Saturday Night Live

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pages: 676 words: 203,386

The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to the Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific by David Bianculli

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Alistair Cooke, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, feminist movement, friendly fire, global village, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, period drama, pre–internet, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Steve Jobs, trickle-down economics, unpaid internship

It spawned movies, records, comedy stage tours, and Broadway musicals and greatly inspired the producer who was about to launch a new 1975 variety series called Saturday Night Live. Actually, and almost unthinkably, there were two variety shows called Saturday Night Live scheduled to premiere on U.S. TV in 1975. One had Bill Murray and Christopher Guest as regulars; the other one would as well, but not initially. The first show to arrive that year, in prime time on ABC, was Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell. Hosted by the abrasive co-host of ABC’s Monday Night Football and emanating from the same theater that until recently had housed The Ed Sullivan Show, this Saturday Night Live variety series counted Murray and Guest among its repertory company and premiered on September 20, 1975. Three weeks later, on NBC in late night, Lorne Michaels unveiled his new live weekend TV experiment, which, because of the title of Cosell’s program, premiered under the name NBC’s Saturday Night.

The history of Saturday Night Live, from the early cast members Chevy Chase and Bill Murray to such later crossover movie stars as Eddie Murphy, Mike Myers, Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, and Tina Fey, is a story of Hollywood careers being made by a late-night variety sketch series. And there’s plenty of TV history, too, from Coneheads and Samurais to “Wayne’s World” and Fey’s dazzlingly perfect imitation of Sarah Palin. Saturday Night Live has presented a monumental array of talent and comedy since its 1975 premiere. I know, because I’ve seen every single show. That’s not an idle boast or reckless hyperbole; it’s simple gratitude. When I was a postgraduate college student at the University of Florida, I talked my way into writing a review of the first episodes of Saturday Night Live for the local newspaper, the Gainesville Sun, by arguing that it was a new series aimed at a new generation and that someone from that generation should review it for the paper.

He’s trying, he’s experimenting, he’s pushing himself,” Groening concludes, “and it just feels very cinematic.” 3 VARIETY/SKETCH KEY EVOLUTIONARY STAGES Toast of the Town/The Ed Sullivan Show 1948–71, CBS Your Show of Shows 1950–54, NBC The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour 1967–69, CBS The Carol Burnett Show 1967–78, CBS Saturday Night Live 1975–, NBC Of all the TV genres considered in this book, variety may be the hardest to define and pin down. What is a TV variety show? A parade of talented acts, presided over by a host such as Ed Sullivan? Sure. Then is American Idol a variety show? And musical showcases, from American Bandstand to Shindig! and Hullabaloo? What about sketch shows, like Your Show of Shows and Saturday Night Live? And late-night talk shows that feature comedy sketches, from Steve Allen to Jimmy Fallon? A strong case could be made for “all of the above,” but let’s narrow the focus. Sketch shows, whether or not they include musical guests, yes.


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.


pages: 588 words: 193,087

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

Albert Einstein, Charles Lindbergh, Columbine, Donald Trump, Exxon Valdez, fear of failure, game design, illegal immigration, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, index card, Joan Didion, 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.


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.”


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.


Yes Please by Amy Poehler

airport security, Albert Einstein, blood diamonds, carbon footprint, Donald Trump, East Village, Google Hangouts, Pepto Bismol, Saturday Night Live, Skype, the medium is the message

A lot of people ask me if I always knew I was going to be on Saturday Night Live. I think the simple answer is: yes. I don’t mean to sound cocky. I didn’t know if I had the talent or drive, I just had a tiny little voice whispering inside of me. That same voice would tell me I would meet Carol Burnett someday, I would find love, I would be okay. We all have a tiny whispery voice inside of us, but the bad ones are usually at a lower register and come through a little clearer. I don’t know where the good voice came from. It was a mix of loving parents, luck, and me. But ever since I was a small child, I would look at places where I wanted to be and believe I would eventually be on the other side of the glass. I believed that someday in the future, I would be rehearsing onstage at Saturday Night Live while a gaggle of sophomore girls would be waving to me.

Every acting job feels like the end of the road. If you’re lucky, you get to peek at what is around the corner. It’s a privilege if a clear path is laid out that will take you to another work environment. It’s rare that someone builds a bridge to the next great thing. After Saturday Night Live my bridge was Michael Schur. The next great thing was Parks and Recreation.1 1 Note from Mike: My grandmother wanted me to be an engineer; being called a “bridge” is the closest I will ever get, and so I thank you. Mike and I were friends and coworkers at Saturday Night Live. He was a writer before I got there and ran “Weekend Update” during the Tina Fey/Jimmy Fallon years. Mike is a whip-smart Harvard grad who manages to be as compassionate as he is funny. He is a lover of justice, the underdog, and the good fight. Never is this demonstrated more than in his love for the Boston Red Sox.

But before I get to that . . . The last week of SNL before my son Archie arrived was incredibly exciting. The 2008 presidential race was almost a dead heat and the entire year leading up to the election had been a magical time to work on a live satirical sketch comedy show. Everything felt electric. The audience knew the ins and outs of every political story, and a lot of it had to do with what Saturday Night Live was doing. I think everyone was crushing it that season and the show had never been better. We could barely keep up with the daily goodies and produced four prime-time Weekend Update Thursday specials during September and October. I was eight months pregnant and did fifteen live shows in thirteen weeks. Everyone came on. I met then presidential candidate Barack Obama while I was dressed as Dennis Kucinich.


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, disruptive innovation, 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, Kickstarter, lateral thinking, 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, superconnector

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, http://www.emmys.com/awards/nominations/award-search (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,” http://www.comicstriplive.com/index.php/about-us/ (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.


You're a Horrible Person, but I Like You: The Believer Book of Advice by The Believer

Burning Man, haute cuisine, Kickstarter, Mahatma Gandhi, nuclear winter, Saturday Night Live

I think leaving a McSweeney’s around makes me look cool enough. Judd Fred Armisen Dear Fred: What do you think is the best way to tell my dad I’m a lesbian? I’m thinking he’s already suspicious since I’m thirty-one and haven’t yet brought a guy home. Jennifer Alfonso Tampa, FL Dear Jennifer: I’ll tell him. What’s his number? Let me practice what I’m going to say to him. “Hi, Mr. Alfonso? I’m Fred Armisen from Saturday Night Live on NBC.” No, no, no. “Hey! Señor Alfonso! Whatchoo’ doin’? Slap me five!” No. “Mr. Alfonso, this is an amazing, weird planet we live on. Look at that sky. Is there a name for such a beautiful color? Let’s talk about your daughter.” No. I’ll figure it out. But again, his number, please. Fred … Dear Fred: Which is better for cannabis, the cookie or the brownie? Or are we all off track? Should we explore other options, like marmalade or trail mix?

Best, Isabelle Chicago, IL Dear IZZY: There, I gave you an acronym-ish name. Try it on, see if it “works.” Have you ever been to a Cubs game? Try the deep-dish. Do you like white people playing the blues? How about white people listening to the blues? If “yes,” you’re all set. If “no,” you gotta go. I lived in Chicago and had some good times there. I also felt alienated by the “Da Bears” mentality. Sorry to bring up that Saturday Night Live sketch I helped write. Who invented the phrase “my bad”? That was “their bad” for sure. Bob … Dear Bob: I’m a Jew who doesn’t agree with the politics in Israel. When I explain this to my Jewish friends, they say I’m a self-hating Jew and anti-Semitic. But isn’t that as absurd as calling somebody unpatriotic for not blindly supporting the Bush administration? A Jew Without a Country Dear Jew-ish Person: What do you think about a professional indoor baseball league?

Lizz The Horrible People Aziz Ansari can be seen in the NBC series Parks and Recreation, as well as movies such as Funny People; I Love You, Man; and Observe and Report. He’s also one-third of MTV’s hit sketch comedy series Human Giant. Judd Apatow wrote and directed the films Knocked Up and Funny People and was the cowriter and director of The 40-Year-Old Virgin. He was also the executive producer of the television series Freaks and Geeks. Fred Armisen is, among other things, a repertory cast member on Saturday Night Live. This may not still be true when you’re reading this. Welcome to the future! Maria Bamford stars in her own Web sitcom on SuperDeluxe.com and in Comedy Central’s Comedians of Comedy. Her other appearances include Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and Comedy Central Presents … Maria Bamford. Todd Barry is a stand-up comedian who occasionally acts. He played Mickey Rourke’s mean boss in The Wrestler and the annoying bongo player on Flight of the Conchords.


pages: 702 words: 215,002

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: 821 words: 227,742

I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution by Craig Marks, Rob Tannenbaum

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.


Comedy Writing Secrets by Mel Helitzer, Mark Shatz

Albert Einstein, Donald Trump, elephant in my pajamas, fear of failure, index card, Kickstarter, lateral thinking, 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.


Reaganland: America's Right Turn 1976-1980 by Rick Perlstein

"Robert Solow", 8-hour work day, affirmative action, airline deregulation, Alistair Cooke, American Legislative Exchange Council, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Brewster Kahle, business climate, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, COVID-19, Covid-19, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, currency peg, death of newspapers, defense in depth, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Donald Trump, energy security, equal pay for equal work, facts on the ground, feminist movement, financial deregulation, full employment, global village, Golden Gate Park, illegal immigration, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, index card, indoor plumbing, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Julian Assange, Kitchen Debate, kremlinology, land reform, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Monroe Doctrine, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, New Journalism, oil shock, open borders, Potemkin village, price stability, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, rent control, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, traveling salesman, unemployed young men, union organizing, unpaid internship, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, wages for housework, walking around money, War on Poverty, white flight, WikiLeaks, Winter of Discontent, yellow journalism, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

A joyous chatter worked its way back through the rows of spectators, who started sprinting alongside, straining for a view, Jimmy and Rosalynn smiling and waving, nine-year-old Amy striking silly faces, as the first family walked the route of JFK’s funeral cortege in reverse, as if unwinding the traumas of the 1960s altogether. * * * THE “PEOPLE’S INAUGURAL,” THE PLANNERS dubbed it. Newsweek called it the “Denim Inaugural.” The Washington establishment proved underwhelmed. The night before, there had been a “New Spirit Inaugural Concert” at the Kennedy Center, featuring everyone from John Wayne to Johnny Cash to Aretha Franklin and the National Symphony. Dan Aykroyd of Saturday Night Live performed his Jimmy Carter impression (“Ah promise to be a lusty president”), which was when the guest of honor entered—laughing. He took his seat in the President’s Box in the first balcony, shared a secret with Amy, who giggled (the picture made the front pages), led a standing ovation for Loretta Lynn, then for the poet James Dickey, who called Carter a “mythic hero.” He received another “Hi, Jimmy!”

(“If I can’t find the answer before we go off the air, I will call Mike personally and give him the answer, if I can,” the president promised.) A thirteen-year-old suggested shipping snow to the West to help with their drought. A Mrs. Phyllis Rogers of Albuquerque asked if it might “be possible to eliminate the word ‘drug’ from drug store advertising” to discourage drug abuse, which the president said he thought was a splendid idea. (Saturday Night Live did an affectionate lampoon. One frightened caller was suffering a bad LSD trip. The president calmly talked him down: “You did some Orange Sunshine, Peter.… Do you have any Allman Brothers?…”) He held his first town meeting, in Clinton, Massachusetts. And allowed four NBC camera crews to spend an entire day in the White House, with portable microphones clipped to his and his staffers’ ties, affording NBC nearly carte blanche to choose clips for their A Day with the President documentary.

He had been a brash fixture in the city since 1961, when he defended beatniks arrested for performing in Washington Square Park without a permit. He was known as a liberal, had cosponsored the federal gay rights bill—the one introduced by Bella Abzug, who was running in first place in the mayoral race. Her flamboyant hats, abrasive manner, and uncompromising liberalism had made her a national celebrity, her candidacy heralded on Saturday Night Live, when Gilda Radner’s hard-of-hearing character Emily Litella asked if Abzug would throw her “cat into the ring.” Running on a promise to give every out-of-work civil servant his or her job back, she began the race ahead by a comfortable thirty-six points. Third place belonged to a wild card named Mario Cuomo. The son of an Italian grocery store owner, after graduating at the top of his class at St.


pages: 184 words: 58,557

The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee by Sarah Silverman

haute couture, index card, Nelson Mandela, Saturday Night Live, Skype

But that's why mantras need to be repeated--they're fucking hard to remember. So a heartfelt thanks to Kerry--the friend I deeply adore but get to enjoy only on special occasions. LIVE FROM NEW YORK, YOU'RE FIRED * * * The Happiest I Have Ever Been in a Public Toilet * * * In 1993, when I was twenty-two, I flew to Los Angeles to meet with Jim Downey and Lorne Michaels (the executive producer and head writer nonrespectively, of Saturday Night Live). They were looking to hire new writer-performers for the upcoming season, and I was one candidate among many to be interviewed. To the meeting, I wore my hair mostly down, with two small ponytails pulled off my face, mimicking a picture of Gilda Radner that had always stuck in my mind. Later that night, I was invited to the Coneheads premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theatre, and that's where my manager informed me that I'd gotten the job.

Later that night, I was invited to the Coneheads premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theatre, and that's where my manager informed me that I'd gotten the job. If women could ejaculate, I would have exploded hot jizz all over my manager's face. Instead, I hugged him. The only thing that kept me from melting to the floor was the fact that I was bouncing up to the ceiling. I could not believe it. I wanted to tell everyone. Nothing in the world--at least for a comedian--could be better than telling your friends that you're going to be on Saturday Night Live. Telling those very people with whom you reenacted all the "Sweeney Sisters" musical numbers, telling your mother who never said "cheeseburger" or "Pepsi" the same way after 1975. I don't know what to compare it to. I guess if you fixed clocks for a living, it'd be like getting to fix Big Ben. Learning you've been hired and telling everyone you know is one of the great joys of the SNL experience.

Not, I suppose, as difficult as living in a refugee camp in the Sudan, on the brink of starvation and murder, but I did find myself pretty tongue-tied. Still, I was able to show some prowess on the court, and I piqued Garry's interest enough that he came to see me do stand-up. About a year or so later, he and writer Alan Zweibel created a role for me on an episode of The Larry Sanders Show as one of the writers on the show-within-the-show. It was probably my biggest career thrill since getting hired to be an actual writer at Saturday Night Live. There was just one thing standing between me and a whole new level of career prestige: my agent. I got a call from Justin, the writers' assistant at Sanders, whom I knew from basketball at Garry's house. He said, "You should know this. I was asked to call your agent at CAA to get tape on you, so that the other writers here could get familiar with you and write the part in your voice. But when I made the request for your tape, your agent said, "Well, what's the part, because I've got lots of girls?"


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, en.wikipedia.org, 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.


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.


Care to Make Love in That Gross Little Space Between Cars?: A Believer Book of Advice by The Believer, Judd Apatow, Patton Oswalt

Albert Einstein, Donald Trump, illegal immigration, Saturday Night Live, side project, telemarketer

She will next be seen in the feature film Conan. Miscellaneous Canadian Rock Musicians: Owen Pallett is from Toronto. Steve Bays is from Victoria. A. C. Newman is from Vancouver. Sara Quin is from Calgary. Steven Page is from Ontario. John Samson is from Winnipeg. Laraine Newman is a writer/performer and a founding member of The Groundlings theater company. She’s an original cast member of Saturday Night Live. Her film, television, animation, and writing credits can be found on her website, larainenewman.com. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband of twenty-one years and their two teenage daughters. Patton Oswalt lives and drinks in Los Angeles. The Pleasure Syndicate is a comedy group that has written, collectively and individually, for The New Yorker, Esquire, The Onion, Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, and Vanity Fair, as well as the book SEX: Our Bodies, Our Junk.

The Pleasure Syndicate is a comedy group that has written, collectively and individually, for The New Yorker, Esquire, The Onion, Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, and Vanity Fair, as well as the book SEX: Our Bodies, Our Junk. Bob Powers is the author of several humor books, including Happy Cruelty Day! and You Are a Miserable Excuse for a Hero. His long-running humor website is girlsarepretty.com. Simon Rich is the author of two collections, Free-Range Chickens and Ant Farm, which was a finalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor. He’s written for The New Yorker, Saturday Night Live, and Mad Magazine. His first novel, Elliot Allagash, was published by Random House in 2010. Bob Saget has starred in many successful television shows, but he’s also been an out-of-his-mind stand-up comedian for over thirty years. From his HBO special to his scene-stealing cameos in Entourage and The Aristocrats, it’s always effective as Saget embraces his dark side. For full tour dates visit bobsaget.com.

Cintra Wilson is a culture critic and author whose books include A Massive Swelling: Celebrity Re-Examined as a Grotesque, Crippling Disease, Caligula for President: Better American Living Through Tyranny, and the novel Colors Insulting to Nature. She is currently writing the Critical Shopper column for The New York Times and working on her fourth book, Fear and Clothing: Unbuckling America’s Fashion Destiny. “Weird Al” Yankovic is a three-time Grammy winner and a sixth-grade spelling bee winner. His first children’s book, When I Grow Up, was recently released by HarperCollins. Alan Zweibel, an original Saturday Night Live writer, is currently finishing a new play titled Sunday Nights at 8:00 to be directed by Jerry Zaks; he’s also producing a documentary on the history of comedy with Steve Carell and David Steinberg, and writing a novel with Dave Barry.


pages: 394 words: 112,770

Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, centre right, disintermediation, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, forensic accounting, illegal immigration, impulse control, Jeff Bezos, Jeffrey Epstein, obamacare, Peter Thiel, Renaissance Technologies, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, Travis Kalanick, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

* * * The media has a careful if selective filter when it comes to portraying real life in the White House. The president and First Family are not, at least not usually, subjected to the sort of paparazzi pursuit that in celebrity media results in unflattering to embarrassing to mocking photographs, or in endless speculation about their private lives. Even in the worst scandals, a businesslike suit-and-tie formality is still accorded the president. Saturday Night Live presidential skits are funny in part because they play on our belief that in reality, presidents are quite contained and buttoned-down figures, and their families, trotting not far behind, colorless and obedient. The joke on Nixon was that he was pitiably uptight—even at the height of Watergate, drinking heavily, he remained in his coat and tie, kneeling in prayer. Gerald Ford merely tripped coming off Air Force One, providing great hilarity in this break from formal presidential poise.

Along with highlighting White House announcements—separating the trivial from the significant—the paper would also highlight, often in front-page coverage, the sense of the absurd, the pitiable, and the all-too-human. These stories turned Trump into a figure of ridicule. The two White House reporters most consistently on this beat, Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush, would become part of Trump’s constant refrain about the media being out to get him. Thrush would even become a fixture in Saturday Night Live sketches that mocked the president, his children, his press secretary Sean Spicer, and his advisers Bannon and Conway. The president, while often a fabulist in his depiction of the world, was quite a literalist when it came to how he saw himself. Hence he rebutted this picture of him as a half-demented or seriously addled midnight stalker in the White House by insisting that he didn’t own a bathrobe.

“How much influence do you think Steve Bannon has over me?” Trump demanded and repeated the question, and then repeated the answer: “Zero! Zero!” And that went for his son-in-law, too, who had a lot to learn. The media was not only hurting him, he said—he was not looking for any agreement or really even any response—but hurting his negotiating capabilities, which hurt the nation. And that went for Saturday Night Live, too, which might think it was very funny but was actually hurting everybody in the country. And while he understood that SNL was there to be mean to him, they were being very, very mean. It was “fake comedy.” He had reviewed the treatment of all other presidents in the media and there was nothing like this ever, even of Nixon who was treated very unfairly. “Kellyanne, who is very fair, has this all documented.


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, Joan Didion, Kickstarter, 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: 254 words: 68,133

The Age of Illusions: How America Squandered Its Cold War Victory by Andrew J. Bacevich

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, clean water, Columbian Exchange, Credit Default Swap, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, gig economy, global village, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, illegal immigration, income inequality, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Marshall McLuhan, mass incarceration, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, Norman Mailer, obamacare, Occupy movement, planetary scale, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Potemkin village, price stability, Project for a New American Century, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Saturday Night Live, school choice, Silicon Valley, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, WikiLeaks

I had inadvertently become a minor player in what was the political equivalent of a Potemkin village, pretending to debate matters that were not in actuality up for discussion. All the chatter served one purpose only: It distracted attention from the shackles imposed by what passed for conventional wisdom. As for Donald Trump, he was now commanding a far wider audience. During the Bush era, he prospered and became a major media presence, treated as both laughingstock and sage. In April 2004, he even hosted Saturday Night Live, one of the nation’s highest accolades. “Nobody’s bigger than me, nobody’s better than me,” he bragged after the show. “I’m a ratings machine.”27 In a sense, he was. Not surprisingly, ratings-conscious news networks and radio talk show hosts regularly booked him, not to discuss real estate deals or gambling casinos, but to get his views on the leading public policy controversies of the day.

Imagine, in fact, Trump and Hillary Clinton as contemporary equivalents of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. In that play, the two courtiers function as pawns in a drama they do not begin to comprehend. Much the same can be said of Trump and Clinton. In the 1960s, the playwright Tom Stoppard famously transformed Rosencrantz and Guildenstern into comic figures. It took the writers on Saturday Night Live to do the same with The Donald and Hillary. Notably, while advancing the plot, Shakespeare’s throwaway characters do not determine its outcome. Neither will the forty-fifth president and the woman who so desperately wanted his job. Shakespeare’s play turns on the fate of Hamlet, not on that of the expendable Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. What matters at present is not the fate of Donald Trump, who is likewise expendable.

Bush, “Speech to Congress” (September 20, 2001). 25. George W. Bush, “Second Inaugural Address” (January 20, 2005). 26. John Yoo, “The President’s Constitutional Authority to Conduct Military Operations Against Terrorists and Nations Supporting Them” (September 25, 2001). Yoo was then serving as deputy assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice. 27. http://www.nme.com/features/every-time-donald-trump-has-appeared-on-saturday-night-live-2019406, accessed May 22, 2018. 28. The Situation Room, CNN (March 16, 2007). 29. During President Bush’s first term, Rice served as national security adviser. In 2005, she succeeded Colin Powell as secretary of state. 30. Kimberly Amadeo, “U.S. Debt by President: By Dollar and Percent,” Balance (April 13, 2018). 31. “The Nobel Peace Prize for 2009,” https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/2009/press.html, accessed June 5, 2018. 32.


pages: 162 words: 51,978

Sleepwalk With Me: And Other Painfully True Stories by Mike Birbiglia

index card, Ralph Nader, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, telemarketer, traveling salesman

Taunting Andy McGreevey made Alison laugh a lot. Although because he was something of a live wire, I never knew what his response would be if I made fun of him. He might laugh a little. He might flip out and then shout something at me really loud, which would get him in trouble with Mr. Bobbin, which was again funny because Mr. Bobbin’s nonthreatening high-pitched admonitions were hilarious. Around this time, I started watching Saturday Night Live religiously and doing terrible impressions of Dana Carvey’s impressions of George Bush. Another popular character at the time was Jon Lovitz’s “Annoying Man.” Annoying Man would come on Weekend Update and make excessively irritating nasal sounds and stick his fingers near Dennis Miller’s face until finally Miller would say, “Annoying Man—please!” and then Annoying Man would exit. It was hilarious.

Jacobs, author of My Life as an Experiment “Insightful, heartfelt, and comedic—what more could you want from a book? Mike Birbiglia is a unique and wonderful new voice in American theater and letters.” —Jonathan Ames, creator of HBO’s Bored to Death and author of The Extra Man and Wake Up, Sir! “Mike Birbiglia is a good friend of mine but I’m still really happy when weird, bad things happen to him because I love hearing the stories.” —Seth Meyers, head writer and host of Weekend Update, Saturday Night Live “Sleepwalk with Me is a delightful stroll into the charming, intelligent, and accessible mind of Mike Birbiglia.” —Kristen Schaal, comedienne and costar of Flight of the Conchords “Mike Birbiglia might be the best comedian of our generation: smart, honest, and always painfully funny. He’s the Rembrandt of awkwardness.” —Michael Ian Black, author of My Custom Van “I was terrified by how much I related to Mike Birbiglia’s stomach-churning, embarrassing stories of childhood, sex, and more.

Funny Pants “Mike is my favorite kind of hero in his stories: always self-aware, usually awkward, sometimes sad, but never cynical or bitter. The truths he unpacks from his life ring like a bell.” —Adam Savage, co-host of Discovery’s MythBusters “Sleepwalk with Me is an amazing read—funny, insightful, heartbreaking, uplifting, terrifying at times, and very, very funny. Yeah, I said funny twice, but that’s because it’s really funny.” —Will Forte, writer and cast member, Saturday Night Live “Birbiglia’s ability to translate this singular comic persona into seamless, Pringles-addictive prose is a radical achievement. You will want to play in Mike’s childhood home, experience his delayed adolescence, and walk lucid through his dreams.” —Lena Dunham, writer and director of Tiny Furniture “Mike Birbiglia’s crafted a genuine rarity—a boisterous book you want to listen to, quietly.”


pages: 357 words: 88,412

Hijacking the Runway: How Celebrities Are Stealing the Spotlight From Fashion Designers by Teri Agins

Donald Trump, East Village, haute couture, new economy, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, women in the workforce

The Saturday night overflowing audience of 1,200 for the most anticipated fashion show of the week, of course, featured a celebrity-studded front row: Busta Rhymes, Bobby Brown, Luther Vandross, Mary J. Blige, Stephen Baldwin, Paris Hilton, Anna Wintour, and NBA star Kevin Garnett, as well as Cochran. J.Lo was notably absent, fueling rumors that her relationship with Combs was on the skids, but Combs’s publicist explained that she was hosting Saturday Night Live that same night. Nevertheless, Combs made certain her presence was felt—just as if she were in the front row. In the printed show program, he dedicated the show to her: “Jennifer, thanks for showing me life.” J.Lo also made an unexpected cameo in the video reel that ran throughout the fashion show, projected on a huge screen as the backdrop for the runway. Amid the mash-up of newsreel footage from the civil rights movement in the 1960s, there she was in living color: J.Lo bouncing around in the surf, a scene from the video for her then-current hit, “Love Don’t Cost a Thing.”

Hilfiger made uniforms for the Lotus Formula One auto racing team—all those colorful decals slapped on the jumpsuits. The hip-hop kids went nuts when they saw rapper LL Cool J decked out in one onstage. Rapper Grand Puba wore a dark green Tommy jacket and Tommy T-shirt on his 2000 CD cover. Then came the ka-ching! moment in 1994, when Snoop Dogg wore a rugby shirt with TOMMY across the front and HILFIGER across the back on Saturday Night Live. Retailers from coast to coast called the following Monday morning begging for those rugbys. Tommy was officially on fire. Hip-Hop Santa Claus Such fortuitous plugs were part organic, part staged, and worth millions of dollars in publicity—and cost the company hardly anything. It was the power of the giveaway, peddled by Tommy’s brother Andy Hilfiger, who was living in East Harlem, working as a lighting man for rock bands and music videos.

Cheeky, with an edgy, asymmetrical haircut, Siriano became famous for his sassy lexicon: “fierce” for ultracool, and “you’re a hot tranny mess” when your look isn’t working. Siriano became the youngest winner and the biggest breakout star of Project Runway since the show’s inception in 2004. Actress Amy Poehler played him in a Project Runway parody called “Fierce: The Hot Mess Makeover Show” on Saturday Night Live, while Siriano, as a guest star on the sitcom Ugly Betty, hammed it up playing himself, making his entrance with three dolled-up models, declaring, “The house of Siriano has arrived. Worship me, bitches!” Siriano’s fame emanated from his mass-market relatability—that was out of reach to new designers too bland or anonymous to be well known. Siriano’s sparkling persona gained instant traction.


pages: 455 words: 133,719

Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte

8-hour work day, affirmative action, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, blue-collar work, Burning Man, business cycle, call centre, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, deliberate practice, desegregation, DevOps, East Village, Edward Glaeser, epigenetics, fear of failure, feminist movement, financial independence, game design, gender pay gap, glass ceiling, helicopter parent, hiring and firing, income inequality, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, profit maximization, Results Only Work Environment, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, sensible shoes, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Thorstein Veblen, women in the workforce, working poor, Zipcar, éminence grise

“I felt bad that I’d wasted all this time being unproductive.” 23. Jennifer Soong, “When Technology Addiction Takes Over Your Life,” WebMD, June 6, 2008, www.webmd.com/mental-health/features/when-technology-addiction-takes-over-your-life. 24. Justin Ravitz, “Exclusive Video: Happy Endings’ Casey Wilson Wants to Return to Saturday Night Live—as Host!” Us Weekly, April 6, 2012, www.usmagazine.com/entertainment/news/happy-endings-casey-wilson-wants-to-return-to-saturday-night-live-----as-host-201264. 25. Universal Television, “Saturday Night Live—Press Releases,” December 5, 2011, www.nbcumv.com/mediavillage/studio/ums1/saturdaynightlive/pressreleases?pr=contents/press-releases/2011/12/05/quotablesfromsa1323122223585.xml. 26. Christopher K. Hsee, Adelle X. Yang, and Liangyan Wang, “Idleness Aversion and the Need for Justifiable Busyness,” Psychological Science 21, no. 7, June 14, 2010, http://pss.sagepub.com/content/21/7/926, 926–30. 27.

