.

pages: 328 words: 91,474

Everything Is Perfect When You're a Liar by Kelly Oxford

invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Saturday Night Live

While I drive, he casually looks out the window tapping the beat of Queen’s “I Want to Break Free” with his toothpick. Harvey is a TV producer. He dyes his hair black, wears a plain black baseball cap, black T-shirt, black jeans, and black shoes at all times. He has murdery ice-blue eyes; I think his entire black costume is designed to accentuate those eyes. Some people just naturally look suspicious, but Harvey seems to try to make himself look suspicious on purpose. Like if Saturday Night Live were costuming a “casual murderer” character and came out with Harvey, people would say, “Whoa! Laying the murdery vibe on a little thick, don’t you think?” “You’ve got him filed under L?” I ask. “Under lawyer?” I always have to check his directions, which makes it sound like I’m terrible at my job, when the reality is that my boss, Harvey, is kinda fucking crazy. I am called an “assistant.”

pages: 357 words: 94,852

No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need by Naomi Klein

Airbnb, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Brewster Kahle, Celebration, Florida, clean water, collective bargaining, Corrections Corporation of America, desegregation, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy transition, financial deregulation, greed is good, high net worth, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, income inequality, Internet Archive, late capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, new economy, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, private military company, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, sexual politics, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, urban decay, women in the workforce, working poor

Our former mayor, Rob Ford, was something of a municipal rehearsal for Trump. Ford, who died in 2016, created a performance-based image that was impossible to shame—because his brand was being shameless. Even when he was caught on tape smoking crack, it didn’t finish him off, because it was still the wacky Rob Ford show, and his supporters were his semi-ironic loyal audience, taking it all in like a Saturday Night Live sketch. But, as with Trump, the over-the-top performance and the personal scandals distracted from a sinister agenda, a pseudopopulism that specialized in handouts to corporations, a blank check for police, and eroded services for the most vulnerable. I didn’t foresee branding culture going this far when I started writing about it twenty years ago. But I’m also not surprised. Back then, I saw branding as a colonial process: it seeks to absorb ever more space and real estate and create a self-enclosed bubble.

pages: 407 words: 112,767

The Tao of Fully Feeling: Harvesting Forgiveness Out of Blame by Pete Walker

Albert Einstein, Lao Tzu, life extension, Ralph Waldo Emerson, risk tolerance, Saturday Night Live

Will Schutz, former department head of the Holistic Studies Program at Antioch University, occasionally assigned his classes days of “endarkenment” to balance their marathon efforts at enlightenment. On those days students drank wine, ate sweets, danced, played games, told jokes and stories, and refused to focus on self-refinement. Most reported that the day helped them to reconnect with the lightheartedness of the child within, which in turn refocused them on attaining balance in their lives. Stuart Smalley, the Saturday Night Live character who lampoons the recovery movement, wrote a delightful book that may help the workaholic recoveree lighten up. It’s whimsically entitled: I’m Good Enough, I’m Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me! It’s both hilarious and poignant, and there is considerable recovery wisdom veiled within its satire. We must be tender with ourselves to lessen our compulsiveness and sense of urgency.

pages: 375 words: 106,536

Lost at Sea by Jon Ronson

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Columbine, computer age, credit crunch, Douglas Hofstadter, Downton Abbey, East Village, Etonian, false memory syndrome, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, late fees, Louis Pasteur, obamacare, Peter Thiel, Saturday Night Live, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Skype, telemarketer

They’re wearing their full clown makeup—they refuse to meet journalists without it—and are immediately delightful. They smoke, but considerately blow the smoke away from my face. “Oh, I’m sorry, let me put that out. That’s some bullshit on my part,” says Shaggy 2 Dope when he sees me flinch slightly away from it. But they also seem melancholy and preoccupied with the negative critical response to “Miracles.” Saturday Night Live just parodied it (“Fuckin’ blankets, how do they work?”), and the Internet is filled with amused and sometimes outraged science bloggers dissecting the lyrics. Violent J and Shaggy have been watching them, they tell me, feeling increasingly saddened and irate. “A college professor took two days out of her fucking life to specifically attack us,” says Violent J. “Oh yeah, she had it all figured out.”

pages: 290 words: 87,549

The Airbnb Story: How Three Ordinary Guys Disrupted an Industry, Made Billions...and Created Plenty of Controversy by Leigh Gallagher

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Donald Trump, East Village, Elon Musk, housing crisis, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive,, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, Menlo Park, Network effects, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, performance metric, Peter Thiel, RFID, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the payments system, Tony Hsieh, Y Combinator, yield management

These days, Airbnb is used by baby boomers, seniors, and so many other people—including celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Beyoncé—that some of its earliest users, those who considered themselves pioneers at the cutting edge of a social experiment, now feel it has gone too “mainstream.” And, like it or not, Airbnb has captured our imaginations. It has become part of the zeitgeist. It has been a punchline on Saturday Night Live. It has been written into the plotline of HBO’s Silicon Valley. It’s been the answer to a question on Jeopardy! A romantic comedy with mistaken Airbnb host-identity high jinks as its plot device can’t be far away. It’s been used by marketers to create clever brand extensions: for a few weeks before the latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie came out, in 2016, a listing showed up on Airbnb for the Turtles’ actual “lair,” an apartment in Tribeca the movie’s producers, Nickelodeon and Paramount Pictures, had converted into a themed hideout.

pages: 1,073 words: 302,361

Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World by William D. Cohan


asset-backed security, Bernie Madoff, buttonwood tree, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate raider, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, diversified portfolio, fear of failure, financial innovation, fixed income, Ford paid five dollars a day, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, hiring and firing, hive mind, Hyman Minsky, interest rate swap, John Meriwether, Kenneth Arrow, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, mega-rich, merger arbitrage, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, paper trading, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, price stability, profit maximization, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, South Sea Bubble, time value of money, too big to fail, traveling salesman, value at risk, yield curve, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

With Sullivan & Cromwell at its side, Goldman headed off the vast majority of the suits—the last one of which did not get settled until 1968—by compromising and settling. One lawsuit, involving comedian and movie star Eddie Cantor, rattled the firm’s partners especially, not only because Cantor asked for a huge sum in damages—$100 million—but also because Cantor made the firm a punch line in his stand-up routines, not unlike the way Saturday Night Live made fun of Goldman in November 2009 for being given doses of the swine flu vaccine before those perceived to be more in need. Or the way Jon Stewart did in January 2011 when he wondered in the wake of Goldman’s investment in Facebook, which some claimed helped Facebook bend SEC rules that require companies to be public if they have more than five hundred shareholders, “Oh Goldman, is there any regulation’s intent you can’t subvert?”

