2/16/21 Power Five

1. A New, Safe Home for the Louvre’s Unseen Treasurers – How do you move 250,000 artifacts to a high tech storage facility 120 miles away? It took the Louvre the last 16 months to find out.

2. Living in New York’s Unloved Neighborhood – “Our apartment overlooks the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel, which I estimate to be the source of at least two-thirds of the soot. The traffic is particularly heavy one night. My daughter looks out the window, noticing the long line of red brake lights that distinguishes the outgoing traffic from the long line of white headlights that characterizes the incoming. It’s a beautiful view, she says. A memory comes to me, of a friend telling me how her grandmother, when she visited from New Delhi, used to describe a night scene like this as “a necklace of rubies and a necklace of diamonds.”

3. David Hockney, The World is Beautiful – “The world is very, very beautiful if you look at it. But most people don’t look very much. They scan the ground in front of them so they can walk, but they don’t really look at things incredibly well, with intensity.”

4. How Do US Taxes Compare Internationally? – “Among OECD countries, only Chile, Ireland, and Mexico collected less tax revenue than the United States as a percentage of GDP. Taxes exceeded 40 percent of GDP in seven European countries, including France, where taxes were 46 percent of GDP. But those countries generally provide more extensive government services than the United States does.”

5. New Amazon CEO‘s Scary Meetings Make Sense – “In the so-called Chop meetings, Jassy and the team review such memos — in the room, together, in real time. After reading and taking notes for perhaps 25 minutes, the meeting attendees then pepper the presenters with questions about their plan. It’s not a brainstorming meeting in which people bandy about ideas; the goal is to pressure-test the assumptions and data in the memo. It sounds stressful. But it also sounds like a pretty good idea. How many meetings have you attended where a smooth-talking extrovert gets buy-in for a half-baked plan because he can make it sound good? How many sloppy PowerPoints have you seen that hide the weakness of a colleague’s logic in glossy photos and bullet points? How many meetings have you organized where half the group shows up not having done any of the prep work?