“There is a certain rush,” one young man told me, “when you’re going a thousand directions at once and getting it all done.” Being superbusy has become so normal that it’s now a joke. The actor Casey Wilson explained in an interview that her character, Penny, on the TV Show Happy Endings, abbreviates her words, like “hilar” for hilarious and “appresh” for appreciate, because she’s just too busy to say the whole word.24 And on Saturday Night Live, Seth Meyers joked in a Weekend Update segment that retailers like Target, Costco, and Kmart were selling freshly cut Christmas trees online that could be delivered to people’s homes. “And for just a few dollars more,” Meyers cracked, “they’ll put it up, they’ll decorate it, unwrap all your presents, play with your new toys, and feel the joy that you and your family apparently no longer have time for.”25 So much do we value busyness, researchers say they have found a human “aversion” to idleness and need for “justifiable busyness.”

productivity prolactin psychotherapy pulses Purdue University Pythagoras Quakers Quinn, Patricia radio reading Reagan, Ronald recession (2008) Reed, Donna religion RescueTime résumé retirement rhythm Richardson, Elliot risk Rivelli, Renate Robinson, John; Time for Life; time studies Robinson, Sara Rockefeller University Rodriguez, Edson role overload Romans, ancient Romney, Mitt Rosie the Riveter ROWE Rowe, Tim Rowe-Finkbeiner, Kristin; The F-Word: Feminism in Jeopardy Rubenstein, Carin: The Sacrificial Mother Rudman, Laurie Running Out of Time (PBS program) rural America, busyness in Russell, Bertrand, “In Praise of Idleness” Rutberg, Malin Rutgers University Samuelsson, Marcus Sandberg, Sheryl; Lean In San Francisco Saturday Night Live (TV show) Saudi Arabia schizophrenia Schlafly, Phyllis Schneider, Barbara Schneider, Matt Schor, Juliet; The Overwhelmed American Schroeder, Pat Schwartz, Tony; Be Excellent at Anything; The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working Schweiker, Richard science seasons, changing of Seattle self-efficacy Semedo-Strauss, Carolyn Senge, Peter: The Fifth Discipline “separate spheres theory” serotonin service industry Sevareid, Eric seven deadly sins Sevilla-Sanz, Almudena sex; discrimination Shaw, Sue Shelton, Beth Anne Sheridan, Rich shopping Sibelius, Kathleen SIDS Silicon Valley Simplicity Moms single mothers Skype Slaughter, Anne-Marie; “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” slavery sleep; brain and; cortisol levels during; lack of smartphones smiling Smith, Tom social media software South Africa South Korea Soviet Union Spain Spira, Jonathan: Overload!


pages: 359 words: 96,019

How to Turn Down a Billion Dollars: The Snapchat Story by Billy Gallagher

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, computer vision, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, Frank Gehry, Google Glasses, Hyperloop, information asymmetry, Jeff Bezos, Justin.tv, Lean Startup, Long Term Capital Management, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, Nelson Mandela, Oculus Rift, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, QR code, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, social graph, sorting algorithm, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, too big to fail, Y Combinator, young professional

” * * * If you made a country out of all the companies founded by Stanford alumni, it would have a GDP of roughly $2.7 trillion, putting it in the neighborhood of the tenth largest economy in the world. Companies started by Stanford alumni include Google, Yahoo, Cisco Systems, Sun Microsystems, eBay, Netflix, Electronic Arts, Intuit, Fairchild Semiconductor, LinkedIn, and E*Trade. Many were started by undergraduates and graduate students while still on campus. Like the cast of Saturday Night Live, the greats who have gone on to massive career success are remembered, but everyone still keeps a watchful eye on the newcomers to see who might be the next big thing. With a $17 billion endowment, Stanford has the resources to provide students an incredible education inside the classroom, with accomplished scholars ranging from Nobel Prize winners to former secretaries of state teaching undergraduates.

NBCUniversal signed a multiyear deal with Snapchat in August 2016 to create new content for Discover. NBC won’t simply be repurposing TV content, like it does on Facebook and YouTube, but will be shooting content specifically for Snapchat’s vertical video format. First up, The Voice came to Snapchat, with users submitting performances and celebrity coaches like Miley Cyrus and Blake Shelton judging them, all via Snapchat. NBC will also showcase comedic talent from Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to create short series on Snapchat. Snapchat spoke with content creators about making original shows for Snapchat like Peter Hamby’s Good Luck America. As it made room for new shows, Snapchat continued to cut what wasn’t working. The company killed off its local stories, the city stories in New York and Los Angeles that let anyone in the city contribute to a daily story that only those in the city could watch.

The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook; A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal. New York: Anchor Books, 2010. Miller, James Andrew. Powerhouse: The Untold Story of Hollywood’s Creative Artists Agency. New York: Custom House, 2016. Miller, James Andrew, and Tom Shales. Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2011. ________. Live From New York: The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live as Told by Its Stars, Writers, and Guests. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2016. Moritz. Michael. Return to the Little Kingdom: How Apple and Steve Jobs Changed the World. New York: Overlook Press, 2009. Reis, Eric. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses. New York: Crown Business, 2011. Roose, Kevin. Young Money: Inside the Hidden World of Wall Street’s Post-Crash Recruits.


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, Nelson Mandela, 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,” www.bwater.com/home/culture—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, http://nymag.com/news/business/wallstreet/ray-dalio-2011-4/; Jeffrey T. Polzer and Heidi K. Gardner, “Bridgewater Associates,” Harvard Business School Video Case 413-702, May 2013, www.hbs.edu/faculty/Pages/item.aspx?num=44831. 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,: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/31/opinion/sunday/guess-who-doesnt-fit-in-at-work.html. 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.


Pocket New York City Travel Guide by Lonely Planet

Airbnb, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, East Village, Frank Gehry, G4S, ghettoisation, Saturday Night Live, starchitect, the High Line, urban renewal, walking around money

Come early and book ahead – that’s the only way to gain access if you’re not a cornerstone of New York’s social scene. ( 212-645-4646; 848 Washington St btwn 13th & Little W 12th Sts; 10pm-4am Wed-Thu, 11pm-4am Fri & Sat; L to 8th Ave, 1/2/3, A/C/E to 14th St) Le Bain Dance Club Offline map Google map This sweeping rooftop venue sits at the tragically hip Standard Hotel along with Boom Boom Room (see 33 ; Offline map). Le Bain sees a garish parade of party promoters who do their thang on any day of the week. Have you seen those Stefon sketches on Saturday Night Live? If not, brace yourself for plumes of pot smoke on the turf-laced balconies, make-out sessions in the jet-black bathrooms, a giant Jacuzzi built right into the dance floor, and an ambassador from every walk of life in New York getting wasted on pricy snifters. Best. Night. Ever. ( 212-645-4646; 848 Washington St btwn 13th & Little W 12th Sts; 10pm-4am Wed-Thu, 11pm-4am Fri & Sat; L to 8th Ave, 1/2/3, A/C/E to 14th St) 34 Kettle of Fish Bar Offline map Google map Step into this dimly lit spot, full of couches and plump chairs, and prepare to stay for a while because the crowd is simply beguiling.

Book of Mormon, for example, gives away around 20 tickets every night for $32. It’s not easy to get tickets, but it can be a lot of fun hanging out with other fans, especially in good weather. Understand TV Tapings If you want to be part of a live studio audience for a TV taping, NYC is the place to do it. Just follow the following instructions. For more show ticket details, visit the websites of individual TV stations or try www.tvtickets.com. Saturday Night Live Known for being difficult to get into. Try your luck in the fall lottery by sending an email to snltickets@nbcuni.com in August. Or line up by 7am the day of the show on the 49th St side of Rockefeller Plaza for standby tickets. Late Show with David Letterman Request tickets online at www.cbs.com/lateshow or submit a request in person by showing up at the theater (1697 Broadway between 53rd and 54th Sts) between 9:30am and 12:30pm Monday to Friday, and 10am and 6pm Saturday and Sunday.

(Click here) Flea Theater One of New York’s top off-off-Broadway companies performs a regular rotation of theater. (Click here) Lincoln Center The mother ship of the performing arts on the Upper West Side. (Click here) Brooklyn Academy of Music The country’s oldest performing arts center and supplies New York City with its edgier works of modern dance, music and theater. (Click here) Best for Laughs Upright Citizens’ Brigade Theatre Improv at its finest by many who go on to star in Saturday Night Live. (Click here) Comedy Cellar Celebrity joke-tellers regularly plow through this basement club. (Click here) Best for Film Angelika Film Center Foreign and independent films galore; comes with quirky charms (subway rumbles and occasionally bad sound). (Click here) 92YTribeca Well placed on the festival circuit, this theater offers a bit of everything. (Click here) Film Society of Lincoln Center One of New York’s cinematic gems, providing an invaluable platform for a wide gamut of moving pictures.


pages: 257 words: 67,152

The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels by Alex Epstein

addicted to oil, carbon footprint, clean water, glass ceiling, hydraulic fracturing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), LNG terminal, oil shale / tar sands, profit motive, Saturday Night Live, the scientific method

THE HAZELNUT ENERGY PROBLEM The simple answer is: because it’s a really, really, really hard challenge to produce cheap, plentiful, reliable energy for billions of people—and the fossil fuel industry is the only one, by a mile, that’s figured out a solution. (Although there’s one source of energy that may well outcompete fossil fuels in three to five decades—stay tuned.) A brilliant illustration of this appeared on, of all places, Saturday Night Live a few years ago. The host of the “Weekend Update” segment at the time, Jimmy Fallon, commented on a plan to use oil derived from hazelnuts to power a car. I have no doubt that this could work technically—vegetable oil and petroleum oil are extremely similar chemically. But I wasn’t excited, and neither was Fallon: New Scientist magazine reported that in the future, cars could be powered by hazelnuts.

World Bank, World Development Indicators (WDI) Online Data, http://data.worldbank.org/data-catalog/world-development-indicators. 6. Milton Friedman and Rose Friedman, Free to Choose: A Personal Statement (San Diego: Harcourt Brace, 1980), 148. 7. International Energy Agency, “Energy Poverty,” www.iea.org/topics/energypoverty. 8. Ibid. 9. World Bank, World Development Indicators (WDI) Online Data, April 2014, http://data.worldbank.org/data-catalog/world-development-indicators. 10. Saturday Night Live, Jimmy Fallon, NBC, Dec. 9, 2000. 11. Food and Agriculture Organization, Regional Office for Europe, “Inventory of Hazelnut Research, Germplasm and Reference,” (accessed July 17, 2014), http://www.fao.org/docrep/003/x4484e/x44 84e03.htm. 12. BP, Statistical Review of World Energy 2013, www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/about-bp/energy-economics/statistical-review-of-world-energy-2013.html. 13.

., 192 Kenya, electricity in, 53–54 kerosene, 73 Kerry, John, 87, 100, 109, 127 Keystone XL pipeline, 9, 190 knowledge, integration of, 28, 33, 113–14, 183 Krupp, Fred, 136 land: for farming, 56, 81–82 and rising sea levels, 130–31 scarcity of, 46, 178 lice, 146 life, and energy, 37–39 life expectancy: and climate livability, 128 and fossil fuel use, 13, 14, 15, 30, 77–78, 77, 119–20 as leading indicator of human flourishing, 119–20 and natural environment, 86 rising, 174–76, 174 Life magazine, 7 Lindzen, Richard, 90 liquid fuel, 55, 68 Lovins, Amory, 9, 12, 194, 196 machine calories, 40–42 Maddison, Angus, 77 malaria, 145–47 malnutrition, 15, 174–75, 174 manure, 82 McKibben, Bill, 135, 178, 197 debate with author, 5, 187–91 dire forecasts of, 8, 22, 108, 127 Eaarth, 31–32 The End of Nature, 30–31, 108 influence of, 9, 189–90, 194 on outlawing fossil fuels, 9, 189 mechanization, oil-powered, 81 media: dramatic stories in, 164–65 on pollution, 6–7, 8 mercury, 165–66 methane, 83 methanol, 68 methyl alcohol, 68 Michaels, Patrick, 90 Miliband, David, 178 mobility, 132–33, 171 models, see computer models Monterey Shale, California, 191 morality, 13 mosquitoes, 145–46 Mother Nature, 86, 128, 129 NASA, on temperature change, 22 natural gas: availability of, 17, 18, 178 consumption of, 11, 18, 44, 44 drilling of, 74 energy from, 3, 66, 69–70 and fracking, 70 LNG terminals, 70 methane, 83 and peak-load electricity, 69 reliability of, 12 resources required for production of, 49–50, 49 and safety, 159 nature: enjoyment of, 170 hazards of, 176 nonimpact on, 194, 195, 199 preservation of, 32, 171–73 pristine, 30 transformation of, 129 Neff, Wes, 190 neodymium, 49 Netherlands, sea level in, 130–31, 134 Newcomen, Thomas, 141 New Scientist, 45 New York Times, 80 97 percent fabrication, 109–11 nitrogen: and coal, 154, 168 plant absorption of, 82, 93 synthetic, 83 nitrogen oxides, 68 no-threshold fallacy, 166–68 nuclear fusion, 195–96 nuclear power, 59, 61–63, 135, 195 government control of, 62–63 opponents of, 9, 54 reliability of, 12 resources required for production of, 49–50, 49 and safety, 61–62, 159, 168 as supplement, 44 Obama, Barack, 109, 206–7 oil: availability of, 17, 17, 178 consumption of, 11, 17, 44, 44 crude, 73 energy from, 3, 61, 71–72 exploration and extraction of, 71, 152 portability of, 71, 72 as raw material, 72, 73, 74 and resource creation, 73 shale, 71 spills, 159 strength to weight ratio of, 71 as transportation fuel, 68, 70, 71, 81–82 oil sands (tar sands), 26, 71 oil wells, first, 73 oxygen, 93 Paracelsus, 166 Parry, Simon, 155–56 peat, 131 Phelps, Michael, 40, 41 philosophy, study of, 5 phosphorus, 49 photosynthesis, 55 plants: and CO2, 92, 114–17, 115, 208 dead, 65–66, 114, 151 energy from, see biomass poisonous, 168 plastics, raw material for, 69, 74, 154 poisons, 62, 166–68 polar melt, 4, 130 polls, limited value of, 27 pollution: catastrophic, 16 legislation of, 160–61 media stories about, 6–7, 8 overregulation of, 158 reduction of, 19, 19, 149–50, 156–59, 199 risks and side effects of, 151–54, 153, 165 smog, 20, 79, 143, 152, 158 polymers, 74 population, growth of, 15, 77–78, 77, 121 positive feedback loops, 99–100 Powder River Basin, Wyoming, 192 power: cost of, 8–9, 63 definition of, 41 and energy, 41 out of control, 152, 159 rationed use of, 9 see also specific sources precipitation, 93 predators, threat from, 128 quantification, use of term, 110 radiation, 97, 168 radiation poisoning, 62 radioactive metals, 61 radioactive waste, 47 railroads, 82 Rand, Ayn, Atlas Shrugged, 138–39 rare-earth elements, 49, 154–55 Reiter, Paul, 146–47 religion, standard of value in, 30 renewability, 181 resources: creation of, 18–19, 73, 75, 180–82, 185, 195 depletion of, 8, 16, 179 evolution of, 75–76 increases in, 16–19, 181–82 proven reserves of, 17, 17 underpredicted availability of, 17–18 Ridley, Matt, The Rational Optimist, 81 Rifkin, Jeremy, 196 risks: and alternatives, 43 and benefits, 15, 28–29, 134 dire forecasts of, 16, 18, 21 media attention on, 15 minimizing, 43, 159–60 Rockefeller, John D., 74 Rokita, Todd, 29 Rolling Stone, 108, 189 Russia, gas from, 69 sanitation systems, 21, 142, 147–49, 148 SASOL, 68 Saturday Night Live, 45 Scafetta, Nicola, 111 scalability, 56–57, 63, 65, 86–87 Schneider, Stephen, 111 scientific method: ethical bind in, 112 and hypothesis presented as fact, 113 sea levels, rising, 4, 95, 106, 107, 130–31 shale energy technology, 191, 207; see also fracking shale oil, 71 Shaviv, Nir, 111 Shikwati, James, 54 silicon, 49 Silliman, Benjamin Jr., 73 SkepticalScience.com, 110 slavery, 41 smog, 20, 79, 143, 152, 158 Socrates, 91 solar cells, 47 solar power: backup required for, 53 concentrated solar power (CSP), 47–48 cost of, 46 cutting-edge promise of, 12 diluteness of, 48–50, 49, 65 energy from, 3 in Germany, 50–55, 51, 52 inadequacy as energy source, 57–58, 135 intermittency problem of, 48, 50–53, 65 niche uses for, 58 process of producing, 46 solar photovoltaic (solar PV), 47 supporters of, 9 unreliability of, 12 world use of, 11, 12, 44, 44 specialists, specialization, 27, 71, 112–14 standard of value, 29–33, 136, 195, 201; see also human life Standard Oil, 74 statistics: about disasters, 120–26, 121–25 cherry-picking, 54 computer models, 100–104, 102, 103, 108, 138 explicit endorsement without qualification, 110–11 hindcasting with, 101, 103 limited value of polls, 27 manipulation of, 17, 29, 99, 108, 109, 111–12 political uses of, 109 satellite data, 120 speculative models, 164–65 steam engine, 68, 74, 141, 142, 184 storm energy, 105, 105 storms, deaths from, 23, 121, 123–25, 123, 125, 128 storm walls, 131 sugarcane, energy from, 56 sulfur, 154, 168 sulfur dioxide, 47, 68, 158 sun, infrared radiation from, 97 sunlight, see solar power Superstorm Sandy, 24, 25 supply and demand, 75 sustainability, 177–79, 180–81 synthetics, 72, 83 technology: abuse of, 162–63 and climate livability, 126–29, 133, 137 development of, 18 energy needed to run, 129 energy needs met by, 34, 128–29, 172–73 opponents of, 196–97 solutions via, 134–35, 156–59, 207 technophobia, 164 temperature inversion, 158 temperatures: and CO2, 22, 23, 108 deaths from, 23, 121 excessive, 128 and greenhouse effect, 22, 97, 102–3 rising, 7, 22, 104 and weather, 93 Tesla Roadster, 72 thorium, 61 3D seismic imaging, 71 Three Mile Island, 62 time, 172, 183, 185–86 titanium dioxide, 49 Tol, Richard, 111 transformation, as moral ideal, 200–202 transportation: cost of, 82 high-energy, 128 improved, 123 travel, 84–85 trucks, 82 tsunamis, 130, 142 tuberculosis, 145, 146, 175 Turkey, hazelnuts grown in, 46 underdeveloped nations, 136–37 United Nations (UN): on energy supply, 26 The State of Food Insecurity in the World, 56–57 United States: air pollution in, 152–53, 153 energy availability in, 41–42 life expectancy in, 128 storms in, 124–25 technology in, 128 zero deaths from drought in, 126 uranium, 61, 196 value: of human life, see human life standard of, 29–33, 136, 195, 201 Washington, George, 147 waste disposal, 21, 142, 147–49, 148 water: bacteria-filled, 128, 142, 145 clean, 19–20, 20, 67, 86 distilled, 167 for irrigation, 83 lesser meaning of, 31–32 purification of, 144, 148–49 quality of, 143–45, 143, 163–64 shortages of, 178 for solar and wind installations, 56 water purification plants, 21 water vapor, 94, 97, 99 wealth, creation of, 18 weather: misrepresentation of, 105–6 storm-related deaths, 23, 121, 123–25, 123, 125, 128 unsettled conditions, 21 use of term, 93 wet mass movement, deaths from, 121 wilderness, pristine, 30 wildfires, deaths from, 121 wind, cause of, 47 wind power: backup required for, 53 cutting-edge promise of, 12 diluteness of, 48 energy from, 3 in Germany, 50–55, 51, 52 inadequacy as energy source, 57–58, 135 intermittency problem with, 48, 50–53 in Netherlands, 131 niche uses for, 58 resources required in, 49–50, 49, 56, 154–55 turbine blades, 49 unreliability of, 12 world use of, 11, 12, 44, 44 wood, energy from, 55, 56 World Bank, 28 Yergin, Daniel, The Prize, 159


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, Joi Ito, Julian Assange, Justin.tv, Kevin Kelly, linear programming, Marc Andreessen, Mitch Kapor, moral panic, offshore financial centre, pets.com, 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: 462 words: 151,805

Gonzo: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson by Corey Seymour, Johnny Depp, Jann S. Wenner

Bonfire of the Vanities, buy low sell high, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, Mason jar, New Journalism, Norman Mailer, Ralph Nader, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, South China Sea, South of Market, San Francisco, Y2K

WILLIAM KENNEDY Conversation with Hunter was no longer an exchange—it became mostly a conversation about Hunter, with all those unbelievable stories. He was always a nutcase in a way, but he kept surviving these outlandish events and ingestions and going on to produce terrific work. It was wonderful to witness this, but it wasn’t conversation like the old days. It was a monologue. Nobody could match those stories, or the personality behind them. LAILA NABULSI was a production assistant on Saturday Night Live in 1976. John Belushi was my best friend. One night just before the show I went into John’s dressing room—it was just a little room with a couch—and someone was lying there. I could see the shorts and the long legs and the sneakers. It could have been the pot dealer. You never knew who was going to be around. John says, “Laila Nabulsi, Hunter Thompson. Hunter Thompson, Laila Nabulsi.” John and Danny [Aykroyd] had gone on a road trip commissioned by Rolling Stone and had stopped by Hunter’s along the way, and when they came back, John was talking about him a lot.

She traveled for—God, I don’t know. A long time. CHAPTER EIGHT Wreckage in the Fast Lane Hunter was working on Songs of the Doomed and got in a fight with his editor over some insanely minor point. He went ballistic in the middle of the night and destroyed a typewriter—just beat it to death with a phone. There was metal Selectric shrapnel flying all over the kitchen. LAILA NABULSI Every year at Saturday Night Live they had a Seder. Being Palestinian, I never went. But one year Paul Schaffer made me go, and Bill Murray came running up to me and said, “Oh, my God—you’re alive! I talked to Hunter last night, and he said he heard you were dead. He’s staying at the Coconut Grove Hotel in Miami.” I started laughing and said, “Well, thanks. Now I know where he is. I guess that’s what he wanted me to know.”

Hunter thought his choices were cheap and silly, and the movie didn’t have the weight or the aesthetic that he would have wanted. MITCH GLAZER was a twenty-two-year-old writer for Crawdaddy when he met Hunter through John Belushi. Hunter’s presence is so strong that it fucks actors up. When they do him, an interesting thing happens. I was around Billy a lot right after he did Where the Buffalo Roam. I’d see him do sketches on Saturday Night Live and not be able to shake Hunter. People were coming and talking to him about it. And then when we did Scrooged, years later, there were still scenes where I’d see Billy doing Hunter. The difference between Murray and Belushi or Hunter is that Billy would take no for an answer. They wouldn’t. Hunter and John both shared a sense of possibility, and they seemed to have no limits. There was no governor on the night.


pages: 244 words: 70,369

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

glass ceiling, Kickstarter, 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.


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, 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: 252 words: 80,924

Sarah Millican--The Queen of Comedy by Tina Campanella

call centre, Desert Island Discs, Saturday Night Live, side project, Skype, upwardly mobile

Notorious comedy drinkers have included dark poet Bill Hicks, who was described as a ‘hard-drinking, chain-smoking ball of angry energy’, and Animal House bad boy John Belushi, whose manic comic presence many agree was mainly fuelled by his propensity for alcohol. In 2006 it was widely reported that Robin Williams checked himself into rehab to deal with his addiction to alcohol, which had become all-consuming for the comedian and actor. American Saturday Night Live cast member Tracy Morgan’s struggles with alcohol have also been well documented. He was reportedly arrested for drink driving in both California and New York and even had to wear a SCRAM – a Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring – device for nearly 150 days to try and save him from the perils of over-boozing. He has been sober since 2009. Until relatively recently, comedians have been regularly cruelly stereotyped as depressed alcoholics – sad clowns, trying to make people laugh to fend off their own misery.

The Independent, in 2009, said that at her first gig, a male heckler started shouting ‘F*** off, you fat cow’ and kept up his tirade throughout her entire performance. It ended without applause. She decided to call herself The Sea Monster, to preempt the inevitable abuse about her weight, but still faced, during her early appearances on the alternative comedy circuit, having a pint of beer thrown at her, having her face slapped and being pelted with food. Despite that, she persevered and by the late 1980s, had a regular slot on Channel 4’s Saturday Night Live, which had been started a few years earlier as a springboard on to TV for alternative comedians. She then went on to have her own show, Through The Cakehole, and thereafter made regular appearances on panel shows through the 1990s and into the noughties. The fact that Jo, a large woman with a laid-back laconic style, could survive in the quick-fire world of male-dominated comedy, proved a spur for many woman who looked at her and said to themselves, ‘If she can do it, maybe I can too’.

It was yet another sign that people were starting to feel that while comedians may be entitled to earn a reasonable amount of money to stave off poverty in later life, if they started to mock those who paid their wages, they had better watch out. It wasn’t a new phenomenon. In 1970s America, during the country’s last bad recession, comedians were king. The stand-ups of the time, like Robin Williams, Richard Pryor and Bill Cosby, were among the first to make the move from the theatre to film and television. Many others began appearing on mainstream TV, on late night shows like The Tonight Show or Saturday Night Live. While these programmes were incredibly popular when they first started, eventually the audience began to tire of seeing the same old formats and increasingly similar jokes. The comedians listed above made millions in the 1970s and 80s. With a handful making so much, soon, everyone was wondering if they could make a fortune as a stand-up. The number of comics rose and the quality of joke telling dropped.


pages: 589 words: 167,680

The Red and the Blue: The 1990s and the Birth of Political Tribalism by Steve Kornacki

affirmative action, American Legislative Exchange Council, Berlin Wall, computer age, David Brooks, Donald Trump, employer provided health coverage, ending welfare as we know it, facts on the ground, illegal immigration, immigration reform, mass immigration, Ralph Nader, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, Thomas L Friedman, trickle-down economics, union organizing, War on Poverty, women in the workforce

The Washington Post declared that “the Democratic presidential campaign industry is in a full-blown depression.” When Mitchell appeared on Meet the Press at the end of March and said he’d like to be president someday, but not in 1992, David Broder called it the unofficial start of the 1996 campaign. Since “the odds now strongly suggest” a Bush win in ’92, Broder argued, the smart play for Democrats was to sit out the cycle and wait for an open seat four years later. Soon enough it was fodder for Saturday Night Live, which aired a send-up of a Democratic presidential debate. Instead of spoofing the actual candidates running, the sketch—titled “The Race to Avoid Being the Guy Who Loses to Bush”—featured all the noncandidates pleading with their party to choose someone, anyone other than them. Mario Cuomo won a third term in 1990 and raised eyebrows by refusing during the campaign to rule out a White House bid.

Four commentators from across the spectrum would analyze a series of topics while McLaughlin, seated in the moderator’s chair, listened impatiently, pouncing at any opinion he deemed ill supported. The pace was quick, the arguments intense, and the energy frenetic. McLaughlin was the star, but Buchanan was along for the ride, too, a fixture in the rightmost seat. Hundreds of stations began carrying the show, and by the end of the decade Saturday Night Live was parodying it, with Dana Carvey playing McLaughlin and Phil Hartman as Buchanan. Without ever running for office, Buchanan had become one of the best-known conservatives in America. He looked at the Republican presidential race in 1988, but chose not to enter. The field was crowded and he would have had lots of company on the right. Sticking with punditry for a few more years was the smarter play.

Liberals and gay groups had Clinton’s back, and found some surprise allies here and there, including the now eighty-four-year-old Barry Goldwater, who said he had no problem with gay soldiers as long as “they shoot straight.” Christian conservatives, meanwhile, were joining forces with veterans groups. The Southern Baptist Convention, the American Legion, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars pooled their resources to launch a campaign to keep the ban in place. The debate entered popular culture. Saturday Night Live featured a sketch set in the Civil War about a fictitious all-gay unit, “the Gloria Brigade,” a collection of effeminate men who minced around their encampment talking about fashion and design and trading catty insults. Urging Clinton on, a New York Times editorial drew a comparison to the discrimination blacks once faced: “Surely the military chiefs can achieve the same progress toward acceptance of homosexuals if they put their minds to it.”


pages: 493 words: 136,235

Operation Chaos: The Vietnam Deserters Who Fought the CIA, the Brainwashers, and Themselves by Matthew Sweet

Berlin Wall, British Empire, centre right, computer age, Donald Trump, energy security, Fall of the Berlin Wall, game design, Haight Ashbury, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, Kickstarter, Mikhail Gorbachev, planetary scale, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Skype, South China Sea, Stanford prison experiment, Thomas Malthus, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, WikiLeaks, Yogi Berra, éminence grise

“Sit-ins, love-ins, think-ins, police-baiting and dean-hustling, the stump-oratory of Maoist fustian, Marxist folderol and Marcusan fog had ended.” As a Dear John letter to the secret state, it was stinging. As a satire for the general reader, it was pleasingly zeitgeisty. But sometimes the real world can do better. In February 1975, Lyndon LaRouche made the decision that would seal his reputation as one of America’s canonical crackpots, and allow him to become a gag on The Simpsons and a character on Saturday Night Live. It was time, he concluded, to build his own political party and run for high office. It was time for President LaRouche to save the world from the zombies and the nuclear warmongers. And in Sweden, Cliff Gaddy’s fiancée would do the same. 15 / THE BELIEVERS MY FIRST RESEARCH trip to Stockholm coincided with the final two weeks of Sweden’s 2014 general election campaign. As is traditional, a stretch of concrete near the entrance to the Sergels Torg metro had been turned into a political village.

