Here's what I have found for you this week.
«Insurance sounds like a boring topic, until you think about it a little: it’s the (enormous) part of the economy that’s assigned to understand risk.» And it's that part of the economy that is starting to make a difference in the climate crisis. Because when things get risky, insurance makes them expensive. «The enormous momentum of the global economy is beginning to run into the enormous friction of climate change.»
Latest find in my favourite nerdy subgenre «the in-depth profile of stuff our modern world runs on». This one tells the story of the barcode, which for half a century has been the «plumbing of global capitalism», and now faces a slow death.
More from that nerdy subgenre, from salt to copper to cardboard, in this collection.
In the face of death and destruction in Gaza, a reflection on what it means to witness. I learned that what often gets translated as martyr, the Arab شهيد (shaheed), actually means witnesser. «It is a word with many folds of meaning and history. It carries connotations not only of seeing, but of presence and proximity. To be a witness is to make contact, to be touched, and to bear the marks of this touch.»
Interesting story of a scientific study turned into one of the most popular shows on Netflix. 22 pairs of identical twins with similar lifestyles get split by diet: For eight weeks, one twin was assigned a healthy vegan diet, the other a healthy omnivore diet. Those in the vegan cohort ended the study with much better health outcomes. Good discussion on the merits and the flaws of the study, and what is won, and what is lost when it gets the Netflix treatment.
On a lighter note: A quick to find out what mix of Intense / Classic / Parisian / Procrastinator / Messy perfectionist you are.
Instant-gratification links that make you go wow! or aha! the moment you click.
- Like short films? Here are about ten thousand to choose from.
- It's cold somewhere and people question whether climate change is real? Here's a cartoon for that.
- Tasty: The Fry Universe
- Read it once, you have no idea. Read it again, chef's kiss
- I've shared this guy's sleight of hand before, but seriously, what sorcery is this?
- Tired of telling the same stories over and over again? I created a custom GPT for you: Bedtime Story Creator.
Books for curious minds: Against Hate
As long as there is hate, this book will remain essential. German philosopher and writer Carolin Emcke delves into the roots and manifestations of hate, through personal stories and poignant analysis. The book compels readers to confront their own biases and serves as a powerful reminder of the crucial role empathy plays in forging a more compassionate and inclusive world.
In every issue, I recommend one book. Some new ones as I read them, some older ones that continue to inform how I look at the world and myself.
A gem from the archive
One of the less obvious things in recent times to transform the US into a roller coaster.
This is a randomly picked gem from the archive of the Weekly Filet, going back to 2011. For manually curated time-tested treasures, have a look at my newly launched second newsletter This Aged Well.
Thanks for reading. I wish you a nice weekend and hope to see you again next Friday!
— David 👋