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> I am Clay
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September 2021

This newsletter is a collection of things I have found in the last month that I enjoyed, found interesting, or simply wanted to share.

You can follow me more closely at my personal website or if you or someone you know is looking to buy or sell a home, you can point them to my real estate website.

Clock Wise

Why Clocks Run Clockwise

The first thing most of us notice about clocks and watches when we learn to tell time, is that the hands turn clockwise – the habit of perceiving clockwise motion as a representation of the forward movement of time is deeply ingrained; so much so that once having learned it, most of us cease to notice it at all. Imagine you are standing on the center of a watch: in any direction you face, the hands will appear to pass from left to right. Theoretically, we could just as easily tell time if they went from right to left, so why do clock and watch hands overwhelmingly have rightward, or clockwise, motion? Why is there no period in history where anticlockwise and clockwise rotation competed for supremacy?

Click Here

Why are hyperlinks blue?

The internet has ingrained itself into every aspect of our lives, but there’s one aspect of the digital world that I bet you take for granted. Did you ever notice that many links, specifically hyperlinks, are blue? When a co-worker casually asked me why links are blue, I was stumped. As a user experience designer who has created websites since 2001, I’ve always made my links blue. I have advocated for the specific shade of blue, and for the consistent application of blue, yes, but I’ve never stopped and wondered, why are links blue? It was just a fact of life. Grass is green and hyperlinks are blue. Culturally, we associate links with the color blue so much that in 2016, when Google changed its links to black, it created quite a disruption.

But now, I find myself all consumed by the question, WHY are links blue? WHO decided to make them blue? WHEN was this decision made, and HOW has this decision made such a lasting impact?

I turned to my co-workers to help me research, and we started to find the answer. Mosaic, an early browser released by Marc Andreessen and Eric Bina on January 23, 1993, had blue hyperlinks. To truly understand the origin and evolution of hyperlinks though, I took a journey through technology history and interfaces to explore how links were handled before color monitors, and how interfaces and hyperlinks rapidly evolved once color became an option.

Links

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Do not hesitate to reply to this months email to share links, wisdom, or thoughts.

Thanks for reading. Have a great month,

Clay

August 2021

This newsletter is a collection of things I have found in the last month that I enjoyed, found interesting, or simply wanted to share.

You can follow me more closely at my personal website or if you or someone you know is looking to buy or sell a home, you can point them to my real estate website.

His Name Was Emmett Till

His Name Was Emmett Till

In 1955 an all-white, all-male jury, encouraged by the defense to do their duty as “Anglo-Saxons,” acquitted J. W. Milam and Roy Bryant. Because the defendants couldn’t be tried again, they got paid to make a confession to a national magazine—a heavily fictionalized account stage-managed by their lawyers—and Leslie Milam and his barn were written out of the story. Ask most people where Till died and they’ll say Money, Mississippi, the town where Till whistled at Bryant’s wife outside the family’s store. An Equal Justice Initiative monument in Montgomery says Money. Wikipedia does too. The Library of Congress website skips over the barn, which is just outside the town of Drew, about 45 minutes from the store.

I learned about the barn last year and have since made repeated visits, alone and with groups, once with members of Till’s family. Over and over, I drove from my home in the Mississippi hill country back into the gothic flatland where I was born. The barn’s existence conjures a complex set of reactions: It is a mourning bench for Black Americans, an unwelcome mirror for white Americans. It both repels and demands attention.

Wright Thompson’s story-telling is enviable.

Kim + Im

Two South Korean golfers will play these Olympics with everything to lose

In the pyramid of professional golf, these two 20-somethings enjoy the view from tip-top. Their careers are the envy of countless grinders out there clawing for a breakthrough. And yet, in the eyes of the South Korean government, Im and Kim are but two able-bodied men with an unpaid debt to their country.

This week, both Im and Kim will be reunited with avoidance pressure of the highest order. In anticipation of perhaps the most important tournament of their lives, both men took the extraordinary step of skipping the Open Championship to devote their entire focus to the Olympics. Can you blame them? A medal would exempt them from mandatory military service. A fourth-place finish or worse—well, they’d prefer not to think about that.