“That kind of faggotry destroyed Rome. Will you permit it also to destroy the United States?” In documents for internal distribution within the cult, he used even less attractive language: “I wouldn’t want Kissinger dead. I’d want him in a pit to come out once a day to be pissed on by the widows and orphans of the world.” LaRouche’s obsessions with Kissinger and Elizabeth II made him a national joke. Saturday Night Live began “Lyndon LaRouche Theatre,” in which Randy Quaid, in a bald wig, bow tie, and spectacles, narrated the latest melodramatic twists and turns of the conspiracy. “Next week in part three,” he hooted, “diabolical Kissinger and miscreant Elizabeth engage KGB agents to assassinate me while continuing to sponsor attacks in the media which attempt to foster one of the most monstrous lies of the twentieth century—that I am insane!”

“His heathen sexual inclinations”: Lyndon LaRouche, “Henry Kissinger: The Politics of Faggotry,” International Caucus of Labor Committees press release, August 3, 1982. “I wouldn’t want Kissinger dead”: “Cadre School Question and Answer with Lyndon H. LaRouche Jr.,” Morning Briefing, December 8, 1992, LaRouche Planet, http://laroucheplanet.info/pmwiki/pmwiki.php?n=Library.LoveEnemy1. “Lyndon LaRouche Theatre”: Saturday Night Live, NBC, April 19, 1986. “Kissinger must die”: King, Lyndon LaRouche and the New American Fascism, p. 153. “ultimately was just sublimated”: Ibid. a dartboard bearing an image of Palme’s face: “Sommarnöje med Olof Palme” [Summer entertainment with Olof Palme], Contra 10, no. 4 (1984). “Sweden’s population is led by a madman”: William Engdahl, “Palme—Djävulens djävul” [Palme—the devil’s devil], Ny Solidaritet, June 11, 1975.


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, standardized shipping container, 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!”


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, en.wikipedia.org, indoor plumbing, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Joi Ito, 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.


pages: 347 words: 86,274

The Power of Glamour: Longing and the Art of Visual Persuasion by Virginia Postrel

Charles Lindbergh, cloud computing, factory automation, Frank Gehry, indoor plumbing, job automation, mass immigration, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, placebo effect, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Thomas L Friedman, urban planning, urban renewal, washing machines reduced drudgery, young professional

“Che was a murderer, and your T-shirt is not cool,” declared a Facebook group aimed at the ubiquitous silhouettes of the Cuban revolutionary.42 In the early 1970s, the American Cancer Society created a poster with the headline “Smoking Is Very Glamorous,” below a closeup of a worn, poor-looking woman with a bad haircut puffing a cigarette.43 To attack the fashionable glamour of fur, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals runs ads in which a beautiful singer holds up the flayed carcass of a fox. “Here’s the rest of your fur coat,” they announce. Most of the time, however, glamour conceals mundane imperfections, making its deflation a better subject for comedy than horror. In the 1970s, the comedian Gilda Radner spun one such (presumably fictional) incongruity into a famous Saturday Night Live routine. Portraying the self-absorbed motormouth Roseanne Roseannadanna, she launched into a monologue about her evening at a glamorous restaurant, where she enjoyed watching celebrities with spaghetti sauce on their lips. On this visit, she saw Princess Lee Radziwill, the sister of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, coming out of the ladies’ room. She was dressed up like a doll in this slinky basic black dress and she’s got real skinny arms with expensive jewelry hangin’ off of ’em.

(London: Penguin, 2003) pp. 58–59. 42. According to its founder, the group had about 75,000 members and Facebook shut it down, claiming it violated a prohibition on “hateful groups.” Mike Stout, founder, e-mail to the author, November 30, 2009. 43. “Smoking Is Very Glamorous,” Victoria & Albert Museum collection, http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O76205/poster-smoking-is-very-glamorous/. 44. Saturday Night Live, Season 4, Episode 6, first aired December 16, 1978, transcript http://snltranscripts.jt.org/78/78iupdate.phtml. Icon WIRELESSNESS 1. Loewy’s most enduring designs were in fact not industrial but graphic, including logos for Lucky Strikes and Exxon. 2. Paola Antonelli, interview with the author, December 27, 2010. 3. Robin Ford, e-mail to the author, December 30, 2010. Ford originally made this remark in a lecture to visual media students. 4.

., 61 “power to the weak,” 155–56 Prater, Andreas, 125–26 premodern glamour, 137–50 discontent and imagined transformation as precondition for, 139–140 images of projection as precondition for, 141–44, 143 masculine martial prowess and, 142–43, 144, 145–47, 145, 146, 149 religious devotion and, 143–45 seductive female beauty and, 144, 147–150, 148 urban glamour and phase change from, 150–51 use of term “modern,” 245n2 Presley, Elvis, 18, 202, 240n21 Pretty Woman (film), 76 princess, as icon, 49–51, 49, 50, 236n10 Princess Bride, The (film), 137, 138 Princess Diaries, The (film), 75 Princess Diaries, The (novel), 76–77 projection, as precondition for glamour, 141–44, 141, 143 promenades, urban glamour and, 158 Prpich, Marc (photographer), 103 Pulp Fiction (film), 29 push-button control, glamour of, 94, 194, 219 Pygmalion (Shaw), 77 Q qipao, 131, 132 Queen Christina (film), 22–23, 60 Quicksand (Larsen), 64–65, 159 Quinn, Marc, 121 R Radner, Gilda, 99–100 Rainey, Buck, 165, 248n8 Rand, Ayn, 28–29, 66–67 Rascoe, Burton, 164 real estate displaced meaning and, 42–43 glamour used to sell, 14–15, 71 see also condominiums; houses Rector Square, New York, 15, 15, 232n26 Red Pony, The (Steinbeck), 162 religion glamour and longing, 38–39, 39 premodern glamour and religious devotion, 143–45, 143 ritual and rejection of “glamour of evil,” 22 terrorism and, 220 Republic, The (Plato), 148 Revlon, 203, 203, 229 Roberts, Randy, 163–64 Rockwell, Norman, 32 Rodriguez, Diego, 80 Roehm, Carolyne, 112 Rogers, Ginger, 21, 82–83, 82 Roiphe, Katie, 29 Rokeby Venus (Velázquez), 125–27, 126, 244n52 romance American Dream and, 255n27 glamour contrasted, 83–84 idealization of romantic love, 35, 50, 140 Roosevelt, Eleanor, 117, 197, 252n78 Roosevelt, Franklin, 28, 182 Roosevelt, Franklin, Jr., 196 Rospigliosi, Princess Giambattista, 50 Rothstein, Arthur, 185, 186 Roy, Rachel, 79 Rugel, Mike, 251n45 Rushdie, Salman, 220 S Saint, The (television program), 195 Sample, Jessica (photographer), 17 Santos, Sandra, 52 Sappho, 149 Saturday Night Live routine, 99–100 Sawyer, Miranda, 124 science glamour of, 6–7 grace and, 90–91 modernity and, 179–81 Scott, Hazel, 61 Scott, Sir Walter, 10 science fiction, 61, 177, 182. See also Star Trek Second Sex, The (Beauvoir), 97–98, 204 secret agents, Jet Age glamour and, 195 seductive female beauty, premodern glamour and, 144, 147–150, 148 Seed of Ambition (Gibson), 141 Segrave, Kerry, 252n2 Seigle, Cecelia Sagawa, 247n40 Sewell, Dennita, 173 shadow, mystery and, 119–120, 122–25 Shakespeare, William, 120, 142–43, 144 Shall We Dansu?


pages: 264 words: 89,323

The Hilarious World of Depression by John Moe

Donald Trump, Jeff Bezos, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)

All members of the family enjoyed comedy, sure, but I lived it. It wasn’t just about laughs for me, it was about structure. There’s a premise, a setup, and a punchline. And at the punchline, as the audience laughs, a little burst of happiness gets delivered to the brain. A hit of dopamine. Being the funny one was shrewd, too, because all four of us kids were comedy nerds. My older siblings understood shows like Monty Python and Saturday Night Live and I watched too, smiling, laughing when they laughed, and usually falling asleep. By going as hard as I could into something everyone liked, I thought, I would therefore be loved. Solid logic, confused little boy! When my own jokes went over well, I felt like I had earned a place in the family, which was thrilling but made each day a high-stakes standup appearance. Only by being useful or talented, and receiving external recognition, would I achieve personhood.

But there are much weirder things in the world. “Huh. Weird” recognized the anomaly but also indicated that it was a speed bump and not a brick wall. That was it for OCD. According to THWoD: Comedy Is a Helpful Tool People with minds that have been disordered from depression often find solace in comedy. That’s both strange and logical at the same time. Comedy, much of the time, is built on disorder. The Coneheads on the old Saturday Night Live are aliens with tall pointy heads attempting to blend in among the regular people of the suburbs. The Knights Who Say Ni from Monty Python and the Holy Grail hold great power over King Arthur himself because they wield the tremendous weapon of saying “Ni!,” which everyone fears even though it’s just a silly word. The joke so often comes from how at odds the premise is with reality. Plenty of us have felt like Coneheads.

Neal Brennan has Netflix specials, co-created Chappelle’s Show, directed movies, hangs out with NBA players, and has a cool condo on Venice Beach where he lives with his nice dog, Keith. “This is how fucking stupid my self-esteem was and probably still is in some part,” says Neal. “So I did Chappelle’s Show. And then I would tell myself that I was a good sketch writer but I couldn’t write for Saturday Night Live because I could write single-camera sketches like for Chappelle’s Show but I couldn’t do multicam live sketches. That was my caveat. And then I went along when Chappelle hosted SNL, and I wrote a good multicam sketch. And then I was like, ‘Oh, I can do that.’” As a person plugged into the entertainment industry, Neal knows he’s not alone in feeling this way, that a big achievement or pile of money would clean up the mind.


pages: 317 words: 89,825

No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention by Reed Hastings, Erin Meyer

Airbnb, Downton Abbey, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, global village, hiring and firing, job-hopping, late fees, loose coupling, loss aversion, out of africa, performance metric, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, subscription business

TEACH ALL EMPLOYEES TO GIVE AND RECEIVE FEEDBACK WELL In Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s Oscar-winning film A Star Is Born, there is a scene in which candor done wrong is displayed in all its ugliness. Lady Gaga is lying in a bath full of bubbles. She has recently been recognized as a musical star in her own right, receiving three Grammy nominations. Her mentor (and recently turned husband) comes into the bathroom having had too much to drink. And he tells her candidly how he feels about her new original song, which she just performed on Saturday Night Live. You got nominated and that’s great . . . I’m just trying to figure it out. (Your song) “Why You Come Around Me with an Ass Like That.” (eyes rolling . . . long sigh) Maybe I failed you. You’re embarrassing. I got to be honest with you.” Despite all the talk about feedback at Netflix, this type of candor would not fly. A climate of candor doesn’t mean anything goes. The first few times Netflix employees gave me feedback I felt so startled I thought the rules of feedback were something like, “say what’s on your mind, to hell with the cost.”

Not only was our new model way more expensive, but it also meant customers had to manage two websites and two subscriptions instead of one. Over the next few quarters, we lost millions of subscribers and our stock dropped more than 75 percent in value. Everything we’d built was crashing down because of my bad decision. It was the lowest point in my career—definitely not an experience I want to repeat. When I apologized on a YouTube video, I looked so stressed that Saturday Night Live made fun of me. But that humiliation was a valuable wake-up call, because afterward dozens of Netflix managers and VPs started coming forward to say they hadn’t believed in the idea. One said, “I knew it was going to be a disaster, but I thought, ‘Reed is always right,’ so I kept quiet.” A guy from finance agreed, “We thought it was crazy, because we knew a large percentage of our customers paid the ten dollars but didn’t even use the DVD service.

Peabody and Sherman Show, The, 145 Munk de Alba, Marta, 179, 180 Musk, Elon, xvii Myers, Vernā, 241 N Narcos, 132, 137 National Public Radio (NPR), 166–68 NBC, 82 Neal, Jessica, 6, 142, 218 Negotiating Your Salary: How to Make $1000 a Minute (Chapman), 86 Netherlands, 242, 243, 246, 248, 251, 261–63 Netflix: “adequate performance gets a generous severance” mantra at, xv, xxii, 171, 175–76, 242 awards and nominations of, xvii, 76, 145, 165, 233 Blockbuster offered purchase of, xi–xii children’s programming on, 144–45, 226–31 content licensed from external studios by, xvii–xviii, 75–76 content produced in-house by, xii, xviii, 75–76, 236 crisis in 2001, 4–7 culture of, xiii, xxii, xxiii, 45 Culture Deck of, xiii–xvi, 172–73 diversity at, 241 downloading and, 146–48 employees as part of, versus working for, 108–9, 115 employees’ love for, xvii Explorer project, 154–55, 157 financial information of, 270 founding of, xi, 3–4 global expansion of, xvii, xviii, 147–48, 224–31, 236, 237–65, 239–65 American-centric culture and, 261 see also global expansion and cultural differences “highly aligned, loosely coupled” mantra at, 217–18 internal competitiveness at, 177–78 IPO of, xii, xvi, 110 layoffs at, 4–7, 10, 77, 168 leadership tree at, 221–31 meetings at all-hands, 108 Estaff, 218–19, 243 length of, 248–49 Quarterly Business Review, 49, 63, 110, 114, 145, 218–21, 224–26, 243 Memento project, 156, 157 Qwikster, 140–42 and shift from DVDs to streaming, xii, xvii, 140–41, 236 stock price of, xvi–xvii, 236 success of, xvi–xviii, xxiv, 6, 76, 77, 236 tagging and categorization of content on, 87 as team, not family, 168–70, 173–74, 250 and transitions in entertainment and business environment, xvii–xviii turnover at, 185 viewer data of, 270 Wii interface and, 154 Netflix Innovation Cycle, 139–40 asking what learning came from the project, 153, 155 celebrating wins, 140, 152 failures and, 140, 152–59 farming for dissent, 140–44, 158 not making a big deal about failures, 153–55 placing your bet as an informed captain, 140, 149–52 socializing the idea, 140, 144–45, 158, 159 spreadsheet system and, 143–44 sunshining failures, 153, 155–59 testing out big ideas, 140, 146–48 New York Times, 165, 178 Nickelodeon, 25, 75, 144 Nieva, Jennifer, 66–68 Nishamura, Lisa, 233 Nokia, xviii Northwestern University, 32 NPR (National Public Radio), 166–68 O office politics, 189 OfficeTeam, 79–80 Olympic Games, 207–8, 232 “only say about someone what you will say to their face,” 15, 189–90 opening the books, see transparency Orange Is the New Black, xvii, 75, 236 Oscars, xvii, 165, 233 Outliers (Gladwell), 142 oxytocin, 21 P Paris, 268–69 paying top of personal market, 75–99, 174 creative positions and, 78–79, 83–84 form of payment and, 79–81 rare skill sets and, 85 recruiters and, 93–98 rock-star principle and, 77–79, 81 see also salaries Peace Corps, xxii, xxiii, 14, 101, 239–40 Peña Nieto, Enrique, 138 penguins, elephants versus, 174 Peppa Pig, 227–28 Perez, Kari, 136–40 performance: “adequate performance gets a generous severance,” xv, xxii, 171, 175–76, 242 annual reviews, 191 bonuses and, 80–84 candor and, 17–20 as contagious, 8–10 differing levels in teams, 7–8 family business metaphor and, 166–68 metrics and, 81–82 hard work and, 39 internal competitiveness and, 177–78 Key Performance Indicators, 81, 191, 209 performance improvement plan (PIP) process, 175–76 see also talent density Peters, Greg, 45, 218, 255–57 PlayStation, 154 pleasing the boss, 129–30, 133, 152–53, 191, 198 praise and compliments, 21, 23 pratfall effect, 124 privacy, 120 Protector, The, xvii Procter & Gamble, 81 Pruckner, Gerald, 59 psychological safety, xv Pure Software, xviii–xix, xxiv, 3, 4, 6, 7, 13–14, 55, 64, 71, 101, 122, 123, 236 pyramid structure, 129, 221–23 Q Quarterly Business Review (QBR) meetings, 49, 63, 110, 114, 145, 218–21, 224–26, 243 quitting current job, reasons for, 79–80 Qwikster, 140–42 R raises, 87–93 Ramachandran, Shalini, 178 Ramsey, Bella, 227 Randolph, Marc, 3 Netflix cofounded by, xi, 3–4 in Netflix’s offer to Blockbuster, xi–xii rank-and-yank, 177–78 Reputation Institute, xvii Reguera, Ana de la, 137 responsibility, see freedom and responsibility Rhimes, Shonda, xii Rites of Passage at $100,000 to $1 Million+ (Lucht), 95 rock-star principle, 77–79, 81 Roma, xii, 165 Rosh, Lisa, 124 rules and process, xix, 236, 267–68 when to choose, 269–71 see also control, leadership by Russia, 207–8, 232 S Sacred Games, xvii safety issues, and management style, 213–14, 269–71 Saint-Exupéry, Antoine de, 215 salaries: adjusting down, 93 bonuses and, 80–81 changing companies and, 89–90 form of payment and, 79–81 negotiating, 86, 87 for operational positions, 78 paying top of personal market, 75–99, 174 creative positions and, 78–79, 83–84 form of payment and, 79–81 rare skill sets and, 85 recruiters and, 93–98 rock-star principle and, 77–79, 81 performance reviews and, 191 and quitting current job, 79–80 raises in, 87–93 recruiters and, 93–98 reviewing, 87–93 Sampaio, Leonardo, 249–50 Samsung, 65–66 Sandberg, Sheryl, xiii, 130 San Jose Mercury News, 52 Sarandos, Ted, 24–26, 43, 94–98, 218, 230 alien movie and, 129 bungee jumping story of, 194–95 on “hierarchy of picking,” 165–66 Icarus and, 208 in leadership tree, 223–27, 230, 231 360s and, 195–98, 201 Saturday Night Live, 141 Sausgruber, Rupert, 59 Schendel, Zach, 147, 148 Schlumberger, 240–41 Scorsese, Martin, xii secrets, 102–3, 110 at HBO, 114 reasons for keeping, 106 SOS (stuff of secrets) information, 103–5, 157 symbols of, 104–5 trust and, 102–5 see also transparency Series of Unfortunate Events, A, 145 severance pay: “adequate performance gets a generous severance,” xv, xxii, 171, 175–76, 242 in Europe, 242 sexual harassment, 270 signing contracts, 149–51 Silicon Valley, 77, 130, 136 Singapore, 243, 246, 248, 251, 257–59, 261, 264 60 Minutes, 232 Sky Italy, 131–32 Slepian, Michael, 102 Smith, Frederick, 138–39 socializing the idea, 140, 144–45, 158, 159 Society for Human Resource Management, 185 software, 77–78, 216 Songkick, 50 spending, see travel and expenses; travel and expense approvals, removing spin, 118, 120 Spotify, 136 spreadsheet system, 143–44 Stack, Jack, 107–10 stack ranking, 177–78 Stamberg, Susan, 167 Star Is Born, A, 29 status quo, xxiv stealing, 56 Stranger Things, xvii, xviii, 25, 75, 76, 78–79 streaming, 147, 154 downloading and, 146–48 shift from DVDs to, xii, xvii, 140–41, 236 Stuber, Scott, 165 subtitles, 227 Sundance Film Festival, 207, 233 Sun Microsystems, 6 sunshining, 105 of failures, 153, 155–59 systems, loosely versus tightly coupled, 215–17 T talent, 7 contagious behavior and, 8–10 and differing performance levels in teams, 7–8 talent density, 7–8 building up and fortifying, xx, xxi, 1, 2–11, 72, 74–99, 164–87 collaboration and, 170, 178 creating a great workplace of stunning colleagues, 3–11 decision-making and, 131 family business metaphor and, 166–68 hierarchy of picking and, 165–66 hiring and, 166 internal competitiveness and, 177–78 Keeper Test and, xiv, 165–87 Keeper Test Prompt and, 180–83 and leading with context versus control, 212, 213 and moving from family to sports team metaphor, 168–70, 173–74 Netflix layoffs and, 4–7, 10, 77, 168 and readiness to release decision-making controls, 133–35 stack ranking (rank-and-yank) and, 177–78 360s and, 200 see also paying top of personal market talking behind people’s backs, 15, 189–90 Tanz, Larry, 96–97, 195, 201 Target, 213–15 teams: contagious behavior in, 8–10 differing performance levels in, 7–8 dream, 76 feedback from teammates, 199 lean, 79 tensions in, 199 televisions, 4K ultra high definition, 65–66 Tesla, Inc., xvii Thinkers50, xxii 13 Reasons Why, 32 360-degree assessments (circle of feedback), 26–27, 189–205 benefits of, 202–3 discussion facilitated by, 194 in Japan, 256 live, 197–203 stepping out of line during, 200–201 tips for, 199–200 written, names used in, 191–97 Thunell, Matt, 75–79 tight versus loose coupling, 215–17 transparency (opening the books), 101–27 decision-making and, 131 difficult decisions in, 115–16 empowerment and, 109 and feeling it’s better not to know some things, 115–16 giving low-level employees access to information, 109 and information that would be illegal to leak, 106–11 knowing when to share, 106 about mistakes, 121–25 possible organizational restructuring and, 112–17 post-firing communication and, 117–20 quiz scenarios on, 106–25 privacy and, 120 risks of, 106, 110 sharing financial data, 108–11 sunshining, 105 360-degree assessments and, 194 see also secrets travel and expenses: flying business class, 63–64 honesty and, 58–59 rules for, 55–59, 64 spending company money as if it were your own, 57–58 travel and expense approvals, removing, 55–72 cheating and, 62–64 company’s best interest and, 58, 59, 61, 66, 68–69 context and, 59–62 Freedom and Responsibility ethos and, 60–62 frugality and, 64–69 Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia, 145 trust, 102–5, 108, 113, 119, 123–25, 157, 170 cultural differences and, 248, 249 see also transparency truth, 157 spinning, 118, 120 see also candor; transparency Turkey, 157–59 turnover, 184–85 Twitter, 137 U Uber, 136 University of Mannheim, 123–24 V vacation policy, removing, xv, 39–53, 56, 69–70 freedom and responsibility and, 52–53 Hastings’ nightmares about, 40–41, 42, 44 Hastings’ vacations, 44, 45, 47 Japanese workers and, 46–47 leaders’ modeling and, 42–47 loss aversion and, xv–xvi and setting and reinforcing context to guide employee behavior, 48–49 value added by, 50–52 Vai Anitta, 97 values, xiii Vanity Fair, 137, 176, 177 VH1, 221 Viacom, xii, 68, 69 Virgin Management, 50 Visualsoft, 50 vitality curve, 177–78 vulnerability, 123–24 W Wall Street Journal, 66, 178 Walmart, 166 Wang, Andrew, 75, 79 Wang, Karlyne, 257–60 Wang, Spencer, 110–11 WarnerMedia, 82 Washington Post, 65 Watchever, 148 Webcredible, 50 Week, The, 178 Welch, Jack, 177 Wells, David, 57, 59, 64, 196 West, Jerret, 132–33, 135 white-water kayaking, 180 Wickens, Brent, 62–63 Wii, 154 Worst Witch, 227 Wright, Brian, 25, 75, 79 Y Yacoubian, Aram, 223, 224, 228–31 Yahoo, 151 Yellin, Todd, 147, 148, 154 YouTube, 145–48 Yurechko, Mark, 114 Z Zenger Folkman, 21 ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ ABOUT THE AUTHORS Reed Hastings is an entrepreneur who has revolutionized entertainment since co-founding Netflix in 1997, serving as its chairman and CEO since 1999.


pages: 308 words: 98,022

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

impulse control, Mason jar, Pepto Bismol, 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: 367 words: 99,765

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

Asperger Syndrome, augmented reality, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, 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: 336 words: 95,773

The Theft of a Decade: How the Baby Boomers Stole the Millennials' Economic Future by Joseph C. Sternberg

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, American Legislative Exchange Council, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Basel III, Bernie Sanders, blue-collar work, centre right, corporate raider, Detroit bankruptcy, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, employer provided health coverage, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, future of work, gig economy, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, job satisfaction, job-hopping, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Nate Silver, new economy, obamacare, oil shock, payday loans, pension reform, quantitative easing, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, TaskRabbit, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, uber lyft, unpaid internship, women in the workforce

This has been a particularly dangerous assumption when it comes to two of the biggest long-term drivers of government spending: the old-age entitlements of Social Security and Medicare. “Dead Men Ruling” Perhaps like many older Millennials, I first started hearing about the financial problems of Social Security and Medicare from Saturday Night Live in the autumn of 2000. I had just graduated from high school that spring, and a presidential election was underway—the first in which those of us born in 1982 would vote. Little of that campaign sticks in my memory—with hindsight and more experience, I realize it’s because it was an especially uninspiring campaign—but the thing I remember most clearly is a parody. Saturday Night Live, as ever, was ready after each debate with a spoof to send up the candidates, George W. Bush and Al Gore. And after the first debate, the aspect of Gore’s campaign they focused on was the “lockbox.”