Regis Corporation, 11.1, 11.2 Salem, Deeb, 18.1, 19.1, 22.1, 22.2, 22.3 Salomon, William “Billy” Salomon Brothers, 5.1, 7.1, 9.1, 14.1, 14.2 Salomon Brothers, Inc., 9.1, 9.2, 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, 12.1, 12.2, 15.1, 16.1, 16.2, 16.3, 16.4, 16.5, 17.1, 19.1 capital of Goldman Sachs’s proposed merger with, 16.1, 16.2 securitization by, 18.1, 18.2 Salomon Brothers, overseas offices of Salovaara, Mikael, 12.1, 12.2 Samuelson, Paul, 13.1, 13.2 Sara Lee, 14.1, 17.1 Sarbanes-Oxley Act (2002) Saturday Night Live, 2.1 Saufley Field Savage, Thomas Savitz, Jonathan Sawyer, David Scaramucci, Anthony SCA Services Inc. Schapiro, Mary Schelling, Thomas Schiff, Jacob, 1.1, 1.2 Schoenberg, Eric Scholer, Kaye, 11.1, 11.2 Scholes, Merton Schrader, Edward Schur, Marvin Schwartz, David, 12.1, 14.1, 15.1 Schwartz, Harvey Schwartz, Laura, prl.1, 20.1 Schwartz, Mark, 15.1, 18.1 Schwarzman, Stephen, 22.1, 24.1, 24.2, 24.3 Scotland Scott, David Seagram Building, 6.1, 7.1, 8.1, 14.1 Sealy Sears, Roebuck, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 5.1 Dean Witter acquired by securities, see also derivatives; “mark-to-market”; mortgage-backed securities Securities Act (1933), 3.1, 4.1 Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), U.S., prl.1, prl.2, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 4.1, 5.1, 7.1, 8.1, 11.1, 11.2, 11.3, 12.1, 16.1, 23.1 American Stock Exchange investigated by Goldman Sachs investigated by, prl.1, prl.2, prl.3, prl.4, 7.1, 7.2, 17.1 insider trading laws and Penn Central lawsuit report of, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, 7.5, 7.6, 7.7 Securities Exchange Act (1934) Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association SEC v.

pages: 913 words: 265,787

How the Mind Works by Steven Pinker

affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Alfred Russel Wallace, Buckminster Fuller, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, double helix, experimental subject, feminist movement, four colour theorem, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Henri Poincaré, income per capita, information retrieval, invention of agriculture, invention of the wheel, John von Neumann, lake wobegon effect, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, Mikhail Gorbachev, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, Necker cube, out of africa, pattern recognition, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, random walk, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Saturday Night Live, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, sexual politics, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, Turing machine, urban decay, Yogi Berra

Any inference rule that computed “If it’s a cat, then it must be an animal” would be inoperative. The inferential role of our mental symbol cat would have changed almost beyond recognition. But surely the meaning of cat would be unchanged: you’d still be thinking “cat” when Felix the Robot slunk by. Score two points for the causal theory. A third view is summarized by the television ad parody on Saturday Night Live: You’re both right—it’s a floor wax and a dessert topping. Together the causal and inferential roles of a symbol determine what it represents. (On this view, Swampman’s thoughts would be about my mother because he has a future-oriented causal connection with her: he can recognize her when he meets her.) Causal and inferential roles tend to be in sync because natural selection designed both our perceptual systems and our inference modules to work accurately, most of the time, in this world.

If not, do alien life forms have the intelligence and the desire to develop space travel? If so, would they interpret the sounds and images as we intended, or would they hear the voice as the whine of a modem and see the line drawings of people on the cover as showing a race of wire frames? If they understood it, how would they respond? By ignoring us? By coming over to enslave us or eat us? Or by starting an interplanetary dialogue? In a Saturday Night Live skit, the long-awaited reply from outer space was “Send more Chuck Berry.” These are not just questions for late-night dorm-room bull sessions. In the early 1990s NASA allocated a hundred million dollars to a ten-year Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). Scientists were to listen with radio antennas for signals that could have come only from intelligent extraterrestrials. Predictably, some congressmen objected.

pages: 468 words: 145,998

On the Brink: Inside the Race to Stop the Collapse of the Global Financial System by Henry M. Paulson


asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, break the buck, Bretton Woods, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Doha Development Round, fear of failure, financial innovation, fixed income, housing crisis, income inequality, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, money market fund, moral hazard, Northern Rock, price discovery process, price mechanism, regulatory arbitrage, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, technology bubble, too big to fail, trade liberalization, young professional

But once the November midterm elections gave the Democrats control of both chambers, the need for flexibility became clear. Fortunately, I had been forging relationships on both sides of the aisle. One was with longtime Democratic congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts. With his gravelly voice and pugnacious demeanor, Barney is famous not only inside the Beltway but, for wildly different reasons, to fans of The O’Reilly Factor and Saturday Night Live. Barney’s a showman with a quick, impromptu wit. But he’s also a pragmatic, disciplined, completely honorable politician: he never once violated a confidence of mine. Secure in his seat, he pushes for what he thinks is right. To get things done, he’s willing to deal, to take half a loaf. Right from the start, he indicated that he was willing to work with me on GSE reform, hashing out the issues of portfolio limits and regulation.

pages: 541 words: 109,698

Mining the Social Web: Finding Needles in the Social Haystack by Matthew A. Russell


Climategate, cloud computing, crowdsourcing,, fault tolerance, Firefox, full text search, Georg Cantor, Google Earth, information retrieval, Mark Zuckerberg, natural language processing, NP-complete, profit motive, Saturday Night Live, semantic web, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social graph, social web, statistical model, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, text mining, traveling salesman, Turing test, web application

Retrieving Twitter search trends >>> import twitter >>> twitter_search = twitter.Twitter(domain="") >>> trends = twitter_search.trends() >>> [ trend['name'] for trend in trends['trends'] ] [u'#ZodiacFacts', u'#nowplaying', u'#ItsOverWhen', u'#Christoferdrew', u'Justin Bieber', u'#WhatwouldItBeLike', u'#Sagittarius', u'SNL', u'#SurveySays', u'#iDoit2'] Since you’re probably wondering, the pattern for using the twitter module is simple and predictable: instantiate the Twitter class with a base URL and then invoke methods on the object that correspond to URL contexts. For example, twitter_search.trends() initiates an HTTP call to GET, which you could type into your web browser to get the same set of results. As further context for the previous interpreter session, this chapter was originally drafted on a Saturday night, so it’s not a coincidence that the trend SNL (Saturday Night Live, a popular comedy show that airs in the United States) appears in the list. Now might be a good time to go ahead and bookmark the official Twitter API documentation since you’ll be referring to it quite frequently. Given that SNL is trending, the next logical step might be to grab some search results about it by using the search API to search for tweets containing that text and then print them out in a readable way as a JSON structure.

pages: 525 words: 138,747

Love All the People: Letters, Lyrics, Routines by Bill Hicks


friendly fire, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live

Notes Part 1: 1980-1991 Interview by Allan Johnson (14 September 1989) 1. Dick Clark (b. 1929) presented American Bandstand on the ABC network between 1957 and 1987. He was long known as America’s Oldest Teenager’. To this day he retains his boyish good looks. 2. A former Pentecostal Preacher, Sam Kinison (1953-92) featured on numerous cable comedy specials and guested regularly on Saturday Night Live. In the late eighties he performed with Mötley Crüe and Ozzy Osbourne. His comedy was marked by a relentless and sometimes disturbing honesty about sex, politics and religion. He died in a car accident in 1992. Hicks was 17 years old when he started to work with Kinison and the other Texas Outlaws, Riley Barber and Carl LaBove. ‘Some people may think Sam Kinison’s in one place, but I know where he is: He’s upstairs; he’s next to God.’

