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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!

Treasure trove

2417 recommended links since 2011

The state of the planet in 10 numbers

Degrees, millimeters, gigawatts, megatons — telling the story of climate change, and the state of the planet, with numbers is a tough challenge. Most of these numbers are too abstract, or simply too big to relate to. I still recommend reading this. If you put in the effort to process the numbers, it gives a good overview of where we stand towards the end of what will be the warmest year ever recorded. Also, one number is easy to understand, precisely because it is so staggeringly big: 7 trillion dollars. That’s by how much the world subsidises fossil fuels — per year.

From Weekly Filet #466, in November 2023.

    Waking up science’s sleeping beauties

    A very interesting piece on «sleeping beauties», scientific papers hardly anyone took notice after publication, sometimes for decades, until suddenly they enter the spotlight. The article also addresses the obvious question: What groundbreaking discoveries might have already been made, and how can we uncover them faster?

    From Weekly Filet #466, in November 2023.

      Same as Ever

      I had pre-ordered this book months ago — it didn’t disappoint. Morgan Housel invites us to look at the world (and what lies ahead) through the lens of what never changes. We’re so attracted to what’s new and changing (and yes, the way most journalism works isn’t helping here), that we miss the forces that have been there, and probably will be, for centuries.

      From Weekly Filet #466, in November 2023.

        The Truth is Always Made of Details

        «The world exists in infinite resolution, and that’s what we’re built for. The truth is made of details, and they go all the way down.» An ode to details, and an invitation to always look closer, not just at objects and people, but ideas. «The higher the resolution at which you explore a topic, the more surprising it becomes […] Your original question keeps splitting into more questions.»

        From Weekly Filet #466, in November 2023.

          Why transformative artificial intelligence is really, really hard to achieve

          On the surface, it’s hard not to be impressed by recent advances in artificial intelligence. One of the key questions is whether progress will only ever accelerate, of if we’ll soon see AI’s capabilities plateau. This is an excellent summary article of the best arguments why truly transformative AI will be harder to achieve than many enthusiasts think. Comes with this wonderful quote: «It was like claiming that the first monkey that climbed a tree was making progress towards landing on the moon.»

          From Weekly Filet #465, in November 2023.

            The West Must Defeat Russia

            It’s striking how the war in Ukraine has gradually, then suddenly disappeared from headlines and public awareness. And it’s not just the headlines, as Anne Applebaum writes. Putin is only waiting for Ukraine’s allies to lose interest. «He will wait for the democratic world to splinter, and he will encourage that splintering.» (Gift link so you can read it without a subscription)

            From Weekly Filet #465, in November 2023.

              This Photograph Demands an Answer

              Take a deep breath before reading this. It’s a reflection on an image of six dead children from Gaza, and why we rarely get to see such images. Don’t be afraid to click the link, the article is crafted in a way that lets you make up your mind if and when you’re ready to see the image.

              From Weekly Filet #465, in November 2023.