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Favorite Longreads of 2012, by Bill Gurley


Stashed in: Basketball, Economics!, #health, Marketing!, Awesome, Stories, Best Videos, Nutrition!, Jeff Bezos, Bowling!, Sugar, Benchmark, Longreads

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Read them....if you have time.  tl;dr. ;-)

Several others have posted their favorite longreads of the year (you can find them here).

I'll post my five favorites from Bill below.

A BASKETBALL FAIRY TALE IN MIDDLE AMERICA, BY SAM ANDERSON (NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE)

Bill's color:

This article ran as a cover story in the November 8th issue of the New York Times Magazine. Like many great longreads, this article is about much more than its core subject, which in this case is a basketball team. It dives deep into the ethos of the city, and the elements of the Thunder team that make it much more special than your ordinary NBA team. Durant of course plays a huge role, but there are many more nuanced elements certain to drive any Seattle basketball fan to the edge of tears. Thanks to Sam Anderson for making me even more of an OKC fan than I already was.

Great article. Didn't make me a Thunder fan, but it made me appreciate basketball more.

THE MOST AMAZING BOWLING STORY EVER, BY MICHAEL MOONEY (D MAGAZINE)

Bill's color:

It really doesn’t matter if you are into bowling or even if you are a sports fan. You still should read The Most Amazing Bowling Story Ever, from the July issue of D Magazine. Well written nonfiction begs you to finish it all in one sitting. In The New Journalism, Tom Wolfe argued that properly written nonfiction could be more compelling than fiction. If the world ever wants a movie about bowling, the screenplay is already written. Prior to this article, I was unfamiliar with Michael Mooney’s work, but I will be watching going forward. Fantastic.

I never thought a long article about bowling could be compelling. But here is a great one.

IS SUGAR TOXIC, BY GARY TAUBES (NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE)

Bill's color:

Technically, this article was published in 2011, but that should not stop it from being further distributed. Gary Taubes, as well as others, have uncovered the real cause of America’s obesity. Michael Bloomberg may look silly trying to outlaw mega-sodas, but at the very least he is calling attention to the proper villain. This is an amazing lesson in how everyone can get it wrong for decades – the scientists, the government, and the doctors.

Even knowing that sugar is toxic doesn't really tell us what we should do about it.

Regulate it like alcohol? Alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and sugar?

Yes it's toxic. Yes regulate it. 

SCAMWORLD BY JOSEPH FLATLEY (THE VERGE)

Bill's color:

Turning towards the Internet, Joseph Flatley’s Scamworld is a look inside the dark underbelly of “Internet Marketing.” For many, the trick of the close is much more important than what is actually sold. Flatley is focused specifically on online criminals, but the tools they use are eerily similar to a subset of startups that live in the vast grey-zone of Internet marketing activities.

He makes a good point. The grey-zone is huge, and these marketing techniques are frighteningly effective.

JEFF BEZOS ON CHARLIE ROSE, NOVEMBER 16, 2012

Bill's color:

Any interview with Jeff Bezos is a “must watch,” but this particular interview is my favorite of all time. Bezos is simultaneously admired on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley, filling the void left by Steve Jobs as the most admired leader in technology. He offers advice on everything from running a BOD meeting to maintaining innovation in a large company. The whole time he is remarkably on message (per Amazon) and remarkably happy. Eighteen years in and killing it.

Bezos is truly a one-of-a-kind. Great interview.

Bill also links to two great videos.

This one is about the connection between Adam Smith and Charles Darwin:

This one is 44 minutes of William Ackman telling me everything I need to know about finance:

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