., 7 diversity, 7 See also specific generations Generations: The History of America’s Future, 1584-2069 (Strauss and Howe), 6–7 Germany bailouts and, 180 financial crisis, 180 migrants, 199 military spending and, 198n taxes and, 196–198 traits of people, 198 Germany/Millennials apprenticeship system, 181, 233 “balanced budgets” and, 195–196, 198–201 falling birthrates effects, 199 minimum wage and, 184 pension systems/retirement age and, 199, 200 welfare state/entitlements, 195, 196, 198–200 GI Bill, 120 gig economy Boomers and, 71 description, 69–72, 70n middleman and, 70, 140 Millennials and, 71, 234 technology and, 69–70 Ginnie Mae, 133 Gokhale, Jagadeesh, 171–172 Gore, Al “lockbox” and, 153–154, 161n Saturday Night Live and, 153–154 Great Depression, 10, 14, 49, 83, 119, 148, 163n, 238 Great Recession. See financial crisis/Great Recession Great Society, 149 Greece financial crisis, 180, 180n Millennials confidence, 201 Green Party, 219 Greenspan, Alan, 55, 124 gross domestic product. See GDP (gross domestic product) Gurner, Tim avocado/coffee and, 1, 2, 3 homebuying and, 116 inheritance, 4 Hamilton, Alexander, 147, 147n, 148 Hammond, Darrell, 153 Harris, Kamala, 214 Hawley, Josh, 212 HCAI (Housing Credit Availability Index), 139, 139n health care electronic medical records, 235 See also Affordable Care Act/Obamacare; health insurance health insurance economic security and, 65 employer-based insurance/history, 65, 66 See also Affordable Care Act/Obamacare Hillbilly Elegy (Vance), 45 HOLC (Home Owner Loan Corporation), 119–120 Home Owner Loan Corporation (HOLC), 119–120 housing amortizing mortgage, 120, 120n balloon loans, 119 Boomer ownership, 109, 110, 111 Federal Reserve/mortgage lending and, 61–62 GI Bill and, 120 Great Depression/government response and, 119–121 history, 113–114, 114n, 118–119 Millennial home ownership/education debt and, 94–95 mortgages/taxes and, 120, 126, 127 multigenerational households, 112, 113 ownership value debate, 120n postwar boom and, 121 Housing Credit Availability Index (HCAI), 139, 139n housing/financial crisis bailouts, 130, 130n, 132n bank liquidity and, 129–130 Boomers and, 134, 135 description/consequences, 128–129 foreclosures and, 111, 132, 132n, 135 home equity increase and, 125–128, 126n home equity loss and, 10, 110–111 home ownership decline and, 121, 122 homeowners “lock-in” and, 136 housing debt/policies, 123–127, 125n insolvency crisis and, 129–130 interest rates and, 124–125, 125n, 127–128, 136 managing policies, 129–137 Millennials and, 131, 135–140, 141–143 mobility and, 135–136 mortgage-backed securities (MBS) market and, 124, 125n, 128, 129 mortgage security and, 122–124 press release/beginnings, 128 quantitative easing, 133, 135, 136, 137 quantitative easing dollar amount, 137 regulations following/Millennials and, 137–140 subprime/prime borrowers and, 126–127, 126n housing/Millennial issues economics and, 17, 110, 111, 112–113 expectations, 109–110 living with parents/statistics, 111–113, 114 locations/job locations and, 116, 117–118 multigenerational households, 112, 114n ownership/demographics, 115–116 renting/costs and, 113, 113n, 114, 114n, 141–142, 141n starter homes and, 116, 117 supplies and, 116–118 Howe, Neil, 6–7 HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development), 123 Iceland and financial crisis, 180 immigration Millennials views, 218, 225–226 Trump, Donald and, 225–226 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), 211 India, 178, 201 Industrial Revolution, 113 information/computer technology rise, 56, 235 inheritances/Millennials beliefs/estimates, 103–104 Boomers life expectancy/health care finances and, 104–105 feudalism/history and, 106 Fidelity surveys, 105 Millennials retirement and, 107–108 timing and, 105–106 interest rates Bush and, 57 Federal Reserve and, 18, 19, 124 housing/financial crisis and, 124–125, 125n, 127–128, 136 Trump and, 19, 231–232 International Monetary Fund (IMF), 182–183 internships/Millennials numbers, 31 Obama and, 73 overview, 31, 72–73 pay and, 31, 72 work descriptions, 32 investment Boomers childhood and, 49 consumption relationship, 50 costs of labor vs. capital, 63–64, 65–66, 229 during Bush administration, 57 during Reagan administration, 53, 54 fixed investment, 49, 51, 53, 56, 57, 60, 127 growth (mid-twentieth century), 49 need to increase and, 15–17, 51 productivity and, 16, 49 technologies replacing labor and, 62–63 investment-and-productivity boom (1950s/1960s), 49–50 decline (1970s/1980s), 50 Ireland and financial crisis, 180 Italy Millennials and, 184, 201 temporary work, 184 Jackson, Alphonso, 123 Jackson, Andrew, 147 Japan consumption tax, 206 corporate scandals, 202, 202n debt, 205–206 demographic boom, 203n economic growth (1960s/1970s), 201–202 population trend, 207 working mothers and, 209 Japan Millennials delayed marriages/children and, 208–209 economy and, 203, 205, 206–207 inflation and, 207–208 interest rates and, 207–208, 208n job/training investments and, 204–205 lifetime employment deal and, 203–204 regular/nonregular work, 202–203, 202n taxes and, 205 Jeffersonians, 147n job hopping, 37–38 “jobless recovery,” 35, 69 jobs/job market and Millennials age of employee/job losses, 35–39 Boomers vs., 27, 46 company size and, 38–39 economists categories of jobs/job losses and, 33–34 experience requirements and, 37 financial crisis/recession losses distribution, 32–37 “fun/fulfilling” work and, 29 goals/dreams, 31 job losses by skill level, 34 job opportunity losses/time effects, 39–40 jobs replaced by robots, 34, 34n lower-skilled/low-paying employment replacements and, 36–37 mentors vs. bosses, 29–30 overqualification and, 42–43 pay/job losses and, 33–34 recovery from financial crisis and, 35, 59 statistics on white/blue collar jobs, 28 transformed jobs and, 27–29, 27n wants description, 29 See also specific components Johnson, Lyndon, 149 Kander, Jason, 212 Keynes, John Maynard/Keynesian economics, 50n, 58, 163n Kotlikoff, Laurence J., 171–172 labor capital vs. labor costs, 63–64, 65–66, 229 costs, 65–66 costs (by 1990s), 55 replacing labor and, 17, 34, 34n, 62–63 See also union power labor-force participation rate in 1970s, 47 in 1980s, 54 description, 30 Millennials/post-2008 decade, 30–31 labor productivity complementary technologies and, 49 definition, 48n labor hours and, 49 output per hour worked and, 48, 48n, 56, 57 labor share in 1950s/1960s, 47, 50 definition/description, 47 during Clinton presidency, 56 during Reagan presidency, 56 economic theories on, 62 trend past 50 years, 62 Lehman Brothers, 11, 129, 133 Libertarian candidates, 219 McAfee, Andrew, 41 McCain, John, 225 McCain, Meghan, 215 Maloney, Carolyn, 219 Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, 58 ManpowerGroup, 31 manufacturing economy (US) decline, 12, 14 description, 15–16 MBS (mortgage-backed securities) market, 124, 125n, 128, 129 Medicaid Affordable Care Act and, 167 financial problems, 156 role, 149 Medicare for all Americans, 211 financial problems/Millennials and, 153–161 inflation and, 169 insurance comparisons, 154 Millennial resources and, 142 role, 149 See also entitlements for elderly Medicare Part D, 157 Merkel, Angela political party/government and, 197, 200, 200n taxes and, 197 Merrill Lynch, 11, 128–129 Merrill Lynch survey/savings, 78 military spending deficit spending (government) and, 151 generational fairness and, 171 Millennials avocado/coffee debate, 1–3 childhood diseases and, 3–4 definition/description, 5–9, 237 diversity and, 216, 237–238 ethnicity, 9 as immigrants/children of immigrants and, 8–9, 112 material well-being and, 3–5 navigators and, 21–23 numbers, 8 parents/security and, 3–4 as “retirement plans” for parents, 145 second language and, 8 sex and, 217 social questions, 216–217 stereotypes and, 1–3, 29–30, 235 term origins, 6 views of, 1–3, 4–5, 26–27 wars and, 4 minimum wages debates/views on, 185 Europe, 183–184 in US, 183–184 Mondale, Walter, 20 mortgage-backed securities (MBS) market, 124, 125n, 128, 129 Mortgage Servicing Assets (MSAs), 138n Mulligan, Casey B., 165 Murphy, Patrick, 212 National Center for Education Statistics data analysis, 92–93 National Football League union refs lockout (2012), 49n National Home-ownership Strategy (1995), 123 navigator Millennials, 21–23 NEETs (youths “not in employment, education, or training”), 181 Netherlands minimum wage, 184 New Deal/regulations, 52–53, 148–149 Obama, Barack Boomers and, 64 education policy and, 93–94, 97–101 financial crisis/Great Recession and, 129, 131–132, 132n, 137, 162–164, 223–234 Millennials and, 64, 218–219, 224 policies and, 18, 19, 24, 64, 73, 93–94, 97–101 regulation and, 229 unpaid internships and, 73 See also Affordable Care Act/Obamacare Obamacare.


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: 430 words: 109,064

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

American ideology, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, break the buck, business cycle, buy and hold, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, Charles Lindbergh, 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 http://rortybomb.wordpress.com/2009/09/18/ppip-debut/. 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 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124182311010302297.html. 40. Saturday Night Live (NBC television broadcast May 11, 2009), available at http://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Live/video/clips/geithner-cold-open/1099562/. 41. Tim Geithner, “Written Testimony: Congressional Oversight Panel,” April 21, 2009, available at http://www.treas.gov/press/releases/tg94.htm. 42. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, The Supervisory Capital Assessment Program: Overview of Results, May 7, 2009, available at http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/bcreg20090507a1.pdf.

.* 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: 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.


pages: 379 words: 109,223

Frenemies: The Epic Disruption of the Ad Business by Ken Auletta

Airbnb, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, commoditize, connected car, corporate raider, crossover SUV, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, forensic accounting, Google Glasses, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Khan Academy, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Naomi Klein, NetJets, Network effects, pattern recognition, pets.com, race to the bottom, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, éminence grise

They met when he was moderating a panel at CES and a debate between Everson and Publicis executive Pam Zucker ensued about how best to massage and employ data. To add a touch of levity, Kassan borrowed what he thought was a familiar joke from Saturday Night Live: “Pam, what you’re really saying is, ‘Carolyn, you ignorant slut! You don’t know what you’re talking about.’” The audience laughed. Everson did not. The next morning, a Friday, a friend phoned Kassan and said, “You have a real problem with Viacom. You called Carolyn Everson a slut!” The CEO of MTV lodged a formal complaint with CES. Chastened, Kassan phoned Everson and tried explaining that he had borrowed a line from one of the all-time most popular skits on Saturday Night Live. “You actually think I would call you a slut onstage?” Monday morning when Everson arrived at work she was greeted by a dozen roses and a signed note from Kassan: “Here’s hoping I get a second chance at a first impression.”

Television watching on all channels declined 3 percent in 2015, according to a study by Michael Nathanson, senior media analyst of MoffettNathanson, and Netflix viewing accounted for half the decline. One reason for that decline is ad fatigue. “We have overstuffed the bird,” Kevin Reilly, president of cable networks TBS and TNT confessed to the Television Critics Association in early 2016. In a halfhearted attempt to reduce ad clutter, Reilly’s networks and the Fox network announced that they would reduce their ad loads, however slightly. NBC’s Saturday Night Live said it was paring its commercial breaks by one third. Others gingerly followed. Mindful that his cash register was filling nicely, Les Moonves declined to join. Asked if she worried about ad clutter, Jo Ann Ross says she doesn’t. “Maybe down the road this model gets tweaked. But so far, people haven’t come to us and said, ‘I’m not buying you because you have too many commercials.’” Moonves was aware of other competitive threats, including Google’s YouTube and Facebook, each of which commonly—and falsely—boast that their audience exceeds that of network TV.


pages: 239 words: 62,005

Don't Burn This Book: Thinking for Yourself in an Age of Unreason by Dave Rubin

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, battle of ideas, Bernie Sanders, Burning Man, butterfly effect, centre right, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, Donald Trump, failed state, gender pay gap, illegal immigration, immigration reform, job automation, low skilled workers, mutually assured destruction, obamacare, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, school choice, Silicon Valley, Steven Pinker, Tim Cook: Apple, unpaid internship, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

Their advice ranged from tackling climate change by minimizing food waste to making Donald Trump the main topic of conversation at the dinner table (as well as the horrors of the Republican tax cuts). They also suggested boycotting the great Thanksgiving tradition of American football by tackling “the issue of head trauma among current and former NFL players.” Ironically, you can probably get head trauma by reading such drivel. These are tragic examples of a very modern affliction. One that grinds people down into the living embodiment of Debbie Downer from Saturday Night Live—a show that has also become a victim of its own messiah complex. What was once smart, irreverent, and bitingly funny sketch comedy is now angry, resentful, and brittle. Clearly, people are losing their minds and their sense of humor, but more than just our sanity is at stake in the culture war. So is our freedom. When we fail to live a life outside politics, we become a slave to it.

See leftism/progressivism ProPublica, 99 racism, 18–19, 83–84 against Asian Americans, 143 hate crimes, statistics on, 107–8 systemic (See systemic racism) against white men, 144–45 Raskin, Aza, 200 Reagan, Ronald, 67 Real Time with Bill Maher (TV show), 17–20 redemption narratives, 183 red line in Syria, failure to enforce, 68 Reilly, Wilfred, 107 religious hate crimes, 108 religious stories, need for, 180–84 Republicans = bad, Democrats = good myth, 111–13 reverse psychology, 67 “Reverse Racism Effect, The” (James, James & Vila), 98–99 Review of Income and Wealth, The, 103 Ridley, Matt, 110 Right Side of History, The (Shapiro), 168, 183–84 Rihanna, 146 Roberts, Robin, 156 Rock, Chris, 189 Rogan, Joe, 159 Roose, Kevin, 159–61 Rubin, Artie, 137 Rubin, Ira, 137 Rubin, Isaac, 136–37 Rubin, Jennie, 136–37 Rubin, Miriam, 137 Rubin Report, The, 6–7, 26, 76, 77, 78, 87, 94, 114, 122 Ruffalo, Mark, 127 Russian Hoax, 157–58 Saad, Gad, 87, 139 Salem Witch trials of 1692, 198 Salon, 149 Salzmann, Karl, 199–200 Sanders, Bernie, 69, 156 Sandmann, Nick, 154, 155 Saturday Night Live (TV show), 198 Schedule I controlled substances, 34–35 Sheindlin, Judith (Judge Judy), 146 school choice, 113 Schumer, Amy, 127 Schumer, Chuck, 43–44 Second Amendment, 54–55 second-guessing yourself, 8–9 Selective Service registration, 102 sexism, 83, 84, 144–45 shaming, 8 Shapiro, Ben, 6–7, 39, 78–79, 160–61, 167–68, 183–84 Shepherd, Lindsay, 24–25 Shermer, Michael, 50, 51 Shoot the Damn Dog (Brampton), 203 Shout Your Abortion, 46 silencing of dissent, 22–24 Simpsons, The (TV show), 189 Sinatra, Frank, 125 Skokie, Illinois neo-Nazi march, 1972, 50 slow thinking, 96–97 Smith, Adam, 30–31 Smollett, Jussie, 107, 155–57 socialism, 14 social technology, 200–203 Somalia, 133 “Some Inconvenient Gun Facts for Liberals” (Kristof), 106 Sommers, Christina Hoff, 6–7, 81 Southern Poverty Law Center, 132, 134 Sowell, Thomas, 6–7, 63–64, 65, 95, 112–13 Spiegel, Der, 74–75 Sri Lanka, 101 Starr, Sonja, 102 Stelter, Brian, 157 Stephanopoulos, George, 43 stereotypes, classical liberalism and neutralization of, 31 Stewart, Jon, 134–35 Submission (film), 134 suicides, gun-related, 106 Sweden, 140 Switzerland, 140–41 Syria, chemical assault by, 68 systemic racism, 89–92, 97–100 black shootings of police, statistics on, 99 decline in racial bias, studies indicating, 97–98 diversity in Congress and, 100 Elder interview and, 89–92 homicide rates, 100 police shootings of blacks versus whites, statistics on, 98–99 poverty rates, 99–100 taking rights for granted, avoiding, 131–35 talkpoverty.org, 92 taxation amounts paid, men versus women, 102–3 cigarettes and, 35 tax rates, 64–65 terrorism Charlie Hebdo attack, 20–21 9/11 terrorist attacks, 4–5 Thailand, 140 Thiel, Peter, 6–7, 85 Thinking Fast and Slow (Kahneman), 96–97 Thirteenth Amendment, 112 “This Is America” (song), 146 Three Languages of Politics, The (Kling), 95–96 Thunberg, Greta, 197 Today Show, The, 155 tolerance of opposing viewpoints, 37–39 Top Five Regrets of the Dying, The (Ware), 195–96 trans issues, 59–62 as decision for adults and not children, 59–61 detransition rates, 61 gender dysphoria, children may outgrow, 61 language use and, 61–62 troop withdrawals, 70 Truman Show, The (film), 149 Trump, Donald, 45, 53, 69, 130 Tupy, Marian I., 109 Turner, Ted, 150 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos (Peterson), 81–82 Twitter speech guidelines of, 53 trolling on, by women, 101–2 Uighurs, 139 Ukraine, 69 United Kingdom, 69, 101 U.S.


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, longitudinal study, 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: 201 words: 67,347

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: 247 words: 64,986

Hive Mind: How Your Nation’s IQ Matters So Much More Than Your Own by Garett Jones

centre right, clean water, corporate governance, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, en.wikipedia.org, experimental economics, Flynn Effect, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, hive mind, invisible hand, Kenneth Arrow, law of one price, meta analysis, meta-analysis, prediction markets, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Saturday Night Live, social intelligence, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, wikimedia commons, zero-sum game

My colleagues and I sometimes play a board game called Imperial. It’s a global strategy game, a lot like Risk, with one exception: instead of controlling the nations directly, you’re an investment banker who holds the debt of different countries. And if you hold more of a given country’s debt than any other player, you control that country. It’s hidden control, to be sure—which makes the game all the more interesting. There was even a Saturday Night Live sketch about the power of debtholders in 2009: President Obama meets with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, and the premier keeps telling Obama how to run the country. Of course, the president has to listen since the Chinese government and its banks hold so much U.S. debt. You have to listen to your lender. Is that how the real world works? Do debt-laden countries lose some control to their foreign investors?

The shareholders use debt to get the CEO to commit to run big profits, to be productive, to keep revenues high and costs low. The same could be going on in national governments, even if only accidentally. By having outsiders—lenders from more patient countries—holding a nation’s debt, governments are committing to having some outside monitor keep a sharp eye on the economy and make, well, suggestions for improvement from time to time. A bit like in the Saturday Night Live sketch, the monitor might demand that the indebted nation change its economic policies before getting any more loans.19 If your nation is going to owe money to someone, it’s best to owe money to someone who’d do a good job shaping your country’s economic policies. As we’ll see later, IQ does correlate not only with patience but also with pro-market attitudes, so having lenders from countries with higher test scores will likely give a nation relatively pro-market lenders.


pages: 50 words: 15,155

Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard

Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Donald Trump, feminist movement, glass ceiling, knowledge economy, Saturday Night Live, wikimedia commons

The regulation trouser suits, or at least the trousers, worn by so many Western female political leaders, from Angela Merkel to Hillary Clinton, may be convenient and practical; they may be a signal of the refusal to become a clothes horse, which is the fate of so many political wives; but they are also a simple tactic – like lowering the timbre of the voice – to make the female appear more male, to fit the part of power. Elizabeth I (or whoever invented her famous speech) knew exactly what the game was when she said she had ‘the heart and stomach of a king’. And it was that idea of the divorce between women and power that made Melissa McCarthy’s parodies of the one time White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Saturday Night Live so effective. It was said that these annoyed President Trump more than most satires on his regime, because, according to one of the ‘sources close to him’, ‘he doesn’t like his people to appear weak.’ Decode that, and what it actually means is that he doesn’t like his men to be parodied by and as women. Weakness comes with a female gender. 14. Angela Merkel and Hillary Clinton spotted together in their female politicians’ uniform.


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: 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, Ben Horowitz, 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, 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: 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, Nelson Mandela, 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.


Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House by Peter Baker

addicted to oil, anti-communist, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bob Geldof, buy low sell high, card file, clean water, collective bargaining, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, drone strike, energy security, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, friendly fire, guest worker program, hiring and firing, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Saturday Night Live, South China Sea, stem cell, too big to fail, uranium enrichment, War on Poverty, working poor, Yom Kippur War

See also Woodward, Bush at War, 109. 95 “Did we get into trouble”: Daschle, Like No Other Time, 129–31. CHAPTER 9: “THE FIRST BATTLE OF THE WAR” 1 “The whole goal was to keep”: Neil Patel, author interview. 2 Ron Christie, gave him: Christie, Black in the White House, 164–65. 3 “one-man Afghani wrecking”: Saturday Night Live, NBC, October 13, 2001, http://www.hulu.com/watch/200731/saturday-night-live-drew-barrymore. 4 “energy-saving mode”: Saturday Night Live, NBC, May 12, 2001, http://www.hulu.com/watch/274305/saturday-night-live-dick-cheney-cold-opening. 5 “We were all under”: Christie, Black in the White House, 164. 6 “You had brothers, sisters”: Joe Hagin, author interview. 7 White House chef began preparing: Scheib, White House Chef, 268–69. 8 “cover-your-ass kind of”: Dick Cheney, author interview. 9 “It had a huge impact”: Condoleezza Rice, author interview. 10 “anything other than scared”: Tenet, At the Center of the Storm, 99. 11 “He didn’t bring it all home”: Laura Bush, Spoken from the Heart, 228. 12 “Bush lacked a big organizing”: Frum, Right Man, 274. 13 “Nine-eleven blew him away”: Joe O’Neill, author interview. 14 hitting 90 percent: CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll, September 21–22, 2001, http://www.gallup.com/poll/4924/bush-job-approval-highest-gallup-history.aspx.

A curtain would be set up behind him so no one would know his location; once, it was jostled, and aides recognized the backdrop as Cheney’s own home. In another surreal moment, the vice president nodded off on-screen. The phrase “undisclosed secure location” quickly entered the cultural lexicon. One day when he emerged from what aides called “the Cave” to return to the White House, one of Cheney’s domestic policy advisers, Ron Christie, gave him a recording of a Saturday Night Live sketch in which the vice president’s secret location was revealed as Kandahar, Afghanistan, and he was presented as a “one-man Afghani wrecking crew” demolishing the Taliban and al-Qaeda single-handedly. The comic Cheney, played by Darrell Hammond, explained how he could do this with a weak heart by tearing open his shirt to reveal a metal device attached to his chest. “I got me a bionic ticker!”

“I got me a bionic ticker!” the impersonator crowed. “This thing regulates my heartbeat, it gives me night vision and renders me completely invisible on radar!” Then, pushing a button, he said, “Check this out.” Coffee began pouring from the mechanical heart. “I brew my own Sanka! Oh yeah, now that’s good coffee.” What a difference a few months had made. Before September 11, the running joke on Saturday Night Live had been Cheney’s monotonous demeanor: giving a speech on energy policy, the ersatz Cheney said he had personally demonstrated conservation by putting his personality into an “energy-saving mode.” Cheney, unsurprisingly, enjoyed the revamped version, describing the bionic-heart skit as one of his favorites. Even beyond the vice president’s absences, the West Wing in the weeks following the attacks was almost unrecognizable.


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, pets.com, 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.


pages: 273 words: 85,195

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, back-to-the-land, big-box store, Burning Man, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, full employment, game design, gender pay gap, Gini coefficient, income inequality, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Mars Rover, new economy, off grid, payday loans, Pepto Bismol, precariat, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, sharing economy, six sigma, supply-chain management, union organizing, urban sprawl, white picket fence, Y2K

And to make disposable people you have to have a disposable job. And so everything became automated.” Meanwhile, Jen had been scouring the internet for alternate ways to live. She’d researched minimalism and the tiny house movement. She’d also come across CheapRVLiving.com. Gradually, she began thinking she’d found a way out. To Ash, moving into a vehicle and becoming a nomad wasn’t initially the most appealing choice. She thought of the classic Saturday Night Live sketch in which Chris Farley plays a vandweller and motivational speaker named Matt Foley. He warns kids to shape up unless they want to end up living in a van, too. “My first thought was that we were going to be like that guy, saying ‘I live in a van down by the river!’” Ash said. Despite this, she came to embrace the idea. The plan was to alternate between work and adventuring while living in a Subaru Impreza hatchback, a hand-me-down from Jen’s mother.

Amazon wage case: Richard Wolf, “Justices Say Security Screening After Work Isn’t Paid Time,” USA Today, December 9, 2014, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/12/09/supreme-court-amazon-workers-security-screening/20113221. 104. OSHA inspections dealing with static shocks: Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration Inspection Report Number 315282491 (March 24, 2011) and 316230739 (February 7, 2012). 107. Chris Farley’s vandwelling character: “Matt Foley, Motivational Speaker,” Saturday Night Live, NBC, May 8, 1993. 111. Amazon record holiday sales: “Record-Setting Holiday Season for Amazon Prime” BusinessWire, December 26, 2013. CHAPTER SIX 115. “Garden of Eden on wheels”: E. B. White, “One Man’s Meat,” Harper’s Magazine, May 1941, p. 665. 115. Year-round population: 3,626 as per U.S. Census 2015 population estimate, https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/community_facts.xhtml#. 116.


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, Marshall McLuhan, 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!”


Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide by Henry Jenkins

barriers to entry, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, collective bargaining, Columbine, deskilling, Donald Trump, game design, George Gilder, global village, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, means of production, moral panic, new economy, profit motive, Robert Metcalfe, Saturday Night Live, slashdot, Steven Pinker, the market place, Y Combinator

Over the same period, the percentage of people under the age of thirty w h o received m u c h of their campaign information from comedy shows such as Saturday Night Live (1975) or The Daily Show had grown from 9 percent to 21 percent. In this context, A B C ' s This Week with George Stephanopoulos added a segment showcasing highlights from the week's monologues b y D a v i d Letterman, Jay Leno, and Jon Stewart. A s early as 1994, Jon Katz had argued i n Rolling Stone that a growing percentage of young people felt that entertainment media, rather than traditional journalism, more fully reflected their perspectives o n current events. Katz claimed that young people gained m u c h of their i n formation about the w o r l d from music videos and rap songs, Saturday Night Live sketches and stand-up comedians, the plots of prime-time dramas and the gags o n sitcoms.

Russell, 243 Neverwinter Nights, 164 N e w England Patriots, 72 N e w Line Productions, 107 N e w Orleans M e d i a Experience, 1, 6-10,15, Newsweek, 97 N e w York Police Department, 70 New York Times, 55,140,149, 239, 245 niche, 14,125,138, 200, 237, 247, 252 Nickelodeon, 148, 223 Nielsen M e d i a Research, 74 1984, 99 Nintendo, 259 N P R , 140, 228 Nussbaum, Emily, 55 O'Brien, Michael, 198 O'Brien, Sebastian, 147 Odyssey, The, 119-120,146 O ' G u i n n , Thomas C , 79 O l d Navy, 88 O n i Press, 102 open source, 254 O r w e l l , George, 99 Osama Bin Laden, 1-2 ourmedia.org, 241 ownership, 191 Packard, Vance, 64 paganism, 195 Paramount, 188 participation, 20-23, 64, 81, 84,110, 133,158,163,169,171,189, 204-205, 208, 226, 234, 243, 245-246, 248-249, 257-258, 260 participation gap, 258 participatory culture, 2-3,11-12, 24, 163,170,198, 205, 243-244, 246-248, 257 participatoryculture.org, 241 Passion of the Christ, The, 201, 203, 239 PBS, 241 peer-to-peer, 208 PepsiCo, 71 Perry, D a v i d , 101,107-10,124 personalization, 68, 244 Peterson, K a r l a , 61 Petrossian's restaurant, 71 Pew Foundation, 224 Photoshop, 1, 3, 37,141, 209, 220-222, 234 Pike, C h r i s , 97,115-117 Pixelvision, 149-151,153 Planet of the Apes, 115 Plato, 122 play, 23, 29, 231 plenitude, 10,158 Plenitude, 197 Pokémon, 109-110,128-129,157,176, 192,195 polarization, 236-238 political economy, 7 politics, 22 Pop Idol, 60 popular culture, 135 Potter wars, the, 170 POV, 241 power, 211 Probot Productions, 147 Probst, Jeff, 42, 46, 51, 56, 215 Proctor & Gamble, 70 product placement, 69-72, 87-88 prohibitionism, 134,167, 169-170,187 Project Greenlight, 219 propaganda, 247 protocols, 13-14, 23, 212, 238 public culture, 22 Pulp Fiction, 147 Skenovâno pro studijni ücely 303 304 Index Puppetmasters, 123-125 P X L T H I S festival, 151 Quartzeye, rabbit hole, the, 124 Raiders of the Lost Ark, 146 Ransom Fellowship, 199 ratings, 60, 62, 72 R C A , 61 reality television, 19-20, 58-60, 78, 84, 86 Reason, 93, 213 recaps, 31 reciprocity, 208 recording industry, 9 red A m e r i c a , 235, 237, 239 Redstone, Sumner, 66 redundancy, 96 Reebok, 69 Rome: Total War, 154 R o w l i n g , J. K . , 21,169-171,173-176, 181-182,184-185,194,197, 201 Rubio, K e v i n , 132 Rumsfeld, D o n a l d , 215 Saatchi & Saatchi, 69 Sacks, Eric, 151 Saksa, M i k e , 104 Salla, Jeanine, 124 Salon.com, 52, 104, 220, 237 Sanchez, E d , 102-103 San Diego Union-Tribune, 61 Sandman, The, 101 San Jose Mercury, 104 Satanism, 192-194 Saturday Night Live, 224 Saturn, 79 Saving Private Ryan, 153 SBC, 83 Reel Families: A Social History of Ama- scaffolding, 178 teur Film, 142 Schamus, James, 113 reenactments, 114 Scheppers, L o r i Jo, 192 relativists, 44 Schneider, A n d r e w , 118 religion, 171,198 Scholastic, 185 Schudson, M i c h a e l , 225-226 Republican National Convention, 225 science fiction (genre), 100,164,199, Republicans, 217, 239 202 resistance, 248 Restaurant, The, 69 Sci F i Channel, 102 return on investment, 62 secular humanism, 194 Revolution Will Not Be Televised, The, Sef ton-Green, Julian, 128 210 Seiter, Ellen, 175 Sella, M a r s h a l l , 245 Rheingold, H o w a r d , 251 September 11,1, 221, 232, 250 Richardson, A s h l e y (avatar), 228-230, Sequential Tarts, 249, 257 232 serialization, 33, 78,129 Riddick Chronicles, The, 108 Sesame Street, 1-3 Ring, The, 109 700 Club, The, 202 Roberts, K e v i n , 69, 73, 91, 246 7th Heaven, 200 Robertson, Pat, 202 Shadowmancer, 202-203 R o b i n H o o d , 146 Shakespeare in Love, 139 Robot Carnival, 101 Shaking the World for Jesus, 199 Rogers, John, 251-252 shared knowledge, 51 role p l a y i n g , 176-177, 201, 204 shareware, 256 Rolling Stone, 224 Shawn, 34-36, 46-47, 52 romance (genre), 199 Shelley, Percy, 153 Romero, George, 114 Skenovâno pro studijni ücely Index Shiny Entertainment, 101 Showtime, 60 Sienkiewicz, Bill, 101 Silver, Joel, 101 SimCity, 165-166 Simmons, Russell, 223 Sims, The, 19,165-166, 228-231 Sims 2, The, 154 Simulacra and Simulation, 99 60 Minutes, 212-213 skins, 153-154 Slashdot, 240-241 Slate, 121, 253 smart mobs, 210, 251 Smith, Dana, 143 Smoking Gun, The, 86 Snewser, 51, 57 soap opera, 33,129 sock puppet, 35 song videos, 155 Sony 8,108 Sony Interactive, 97 Soprano, J.


pages: 562 words: 153,825

Dark Mirror: Edward Snowden and the Surveillance State by Barton Gellman

4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, active measures, Anton Chekhov, bitcoin, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Debian, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, financial independence, Firefox, GnuPG, Google Hangouts, informal economy, Jacob Appelbaum, job automation, Julian Assange, MITM: man-in-the-middle, national security letter, planetary scale, private military company, ransomware, Robert Gordon, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, standardized shipping container, Steven Levy, telepresence, undersea cable, web of trust, WikiLeaks, zero day, Zimmermann PGP

The U.S. government later released a cleaned-up image of Zarqawi in final repose, attempting to quell any doubts about his death. The ones in the NSA document were brutal close-ups. An audio file accompanied the six frames. “Oh noooo!” exclaimed a nasal, cartoonish voice. It was an old meme of hilarity at someone else’s disappointment or pain, a staple of flame wars since early internet chat rooms. (Flamers sometimes rendered it “oh noes!” or “oh the noes!”) Television’s Saturday Night Live may have inspired the meme with a recurring comedy sketch in the late 1970s. A clay figurine named Mr. Bill, the star of a parody children’s show, closed most episodes with a high-pitched scream of “Oh noooo!” as Mr. Hands mangled, crushed, or dismembered him. * * * — In the age of Trump, I found a new openness among my bitter critics in the intelligence community. People who had shunned contact after the Snowden revelations began to talk to me again.

