Weekend Reads + Commentary

September 2021

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Weekend Reads

  • Overweight/obesity of 5-11 year olds increased from 36% to 45% during the pandemic. Crazy figure. It's a lot harder to reverse obesity than prevent it. Many of these kids will grow up to be obese and deal with the health issues that come with it for the rest of their lives. America is not alone in this category, but it sure is far ahead of other places. I wonder if the rates will continue to increase over the years. This is definitely a novel issue never before seen in previous societies.

  • Every 2 weeks the New York Times publishes articles that say workers desperately want to go back to the cubicle. It always gets massive engagement of people responding angrily "no we don't.” They found a nice little feedback loop. Even larger more prestigious outlets just are trying to get a reaction out of you. It’s always nice to keep knowledge of the meta-game of social media in the back of your head. It’s a business. The goal isn’t for them to be right or wrong, it’s to get a reaction out of you.

  • If you’ve ever read the Odyssey, or want to begin reading it for the first time, you can watch this 5 part lecture series by Peter Gainsford, a classicist based in Wellington, New Zealand. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

Lindy Music

Book Rec

The 20th century was filled with these larger than life dictators who created immense change and destruction. Philip Short is a biographer who writes about these individuals. His books are enormously massive tomes. But they do immerse you into the life and world these individuals inhabited.

1) Pol Pot

Very detailed biography of one of the most bizarre and maniacal despots in world history. The author tried very hard to get to the "why" as much as the "who" and did a better job of the latter than the former.

2) Mao

A comprehensive account about a very complicated character. A great introduction to guerilla warfare and gloves-off political infighting by one of its most skilled practitioners.

3) François Mitterrand

An interesting read into the life of one of the great European statesmen of the previous century. Philip Short tries his best to create a in-depth account of this most enigmatic creature