Monday, December 31, 2018

Upon Further Reflection — December 31, 2018

In this special year-end edition of The Full Monty, we bring you some of the best links from 2018. Kind of a meta-curation.

The selection standards are completely subjective — much like the rest of the editions — I pick the links I think are important, interesting, or simply worth your time. And rather than restrain the stories to individual sections, below you'll find the best of each month's links.

Ultimately, the goal is the same: to help make you smarter quickly, by saving you from roaming all over the Internet (or our Archives) looking for these stories.

As we move into 2019, I'm still working on a premium version of The Full Monty. 
These kind of "best of" round-ups will be part of that model. I have an extra set of bonus links coming later this week just for Full Monty Patreon supporters — don't miss a chance to see these extra-special stories. Sign up at any level if you'd like to receive them.

I hope this year was a rewarding one for you and that 2019 brings you more of your heart's desires.

About this week's image: John William Waterhouse painted Echo and Narcissus in 1903. In the Roman myth, Echo fell in love with the beautiful Narcissus, who was desired by men, women and gods alike. But Narcissus, on seeing his own reflection in a pool of water, became infatuated with it and consequently rejected Echo. She then pined away until only her voice remained.

"Learning without reflection is a waste. 
Reflection without learning is dangerous." 
– Confucius



  • Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase joined forces to address issues in healthcare for their three companies. The initial focus, they said, will be on "technology solutions that will provide U.S. employees and their families with simplified, high-quality and transparent health care at a reasonable cost." (Live Well Nebraska)
  • Wired's Complete Guide to Artificial Intelligence. From its origins in 1956 to the latest advances in health technology, it's an excellent overview of where we are. (Wired) It's also refreshing to see them admit that A.I. is overhyped.
  • Machines aren't the answer, and as they continue to be inserted into processes, it's not about replacing humans. As with any technological advance, there's going to be a pendulum swing, and Christopher Penn has an idea of a hybrid approach as the Human Backlash Against A.I. Is Coming. (Awaken Your Superhero)
  • In an IQ test between Amazon Echo and Google Home, who wins? (Wired) Spoiler alert: consumers do.
  • Twitter posted its first-ever quarterly profit for Q4 2017. (Quartz)
  • L.L. Bean's return policy was legendary, as they were willing to take back any item that they ever sold, if it was damaged or worn out. However, the Maine company is imposing limits on its return policy, citing consumer fraud. This is why we can't have nice things. (Associated Press)
  • How podcasts are breaking through on video-obsessed social media. (Digiday)
  • From the world of practical ethics: times are challenging, philosophy can make your head hurt, and no one likes quizzes. Put them all together and you get this quiz to test how moral (or immoral) you are, or the Oxford Utilitarian Scale. (Quartz)


  • IRI combines highly comprehensive data sets — including consumers’ actual purchase behavior — advanced analytics, and robust technology to offer clients 3-4 times sales uplift and up to 70% improvement on return on advertising spend. Click here for more information on the impact of online ads to offline product sales. (IRI Worldwide) If you ask me, that's the Holy Grail of measurement.












    Sources of Inspiration

    I subscribe to a lot of industry newsletters to keep me up to date. But there are some that are more unique that always provide me with some kind of inspiration. They include Total Annarchy, NextDraftThe Red Thread, For the Interested, Almost Timely News, and Farnam Street.

    If you're not yet signed up for this newsletter, please do so now. And please share it with your colleauges.

    Image credit: Echo and Narcissus by John William Waterhouse, 1903 (public domain, Wikimedia Commons)


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