Things I've been thinking about
Being one of the few creatures not facing extinction
As ever, books. I finally got to write a deep dive into one of my favorite novelists, T.C. Boyle, for Longreads. This is tied to his recent novel about Timothy Leary's acolytes and my initial experiences with acid. While acknowledging that it's wanky to quote myself: "It’s no surprise that the current LSD renaissance grew out of the individualized culture of self-improvement in Silicon Valley, one of the least spiritual places imaginable. This shift, from mystical truth-seeking to the distinctly more prosaic aim of boosting health and work, is representative of a larger attitudinal change: now, the cult of productivity is perhaps the most powerful one of all."
Also as ever, language. My favorite language column is Chi Luu's Lingua Obscura for JSTOR Daily. It's consistently interesting.
Back of a yellow water tanker decorated with a pink and green flower
Plant blindness. It took nearly a year to get published, but this article for BBC Future on plant blindness has altered my relationship with plants. I'm failing to do this most of the time, but I'm trying to notice plants more. (Image: Geetanjali Sachdev)
Wikipedia page of the month: Wallaroo. Australia is full of animals I'd never heard of, including a marsupial that's bigger than a wallaby but smaller than a kangaroo. I guess "kangaby" was already taken.
Scientist with glasses and a ponytail working with a cell culture in a lab
Antimicrobial resistance, with a side of international development. Just to keep things nice and cheery, one of the pieces I've written for Forbes this month is about the terrifying existential threat of antimicrobial resistance, and how this will only make poor countries poorer. (Image: Samyukta Lakshmi/Bloomberg)
Reprogramming romantic attraction. This article by Emily J. Smith is so wise and so cutting about a certain kind of guy she was once hopelessly attracted to. She skewers men who “can live half an adult life without considering another person’s emotions —until they turn 40, at which point they decide to start caring and then can freely choose from millions of unsuspecting women of any legal age.” And she points out that women are often complicit in this kind of socialization, as “men are taught to brag and women are taught to smile.” This idea of rewiring our attraction is fascinating to me (and the subject of a recent Invisibilia episode).
Woman narrating in front of a black and white stylized design
The upsides of introversion. The BBC made a short video based on an article I wrote for them last year, that was all about justifying my own social awkwardness.
Email signoffs. Signing off with a lighthearted article about how people end their emails around the world.
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