Tuesday Reading

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Morning Reading – Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Electoral college affirms Biden’s victory on a relatively calm day of a chaotic election – The Washington Post

Biden surpassed the 270-vote threshold for winning the presidency when California cast its 55 electoral votes after 5 p.m. Eastern time.

Note From Asha: Rethinking States’ Rights – CAFE

Fortunately for us, we’ve discovered that there is one feature of our government that the President can’t easily override. It turned out that our “savior” wasn’t our institutions, or Mueller, or Congress – it was the division of power between the states and the federal government, which we call federalism.

A look back: Essays: CyberInsecurity: The Cost of Monopoly – Schneier on Security

The security situation is deteriorating, and that deterioration compounds when nearly all computers in the hands of end users rely on a single operating system subject to the same vulnerabilities the world over.

‘Massively disruptive’ cyber crisis engulfs multiple agencies – POLITICO

“This is probably going to be one of the most consequential cyberattacks in U.S. history,” one U.S. official said, after the National Security Council held its second meeting in three days about the attacks…

Scope of Russian Hack Becomes Clear: Multiple U.S. Agencies Were Hit – The New York Times

About 18,000 private and government users downloaded a Russian tainted software update — a Trojan horse of sorts — that gave its hackers a foothold into victims’ systems, according to SolarWinds, the company whose software was compromised.a

Opinion | Pound for Pound, Taiwan Is the Most Important Place in the World – The New York Times

t is a small island of just 24 million people, but it is at the center of the battle for global technological supremacy. Pound for pound, it is the most important place in the world. … Taiwan has become a critical link in the global tech supply chain, adding economic weight to the geopolitical calculations. And that weight is likely to increase as the battle for global tech supremacy heats up.

COVID-19 Changed Science Forever – The Atlantic

The scientific community spent the pre-pandemic years designing faster ways of doing experiments, sharing data, and developing vaccines, allowing it to mobilize quickly when COVID‑19 emerged. Its goal now should be to address its many lingering weaknesses.

Mervyn King on Governments’ Biggest Covid Mistake – Bloomberg

From the start, under relentless pressure from the media, governments expressed unwarranted certainty about the merits of their policies. Then, when circumstances suggested a change of course, they explained the new direction with equal certainty. After a few such reversals, trust declines.

How Do We Get to Herd Immunity for Fake News? – The New York Times

“Unlike ordinary lies and propaganda, which try to make you believe something, disinformation tries to make you disbelieve everything.” Understandably disoriented, many people conclude they might as well believe what they prefer to believe.

The risks that investors should prepare for in 2021 | Financial Times

There are two risks, and not just for markets. First, what is desirable may not be politically feasible, and second, what has proven feasible is no longer sustainable.

What Comes After Smartphones? | Seeking Alpha (Benedict Evans)

The innovation in cars became everything around the car. One could suggest the same today about smartphones – now the innovation comes from everything else that happens around them.

The Rise Of Everywhere – AVC

So let’s stop worrying about Silicon Valley, it will be fine, and start celebrating the rise of tech entrepreneurship everywhere. That is a profound thing for the world and something to be incredibly happy about.

Our sadness is really selfishness – Om Malik

The mortality of these towering figures, who created whole worlds through which we could discover our reality, is a reminder of loves lost, dreams unfulfilled, destinations that one time defined the future.

A Car That Connects Father, Son and Land-Speed Racing History – WSJ

He built the “City of Salt Lake” racing car out of the frame of a diesel truck, with an Allison V-12 airplane engine from a World War II P-38 Lightning. It’s a 1,710-cubic-inch engine, and if you know the slightest thing about cars, you know that this thing is a beast.

The 10 most important things I’ve learned about trust over my 100 years – The Washington Post (George Shultz)

Trust is the coin of the realm. When trust was in the room, whatever room that was — the family room, the schoolroom, the locker room, the office room, the government room or the military room — good things happened. When trust was not in the room, good things did not happen. Everything else is details.

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