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). Brought to you by journalist David Bauer. Trawling the web for hidden gems since 2011.
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Explainer: Nine tipping points that could be triggered by climate change

One aspect than makes following climate coverage so exhausting: We get inundated by the sheer number of new records and bad news that it becomes hard to see the big picture (then again, all those records and bad news are the big ugly picture). Here’s an insightful big picture, though: a detailed explanation of nine tipping points, where a changing climate could push parts of the Earth system into abrupt or irreversible change. It’s a looooooong piece, took me about an hour to read. But it’s worth it. You can also just save it and use it to read up on a specific tipping point when you encounter it in the news.

Published in Weekly Filet #289

Is Patriarchy Too Big to Fail?

Laurie Penny’s pencil is as sharp as it can be, as she connects the trials against Donald Trump and Harvey Weinstein. Bonus aha moment: «The root of the word privilege is private law—you get to rewrite the rules to suit yourself, or flagrantly ignore them.»

Published in Weekly Filet #289

    Why poor people make poor decisions

    A very interesting piece on the cognitive effects of living in poverty, and what that means for efforts to reduce poverty. Research has shown that poverty impairs mental capacity, comparable to losing a night’s sleep. The conclusion: «Poverty and poor decisions aren’t a lack of anything except money.»

    Published in Weekly Filet #289

      How about approval voting?

      If you have followed the beginning of the US primaries – and hell, it’s been hard to avoid – you probably couldn’t help thinking whether this is really the best way to select a candidate. With so many candidates still in the race, votes quickly become tactical rather than reflecting people’s true affinities. People start reasoning, say, «I prefer Warren, but her chances are slim, so I go with Buttigieg to make sure Bloomberg doesn’t win.» And so, the results don’t necessarily reflect how much support each candidate has. Approval voting would fix this: You don’t pick one candidate, but as many as you like. Someone might not be most people’s top choice, but have the broadest support and thus be the ideal consensus candidate.

      Published in Weekly Filet #289

      If You Can Say It, You Can Feel It

      For a long time, philosophers and scientists assumed that we humans have a limited set of basic emotions – such as fear, joy, anger – that can explain the range of feelings we experience. A more recent theory takes a different approach: We have infinite emotions, so long as we can name them. This makes for interesting neologisms and is at the heart of the internet trope «tfw», with people describing in specific terms «that feeling when…». It has more serious implications, too: New ways of defining emotions «shift the way neuroscientists search for treatments for emotional problems», like depression or anxiety. An eye-opening read.

      Published in Weekly Filet #288

      One Ordinary Day in Global Trade

      Global Trade – what does that look like? Bloomberg deployed reporters around the world to capture «routine but revealing moments in these unsettled economic times». The taste of French wine, challenged by tariffs. Nigerian kids who can no longer go to school. A Chinese wedding in Sydney.

      Published in Weekly Filet #288

      How Will You Measure Your Life?

      Clayton Christensen, who recently passed away, was one of the most influential thinkers in innovation management, known for his theory of «disruptive innovation». In a speech to graduates of the Harvard Business School, transcribed here, he applies his priciples not to businesses, not to individual careers, but personal lives. Very insightful. A key quote: «If you study the root causes of business disasters, over and over you’ll find this predisposition toward endeavors that offer immediate gratification. If you look at personal lives through that lens, you’ll see the same stunning and sobering pattern: people allocating fewer and fewer resources to the things they would have once said mattered most.»

      Published in Weekly Filet #288

        The Mad Men of Climate Denial

        Drilled

        Drilled calls itself a «true-crime podcast about climate change». Season 3 has just started, it digs deep into the history of fossil fuel propaganda and introduces the people who shaped it.

        Published in Weekly Filet #288