Friction is growing

5 recommendations, 6 instant-gratification links, and a book about hate I love (#473)

Here's what I have found for you this week.

1. Friction is growing

«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.»

Friction is growing
We’re reaching the point where the climate crisis slows the machine

2. The Barcode Engineered Its Own Downfall

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.

Gift Article: The Barcode Engineered Its Own Downfall
For decades, the tiny symbol has been the plumbing of global capitalism. It might finally be replaced.

More from that nerdy subgenre, from salt to copper to cardboard, in this collection.

3. ​​The Work of the Witness

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.»

The Work of the Witness
Three months into a livestreamed genocide, we must ask—what does all this looking do?

4. When one twin goes vegan and the other doesn’t

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.

When one twin goes vegan and the other doesn’t
What a plant-based diet can and cannot do for you, explained by Netflix’s You Are What You Eat.

5. What kind of perfectionist are you?

On a lighter note: A quick to find out what mix of Intense / Classic / Parisian / Procrastinator / Messy perfectionist you are.

What kind of perfectionist are you? Take this 7-question quiz to find out : Life Kit
Are you a ‘Parisian perfectionist’? How about a ‘messy perfectionist’? Psychotherapist Katherine Morgan Schafler believes there are 5 kinds of perfectionists in the world. Find out which one you are.

What else?

Instant-gratification links that make you go wow! or aha! the moment you click.

Books for curious minds: Against Hate

Against Hate (Gegen den Hass), by Carolin Emcke (2016)

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.

13 Surreal Drone Photos Transform America Into a Roller Coaster
Texas never looked so nauseating.

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 👋