What We're Reading

A few good pieces the Collaborative team came across this week …

Matrimony:

Divorces hit a historical high point in 1979, when 22.6 marriages out of every 1,000 broke up, according to researchers at the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green University. By 2017, the rate had dropped to 16.1 divorces for every 1,000 marriages. That’s a decrease of 29% from the high point and the lowest the divorce rate has been in 40 years. One cause, researchers believe, is that people are delaying marriage. “There’s a fear of divorce or a specter of divorce looming large in people’s minds,” said Wendy D. Manning, co-director of Bowling Green’s Center for Family and Marriage Research. “They don’t want to make a mistake. They’re waiting longer to get married to divorce-proof their marriage.”

Energy:

Clean-energy resources supplied more of America’s electricity than coal for the first time ever in April.

Hydroelectric dams, solar panels and wind turbines generated almost 68.5 million megawatt-hours of power in April, eclipsing the 60 million that coal produced that month, Energy Information Administration data released late Tuesday show. That’s the most clean power the U.S. has ever made – and the least coal it has burned for power in years.

Demographics:

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Opioids:

Hathaway says 2010 was a pivotal year—that’s when Purdue Pharma LP, maker of OxyContin, changed the pill’s chemistry so it couldn’t be crushed into a snortable powder or heated into a vapor for inhaling. The new version had a time-release formulation; it was useless to addicts who were crashing.

“That is the beginning of the heroin epidemic,” Hathaway says, pointing to himself as living proof. He and his son began using heroin to get the same results they used to get from crushed Oxy.

Data:

Some investors like to poo-poo this emphasis on recency. They interpret it to be a kind of arrogant and dismissive trashing of the sacred market wisdoms that our investor ancestors carved out for us, through their experiences. But, hyperbole aside, there’s a sound basis for emphasizing recent performance over antiquated performance in the evaluation of data. Recent performance is more likely to be an accurate guide to future performance, because it is more likely to have arisen out of causal conditions that are still there in the system, as opposed to conditions that have since fallen away.

Skills:

Best athletes don’t really have better reaction times, they can take extremely small amounts of data and make very educated guesses. Albert Pujols can predict almost exactly where the pitch is going to be as it is leaving the pitcher’s hand. However, when Jenny Finch, a gold medalist women’s softball pitcher, pitched at him he could not hit a single ball. It’s not that she was necessarily a better pitcher, he just did not have a data set to predict where her pitches were going to be. Alex Rodriguez would not step up to the plate against her for fear of being embarrassed.

Have a good weekend.

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