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 Feedback Fallacy

Harvard Business Review

«The first problem with feedback is that humans are unreliable raters of other humans.» In this excellent piece in Harvard Business Review, the authors explain why feedback as it is commonly understood doesn’t work. And they offer a new way to think of it. Not as an evaluation of sorts, which – as research shows – often reveals more about the feedback giver than the receiver. Instead, we should think of feedback as an intervention («That! Yes, that!») that prompts a reflection on why something went well.

Published in Weekly Filet #285 In collection: Think Different

Why Is Putin’s Latest Power Grab So Surprising?


Vladimir Putin is reshuffling the political system (once again) to secure his power beyond 2024, when term limits force him to step down as president. Julia Ioffe with a good short explanation of what exactly is happening here with Putins latest unsurprisingly surprising move.

Published in Weekly Filet #285

Global Risks Report 2020

World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum has released its latest report on global risks. For the first time in 15 years, one risk category occupies all five of the top spots in terms of likelihood: climate change. I’m linking to the preface which gives a nice overview, but the report is worth digging deeper, into specific topics and visualisations.

Published in Weekly Filet #285

The trial against Donald Trump is officially underway. The judge and the jury (all senators) have been sworn in, the actual trial will begin next week. Which makes today the perfect day for subscribing to, the best way to follow the proceedings without getting overwhelmed. For months now, Dan Sinker, journalist and maker of all kinds of great things, has produced a concise daily summary of what one needs to know about the impeachment.

Published in Weekly Filet #285

Unnecessarily gendered products

We’ve all seen stupidly gendered toys and clothes. Buy why stop there when you can apply stereotypes to every product imaginable? Bread. Eggs. Glue. Of course we need separate versions of them for men and women. My «favourite» is the bible for boys, advertised with the promise: «Discover gross and gory bible stuff». A Twitter thread full of examples – find your own favourite.

Published in Weekly Filet #285

History’s Largest Mining Operation Is About to Begin

The Atlantic

Here are two interesting facts: 1. More people have walked on the moon than have reached the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the deepest place on Earth. 2. The ocean floors contain more valuable minerals than all the continents combined. So it’s no surprise that the depths of the oceans are set to become the next battleground for human exploration and exploitation – this piece from The Atlantic is an excellent primer on a highly fascinating (and consequential) topic.

Published in Weekly Filet #284

    Oslo closing in on Vision Zero

    Smart Cities Dive

    A remarkable feat: Oslo, a city of one million inhabitants, has recorded zero pedestrian or cyclist deaths in 2019. It is a major milestone in achieving their proclaimed goal of having zero deaths and serious injuries on their roads. How are they doing it?

    Published in Weekly Filet #284

    The Basecamp Guide to Internal Communication


    Sure, every company works a little differently. I still feel these 30 rules of thumb for «how, where, why, and when we communicate» are valuable for everyone. In most jobs, communication is a key factor to how effective you can be and how you feel – and from my own experience and what I hear from others, almost every company would benefit from being more mindful about it.

    Published in Weekly Filet #284

    The climate cost of war


    The new year started with two major escalations. Raging, ever worsening wildfires in Australia that are the most recent reminder of the climate crisis we’re in. The killing of Qasem Soleimani that brought US and Iran to the brink of war. In her newsletter Heated, Emily Atkin makes the connection: How a war between the US and Iran could doom efforts to fight climate change. Not just because it would draw away attention and resources from climate action, but also because wars cause enormous amounts of CO2 emissions (in fact, and this was news to me, the U.S. military is the single biggest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world).

    Published in Weekly Filet #284