What to expect

Hi, I'm David. A journalist, and a curious generalist.
I've been curating the best of the web for my newsletter since 2011. I'd love to be your diligent curator, too.

Recommendations in the Weekly Filet are things I want my friends to see.

Things that tickle and delight a curious mind.

Articles, books, podcasts, graphics, videos, photographs,...The form is never the limit.

I let these questions guide me:
1. Does it help understand a complex, important issue?
2. Does it foster empathy by making you see the world through others' eyes?
3. Does it inspire self-reflection?

If it's timely, that's good. If it's timeless, that's better.

If in doubt, I prefer nerdy, witty, ambiguous. Solutions-oriented and actionable. Candid.

Don't expect news. Expect new insights.
Expect to be surprised.

Surprise me now!

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Treasure trove

2062 recommended links since 2011

The Race to Produce Green Steel

Here’s an astonishing fact: For every ton of steel that gets produced, two tons of carbon dioxide is emitted. In a world made of steel this adds up to 7 to 11 percent of global greenhouse-gas emissions. Reaching climate goals means drastically reducing the carbon footprint of how we make steel. This article gives a good overview of the key challenges of «green» steelmaking, and where we currently stand.

From Weekly Filet #399, in June 2022.

    Where does the wealth go when asset prices go down?

    Over the past couple of months, stock markets crashed, crypto assets crashed even harder, trillions of dollars gone. But what does «gone» actually mean here? Where did the money go? And if it just vanished, does that mean is was never there in the first place? It’s one of these things you might intuitively understand, but have a hard time explaining to someone else. Not Noah Smith. He makes it easy to understand (and even fun to read).

    From Weekly Filet #399, in June 2022.

      In hottest city on Earth, mothers bear brunt of climate change

      Powerful images and reporting from Jacobabad in Pakistan, where temperatures exceed 50° Celsius (122° Fahrenheit). And another illustration of the fact that the effects of climate change aren’t the same for everyone, not between countries, not within communities. (The photographs are also a good reminder that «people having fun swimming and splashing» is not how you should illustrate extreme heatwaves)

      From Weekly Filet #399, in June 2022.

        How we classify countries and people—and why it matters

        The dichotomies are everywhere. Countries are developed or developing, in the West or the Rest of the World, in the Global North or the Global South, they are high-income or low and middle-income, the list goes on. The terms all have their origins, some more problematic than others, and none of them are perfect. This paper prompts us to reflect on how language shapes our perception of reality. If you don’t have time for the entire paper, have a look at the table on pages 2 and 3.

        From Weekly Filet #399, in June 2022.

          How to Future

          A great short essay on what it means to predict the future. I particularly like the idea that it really is about understanding the present — because «most of what will happen tomorrow is already happening today». (If you’re interested in the future and how technology will continue to shape it, I highly recommend Kelly’s book «The Inevitable»).

          From Weekly Filet #399, in June 2022.

            Optimism

            There’s a tendency to frame pessimism as realism, and optimism as wishful thinking. What I like about this article is how it builds a rational case for being optimistic by taking a close look at what optimism actually is. Key quote: «It’s the very optimistic belief that things will inevitably go wrong, but that each new challenge is an opportunity for further progress.»

            From Weekly Filet #398, in June 2022.

              Ibram X. Kendi’s 5 Rules for Challenging Conversations With Kids

              Our daughter has reached an age where the questions she asks are no longer just cute and confusing. She now asks questions that are profound, that do not have one answer, that are difficult and sometimes scary to answer. The advice Ibram X. Kendi (author of How to Be an Antiracist) offers is for talking to kids about racism. However, all of it can be applied to other topics and older human beings, too (Wait for them to initiate; Redirect your fear; Don’t overdo it).

              From Weekly Filet #398, in June 2022.

                Digital News Report 2022

                In journalism and the media industry, this report by the Reuters Institute in Oxford is an annual must-read. However, you don’t need to be a journalist to get interesting insights from it. After all, how people use and think of news (and increasingly: why they avoid it) is relevant to everyone. This thread gives you a good summary of the key findings.

                From Weekly Filet #398, in June 2022.

                  How Animals Perceive The World

                  «Every animal is enclosed within its own sensory bubble, perceiving but a tiny sliver of an immense world.» — What a beautiful way to put it. And we humans, as the only species able to appreciate other species’ experiences, have a special responsibility. «We too quickly forget that we don’t perceive the world in the same way as other species, and consequently, we ignore impacts that we shouldn’t.» I can’t wait to read the book.

                  From Weekly Filet #398, in June 2022.

                    What If Ukraine Wins?

                    Can Ukraine win this war? What does winning against Russia even mean? And what would happen next? Sober analysis and sobering outlook.

                    From Weekly Filet #398, in June 2022.