Every Friday I highlight the most interesting or entertaining items from my media diet from the past week.
- Ask HN: How to Get Good at Social Media? (ycombinator.com): Discussion thread on a topic that’s vexed me for some time.
- The iPad Magic Keyboard (daringfireball.net): Gruber reviews the peripheral that brings the dream of tablet-laptop parity into reality.
- It’s Time to Build (a16z.com): Marc Andreesen’s exhortation about how to reboot the American dream: a pragmatic mix of tough-love, blunt criticism and entrepreneurial optimism.
- The Largest Human Zoo in World History (laphamsquarterly.org): Strangely disturbing account of the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair in which thousands of “natives” were presented in ersatz habitats for fair patrons.
- Lockdown Socialism Will Collapse (arnoldkling.coom): An economist draws attention to the unsustainable facets of the American COVID-19 response (he followed up with a Steel-Man article a few days later that counterbalances this post).
- The Marvel of Mozart’s Letters (spectator.co.uk): “With Mozart, you get the whole personality — candid, perceptive, irresistibly alive and packed with filth.”
- The Pandemic Isn’t a Black Swan, but a Portent of a More Fragile Global System (newyorker.com): Short piece on Nassim Taleb’s thoughts on COVID-19 crisis and his ideas on an effective government response.
- Sadness and Disbelief from a World Missing American Leadership (nytimes.com): “Has America become the wrong kind of power with the wrong kind of priorities?”
- We Are Living in a Failed State (theatlantic.com): “The coronavirus didn’t break America. It revealed what was already broken.”
- The West’s Incompetent Response to the Pandemic Will Hasten the Power-Shift to the East (economist.com): Op-ed piece from a former Singaporean diplomat and the coming Asian century.
- Why I’m Building a Side Dish (And Maybe You Should Too): (noahbragg.com): A “solopreneur” looks at solving smaller problems that require smaller solutions in the form of extensions or plugins to preexisting platforms.
- Why We Can’t Build: America’s Inability to Act is Killing People (vox.com): Ezra Klein’s response to Andreesen’s “It’s Time to Build” essay. Considers the political dimension of why we can’t build: a government system biased toward inaction.
- Why We Focus on Trivial Things: The Bikeshed Effect (fs.blog): “Bike-shedding happens because the simpler a topic is, the more people will have an opinion on it and thus more to say about it.”
- NY Times: Rabbit Hole (nytimes.com): Inaugural episode for a new non-fiction narrative series: “A young man finds escape on the internet. He doesn’t realize that on the other side of the screen, a force is pulling him in.”
- Tides of History (wondery.com): Patrick Wyman hosts this history podcast that has a particularly strong back catalog of Middle Age and Renaissance topics.