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Weekly Roundup: January 14th, 2022

3 min

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This Week on Better Questions


Build Your Team.

A meditation on my biggest goal for the year: putting energy into helping other people get to  where they want to be.

Something On My Radar:

The Matrix Resurrections.

Watched this over the weekend.

I went in with extremely low expectations, and I had a lot of fun. If I had expected "another Matrix move", I'd have probably ended up disappointed.

Because this isn't "another Matrix" - it's "another MATRIX! movie", with THE MATRIX! being our cultural memory of The Matrix movies. Or, rather: the movie is itself a commentary on the original movies and on the practice of rebooting. This whole thing could have been absolutely terrible - and kind of still is, in parts? - but it knows that, and consciously points it out, in a way that's pretty surprising.

Overall I had fun with it.

In Praise of Ponzis.

LOTS of people call cryptocurrency a "ponzi scheme," and maybe they're right. This is the first article I've read that actually leans into that fact and wonders if ponzi schemes might just get a bad rap.

"At the end of the day, you need to sell something; narratives are not enough." But aren't they? Another difference between the old world and ours is that we no longer sell things. In the past, the content was used to sell stuff: Executives from manufacturing companies got their TV channel buddies to produce Soap Operas in order to sell more soap. But today, content is not used to sell anything beyond itself. Everything is content, including your actions and behaviors. Why give them away for free?

Movie Review: Don't Look Up

Not really a movie review, but an excuse to dig into the "progressive paradox of belief in science."

Put things in a light I hadn't considered before; strong recommend.

What the Lion Knows

"Comparatively little advances with criticism or theory, instead those who become experts are the ones who took action when they knew nothing."

A reminder to stop waiting until you have "all the information," because you never will.

Want To Be Free From French Fries? Or, Why Abstaining May Be Easier Than You Think.

A simple idea: instead of saying you're going "stop doing" something or "avoid" something, tell yourself you are now "free from" that thing.  It really does feel different to think about it this way.

How the Bobos Broke America

If you have ever drank cold brew from a mason jar, you're destroying the country, apparently.

I have no idea what I think about this argument, but I rarely think about "class" in America this way, and it's a fascinating mental model.

In June of last year, a Trump regatta was held in Ferrysburg, Michigan. A reporter from WOOD spoke with one of the boaters, a guy in a white T-shirt, a MAGA hat, and a modest fishing boat. “We are always labeled as racists and bigots,” he said. “There’s a lot of Americans that love Donald Trump, but we don’t have the platforms that the Democrats do, including Big Tech. So we have to do this.”
On a bridge overlooking the parade stood an anti-Trump protester, a young man in a black T-shirt carrying an abolish ice sign. “They use inductive reasoning rather than deduction,” he told the reporter, looking out at the pro-Trump boaters. “They only seek information that gives evidence to their presuppositions.” So who’s of a higher social class? The guy in the boat, or the kid with the fancy words?

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