pages: 289 words: 113,211

A Demon of Our Own Design: Markets, Hedge Funds, and the Perils of Financial Innovation by Richard Bookstaber


affirmative action, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, backtesting, beat the dealer, Black Swan, Black-Scholes formula, Bonfire of the Vanities, butterfly effect, commoditize, commodity trading advisor, computer age, computerized trading, disintermediation, diversification, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Edward Thorp, family office, financial innovation, fixed income, frictionless, frictionless market, George Akerlof, implied volatility, index arbitrage, intangible asset, Jeff Bezos, John Meriwether, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, loose coupling, margin call, market bubble, market design, merger arbitrage, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, new economy, Nick Leeson, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, Pierre-Simon Laplace, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, risk tolerance, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, selection bias, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, statistical arbitrage, The Market for Lemons, time value of money, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, uranium enrichment, William Langewiesche, yield curve, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

And if the objective of markets is to provide information for the production sector, how do we justify the enormous overhead of a continuous market with real-time information? And just how much planning can you do when prices are jumping all over the place, anyway? These questions bothered me throughout my MIT catechism. Something was clearly missing in the academic view of the world, something that is immediately apparent once you step into the real world of Wall Street. In one news segment on Saturday Night Live, the newscaster announces, “And today on the New York Stock Exchange, no shares changed hands. Everyone finally has what they want.” The punch line raises a legitimate issue: Why is it that shares are always trading? Why are we never satisfied with what we have? The principal reason that prices vary, especially in the short term, is liquidity demand. That is, far more than acting as a conveyor of information, the objective of markets is to provide liquidity.

pages: 512 words: 162,977

New Market Wizards: Conversations With America's Top Traders by Jack D. Schwager


backtesting, beat the dealer, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Black-Scholes formula, butterfly effect, commodity trading advisor, computerized trading, Edward Thorp, Elliott wave, fixed income, full employment, implied volatility, interest rate swap, Louis Bachelier, margin call, market clearing, market fundamentalism, money market fund, paper trading, pattern recognition, placebo effect, prediction markets, Ralph Nelson Elliott, random walk, risk tolerance, risk/return, Saturday Night Live, Sharpe ratio, the map is not the territory, transaction costs, War on Poverty

Overall, he estimates that he has read approximately twenty-five hundred hooks on these subjects. The interview was conducted at Sperandeo’s “office,” which is located in the basement of his house, the main section of which he has converted to a lounge, complete with a fifteen-foot bar, seating for seventy-five, and an elaborate sound system. You almost expect Bill Murray to pop up and do his “Saturday Night Live” lounge singer act. 1 couldn’t help but smile at the image of a starchy pension fund trustee doing an onsite inspection of Sperandeo’s operations in considering him as a prospective manager for its funds. I found Sperandeo very relaxed and friendly—the type of person who is instantaneously likable. After nearly two decades as an independent or quasi-independent trader, why did you finally decide to start a money management firm?

pages: 402 words: 123,199

In the Company of Heroes by Michael J. Durant, Steven Hartov


back-to-the-land, friendly fire, job satisfaction, placebo effect, Saturday Night Live, trade route, urban sprawl, V2 rocket

But he must have warned his gunmen to be mindful of the leg, because they gripped my mat and carefully slid me from my corner of the room to the other side. The wooden bed arrived in pieces. It looked like something from a Sears catalogue, with a polished ornate headboard and smooth dowel supports. Watching four Somali mooryan assemble this thing was almost comical, like some skit out of Saturday Night Live. But when they brought in the mattress, dressed it up with my flowered cotton sheets, and came up with a pillow, it wasn’t funny anymore. Why are they doing all this? I asked myself. Yet at this point there was only one answer. They’re getting ready to release me. And still, I forced that thought down. No, don’t go there. Not yet . . . When they lifted me up and moved me onto the bed, the pain hardly registered, because my heart was already hammering in anticipation.

pages: 526 words: 155,174

Sixty Days and Counting by Kim Stanley Robinson


dumpster diving, energy security, full employment, Golden Gate Park, hiring and firing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), McMansion, megacity, mutually assured destruction, off grid, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Saturday Night Live, urban decay, Works Progress Administration

Indeed, here was the one realm in which Frank felt he must know Anna better than Charlie did—in effect, Charlie didn’t know enough to know just how smart Anna was. It was like it had been for Frank when trying to evaluate Chessman as a chess player. Once while waiting for Nick to get ready, Frank had posed the three-box problem to Anna, and she had repeated his scenario carefully, and squinted, and then said “I guess you’d want to change to that other box, then?” and he had laughed and put out his hands and bowed like the kids on Saturday Night Live. And this was just the smallest kind of indicator of her quickness—of a quality of thought Frank would have to characterize as boldly methodical. Charlie only grinned at the exchange and said, “She does that kind of thing all the time.” He would never see the style of her thought well enough to know how to admire it. Indeed what he called her quibbling was often his own inability to see a thrust right to the heart of a problem he had not noticed.

The Panic Virus: The True Story Behind the Vaccine-Autism Controversy by Seth Mnookin


Albert Einstein, AltaVista, British Empire, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky,, illegal immigration, index card, Isaac Newton, loss aversion, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mouse model, neurotypical, pattern recognition, placebo effect, Richard Thaler, Saturday Night Live, selection bias, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

I also work in a developmental clinic for premature infants, and often the most distressing part of dealing with these kids are things like feeding disorders or bowel disorders. . . . I thought it was nice that someone was finally paying attention.” Despite her open-mindedness, soon after the committee was formed, SafeMinds members began to refer to McCormick as “Church Lady,” a reference to the sanctimonious Saturday Night Live character played by Dana Carvey in the 1980s. At one point, Liz Birt was given a voodoo doll of McCormick so she could stick it “full of pins.” Another time, after McCormick had told reporters that thimerosal had not been “proven to be dangerous,” Lyn Redwood wrote in an e-mail, “I am out for blood here. It takes a lot to get me really pissed off, and she has done it.” Ironically, when the committee was being assembled, the IOM’s strenuous effort to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest had led to concern on the part of the vaccine establishment that committee members wouldn’t be able to understand the nuances of the issues under discussion.

pages: 506 words: 146,607

Confessions of a Wall Street Analyst: A True Story of Inside Information and Corruption in the Stock Market by Daniel Reingold, Jennifer Reingold


barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, corporate governance, estate planning, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fixed income, George Gilder, high net worth, informal economy, margin call, mass immigration, new economy,, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Telecommunications Act of 1996, thinkpad, traveling salesman

