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

What Is the Geometry of the Universe?

Some of my favourite stories are those that answer questions I didn’t even know one could ask. Fairly heavy stuff here, but with nice, very helpful illustrations. So next time you need a conversation starter that has nothing to do with coronavirus whatsoever, try this: «Just as life in the two-dimensional torus was like living in an infinite two-dimensional array of identical rectangular rooms, life in the three-dimensional torus is like living in an infinite three-dimensional array of identical cubic rooms. You’ll see infinitely many copies of yourself.»

Published in Weekly Filet #297

    The Worst Days of the Coronavirus Pandemic So Far

    This is an interesting way to present and frame Covid-19 data: When did countries have their worst day, in terms of Covid-19 deaths? It does two things: It humanizes the data, by focusing on the effect (worst day) rather than the cause (highest numbers). And it provides clues to the question everyone has: Is the worst over yet?

    Published in Weekly Filet #297

      Keep the Parks Open

      Even as we need to practice physical distancing – in fact, because we need to practice physical distancing – public parks should be kept open, Zeynep Tufekci argues in The Atlantic.

      Published in Weekly Filet #297

        How Falling Behind Can Get You Ahead

        David Epstein’s «Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World» was one of the books that inspired me last year. Since then, there has hardly been a week that I haven’t been reminded of it. If you don’t want to read the entire book, there’s now a TEDx talk in which Epstein walks you through one of his key arguments.

        Published in Weekly Filet #297

          Seven leadership lessons men can learn from women

          In an ideal world, getting into a leadership position would require the same qualities as actually being a good leader. We all know this isn’t the case, otherwise we wouldn’t have that many male leaders. Large quantitative studies, including meta-analyses, indicate that gender differences in leadership talent are either nonexistent, or they actually favor women. So how about some lessons in effective leadership behaviors more commonly found in women? For starters: Stop leaning in.

          Published in Weekly Filet #297

            That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief

            «We feel the world has changed, and it has. We know this is temporary, but it doesn’t feel that way…». A guide to understanding the complex feelings we all experience these days, with David Kessler, co-author of Kübler-Ross’ classic book on the «five stages of loss». His advice: «Stock up on compassion.»

            Published in Weekly Filet #296

              Stephen Curry, the point guard we need to help fight this pandemic

              Stephen Curry, NBA basketball player, is known for his unique ability to create opportunities for others. With the NBA on lockdown, he threw a different kind of assist. The Athletic on how Curry used his social media reach of 44 million to give immunologist Anthony Fauci an audience that is usually hard to reach (and even harder to convince to take Covid-19 seriously).

              Published in Weekly Filet #296

                The Utter Weirdness of Small Talk in a Pandemic

                Here’s a simple rule I believe to be true: To almost every issue, there’s a linguistic angle, and it usually is an interesting one. So here’s a linguistic angle to the coronavirus crisis: «One very small consequence of COVID-19 is that it is turning ‹How are you?› into a question again.»

                Published in Weekly Filet #296

                  Why It’s So Freaking Hard To Make A Good COVID-19 Model

                  Humans like predictions. Weather forecasts, election polls, they are never perfect, but they give you something to hold onto. They give us a sense of control, a reassurance that we are not flying blind. So with Covid-19, understandably, the question is on everyone’s mind: How is this going to play out? FiveThirtyEight, who essentially built its brand around making predictions, from US elections to soccer games to the Oscars, have an excellent explainer on why it’s so difficult to make predictions about Covid-19. In short: It’s all about compounding effects of uncertainty.

                  Published in Weekly Filet #296