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Documentary Recommendation: HUMAN

This film is raw, powerful, and illuminating beyond words. (It takes around four minutes to really get going)


Recommended Reading

Germany’s Air Taxi Takes Flight


  • Lilium, a Munich-based startup focused on electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) flight for public use, has released a new video that shows its jet completing what the company calls its “first phase of flight testing.”
  • The number of companies eagerly anticipating the rise of eVTOL flight has steadily grown over the decade. Sometimes referred to as “air taxis,” they would offer limited number of passengers a short flight within or between urban areas. According to Lilium, its jet seats give people, can fly a little over 186 miles on a single charge, and can hit speeds a little faster than 62 miles per hour (mph).


  • A few months ago, I posted a piece about the Opener Blackfly, a similar vertical takeoff aircraft intended for civilian use. The jet described in the article above looks like a massive step up from the Blackfly in terms of performance and practicality.


No hugging: are we living through a crisis of touch? 


  • “Sensing this deficit, a touch industry is burgeoning in Europe, Australia and the US, where professional cuddlers operate workshops, parties and one-to-one sessions to soothe the touch-deprived.”


Your IQ Drops 10 Points And Other Scary Side Effects of Frequently Checking Your Email

  • The title is clickbaity, but the article is legit. (It was published in Business Insider)


  • “A psychiatrist at King’s College London University found that fussing with your email leads to a functional drop of 10 IQ points, more than smoking marijuana.”
  • “People who multitask all the time have trained their brains out of being able to focus. As Stanford researchers have found, multitasking — like constantly switching between your work and your email — slowly changes your brain structure so that you can’t focus.”


  • I often keep my phone on airplane mode when trying to crank of a big piece of work, in order to prevent my focus from being broken by a notification. It works well. I have also unsubscribed from most of the email lists to which I once belonged.


Global Energy: The Latest Infatuations


“The United States and Canada are the only two major economies whose average annual per capita energy use surpasses 300 giga-joules (an equivalent of nearly 8 tonnes, or more than fifty barrels, of crude oil.) This is twice the average in the richest European Union economies (as well as Japan) – but, obviously, Pittsburghers or Angelenos are not twice as rich, twice as healthy, twice as educated, twice as secure or twice as happy as inhabitants of Bordeaux or Berlin.”

“Apparently, Americans prefer painful trips to airport, TSA searches and delayed shuttle flights to going from downtown to downtown at 300 kilometers per hour.” (The author lamenting America’s lack of a decent high speed rail network)

(This article was written in 2011, and is therefore a bit outdated, but it still contains a tremendous amount of wisdom on the topic of global energy)



“The suffering and happiness that each of us experiences is a reflection of the level of distortion or clarity with which we view ourselves and the world.”

– The Dalai Lama

“I think most recommendations are bad because they’re one-size-fits-all. “Take more risks.” “Don’t be so hard on yourself.” “Work harder.” The problem is that some people need to take more risks, while others need to take fewer risks. Some people need to ease up on themselves, while others are already too self-forgiving. Some people need to work harder, while others are already skating on the edge of burnout. And so on.”

– Julia Galef


Photo of the Week