Category: Good articles

Best explanation for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

Another definitive story from William Langewiesche.

In his telling, the disappearance of this flight, while dramatic and terrifying, isn’t so mysterious after all. There are millions of flights every year, so it stands to reason that once in a long while, there will be an unreliable, suicidal pilot at the controls. If Langewiesche is correct–and I think he is–then at least the passengers appear to have not suffered.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/07/mh370-malaysia-airlines/590653/

Barcelona and the future of soccer

Really fascinating piece by Simon Kuper in the Financial Times. So many tidbits. Here’s one I was gratified to read:

[Barcelona coach Valverde says,] “This is a continuous sport in which the coach has barely any influence. […] Football belongs to the players. For 45 minutes at a time, non-stop, the player takes his own decisions. I have to say that the great players analyse the game better than I do.”

https://www.ft.com/content/908752aa-3a1b-11e9-b72b-2c7f526ca5d0

One more:

The first statistics that became widely available, from the 1990s, were the easiest ones to measure: number of passes, tackles, shots etc. These “event data” — measures of what a player does on the ball — are still often shown on TV. However, the average player has the ball for only about two minutes a game. The main question of football may be how he positions himself in the other 88 minutes. Is he controlling crucial spaces and creating space for teammates?

ibid

Once again, the link is here. FT.com allows free reading if you give your email.

File under “the road not taken”

Good piece by Charles Duhigg, although it’s a different plane of experience to be one of the “also-rans” of your Harvard School of Business class and settle for a Pulitzer-winning career at The New York Times.

But even among my more sanguine classmates, there was a lingering sense of professional disappointment. They talked about missed promotions, disaffected children and billable hours in divorce court. They complained about jobs that were unfulfilling, tedious or just plain bad. One classmate described having to invest $5 million a day — which didn’t sound terrible, until he explained that if he put only $4 million to work on Monday, he had to scramble to place $6 million on Tuesday, and his co-workers were constantly undermining one another in search of the next promotion. It was insanely stressful work, done among people he didn’t particularly like. He earned about $1.2 million a year and hated going to the office.