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James M. Scott W. W. Norton & Company

A brand new book, Rampage, details the absolutely barbaric behavior by the Japanese during the World War Two battles for control of the Philippines.  Don’t read it unless you have a strong stomach for barbarity against civilians. Which brings us to a couple questions. First of all,  how can a culture that is thousands of years old change so quickly? We’ve lived in Japan, and, even a generation ago, even their biggest cities like Tokyo were, and are, super safe. It’s impossible to imagine the white collared salarymen of Japan engaging in violence. Japan is now a country with a diminishing birthrate, in part because the people seem more interested in porn than actual sex.  Japanese men now seem most interested in getting drunk with their office workers, reading comic books, and maybe groping a woman on the subway. But just a few generations ago Japanese soldiers were barbaric, engaging in gruesome violence and rape. This occurred not just in the Philippines, but even more notably in the Rape of Nanking.  Have the Japanese people changed at some fundamental level as a result of their defeat in World War Two and the complete dismemberment of their society?  Or are all the changes a result of changed circumstance? Interesting questions explored in this book, but with more of a commercial angle. Secondly, there is an almost endless stream of American books and movies about the evils and barbarities of Nazism during World War Two, but far fewer about the equally savage activities of the Japanese. Why?

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Halsey Hopeless Fountain Kingdom

If you listen to rap - and we hope you don't - you'll notice that the overriding theme is basically "How great I am! No one thought I would be anything, but now I'm just so great". Halsey has a different approach; She's telling you you'll be disappointed if you actually meet her, even if you're a big fan. More importantly, the song is captivating.

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Michael Bentt, Surya Bonaly, Mauro Prosperi 

We’ve highlighted one of the excellent episodes of this series before. Today we’re recommending the whole series about athletes who have been defeated and profited in some way by that defeat by learning something about themselves by changing direction,

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Zac Efron, Emily Ratajkowski Max Joseph

America is, and always has been, about aspiration. Starting with nothing and achieving what seemed impossible. The specific aspirations change, but the idea doesn't. In this case, a young man living in a group house has a dream to become a producer of electronic music. A well done and entertaining flick with some big name young actors.

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Groom Media Quotes
Abraham Lincoln
I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. ,,


- Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865)
16th President of the United States

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Smart People - Stupid Quotes
David Karp, CEO & Founder at Tumblr, on how Tumblr is run.

Profitability has never been a particularly important milestone.

I have a very rudimentary understanding of how Tumblr actually works these days.

I’m not super-passionate about how we run the company.

David Karp, CEO & Founder at Tumblr, on how Tumblr is run.
Okay, we'll assume that if someone can create Tumblr, and sell it to Yahoo, they've got to be smart right? But to say the things above they have to be either just stupid or grossly pretentious.

Mr. Karp, you get that Tumblr is a business right? Not your private toy? And that Yahoo might actually care about silly things like profitability or business management? Or maybe you just want to make sure you can just take the money and run, by making it appear that you're a complete prima donna no one would want around a real business.

P.S. We were wrong. As it turned out, Yahoo didn't care about profitability or business management. Yahoo paid $1.1 billion for Tumblr in 2013, and the acquisition is effectively worthless now with the number of Tumblr users having decreased by at least 90% at last count. Yahoo turned out to be even stupider than Mr. Karp, and Verizon turned out to be stupidest of all. Tumblr failed, but managed to get bought by Yahoo. Yahoo failed, but managed to get bought by Verizon. Now who will buy Verizon?
New York Magazine, October 7, 2013 (quote 1, quote 2, quote 3)

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NetFlix and the Strange World of Modern Media

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Recent Television

Rise of the rest

Big Tech and Big Media have long had a world view that "the world", or the part that mattered, is really New York and San Francisco. Our study contains a joke made by a journalist that pretty well makes this point. Now some big-time tech investors are trying to expand tech to the rest of America to bridge the great digital divide.

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Recent Web

Gay? No problem. Christian? Big Problem

The disconnect between the tech world and the rest of America has become so obvious that even the popular show Silicon Valley on HBO, S5 Ep4 Tech Evangelist is parodying the hatred that techies have for Christianity. "America loves Christians" "Guys, it can’t be that big of a deal, right? Why should it be? America loves Christians." "Muslims are the enemy." "Well, that’s true in most of America, but not in Silicon Valley, sadly." ""Sadly"? You can be openly polyamorous." "And people here will call you brave." "You can put micro-doses of LSD in your cereal, and people will call you a pioneer." "But the one thing you cannot be is a Christian." "I find their theology to be illegitimate, and it’s clear that they are the source of the majority of the world’s problems." "But, fuck, Richard, even I wouldn’t just out a Christian like that." "Yeah, it was kinda fucked up." "Cool man, thanks." "[SOFTLY] Hey, I thought he wasn’t supposed to chime in." "Yeah, he’s not, but based on its merits, I’ll allow that one." "Guys, [STAMMERS] come on." "It can’t be that bad." "Richard! What the fuck did you do over there? So I just got off the phone with Colin over at K-Hole, and while he loves your tech, he’s considering blowing up the deal." "What? Just because one of my CEOs is Christian? It freaks people out in the Valley! Okay, so what do you want me to do, Monica? You want me to drop Deedee just because he’s Christian? The company’s not Christian." "It’s gay which is fine, right? Yeah! No, That plays great." See our study for more examples of the ways that techies despise the rest of America.

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