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[10/22/23] What I read this past week
Why it's so expensive to build in America, Tennis Business Models, and More
In an effort to cut down on information overload, I’m trying to write down what I read and be more discriminating to cut down on the fluff that I’m putting in my brain.
I’m also trying to consolidate my recommendations, so I’m not recommending random articles to random people. I’ve linked the articles below, and have written my takes below the links. I invite you to send me anything that you’ve read and found helpful to this email as well.
Common Sense Medicine podcast #77: https://bit.ly/csm76
Why Is It So Expensive to Build Stuff in America? (The Ringer)
I'm delving into the world of infrastructure and real estate, even though I'm no expert in the field. It's apparent that the rising costs of construction in America can be attributed, at least in part, to the proliferation of regulations, particularly those introduced in the 60s and 70s to mitigate pollution. While these regulations achieved their goal, they inadvertently slowed down construction and increased expenses, mainly because they hindered the mechanization and automation of construction processes. The big takeaway here is that reconciling increased regulations with technology is a complex challenge, yet embracing technology is crucial for more efficient and faster construction. Drawing from my experiences with technology in healthcare, I'm curious about how zoning regulations can benefit from technological advances, even if I'm uncertain about the specifics.
The Model Is Broken: Revamping Tennis (With Potential Solutions) (Profluence Sports)
Team sports are becoming more popular, while individual sports are losing ground. They offer investment opportunities, better branding, and let athletes own their image. Players are the big draw at events like the U.S. Open, Wimbledon, and others, so why not bridge the pay gap between the stars and everyone else?
This article taught me that when there's money to be made, someone will jump on it. It's interesting to see the Major Pickleball League (MPL) getting a shout-out in the opening article ("Death of Individual Sports"). Keep an eye on how it develops.
Who profits most from America’s baffling health-care system? (The Economist)
I thought this article explained "Big Health" well, especially when it comes to those middlemen in healthcare, like insurance companies and drug distributors. But I don't quite agree with the article's last point. I'm somewhat hopeful about new healthcare players like Oscar Health and Mark Cuban's Cost Plus Drug Company, even though the article doesn't give them much credit. However, I do agree with the idea that having one company control everything, like UHG owning a PBM and care providers, could be a problem. It feels like a big issue if they decide whether you can have a colonoscopy or not, and maybe even a violation of antitrust laws.
What the Hell Is Happening With the Mütter Museum? (Philadelphia Magazine)
An interesting piece about a museum which I’ve heard a lot about. I think that displaying remains is okay as long as it’s educational, and that changing times also mean that we should reckon with our past decisions. I largely believe, though, that this is an issue where the remains should stay on display as a testament to education of the future generations.
The Matching Problem in Dating (Erik Torenberg)
I agree with this article wholeheartedly. I think that this is sort of a “red-pill” based argument but I can’t deny that I resonate with it. One of the reasons why I think this is an interesting piece is that women, on average, will go after the top 20% of men—is that specifically just for their income, attractiveness, or a combination of both? And having found someone who is off the “apps,” how does this work for men who are not on the app? It’s sad that most likely, people will turn to AI girlfriends and artificial wombs if we can’t solve the “excess male” and “excess female” shortage.
Renting in New York is quite a mess. I'm honestly taken aback by the new rule they've introduced, mainly because it seems like the city isn't too bothered by people who use short-term rentals. The real complaints are coming from landlords who've had the same tenants for generations and are frustrated that they can't kick them out to charge higher rents. Supporters of the rule to eliminate these short-term rentals argue that it's meant to free up apartments for New Yorkers, who are dealing with high rent prices and a lack of housing security. While I'm not a New Yorker yet (hopefully next year), it's just another reminder of how housing can be such a major financial burden.
Night of the Ginkgo (The New Yorker)
Some of you might be aware that I took a seed plants course during my college years. It was a fascinating journey, even though I wasn't planning to turn it into a career. What made it intriguing was how Oliver Sacks, a neurologist, found time to creatively write about his human experiences. I aspire to incorporate writing into my routine and explore more about the world that envelops us.