Weekend Reading

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  • Why Trump voters are not “complete idiots” (in charts and photos)
    A common trope when trying to understand voters who vote differently from you is to simply call them idiots. This is particularly true this year, when discussing Trump voters. The most aggressive (and IMO offensive example of this) is by Jonathan Chait.
    Fits with the view that people who say they are going to vote for Trump are really just voting ‘against’ what they perceive as failures in the system (see also Brexit).
  • Fences: A Brexit Diary
    Nigel Farage canvassing for ‘Leave’ votes during the Brexit campaign, London, May 2016. He resigned as leader of the UK Independence Party on July 4, shortly after the referendum.
    I’m kinda done with this but it’s an interesting view of how Brexit played out in the final few weeks.
  • Clay Shirky, on avoiding complacency this election season (with tweets)
    I want to say something to my liberal white friends: Trump talked a lot of shit last night, but not one word of “I am your voice!” was a lie.
    Trump could win. That’s the scary part. Send this to all your American friends.
  • One of the fastest growing fields in science still makes a lot of people very uncomfortable
    Think of someone whose political ideology leads them to ignore and groundlessly reject science. Typically, this often describes those on the right of the political spectrum, where climate change, women’s reproductive health, and even evolution are routinely dismissed.
    Behavioural Genetics – aka – it’s not me, it’s my genes. Another in a list of increasingly valid excuses for my poor decisions.
  • History tells us what may happen next with Brexit & Trump
    It seems we’re entering another of those stupid seasons humans impose on themselves at fairly regular intervals. I am sketching out here opinions based on information, they may prove right, or may prove wrong, and they’re intended just to challenge and be part of a wider dialogue.
    One reason to chill out about the current political turmoil, it’s happened before, and it’ll happen again. We just gotta get through it.
  • Don’t think too positive
    Do you believe that positive thinking can help you achieve your goals? Many people today do. Pop psychology and the $12 billion self-help industry reinforce a widespread belief that positive thinking can improve our moods and lead to beneficial life changes.
    I’ve always been positive that thinking too much is bad for you, can’t you tell?
  • If War Is Hell, Then Coffee Has Offered U.S. Soldiers Some Salvation
    In April 1865, at the bloody, bitter end of the Civil War, Ebenezer Nelson Gilpin, a Union cavalryman, wrote in his diary, “Everything is chaos here. The suspense is almost unbearable.”
    Linked mostly because of that wonderful name (why is no-one called Ebenezer any more?) and further proof of how awesome coffee is.
  • Offices should follow the lead of the NBA and create “hustle stats”
    Have you ever heard of Rosalind Franklin? Probably not. But you certainly know of James Watson and Francis Crick. They won a Nobel Prize for describing the structure of DNA, a discovery they wouldn’t have made if they hadn’t seen Rosalind Franklin’s x-ray photograph of the DNA double helix.
    I’ve always thought the whole ‘lean in’ thinking was to mimicing the male view of business, where ego and loud voices that prevail. Telling that more women are currently in positions of global power than before?
  • The Longest Run: Olympics about more than winning for Refugee team
    For six weeks, from the Olympics opening ceremonies to the Paralympics closing, men and women represent their country with one common goal in mind: Gold.
    I know who I’ll be sporting, heartwrenching stories, and fresh hopes for those picked. Humanity CAN do good.
  • Why News Junkies Get Are So Glum About Politics, Economics, and Everything Else
    Man bites dog. It is one of the oldest cliches in journalism, an acknowledgement of the idea that ordinary events are not newsworthy, whereas oddities, like a puppy-nibbling adult, deserve disproportionate coverage. The rule is straightforward, but its implications are subtle.
    Media bias is real. The top of the news isn’t the majority of the news, it’s just all we hear.
  • Beyond anger
    There’s no emotion we ought to think harder and more clearly about than anger. Anger greets most of us every day – in our personal relationships, in the workplace, on the highway, on airline trips – and, often, in our political lives as well. Anger is both poisonous and popular.
    Interesting read in the current global situation. Love will prevail, but only if we confront our own angry reactions.
  • The Campaign to Make You Eat Kimchi
    Korean food is having a moment. Baum + Whiteman food consultancy recently chose Kimchi, Korea’s traditional fermented vegetable dish, as one of the top food trends for 2016. According to Google, Bibimbap was one of 2015’s top five ‘rising’ foods by search query volume.
    This is so ‘this year’, I wanna know what the next thing is! That said, anything that brings new deliciousness to my face is nothing but a good thing.
  • Set It and Forget It: How Default Settings Rule the World
    We’ve seen how design can keep us away from harm and save our lives. But there is a more subtle way that design influences our daily decisions and behavior – whether we know it or not. It’s not sexy or trendy or flashy in any way. I’m talking about defaults.
    As one of the people involved in such discussions, I forget how ‘moulding’ it can… but with great power, comes the chance to really really screw things up… or something…