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Hi Friend,

Happy Valentine's Day!  Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday.  Not for the coupled-up, hetero-normative white table cloth, red roses, and milk chocolate affair, but for all the other things that you can make the day about.  Showing love and appreciation can happen in any number of ways. 

I'm eating two strips of turkey bacon and spiced acorn squash made in my new AirFryer, a birthday gift, while watching the snow swirl outside.  It's cold outside, but it's warm in here.

Today's Contents:

  • Weekly Song: What You Don't Do
  • Obviously the Future: Themes worth considering
  • VDay Econ Jokes
  • Good Reads

Weekly Song: What You Don't Do

There will be no large Valentine's Day gatherings this year, but that's okay.  We can reminisce on old times.  For a couple of years, I hosted a Valentine's Day dinner for a group of 12 friends.  Our group ran the whole gambit. 

One year I wrote an email in advance with an ask: Please send me a favorite love quote and a resonant love song(s).  Platonic love, romantic love, losing love.  Sappy, not sappy.  Trite or obscure.  We won’t judge!  Well, maybe we will, but only lovingly.

The first response was from the guy I was dating at the time's hetero-life partner, Brian.  The email included just this link:

I wrote back immediately, "thanks - What are we are going to do about steak preparation?!?!" 

In response, he wrote: "I have a family marinade I use on my steaks which is always a crowd pleaser. i’ll pick up everything i need this weekend.  Do you want any sort of sauce to go along with the steak? bordelaise? bearnaise?" 

When I got off the continent of Africa and I checked back through my email, I clicked the link.  And, friends, that’s a link to the music video of  F**k You B*tch by Wheeler Walker Jr.  The lyrics start like this:

You say we're done
You packed up your stuff
It's really over
Said you've had enough
There's one thing
I'd like to say
'Fore you leave, baby

F**k you b*tch
You broke my heart
F**k your friends
For tearing us apart
F**k your dog
Hope he never comes home
F**k you b*tch
Hope you wind up alone

Now, let me explain.  Brian has the aura of the Ron Swanson character on Parks & Recreation.  He's a mostly solitary woodworker and builder who enjoys doing his thing.  This is 100% his sense of humor. 

My first thought was: That’s so hilarious!!!  Hahaha.  And five minutes after that, I thought 'hmmm I wonder if I should be concerned' and then I concluded 'Nah, it's super funny.' 

Brian usually doesn't participate in group gatherings, but he was the perfect co-host and expertly grilled the steaks and had gotten fresh horseradish and made three different toppings for good measure.

So, we got to the part of the evening after the main and before dessert where the host gets to engage his or her guests.  And this time the question was something like 'How do you define love? What does love mean to you?'  Because you've just fed all your guests and supplied them with ample wine, people feel obligated to share.  Which is wonderful.  We went around the table, and everyone took their turn.

When we got to Brian, he said loudly, boldly, sternly: 'NO!'   And no one protested one bit. 

For me, Valentine's Day is for souls like Brian.  You don't need to show it, I already know it all.  Cheers to you, Brian, wherever you are. 

Still. Wheeler Walker Jr didn't feel right for today.  So instead, I selected 'What You Don't Do' by Lianne La Havas.  It was the nominated song for that dinner party by Fatima, my friend and DS community member.  I hadn't heard it before, so I'm going to say it is underrated.

Below is a full Valentine's Day Playlist from that dinner party - enjoy!  And if the spirit of Saint Valentine inspires you, please do send me your recommendation. This playlist definitely needs a refresh. 

"What You Don't Do" by Lianne La Havas

Heavy words, little lies
Telling everything but the truth, the truth
Three little words over time overheard and overused, used
No sweet nothing could ever be turned into something new
No grand gesture could ever be made to measure you

I know what I got and I know where we're going
You don't need to show it, I already know it all
It's what you don't do, it's what you don't say
(It's what you don't do) I know you love me, I don't need proof
It's what you don't do, the games you don't play
(It's what you don't do) I know you love me, I don't need proof

Valentine's Day Playlist

No Grand Gesture Could Ever Be Made to Measure You: Macro-Econ Jokes

Aw...that's sweet.  But what about this.  That hangover could be rough. 

Obviously The Future: Themes I'm exploring

The rise of ‘everyone is an entrepreneur’ - Freelancing in America Report

  • 57 million Americans freelanced in 2019, representing 35% of the U.S. workforce.
  • The most common type of freelance work is skilled services, with 45% of freelancers providing services such as programming, marketing, and consulting.
  • Younger generations are more likely to freelance, especially Gen Z.
  • 53% of workers ages 18-22 freelance.

Transforming the quality-cost relationship in education by using best practice pedagogy enabled by new technology - e.g., Using Immersive Virtual Reality to teach Algebra.  Anurupa Gangly explains in The New Education Frontier.

Navigating student debt management - Who owes how much?  And how does that impact the ability of those cohorts to plan for retirement or buy their first home? 

The highest-income 40% of households (those with incomes above $74,000) owe almost 60% of the outstanding education debt and make almost three-quarters of the payments. The lowest-income 40% of households hold just under 20% of the outstanding debt and make only 10% of the payments.  From Brookings.

The challenge of America's changing demographic pyramid - i.e., Everyone has to pay when America gets too old - Bloomberg

Good Reads


Microsoft's big win in quantum computing was an error, after all. Article in Wired.

The Great Unbundling of Venture Capital 2021: Emerging Trends, Challenges and Opportunities.  Here.

Tyler Cowen wades into the deep end with his 2018 article: The Side Effects of the Decline of Men. 

2021 Healthcare Predictions by Bessemer. 

Unreal Engine released a sneak peek at their MetaHuman Creator - Amazing the human likeness that can be generated.

Automate all the things: The Essential Guide to Airtable

Community Corner

I see you, friends. 

David Elop and his team at Providence announced a 14 health system data alliance called Truveta. "It will combine records representing about 13% of U.S. hospitals, which will be anonymized to protect confidentiality, said Rod Hochman, Providence chief executive officer.  The goal is to let Truveta backers, as well as researchers at other institutions and in government, run analyses and use machine learning to draw conclusions from the massive volume of data the systems generate."  Good luck!  

Stay warm friends!  The forecast includes an overnight low of 10 degrees in Austin, Texas, along with a couple inches of snow.  That's Minneapolis weather deep in the heart of Texas. 

Thank you for reading.  Please always be in touch. 


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Katelyn Donnelly
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