The Weekly Filet brings you the five best links of the week, every Friday. Making sense of the big issues of our time (with a healthy dose of serendipity and nerdiness). Curated by journalist David Bauer.

Since When Have Trees Existed Only for Rich Americans?

A striking investigation based on satellite images: the wealthier and whiter a neighbourhood, the more trees there are. Notably, this isn’t about a nicer view from your window, but about living conditions in a climate that is getting hotter: Poorer neighbourhoods with fewer trees have average temperatures up to 5° Celsius warmer. Check it out.

Published in Weekly Filet #354

    What The ‘Return To The Office’ Fight Is Really About

    To the point: The debate on how to balance remote work and work in offices «is ultimately less about where we work and more about how we work.» Different people have different optimal modes of working — which is stating the obvious, but it’s also something that has been largely ignored in a lot of companies. Why? «Many of the norms of the working world were designed by and still benefit a specific worker profile: white, male, educated, middle-class, congenial, sociable, and able to delegate obligations outside of the office to others.» Read it now

    Published in Weekly Filet #354

      Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning

      I don’t usually recommend things twice in this newsletter. I’m making an exception here, as knowing this might literally save lives, and only few of you have been reading the Weekly Filet back in 2014 when I first shared it. Movies and…um…Baywatch have given us a misleading impression of what drowning looks like — so we might not see it if somebody was drowning right in front of us. Read it now

      Published in Weekly Filet #354

        We’re not yet ready for what’s already happened

        Two weeks ago, people in Switzerland voted against a modest piece of climate legislation — as if we can just wait and see. This week, as a scorching heat wave hit Canada with temperatures of up to 49.7 degrees, I came across a comment: «This moment will be talked about for centuries.» My immediate reaction was: Well, that’s the best case scenario. As I’m trying to understand what is happening here, I discovered this helpful essay. At its core: our inability to grasp discontinuity — the «moment where past experience loses its value as a guide to decision-making about the future.» And it lays out a simple choice: «Disruption now, or even more discontinuity (and then more disruption).» So far, we pretend there’s a third option: to just wait and see. Read it now

        Published in Weekly Filet #354

          How to Live

          One of my favourite books this year. 27 chapters, 27 answers to what’s the best way to live (Make memories, Do whatever you want now, Don’t Die,…). Each one on its own too radical or too simplistic. In sum, a treasure trove of inspiration. Check it out. (I got an advance copy because I bought one of the author’s previous books. I think when you subscribe to his mailing list, you get access, too. Otherwise, let me know.)

          Published in Weekly Filet #353

            What Makes a Good Listener?

            I like this way of putting it: A good listener is like an editor. One that — «in the kindest way possible» — helps the other person express what they really intend to say. Read more

            Published in Weekly Filet #353

              Kill the 5-Day Workweek

              It took a crisis to make the 5-day workweek a reality (back in the 1920s). Will this crisis spark the adoption of a 4-day workweek? Time will tell, but there’s definitely a good case to be made that we should. Read it now

              Published in Weekly Filet #353

                A beautiful idea: how COVAX has fallen short

                It was a beautiful idea, born out of solidarity. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen…Rich countries behaved worse than anyone’s worst nightmares.» A postmortem of the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access initiative — the largely failed effort to coordinate vaccine supply worldwide and ensure some sort of vaccine equity. Read it now

                Published in Weekly Filet #353