I'm glad to have you for another issue of the Weekly Filet. It's David again, I spend a ton of time searching for great things to read, watch and listen to so that you can spend your time actually reading, watching, listening to great things.
This week, you get the extended version of the newsletter — usually reserved for paying members. This is thanks to International Intrigue who are sponsoring this issue.
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And with that, here are my five recommendations plus six instant-gratification links for you this week:
Think about a difficult, potentially traumatising period in the future. Now write down a short journal entry as if you're just living through that experience. Ask yourself questions like: What will I feel in this future? What will I and others need most? How will I use my unique strengths to help others? This is how game designer and forecaster Jane McGonigal is teaching people to «future-proof» themselves. This article is part of a series by Vox.com on «the upgrades we can make to prepare for the next pandemic». I liked this one best because it is useful well beyond the context of a future pandemic.
Last Sunday's results of the first round might have prompted a sigh of relief. There is still a very real chance that Marine Le Pen will be France's next president. For a lot of people, I feel, it hasn't sunk in how disruptive that would be. This column from Politico Europe is worth a read. Key quote: «Much more than Brexit ever did, Le Pen’s policies present a great threat to the EU and to the liberal, democratic, Western status quo. That’s something that everybody — and French voters in particular — need to understand.»
There is always the danger of dehumanising when actual suffering is turned into data points. That said, I think this visualisation offers a unique perspective on the war in Ukraine, and what it feels like for the people living through it.
In a weird twist of irony, Russia's invasion has both taken away much needed attention from the climate crisis, and serves as a great example of the big picture that connects the two («autocrats are often directly the result of fossil fuel»). For all the progress that has been made since the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015, this trend is worrying: «Over those few years the world seemed to have swerved sharply away from democracy and toward autocracy – and in the process dramatically limited our ability to fight the climate crisis.»
We all remember a couple of things school teachers forced us to learn by heart that, in hindsight, make zero sense. That doesn't mean memorising facts you can look up within seconds is worthless. This essay makes a great case for memorisation (well, with a z, but I think it holds true on both sides of the Atlantic). In short: If you know something about a lot of things, that gives you more dots to connect. In the author's words: «The point is that memorizing data gives you a bank of material to run through when forming and testing a hypothesis»
- Michelin-starred plates invented by artificial intelligence. The food doesn’t even exist.
- Synesthesia: Stunning, and a great way to relax for a couple of minutes (desktop only)
- The United States is now the largest country to allow its citizens to choose freely not to identify as male or female in their passports. Still think there's a good case for not including gender in official documents in the first place.
- Love this image series on solar power.
- A fun way to discover new books: Read the first page of a novel without knowing what it is.
- «Personal attachment to beliefs encourages competitive personal contests rather than collaborative searches for the truth.» — Dale Lugenbehl
Thanks for reading. If you liked this extended version of the newsletter, I invite you to become a member. You'll support my work, get the extended version of the newsletter every week, and no ads, ever. 10% of every purchase go to Stripe Climate and help remove carbon from the atmosphere.
Take care. See you next Friday*!
— David 👋
* Actually, that's not true. I have a surprise for you on Sunday.