“I don’t know how…”

A Round with Tiger: Celebrity Playing Lessons – Jada Pinkett Smith

This is some weird cross between a date, an interview, a golf lesson, and motherly wisdom. Tiger’s discomfort and Jada’s conviction in explaining what his story means is freaking awesome.

Tiger leaning forward and saying, “I don’t know how…” to see that people find his journey inspiring.

Don’t miss:
– 2:23-3:20
– 9:52-11:00
– 17:57-19:35

Penniless

Why a Victoria man has gone two decades without money

His last purchases — beer, cigarettes, pot — occurred 18 years ago, he says, on his 31st birthday. He claims he hasn’t spent any money since. It’s true, his friends have told me. No money at all.

Links

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Do not hesitate to reply to this months email to share links, wisdom, or thoughts.

Thanks for reading. Have a great month,

Clay

July 2021

This newsletter is a collection of things I have found in the last month that I enjoyed, found interesting, or simply wanted to share.

You can follow me more closely at my personal website or if you or someone you know is looking to buy or sell a home, you can point them to my real estate website.

Why do we like what we like?

The Lottery of Fascinations

But the thing is, I couldn’t choose to be interested in sports any more than I could choose to be interested in math or a huge sports fan could choose to be interested in psychology or a gay person could choose to be interested in women. I mean, there’s probably some wiggle room, maybe if I put a lot of effort into finding the most interesting sports and learning everything about them I could appreciate them a little. But would I have comparative advantage over the kid who memorized the stats of every pitcher in both leagues when he was 8? Barring getting hit by some kinda cosmic rays or something, I don’t think that’ll ever happen.

Lord of the Roths

How Tech Mogul Peter Thiel Turned a Retirement Account for the Middle Class Into a $5 Billion Tax-Free Piggy Bank

Open a Roth with $2,000 or less. Get a sweetheart deal to buy a stake in a startup that has a good chance of one day exploding in value. Pay just fractions of a penny per share, a price low enough to buy huge numbers of shares. Watch as all the gains on that stock — no matter how giant — are shielded from taxes forever, as long as the IRA remains untouched until age 59 and a half. Then use the proceeds, still inside the Roth, to make other investments.

Owning Artists

Would You Buy Shares in Your Favorite Musician?

The notion of selling shares in an artist in band raises many intriguing possibilities—too many to deal with here. But let me list some of them.

1. A band could sell shares in its music, with potential for spinning off ownership of individual musicians as separate tokens in the case of a breakup. One day you own shares in the Beatles, and after the band dissolves, you still control those tokens, but now receive (in a tax-free spinoff) rights to John, Paul, George and Ringo.

2. Artists could do mergers. So Beyoncé and Jay Z decide one day to issue a combined token. They both enjoy some diversification benefits, and help cement their relationship at the same time.

3. Artists would be free to issue new shares, provided the cash or benefits received are shared equably among current owners. The end result would be like different stages in venture capital financing. I can already imagine the conversations on Sand Hill Road: “Hey, our firm got into Olivia Rodrigo in the first round, for ten cents a token—and we’re now issuing new tokens at two bucks.”

4. When artists run into career problems, they could turn to their powerful billionaire owners for help in resolving them. Consider it as the digital age equivalent of Johnny Fontaine in The Godfather, who gets Don Corleone to make an “offer that can’t be refused” to a stubborn movie mogul. In fact, the whole relationship between Frank Sinatra and the Mafia might be considered as a prototype for the artist tokenization business.

5. Fans would have endless opportunities for demonstrating their loyalty. In the old days, they could buy every album by a favored artist, but in a tokenized world the bar is raised considerably. Even accumulating, say, a 1% stake in second-tier musician might take years of scrimping and saving.

6. Artists would face the complex financial trade-offs all corporations need to address. Do they give away earnings as dividends to token holders, or invest the money in future projects? The older the musician, the greater the pressure to distribute the profits.

Links

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Do not hesitate to reply to this months email to share links, wisdom, or thoughts.

Thanks for reading. Have a great month,

Clay

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