Welcome to Bespoke Brunch Reads — a linkfest of the favorite things we read over the past week. The links are mostly market related, but there are some other interesting subjects covered as well. We hope you enjoy the food for thought as a supplement to the research we provide you during the week.

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The price you can’t pay by Myles Udland (I’m Late To This)

An analysis of why the college admissions scandal that broke earlier this year hit home so hard and was so inevitable given the specific segment of society that it broke from. [Link]

Big Calculator: How Texas Instruments Monopolized Math Class by Maya Kosoff (Medium)

Do you ever wonder why the standard equipment for high school math classes hasn’t changed in decades? It won’t surprise you to discover huge profits behind pricey calculators. [Link]

Tech Mixed-topia

Alexa, Are You Disappointed in Me? Amazon’s Voice Gets More Range by Matt Day (Bloomberg)

While the core functionality of the Alexa voice assistant won’t change, how it speaks to you is getting an expanded range in its latest update. [Link]

Mass. State Police Tested Out Boston Dynamics’ Spot The Robot Dog. Civil Liberties Advocates Want To Know More by Ally Jarmanning (WBUR)

Police in Massachusetts are using a Boston Dynamics robot in tests with their bomb squad, raising questions about the deployment of robotic tools by police forces. [Link]


A charity dropped a massive stimulus package on rural Kenya — and transformed the economy by Dylan Matthews (Vox)

A summary of new research studying large gifts of cash to the poor in East Africa: obviously there were positive impacts on recipients but there were also large multipliers and limited inflation effects, adding to the overall benefits of the transfers. [Link]

Giving Thanks for Property Rights by Caroline Baum (E21)

Forgive some of the hyperbolic language, because this account of how private property rights helped cement the Plymouth Colony in New England is worth a read. [Link]


Wall Street Wades Into Sports Gambling as Legalization Spreads by Annie Massa (Bloomberg)

With live legal sports betting spreading across the country, markets hawks are gearing up to dump capital into the evolving market. [Link; soft paywall]


The pod delusion by Matt Labash (Spectator)

Polemic against the spreading scourge of audio content that has come to dominate both the media and the personal lives of many would-be hosts. [Link]


The weather is big business, and it’s veering toward a collision with the federal government by Andrew Freedman (Greenwich Time/WaPo)

With falling costs to launch satellites and crunch data, private weather forecasters are now competing with NOAA to provide detailed weather information and warnings. [Link; auto-playing video]

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Have a great weekend!

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