Friday, October 22, 2021

Listening to the Client

 Quartz – Scott Nover: “Few assets are as volatile as cryptocurrencies. In the last year,  the price of Bitcoin nearly quintupled to a new high in April before losing half of its value and then rebounding. Almost all cryptocurrencies still fluctuate wildly, making them attractive for investors but risky assets for people who want to use them for one of their intended purposes: money to pay for goods and services. That’s made stability a rare—and valuable—quality in the world of cryptocurrencies. A host of “stablecoins” are emerging to serve this need. These cryptocurrencies run on blockchains ostensibly tied to the value of government-backed currencies like the US dollar or precious metals such as silver or gold. The largest stablecoins by market capitalizationare tether, USD Coin, Binance USD, dai, and terraUSD, all tied to the US dollar, although dozens exist with an aggregate market capitalization of more than $100 billion. But virtually none of these coins are regulated like fiat currencies or commodities. Without regulation and oversight, there’s not much assurance customers are buying what they’re sold. Despite becoming an important fixture in modern finance, some even dip below the value of the currency to which they are supposedly tied. As is the case with all crypto, it’s still the Wild West…”

Officials Double Down on “Let ‘Er Rip” Strategy, Placing Undue Faith in Vaccines as Regions With High Vaccinations Suffer Infection Spikes

Public health officials are again placing too much faith in vaccines as they end key international travel restrictions.

“To ask only questions we can answer is a failure of imagination” — a brief appreciation of philosophy from Eric Schwitzgebel (UC Riverside

Slaw – Heather Gray-Grant – “In over 30 years of working with law firms on improving productivity and profitability, I’ve seen countless marketplace surveys on the incredible value of client feedback mechanisms. In many instances it’s been labelled as one of the fastest and most effective ways to boost firm revenue. So, you’d think that law firms would be all over this business practice as a standard operating procedure. But…not so much. Two decades ago, law firm management expert Jim Durham conducted a survey of 100 MPs to see how many of their firms had client feedback programs. Around 20% of them did (or were at least planning to put them into place). More recently, Jim asked the same question of a room full of marketing directors. The response? About 20%. We haven’t come far at all, baby…”

TechDirt: “The quickest way to a warrantless search is obtaining consent. But consent obtained by officers isn’t always consent, no matter how it’s portrayed in police reports and court testimony. Courts have sometimes pointed this out, stripping away ill-gotten search gains when consent turned out to be [extremely air quotation marks] “consent.” Such is the case in this court decision, brought to our attention by Language barriers are a thing, and it falls on officers of the law to ensure that those they’re speaking with understand clearly what they’re saying, especially when it comes to actions directly involving their rights. It all starts with a stop. A pretextual one at that, as you can see by the narrative recounted by the court…”

Washington Post: “An unexplained Amazon charge on your credit card bill. An email asking you to confirm a password change request. A moment of confusion when your usual Google log-in details don’t work. These are all-too-common signs that someone has gained — or is trying to gain — access to your accounts. Hacks and data breaches have become a persistent part of life in the 21st century, and the proof is in the news. Ransomware has crippled towns and cities, T-Mobile lost control over millions of people’s personal information, Apple recently released software updates to plug security holes and Twitch had all of its source code — along with information about streamers’ pay — leaked. New research from the Identity Theft Resource Center showsthat the number of publicly reported data breaches from the beginning of 2021 to the end of September totaled 1,291, a 17% increase from the total reported throughout all of 2020…”

At the New York Fed: Implications of Federal Reserve Actions in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic Liberty Street Economics


“A Glorious Mess.” On Confronting the Complexities of Storytelling with Anthony Bourdain Literary

The Music Critic Who Tried to Disappear The Honest Broker. Whitney Balliett. Well worth a read, especially for jazz listeners.

Goya at the Fondation Beyeler, Basel — ‘the best exhibition in years’ FT

The art of dark persuasion. What causes sensible people to do things they might not otherwise do?... more  dark art 

37 Digital Tools for Running Business Experiments – A Shortlist to Get Started Quick by Nicholas Himowicz on October 06, 2021. “There are so many tools out there for running business experiments online. It can be a little bit daunting to orient yourself. So here are 9 experiments from Testing Business Ideas by David Bland and Alex Osterwalder, along with 37 digital tools to get you started. This post is based on this Tweet from David J. Bland.”