Digest, 8/13/2022: It's You
the sixtieth digest post
If you haven’t already, please check out my piece about Las Vegas for Compact and my piece on abortion and the Civil War for Sublation.
This Week’s Posts
Monday, August 8th - You Don't Have ADHD Feelings. You Just Have Feelings.
And regular, normal, boring human emotions are enough, they’re all you need.
Tuesday, August 9th - I Finished Serializing My First Novel
Just letting everybody know I finished putting out my novel on here. I hope more people will check it out.'
Wednesday, August 10th - Effective Altruism Has a Novelty Problem
“Do good better” and being the most clever are different, maybe conflicting goals.
Friday, August 12th - You Have to Put Your Hand on the Dirt, You Have to Feel It, Cold and Damp (subscriber only)
How I came to learn about American atrocities, by an Indonesian roadside.
Plus our Book Club for The Giver continued.
From the Archives
Song of the Week
Non-Garbage Online Reading
Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie, 1981
Yes, I am highlighting this book in part to honor Rushdie immediately after his stabbing. But this book has been on my list to recommend regardless. It’s a vast, teeming, endlessly surprising, deeply ruminative and quite sad story, the story of modern India. Saleem Sinai is born at the exact moment of independence, and this grants him a connection with thousands of other “midnight’s children,” all of whom also enjoy some sort of preternatural gift. The story is, in part, about the horrors of the Raj, but it’s reductive to suggest that this book is only about a generational trauma or whatever. It’s a frequently funny and always inventive examination of what it means to be a person born into a particular cultural context, and the baggage that comes with it. It’s well worth your time.
Comment of the Week
--EA: Does 99 boring things and 1 crazy thing
--FDB: Ignores all the boring things because they're boring (totally fair! we all do this!), then asks "Why is EA only doing crazy things and never the boring things?"
Quick example: GiveWell continues to direct ~$500 million/year, mostly to deworming, malaria nets, and cash grants to poor Africans. My guess is the total amount of money ever spent on researching/discussing carnivore eradication is <$500,000 (though I could be wrong), AFAIK no money has ever been spent implementing it.
The boring things are literally a thousand times more prominent and important, people just never talk about them because they're boring. -Scott Alexander
That’s it. I’m off to draft this year’s fantasy football squad. My league’s been going strong for 30 years, since I was 10 years old. (We used to hand score games out of the paper.) I’ve got Josh Allen, Austin Ekeler, and Cooper Kupp for my three keepers; we’ll see how I screw it up.