10/19/20 Power Five

1. North Dakota’s Covid Surge is So Bad, There’s a Dead Guy on the Ballot – “But too many people in North Dakota were not. The state had become a hotspot as Gov. Doug Burgum went through three state health directors in four months and refused to institute a mask mandate. He still talks about “guidelines” and offers such phony phrases as “the path to freedom is through self-discipline” as North Dakota reports the nation’s highest per capita incidence in both COVID-19 deaths and new infections.”

2. Daryl Morey and Billy Beane’s Greatest Achievement Was Capturing Our Imaginations – “The first two decades of the 21st century were full of examples of men—think of Steve Jobs—who acquired a kind of paradoxically oracular authority as the leaders of hyper-rationalist fields. Something similar happened in sports. To many outside observers, “the data” became a type of secret knowledge, not really all that different from the “scout’s intuition” and “experience” that preceded it. It was understood to be more scientific; the narratives it generated were maybe somewhat less accessible, but this was a small price to pay, because it was newer and (presumably) better. And so the interpreters of the data were able to acquire a notoriety and an authority that were based less on rigorous understanding of their methods and more on the perceived ingenuity and prestige of their new code.”

3. Report Finds Free Public College Plan Would Pay Off Within 10 Years – “A lot of the things we spend money on don’t have much of a return. When you buy a tank, you increase GDP a bit because it costs a lot of money to make a tank and people have earnings and so on and so forth. But it does not have the lifetime effect on earnings that education does. That’s one of the nice things about education as an investment.”

4. 12 Million People Have Lost Employer- Sponsored Health Insurance During Pandemic – “With more than half of Americans relying on an employer for health insurance, the prospect of mass layoffs during a pandemic creates a potential public health crisis.”

5. 62 of the Best Documentaries of All Time – Infinitely higher returns than watching the Bachelorette.