What We’re Reading

Dining:

In 2020, more than half of restaurant spending is projected to be “off premise”—not inside a restaurant. In other words, spending on deliveries, drive-throughs, and takeaway meals will soon overtake dining inside restaurants, for the first time on record. According to the investment group Cowen and Company, off-premise spending will account for as much as 80 percent of the industry’s growth in the next five years.

Email:

She showed me a data table she had constructed, which summarized the results of office-time-use studies from 1965 to 2006. The studies can be divided into two groups: before e-mail and after. In the studies conducted before e-mail, workers spent around forty per cent of their time in “scheduled meetings,” and twenty per cent engaged in “desk work.” In those conducted after e-mail, the percentages are swapped.

Winning/losing games:

Expert tennis is what I call a Winner’s Game because the ultimate outcome is determined by the actions of the winner. Victory is due to winning more points than the opponent wins – not, as we shall see in a moment, simply to getting a higher score than the opponent, but getting that higher score by winning points.

Amateur tennis, Ramo found, is almost entirely different. Brilliant shots, long and exciting rallies and seemingly miraculous recoveries are few and far between. On the other hand, the ball is fairly often hit into the net or out of bounds, and double faults at service are not uncommon. The amateur duffer seldom beats his opponent, but he beats himself all the time. The victor in this game of tennis gets a higher score than the opponent, but he gets that higher score because his opponent is losing even more points.

Healthcare:

Employer insurance is very costly, with the average family premium running just under $19,000 a year. For average wage workers living in a family of four, this premium is equal to26.4 percent of their total labor compensation. If you count this premium as taxes for international comparison purposes, the average wage worker in the United States has the second-highest tax rate in the developed world, behind the Netherlands.

Geography:

In 2017, Toronto created more new technology jobs than Silicon Valley, Seattle, New York and Washington, DC, combined.

Replication:

“There is increasing concern that in modern research, false findings may be the majority or even the vast majority of published research claims,” epidemiologist John P.A. Ioannidis declared in a landmark essay published in 2005 in the journal PLoS Medicine.

Even when a claimed effect does turn out to be correct, its magnitude is usually overstated. Columbia University political scientist and statistician Andrew Gelman puts it bluntly: “The scientific method that we love so much is a machine for generating exaggerations.”

Have a good weekend.


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