The Weekender: Will health systems go the same route as newspapers? + (un)affordable housing

3 min read
The United States at night as photographed by NASA, via Unsplash.

‘The Weekender’ spotlights what you might have missed on BirdDog and why a few headlines from elsewhere matter for Tennessee.



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1. Health Systems Repeating Newspaper Company Mistakes Sealing Their Fate

Dave Chase, co-founder of Health Rosetta Institute on LinkedIn

This piece caught my eye — of course — and the only way it could be more interesting (to me) is if it roped in the power industry.

Chase draws parallels to newspaper leaders in the late 1990s when they knew a seismic tech shift was coming, but “they didn’t fundamentally rethink their model” and remained comfortable operating in their old ways.

Then, there was consolidation and lots of additional leverage, and the focus on owning behemoth equipment (printing presses are neither small nor cheap).

And Chase points out similarities to the decisions made by today’s health system leaders.

It’s worth making it to the last paragraph of Chase’s piece. 🙂


2. Your Smartphone Choice Could Determine If You’ll Get a Loan

Louise Matsakis, Wired

Data left behind while shopping online can be aggregated to assess credit quality much like a FICO score.

Researchers at the National Bureau of Economic Research found that shoppers coming from a comparison shopping site were roughly half as likely to default than those coming from search ads. And someone using an email with their name proved more reliable.

The device type — smartphone, tablet or computer — and the operating system are a proxy for economic status. Other factors: time of day when the purchase is made and even the type of email that is used. Yahoo email users, for instance, had “an average default rate of 4.30%, significantly higher than the 2.69% default rate in the highest decile of FICO scores,” according to the NBER paper.

Excerpt from the white paper: “Android users default more frequently than the baseline category, consistent with the univariate results and consistent with the fact that consumer purchasing an iPhones [sic] are usually more affluent than consumers purchasing other smartphones.”

Activity on social media is already influencing access to credit in other places. Pentaquark Consulting’s model doesn’t trust people who “write a lot about the soul” on Facebook because they tend to not be concerned with “the fine print of everyday life.” More from BBVA, a bank based in Spain: The digital footprint: a tool to increase and improve lending

Did you know? China is blueprinting a mandatory ranking system that will rank people by “social credit,” in order to determine if people can fly or take a train. Measures include how many video games are purchased, sharing fake news and bad driving.


3. Affordable Housing

It’s a problem faced by many people around the country, not just in and around Music City.

The average home-dwellers, however, are trying to find ways to fight back.

Around Seattle: As developers eye valuable mobile park home land, some residents have found a way to fight back 

Ann Boiko-Weyrauch, Marketplace


Around Philadelphia: Community land trusts take aim at rising rents

Patrick Sisson, Curbed


Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman sounds off on housing market, says U.S. has become a ‘landlord nation’

Nat Levy, GeekWire


And traveling to the land of unaffordable housing…


4. What lies beneath: the subterranean secrets of London’s super-rich

David Batty, Caelainn Barr and Pamela Duncan, The Guardian

Sometimes the basements are bigger than the house. The Guardian commissioned a study of the property that’s underground.

The results are incredible. A study found nearly 800 large basements (at least two stories deep) and 112 basements classified as “mega” that extend at least three stories underground — these are also called icebergs.

There’s even an artificial beach and an incredible map that illustrates the depth.

Photo by NASA on Unsplash