He wore his four stars on an informal black zipper jacket, his white uniform shirt unbuttoned at the neck. Periodically he would ask the interviewer a rhetorical question, such as “Would that make sense to you?” The screen would fade to large block letters: “Yes sir, it does make sense.” Patriotic music played softly in the background. I showed Dafna the interview and she said it looked like a Saturday Night Live “Wayne’s World” skit set in Pyongyang. For all the effort at folksy charm, Alexander struggled to master his emotions. Anyone in his position would be troubled by the steady stream of revelations from reporters who possessed the Snowden documents. Alexander appeared to be at his wit’s end. Speaking of the journalists, not Snowden, he said, “When people die, those that are responsible for leaking it are the ones that should be held accountable.”

., 7 Negroponte, John, 161, 181, 184 in Aspen Security Forum panel with BG, 155–66 NSA call data collection defended by, 157–58 Netanyahu, Benjamin, 342, 380, 410 New York Times, 56, 92, 123, 175, 288 BG’s decision not to offer NSA story to, 97–98 Pentagon Papers published by, 380 warrantless wiretap story delayed by, 97, 381 Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation, 197 Nixon, Richard, 180, 308 No Place to Hide (Greenwald), 138 NSANet, 10, 75, 77 NSA Round Table, 208 NTOC, see National Threat Operations Center Oath, The (film), 5 Obama, Barack, 55–56, 249, 368 Obama administration, FISA amendments defended by, 126 Oberdorfer, Don, 91 Office of the Director of National Intelligence, 87, 227 Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive, 277 Ohm, Paul, 167 OkCupid, 236, 237 Osborne, Jared, 215 Otakon, 43 overcollection, 343–44 Pahlavi, Mohammed Reza Shah, 195 Pandora, myth of, 27 Pandora archive, xii, 2, 99, 202–3 BG as subject of files in, 221–22, 272, 274 BG’s backup drive of, 99–100, 102, 114–15, 245–46, 382 denial and deception folder in, 224–25 harm to NSA operations caused by publication of, 265–67 journalists’ decision not to publish some material from, 260, 269 massive size of, 22–25, 377 possible foreign penetration of, 241–42 README files in, 27–28, 256, 326–27 scattered clues to NSA’s Google cloud hack in, 283 security measures surrounding access to, 198, 237, 238–40 see also specific files and programs Panetta, Leon, 249 Patinkin, Mandy, 308–9 Paul, Ron, 64 Pelosi, Nancy, 331 Pentagon Papers, 92, 288, 379–80 PKI (public key infrastructure), 67, 78 Playing to the Edge (Hayden), 309 Poitras, Laura, 79, 104, 113, 120, 130, 213, 241, 255, 327 Alexander’s proposed raid on, 245–46, 247, 248, 249 and BG’s decision to take NSA story to Post, 98 BG’s first meeting with, 4–7 BG’s relationship with, 108 cryptographic signature issue and, 131–32 customs interrogations of, 5, 364 cyber security measures of, 2–4, 361, 362, 363 in decision not to publish some Pandora material, 269 ES documentary by, see Citizen Four ES’s leaks to, 1–2, 361 ES’s public announcement filmed by, 133–34, 148 ES’s relationship with, xiii and ES’s wiretapping claims, 329 filmmaking career of, 5 in first discussions with BG about NSA leaks, 8–11 on Greenwald, 138 in Hong Kong meeting with ES, 138, 347 Hong Kong trip postponed by, 135–36 in joint investigation with BG, 11 as possessing NSA documents not seen by BG, 330 Poulsen, Kevin, 234 power, information as, xvi precomputation, MAINWAY’s use of, 173–76 President’s Daily Brief, 121 Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) software, 365, 404 PRISM, 2, 22, 84, 87, 99, 104, 117, 331, 362 access to internet companies’ data by, 121–22, 124 capabilities and scope of, 121–22, 123–24, 340–41 data on U.S. persons acquired and retained by, 126, 340–41 and direct access to internet companies’ servers, 147–48 ES’s desire for quick publication of, 105 Google and, 283, 285, 300 government objection to revealing internet companies’ cooperation with, 146–47 internet companies and, 111–12 low threshold of evidence for targeting by, 125–26 mass surveillance distinguished from, 124–25 Provider List of, 119 targets of, 112 valuable intelligence uncovered by, 145 Yahoo and, 300 PRISM slide show files, 119–20 cryptographic signature on, 128–29 privacy, digital: cellphones and, 318–20, 325 cryptography and, 8, 350–52 cypherpunks’ obsession with, 7–8 digital trails, xvi, 3, 6 internet’s cost to, 6–7 and NSA’s ability to unmask names in data collection, 342–43 overcollection and, 343–44 right to vs. need for intelligence gathering, 313–14 Soltani as specialist in, 196–97 of U.S. persons, impact of NSA foreign surveillance on, 287–88, 338–44 Privacy Act, BG and, 276 Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, 180 private keys, 4, 105, 258, 404 probable cause, border searches and, 6 “Project Frankie,” 61 Protect America Act (2007), 111, 123, 338 QUANTUM, 199 Rabin, Yitzhak, 10 radiation, deliberate exposures of U.S. troops to, 262 RAGTIME, 122 Rasmussen, Nicholas, 312 Reagan, Ronald, 282 reasonable articulable suspicion, 126 Reddit, 192, 193 relevance, Patriot Act as perversion of legal standard of, 143–44 remote-access trojan (RAT), 235 Remote Operations Center (ROC), 82, 194, 200, 220 Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, 276 Rhodes, Ben, 141 Rick (PRISM program manager), 117–18, 125 on scope of PRISM program, 121, 123–24 slide show created by, 119–20 Risen, James, prosecution of, 242–43, 403 Rodriguez, Jose, 186 Rogers, Clyde, 216, 217 Romero, Anthony, 152 Russia, ES’s denial of relationship with, xiv–xv, 292–94 Ryuhana Press, 43 S3283, 202–4 Sandia National Laboratories, 215, 216, 217 Sandvik, Runa: ES’s emails with, 65 Kunia cryptoparty cohosted by, 65–66 Saturday Night Live (TV show), 213 Savage, Charlie, 140 Sayre, Valerie, 302 Schindler, John, 282 Schmidt, Eric, xvi, 111 Schneier, Bruce, 323 Schwalb, Larry, 241 secrecy, government: and BG’s decision not to publish some Pandora material, 260 BG’s longstanding concern with, 262 BG’s Martian parable about, 258–59 classification levels of, 25, 67, 95, 265 conflict of core values in, 267 espionage vs. leaks of, 275–76 harm vs. public accountability in exposure of, 183, 258–71, 304, 305, 334–36 Hayden’s defense of, 325 human rights abuses and, 262–63 as inherent in surveillance state, xii, xv, 28 intelligence community’s opposition to exposure of, 260 journalists and revelation of, 267–68 see also classified materials Secrecy (documentary), 273–74 SecureDrop, 234–35 self-government, secrecy and, 267 sensitive compartmented information (SCI), 25 see also TS/SCI (Top Secret/sensitive compartmented information) clearance September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, xvi, 70, 75, 122, 168–69, 222, 338 expansion of surveillance state after, xi servers, ES’s early interest in, 37–38 Sessions, Jeff, 205, 249 sexually transmitted diseases, unethical experiments with, 262 sexual metaphors, in cover names, 203–4 Shadow Brokers leak, 268 Sheremetyevo Airport, ES’s detention at, 226–27, 293 Sigdev (signals development), 214–15 SIGINT (signals intelligence), xii, 84, 266 active vs. passive, 309 constant flux in, 266 viewed as top priority by NSA, 184–85 SIM cards, xvii Simon, Barry, 133 “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” (parlor game), 159–60 Six Degrees of Separation (Guare), 159 Skype, 112, 121 smartphones: as subject to customs searches, 5–6, 364–65 as tracking devices, 4 Smith, Brad, 301, 314–15 Snowden, Edward (ES): accused of breaking “sacred oath,” 182 anonymous proxies as early interest of, 45 army injury and discharge of, 47–48 as Army Special Forces recruit, 46–47 Ars Technica posts of, 37–38, 42–43, 50, 51, 54, 56 in Asia, 84 asylum plans of, 129–30 background of, 32–33 BeamPro used by, 320–21 BG convinced of general reliability of, 11, 332–33 BG first contacted by, xvii BG interrogated on journalistic principles by, 13–14 BG’s and Poitras’s commitment doubted by, 11–12, 137 BG’s conversations with, 225–27, 229, 259 and BG’s decision to take NSA story to Post, 98 BG’s independence doubted by, 15–16 BG’s interviews with, 73–74, 88 and BG’s need to authenticate leaked documents, 18–19 BG’s participation accepted by, 16 BG’s photographing of, 252–54 BG’s relationship with, xiii–xiv, 108 BG’s secure video and digital contacts with, xiv–xv blackmail as motive for NSA surveillance discounted by, 290 as Booz Allen contractor at NTOC, 83–88 Booz Allen test-system proposal of, 62–63 on changing targets of national security, 345 character and personality of, xiii childhood and adolescence of, 38–45 Churchyard code name of, 54 as CIA employee, 51–57 CIA methods as troubling to, 55–56 CIA tradecraft training of, 52–54 as contractor at CIA headquarters, 49–50 in conversation with NSA intern about Tor vulnerabilities, 80–81 costs vs. benefits of leaks by, xv, 21 as cyber security conference instructor, 57–59 cyber security tradecraft of, 2–4 “dead man’s switch” and, 64, 256–58, 328, 332 as Dell liaison with CIA, 61–62 Ecuador as intended destination of, 307 Ellsberg compared with, 295–96 Ellsberg’s online conversation with, 289–95 encrypted NSA files sent to BG without keys by, 328, 332 EPICSHELTER system designed by, 59–60, 61 epilepsy diagnosed in, 34, 64, 370 on Espionage Act, 292 exaggerated claims of, 63–64 in flight to Hong Kong, 27, 88, 307 in flight to Moscow, xi on foreigners’ right to privacy, 291–92 gaming of tests as talent of, 42 GED diploma of, 40–41 government disparagement of, 40, 51–52, 86–87, 134 government’s standoff with, 352–53 Greenwald and, see Greenwald, Glenn hacker mindset of, 40 as having accomplished his goals, 255–56, 308 Heartbeat program of, see Heartbeat identity disclosed by, 28–29 importance of cryptographic signature to, 105–6, 128–30, 137, 386–87 importance of leaks by, xii instrumental approach to truth by, 324–26, 332–33 IQ score of, 38–39 on journalists’ overdedication to provable facts, 324–26 Kunia assignment of, see Kunia Regional Security Operations Center leaks to Poitras and BG by, see Pandora archive libertarian politics of, 55, 64–65 marriage of Mills and, 353 memoir of, 50–51 Microsoft systems engineer certification of, 42 in Moscow, see Moscow motives of, 28, 290–91, 304, 335–36 on NSA penetration of Google cloud, 285 on NSA’s latent power as inherent threat, 345–46 on NSA’s sexual metaphors, 204 personal attacks anticipated by, 19 Poitras and, see Poitras, Laura on political use of hacked documents, 322 possible harm from publication of Pandora files dismissed by, 265–66 PRISM slide show files uncovered by, 120 public announcement of identity of, 148–49 quick publication of NSA documents sought by, 105, 127–28, 306, 327 on revealing secrets, 259 revoked passport of, 227, 307 role-playing and fantasy interests of, 43–44 Russian relationship denied by, xiv–xv, 292–94 security credentials of, 67–68 security guard job of, 48–49 as self-taught polymath, 40, 41 Sheremetyevo Airport detention of, 226–27, 293 size of data leaks by, 73 TAO job offer rejected by, 82–83, 204 Tekken obsession of, 44–45 Tor used by, 79–81 treason charges against, 334 TS/SCI clearance of, 48 Verax as cover name of, xvii, 226 in virtual chat with Homeland cast and crew, 303–9, 320 virtual TED Talk given by, 321 Washington Post distrusted by, 11 wiretapping of Congress and Supreme Court claimed by, 326–32 Snowden, Elizabeth, 38 Snowden, Jessica, 39 Snowden, Lonnie G., Jr., 38, 57, 251 Snowden archive, see Pandora archive social graphs, 159, 163 social justice, 345 social media, memes on, 192, 210 social networks, mapping of, MAINWAY as tool for, 170–77 Soghoian, Christopher, 319 Soltani, Ashkan: background of, 195–96 as BG’s guide to hacking culture, 191 digital privacy as specialty of, 196–98 in E.O. 12333 investigations, 315, 318, 324 Google cloud story and, 279–81, 297–300 hacker background of, 189–90 on hacker culture, 208 Pandora archive and, 189–91, 198–99, 238–39, 340 Pandora security and, 238–39 suspected attempt at honey trapping of, 236–37 South China Morning Post, 84 Special Forces, U.S., 212 Special Operations Command, U.S., 151 Special Source Operations, 191 spiders (tools in networked computing), 76 Spiegel, Der, 182 Spotlight (film), 104 SSL (secure sockets layers), 280, 297 STARBURST, 70 Star Trek (TV series), 210 State Department, U.S., ES’s passport revoked by, 227, 307 STELLARWIND (domestic surveillance program), 26, 122, 170 as illegal domestic surveillance, 169, 175 NSA inspector general’s report on, 70–71 STRAWHORSE, 216–20 Suitable Tech Inc., 320 Supreme Court, U.S., ES’s claims of having wiretapped, 326–32 surveillance: authority (legal basis) for, 86–88 BG’s increasing preoccupation with, 234–35, 238–42, 255 Church on inherent threat of, 346 cryptography as counterforce to, 350–52 difficulty in scaling back technology of, 349–50 NSA’s ability to unmask names in, 342–43 possible misuse of, 347–49, 350 post-9/11 expansion of, xi secrecy as inherent in, xii, xv, 28 surveillance, domestic: breakdown of divide between foreign and, xii, 338–39 mass, 143 NSA as banned from, 125 warrantless, 9, 26, 70, 97, 122–23, 142, 156, 157, 169, 263 surveillance, foreign: breakdown of distinction between domestic and, xii, 338–39 data on U.S. persons collected by, 287–88, 335–36, 337–46 “Surveillance Self-Defense” (Electronic Frontier Foundation), 365 Swartz, Aaron, 234 Taguba, Antonio, 262 Tailored Access Operations (TAO), 81–83, 200, 204, 214 cover support for, 201–2 Tate, Julie, 107, 190, 269, 271, 340 TECHEXPO Top Secret, 49 TED Talk, ES’s virtual, 321 Tekken, 44–45 Tekserve, 233–34 telecommunications companies: NSA given access to data by, 111–12, 142, 199, 310 NSA’s relations with, 311 see also internet companies Terminator films, 322 “terrorist,” definition of, 113 TheTrueHOOHA (ES’s Ars Technica handle), 37 Thompson, Ken, 217 Time, 8 NSA story declined by, 93–97 Time Inc., 94–95 Tisinger, Jeanne, 62 Top Secret classification, 25, 67 legal standard for, 265 Top Secret clearance, 67 Tor Project, 65 ES’s use of, 79–81 NSA’s breaking of anonymity protection of, 79–81 traffic shaping, 200 Travis, Debra, 233 “treason,” constitutional definition of, 334 Trump, Donald, 162, 181, 205, 246, 247, 249 Clapper attacked by, 349 espionage charges brought against Assange by, 261 governing norms ignored by, 347–48 trust: government and, 180–84 NSA data collection and, 164 TS/SCI (Top Secret/sensitive compartmented information) clearance, 25, 36 TS/SCI networks, 77 Tu, Alan, 193–94, 265 in NSA hacker culture, 194 on NSA’s sexual metaphors, 204 TURMOIL, 299 Turner, Shawn, 142, 144, 246, 270 Underground Railroad, 345 Unified Targeting Tool, 124–25 United Kingdom, Official Secrets Act of, 275 United States v.


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: 304 words: 93,494

Hatching Twitter by Nick Bilton

4chan, Airbus A320, Burning Man, friendly fire, index card, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, pets.com, 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: 383 words: 92,837

Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain by David Eagleman

Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Columbine, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, endowment effect, facts on the ground, impulse control, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, out of africa, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Saturday Night Live, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Steven Pinker, Thales of Miletus

When you snap your fingers, your eyes and ears register information about the snap, which is processed by the rest of the brain. But signals move fairly slowly in the brain, millions of times more slowly than electrons carrying signals in copper wire, so neural processing of the snap takes time. At the moment you perceive it, the snap has already come and gone. Your perceptual world always lags behind the real world. In other words, your perception of the world is like a “live” television show (think Saturday Night Live), which is not actually live. Instead, these shows are aired with a delay of a few seconds, in case someone uses inappropriate language, hurts himself, or loses a piece of clothing. And so it is with your conscious life: it collects a lot of information before it airs it live.49 Stranger still, auditory and visual information are processed at different speeds in the brain; yet the sight of your fingers and the sound of the snap appear simultaneous.

See Graf and Schacter, “Selective effects.” 17 The idea of priming has a rich history in literature and entertainment. In The Subliminal Man, by J. G. Ballard (1963), a character named Hathaway is the only one who suspects that the dozens of gigantic blank signs towering over the roads are really subliminal advertising machines, encouraging people to take on more jobs and buy more products. A more droll incarnation of Subliminal Man can be found in comedian Kevin Nealon’s Saturday Night Live character, who says, during a talk show interview, “I’ve always liked watching this show (nauseating). It’s fun to be a guest on this show (torture). It’s kind of like a second home to me (Titanic).” 18 Graf and Schacter, “Implicit and explicit memory.” 19 See Tom, Nelson, Srzentic, and King, “Mere exposure.” For a more basic approach to demonstrating that the brain can absorb what it has seen even without attention to it, see Gutnisky, Hansen, Iliescu, and Dragoi, “Attention alters visual plasticity.” 20 Ironically, no one is quite sure who said this first.


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, longitudinal study, 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: 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, MITM: man-in-the-middle, 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, Stanford marshmallow experiment, 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.


pages: 293 words: 88,490

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

"Robert Solow", asset allocation, bank run, bitcoin, business cycle, butterfly effect, buy and hold, 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, 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.


pages: 334 words: 93,162

This Is Your Country on Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America by Ryan Grim

airport security, Alexander Shulgin, anti-communist, back-to-the-land, Burning Man, crack epidemic, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, East Village, failed state, global supply chain, Haight Ashbury, illegal immigration, John Markoff, Kickstarter, longitudinal study, mandatory minimum, new economy, New Urbanism, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Steve Jobs, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, women in the workforce

Cypress Hill, Latino rappers from California who loved the sound of bubbling bong water, can take a share of credit, too. Almost every one of the group’s songs had something to do with cannabis, and it even quoted the Bible in defense of legalization, referencing Genesis 1:12: “and God gave all seed bearing plants on Earth to use.” The group’s self-titled 1991 debut spawned three top-twenty rap singles and sold two million copies over nine years. In 1993, the group smoked pot on the stage of Saturday Night Live, earning a lifetime ban. Hip-hop artists had plenty of help in exposing American youth to the joys and sorrows of drug use. Neopsychedelia flourished in the import bins of hip record stores in the early nineties in the forms of dream pop and space rock, with drone-obsessed British outfit Spacemen 3 proclaiming it was “taking drugs to make music to take drugs to.” Between 1990 and 1994, members of grunge bands Mother Love Bone, 7 Year Bitch, and Hole had all died of heroin overdoses, which didn’t stop the concept of “heroin chic” from gaining currency in the fashion world.

Sabbag, Robert “Safe and Drug Free Schools State Grants,” St. Clair, Jeffrey Salinas, Carlos Salinas, Raul Salon.com salvia (Salvia divinorum) Sampson, Wayne Sánchez de Lozada, Gonzalo Sandinista National Liberation Front San Francisco, California Haight-Ashbury and medical marijuana and See also California San Francisco Examiner San Francisco Patients Care Collective San Jose Mercury News Santo Daime church Saturday Night Live Scalia, Antonin “schedules.” See Controlled Substances Act Schneider, Keith Seattle Times sedatives Sellers, Charles Semesky, Donald September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks serotonin 7 Year Bitch Shanon, Benny Shroomery.org Shulgin, Alexander “Sasha,” Shulgin, Ann Sickels, Vicki Sinclair, Upton Skeletons from the Closet (Grateful Dead) Slate Smith, Anna Nicole Smith, Brian K.


pages: 347 words: 91,318

Netflixed: The Epic Battle for America's Eyeballs by Gina Keating

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, barriers to entry, business intelligence, collaborative consumption, corporate raider, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, Menlo Park, Netflix Prize, new economy, out of africa, performance metric, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, price stability, recommendation engine, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, subscription business, Superbowl ad, telemarketer, X Prize

Doubts about the long-term growth of online video were so pervasive that Netflix was able to strike a deal with pay-TV channel Starz for streaming rights to its films for two years for a paltry $25 million. The licensing agreement for Starz’s roster of top-tier movie titles gave the instant streaming service legitimacy as a content provider equal to cable but at a fraction of the price. A similar deal with NBC Universal, for a deep selection of hit and classic television shows, including making Saturday Night Live available the day after it aired, came just as cheaply. Hastings made it known that Netflix had cash to spend for TV shows, movies, and straight-to-video content, but the overtures to studios and other content owners went unnoticed. The dam finally broke with the signing of an $800 million, five-year licensing agreement for new releases and library titles owned by EPIX, a pay-television service owned by Paramount Pictures, Lionsgate, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

“Reed, you may have an amazing vision of the future but you are suffering from major George Lucas syndrome—a visionary with a bunch of yes-men working for him,” wrote one poster. “Terrible idea. Bad after bad decision. What’s next, only offering movies made in the eighties? I’m getting tired of this. And you,” another wrote. When it seemed as if the opprobrium could not get worse, late-night television and professional comics piled it on: Saturday Night Live comedians Jason Sudeikis as Hastings and Fred Armisen as Rendich appeared in a Web video to poke fun at the apology and strategy changes, and Seinfeld actor Jason Alexander begged for donations for the Netflix Relief Fund on the Funny or Die Web site, calling the price increase “the worst thing that has ever happened to white people.” One cartoonist compared splitting the streaming and DVD services to having to get a sandwich’s bread at one restaurant and the meat at another.


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: 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, business cycle, 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, pets.com, 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 Salon.com 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.


Rockonomics: A Backstage Tour of What the Music Industry Can Teach Us About Economics and Life by Alan B. Krueger

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, autonomous vehicles, bank run, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Bob Geldof, butterfly effect, buy and hold, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, endogenous growth, George Akerlof, gig economy, income inequality, index fund, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kenneth Arrow, Kickstarter, Live Aid, Mark Zuckerberg, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, moral hazard, Network effects, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, personalized medicine, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, random walk, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Saturday Night Live, Skype, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, ultimatum game, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

Do musicians pay a steep price for social activism that is out of sync with their fans? There is no sign that Beyoncé or Kanye West paid an economic price for criticizing President Bush’s decision to go to war in Iraq; to the contrary, their stars rose after they criticized the president.40 But their political statements were largely aligned with the views of their fans. After Irish singer Sinead O’Connor tore up a photo of the Pope on Saturday Night Live in 1992, her career crumbled, and it never recovered.41 A good test of this question occurred on March 10, 2003, just before the start of the Iraq War, when Natalie Maines, lead singer of the country music band the Dixie Chicks, announced at a concert in London, “Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the President of the United States [George W.

With only five employees, Dualtone aimed for album sales of around 30,000 and offered a generous split of revenue. Lumineers frontman Wesley Schultz said that the band chose Dualtone because it offered “the best, most fair deal.”8 The Lumineers’ self-titled debut album, released in 2012, sold 2.4 million copies worldwide and spent forty-three weeks on the Billboard 200 chart. The group was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 2013 and appeared on Saturday Night Live. Although details are not public, their royalties likely ran to several million dollars. After the remarkable success of their first album, the Lumineers could have signed with a major label for a large advance, or with an independent label for a multi-album deal. Instead, they opted to re-sign with little Dualtone for another one-album deal. Their second studio album, Cleopatra, was released in 2016 and debuted at number one on the Billboard chart.


pages: 323 words: 100,923

This Is Not Fame: A "From What I Re-Memoir" by Doug Stanhope

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airport security, bitcoin, Donald Trump, obamacare, pre–internet, Saturday Night Live, Stephen Hawking, telemarketer, traveling salesman

I’ve heard gossip that he has substance abuse problems, some common ground that would make him more endearing to me. Personally, I have to drink in order to repeat material I’m too tired of saying. His material sucks the first time. I would understand if he had to abuse drugs or alcohol. I checked his Wikipedia page and under the heading “Influences” I’d hoped to see “cocaine” or “Drambuie.” It only mentioned Saturday Night Live. Should my berating of his brand of comedy go the way of Dr. Drew and Jon Taffer and lead to an invite to be on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, I’ll decline in advance. But I’d drink and do blow with that kid anytime. Blow that is cut with pabulum, like his jokes. I used to want to drink with Chelsea Handler. I don’t even know where she came from. I never heard her name or crossed paths with her in the small world of stand-up comedy even when I was in the heart of it in Los Angeles.

See also individual drugs promotions for shows, 60, 62–63, 66–67, 155 Proops, Greg, 202 protest in Madison, 145–147 Pryor, Richard, 208 psyllium husk, 269 Purple Onion, 57 Putnam, Big Fat Ron, 40 Quad Cities, 137–138 racial hatred tweet, 235 racism, 254 radio interview pranks, 59–61, 63–66 radio promotions, 62–63, 66–67 Ramsay, Gordon, 260, 261 Randi, 267 rape laws in Ireland, 174–175 Ravenite whorehouse, 80 Reality Show Rescue, 262 reality television, 259–262 Reason magazine, 279 Redban, Brian, 170 Renee, 79, 247, 249 retards at comedy shows, 302–303 retiring, 308 Reykjavik, Iceland, 127–136 Reynolds, Ryan, 288 Richards, Keith, 264, 291 Richards, Michael, 293 RID, 251, 252 Rio Hotel, Las Vegas, 6 road comics, 46 Roberts, Wiley, 10–13, 199 rock and roll, 192, 195, 197 Rock Island, IL, 137 Rogan, Joe, 57, 77, 145, 170, 257–260 Rollins, Henry, 110 Romo, Tony, 163 Rotten, Johnny, impersonation, 59–61 roulette runs, 78 Rouse, Sean, 88 “Rubber Fuck-My-Face,” 273 Ruppel, Glenn, 52 Ryan, Tom, 48 Rypien, Mark, 297 S&M porn, 220 St. Patrick’s Day parade, 96–97 San Francisco, 57 Sandusky, Jerry, 213 satellite radio, 296–297 Saturday Night Live, 268 scabies, 33, 251 Scazzola, Joey, 13 Schumer, Amy, 254 Scotland Yard, 235 Scott, 161–163 Seinfeld, 294 Seinfeld, Jerry, 126 self-fellatio, 103 sex, 34, 40–44, 41, 72–73, 73, 81–82, 86, 163 sex offenders, 209–216, 217–221, 224 sexism, 254 Shank, Chad, 74 Shawcroft, Lynn, 172, 255, 269, 284–286 Shawnee, 127, 129 “shit-dick,” 233 shot-clog, 113–115 Shreeve, Susan B., 102 Shreveport, LA, 66 Shriver, Maria, 55 Sicko (CD), 71 Sierra Vista, AZ, 132 Silver Nugget Casino, 8 Silverman, Sarah, 28 Sirius XM, 296 Skyline Comedy Club, 171–172 Slash, 27 sleeping pills, 190 smoke detector episode, 193–194 smoking, 45, 46, 118, 196, 243, 245, 280, 287 Snoop Dogg, 148 snorting ashes, 291 social skills, 111 Something to Take the Edge Off (CD), 297 Sominex, 190 Soras, Dag, 130 Soundgarden, 94 Sparrow, Kathy, 129 Spin, 97–98, 102 Spoonman, 94 Springer, Jerry, 55 St.


pages: 296 words: 94,948

Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco, and Destiny by Nile Rodgers

Bob Geldof, delayed gratification, East Village, haute couture, Live Aid, nuclear winter, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Stephen Hawking, the High Line, urban renewal

It was mostly he who played all those brilliant acoustic piano parts in the small openings in between Bernard and me chucking later in Chic. Finally, we added an outstanding male lead singer named Bobby Cotter, who had just finished a stint in Jesus Christ Superstar. Bobby was a great front man, handsome with incredible vocal range and abilities. We were ready to rule the world, or so we thought. Our new unit gigged regularly and eventually recorded a hot demo, which was produced by Saturday Night Live’s music director, Leon Pendarvis. The music got a lot of attention from the labels, but no offers after they saw we were black. Bobby’s voice was super soulful, and before they saw us, they were probably imagining we were like a funkier Queen or Journey. The demo’s sound leaned more to the rock-funk side rather than the smooth-groove side, so the labels assumed we were white. It was clear after months of meetings that our funk-rock formula didn’t work, so we went back to the drawing board.