Our budget for the conference was an astounding $1.7 million, not as much as my investment banking colleague Frank Quattrone’s, but still a huge 70 percent more than what Merrill had allocated. And although I was still embarrassed by ostentation, I made sure the conference had all the trappings that executives and investors expected. I worked with a conference planner to choose entertainment, considering a lot of big-name performers, but ultimately chose the less showy comedian Darrell Hammond, the Saturday Night Live comedian most famous for his Bill Clinton impersonations. Unfortunately, Hammond bombed. He made a lot of jokes about undeserving rich people that didn’t go over too well in this crowd. We also set up something called a “Telecom Café,” which had tons of Bloomberg machines for instant quotes and research, and flat-screen TVs so people could watch financial news shows. CNBC set up its own studio on the premises where its correspondents could interview our speakers.

pages: 413 words: 117,782

What Happened to Goldman Sachs: An Insider's Story of Organizational Drift and Its Unintended Consequences by Steven G. Mandis


activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, algorithmic trading, Berlin Wall, bonus culture, BRICs, business process, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, complexity theory, corporate governance, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, disintermediation, diversification, Emanuel Derman, financial innovation, fixed income, friendly fire, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, high net worth, housing crisis, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, merger arbitrage, Myron Scholes, new economy, passive investing, performance metric, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Satyajit Das, shareholder value, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, The Nature of the Firm, too big to fail, value at risk

2 Even when Goldman thinks it is doing something good, its actions sometimes have negative consequences. Goldman’s procurement of doses of the swine flu vaccine for its employees when the drug was being rationed to hospitals and schools had consequences. People wanted to know why Goldman got as many doses for its bankers as a local hospital got, while people at much greater risk had to wait. “Can you not read how mad people are at you?” demanded Amy Poehler on a Saturday Night Live skit poking fun at Goldman. She added, “When people saw the headline, ‘Goldman Sachs Gets Swine Flu Vaccine’ they were super happy—until they saw the word ‘vaccine.’”3 Clearly, there is a gap between the way Goldman views itself and the way some people outside the firm view it, particularly regarding its government connections and the ethics surrounding its business practices.4 What are the organizational elements that prevent Goldman from noticing, or acknowledging, its changes or their consequences?

pages: 372 words: 115,094

Reagan at Reykjavik: Forty-Eight Hours That Ended the Cold War by Ken Adelman


anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, F. W. de Klerk, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Haight Ashbury, Kitchen Debate, kremlinology, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, old-boy network, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Saturday Night Live, Sinatra Doctrine, War on Poverty, Yogi Berra

The view from Western Europe came from ABC’s chief diplomatic correspondent, Barrie Dunsmore: “Certainly, in Western Europe . . . there will be great disappointment” now that the agreement to remove intermediate missiles from Europe was off. This was stated as fact, despite our hearing all afternoon that the Western European leaders would feel greater relief if the missiles stayed put. Jennings then turned to his ace White House correspondent Sam Donaldson. By then, Donaldson had become something special in Washington, his aggressive manner being heralded in journalism schools and parodied on Saturday Night Live. A merry pantomime had unfolded whenever the president came or went on the White House lawn. The press would be corralled behind barriers, from which Donaldson would yell out questions. The president would look in Donaldson’s direction, cup his hand behind his ear, and shake his head sadly while shifting his gaze to the waiting chopper, indicating that he couldn’t hear the question because of the loud, whirling blades.

pages: 692 words: 127,032

Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America by Shawn Lawrence Otto


affirmative action, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Berlin Wall, Brownian motion, carbon footprint, Cepheid variable, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, commoditize, cosmological constant, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dean Kamen, desegregation, double helix, energy security, Exxon Valdez, fudge factor, ghettoisation, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, mutually assured destruction, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, sharing economy, smart grid, Solar eclipse in 1919, stem cell, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, University of East Anglia, War on Poverty, white flight, Winter of Discontent, working poor, yellow journalism, zero-sum game

“But just to keep things in balance there is a widespread feeling among our young people that no one over 30 understands them.”14 These baby boomers, feeling powerless, needed an outlet for their anger and moral distrust of the older generation, so they adopted the protest songs of folk music. Singer-songwriter Bob Dylan became an overnight sensation, the “poet to a generation.”15 Satire became a dominant cultural art form, lampooning all kinds of authority for its hypocrisy and failure. The Graduate, Catch-22, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, MAD magazine, Dr. Strangelove, Saturday Night Live, and many other satirical cultural touchstones were fueled by rage against the dominant culture. The hilarious, humanitarian, childlike but darkly pessimistic novels of Kurt Vonnegut Jr. became runaway hits. In 1970, Vonnegut gave a commencement address at Vermont’s Bennington College in which he famously said, “Everything is going to become unimaginably worse and never get better again.”16 He cautioned the baby boomers that “we would be a lot safer if the Government would take its money out of science and put it into astrology and the reading of palms.

pages: 419 words: 130,627

Last Man Standing: The Ascent of Jamie Dimon and JPMorgan Chase by Duff McDonald

bank run, Bonfire of the Vanities, centralized clearinghouse, collateralized debt obligation, conceptual framework, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Exxon Valdez, financial innovation, fixed income, housing crisis, interest rate swap, Jeff Bezos, John Meriwether, laissez-faire capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, money market fund, moral hazard, negative equity, Northern Rock, profit motive, Renaissance Technologies, risk/return, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Saturday Night Live, sovereign wealth fund, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Chicago School, too big to fail, Vanguard fund, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

Reserve Primary Fund, a $64 billion money market fund that had been heavily invested in Lehman’s debt, broke the buck—its net asset value fell below the crucial level of $1 per share—and nearly collapsed, sparking mass withdrawals. About $500 billion was withdrawn from money market funds in the two weeks that followed Lehman’s collapse. On Tuesday, September 16, the government chose to rescue the insurance giant AIG with an $85 billion loan, just one day after Lehman had been deprived of such largesse. (By April 2009, the total amount thrown at AIG was $162.5 billion and climbing.) The firm was later mocked on Saturday Night Live for sending executives on a swank retreat just days after receiving the bailout funds. The next day, the Dow fell another 499 points. Investors, it seemed, were losing their last vestiges of faith in the system. On Friday, September 19, Hank Paulson and the Fed’s chief, Ben Bernanke, floated a bailout proposal to Congress that was not rejected out of hand. But the next day, Paulson sent a three-page document to the House of Representatives asking for hundreds of billions of dollars, with little or no detail as to how those funds might be spent.

pages: 1,061 words: 341,217

The Price of Silence: The Duke Lacrosse Scandal by William D. Cohan

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Bonfire of the Vanities, David Brooks, fixed income, medical malpractice, Robert Bork, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, union organizing

Mike Pressler, the former lacrosse coach, was also at the hearing. “It’s all about support,” he said. “It’s all about being there for them.” Asked whether a vindication for his three former players would mean vindication for him, he replied, “Like I said, I’m here for the guys and all those things will happen in time.” Were the players innocent? “We believe in the truth,” he said. “That’s what we believe.” Late that night, Saturday Night Live spoofed the lacrosse case in a skit that feautured comedian Amy Poehler as a “sour-faced” Nancy Grace, the outspoken television host, delivering a Christmas message. It turned out Poehler’s Grace was upset that many people had now concluded that Mangum was probably lying about being raped by Seligmann, Finnerty, and Evans. “You see, in recent years, our society has shown much greater sensitivity and compassion to victims of sexual assault, but what about those whose claims of sexual assault are almost certainly false?”

