Metropolitan Life by Fran Lebowitz

A collection of smart and witty essays about life in the Big Apple as a young writer. Part Patti Smith. Part Sex and the City.  She has this thing she does with lists…

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The February issue of Independent Healing LINK

In this issue, you’ll discover the real reason more of us than ever are suffering from chronic stomach troubles. You’ll learn:

* Why foods that are bright white in color wreck your digestion

* The real cause of the celiac epidemic (No, it’s not gluten.)

* The common food additive that’s a hidden trigger for stomach pain (Chances are, you eat it every day.)

* And much more…

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The thing about war… even when it is justified, it is grievously destructive – and not only in terms of loss of life. Here, for example, from History.com, are 7 important cultural sites that have been damaged or destroyed. LINK

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If you’re looking for something good to read, you might like one of these books from my January reading journal:

MoonshotsCreating a World of Abundance by Naveen Jain– Ignore the first three chapters, which read like a mundane treatment of the philosophy of abundance. After that, it gets much better, with lots of examples of how technological progress is accelerating even faster than Moore’s Law predicted. Jain gives you good reason to believe that many if not all of our biggest problems, including war, poverty, and global warming, could be largely solved in the relatively short term.

Ansel Adams400 Photographs– Sometimes it’s hard to understand why a particular artist is considered to be a standout, while his contemporaries whose works seem similar are not. It’s much easier if you look at the entire scope of the artist’s work instead of a single example that is considered to be “brilliant.” Such was my experience looking through this collection of Ansel Adams photos, mostly landscapes but including a handful of mesmerizing portraits and still lifes.

AlchemyThe Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Lifeby Rory Sutherland– Thoughts from an advertising man about how imagination can transform experience and our understanding of the world.

I Used to Know ThatStuff You Forgot From School by Caroline Taggart– True to its title, the book is chock full of interesting bits you could have learned in school. Example: In geometry class, I learned how to calculate perimeters and areas and have used those simple equations thousands of times since then. But I had forgotten how to measure the circumference of a circle (diameter times pi) and  got reacquainted with the Pythagorean theorem – fun to know but apparently useless.

And here’s a book that’s not worth your time…

Why Love Hurts: A Sociological Explanation by Eva Illouz– I began with the best expectations, but couldn’t finish it. This is a profoundly stupid book that argues that “love” doesn’t work today because the  “institutional organization of marriage” precludes the “possibility of maintaining romantic love as an intense and all-consuming passion.”

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“8 Mistakes to Avoid When Naming Your Business” from Entrepreneur.com

I’ve never been good at naming businesses. In fact, I’d say that of the dozens of businesses I’ve named, 90% of them broke one of the rules articulated in this essay. (I should have learned these rules long ago.) LINK

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“Energy Paradoxes Put Europe in a Precarious Position” from Townhall.com

An interesting perspective on European attitudes towards global politics and global warming. LINK

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Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou

The story of the now well-known Silicon Valley scam. Written by the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who broke the story and pursued it till the end, the book is a page-turner and an inside look at the sort of moral depravity that exists in all industries but is sort of protected and even incubated in the high-tech world these days – the world where wealth is created not by creating profits that stem from selling desired products and services, but by creating stories about future profits that are sold to the media and to investors.

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“The Equality Conundrum” in The New Yorker

Believing inequality, as this essay makes clear, is a challenge. A challenge that leaves the believer with a perpetual conundrum – what is equal here is not equal there… and what is equal now is not equal then… and what is equal from one perspective in not equal from another.

The essay touches on the philosophical problem but doesn’t offer an answer, because there isn’t one. Once you accept the proposition that equality is a good thing, you are lost.

The fact is that nothing is equal because of relativity. And even if two things could be equal for one moment in time and space, that relationship would change in the next moment.

Nothing is equal and nothing wants to be equal.

The very nature of being human is the instinctive desire for inequality. Some want more. Some want less. Some are willing to do more. Some want to find ways to do less.

We should stop fussing over it. Inequality is not a problem. It is the natural state of nature and the natural desire of the human heart.

You can read the New Yorker essay here.

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