I was searching for something, but whatever it was, it was eluding me. As I say to vocalists who are singing a little flat, sharp, or out-of-the-pocket, “We’re in the neighborhood, but we haven’t found the house yet.” David Bowie helped me find the house. (Illustration credit 8.7) nine Let’s Dance … Again ON A TEMPERATE EARLY AUTUMN NIGHT IN 1982, I WATCHED THE closing credits of Saturday Night Live from the mirrored platform bed of my West Side apartment. SNL wraps at 1 a.m. In those days, that was when my evenings were just getting started. All I needed to get the show on the road was a bump and a few mouthfuls of vodka. By ’82 I was a full-blown daily drug user, something I’d vowed never to be, given the devastation it had wreaked upon my parents’ lives. The drugs were one thing.


The Rough Guide to New York City by Martin Dunford

Anton Chekhov, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, Buckminster Fuller, buttonwood tree, car-free, Charles Lindbergh, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, clean water, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, desegregation, Donald Trump, East Village, Edward Thorp, Exxon Valdez, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, Jane Jacobs, market bubble, Norman Mailer, paper trading, post-work, Saturday Night Live, sustainable-tourism, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, white flight, Yogi Berra, young professional

Standby tickets are available by calling T 212/247-6497 from 11am on the day you wish to attend. Shoots Monday through Thursday at 5.30pm, with an additional show Thursday at 8pm. Late Night with Conan O’Brien T212/664-3056. Call NBC ticket office at T 212/664-3056. For standby tickets go to the NBC Studios marquee on the 49th street side of 30 Rockefeller Plaza before 9am. Only one ticket will be issued per person. Saturday Night Live T 212/664-4000. It’s tough to get tickets in advance; for each upcoming season (usually Oct–May), you must send an email, in August only, to E snltickets@nbcuni.com – include all contact information. If selected, you’ll get two tickets assigned randomly (you cannot fix the date). Alternatively, standby tickets are distributed at 7am on the 49th St side of 30 Rockefeller Plaza on Saturday morning (some weeks are reruns; call ahead).

Among the GE Building’s many offices is NBC Studios (70min behind-thescenes tours Mon–Sat 8.30am–5.30pm, Sun 9.30am–4.30pm; reservations at the NBC Experience Tour Desk; $18.50, children $15.50; call T 212/664-7174 to reserve or buy a combination ticket with Rockefeller Center tour, $23.50) on 49th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues, which produces, among other things, the long-running sketch-comedy hit Saturday Night Live and the popular morning program the Today Show. To become part of the throng that appears (and waves frantically) when the anchors step outside, all one has to do is show up – the earlier the better. This is especially true on summer Fridays when the Today Show hosts concerts (for information on other show tapings visit W www .nbc.com/Footer/Tickets or call the ticket line at T 212/664-3056.

East Village mainstay that offers fine home-made borscht (hot in winter, cold in summer), latkes, pierogi, and great burgers and fries. Open 24hrs. Via Della Pace 48 E 7th St, between First and Second aves T212/253-5803. Dark and cozy East Village café with good Argentine pastas and sandwiches, plus a great selection of coffees and desserts. The tiramisu is excellent. 295 C AF É S , BAKE RI E S A ND S NAC K S famous multicolored cupcakes (celebrated in both Sex and the City and Saturday Night Live), $2.25 each. Lines can stretch around the block. Marquet Patisserie 15 E 12th St, between Fifth Ave and University Place T 212/229-9313. Thanks to its convenient location, ample tables, excellent menu, and low-key atmosphere, this is the perfect mid-Village place to warm up or cool down and rest your feet. There’s an emphasis on café fare but they serve more substantial meals, too. Tea & Sympathy 108 Greenwich Ave, between W 12th and 13th sts T212/807-8329.


pages: 329 words: 106,831

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

activist lawyer, Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, Apple II, cellular automata, Columbine, Conway's Game of Life, G4S, 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.


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, Joi Ito, 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: 349 words: 104,796

Greed and Glory on Wall Street: The Fall of the House of Lehman by Ken Auletta

business climate, corporate governance, financial independence, fixed income, floating exchange rates, interest rate swap, New Journalism, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, traveling salesman, zero-coupon bond

Interest-rates-are-going-down. Better-finance-now.” Glucksman exits. They go to the Lehman dining room for lunch, where Peterson, who was always trying to resist sugar and who was constantly ordering raspberries, lunges for the sugar bowl and absent-mindedly pours it over his salad. Scene five is set in the boardroom. Peterson and Glucksman are there when the servile board members file in, wearing their white (Saturday Night Live) cone hats. The phone rings, and someone announces: “It’s Golda Meir!” “Tell her I’ll call back,” says Peterson. Brusquely turning to Glucksman, Peterson says, “We’ve got a problem with our overhead. We’ve got to get rid of cigars.” Glucksman’s leg twitched violently. “You can’t get rid of my cigars,” he says, almost choking on the fat cigar in his mouth. As an alternative, Glucksman shoots back: “We’ll get rid of raspberries!”

Then he hurried to attend the Manhattan wedding of a friend’s sister. There he met Michael Phillips, producer of such movie hits as The Sting, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and The Flamingo Kid. Phillips’s wife was also away. “We decided to be each other’s date for the evening,” says Cohen. At eleven they left the wedding and went to watch their mutual friend, actor Michael Douglas, host Saturday Night Live. “I was ready for a break,” says Cohen. He arrived home at one-thirty in the morning. The housekeeper was still up, and somberly reported that his wife was not on her scheduled plane and that his dog had eaten a pencil and was vomiting. Cohen vainly tried to reach Karen in Paris, comforted his dog and went to bed. At eight Sunday morning Cohen met Dick Fuld for breakfast at Kaplan’s, a delicatessen on East 59th Street, where they discussed how the two trading operations could be integrated.


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, Joan Didion, Loebner Prize, mass immigration, Maui Hawaii, meta analysis, meta-analysis, MITM: man-in-the-middle, natural language processing, out of africa, phenotype, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Saturday Night Live, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, transatlantic slave trade, Turing machine, Turing test, twin studies, 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: 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 hachettebookgroup.com/newsletters Contents Welcome Dedication Boy Meets Girl Unprotected Magical Mr.


pages: 394 words: 124,743

Overhaul: An Insider's Account of the Obama Administration's Emergency Rescue of the Auto Industry by Steven Rattner

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, affirmative action, bank run, banking crisis, business cycle, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, friendly fire, hiring and firing, income inequality, Joseph Schumpeter, low skilled workers, McMansion, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, supply-chain management, too big to fail

Instead, in a public letter, Pelosi and Reid offered the CEOs a do-over: the House and Senate would return for a rare second lame-duck session in December, devoted exclusively to autos. But that session would take place, the letter warned, only if each company presented "a credible restructuring plan." Interestingly, the letter did not directly address the most important issue: whether $25 billion, as staggering as that sum would have seemed just months before, would even be enough. The coda to the week happened not on Capitol Hill but on Saturday Night Live. The show opened with a parody of what the second set of hearings might be like. In the skit, the CEOs do not fly to Washington, they drive—and apologize to Congress for showing up late because their cars all broke down. "I was going to drive my 2009 Cadillac XLR-V, a model we at GM are very proud of," says the ersatz Rick Wagoner, "but every time I tried to start it, I just got a powerful electric shock, and the upholstery would catch on fire."

Sergio's aim was to eke out a couple more years of life from Chrysler's aging product lines, until 2012 and 2013 when new car and truck designs, many using Fiat platforms, would arrive. Those hundreds of millions of dollars bought a lot of improvements. Consumer Reports had singled out Chrysler and Dodge minivans for an inability to handle well in an emergency, hardly an appealing attribute in a suburban kid-mover. The minivans got newly designed suspensions. The Chrysler 300 and Dodge Stratus—sedans so bad they'd been lampooned on Saturday Night Live—got new V6 engines with a six-speed transmission option, plus new suspensions and tires to improve the ride. Nor was all Sergio's spending on products. He pumped tens of millions into fixing up cafeterias and restrooms in Chrysler plants as well as doing other long-deferred maintenance and repairs, all of which helped boost morale. His second bold decision was to let retail sales fall to a "natural" level by slashing the incentives to which Chrysler had become addicted.


pages: 165 words: 47,193

The End of Work: Why Your Passion Can Become Your Job by John Tamny

Albert Einstein, Andy Kessler, asset allocation, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, cloud computing, commoditize, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Downton Abbey, future of work, George Gilder, haute cuisine, income inequality, Jeff Bezos, knowledge economy, Mark Zuckerberg, Peter Thiel, profit motive, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, Yogi Berra

I wasn’t one to act up, but the only classes that captivated me were history and literature. Cs in math and science kept my grade point average in check. Nevertheless, I remained a voracious reader. The first hardcover book I ever bought was Mafia Princess by Antoinette Giancana, a purchase motivated by my fascination with the mob. The entertainment industry also captivated me, and I read a history of Saturday Night Live, a biography of Frank Sinatra, and the story of a 1970s financial scandal inside Columbia Pictures, Indecent Exposure. Business reads included Lee Iacocca’s autobiography and Ken Auletta’s Greed and Glory on Wall Street (about the original fall of Lehman Brothers in the 1980s). Herman Wouk’s The Winds of War and War and Remembrance had me entranced in the months it took me to read both, and I was an early fan of James Webb (the future senator), whose novels dealt with life at the Naval Academy, combat in Vietnam, and military life in general.


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: 441 words: 136,954

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

addicted to oil, 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: 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, 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: 525 words: 146,126

Ayn Rand Cult by Jeff Walker

affirmative action, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, buy and hold, credit crunch, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Doomsday Book, Elliott wave, George Gilder, Jane Jacobs, laissez-faire capitalism, market fundamentalism, Mont Pelerin Society, price stability, Ralph Waldo Emerson, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, school vouchers, Torches of Freedom

Whereas Buckley was turning from essays to fiction, Rand was turning from fiction to essays, and with Hospers’s help was being published now and again in philosophical journals and speaking at meetings of professional philosophers. Her ‘withdraw-from-Vietnam’ stance helped immeasurably in communicating with professors and students alike. In fact, it hooked thousands of left-wingers onto her philosophy. The Nathaniel Branden Institute and the Objectivist continued to expand throughout the 1970s, during which time Rand and her movement became the butt of savage satire in The National Lampoon and on Saturday Night Live. Branden’s weekly Objectivist radio talk-show ‘And I Mean It!’, while never approaching the kind of ratings Rush Limbaugh would enjoy in the 1990s, was a forerunner of that program. Branden went on to write a handful of conservative and libertarian think-tank books, later running successfully for the senate as a Republican. He headed up the party’s very substantial libertarian wing during the Reagan years and was responsible for much of Reagan’s resistance to moral majority initiatives.

In 1975, Rand published a 175-page memoir of her estrangement from Frank Jr. during the early years of the Vietnam war, and of their eventual reconciliation. Critics who had panned Atlas Shrugged 18 years before fell over themselves heaping it with praise. It completed Rand’s transition from practically a literary outcast to practically a mainstream icon. In 1978 Lorne Michaels convinced Ayn Rand to appear as a guest host for a special Saturday Night Live show roasting socialism around the world and big government at home. She played a Kafka-esque government inquisitor in one sketch. In 1979 Rand became a fellow of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP) and one of that organization’s key promoters of critical thinking—which she considered a prerequisite for and a likely stepping stone toward adopting Objectivism.


pages: 440 words: 132,685

The Wizard of Menlo Park: How Thomas Alva Edison Invented the Modern World by Randall E. Stross

Albert Einstein, centralized clearinghouse, Charles Lindbergh, death of newspapers, distributed generation, East Village, Ford paid five dollars a day, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, Livingstone, I presume, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, urban renewal

“It’s like the old days”: Edison made a similar statement the day after the fire: “It prevents a man from being afflicted with ennui.” “Some Answers Which Mr. Edison Made to Telegrams and Letters Received the Day After the Fire,” Edison Phonograph Monthly, January 1915, 6. “I never intend to retire”: “Edison Sails for Europe on First Trip in 22 Years, to Catch Up with Worries,” Evening World, 2 August 1911. CHAPTER 11. FRIEND FORD lopsided arithmetic: A classic Saturday Night Live sketch playfully pretended that a celebrity musician knew as much about every one of his fans as they knew about him. As Paul Simon was standing in line outside a movie theater, a woman approached him. Woman: Paul Simon! Hi! Oh, I’m sure you don’t remember, but I saw you in your concert at Central Park. Paul Simon: [pauses to think] You were sitting on a plaid blanket…under the elm tree.

Simon even remembered the man who had bought one of his records in a Seattle record store: “Oh, yes, you had a problem with the second side, there was a scratch on the second cut…” The sketch concluded with Simon’s memory failing him upon the arrival of Art Garfunkel, his collaborator for eleven years. Simon: “And your name is?” The show originally aired 22 November 1986. The transcript is posted to a Web site, Saturday Night Live Transcripts. See http://snltranscripts.jt.org/86/86ememory.phtml. At dinner on the first day: Henry Ford, in collaboration with Samuel Crowther, Edison as I Know Him (New York: Cosmopolitan Book Corporation, 1930), 1–5, 11. The stagy dialogue: Ford’s first published account of the encounter was in his autobiography, published in 1922. There the account was brief. It was only with the publication of Edison as I Know Him eight years later that he filled out details and added the dialogue.


pages: 515 words: 143,055

The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads by Tim Wu

1960s counterculture, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, anti-communist, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bob Geldof, borderless world, Brownian motion, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, colonial rule, East Village, future of journalism, George Gilder, Golden Gate Park, Googley, Gordon Gekko, housing crisis, informal economy, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Live Aid, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, Nate Silver, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, placebo effect, post scarcity, race to the bottom, road to serfdom, Saturday Night Live, science of happiness, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Tim Cook: Apple, Torches of Freedom, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, white flight, zero-sum game

— MTV’s executive programmers thought hard into the 1990s about what they could try without incurring the sort of brutal content overhead that had made life so precarious for other media and which stockholders would not abide anyway. They tried scheduling reruns of the 1960s hit The Monkees, with mixed results. One enterprising programmer was fixated on the idea of MTV running NFL games, wisely foreseeing that the real money would eventually be in sports; but it was not the best fit for the brand. Another idea was to rerun Saturday Night Live cut into pieces with music videos sprinkled in. Eventually the network began running a low-budget game show named Remote Control; with questions based on MTV trivia, it was “an excuse to do jokes.”5 One day, looking at their audience data, a young executive named Van Toffler had a different idea. He had noticed something striking: an overlap between MTV’s core audiences and viewers of daytime soap operas.

He named it “Pagesixsixsix.com” a mash-up of the New York Post’s gossipy Page Six and, presumably, the Antichrist; riffing on The New York Times’s motto that his blog was “All the news, gossip and satire that’s unfit to print (anywhere else).” Lavandeira described himself as the “Raconteur, Iconoclast, Proselytizer and the Maniacal Mastermind behind Page SixSixSix.” A sample headline from his early work: “Hilary Duff Is a Lying Bitch!! In a recent interview, Hilary not only had the fucking audacity to defend Ashlee Simpson’s lip-synching fracas on Saturday Night Live, but she went so far as to actually claim that she doesn’t lip-synch herself. Puhhhleeeaze biyatch!” The blog might have gone unnoticed and, like most, expired, but something about Lavandeira’s particular blend of venom and star adulation made it take off. It didn’t hurt that it was named “Hollywood’s Most Hated Website” by one TV show, leading to a traffic boom, or that it received a legal complaint from the New York Post, which noticed that its trademark “Page Six” had been appropriated.


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, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, 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: 142 words: 47,993

The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell

Columbine, cuban missile crisis, financial independence, Ralph Nader, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, slashdot, stem cell, Upton Sinclair, white picket fence

I revere the Bill of Rights, but at the same time I believe that anyone who’s using three or more of them at a time is hogging them too much. I’m a newspaper-reading, French-speaking, radio-documentary-loving square. A lot of my favorite comedians, such as Martin Short, Eugene Levy, the Kids in the Hall, are Canadian. I like that self-deprecating Charlie Brown sense of humor. As Canadian-born Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels once put it in a panel discussion devoted to the question of why Canadians are so funny at the Ninety-second Street Y, a Canadian would never have made a film called It’s a Wonderful Life because “that would be bragging.” The Canadian version, he said, would have been titled “It’s an All Right Life.” So I mostly walk the Canadian walk, but the thing about a lot of Canadian talk is that it sounds bad.


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, Joan Didion, 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 Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Bork, Rodney Brooks, Saturday Night Live, social intelligence, speech recognition, Stanford prison experiment, stem cell, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the new new thing, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, twin studies, 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: 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: 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, MITM: man-in-the-middle, 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: 152 words: 53,304

I'm Just a Person by Tig Notaro

Saturday Night Live, telemarketer

I was envious of kids with mothers who baked and did crafts and were all nosey in their business. I always tried to connect with my mother. But sometimes it seemed as though as soon as my brother and I were able to feed ourselves, my mother expected us to fend for ourselves almost entirely. We did share a sense of humor and bonded while enjoying our favorite TV shows: All in the Family, Sanford and Son, Saturday Night Live, Late Night with David Letterman, Good Times, I Love Lucy, Laverne & Shirley, and Welcome Back, Kotter. But, ultimately, I wanted to share more with my mother than a laugh together at other—made-up—families’—made-up—experiences. Sure, I had a “cool mom” who was stylish and listened to hip music at full volume, but mostly I wanted her to make me dinner and scratch my back before bed. I wanted a mother who was more likely to remember to pick me up from soccer practice than to be punctual to the neighbor’s poolside happy hour or to dye the mashed potatoes blue.


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, cuban missile crisis, dumpster diving, Hush-A-Phone, index card, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, John Markoff, Menlo Park, popular electronics, Richard Feynman, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, the new new thing, the scientific method, undersea cable, 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 http://long-lines.net/documents/BSP-770-130-301/BSP-770-130-301-p1.html. 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 http://snltranscripts.jt.org/76/76aphonecompany.phtml. 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 http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/Content/PDF/telephone.PDF.


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, en.wikipedia.org, nuclear winter, operation paperclip, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, undersea cable, 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: 477 words: 144,329

How Money Became Dangerous by Christopher Varelas

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, airport security, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, Bonfire of the Vanities, California gold rush, cashless society, corporate raider, crack epidemic, cryptocurrency, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, dumpster diving, fiat currency, fixed income, friendly fire, full employment, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, interest rate derivative, John Meriwether, Kickstarter, Long Term Capital Management, mandatory minimum, mobile money, mortgage debt, pensions crisis, pets.com, pre–internet, profit motive, risk tolerance, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Predators' Ball, too big to fail, universal basic income, zero day

If you’re savvy enough to make a dollar, by whatever means, then that’s cause for adoration. At the risk of sounding ridiculous, compared to today’s amateurs-turned-stars, Knoxville is an old-school traditionalist. He paid his dues, first pitching stories and video ideas to Big Brother magazine, then developing the concept for television, eventually selecting MTV after a bidding war that included Comedy Central and Saturday Night Live. Success used to be achieved through hard work, perseverance, talent, and, sure, some measure of luck. The goal for many young people these days is to skip the line, hack the system, and gain maximum success while paying minimum dues. And that creates a sense of entitlement to the other line, along with resentment when you don’t reach the other line with ease. Logan went straight from the Cleveland suburbs to stardom.

Filter, 162–63, 168, 170, 172, 174, 175 Quattrone, Frank, 263, 274 Qwest, 212 Reagan, Ronald, 317 Recession, Great, see Great Recession Reed, John, 189, 208 regulations, simplicity of, 367–68 retirement: saving for, 370 see also pension systems review processes, 364–65 Richards, Ann, 1 Rigoli, Andy, 236–41 Ripley, William Zebina, 74 Roberts, Julia, 98, 100–102, 106 Roche, Jim, 113–14 roll-up companies, 153, 167 Ross, Diana, 94 Rowan, Marc, 165 Rowland, Frank Sherwood, 99 Rubenstein, Adam, 220–21 Rubin, Bob, 195 Ruiz, Pedro, III, 303–4 Russell, Bertrand, 248 Russia, 303 Salomon, Arthur, 50 Salomon, Billy, 51, 58–59, 64, 68 Salomon, Ferdinand, 50 Salomon, Herbert, 50 Salomon, Percy, 50 Salomon Brothers, 44–80, 97, 237 analyst staffing at, 131 author at, 5, 44–50, 54, 55, 59–62, 64–66, 70–74, 76–80, 90–91, 94, 95, 101, 114, 115, 118–24, 126–36, 145–46, 148, 149, 156–83, 195–207, 229, 236, 248–59, 265–70, 277, 284, 286, 314–15, 323–28, 330–35 author’s sister at, 134–36, 259 bond market and, 50–51 bonuses at, 64, 248–51, 253–59, 262–63 Buffett and, 68, 75–76, 262–63 Citi and, 195–98 culture at, 52, 61–62, 75, 206, 215 diversity at, 47, 60 Equinix and, 241 F9 mistake and, 127 “Fortune Cookie Meeting” at, 120–23, 126 founding of, 50 golf outings of, 134–36, 259 Gutfreund at, 57–60, 63, 67–68 image consciousness at, 145 investment banking department of, 114–15, 126–27 IPO spinning and, 199–200, 210, 212 Lucent and, 190, 195, 200–202 luncheon events of, 114 M&A department of, 116, 118, 119, 128–29, 131, 180, 190, 195, 199, 200, 229, 259 as meritocracy, 60–61 Meriwether at, 57, 59, 60, 62–64, 66–68, 76 Mestre at, 119–23, 136, 138, 145–46 Mozer at, 55–58, 62, 64, 67–69, 72, 74–76, 262 Northrop and, 113, 118–19, 125 Northrop-Grumman negotiations and, 119–24, 136–38, 142–43, 145–46 Orange County and, 314–15, 323–28, 330–35 Papa at, 128–30 as private partnership, 51, 63–64, 75, 76 recruitment cocktail party of, 78–80 risk taking at, 53 SmarTalk and, 221–22 Soenen at, 115–18, 131–35, 259 Soenen’s relationship troubles and, 138–43 transition to public corporation, 52, 55, 59, 64, 68, 75, 76 Travelers’ acquisition of, 253 Treasury bond scandal at, 55–58, 62, 64, 67, 72, 74–76, 262 U.S. Filter and, 157–83 weekend work policies of, 202–3 Weill’s purchase of, 188 Wittig at, 116–18, 135, 259 Salton Sea, 162 San Francisco Chronicle, 188 Saturday Night Live, 302 Schotz, Jon, 332 Schwab, Charles, 74 Schwarzenegger, Arnold, 159 Score, 231 Seagram’s, 169 Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), 58, 125, 195, 324 Seidel, Andy, 158–61, 164, 167, 170, 174–75, 179, 181–82 selfies, 303 Sephora, 292 September 11 terrorist attacks, 176, 235–36 shareholder value, 103, 360 Shearson Loeb Rhoades, 188 “Shooting an Elephant” (Orwell), 184, 210 Siemens, 182 Silicon Valley, 219, 234, 237, 244, 253, 277, 306–8 ICOs in, 245–46 IPOs in, 228–29 Silva, Anthony, 346–47, 350 Simpson, O.


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, G4S, 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, ubercab, 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: 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: 83 words: 7,274

Buyology by Martin Lindstrom

anti-work, Berlin Wall, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Kickstarter, Mikhail Gorbachev, Pepto Bismol, 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: 221 words: 64,080

Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd by Youngme Moon

AltaVista, Atul Gawande, business cycle, commoditize, creative destruction, hedonic treadmill, 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.


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

book scanning, Joan Didion, 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, Nelson Mandela, 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: 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, Kickstarter, 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, undersea cable, 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: 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, Kickstarter, 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, pets.com, 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: 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: 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, Cass Sunstein, death of newspapers, en.wikipedia.org, Internet of things, Joan Didion, 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 nytimes.com each day electronically with everyone who shares news with me.


Frommer's New York City Day by Day by Hilary Davidson

Berlin Wall, buttonwood tree, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Donald Trump, East Village, glass ceiling, Saturday Night Live

Subway: F/V to 42nd St./Bryant Park; 1/2/3/ 7/9/A/C/E/N/R/Q/W to 42nd St./Times Square. 5 ★ Rockefeller Center and NBC Studios. This 1930s Art Deco wonder is a vision from the outside, but the tour of NBC studios will give you an up-close perspective on some of the shows filmed within. Starting at the NBC History Theater—which covers the network’s early radio days—the tour takes you to the studio where Saturday Night Live has been filmed since 1975, as well as to the studio homes of Late Night With Conan O’Brien, Dateline, and NBC Sports. As you listen to the NBC page conducting your tour, keep in mind that Regis Philbin, Ted Koppel, and Kate Jackson all started out as pages here. If you get here on a weekday between 7 and 10am, you can join the big outdoor party that watches the taping of the Today show. (For more information on joining the studio audience of your favorite talk or news show, call the NYCVB at y 212/484-1222.) @ 70 min.


pages: 301 words: 78,638

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear

"side hustle", Atul Gawande, Cal Newport, Checklist Manifesto, choice architecture, clean water, cognitive dissonance, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, en.wikipedia.org, financial independence, invisible hand, Lao Tzu, late fees, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Paul Graham, randomized controlled trial, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Saturday Night Live, survivorship bias, Walter Mischel

At nineteen, he was performing weekly for twenty minutes at a time. He had to read three poems during the show just to make the routine long enough, but his skills continued to progress. He spent another decade experimenting, adjusting, and practicing. He took a job as a television writer and, gradually, he was able to land his own appearances on talk shows. By the mid-1970s, he had worked his way into being a regular guest on The Tonight Show and Saturday Night Live. Finally, after nearly fifteen years of work, the young man rose to fame. He toured sixty cities in sixty-three days. Then seventy-two cities in eighty days. Then eighty-five cities in ninety days. He had 18,695 people attend one show in Ohio. Another 45,000 tickets were sold for his three-day show in New York. He catapulted to the top of his genre and became one of the most successful comedians of his time.


