Imposters, Buddha Boys, And Donald Trump: See / Read / Listen To This: Issue #4
A warm welcome to the many new readers this issue, coming both from ETRT and from recommendations. My goal was to get this newsletter to 50 subscribers by April, and I’m already well past that because of you lovely people. Thank you.
Speaking of lovely people, I proposed to my long time girlfriend Sanah in Barcelona on Tuesday and she said yes!
The Imposter (Movie | Netflix)
This truly unbelievable documentary tells the story of an adult European man who poses as a missing teenager from the US. Every 15 minutes or so I would gasp, shocked/thrilled by what I was seeing on screen. I can’t say anything more without revealing key bits of the plot, so I’ll just say: watch it. It has a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes and is one of the most gripping films on Netflix.
How Gun Control Could Prevent Suicides (2:42 Short Video | Youtube)
“The overwhelming majority of people in the US who die from gun violence don’t die because they were shot by someone else, they die because they shot themselves.” This quick watch from Vox gave me an entirely new perspective on the gun control debate, one entirely divorced from the political arguments we normally hear.
Bo Burnham: what. (Stand Up Comedy | Youtube)
This comedy special from Bo Burnham is the most innovative stand-up I’ve ever seen. It’s somewhat removed from the normal setup-punchline joke delivery, instead revolving around hilariously catchy songs and thought (and laugh) provoking meta-jokes. Normally I think musical comedy can be a bit of a crutch, but it’s used brilliantly here. Be warned that this is in a different league from most stand up sets, and as such might not be for everybody, but if you can stomach a bit of weirdness you’ll no doubt be impressed by his performance.
What is One Fact Humanity Needs to Know? (~7 Minutes)
12 scientists were asked: “If, in some cataclysm, all of scientific knowledge were to be destroyed, and only one sentence passed on to the next generation of creatures, what statement would contain the most information in the fewest words?” Interesting answers that act like a refresher on basic science and will serve us well in a zombie apocalypse.
What’s Next in Computing? (~11 Minutes)
Chris Dixon, a prominent venture capitalist, argues that we see a new technology cycle every 10-15 years that fundamentally reshapes the tech landscape. We’re about due for the next cycle to begin, and in this article he gives a few suggestions for what that might be, including virtual reality (my vote), internet of things, wearables, and more.
The Incredible Buddha Boy (~30 Minutes)
George Saunders might be the most compassionate and insightful writer alive. He wrote this nonfiction piece a decade ago but it still holds up. In it, he investigates the curious case of a meditating boy in Nepal who claims to have not eaten in 7 months. This really only serves as a jumping off point for Saunders to explore his own relationship with spirituality, faith, and what it means to be a human. It might take you two sittings to finish, but it’ll leave a mark on you for weeks after you’re done.
The groove is strong with this one. Funky late night dance track that’s been the centerpiece of my Barcelona trip soundtrack.
You might remember FiveThirtyEight from last election cycle when they accurately predicted the outcomes of all 50 states. Their political analysis is second to none, focusing on data instead of personal opinions. In this episode, they analyze the finding that some of Donald Trump’s supporters are racists after a recent poll found that 32% support Japanese internment, 80% support banning Muslims entirely from the US, etc. The discussion provides an excellent examination of the Trump phenomenon without dismissing it, as so many other political commentators do.
“Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most.” — Augusta Kantra
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