Five Interesting Articles

Marathon deaths and expectation debts

Aug 13, 2023   |   Personal

“Contemporary America simply isn’t set up to promote mutuality, care, or common life. Rather, it is designed to maximize individual accomplishment as defined by professional and financial success. Such a system leaves precious little time or energy for forms of community that don’t contribute to one’s own professional life or, as one ages, the professional prospects of one’s children. Workism reigns in America, and because of it, community in America, religious community included, is a math problem that doesn’t add up.”
The Misunderstood Reason Millions of Americans Stopped Going to Church

"Just to give you a sense, the mortality rate for something like cardiac arrest or a heart attack goes up by about 15 to 20% on the day of a marathon. Now, most people are not having cardiac arrest or a heart attack, so the aggregate impact on a city might be limited. But I think if I were to talk to people about the Boston Marathon bombings, most people would say that was a horrific event. But more people die because of marathon-associated road closures every year in a given city with a large marathon than died in the Boston Marathon bombings. But the bombings, what they did are so salient to us. Deaths in these other channels, we don’t even think about that."
Freakonomics, But for Medicine

"An asset you don’t deserve can quickly become a liability. Maybe your portfolio surged during a bubble, your company hit a monster valuation, or you negotiated a salary that exceeds your ability. It feels great at the time. But reality eventually catches up, and demands repayment in equal proportion to your delusions – plus interest."
Expectations Debt

“Whittaker found that clicking through a folder tree took almost a minute, while simply searching took just 17 seconds. People who relied on folders took longer to find what they were looking for, but their hunts for the right e-mail were no more or less successful. In other words, if you just dump all your e-mail into a folder called “archive,” you will find your e-mails more quickly than if you hide them in a tidy structure of folders."
Embrace the Mess: The Upside of Disorder

"But I wasn’t only a voyeur; I learned skills such as how to sleep in the dark, and talk with intimidating people, and tolerate teasing from someone’s older sibling. I also learned compassion, humility, and gratitude from sleeping at other people’s houses. I saw the generosity and indulgence families extended to me. I saw their pride in how they did things. I saw the brave faces they put on. More than one of my childhood friends had lost a parent; some of them had other significant trauma. I saw family struggles that could be more easily hidden in daytime hours. Sleepovers, for all their flaws, humanized others, and as a result, they made me more human too."
The Case for Sleepovers