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: 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, Joan Didion, 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: 230 words: 76,655

Choose Yourself! by James Altucher

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, cashless society, cognitive bias, dark matter, Elon Musk, estate planning, Mark Zuckerberg, money market fund, Network effects, new economy, PageRank, passive income, pattern recognition, payday loans, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, Rodney Brooks, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, sharing economy, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, Steve Jobs, superconnector, Uber for X, Vanguard fund, Y2K, Zipcar

It used to be that a stranger knew he could cooperate with you if you had that stupid piece of paper. But now there are many ways you can show you can deliver value without that paper. Come up with ten ideas on how you can escape the trap of the degree and demonstrate you still have value. Ideas for the company you want to work for, or the person you want to work with. Or just go get a camera and start making movies without a film degree. When actor Andy Samberg was starting at Saturday Night Live he didn’t just huddle in the writers’ room with everyone else and try to come up with jokes. There was too much competition! Instead, he took a camera and with his buddies Jorm and Akiva went out and shot “Lazy Sunday,” which was the first YouTube video to get over 100 million views and became his first SNL digital short. He didn’t wait to rise through the ranks and hopefully get a joke or a sketch produced.


pages: 319 words: 75,257

Trumpocalypse: Restoring American Democracy by David Frum

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, anti-globalists, Bernie Sanders, centre right, coronavirus, currency manipulation / currency intervention, decarbonisation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, employer provided health coverage, illegal immigration, immigration reform, labor-force participation, manufacturing employment, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nate Silver, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, QAnon, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley

Among voters who approved of Trump’s performance, still only one in eight described him as “unpresidential.”29 Trump kept assuring himself that all was going well, that every bump in the road was the work of unfair media: @newtgingrich just stated that there has been no president since Abraham Lincoln who has been treated worse or more unfairly by the media than your favorite President, me! At the same time there has been no president who has accomplished more in his first two years in office!30 —January 19, 2019 Nothing funny about tired Saturday Night Live on Fake News NBC! Question is, how do the Networks get away with these total Republican hit jobs without retribution? Likewise for many other shows? Very unfair and should be looked into. This is the real Collusion!31 —February 17, 2019 93% Approval Rating in the Republican Party. 52% Approval Rating overall! Not bad considering I get the most unfair (BAD) press in the history of presidential politics!


pages: 829 words: 186,976

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

"Robert Solow", airport security, availability heuristic, Bayesian statistics, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Black Swan, Broken windows theory, business cycle, buy and hold, 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, en.wikipedia.org, 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, global pandemic, haute cuisine, Henri Poincaré, high batting average, housing crisis, income per capita, index fund, information asymmetry, 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, Laplace demon, 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, pets.com, 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: 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, Kickstarter, 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, business cycle, buy and hold, 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.


pages: 286 words: 87,401

Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies by Reid Hoffman, Chris Yeh

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, bitcoin, blockchain, Bob Noyce, business intelligence, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, database schema, discounted cash flows, Elon Musk, Firefox, forensic accounting, George Gilder, global pandemic, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, hydraulic fracturing, Hyperloop, inventory management, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Joi Ito, Khan Academy, late fees, Lean Startup, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Oculus Rift, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, speech recognition, stem cell, Steve Jobs, subscription business, Tesla Model S, thinkpad, transaction costs, transport as a service, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, uber lyft, web application, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator, yellow journalism

That was when Netflix began running into a major strategic issue. Netflix relied on the studios for its content (movies and TV shows), but the studios now saw online video companies like YouTube and Netflix as a threat. In response, they began to increase the price they demanded from Netflix for licensing their content and held back some of their “crown jewels” (e.g., massively popular content like Saturday Night Live) for themselves and Hulu (an industry joint venture). The logical conclusion was clear but daunting. Netflix needed to develop its own original content. Now the company had to climb what was perhaps its steepest learning curve yet, since it would be competing with Hollywood studios that had nearly a century of experience in their field. Netflix hired Ted Sarandos as its head of content, and successfully climbed this learning curve, just as it had climbed so many others in the past.


pages: 244 words: 81,334

Picnic Comma Lightning: In Search of a New Reality by Laurence Scott

4chan, Airbnb, airport security, augmented reality, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, clean water, colonial rule, cryptocurrency, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, housing crisis, Internet of things, Joan Didion, job automation, late capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, Narrative Science, Productivity paradox, QR code, ride hailing / ride sharing, Saturday Night Live, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, Snapchat, Y2K

If you have any agency in these systems, it’s hard to disentangle yourself from this idea that you are somehow an accomplice to their effects. And so, amidst this growing sense of our mutual interdependence, the concept of complicity has begun to proliferate. Dictionary.com named ‘complicity’ the 2017 ‘Word of the Year’. To be complicit is to be involved in morally dubious activity. Interest in this concept spiked after a Saturday Night Live sketch in which Ivanka Trump, played by Scarlett Johansson, promoted a fictional perfume called ‘Complicit’. Later in the year, Arizona senator Jeff Flake resigned from his position because he ‘could not be complicit’ in Donald Trump’s governmental agendas. A major feature of our modern relationship with things is that they communicate to us ways in which we are complicit. Rather than simply projecting ideas onto them – ideas about status, or their own magical properties – our possessions carry the irrefutable message of our involvement in the world.


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: 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: 239 words: 80,319

Lurking: How a Person Became a User by Joanne McNeil

4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Ada Lovelace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Burning Man, Chelsea Manning, Chris Wanstrath, citation needed, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, feminist movement, Firefox, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, helicopter parent, Internet Archive, invention of the telephone, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, l'esprit de l'escalier, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, moral panic, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, packet switching, PageRank, pre–internet, profit motive, QAnon, recommendation engine, Saturday Night Live, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, social graph, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, Turing complete, We are the 99%, web application, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog

That would mean they were about the same age as Mark Zuckerberg when he started Facebook. A comment thread of this length and longevity is rare, and it is especially usual for a blog like Shiny Shiny. It was the flagship vertical of Shiny Media—a blog network that set out to be the Gawker Media of the UK—catering to a specific market: young women and gadgets (think a mixture of Tatler, CNet, and SkyMall, with a dash of the old Saturday Night Live skit “Chess for Girls”). Daily posts hyped anything Sony, Nokia, or Asus offered in metallic pink (Shiny! Shiny!). Featured products were bedazzled, bright, and celebrity-endorsed (“Samsung + Lily Allen = a netbook that looks like Victorian Wallpaper”). Acknowledging that women used gadgets and hiring them to write about them was better than nothing, but as Leach, the now former editor of Shiny Shiny, wondered back then—did the content have to be so bubbly, so baubly?


pages: 245 words: 83,272

Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World by Meredith Broussard

1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, availability heuristic, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Buckminster Fuller, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, cognitive bias, complexity theory, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, digital map, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, Firefox, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, life extension, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, natural language processing, PageRank, payday loans, paypal mafia, performance metric, Peter Thiel, price discrimination, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ross Ulbricht, Saturday Night Live, school choice, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Tesla Model S, the High Line, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, theory of mind, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, Uber for X, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce

Even though the directions clearly say to keep both hands on the wheel, he frequently bragged that he could take his hands off the wheel or just use one hand instead of two. He demonstrated some Easter eggs, jokes the programmers hid inside the code. He clicked six times on the steering wheel, and the display changed to show the rainbow road from Mario Kart. He showed a second Easter egg: the driver’s display dinged for “more cowbell,” a reference to a Saturday Night Live skit. I watched some promotional videos for Waymo. In one, the narrator claimed Waymo’s technology could “see” 360 degrees around the car, plus two football fields ahead. The shape of the car is optimized to allow field of view for the sensors. One major design feature, which isn’t yet perfected, is that the computer must withstand vibrations and heat fluctuations. “We’ve been bolting things onto existing cars for a long time, and started to realize that’s very limiting in what we can do when you’re dealing with the constraint of an existing vehicle,” said Jaime Waydo, a Waymo systems engineer, in a 2014 video.


pages: 254 words: 81,009

Busy by Tony Crabbe

airport security, British Empire, business process, cognitive dissonance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, fear of failure, Frederick Winslow Taylor, haute cuisine, informal economy, inventory management, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, knowledge worker, Lao Tzu, loss aversion, low cost airline, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, placebo effect, Richard Feynman, Rubik’s Cube, Saturday Night Live, science of happiness, Shai Danziger, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple

Some stuff will work; some stuff won’t. Select the stuff that works and discard the stuff that doesn’t, and then vary things again. What aspect of your work isn’t working? What are three alternative, untried approaches? Try them and keep the most effective. Survive the Failures Chris Rock is one of the most successful comedians in the world today. He came to prominence performing on Saturday Night Live in the early 1990s, has appeared in a wide range of movies, and was voted the fifth greatest stand-up comic of all time by Comedy Central. Chris is constantly trying to come up with new jokes but, like most comedians, can’t accurately predict which ones will be funny and which will fail. To remain successful, he constantly tries out new material at small venues, where his reputation will survive a few bad jokes.8 The stories and jokes that work, that have been tried and tested, are the ones he successfully uses on the big stages.


Crushing It! EPB by Gary Vaynerchuk

"side hustle", augmented reality, fear of failure, follow your passion, Mark Zuckerberg, passive income, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, Rubik’s Cube, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat

Facebook is the first platform that has combined the ability to do marketing, sales, and branding all in one place, and it is still vastly underpriced for the amount of attention you can get there from its nearly two billion monthly users. Facebook 201 Facebook Live. Facebook has gone all in on Live, trying to give users a place to indulge in the raw, immediate experience of engaging directly with viewers in real time. It’s powerful stuff, but be aware that live video is the hardest art form. If you eliminate the news, sports, awards shows, and Saturday Night Live, there are very few live TV shows, and for good reason. It takes enormous skill to captivate an audience enough to disrupt their routine at the moment you want their attention. That’s a much bigger ask than trying to get people to watch you on their own time. And yet, the spontaneity can really work in your favor. If you can crystallize a special moment and share it with your fans in real time, it can become something truly special to them, too.


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, en.wikipedia.org, 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: 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: 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, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Urbanism, placebo effect, profit motive, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Saturday Night Live, stem cell, twin studies, 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: 362 words: 95,782

Stephen Fry in America by Stephen Fry

Bretton Woods, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, Columbine, Donald Trump, illegal immigration, intermodal, jimmy wales, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Upton Sinclair, urban sprawl, Yogi Berra

That Bitch, Comedy Mike Nichols, Elaine May, Ed Asner, Paul Mazursky, Alan Arkin, Joan Rivers, Peter Boyle, Harold Ramis, John Belushi, John Candy, Bill Murray, George Wendt, Shelley Long, Jim Belushi, Dan Castellaneta, Mike Myers, Chris Farley, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Kevin Dorff, Tina Fey…the list of Chicago Second City alumni is extraordinarily impressive. It is here in Chicago that the traditions of improvisational sketch comedy have reached their pitch of refinement and influence. TV comedies like Saturday Night Live and Hollywood have all consistently been fed by those who have trained here. My acting partner looks dubious as I try to excuse myself from improv. * * * ILLINOIS KEY FACTS Abbreviation: IL Nickname: Land of Lincoln, The Prairie State Capital: Springfield Flower: Illinois Native Violet Tree: White Oak Bird: Cardinal Snack food: Popcorn Motto: State sovereignty, national union Well-known residents and natives: Abraham Lincoln (16th President), Ulysses S.


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

Charles Lindbergh, glass ceiling, low earth orbit, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, 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.


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: 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, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, gravity well, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, 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

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: 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: 321 words: 92,258

Lift: Fitness Culture, From Naked Greeks and Acrobats to Jazzercise and Ninja Warriors by Daniel Kunitz

barriers to entry, creative destruction, feminist movement, glass ceiling, Islamic Golden Age, mental accounting, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Upton Sinclair, Works Progress Administration

or through other entertaining spectacles, such as circuses or television shows. It is not enough to say I want to be strong or fast: in order to aspire to some height, we first need our ideals embodied and presented to us; we need to give some form to the potential we feel within us. We are creatures of imitation. 6 TRAINING FOR THE MIRROR The Perfect Man * * * The aging lothario Fernando Lamas, played by comedian Billy Crystal in a Saturday Night Live skit from the eighties, smiles at the camera before pronouncing in a faux Latin accent, “It’s better to look good than to feel good.” The catchphrase has a satirical edge that cuts to the heart of the post–World War II belief that you can tell people’s fortune from the lack of lines on their face; it had staying power because it dug at the potent sentiment that appearance is all, which made people uneasy even as they embraced it.


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: 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: 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, hedonic treadmill, IKEA effect, 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: 282 words: 89,266

Content Provider: Selected Short Prose Pieces, 2011–2016 by Stewart Lee

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Boris Johnson, call centre, centre right, David Attenborough, Etonian, James Dyson, Livingstone, I presume, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, plutocrats, Plutocrats, pre–internet, Right to Buy, Robert Gordon, Saturday Night Live, sensible shoes, Socratic dialogue, trickle-down economics, wage slave, young professional

Try the pancake mix. It’s delicious.” I’ve had it with comedy awards – and so has my bounty hunter alter ego Observer, 21 December 2014 I am a stand-up comedian. Last Tuesday, I attended the British Comedy Awards, my first since 1991. Today the awards are an edited Channel 4 highlights package from a Wembley warehouse, but back in ’91, in their second year, they were a prime-time ITV Saturday-night live spectacular in a big South Bank studio. I wrote for Radio 4’s On the Hour, which was up for best radio comedy, a category which, like best live comedian, has now been dropped to make space for TV faces. Broadcasters are no longer required to honour their general arts-coverage remit, so there’s more time for revenue-generating film of newsreaders eating insects. Slaves, rattle your chains.


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, Ben Horowitz, Bernie Sanders, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Donald Trump, East Village, Elon Musk, housing crisis, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, Justin.tv, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, Menlo Park, Network effects, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, performance metric, Peter Thiel, RFID, Sam Altman, 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, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, 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: 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, business cycle, call centre, clean water, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, David Brooks, delayed gratification, different worldview, double helix, Downton Abbey, 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, Khyber Pass, Louis Pasteur, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, Nate Silver, obamacare, Occupy movement, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, Richard Florida, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, social intelligence, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, 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,” Buzzfeed.com, October 31, 2012, http://www.buzzfeed.com/rubycramer/2-charts-that-explain-what-your-food-says-about-yo. 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, http://www.people-press.org/2012/05/23/changing-views-of-gay-marriage-a-deeper-analysis/. 16“Inspire Hope Change,” pamphlet published by the It Gets Better Project, accessed December 12, 2013. 17Robert D.


pages: 279 words: 90,888

The Lost Decade: 2010–2020, and What Lies Ahead for Britain by Polly Toynbee, David Walker

banking crisis, battle of ideas, Boris Johnson, call centre, car-free, centre right, collective bargaining, congestion charging, corporate governance, crony capitalism, David Attenborough, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, energy transition, Etonian, first-past-the-post, G4S, gender pay gap, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global village, high net worth, housing crisis, income inequality, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), James Dyson, manufacturing employment, mass immigration, moral panic, mortgage debt, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, payday loans, pension reform, quantitative easing, Right to Buy, Saturday Night Live, selection bias, smart meter, Uber for X, urban renewal, working-age population

Johnson reciprocated by sacrificing the UK ambassador in Washington, in a further blow to national diplomatic standing. A country famed for its humour, tolerance and irony was suddenly displaying fanaticism, xenophobia and all-round nastiness. It was now a country where MPs got shot and public figures were menaced; where extremists were garlanded and hate speech had become everyday. German and French humourists now had a ready supply of material, and the British prime minister became a stock target of Saturday Night Live mockery. The EU’s Future During Brexit, solipsism ruled. That is to say, a fixation on us and an absence of concern for them and future relationships. The effects of leaving on NATO and on European defence, let alone on our land border with the EU and our allies, were almost entirely ignored. Leave rejoiced in the EU’s troubles, as if they were not the UK’s to share. The Eurozone has deep and abiding flaws, and the European Commission’s difficulties in enforcing common action on migration and upholding the norms of judicial independence and political pluralism in eastern Europe had been all too recently demonstrated.


pages: 307 words: 88,745

War for Eternity: Inside Bannon's Far-Right Circle of Global Power Brokers by Benjamin R. Teitelbaum

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bitcoin, Boris Johnson, creative destruction, crony capitalism, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, Etonian, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, illegal immigration, Joseph Schumpeter, liberal capitalism, liberal world order, mass immigration, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, Saturday Night Live, school choice, side project, Skype, South China Sea, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks

Kelly didn’t like him and suspected him of leaking salacious stories about opponents in the White House and of creating a shadow organization within. The president was increasingly resentful of a growing number of media narratives identifying Bannon, not Trump himself, as the architect of his electoral victory and the driving force behind the administration’s initiatives. Meanwhile, Bannon’s feud with Trump’s son-in-law was so highly exposed in American media that it was even dramatized on leading satire television programs like Saturday Night Live. Things were not looking good for Steve. It would take a sensational event, however, to push him out. The exact same event would also prove pivotal for Jason Jorjani and the alt-right. * * * THEY MET in McIntire Park in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday, August 12, 2017, a little before eleven A.M. Daniel Friberg, Richard Spencer, and Henrik Palmgren—three of the four leaders from the AltRight Corporation—joined hundreds of other protesters assembling for the Unite the Right rally, its official purpose being to contest the removal of a local public statue of Civil War Confederate general Robert E.


We Need New Stories: Challenging the Toxic Myths Behind Our Age of Discontent by Nesrine Malik

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, British Empire, centre right, cognitive dissonance, continuation of politics by other means, currency peg, Donald Trump, feminist movement, financial independence, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, gender pay gap, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, invisible hand, mass immigration, moral panic, Nate Silver, obamacare, old-boy network, payday loans, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, sexual politics, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, Thomas L Friedman, transatlantic slave trade

The pushback began as a minimisation of Trump’s language and alleged sexual transgressions and developed into something altogether more sinister. ‘These are, make no mistake, men who wholly sought us for our strength, our independence and education. The jobs we held or coveted. The degrees in our name. Our passions and pursuits and our can-do, want-it-all attitudes. They work as medical researchers or in the arts, in teaching or social work,’ she writes. ‘They queue up the Saturday Night Live skits that humiliate Trump, to consume with our coffee on Sunday mornings, but find it unpalatable and unpleasant that our resentment and our fears linger long into the workweek.’ She reported on men who burnt their wives’ Women’s March and Hillary Clinton paraphernalia. Men who left their partners because they could no longer tolerate their anger. Men who scolded their wives for teaching their daughters bad manners.


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, G4S, Kickstarter, mutually assured destruction, post-work, 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: 788 words: 223,004

Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts by Jill Abramson

23andMe, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Alexander Shulgin, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Charles Lindbergh, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, commoditize, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, digital twin, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, East Village, Edward Snowden, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, future of journalism, glass ceiling, Google Glasses, haute couture, hive mind, income inequality, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Khyber Pass, late capitalism, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, performance metric, Peter Thiel, phenotype, pre–internet, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Snapchat, social intelligence, social web, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, telemarketer, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, WikiLeaks

YouTube’s open call for submissions made it easier than ever for any average Joe with a camcorder to tape shows on network television and upload their bootleg version to the site, undermining the revenue models of the networks and violating their copyright. After YouTube was up and running for a few months, people at the networks began poring through its endless listings and found, to their horror, segments they had paid to produce. This was piracy! Or was it aggregation? One clip in particular, a music video spoof from Saturday Night Live called “Lazy Sunday,” starring Andy Samberg, who just so happened to have been Jonah Peretti’s elementary-school carpool buddy, had been posted to YouTube and was spreading virally. Considering whether to clamp down on the content theft or negotiate a deal with the website hosting it, the networks wisely chose the latter. They set a precedent: the disruptive new online broadcaster would become a vital distribution outlet for the TV networks, and professional content would live side by side with no-budget frivolity.

paid subscriptions to, 4–5, 193–94, 276–77, 373, 389, 397, 416, 425, 427 separate editorial staff of, 196 “Snow Fall” story on, 204–5, 211 traffic to, 373 “Trump bump” and, 397 2016 election and, 372 Upshot blog of, 248, 290 virtual reality and, 398–99 Nguyen, Dao, 113, 114, 116, 121, 144 Nieman Journalism Lab, 119, 124, 134 Nike: Peretti’s emails with, 16–17, 19 viral Ronaldinho ad of, 53 Nir, Sarah Maslin, 210 Nisenholtz, Martin, 73–74, 192, 194 Nixon, Richard, 225, 226 Nolan, Hamilton, 138, 164, 348 North Face, 161 Notopoulos, Katie, 130 Nunberg, Sam, 306 NYTimes.com, see New York Times, websites of Obama, Barack, 210, 252, 300, 323 BuzzFeed’s native advertising campaign for, 136–37 Shane Smith’s interview with, 179, 180 Trump’s lies about, 309 in 2012 election, 136 Obama, Michelle, 179 Obama administration, criminal leak investigations by, 9, 214 Occupy movement, 130 Ochs, Adolph, 77, 429 O’Keefe, James, 286, 338 Old Blue Last (London pub), 153 Oliver, John, 389 Onion, 119 Oregonian, 246 O’Reilly, Bill, 80, 361, 392 Ostrovsky, Simon, 179, 355 kidnapping of, 174, 357 Palmieri, Jennifer, 380–81 Panic 2012 (Hastings), 133 Paris climate accord, 351 Parker, Ashley, 376–77, 406, 407, 411 Pearl, Danny, murder of, 208, 209 Pentagon Papers, 64, 82, 225, 326, 402 Peretsman, Nancy, 257, 258 Peretti, Chelsea, 13, 17, 19, 107 Peretti, Jonah, 4, 8, 219, 242, 283 Ben Smith hired as head of BuzzFeed news department by, 127–28 Blackpeopleloveus.com and, 17, 19 on BuzzFeed mix of entertainment and news, 132 BuzzFeed started by, see BuzzFeed on Chartbeat, 247 childhood and adolescence of, 13–14 computing as early interest of, 14 contagious media and, 18, 285 and doubts about BuzzFeed’s entry into news industry, 143–44 dyslexia of, 13 explosion of social media anticipated by, 30–31, 103 at Eyebeam, 18–19 Facebook criticized by, 343 Facebook worldview adopted by, 103–4 and gaming of Google search system, 29, 30 as Huffington Post cofounder, 21–25, 29, 30, 33, 285 importance of BuzzFeed News to, 317 Lerer and, 20–21 at MIT Media Lab, 16, 18 Nike Sweatshop meme inadvertently created by, 16–17, 19 as proselytizer for machine learning, 330–31 reaction buttons introduced by, 302–3 Rejection Line meme created by, 17, 19 in search for new revenue sources, 344 Steele dossier publication approved by, 323, 328 as teacher at Isidore Newman School, 14–15 as untroubled by blurring of advertising and news content, 121–22, 137 and use of Facebook “sentiment data,” 304 video production as focus of, 328–29 virality and, see virality wealth of, 123 Perpich, David, 193, 394–96, 398 PETA, 38 Pew Foundation, 182 Philadelphia Daily News, 233 Piano, Renzo, 81, 187 Pilhofer, Aron, 197 Pincus, Walter, 92–93 Pinterest, 178 Plame, Valerie, 93 Playboy, 42 Plepler, Richard, 178, 179, 180 and Vice News Tonight, 350, 353, 355 Plunkett, Chuck, 424 Podesta, John, 381 hacked emails of, 319, 381 Politically Incorrect (TV show), 44 political polarization: Facebook and, 273–74, 279–80, 281, 282–83, 312 right and, 282–83 Politico, 98–99, 124, 130, 140, 144, 189, 197, 230, 237, 251, 263, 374, 406 Ben Smith at, 126, 131, 134 critical article on Abramson in, 211 “Salongate” story broken by, 240, 241 Powell, Colin, 93 Powers That Be, The (Halberstam), 3–4 Poynter Institute, 95, 109, 140, 309, 310 Prakash, Shailesh, 263, 266–67, 413–14 press, freedom of, see First Amendment Preston, Julia, 402 Priest, Dana, 233 ProPublica, 77, 141, 142, 237, 389, 408 Proud Boys, 368 Pruitt, Scott, 390 psychographics (psychometrics), 278–79, 286 Pulitzer Prizes, 3, 4, 82, 211, 233, 268, 392, 411, 416, 426 100th anniversary celebration of, 1–5, 402 Punch, Tom, 160 Purdy, Matt, 205, 378 Putin, Vladimir, 289 quality news, 9–10 see also investigative journalism; long-form journalism Quest Education Corporation, 90 Raines, Howell, 67, 78, 184, 186, 217, 385, 429 Rather, Dan, 60 Rattner, Steven, 65, 73, 188, 189 Ravitch, Joe, 154 Reagan’s War (film), 285 Rebel Media, 368 Reddit, 313 Redstone, Sumner, 154 Reeve, Elle, 351–52 Charlottesville violence covered by, 353–55 Regret the Error (blog), 310 Reid, Harry, 384 Reines, Philippe, 133 Rejection Line meme, 17, 19 relatability, virality and, 115–16 Remnick, David, 88, 209 Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, 327, 427 Republican National Convention (2016), 315–16 Republicans, news media distrusted by, 386–87 Reston, James, 397 Rezaian, Jason, 407 Rice, Condoleezza, 79 Rich, Frank, 75 Richardson, Terry, 59, 176 Ricks, Thomas, 93, 230 Risen, James, 92, 215, 384, 402 Roberts, Jim, 135 Robinson, Janet, 86, 193 Abramson’s relationship with, 198, 199, 202 business-side job cuts by, 191 news staff cuts resisted by, 70–71, 186 paywall on website urged by, 192, 193 print advertising department protected by, 73 Sulzberger’s firing of, 202–3 as Times’s CEO, 62–63, 65 Rodman, Dennis, 167 Rogers Communications, 358, 365 Rolling Stone, 130, 133 Romney, Mitt, in 2012 election, 129, 131–32, 136 Ronaldinho, viral Nike ad of, 53 Rose, Charlie, 417, 425 Rosen, Jay, 7, 76 Rosenthal, Abe, 75, 78, 185, 193, 390 Rosenthal, Andrew, 78, 192–93, 215 Rosenthal, Elisabeth, 402 Rotten, Johnny, 43 Rovere, Richard, 4 /r/The_Donald (subreddit), 405 Rubin, Alissa, 209–10 Rubio, Marco, 132 Run-Up, The (podcast), 370, 372–74, 375 Russia: Trump’s business connections with, 383–84 2016 election interference of, 289, 326, 341–42, 381, 382, 383, 420 Rutenberg, Jim, 374 Ryan, Carolyn, 370, 371, 374, 378, 379 Ryan, Fred, 98, 263, 264, 403–4 as Post publisher, 263–64, 430–34 St. Paul Pioneer Press, 424 Samberg, Andy, 54 Samsung, 393 Sandberg, Sheryl, 213 Sanger, David, 371, 382 Saturday Night Live (TV show), 54 Savile, Jimmy, 214 Scaramucci, Anthony, 385–86 Schafer, Gene, 223 Schmidt, Andrea, 358–59 Schmidt, Eric, 54 Schmidt, Michael, 379–80, 392 Schmitt, Eric, 92 Schoofs, Mark, 141–42, 302, 323, 345 Schreiber, Liev, 268 Schumpeter, Joseph, 153 Schweizer, Peter, 378–79 Scroll, 247 search engine optimization (SEO), 30, 31, 74, 242 Seattle Times, 249 September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, 27, 49, 172 Sessions, Jeff, 416 Shadid, Anthony, 208–9 Shapiro, Ben, 290 Sheehan, Neil, 402 Shepherd, Jack, 38, 112 Shireman, Robert, 252 Shirky, Clay, 75–76, 193, 196 Shitty Media Men, 361 Shulgin, Alexander, 180–81 Sicardi, Arabelle, 117 Siegal, Al, 152, 189 Silver, Nate, 190, 248, 290, 375 Silverman, Craig: on BuzzFeed dress color story, 309 BuzzFeed joined by, 311 cognitive biases studied by, 309–10 fact-checking business of, 310–11 fake news investigations of, 294–95, 296–98, 299–300, 309, 320, 322, 340–41 as online media watchdog, 310 Simkins, Modjeska, 235 Simpson, Glenn, 323 Slim, Carlos, 5, 9 Times loan of, 188, 430 wealth of, 188, 259 “small world” networks, 15–16 smartphones, impact on digital news of, 32–33, 95 Smith, Ben, 224, 301, 411, 427 background of, 125 and blue-black/white-gold dress story, 146 in BuzzFeed 2016 election night coverage, 320, 321 BuzzFeed news team assembled by, 128–29, 130–31 BuzzFeed opinion pieces and, 345 in debate with Sullivan on native advertising, 137 hired as head of BuzzFeed news department, 127–28 IM interviews conducted by, 135 on impact of Facebook’s “sentiment data,” 304–5 importance of Facebook in 2016 election predicted by, 303, 305 journalism career of, 125–26, 131, 133–34 as master of chasing scoops, 131 NewsFeed podcast of, 342 news team expanded by, 141–43 at Politico, 126, 131, 134 posts critical of BuzzFeed advertisers deleted by, 139 in search for new revenue sources, 344 Steele dossier publication approved by, 323–24, 328 Twitter followers of, 126–27, 130 and use of Facebook “sentiment data,” 304 Smith, Shane, 4, 176 authenticity as prized by, 351 in buyback of Vice, 47 CEO title relinquished by, 369, 426 controversial Liberia documentary of, 169–70 embroidered background story of, 42 and evolution of Vice into serious news brand, 158, 171 extravagant spending by, 175–76 HBO weekly show as priority of, 357 international expansion stressed by, 368 Obama interviewed by, 179, 180 as out of touch with Vice employees’ concerns, 364 overtaking CNN as goal of, 346, 348, 369 sexism of, 59 transformative vision of, 60–61 and Trump’s election, 353 as Vice Media cofounder, 43–44 Vice News as envisioned by, 346, 369 and Vice News Tonight, 353 and Vice’s move into video, 56–57 and Vice’s sexist culture, 363–64 on Vice TV show Emmy nomination, 179 Virtue advertising agency created by, 158 Snapchat, 178, 249, 329, 412 Snowden, Edward, 80 NSA documents leaked by, 80, 215, 259–60, 268, 382 Times mistrusted by, 215 Social Intelligence Report, 110–11 social media, 232 credibility of news services as unimportant on, 294–95 explosion of, 30–32, 103 as news platforms, 294–95 Post content posted by, 412 power of, 5–6 as primary source of news for majority of Americans, 274 Social Network Soiree, 19 Softbank, 103 Sontag, Deborah, 402 Sorkin, Andrew Ross, 375 DealBook and, 189–90 Southern Poverty Law Center, 368 Spayd, Liz, 384, 385 Spencer, Richard, 353 Spicer, Sean, 339 Spotlight (film), 198, 255, 268 Steel, Emily, 362–63 Steele, Christopher, 323, 384 Steele dossier: critiques of BuzzFeed’s publication of, 324–25 lawsuits over, 326, 327–28 unverified claims in, 323 Steiger, Paul, 223, 408 Steiger, Wendy, 223 Steinberg, Jon, 120, 132, 135 Stelter, Brian, 184 “stickiness,” 23, 30, 204 Stopera, Dave, 116 Stopera, Matt, 104, 107, 108, 116, 288 as BuzzFeed early hire, 37–39 and BuzzFeed “List” formula, 117–18 as BuzzFeed’s relatability expert, 115–16 as expert on trend dynamics, 123 gender politics stories emphasized by, 140–41 on importance of adding reporting to BuzzFeed mix, 123–24 and “making a thing a thing,” 287 in move to BuzzFeed newsroom, 128–29 nostalgic posts by, 118 as trend dynamics expert, 123, 144 in 2012 election coverage, 135 Strange Justice (Mayer and Abramson), 196 Sullivan, Andrew, 22, 94, 137 Sullivan, Margaret, 324, 380, 385 Sulzberger, Annie, 65 Sulzberger, Arthur Gregg, 193, 203, 426 Abramson’s relationship with, 395, 396 as candidate for Times publisher position, 65, 394–96 innovation demanded by, 396, 398 named Times editor, 395, 396 reporting career of, 395 “Times Innovation Report” and, 218–20, 394 Times news staff joined by, 197 as Times publisher, 373, 430 on Times’s mistakes in election coverage, 376 Sulzberger, Arthur Ochs, Jr., 1, 5, 9, 407 Abramson fired by, 221–24 Abramson named as executive editor by, 201–2 Abramson’s relationship with, 197–98, 207–8, 216, 402 and blurring of line between news and business departments, 69–70, 189 business-side job cuts by, 191 Chinese princelings story and, 206, 207 Google investment declined by, 97 Keller and, 66, 67–68 lasting achievements of, 427, 429 “last man standing” strategy of, 70–71 liberal views of, 78 news staff cuts and, 70–71, 186, 187, 190–91 premium projects envisioned by, 189 and purchase of Post’s share in International Herald Tribune, 66, 86 retirement party of, 429–30 Robinson fired by, 202–3 shareholder unhappiness with, 63, 74 Times’s future as envisioned by, 62–63 unflattering articles on, 64, 74–75, 79, 183, 187 and Wall Street Journal rivalry, 183 website paywall ordered by, 193–94 Sulzberger, Arthur Ochs, Sr.


