links for 2009-10-08

  • Much more important than working hard is knowing how to find the right thing to work on. Paying attention to what is going on in the world. Seeing patterns. Seeing things as they are rather than how you want them to be. Being able to read what people want. Putting yourself in the right place where information is flowing freely and interesting new juxtapositions can be seen. But you can save yourself a lot of time by working on the right thing. Working hard, even, if that's what you like to do.
  • The United States is the most admired country globally thanks largely to the star power of President Barack Obama and his administration, according to a new poll. It climbed from seventh place last year, ahead of France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Japan which completed the top five nations in the Nation Brand Index
  • But the Letterman story will not change anything about the secrecy that surrounds sexual relations between the powerful and the needy and vulnerable in showbiz. The fossilized sexism we see on Mad Men is alive and thrives in the TV and movie rackets. Everybody knows it happens and nobody talks about. The casting couch exists, but it is invisible in coverage of the entertainment racket.

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