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.
Subscribe now | Learn more

Fifty – photo collections from every state in the USA

No T-word, no C-word, just calm, stunning landscapes and everyday life scenes. Each week through 2020, Alan Taylor puts together a photographic portrait of a state in the US. To date, 18 are published – a reminder of the vast, beautiful, diverse country that is the US of A.

Published in Weekly Filet #302

    The real Lord of the Flies: what happened when six boys were shipwrecked for 15 months

    Ever since it was published, «Lord of the Flies», albeit fictional, served as a cautionary tale of what humans will do to each other once the guardrails of civilization are gone. In his new book «Humankind», Dutch historian Rutger Bregman tells the real story of six boys who stranded on a small Pacific island – and behaved very differently from their fictional counterparts. It is one of several examples in the book in which Bregman clinically picks apart common assumptions about human behaviour, from history books to social experiments, to reveal that humans are often kinder than we assume. It’s a great book, at that excerpt in The Guardian is a good gateway into it.

    Published in Weekly Filet #302

      Anatomy of an internet shutdown

      A new publication worth watching: «Rest of World» – go to their website if only to marvel at their logo – is committed to covering (tech) stories from those regions in the world that earnings reports often throw together as, well, «rest of world». One of their first big stories: a closer look at the intricacies of an internet shutdown, as seen in the Sudanese revolution of 2019.

      Published in Weekly Filet #302

        How to Overcome the 3 Fears Every Creative Faces

        A gem from 2015: Christoph Niemann, whose work you probably know from either Instagram or the cover of The New Yorker, on creativity and dealing with fear. Love the concept of the «creative life insurance».

        Published in Weekly Filet #302

          Common Sense Comes Closer to Computers

          «A man went to a restaurant. He ordered a steak. He left a big tip.» – For humans, it’s fairly easy to figure out what that man ate. For computers, this sort of common-sense reasoning is surprisingly difficult. In fact, it has plagued the field of artificial intelligence for over 50 years. A very interesting read on how computer scientists are now edging closer to solving it.

          Published in Weekly Filet #302

            Inside Alphabet’s X: Nurturing Radical Creativity

            A very insightful half-hour podcast episode on how to create and sustain a culture of creativity within organisations – and why a lot of managers like the idea of disruptive innovation, but not the implications it has.

            Published in Weekly Filet #301

              «How Reddit’s ‹Am I the Asshole?› became the definitive document of the Trump era

              «The most philosophical place on the internet» is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when I think about the wildly popular discussion forum on Reddit where people describe situations from their lives, asking the community for a judgement: ‹Am I the Asshole?›. It is, though, a fascinating phenomenon and this article does a good job at capturing it. Why is AITH so popular? «It offers some semblance of accountability in a time in which it seems like assholes are running wild…successfully shutting other people down who are trying to hold them accountable.»

              Published in Weekly Filet #301

                Bad Arguments and How to Avoid Them

                Of straw men, hollow men, iron men (why are these all men?) and how they make for bad arguments (ah, that’s why). A good summary of common strategies emoployed in bad arguments – and some good advice for avoiding them, yourself and when confronted with them.

                Published in Weekly Filet #301