Jay Newton-Small at Vice on “Why Washington can’t compromise”

Jay Newton Small has published a new piece for VICE ahead of a special program airing tonight on HBO, “A House Divided.”

When people have asked me what it’s like to cover Congress, I used to recount a story from July 2006. Republicans were in the waning weeks of the last time they controlled both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. Congress was about to break for August recess ahead of the midterm elections, in which the GOP would lose both chambers. So, there was a rush to get through as much of George W. Bush’s legacy-building legislation as possible. [VICE.com]

W. Brian Arthur: The Most Important Economic Theory In Tech

Fast Company has profiled W. Brian Arthur on the anniversary of his “Increasing Returns and the New World of Business,” one of “Harvard Business Review’s most influential articles ever.”

A shallow understanding of the way these companies had exploited increasing returns led to a form of abuse. “The only thing I would change about that article is the way the whole thing was viewed,” says Arthur, a Belfast-born, Berkeley-trained economist. “In 1999, 2000, and 2001, we had a tech bubble. People were talking about network effects and waving that article around a lot. Startups were going in front of venture capitalists and saying, ‘All we need to do is fan the flames a bit and everything will take off. It’s winner-take-all, so we’re going to get a huge amount of the market.’ [FastCompany.com]

Sue Klebold on Newsweek’s Favorite Books of 2016 List

Sue Klebold’s A Mother’s Reckoning one of 13 to make the cut.

The story of a parent who loses a child is always painful. But when that child and his friend took guns to school and shot other students—killing 12 teenagers and a teacher and wounding 24 others before taking their own lives in one of the most high-profile, fatal and imitated mass shootings in American history—the narrative and the emotions become infinitely more complicated. That’s why this memoir by Sue Klebold, the mother of Columbine shooter Dylan Klebold, is such a feat. [Newsweek.com]

“What America Can Learn About Smart Schools in Other Countries”

Read Amanda Ripley’s latest piece on our education system in the New York Times.

Every three years, half a million 15-year-olds in 69 countries take a two-hour test designed to gauge their ability to think. Unlike other exams, the PISA, as it is known, does not assess what teenagers have memorized. Instead, it asks them to solve problems they haven’t seen before, to identify patterns that are not obvious and to make compelling written arguments. It tests the skills, in other words, that machines have not yet mastered. [NYTimes.com]

Bill Gates: Favorite Books of 2016

Gretchen Bakke’s The Grid among the mentions.

This book, about our aging electrical grid, fits in one of my favorite genres: “Books About Mundane Stuff That Are Actually Fascinating.” Part of the reason I find this topic fascinating is because my first job, in high school, was writing software for the entity that controls the power grid in the Northwest. But even if you have never given a moment’s thought to how electricity reaches your outlets, I think this book would convince you that the electrical grid is one of the greatest engineering wonders of the modern world. I think you would also come to see why modernizing the grid is so complex and so critical for building our clean-energy future. [GatesNotes.com]

NY Post: Here’s how Europeans work 258 fewer hours than Americans

Carson Tate was interviewed for this piece on how Europeans works 19 percent fewer hours than Americans.

This notion resonates with Carson Tate, author of “Work Simply”: “We need to work fewer, more focused hours. We need to take mental and physical breaks and stop fighting our biology — if we are hungry, stressed or pissed off, our ability to focus and concentrate is significantly compromised.” [NYPost.com]