See also Reitman, Janet Roosevelt, Theodore, 237 Rose, Michael, 286 Rose, Tammy, 28, 71 Ross, Bobby, 546 Ross, John Brad (lacrosse player): Mangum identifies, 190, 191 Mangum identifies (falsely), 67 as McFadyen’s roommate, search of dorm room and, 116–17 not present at March 13 party, 116–17, 191 Rossen, Jeff, 597 Rouse, Katharine, 487–89 Royer, Chip, 355 Royster, Lee, 44 Rubenstein, David, 600 Rubin, Michael, 158 Russell, Hamish (lacrosse player), 267 Rutgers University, 217 Saacks, David, 75, 77, 79, 196, 572 Nifong’s contempt trial and, 572 Saeli, Brent, 122, 497 Safire, William, 339 Sale, Joyce, 34 Salovey, Peter, 159 Sandoval, Amada, 611 Sanford, Terry, 83, 142 Sarvis, Ed, 47, 50, 52, 58 Saturday Night Live, 436 Sauer, KJ (lacrosse player), 36, 37, 204 Saunders, Barry, 582, 589 Saunders, Dick, 288 Savarino, Debbie, 216, 577 Scales, Deacon James, 258 School of Hawthorne, The (Brodhead), 154 Schroeder, Rob (lacrosse player), 254–55, 270 Schumoski, Carole, 28 Selig, Scott, 68 Seligmann, Kathy, 261, 262–63, 266 60 Minutes interview, 475 Seligmann, Philip, 137, 261, 263, 378–79, 498, 517 Seligmann, Reade (lacrosse player), xi, 137, 255, 268 alibi for, 267, 271–72, 279, 281, 283, 285, 315, 323, 335–36, 385, 428, 476 arrest and posting of bail, 265–66 attempting to finish studies, 2006, 339, 366, 379 attorneys for, 261–62, 266, 270, 292–93, 314, 323, 428 (see also Cooney, Jim; Osborn, Kirk) bail and bail reduction, 260, 314, 338, 378–79 at Brown University, 547 cell phone records, 465–66 character and personality, 366, 385 charges against, 251 charges against dropped and AG declares innocent, 504–6 charges’ impact on life of, 366 civil lawsuit against Duke and financial settlement, 548, 568–71 civil lawsuit against Durham and Durham police, 581–84 decision not to return to Duke, 410, 457, 459, 485, 507, 547 Delbarton Medal awarded to, 554 DNA evidence and, 326, 335, 431, 434 Duke administration’s treatment of, 406 Duke’s reinstatement of, 410–11, 456–57 first hearing and harassment of, 336–38 girlfriend of, 263 home of, 251, 262, 366, 459 indictment of, 250, 260–63 interim suspension of, 269 letter to author, 603–4 life after exoneration, 602–4 Mangum identifies, 63, 67 Mangum identifies as her attacker, 190, 192, 283, 428 Meadows’s sympathetic article on, 459–60 media pursuit of, 266, 459 NTO photographs and, 78 opinion of Nifong, 530 rape charge against dropped, 447 refuses author’s request for interview, 604 search of dorm room, 269–71 Sheck and, 581, 602–3 60 Minutes and, 404, 406, 530 testimony at state bar trial against Nifong, 553–55 Semans, Mary, 181 “Sex, Scandal, and Duke” (Reitman), 355–60, 387, 399, 596 Shabazz, Malik Zulu, 303, 311, 312 Shabazz, Yusuf, 312 Sharpton, Al, 258, 273, 281 Shay, Andy, 340 Sheck, Barry, 581, 602–3 Sheehan, Ruth, 108–9, 320, 371–72, 413–14, 455–56, 476 Shelton, John, xi, 58 determination of Mangum’s mental illness, 25–26 dispatch to 610 North Buchanan Blvd., 24, 59 dispatch to Kroger market and account of Mangum state, 24–26, 256–57 doubts Mangum’s credibility, 27, 113 Mangum makes statement to, 27 Shepherd, James, 313 Sherwood, Chuck, 275 Sherwood, Devon (lacrosse player), 17, 275, 410 Good Morning America interview, 417–18 Shungu, Nick, 322 Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE), 45, 608 disaffiliation and rape allegation, 46 Sigma Nu “Halfway House,” 48 Simeon, Mark, 261, 282–83 Simon, Tanya, 403 “Sister Sasha,” 311 60 Minutes: Bradley segment on lacrosse case, 403–7, 408, 428, 437 Stahl segments on lacrosse case, 474–75, 476, 528–30 video of Mangum dancing and, 407, 408, 415, 515 Skorton, David, 608 Skube, Michael, 259, 454–55 Slate, 394 Smith, Alisa, 184 Smith, Bill, 389–90 Smith, David, 412 Smith, Dean, 2, 577 Smith, Gary, 60, 254 Smith, George, 176 Smith, Kathleen, 181, 348 Smith, Malbert, 136, 184 Smith, Mariecia, 26, 60, 364 Smith, Toni, 75 Smith, Wade, xii, 240, 249, 253, 325, 326, 382, 401, 506, 509, 565 on AG’s takeover of prosecution, 474 Nifong’s dropping of rape charge and, 448, 450 Nifong’s reaction to exoneration of players and, 525 Smith, Judge W.

pages: 1,201 words: 233,519

Coders at Work by Peter Seibel


Ada Lovelace, bioinformatics, cloud computing, Conway's Game of Life, domain-specific language, don't repeat yourself, Donald Knuth, fault tolerance, Fermat's Last Theorem, Firefox, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Guido van Rossum, HyperCard, information retrieval, Larry Wall, loose coupling, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, Metcalfe's law, Perl 6, premature optimization, publish or perish, random walk, revision control, Richard Stallman, rolodex, Ruby on Rails, Saturday Night Live, side project, slashdot, speech recognition, the scientific method, Therac-25, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, type inference, Valgrind, web application

Something I worry about a lot when I write, that I'm less worried about with a computer, is about the ways in which English is ambiguous. I'm constantly worrying about ways in which the reader might misinterpret what I've written. So I've actually spent a lot of time consciously crafting the mechanics of my prose style to use constructions that are less likely to be misinterpreted. My favorite Saturday Night Live sketch, even more than the bees or the wild and crazy guys, was a sketch where Ed Asner was on and he played the manager of a nuclear power plant going on vacation for two weeks. He walked out the door, saying, “Goodbye, everybody, I'm going. Remember, you can't give too much coolant to the nuclear reactor.” And they spend the next three minutes arguing over what he meant. Seibel: So when you're writing English, you're obviously writing for a human reader and you seem to contrast that to writing software, which is for a computer.

pages: 356 words: 186,629

Frommer's Los Angeles 2010 by Matthew Richard Poole


AltaVista, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, Donald Trump, El Camino Real, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, Haight Ashbury, Maui Hawaii, Saturday Night Live, sustainable-tourism, upwardly mobile

