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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Immerse yourself in a particular topic, with some of the best links from around the web, handpicked.

Treasure trove

2037 recommended links since 2011

The Last Time Always Happens Now

«You always know when you’re doing something for the first time, and you almost never know when you’re doing something for the last time.» This question really does something to you: What could be something you recently did for the last time?

From Weekly Filet #394, in May 2022.

    Revealed: the ‘carbon bombs’ set to trigger catastrophic climate breakdown

    Just this week, we learned that the world might reach 1.5 degrees of warming as early as 2026. But at least we’re doing everything to reduce emissions as quickly as possible, right? RIGHT? Well, this new Guardian investigation reveals the ridiculous amounts of money the large fossil fues companies are spending to keep polluting the planet.

    From Weekly Filet #394, in May 2022.

      The ripple effects of Russia’s war in Ukraine are changing the world

      We’ve been hearing a lot about ripple effects of Russia’s war in Ukraine. This piece does a good job of giving an overview of how and where effects are felt. I hope they’ll keep updating. A few examples:

      • One of Europe’s poorest countries has received the most Ukrainian refugees per capita, nearing 460,000, or almost one-sixth of Moldova’s population.
      • The war’s impact on food, fertilizer and fuel costs has exacerbated the political crisis in Peru.
      • In Lebanon, the cost of a basic food basket more than tripled compared to a year earlier.
      From Weekly Filet #394, in May 2022.

        Who made these circles in the Sahara?

        An investigation that starts with a curious discovery on Google Earth and ends with a surprise in the middle of in the Sahara desert. This 30-minute video (it feels much shorter, trust me) is great on two levels: 1. The story it tells is fascinating. 2. It takes you behind the scenes of the investigation, showing you exactly how something like this is done. Feels like you’re right there, solving the riddle with them.

        From Weekly Filet #394, in May 2022.

          The Forgotten Stage of Human Progress

          To make progress, we need science and technology. But we also need the culture and the right politics to make the best use of what humans come up with. «Invention is easily overrated, and implementation is often underrated», as Derek Thompson puts it. His essay kicks off a special series focused on two big questions: «How do you solve the world’s most important problems? And how do you inspire more people to believe that the most important problems can actually be solved?» Will surely be worth following along.

          From Weekly Filet #394, in May 2022.

            ‘We Can Only Be Enemies’

            What a story. After Russian forces had occupied their village, this Ukrainian family discovered that five Russian soldiers had made their basement their new home. For several weeks, they lived together, got to know each other, in what became a microcosm of the war’s propaganda front. It’s the story of one family looking for an answer that an entire country, the entire world is looking for: How do you persuade Russians who have been fed an unending series of lies to drop their support for Putin’s invasion?

            From Weekly Filet #393, in May 2022.

              Undue Burden

              This impressive piece, published in March, has become highly relevant again this week. It illustrates current restrictions on abortions in the US and what would change if the Supreme Court follows through with overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that protects women’s right to choose. It does a great job of examining the different aspects of the topic, making it a worthwhile read even if you’re not particularly interested in the situation in the US.

              From Weekly Filet #393, in May 2022.

                103 Bits of Advice I Wish I Had Known

                A great list to come back to every now and then. Some favourites:

                • Don’t keep making the same mistakes; try to make new mistakes.
                • When you forgive others, they may not notice, but you will heal. Forgiveness is not something we do for others; it is a gift to ourselves.
                • Three things you need: The ability to not give up something till it works, the ability to give up something that does not work, and the trust in other people to help you distinguish between the two.
                • The optimal balance for exploring new things vs exploiting them once found is: 1/3. Spend 1/3 of your time on exploring and 2/3 time on deepening.
                • When you don’t know how much to pay someone for a particular task, ask them “what would be fair” and their answer usually is.
                From Weekly Filet #393, in May 2022.

                  The Man Who Accidentally Killed The Most People In History

                  This part of history should be more widely known. The story of one scientist who caused two environmental disasters and the deaths of millions (to call it «accidentally» is a bit of a misnomer; once you learn that your invention is harmful, but keep promoting it, what follows isn’t accidental).

                  From Weekly Filet #393, in May 2022.

                    Beyond Doomscrolling and into Action

                    On the surface, this is about the attack on women’s rights. However, to quote from the essay: «It’s all connected. We need to build a whole ecosystem of change-making.» The author shows ways to translate anger, fear and powerlessness into action. I particularly liked one idea that addresses the obstacle that each individual feels overwhelmed by the challenges ahead: It’s thinking of change as fractals — big change is made up of smaller versions of the same change.

                    From Weekly Filet #393, in May 2022.