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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The Search for One Vaccine to Rule Them All

For years, experts had warned of a pandemic. And, although this current one doesn’t exactly feel small, it might not be «the big one». In slightly better news: Scientists are working on a universal coronavirus vaccine.

Published in Weekly Filet #338

    How to Put Out Democracy’s Dumpster Fire

    Our democratic habits have been killed off by an internet kleptocracy that profits from disinformation, polarization, and rage. Here’s how to fix that.» — That’s quite the teaser. But Anne Applebaum and Peter Pomerantsev deliver in their rich, nuanced essay. One of the most interesting thoughts in it: We shouldn’t think about tech regulation in terms of antitrust, but environmental protection

    Published in Weekly Filet #338

      Demography 101: What Is Life Expectancy?

      Life expectancy is one of these concepts that we use without giving it much thought. However, it gets complicated as soon as you really start thinking about it. Super interesting thread by Israeli demographer Ilya Kashnitsky on what life expectancy actually is — and what it isn’t.

      Published in Weekly Filet #338

        All the satellites, visualised 🛰

        Quick, without thinking too much: How many satellites are orbiting the earth? Ok, now have a look at this jaw-dropping (almost) real-time visualisation. Not sufficiently impressed yet? Activate the debris filter.

        Published in Weekly Filet #337

          What Every Heart Emoji Really Means

          A detailed analysis of meanings and usage patterns of all the various heart emojis, from ❤️♥️ and 💙💚💜❤️🧡, to 💖💕 and 💔. Warning: You’ll learn a lot, but using heart emojis will become more complex with all this knowledge at the back of your mind.

          Published in Weekly Filet #337

            The Multidisciplinary Approach to Thinking

            It’s usually a good idea to start running when someone wants to tell you about a formula for living the best life you could possibly live. It’s worth making an exception for this one, though. 1. Because it’s well argued. 2. Because combining mirrored reciprocation with compound interest is not your usual carpe diem type of bullshittery. 3. Because what’s not to love about an ode to generalism and multidisciplinary thinking.

            Published in Weekly Filet #337

              5 Pandemic Mistakes We Keep Repeating

              Unless you are lucky enough to live in one of those few places that managed the pandemic well (hi, dear readers in Vietnam and New Zealand!), much of this excellent analysis will feel all too familiar. I love, though, how Zeynep Tufekci puts the finger on all those infuriating failures of the past 15 months, while at the same time reminding us to be hopeful

              Published in Weekly Filet #337

                NFTs, explained

                I started this week with a mission: I wanted an answer to WTF it is with NFT that are suddenly everywhere? For when a cat gif sells for $580000, something interesting and/or crazy is happening. A cat gif, notably, that anyone can copy and own for free, just not that exact one. I still haven’t quite wrapped my head around all of it, but this piece from The Verge serves as a good (and entertaining) primer.

                Published in Weekly Filet #337