Off the Media

Intentional Insanity: The Occupational Hazard of Writing Online for a Living

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Every job carries occupational hazards. As Michael Lewis recently pointed out, the hazards of working on Wall Street are that you start to pretend you know more than you do, and you eventually find it astonishingly hard to care about anyone but yourself.

These hazards are alarming for anyone. But as Mr. Lewis makes clear, they are especially dangerous for the young. Banking and finance absorb the nation’s best and brightest every year. And every year, it funnels them into an often toxic and corrupting culture. Read More


Something For Nothing: The Illusion of an Education on the Internet

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I imagined that spending time on the internet would be a fun way to learn new things. That was the promise right? Well it turns out to be nothing more than an illusion in practice.

It struck me one day while looking at my Twitter feed that most of it was junk. But like the bowl of potato chips at a party that I didn’t want and tried to avoid, I consumed it anyway. But why, I wasn’t sure.

I realized that I was moving in that direction too. At Farnam Street, the website I run with the goal of mastering the best of what other people have already figured out, I experimented with headlines recently to find out what was really going on. Read More