2 min read

You Should Read - Feb 3

You Should Read - Feb 3

Just One Thing

The Rock Island Line is a mighty good road.
The Rock Island Line is the road to ride.

I'm definitely a dilettante when it comes to music, music history, music theory, and all that (it feels like I was tortured by piano lessons for years as a kid when it was probably only a few months, a year at most), but I love the way cover songs betray the idea that there is just one way to do something. "Rock Island Line" popped up in a chat w friends and I was really only familiar with a Johnny Cash recording. Here are some others:

Collected Ephemera

I have never seen Avatar. I might be the only person on Earth who hasn't. I despise it, probably because its massive financial success is inversely proportional to its (lack of) creative value. It's hard to believe the sequel has topped the original in both dimensions.

Vox How Avatar: The Way of Water Can Make $2 Billion and Still Feel Irrelevant: James Cameron’s sequel is the global smash no one is talking about.

Garbage Day Measuring the Cultural Weirdness of Avatar

...for almost a decade, discussion of "Avatar"' has been dominated by the idea that it has no cultural impact. Wikipedia cites 12 different news articles on the subject of no one remembering or caring about "Avatar", and they all tend to follow similar themes: No one remembers the characters. There’s no fan community to keep it alive. It isn’t a regular Comic-Con presence... and there are no memes!
...Archive Of Our Own, the Internet’s central hub for fanfic, makes it really easy to see exactly how much interest there is in fanfic about a certain work. In fact, the genesis for this whole study was a Tumblr post from November showing that fanfic about the nonexistent Martin Scorsese movie "Goncharov" had outpaced "Avatar".

Big Think Bonhoeffer’s “Theory of Stupidity”: We Have More to Fear From Stupid People Than Evil Ones: Evil is easy to identify and fight against; not so with stupidity.
⇒ In the last six years, I've lost count of how many times I've posted quotes from Bonhoeffer's essay to Facebook, for all the good it does.

Wired The Battle Over Bike Lanes Needs a Mindset Shift: Installing protected routes tends to boost local shops. But many store owners remain attached to their street parking—and fight to protect it.

New York Magazine The Junkification of Amazon: Why does it feel like the company is making itself worse?

Good Housekeeping How to Adopt the Japanese Approach to Accepting Life’s Challenges, “Ukeireru”: Experts explain how the concept may help you overcome almost anything.

CBC Forget Fast Fashion and Create New Trends by Upcycling and Mending Old Clothes, These Groups Say: Canadians throw out a lot of clothes and most of it isn't garbage, according to a new Ontario study
⇒ One of my favorite newly discovered subreddits is /r/visiblemending.

The Wabbit Hole

Selections from my Wikipedia searches this week. My monthly Wikipedia donation is worth far more than any one of my streaming subscriptions.

The Last of Us (TV series) | Rosewater (novel) | The Girl With All the Gifts | cordyceps | Risto Ryti | convergent evolution | thylacine | King Leopold's Ghost | OK soda | Goiânia accident