Why the Red Cross hasn't been as effective as small community groups when it has come to disaster relief post-Sandy:
"The real problem with the Red Cross was not that it was stretched thin, but rather that it was simply too big, and its people too inexperienced in disaster recovery, to be able to respond nimbly to Sandy. Eventually, after a week or two, it will lumber in to affected areas and take over from the ad-hoc groups who provided desperately-needed aid in the early days. It’s reasonably good at that. But that’s clearly not good enough, and it’s certainly nowhere near flawless.
"Of course, the Red Cross is burdened with massive expectations. If you’re stuck in a remote part of Staten Island without power or communication for days on end, no one’s going to blame Doctors Without Borders or Occupy Wall Street if you get no help — but they are going to blame the Red Cross.
"With $117 million in donations comes an expectation that the Red Cross can and should be everywhere it’s needed, when it’s needed, rather than in a handful of places, a week later, offering food but no shelter or blankets or power or lights. But probably those expectations are unrealistic. The US is fortunate in that it’s not a permanent disaster zone: it’s not a country where Red Cross volunteers are ever going to be experienced in responding to such things. And mobilizing thousands of volunteers and tens of millions of dollars to provide food and shelter in areas without electricity or pharmacies or heat — that’s a logistical nightmare."
PUBLISHED: Nov. 12, 2012
LENGTH: 9 minutes (2288 words)
A review of Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs, and a different perspective on the dark side of Steve:
"Sometimes the repetition serves a purpose: The drug LSD, referred to 33 times, is clearly important to Jobs. (The FBI thought the same, according to documents released this month.) 'How many of you have taken LSD?' Jobs taunts an audience of Stanford business school students. 'Are you a virgin? How many times have you taken LSD?' he demands of an Apple interviewee. Bill Gates would 'be a broader guy if he had dropped acid.' Tripping was 'one of the two or three most important things he’d done in his life.' People who had never dropped acid 'would never fully understand him.' The generations that followed his own were more 'materialistic' and less 'idealistic' for not having tripped; also, they all looked like 'virgins.' In the binary world within Steve’s reality, having consumed LSD was the key determinant of whether a colleague or employee was deemed 'enlightened' or 'an asshole.'
"To iSummarize: Steve Jobs had a litmus test for evaluating workers: It was a lot like a literal litmus test."
PUBLISHED: Feb. 22, 2012
LENGTH: 14 minutes (3705 words)
F. Scott Fitzgerald was right when he declared the rich different from you and me. But today’s super-rich are also different from yesterday’s: more hardworking and meritocratic, but less connected to the nations that granted them opportunity—and the countrymen they are leaving ever further behind. ... "She turns to me and she goes, 'You know, the thing about 20 [million] is, 20 is only 10 after taxes.' And everyone at the table is nodding. ..."
PUBLISHED: Jan. 4, 2011
LENGTH: 29 minutes (7475 words)
Gawker Media's big company-wide redesign, a year in the making, will finally come out of beta on January 3. It will the biggest event in Gawker Media history, for all three arms of the company—editorial, sales, and technology. It’s a concerted attempt for Nick Denton's Gawker Media to stop being a blog network and start being something much more ambitious. And while that will be most immediately visible in the way that the blogs look, a massive change is taking place on the sales side, too: Chris Batty, Gawker Media's semi-legendary head of sales, is leaving the company.
PUBLISHED: Dec. 1, 2010
LENGTH: 24 minutes (6155 words)
In the ad business, the relatively good life of 2007 is as remote as the whiskey highs of 1962. "Here we go again," moans Andy Nibley, the former CEO of ad agency Marsteller who, over the past decade, has also been the CEO of the digital arms of both Reuters and Universal Music. "First the news business, then the music business, then advertising. Is there any industry I get involved in that doesn't get destroyed by digital technology?"
PUBLISHED: Nov. 17, 2010
LENGTH: 22 minutes (5701 words)
It was so frustrating. It was early May, 1989 and I was in Tokyo reporting the financial markets for Reuters, fiddling around journalistically with the peak of the Japanese bubble economy. Meanwhile in China, cataclysmic events were unfolding and I wasn't there. I really wanted to get back to see it and live it.
PUBLISHED: June 28, 2009
LENGTH: 39 minutes (9771 words)