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Why randomness doesn’t feel random.

Top of the morning to you and welcome to Tuesday. This is Apex Money, and I’m your host J.D. Roth. As Jim and I do every day, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite recent stories about money — and more. Today’s features lean to the “and more” side of the equation. 😉 Enjoy!

Just your handyman. [Plough] — “I’m a handyman. People hire me to fix things. My jobs start when someone tells me about something they’d like me to build, or some problem they want me to solve: we need to put a window in the north wall; we want a tile tub surround; this sink is leaky; our old fence is rotten and needs replacing; we’d like to paint our kitchen cabinets. Each call or email is a window into a more complicated situation.” [Something about this reminds me of Wendell Berry.]

In 1970 Ireland, pubs briefly replaced banks — and it worked. [VinePair] — “In 1970, Ireland’s citizens got a taste of life without bank tellers when most of the nation’s banks closed for roughly a year. One might think that meant the day-to-day transactions that keep any capitalist society in motion came to a sudden halt, but guess what? They didn’t.” Fascinating!

Why randomness doesn’t feel random. [Behavioral Scientist] — “We ascribe meaning too readily to the clustering that randomness produces, and, consequently, we deduce that there is some generative force behind the pattern. We are hardwired to do this.”

I think I mentioned this a few weeks ago, but I’ve only recently “discovered” the amazing Olivia Rodrigo. Her music makes me feel like I’m a kid again. It gives me that same feeling as listening to my favorite bands when I was 12 or 13.

Anyhow, what’s fun about Rodrigo is that she’s grown up during the digital age. She’s 21 (I think) right now, so YouTube has existed for most of her life. And wouldn’t you know it, but there’s ample documentation of how she’s evolved as a singer since she was four years old. Crazy.

This poorly-produced compilation video gives a sort of overview of Rodrigo’s growth. (I’ve skipped ahead past a lot of fol-de-rol to get to the singing.)

Girl’s had confidence from the start. Wow. Her vocals might have been weak at times, but she’s kept at this for 17 years. And now she’s one of the biggest stars in the world.