Cover $10– $20, plus 2 drink minimum. Groundling Theater L.A.’s answer to Chicago’s Second City has been around for more than 25 y ears, yet it r emains the most inno vative and funny gr oup in to wn. The skits change ev ery year or so, but they take ne w improvisational twists ev ery night and the satire is often sav age. The Groundlings were the springboar d to fame for P ee-Wee Herman, Elvira, and former Saturday Night Live stars Jon Lovitz, Phil Hartman, and Julia “It’s Pat” Sweeney. Phone for showtimes and reservations. 7307 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles. & 323/934-4747. Tickets $11–$21. The Improv A showcase for top stand-ups since 1975, the I mprov offers something different each night. Although it used to hav e a fairly active music schedule, the place is now mostly doing what it does best—sho wcasing comedy.

pages: 554 words: 167,247

Money, Politics, Back-Room Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System by Steven Brill


Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, business process, call centre, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, crony capitalism, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, employer provided health coverage, medical malpractice, Menlo Park, Nate Silver, obamacare, Potemkin village, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, the payments system, young professional

If Obama’s plan is enacted, ‘hospitals are likely to get more revenue than what they are pretending to give up.’ ” GETTING THE SIXTIETH SENATE DEMOCRAT Biden had done something important to advance healthcare reform beyond this ceremonial role in the hospitals deal. At the end of April, he had been instrumental in persuading Pennsylvania Republican senator Arlen Specter—a longtime friend and former Senate colleague facing a tough primary fight from a conservative challenger—to switch to the Democratic Party. On July 7, 2009, Specter’s switch became that much more important when Al Franken—the Saturday Night Live comedian turned Democratic Senate candidate in Minnesota—was sworn in following a recount battle that had lasted nine months. With the Democrats able to count on Vermont independent Bernie Sanders, they now had the sixty votes needed to get healthcare past a filibuster, provided they could corral all the Democrats. Senate majority leader Harry Reid immediately turned his attention to making sure that happened.

pages: 537 words: 200,923

City: Urbanism and Its End by Douglas W. Rae


agricultural Revolution, barriers to entry, business climate, City Beautiful movement, complexity theory, creative destruction, desegregation, edge city, ghettoisation, Gunnar Myrdal, income per capita, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, manufacturing employment, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Saturday Night Live, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, urban planning, urban renewal, War on Poverty, white flight, Works Progress Administration

Le Corbusier would have looked with horror at the higgledy-piggledy scattering of small groceries, oddly shaped hardware stores, and streets on which a seller of caged birds competed for space and attention with a saloon, all housed in buildings meant for some earlier use now long forgotten.56 The housing stock, built at ten discernable levels of expense and elegance, designed in a dozen or more very different architectural vocabularies, would for this cardinal of modernism have seemed nothing more than a dog’s breakfast of mistakes. So, too, from an accountant’s perspective would it seem a waste of resources to provide hundreds of tiny groceries across the city, and to operate civic organizations whose salable work could in good measure be replaced by television sets emitting Monday Night Football or Saturday Night Live. The manufacturing core of the city was itself less and less efficient in competition with alternative locations for the production of identical products in the years after 1950. During fevered bursts of demand, usually occasioned by warfare, industrial capacity elsewhere was absorbed so fully that New Haven’s aged plants could hold their own for orders not yet accommodated. The Vietnam War, over in 1975, was the last such spike capable of stimulating massive contracts for New Haven manufacturers.

pages: 423 words: 126,375

Baghdad at Sunrise: A Brigade Commander's War in Iraq by Peter R. Mansoor, Donald Kagan, Frederick Kagan


Berlin Wall, central bank independence, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, friendly fire, HESCO bastion, indoor plumbing, land reform, open borders, RAND corporation, Saturday Night Live, zero-sum game

As the activity reached a frantic peak, the task force engineer, hiding in a dark corner of the command post, finally (and sheepishly) admitted, “I guess I forgot to tell you we were in a blast window.” The explosions had been nothing more than demolitions set off by U.S. engineers to destroy old ordnance found in the area. The collective sigh of relief was audible, and then we laughed until our sides split. Saturday Night Live could not have written a more comic script. Besides interdicting arms traffic between Baghdad and the west, Task Force Ready’s other priorities centered on eliminating three elusive dangers: sus- 98 Bad Karmah pected insurgent cells, potential weapons caches concealed in the myriad of warehouses throughout the area, and clearing unexploded ordinance (uxo) that littered the landscape west of Baghdad.

pages: 554 words: 167,247

America's Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Backroom Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System by Steven Brill


Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, business process, call centre, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, crony capitalism, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, employer provided health coverage, medical malpractice, Menlo Park, Nate Silver, obamacare, Potemkin village, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, the payments system, young professional

If Obama’s plan is enacted, ‘hospitals are likely to get more revenue than what they are pretending to give up.’ ” GETTING THE SIXTIETH SENATE DEMOCRAT Biden had done something important to advance healthcare reform beyond this ceremonial role in the hospitals deal. At the end of April, he had been instrumental in persuading Pennsylvania Republican senator Arlen Specter—a longtime friend and former Senate colleague facing a tough primary fight from a conservative challenger—to switch to the Democratic Party. On July 7, 2009, Specter’s switch became that much more important when Al Franken—the Saturday Night Live comedian turned Democratic Senate candidate in Minnesota—was sworn in following a recount battle that had lasted nine months. With the Democrats able to count on Vermont independent Bernie Sanders, they now had the sixty votes needed to get healthcare past a filibuster, provided they could corral all the Democrats. Senate majority leader Harry Reid immediately turned his attention to making sure that happened.

pages: 649 words: 172,080

Hunting in the Shadows: The Pursuit of Al Qa'ida Since 9/11: The Pursuit of Al Qa'ida Since 9/11 by Seth G. Jones

airport security, battle of ideas, defense in depth, drone strike, Google Earth, index card, Khyber Pass, medical residency, Murray Gell-Mann, RAND corporation, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, trade route, WikiLeaks

The Mickey Mouse Project In November 2008, the same month as the Mumbai attacks, Lashkar-e-Taiba members discussed a new operation with Headley: targeting the Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten. Headley cryptically hinted at his intention in a 2008 posting on an on-line forum called “abdalians7479,” which mostly included friends from Headley’s high school in Pakistan, Cadet College Hasan Abdal.49 “Everything is not a joke,” he wrote in the exchange, which was monitored by U.S. intelligence agencies. “We are not rehearsing a skit on Saturday Night Live. Call me old-fashioned but I feel disposed towards violence for the offending parties, be they cartoonists from Denmark or Sherry Jones (Author of Jewel of Medina) or Irshad Manji (Liberal Muslim trying to make Lesbianism acceptable in Islam, amongst other things). They never started debates with folks who slandered our Prophet, they took violent action,” he said, referring to the early followers of Muhammad.50 Lashkar-e-Taiba members gave Headley a thumb drive with basic economic and other information about Denmark, as well as photographs of two individuals they were interested in assassinating.

pages: 827 words: 239,762

The Golden Passport: Harvard Business School, the Limits of Capitalism, and the Moral Failure of the MBA Elite by Duff McDonald

