Saturday, December 19, 2015

Link roundup

1. "Martin Shkreli Accused of Being Surprisingly Good at Fraud"

I can't shake my sense of amazement that Shkreli seems to have gambled on redemption and won. If you believe the allegations in today's indictment, he lost (or stole) all of his investors' money, then lied to them to string them along, Ponzied it up by raising new money to keep them happy, and then finally found an investment that allowed him to pay off his earlier investors, with profits all around. He wasn't caught because his scheme, like most such schemes, eventually crashed under its own weight. His scheme worked!
And on the album:
The government regularly auctions seized property to raise cash, so perhaps some other rich private buyer will end up owning the album. Perhaps it is cursed and brings an indictment for securities fraud to whoever possesses it.
2. "[Former Laker (and Oz actor)] Rick Fox is the new owner of the League of Legends team Gravity Gaming, which will be rebranded with his name...To be known now as Echo Fox"

3. WaPo: "What was fake on the Internet this week: Why this is the final column"
Where debunking an Internet fake once involved some research, it’s now often as simple as clicking around for an “about” or “disclaimer” page. And where a willingness to believe hoaxes once seemed to come from a place of honest ignorance or misunderstanding, that’s frequently no longer the case.
...
Frankly, this column wasn’t designed to address the current environment.
...
institutional distrust is so high right now, and cognitive bias so strong always, that the people who fall for hoax news stories are frequently only interested in consuming information that conforms with their views — even when it’s demonstrably fake.