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, price discrimination, 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 tech-savvy 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, Joi Ito, 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: 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, Johannes Kepler, lone genius, music of the spheres, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Richard Feynman, Saturday Night Live, scientific worldview, 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: 537 words: 99,778

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

activist lawyer, Bay Area Rapid Transit, bonus culture, British Empire, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate personhood, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, deindustrialization, different worldview, facts on the ground, glass ceiling, housing crisis, Kibera, late capitalism, mass incarceration, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, 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: 416 words: 100,130

New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World--And How to Make It Work for You by Jeremy Heimans, Henry Timms

"side hustle", 3D printing, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, battle of ideas, Benjamin Mako Hill, bitcoin, blockchain, British Empire, Chris Wanstrath, Columbine, Corn Laws, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Ferguson, Missouri, future of work, game design, gig economy, hiring and firing, IKEA effect, income inequality, informal economy, job satisfaction, Jony Ive, Kibera, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Minecraft, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Occupy movement, profit motive, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Snapchat, social web, TaskRabbit, the scientific method, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, web application, WikiLeaks

One of the most popular subreddits is the “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) thread, where everyone from Barack Obama to Bill Gates takes questions from the Reddit community. As we write this, a ninety-something German woman is starring in an AMA about her experiences as a nurse during World War II—it’s the second most popular thread right now on Reddit, coming in just ahead of a discussion about criminal justice reform and a link to a skit about Beyoncé on Saturday Night Live. Victoria Taylor joined Reddit Inc. in 2013 as communications director. She then became director of talent, overseeing over 2,500 AMAs and serving as the company’s interface with many of its most important moderators. She was beloved by the “mods,” who saw her as more than just an enforcer on behalf of Reddit Inc. but as something more like a friend. “When my wife got pregnant she sent us chocolate-covered strawberries in the mail…Just all these little things she would do for everybody,” recounts Brian Lynch, a key moderator on the I Am A ___ Ask Me Anything subreddit (IAmA), and a central node in the Reddit volunteer community.


pages: 367 words: 102,188

Sleepyhead: Narcolepsy, Neuroscience and the Search for a Good Night by Henry Nicholls

A. Roger Ekirch, Donald Trump, double helix, Drosophila, global pandemic, Kickstarter, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mouse model, placebo effect, Saturday Night Live, stem cell, web application, Yom Kippur War

With direction from the judge, the jury acquitted him of both murder and arson, though he was sentenced to three years’ hard labour on account of adultery and lascivious cohabitation. Homicidal somnambulism has been used as a defence in a handful of cases since then, but the most celebrated of these, by far, is that of a young Canadian man called Ken Parks. On 23 May 1987, he was sitting up watching Saturday Night Live until the small hours of the morning. At around 1.30 a.m., he fell asleep on the couch. This wasn’t particularly unusual, because he was something of a night owl, going to bed late and rising late. What was a surprise was waking to find himself stabbing his mother-in-law, especially as she and her husband lived some 23 km away and he’d driven to their house, navigating several sets of traffic lights along the way.


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, Kickstarter, 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, 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: 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, buy and hold, 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, Laplace demon, longitudinal study, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, Nash equilibrium, Nate Silver, Nelson Mandela, obamacare, pattern recognition, performance metric, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, placebo effect, prediction markets, quantitative easing, random walk, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, scientific worldview, 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: 305 words: 101,743

Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion by Jia Tolentino

4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alexander Shulgin, big-box store, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, financial independence, game design, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, late capitalism, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, Norman Mailer, obamacare, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, QR code, rent control, Saturday Night Live, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, wage slave, white picket fence

It’s not out of the realm of possibility—and is in fact quite likely—that Conway has considered that no matter what she says or does…she will be criticized in bluntly sexist terms because she is a woman.” I’d add that she also likely knows that, on the terms of contemporary feminism, she will be defended in equally blunt terms, too. Later on, Jennifer Palmieri, the director of communications for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, lamented in the Times that Steve Bannon was seen as an evil genius while Conway, equally manipulative, was just seen as crazy. When Saturday Night Live portrayed Conway like Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction in a sketch, that, too, was sexist, as were the memes that compared Conway to Gollum and Skeletor. But if you stripped away the sexism, you would still be left with Kellyanne Conway. Moreover, if you make the self-presentation of a White House spokesperson off-limits on principle, then you lose the ability to articulate the way she does her job.


pages: 1,034 words: 241,773

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven Pinker

3D printing, access to a mobile phone, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, Arthur Eddington, artificial general intelligence, availability heuristic, Ayatollah Khomeini, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, clockwork universe, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, distributed generation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, double helix, effective altruism, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, end world poverty, endogenous growth, energy transition, European colonialism, experimental subject, Exxon Valdez, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, Flynn Effect, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, frictionless, frictionless market, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, Hans Rosling, hedonic treadmill, helicopter parent, Hobbesian trap, humanitarian revolution, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, Joan Didion, job automation, Johannes Kepler, John Snow's cholera map, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, l'esprit de l'escalier, Laplace demon, life extension, long peace, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, Martin Wolf, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, Nathan Meyer Rothschild: antibiotics, Nelson Mandela, New Journalism, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, obamacare, open economy, Paul Graham, peak oil, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, precision agriculture, prediction markets, purchasing power parity, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Republic of Letters, Richard Feynman, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, Saturday Night Live, science of happiness, Scientific racism, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, supervolcano, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, union organizing, universal basic income, University of East Anglia, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, women in the workforce, working poor, World Values Survey, Y2K

People can even value autonomy over happiness: many who have gone through a painful divorce, for example, would still not choose to return to a time when their parents would have arranged their marriages. What about happiness itself? How can a scientist measure something as subjective as subjective well-being? The best way to find out how happy people are is to ask them. Who could be a better judge? An old Saturday Night Live skit has Gilda Radner in a postcoital conversation with a nervous lover (played by Chevy Chase) who is worried she didn’t have an orgasm, and she consoles him by saying, “Sometimes I do and I don’t even know it.” We laugh because when it comes to subjective experience, the experiencer herself is the ultimate authority. But we don’t have to take people’s word for it: self-reports of well-being turn out to correlate with everything else we think of as indicating happiness, including smiles, a buoyant demeanor, activity in the parts of the brain that respond to cute babies, and, Gilda and Chevy notwithstanding, judgments by other people.12 Happiness has two sides, an experiential or emotional side, and an evaluative or cognitive side.13 The experiential component consists of a balance between positive emotions like elation, joy, pride, and delight, and negative emotions like worry, anger, and sadness.

., 99, 100, 118 Ruddiman, William, 123 rule of law democracy as dependent on, 335–6 establishment of, in early modern Europe, 43 integrity of, and emancipative values, 228 violent crime reductions and, 43, 168–70, 174 Rushdie, Salman, 443 Ruskin, John, 165 Russell, Bertrand, 421, 445 Russell, Stuart, 300, 477n20 Russia as autocracy, 201, 203, 205, 335 civil war, 78 conflict with Georgia, 335 conflict with Ukraine, 158, 159, 335 Crimea annexation (2014), 164, 335 cyberattacks by, 335 democracy, undermining of, 335 famine in, 72 homicide rates in, 172, 174 homophobia in, 223 legitimacy of government, and crime wave, 174 nationalism of, 159 nuclear power and, 147, 150 nuclear weapons, 308, 315, 316–17, 318, 320–21 revolution, 78 secularization and, 436 Time of Troubles, 199, 484n77 Trump administration’s collusion with, 335 See also Cold War; nuclear war; Soviet Union Rwanda, 69, 85, 86, 161–2 safety, 167–90, 323, 480n2 auto safety, 177–8, 190 fall prevention, 181–2 fire safety, 183 flood control, 188 gas and vapor, 183 government regulations, 177–8, 186, 187 natural disasters and, 187–9 opioid addiction, 184 Trump and, 335 in the workplace, 185–7, 187 See also accidental deaths; motor vehicles Sagan, Carl, 308, 310 Sahel, 73 Said, Edward, 39–40 Saint-Pierre, Abbé de, 13 Sale, Kirkpatrick, 456n1 Salk, Jonas, 63–4, 65 Sanders, Bernie, 97 Sanger, Margaret, 400 sanitation, 63, 67, 331 San Pedro Sula, Honduras, 172 San people, 249, 353–4 São Paulo, Brazil, homicide rate in, 172 Sartre, Jean-Paul, 39–40, 446, 447 Saturday Night Live, 266 Satyarthi, Kailash, 232 Saudi Arabia, 209–210, 336, 419 Savulescu, Julian, 402 Scalia, Antonin, 336 Scandinavia. See Nordic countries Schank, Roger, 477n20 Scheidel, Walter, 106–7 Schelling, Friedrich, 30 Schelling, Thomas, 480nn105,112 Schell, Jonathan, 309–310, 456n1 Schmitt, Carl, 447 Schneier, Bruce, 303, 304 Schopenhauer, Arthur, 39–40, 165 Schrag, Daniel, 151 Schumer, Amy, 434 Schwartz, Richard, 274 science application to wealth creation, 82–3, 94–5 beauty and, 34, 260, 386, 407–8, 433–4 climate change, consensus on, 137–8, 464n45 collaboration in, 64, 409 cosmopolitan virtues of, 409 definition of, 9, 391–3 depth of achievements of, 385–7 doubt as first principle of, 390 and errors and prejudices, discrediting own, 391 heroes of, 63–4 ideals of, 27, 387–8, 390, 392–3, 409 methods of, 10, 390, 392 naïveté of scientists on policy, 390–91 national boundaries transcended by, 387–8, 409 nuclear war activism by scientists, 308–310 nuclear weapons as indictment of, 308 and political correctness, accusations of, 138 political ideology in scientists, 138, 356–8, 372 and “scientific method,” as term, 392 science, disdain for, 33–4, 387, 389–90, 395, 408–9 and bioethics, 402 as bipartisan, 388–9 cultural sophistication and, 17 faitheism and, 430 history of science and, 395–6 and Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 395, 486n21 left-wing repression, 373, 388 medical progress and, 63 right-wing politicians and, 387–8 “science studies” and, 396 Second Culture paranoia about, 389–90, 409 university general education, 400–401 See also intellectuals; scientism —EVILS BLAMED ON SCIENCE, 388–9, 397, 400 eugenics, 388, 399–400 Holocaust, 397 nuclear weapons, 308–310 racism and imperialism, 34, 388, 397–8, 399, 486n32 Social Darwinism, 388, 398–9, 486nn36–37 Tuskegee syphilis study, 401 science of man, 10 Scientific Revolution, 8, 9–10, 24, 326 scientism, 34, 388, 389, 390, 392, 395.


pages: 944 words: 243,883

Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power by Steve Coll

addicted to oil, anti-communist, Atul Gawande, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, decarbonisation, energy security, European colonialism, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Google Earth, hydraulic fracturing, hydrogen economy, illegal immigration, income inequality, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), inventory management, kremlinology, market fundamentalism, McMansion, medical malpractice, Mikhail Gorbachev, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, place-making, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, profit maximization, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Scramble for Africa, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, smart meter, statistical model, Steve Jobs, WikiLeaks

He was a tall, thin man who biked to work at Greenpeace’s office, a warren of desks made from recycled materials, in the Chinatown section of Washington, D.C. Davies had grown up in central Philadelphia, a child of “campers and hippies.” His father was an architect, and his mother was a computer programmer and elections judge. In the midst of the Reagan administration, he studied environmental issues at Hampshire College, whose reputation for crunchiness was the subject of a recurring skit on Saturday Night Live. After graduation, he backpacked around the world and earned a master’s degree in environmental studies at the University of Montana before taking up green campaigning as a formal profession.4 He had substantial experience by the time the ExxonMobil challenge fell to him. His thinking was forged as well by Greenpeace’s rigorous internal culture. The organization engaged in ruthless internal reviews and self-criticism in regard to the effectiveness of its advocacy; Davies repeatedly had to defend his choices before colleagues in meetings and in conference calls, some of whom were no less direct than Lee Raymond in their cross-examinations of his decision making.

The conference convened a “stakeholders meeting” on phthalates in a congressional hearing room—a semiformal session where consumer advocates and representatives from ExxonMobil, the American Chemistry Council, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission could all make their arguments in front of the key staffers negotiating the final bill. The ExxonMobil scientists who specialized in phthalate lobbying turned up to represent the corporation. The congressional staff sat in committee member chairs, like judges. The industry scientists and the consumer group scientists and advocates took their places in the audience—on opposite sides. The setting felt “like one of those Saturday Night Live point-counterpoint debates,” Janet Nudelman of the Breast Cancer Fund recalled. “Pretty much every developed nation in the world has banned phthalates from kids’ toys,” Nudelman told the meeting. “But Congress is still debating.” It was time to act, she said.21 Somebody presented a Gumby doll as an exhibit. Shannon Weinberg, Joe Barton’s lead staffer on the issue, remarked, according to a participant, “If I were a mother, I’d never let my kids play with a Gumby.”


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: 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, business cycle, 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: 375 words: 105,067

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

American ideology, asset allocation, Bernie Madoff, buy and hold, Cass Sunstein, Credit Default Swap, David Brooks, delayed gratification, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Elliott wave, en.wikipedia.org, estate planning, financial innovation, Flash crash, game design, greed is good, high net worth, impulse control, income inequality, index fund, London Whale, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, money market fund, mortgage debt, oil shock, payday loans, pension reform, Ponzi scheme, post-work, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Stanford marshmallow experiment, stocks for the long run, 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.


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, 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: 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, 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, undersea cable, 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: 334 words: 104,382

Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys' Club of Silicon Valley by Emily Chang

23andMe, 4chan, Ada Lovelace, affirmative action, Airbnb, Apple II, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Burning Man, California gold rush, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, David Brooks, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, equal pay for equal work, Ferguson, Missouri, game design, gender pay gap, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, high net worth, Hyperloop, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microservices, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, post-work, pull request, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, subscription business, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, women in the workforce

But women do: 38 percent of women who have been harassed online describe their experience as “extremely upsetting,” as opposed to 17 percent of men. For many women, especially those in the public eye, the hate being thrown around means the internet at large has become a place where they feel unwanted. Marissa Mayer told me she took a monthlong break from Twitter while she was running Yahoo because “it was just so negative.” In the summer of 2016, the Saturday Night Live star Leslie Jones tweeted, “I feel like I’m in a personal hell,” after she was swamped with racist and sexist attacks sparked by her appearance in the all-female Ghostbusters remake. She also took a break from Twitter, but before leaving, she wrote, “Twitter I understand you got free speech I get it. But there has to be some guidelines . . . You can see on the profiles that some of these people are crazy sick.


pages: 323 words: 107,963

Ask Me About My Uterus: A Quest to Make Doctors Believe in Women's Pain by Abby Norman

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, complexity theory, correlation does not imply causation, double helix, Downton Abbey, feminist movement, financial independence, Kickstarter, period drama, phenotype, Saturday Night Live, the scientific method, women in the workforce

They report grinding fatigue, both physical and mental, that is extremely difficult to articulate and even to comprehend. To fathom that level of fatigue, particularly when it has become chronic, and therefore begins to seem normal, is not only challenging, but legitimately depressing. When I happened upon Gilda Radner’s memoir several years ago, in the midst of my own medical turmoil, I grew deeply concerned about her life. The Saturday Night Live alum—wife of Gene Wilder and a gifted comedienne in her own right—left a lasting impression on me. I had not realized that she had died of ovarian cancer; nor had I realized that she was only forty-two years old when she did. What troubled me even more were the passages of her book recounting those final years of her life. It was the 1980s, and she was at the height of her popularity. “My ovaries became the center of my universe,” Radner wrote in It’s Always Something.


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, Kickstarter, 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: 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, hedonic treadmill, Henri Poincaré, income per capita, information retrieval, invention of agriculture, invention of the wheel, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, lake wobegon effect, lateral thinking, 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, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Saturday Night Live, scientific worldview, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, sexual politics, social intelligence, 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: 541 words: 109,698

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

Climategate, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, fault tolerance, Firefox, full text search, Georg Cantor, Google Earth, information retrieval, Mark Zuckerberg, natural language processing, NP-complete, 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="search.twitter.com") >>> 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 http://search.twitter.com/trends.json, 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: 289 words: 113,211

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

"Robert Solow", 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: 359 words: 113,847

Siege: Trump Under Fire by Michael Wolff

Bernie Madoff, Boris Johnson, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, forensic accounting, gig economy, high net worth, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, immigration reform, impulse control, Jeffrey Epstein, Julian Assange, oil shale / tar sands, Potemkin village, Saturday Night Live, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, WikiLeaks

Or you could see Trump as a desperate propagandizer, with, even for him, a shamelessly flimsy story, one that was transparent in its efforts to manipulate the dangerous and toxic emotions of people inclined to regard it as true. The Trump political team would shortly triple down on its closing theme with a nationally aired ad so racially charged that even Fox News, after several airings, declined to run it further. The spot featured Luis Bracamontes, a strangely ebullient murderer who laughed dementedly and boasted about killing cops—more Saturday Night Live than a realistic and threatening figure. Brad Parscale bragged about how cheaply he had produced it; the president was annoyed about not being featured in it. * * * Thematically, the president’s obsession with the caravan, and the deep hatreds that provided the issue’s subtext, seemed of a piece with two other October surprises. On October 22, pipe bombs began to be delivered to people and media organizations that Trump had regularly singled out as his enemies.


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, Stanford marshmallow experiment, 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: 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, Nelson Mandela, 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: 323 words: 111,561

Digging Up Mother: A Love Story by Doug Stanhope

call centre, index card, pre–internet, rent control, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, telemarketer

Regardless, it was the first time I’d heard the expression “passing wind,” and that was probably all I learned in school that day. The only teacher I remember ever “getting” me was a French teacher named Gertrude Healy, who was a lot more tolerant of my monkey business. I remember delivering some well-timed heckle that actually landed, and after the laughs Mrs. Healy said, “I can see you some day, Douglas, writing for Saturday Night Live.” That was quite a compliment back then as it was still the late 70s, when SNL was funny. Mrs. Healy went on to flunk me for not one but two years in a row, but I’d never forget the one time some adult outside of Mother got the joke. Most teachers generally found me more disturbing than simply disruptive. All of my outbursts derived from a wit too foul or dark. All of my doodles were sinister in theme.


pages: 458 words: 112,885

The Prodigal Tongue: The Love-Hate Relationship Between American and British English by Lynne Murphy

airport security, British Empire, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Downton Abbey, en.wikipedia.org, illegal immigration, invention of the printing press, joint-stock company, moral panic, pre–internet, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Steven Pinker, too big to fail, transatlantic slave trade, young professional

When James Corden was preparing to take over US institution The Late Late Show, the CBS network encouraged him to use “charming” British words, but stopped him from using others that they thought might “confuse” his audience. According to newspaper reports,33 the charming ones included willy (‘penis’), bonkers (‘crazy’), shag (‘have sex with’), and squiffy (‘tipsy’). Some of these were already well known in America thanks to British-Canadian comedian Mike Myers, whose Austin Powers and Simon (a “cheeky monkey” of a boy on Saturday Night Live who liked to do “drawrings” in the “bahth”) characters are silly, cute, and slightly obsessed with their willies. The ones on Corden’s don’t-say list included knackered (‘worn out, tired’), dodgy geezer (‘untrustworthy man’), bladdered (‘drunk’), half-cut (‘drunk’), well-oiled (‘drunk’), and trollied (‘drunk’). You may notice a theme there. Advertisers in the US have cottoned on to the American love of unfamiliar British syllables and risqué content.


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, buy and hold, 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: 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

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: 476 words: 125,219

Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism Is Turning the Internet Against Democracy by Robert W. McChesney

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, access to a mobile phone, Albert Einstein, American Legislative Exchange Council, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Automated Insights, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Brooks, death of newspapers, declining real wages, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Filter Bubble, full employment, future of journalism, George Gilder, Gini coefficient, Google Earth, income inequality, informal economy, intangible asset, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Metcalfe’s law, mutually assured destruction, national security letter, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, patent troll, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post scarcity, price mechanism, profit maximization, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, Richard Stallman, road to serfdom, Robert Metcalfe, Saturday Night Live, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, Skype, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Telecommunications Act of 1996, the medium is the message, The Spirit Level, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transfer pricing, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, yellow journalism

In particular, its role as paying the piper gave the masters control over the very media system a free people required to address corporate power.101 This radical critique of advertising and the attendant political movements receded from public view in the postwar decades, but advertising remained largely suspect, fodder for comedy due to its insincerity, absurdity, and asininity, as piles of Mad magazines or parodies on Saturday Night Live attest. Meanwhile, considerable scholarship examined the dubious contribution of advertising to the content of American entertainment and journalism. When the Internet emerged, the notion that it would be a distinctly noncommercial space was uncontroversial and widely embraced. I was there and I can tell you that in the early 1990s no one was bellyaching about a lack of advertising on the Internet, or a shortage of advertising anywhere else for that matter.


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, business cycle, buttonwood tree, buy and hold, 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.


Gorbachev by William Taubman

active measures, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, card file, conceptual framework, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, haute couture, indoor plumbing, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Neil Kinnock, Potemkin village, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Saturday Night Live, Stanislav Petrov, trade liberalization, young professional

And furthermore, his longevity in office might well have been extended if he had received more help from the United States—help that they resisted rendering to him. If Bush trusted Gorbachev more than some of his advisers did, why didn’t he override Scowcroft? Why did he instead order an across-the-board reassessment of U.S. policy toward the USSR, which dragged on through the spring? Partly because, as Dana Carvey’s Saturday Night Live Bush double would have put it, “Wouldn’t be prudent!” Bush was cautious and more than a little insecure. “I don’t want to do anything dumb,” he told Scowcroft in late January.20 He also had a complicated relationship with Reagan and Reaganism that held him back. Bush wanted to emerge from Reagan’s shadow as his own man, “to put his own fingerprint on the country’s foreign policy,” as Baker later put it.

Catherine’s Hall, 390, 394, 398, 399, 414, 473, 548, 596, 597, 636, 647 St. George’s Hall, 596 St. Petersburg, 283, 432, 575, 576, 582, 659, 661, 676, 676 see also Leningrad Sajudis, 435 Sakharov, Andrei, xxii, 122, 144, 250–51, 430, 439, 440, 442, 444–48, 447, 453–57, 507, 572 samizdat publications, 249, 339 Sandburg, Carl, 399 San Francisco, 262, 290, 562, 563, 571 Sanya (Gorbachev’s aunt), 23 Saturday Night Live, 470 Saudi Arabia, 570 Savranskaya, Svetlana, 271 Sawyer, Diane, 324 Schabowski, Günter, 462–63 Schmidt, Helmut, 657 Schönefeld Airport, 484 Schröder, Gerhard, 668 Schweitzer, Albert, 572 Science of Logic (Hegel), 86 Scowcroft, Brent, xxii, 396, 458, 469–71, 494, 496, 499, 543, 551, 553, 585, 588, 618, 623 SCUD missiles, 566 Second Medical Institute, 166 Secret Service, U.S., 407 Seminars at the Historical Archives Institute, 338 Semipalatinsk testing range, 394 Senate Building, 206 Serbia, 692 serfdom, 10, 34, 435 Sevastopol (city), 372, 629 Seville World’s Fair (“Expo-92”), 656 Shakespeare, William, 260, 441 Shakhnazarov, Georgy, xxii, 4, 92, 123, 126, 141, 144, 172, 178, 217, 223–25, 223, 227, 233, 254, 267–70, 346, 347, 353, 364, 364, 371, 373, 378, 379, 383, 386, 434, 449, 453, 459, 460, 466, 480–81, 502, 505, 506–7, 512, 515, 517–19, 525, 530, 535, 538, 543, 575, 581, 583, 584, 585, 607, 619, 623, 625, 626, 650, 654, 660, 663 Shalayev, Stepan, 328 Shales, Tom, 404 Shamir, Yitzhak, 631 Shapko, Valery, xxii, 51–52 Shaposhnikov, Yevgeny, xxii, 630, 635, 636, 638, 647 Sharansky, Natan, 201 Shatalin, Stanislav, xxiii, 511, 523, 524, 527, 531, 534 Shatrov, Mikhail, xxiii, 340, 346, 359 Shchelokov, Nikolai, 181 Shcherbakov, Vladimir, 592, 593 Shcherbitsky, Vladimir, xxiii, 206, 221, 226, 349 Shebarshin, Leonid, 621 “sheep empire,” 131, 160 Shenin, Oleg, xxiii, 533, 577, 601, 607–9 Shevardnadze, Eduard, xxiii, 2, 162, 173, 210, 220, 221, 232, 248, 257–60, 265, 268, 281, 294, 296, 305, 308, 328–29, 349, 353, 376–78, 394, 398–401, 418, 419, 436–37, 443, 451, 470, 473, 474, 488, 491, 499, 506, 511, 520, 521, 531, 532, 535, 536, 540, 542, 543, 546, 548, 553, 554, 563, 565–67, 575, 617, 637, 654, 752n Shevardnadze, Nanuli, 418, 473 Shevchenko, Vladimir, 261 Shmelyov, Nikolai, xxiii, 93, 233, 359, 370, 430 “Shock Worker” fabric, 68 Shostakovich, Dmitri, 561 Shultz, George, xxiii, 257, 276–78, 281, 282, 287, 291, 292, 296–301, 302, 305, 357, 377, 394–96, 398–402, 404, 405, 408, 410, 412, 413, 418, 419, 422, 423, 468, 469, 562, 683 Shultz, Helena, 401, 410, 418 Shushkevich, Stanislav, xxiii, 627–30, 634 Siberia, 10, 12, 59, 63, 71–72, 74, 75, 186, 222, 237, 249, 432, 444, 504, 566, 662 Sicily, 150 Silayev, Ivan, xxiii, 523, 532, 532, 613 siloviki (power) ministers, 584 Simons, Thomas, 301–2, 396, 412, 414–15 Simpson, Alan, 405, 406 Sinyavsky, Andrei, 92 Sitaryan, Stepan, 565 Slansky, Rudolf, 54 Slava (Soviet cruiser), 495 Slavsky, Efim, 241 “Sleep and Dreaming in the Teaching of I.


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: 566 words: 153,259

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

Albert Einstein, British Empire, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, en.wikipedia.org, 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: 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, different worldview, double helix, energy security, Exxon Valdez, fudge factor, ghettoisation, global pandemic, 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, 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, Blythe Masters, 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, G4S, housing crisis, interest rate swap, Jeff Bezos, John Meriwether, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, money market fund, moral hazard, negative equity, Nelson Mandela, 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.