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Bayesian statistics, Bernie Madoff, Bob Noyce, Bonfire of the Vanities, business process, butterfly effect, capital asset pricing model, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, deskilling, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, Donald Trump, family office, financial innovation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, income inequality, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job-hopping, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, Menlo Park, new economy, obamacare, oil shock, pattern recognition, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit maximization, profit motive, pushing on a string, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, random walk, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, Thorstein Veblen, union organizing, urban renewal, Vilfredo Pareto, War on Poverty, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce, Y Combinator

That’s the thing about HBS—tens of thousands of people have graduated from the School over the years, and while they naturally choose to emphasize the success stories while downplaying the less than successful ones, the image of the School as a preeminent training ground for the supersuccessful is unquestionably the result of a kind of survivorship bias. If your company—or your career—has stalled out, they simply stop talking about it. Consider the winner of the Student Business portion of the School’s 2014 New Venture Competition. The victor, an online butler called Alfred, could serve as a Saturday Night Live parody of a startup. Unlike the engineering-driven ideas you’re likely to see coming out of the likes of Stanford or MIT, Alfred is simply high-concept marketing, a virtual butler for people too busy to make their own bed. For $128 a month, Alfred’s butlers will tidy your apartment weekly, deliver your groceries, and pick up your dry cleaning. It’s a dumb idea, evidenced by the fact that by the time they’ve reached number four in a list of its benefits, they’re reduced to claiming that the service delivers “peace of mind.”

pages: 1,117 words: 305,620

Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield by Jeremy Scahill


active measures, air freight, anti-communist, blood diamonds, business climate, citizen journalism, colonial rule, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, drone strike, failed state, friendly fire, Google Hangouts, indoor plumbing, Islamic Golden Age, land reform, Mohammed Bouazizi, Naomi Klein, private military company, Project for a New American Century, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, WikiLeaks

Panetta, Gates, Vickers and several other core members of the team planning the bin Laden raid were there as well. Obama’s demeanor revealed nothing about the high-stakes preparations that were taking place on the other side of the globe. Instead, the president appeared calm and jovial, cracking a number of jokes, including one targeting billionaire Donald Trump, who was in the audience. Trump had been on a media rampage, promoting his inane theory that the president was not a US citizen. Saturday Night Live star Seth Meyers, who hosted the dinner, actually made a joke about bin Laden, obviously unaware that a number of people in the room were intimately involved in planning his imminent demise. “People think bin Laden is hiding in the Hindu Kush,” Meyers said. “But did you know that every day from 4 to 5 p.m. he hosts a show on C-SPAN?” The camera panned to the president laughing heartily. IN AFGHANISTAN, the final briefing before the launch of Operation Neptune Spear was “standing room only,” Bissonnette wrote, with SEALs from the other squadron on the base packing in.

pages: 898 words: 266,274

The Irrational Bundle by Dan Ariely


accounting loophole / creative accounting, air freight, Albert Einstein, Alvin Roth, assortative mating, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Broken windows theory, Burning Man, business process, cashless society, Cass Sunstein, clean water, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, end world poverty, endowment effect, Exxon Valdez, first-price auction, Frederick Winslow Taylor, fudge factor, George Akerlof, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lake wobegon effect, late fees, loss aversion, Murray Gell-Mann, new economy, Peter Singer: altruism, placebo effect, price anchoring, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, Saturday Night Live, Schrödinger's Cat, second-price auction, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, ultimatum game, Upton Sinclair, Walter Mischel, young professional

.* On top of that, even if both Janet and Julia accurately described themselves as having a sense of humor, what strikes one person as funny is not always funny to another. People who enjoy the Three Stooges may not appreciate Monty Python’s Flying Circus. David Letterman fans may not think much of The Office. Fans of any of these can rightfully claim to have a good sense of humor, but only by experiencing something with another person—say, watching Saturday Night Live together, either in person or in a virtual world—can you tell whether your senses of humor are compatible. SPEED DATING FOR OLDER ADULTS By the way, having an external object to react to works equally well in not-so-romantic encounters. Some time ago, Jeana Frost and I tried to run some speed-dating events for older (age sixty-five and above) adults. The objective was to open up the social circles of people who had just moved to a retirement community and, by doing so, improve their happiness and health.* We expected our speed-dating events to be a great success, but the first few were failures.

pages: 1,242 words: 317,903

The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan by Sebastian Mallaby

airline deregulation, airport security, Andrei Shleifer, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, balance sheet recession, bank run, barriers to entry, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bretton Woods, central bank independence, centralized clearinghouse, collateralized debt obligation, conceptual framework, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency peg, energy security, equity premium, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, Flash crash, forward guidance, full employment, Hyman Minsky, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, inventory management, invisible hand, Kenneth Rogoff, Kitchen Debate, laissez-faire capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, market bubble, market clearing, Martin Wolf, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, new economy, Nixon shock, Northern Rock, paper trading, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, Plutocrats, plutocrats, popular capitalism, price stability, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, savings glut, secular stagnation, short selling, The Great Moderation, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, unorthodox policies, upwardly mobile, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y2K, yield curve, zero-sum game

They spent their wedding night at home, and two days later they were doing one of the things they liked best: attending a state dinner at the White House. Andrea wore another Oscar de la Renta creation, this one a black lace gown; conveniently, the designer was a friend, and never mind the fact that Alan had first come to know him when he was dating Barbara. Sitting at the president’s table at the state dinner, Andrea found herself with Dan Aykroyd, famous for his starring roles in The Blues Brothers and Saturday Night Live; and Marylouise Oates, who had befriended the Clintons during the anti-Vietnam protests of the 1960s. At one point in the evening, Aykroyd and Oates burst into song, belting out an old Beatles number as though Bobby Kennedy had not yet been shot and Richard Nixon were still the enemy. Andrea could not help feeling that the solemn portrait of Abraham Lincoln hanging in the State Dining Room clashed oddly with the sixties ballad; for Alan, naturally, the dissonance was even more awkward.6 The Clintonites’ roots were in the counterculture he had battled as a Nixon aide.

pages: 1,351 words: 385,579

The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker


1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, availability heuristic, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, Broken windows theory, California gold rush, Cass Sunstein, citation needed, clean water, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, Columbine, computer age, conceptual framework, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, crack epidemic, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, delayed gratification, demographic transition, desegregation, Doomsday Clock, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Glaeser,, European colonialism, experimental subject, facts on the ground, failed state, first-past-the-post, Flynn Effect, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, fudge factor, full employment, George Santayana, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, global village, Henri Poincaré, Hobbesian trap, humanitarian revolution, impulse control, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, lake wobegon effect, libertarian paternalism, long peace, loss aversion, Marshall McLuhan, mass incarceration, McMansion, means of production, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Singer: altruism, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Republic of Letters, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, security theater, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, statistical model, stem cell, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, Turing machine, ultimatum game, uranium enrichment, V2 rocket, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

Maybe an aggressive Chavismo will spill out of Venezuela and incite Marxist insurgencies and brutal counterinsurgencies throughout the developing world. Perhaps at this very moment terrorists from some liberation movement no one has heard of are plotting an attack of unprecedented destruction, or an eschatological ideology is fermenting in the mind of a cunning fanatic who will take over a major country and plunge the world back into war. As the Saturday Night Live news analyst Roseanne Roseannadanna observed, “It’s always something. If it’s not one thing, it’s another.” But it is just as foolish to let our lurid imaginations determine our sense of the probabilities. It may always be something, but there can be fewer of those things, and the things that happen don’t have to be as bad. The numbers tell us that war, genocide, and terrorism have declined over the past two decades—not to zero, but by a lot.

