Welcome to the 🎄🎅🏻 Christmas edition of The Fireside! I’m particularly proud of this Issue and I hope you’ll like it too.
New Article: “I built and launched a startup in 24 hours”… all whilst live streaming my screen to the world.
New Article: “The 5 best books I read in 2018” - The title says it all. My early roundups of the best books I’ve read this year.
New Article: “Charge more” - Do you sell anything? Here’s some timeless advice on how to use pricing to communicate quality.
Have a great Christmas!
⬌ Short articles (~5 min read)
[5 min] Sometimes it’s good to take a step back and look at the bigger picture from a 50,000-foot point of view. In this article, the researcher Luke Muehlhauser measures 6 metrics across the entire sweep of human history. Spoiler alert: almost all the gains in human well-being in history happened since the Industrial Revolution.
[6 min] The idea that a truly democratic process involves voting is so ingrained in our minds that we seldom even think about it. In this article, Tim Dunlop dares to challenge this idea and offers an alternative: to elect some of our public officials by choosing them at random from the general population. Interesting and thought-provoking.
[4 min] We all skim read. You’re probably doing this at this very moment. However, when the reading brain skims texts, we don’t have time to grasp complexity, to understand another’s feelings or to perceive beauty. This has long term consequences.
⬍ Long articles (~15 min read)
[8 min] One of the oldest and most stubborn stereotype about weight loss is the idea of “calorie restriction”: less calories in, more calories out. This theory, born in the 20th century, has been proved faulty many times but stereotypes are really hard to die. In this article, nutrition researcher Dr. David Ludwig explains how his latest study questions conventional wisdom around weight. In particular, the study showed that the type of calories consumed affect the number of calories burned, challenging the long-standing dogma that all calories are alike to the body.
[15 min] Since an Italian sociologist, Vilfredo Pareto, coined the word “elite” in 1902, it has become a term of abuse. Pareto’s thesis was simple: there is always the domination of the minority over the majority. But these minorities don’t last forever. History is just the story of one elite replacing another.
[17 min] A few weeks ago, far-right evangelical Jair Bolsonaro was elected president of Brazil. To give you an idea of the character, he once told a lawmaker he opposed that she “wasn’t worth raping”. In this long article Ryan Broderick explains how it happened and why the era of being surprised at this kind of politics is over.
★ Other things from the interweb
(That may or may not make you look smart at dinner parties)
Head over to Explore.org and choose from almost 100 live nature cams available at any time. There’s ocean cams, bears, gorillas, puppies and kittens and other animal sanctuaries. Even NASA webcams in space!
Ever wanted to hack an ATM? This PDF will show you how.
The International Federation of Magic Societies only holds its World Championships of Magic every three years, so you can imagine how many illusionists were vying for the grand prize. Eric Chien managed to blow everyone out of the water in only 6 minutes. You will scream a couple of times during the video.