9/16/20 Power Five

1. The Case For Dumping the Electoral College – “James Madison, who helped conceive the Electoral College at the Constitutional Convention, of 1787, later admitted that delegates had written the rules while impaired by “the hurry­ing influence produced by fatigue and impatience.” The system is so buggy that, between 1800 and 2016, according to Alexander Keyssar, a rigorous historian of the institution, members of Congress introduced more than eight hundred constitutional amendments to fix its technical problems or to abolish it altogether. In much of the postwar era, strong majorities of Americans have favored dumping the College and adopting a direct national election for President. After Kefauver’s hearings, during the civil-rights era, this idea gained momentum until, in 1969, the House of Representatives passed a constitutional amendment to establish a national popular vote for the White House. President Richard Nixon called it “a thoroughly acceptable reform,” but a filibuster backed by segregationist Southerners in the Senate killed it.

2. A Free Market Manifesto That Changed the World, Revisited – 50 years ago, Milton Friedman wrote the essay “The Social Responsibility of Business To Increase It’s Profits”. CEOs, economists, and policy makers respond today.

3. A Rare Glimpse of Leonardo da Vinci’s Anatomical Drawings – “the quintessential polymath, the epitome of the “Renaissance Man” dabbling in a wide array of disciplines — art, architecture, cartography, mathematics, literature, engineering, anatomy, geology, music, sculpture, botany — his interest in science was anything but cursory or amateurish.”

4. The Event Industry Is Being Confronted With It’s Own Napster Moment – “Zoom is the Napster of the event industry, the ease with which you can put on good-enough virtual events with a global audience, almost for free, much to the undercutting of the underlying economics of the physical events world. All types of business event — conferences, trade shows, conventions — are in danger of their revenues streams of tickets, sponsorships, memberships, and other types of fees being eroded as the world gets used to digital formats and alternatives emerge to physical networking, matchmaking and other tasks we get out of these events.

5. The Only Thing the Simpsons Predicted Is Our Stupidity – “According to the internet, ‘The Simpsons’ has predicted everything from 9/11 to Trump. But we failed to heed its most dire warnings.”