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What to expect

Hi, I'm David. A journalist, and a curious generalist.
I'm your diligent curator.

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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Why I’ll Keep Saying ‘Pregnant Women’

A really thoughtful case for sticking with using «pregnant women» instead of the more inclusive «pregnant people» (not everyone who is pregnant identifies as a woman). It is not your usual rant against inclusive language — quite the opposite. It manages to show the complexities of inclusive language and undesired side-effects it might have, while accepting the premise that inclusive language is, of course, desirable.

From Weekly Filet #377, in January 2022.

    The Lingering of Loss

    «She’d found out she had leukemia right about when I started trying to get pregnant. Her cells divided. My cells divided. Our selves divided.» A gem from pre-pandemic times. Jill Lepore’s beautiful, slow-paced reflections on friendship, on life, and death.

    From Weekly Filet #377, in January 2022.

      The Waste Age

      An essay by the London Design Museum’s chief curator. Waste is not an unfortunate byproduct, but central to everything we design — «deliberately generated as the very metabolism behind economic growth». Recognising this, he argues, is key to transforming the future.

      From Weekly Filet #377, in January 2022.

        Does Not Compute

        «The ones who thrive long term are those who understand the real world is a neverending chain of absurdity, confusions, messy relationships, and imperfect people.» An essay on numbers and stories, and why numbers alone can’t be counted on.

        From Weekly Filet #377, in January 2022.

          Worst. Year. Ever.

          If I asked you to name the worst year in your life, you’d probably be able to come up with a shortlist fairly quickly. But what about…the worst year ever to be a human on this planet? How do you even define that? In absolute terms? Relative to what could reasonably be expected at the time? Radiolab has answers — they make 2020 and 2021 look a bit better in comparison.

          From Weekly Filet #377, in January 2022.

            Books that got me thinking the most in 2021

            I’ve managed to read (and listen to) quite a few books this year, and would recommend most of them. If you’d like to see them all, here’s my digital bookshelf, and here’s a list with a mini-review for each. But to help you pick one or two for yourself — these are the books that got me thinking the most, and keep resonating: (more…)

            From Weekly Filet #376, in January 2022.

              What we know about Omicron, pt. 2

              One thing is clear by now: The latest SARS-CoV-2 variant makes cases skyrocket across the globe. Apart from that, we’re still piecing together what Omicron means for the weeks and months ahead. As in mid-December, for a measured and concise update, I recommend a series of tweets by The Financial Times’ John Burn-Murdoch. Clear wherever possible, with caveats wherever needed. The only way to really make sense of what’s happening.

              From Weekly Filet #376, in January 2022.

                100 ways to slightly improve your life without really trying

                I’m on the fence whether I think this is worthy of a recommendation. I’ve looked at it multiple times and can’t decide whether it’s useful-and-charming or mostly cheesy. I’ll let you be the judge (but by all means, don’t accept advice #17. You either load your dishwasher properly like a decent human being, or you’ve completely lost control over your life.)

                From Weekly Filet #376, in January 2022.

                  Earning to Give

                  An interview with a guy who got rich off cryptocurrencies is just about the most boring thing imaginable. Unless it’s not about the getting rich part, but about giving it all away again. I found this conversation between Sam Harris and Sam Bankman-Fried, mostly about effective altruism, surprisingly insightful.

                  From Weekly Filet #376, in January 2022.

                    Is science fiction holding back climate action?

                    New year, same old problem: The planet is heating, and we need to fix it, fast. I found this an interesting take, from the BBC’s Climate Question podcast: How can fiction — the collective narratives we create through novels and movies — help with climate action? It explores how science fiction has often used climate catastrophe as a storyline without going into what caused it. Thus the story becomes «a battle against a foe instead of a battle against our habits».

                    From Weekly Filet #376, in January 2022.