Eastern USA by Lonely Planet

1960s counterculture, active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, bike sharing scheme, Bretton Woods, British Empire, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, collective bargaining, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, Donald Trump, East Village, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute cuisine, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, immigration reform, information trail, interchangeable parts, jitney, license plate recognition, Mason jar, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, Menlo Park, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, the built environment, the High Line, the payments system, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, Works Progress Administration, young professional

Shows that give an Eastern USA perspective include: » The Sopranos: Mafia, murder, and marriage in New Jersey, plus a lot of trips to the psychologist’s office. » The Wire: Politicians versus police versus drug dealers on the mean streets of Baltimore. » Dexter: Can a serial killer have morals? A Miami police detective with a big secret proves that the answer just may be ‘yes.’ » Tremé: New Orleans gets its close-up in this drama of the city’s historic African American neighborhood trying to rebuild post-Katrina. » 30 Rock: OK, this one’s not on cable, but airs on regular ol’ network TV. It’s comedy queen Tina Fey’s brainchild, inspired by her years writing for Saturday Night Live. THEATER Eugene O’Neill put American drama on the map with his trilogy Mourning Becomes Electra (1931), which sets a tragic Greek myth in post-Civil War New England. O’Neill was the first major US playwright, and is still widely considered to be the best. Best Modern Art Museums »Museum of Modern Art, NYC »Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC »Salvador Dalí Museum, St Petersburg, FL »Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh After WWII two playwrights dominated the stage: Arthur Miller, who famously married Marilyn Monroe and wrote about everything from middle-class male disillusionment ( Death of a Salesman, 1949) to the mob mentality of the Salem Witch Trials ( The Crucible, 1953); and Tennessee Williams, whose explosive works The Glass Menagerie (1945), A Streetcar Named Desire (1947) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955) dig deep into the Southern psyche.

France (Lonely Planet, 8th Edition) by Nicola Williams


active transport: walking or cycling, back-to-the-land, bike sharing scheme, British Empire, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, Columbine, double helix, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute couture, haute cuisine, Henri Poincaré, Honoré de Balzac, illegal immigration, industrial robot, information trail, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Louis Blériot, Louis Pasteur, low cost carrier, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, Murano, Venice glass, pension reform, QWERTY keyboard, ride hailing / ride sharing, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, Sloane Ranger, supervolcano, trade route, urban renewal, urban sprawl, V2 rocket

Has retro-themed nights from 10pm every Tuesday and a house-and-electro-oriented DJ from 10.30pm on Friday and Saturday. Miss Marple ( 03 20 39 85 92;, in French; 18 rue de Gand; 4pm-midnight Mon-Thu, 4pm-1am Fri, 4pm-2am Sat) A friendly and unpretentious lesbian and gay bar that welcomes hétéros under its crystal chandeliers. The upstairs lounge features 1970s retro styling; the art on the walls changes monthly. There’s a DJ from 10pm on some Friday and Saturday nights. LIVE MUSIC The Orchestre National de Lille ( 03 20 12 82 40;, in French; adult €18-30, under 28yr €10) plays in the circular Nouveau Siècle concert hall (place Pierre Mendès-France; Rihour). NIGHTCLUBS Although you no longer have to cross the Belgian frontier (eg to Gand) to dance past 4am, some locals still do because, they say, the techno is edgier, the prices lower, substances more available and the closing time even later (1pm!)

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Rationality: From AI to Zombies by Eliezer Yudkowsky

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anthropic principle, anti-pattern, anti-work, Arthur Eddington, artificial general intelligence, availability heuristic, Bayesian statistics, Berlin Wall, Build a better mousetrap, Cass Sunstein, cellular automata, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, correlation does not imply causation, cosmological constant, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dematerialisation, discovery of DNA, Douglas Hofstadter, Drosophila, effective altruism, experimental subject, Extropian, friendly AI, fundamental attribution error, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hindsight bias, index card, index fund, Isaac Newton, John Conway, John von Neumann, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Pasteur, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, money market fund, Nash equilibrium, Necker cube, NP-complete, P = NP, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Pierre-Simon Laplace, placebo effect, planetary scale, prediction markets, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Rubik’s Cube, Saturday Night Live, Schrödinger's Cat, scientific mainstream, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, Solar eclipse in 1919, speech recognition, statistical model, Steven Pinker, strong AI, technological singularity, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the map is not the territory, the scientific method, Turing complete, Turing machine, ultimatum game, X Prize, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

“Witch,” itself, is a label for some extraordinary assertions—just because we all know what it means doesn’t mean the concept is simple. An enormous bolt of electricity comes out of the sky and hits something, and the Norse tribesfolk say, “Maybe a really powerful agent was angry and threw a lightning bolt.” The human brain is the most complex artifact in the known universe. If anger seems simple, it’s because we don’t see all the neural circuitry that’s implementing the emotion. (Imagine trying to explain why Saturday Night Live is funny, to an alien species with no sense of humor. But don’t feel superior; you yourself have no sense of fnord.) The complexity of anger, and indeed the complexity of intelligence, was glossed over by the humans who hypothesized Thor the thunder-agent. To a human, Maxwell’s equations take much longer to explain than Thor. Humans don’t have a built-in vocabulary for calculus the way we have a built-in vocabulary for anger.

USA Travel Guide by Lonely, Planet

1960s counterculture, active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Asilomar, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, big-box store, bike sharing scheme, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Burning Man, California gold rush, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, Donald Trump, Donner party, East Village, edge city, El Camino Real, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, global village, Golden Gate Park, Guggenheim Bilbao, Haight Ashbury, haute couture, haute cuisine, Hernando de Soto, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, immigration reform, information trail, interchangeable parts, intermodal, jitney, license plate recognition, Mars Rover, Mason jar, mass immigration, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, Menlo Park, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, off grid, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, stealth mode startup, stem cell, supervolcano, the built environment, The Chicago School, the High Line, the payments system, trade route, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional, Zipcar

Praised for their intellectual and cultural weight in addition to their sheer entertainment values, these recent small screen heavyweights prove that ‘good TV’ doesn’t have to be an oxymoron. Of course, ‘good’ American TV has been around for a long time, whether through artistic merit or cultural and political importance. The 1970s comedy All in the Family aired an unflinching examination of prejudice, as embodied by bigoted patriarch Archie Bunker, played by Carroll O’Connor. Similarly, the sketch-comedy show Saturday Night Live, which debuted in 1975, pushed social hot buttons with its subversive, politically charged humor. In the 1980s, videotapes brought movies into American homes, blurring the distinction between big and small screens, and the stigma Hollywood attached to TV slowly faded. Another turning point in this decade was The Cosby Show, starring comedian Bill Cosby. While not the first successful African American show, it became the nation’s highest-rated program and spurred more multicultural TV shows.