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Josh Brown | Reformed Broker | 5th October 2021
A way to explain the stock market to crypto and meme investors. "I collect shares of businesses. I use a certain type of non-fungible token called a stock certificate for this. It’s in digital form, living somewhere in the multiverse. People say: You’re crazy, why would you want to buy a fraction of a company you will never touch and hold in your hands? And I’m like: You just don’t understand” (1,050 words)
Katherine LaGrave | Afar | 13th October 2021
The micronation of Westarctica has an aristocracy, a currency (ice marks) and 2,300 citizens, none of whom are based in western Antarctica. Its ruler, His Royal Highness Travis I, Grand Duke, has worked as both a US Navy antiterrorism intelligence specialist and a recruiter for psychics. In 2015, he pivoted Westarctica from a wacky internet joke into a serious climate change non-profit (3,827 words)
Erik Hoel | Substack | 25th August 2021
Futurists "trend toward being sci-fi writers without the plot" and as a result tend to make bad predictions, this writer argues. "If you want to predict the future accurately, you should be an incrementalist and accept that human nature doesn’t change along most axes. Meaning that the future will look a lot like the past." There will, however, be a Martian colony by 2050, he says (4,238 words)
The Browser Classifieds
An entertaining new podcast for critical conversations about comedy: But Is It Funny?. Featuring Guardian critic Brian Logan, Suchandrika Chakrabarti, Jamal Khadar. Plus special guest comedians, academics and more.
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Podcast: Get Some Houseplants | Just One Thing. Efficient overview of the research on whether being surrounded by indoor foliage can have health benefits, especially in relation to air quality (13m 58s)
Browser Interview: A Literal Banana on the problems with social science. Even beyond fraud and the replication crisis, the problem in social science is "using abstractions poorly." Neither surveys nor "reductive laboratory protocols" are actually capable of meaningfully measuring abstractions like trust or happiness. Study results are often seen as high status, when in fact "stories from yourself and trusted people are almost the only kind of evidence that’s real" (2,218 words)
So meta that it almost disappears up its own Bruce Hornsby. But if you love L.L. Bean, plaid shirts, James Taylor, New England, and men named Dad ... proceed.
"Believe nothing until it has been officially denied"
— Claud Cockburn