What are men for?

«Past models of masculinity feel unreachable or socially unacceptable; new ones have yet to crystallize.» (#454)

Let's skip the intro and dive right into this week's recommendations, there are some good ones:

1. Men are lost. Here’s a map out of the wilderness.

«Past models of masculinity feel unreachable or socially unacceptable; new ones have yet to crystallize. What are men for in the modern world?» An excellent essay on men confused about their identity, and how it leaves many vulnerable to simplistic comfort from right-aligned masculinity gurus.

📚 If you understand German, I highly recommend my friend Julian's debut novel «Zeit der Mauersegler». A story of friendship and love, and an invitation to reflect on masculinity and how it can be reimagined.

2. The World’s Therapists Are Talking to Ukraine

We hear a lot about the weapons other countries are providing Ukraine with to support them in defending themselves against the Russian invasion. This story is about a different kind of support, just as important, especially in the long run: remote therapy for Ukrainians.

The World’s Therapists Are Talking to Ukraine
To prevent a mental health crisis, a multinational effort is bringing therapy to the war-torn country from thousands of miles away.

3. ​​It’s getting harder to see

Around the world, more and more people are nearsighted. It looks like something about the way we live today is making our eyesight worse, but what? No, staring at screens isn't the answer. Vox' Unexplainable podcast explains.

It’s getting harder to see - Unexplainable
Something about modern life is leading to higher rates of nearsightedness across the world.

4. How Doctors Die

What does it say when those who know most about all the available options to stave off death often choose to not use them and go gently instead?

How Doctors Die | Essay | Zócalo Public Square
Years ago, Charlie, a highly respected orthopedist and a mentor of mine, found a lump in his stomach. He had a surgeon explore the area, and the diagnosis

5. Staring at the tsunami

Useful to remember for all current and future crises: Humans are generally quite bad at assessing risk and at updating it with new information, leading to unrealistic optimism.

Staring at the tsunami
Voltaire, optimism and selective updating

What else?

The Future of...Travel

Jet trails fade away,
Virtual worlds take their place—
Yet, feet still roam Earth.

The Haiku is produced using ChatGPT, the illustration is made with Midjourney. Apart from formal instructions, the prompts are as simple as "The future of...x".

A gem from the archive

A fascinating insight into what it takes to master The Knowledge, the legendary test every London cab driver needs to take. It has been called the hardest test, of any kind, in the world — and after reading this, it feels hard to disagree.

The Knowledge, London’s Legendary Taxi-Driver Test, Puts Up a Fight in the Age of GPS (Published 2014)
Memorizing the city’s 25,000 streets might be the most difficult test in the world. As technology imperils this tradition, is there an argument for learning as an end in itself?

Thanks for reading. I wish you a nice weekend and hope to see you again next Friday!

— David 👋