How little things can make you a better person, according to Mengzi (300 BC)

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First Steps, after Millet, by Vincent van Gogh

“Does Your Majesty know about sprouts?” the sage Mengzi asked the king. Strange question, but an excellent one. The king was not good, but he had goodness in him. Mengzi could see it.

One day the king spared a sacrificial ox and Mengzi came to see him. This was a most promising sprout.

Mengzi said, “This heart is sufficient to become King.”

Thinking about it, the king laughed, saying, “What was this feeling, actually?”

And so they went into it.

“There is no harm,” Mengzi said. “What you did was just a technique for cultivating your benevolence.”

The king was pleased and quoted from “The Odes”, the meme generator of the day. …

It honestly can’t happen soon enough

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Study of Perspective (aka F*ck! the White House). Ai Weiwei

Asia’s middle class is growing faster than the West’s. In a few decades, we will replace you, a trend only accelerated by COVID-19. As the top 20% of the globe becomes more diverse, it will be our people, our economies, our art that rule the world.

So get used to BTS, and buy a rice cooker. There’s more to come.

The Graphs

Branko Milanovic has been looking at global incomes for years. In 2012 he published his famous elephant graph, essentially an economic dick pic of the 1%.

It shows three interesting trends.

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Who global income growth was going to (by decile)
1. High income growth among Asian middle classes 
(the bump at the global median)
2. A lack of such growth among the Western middle classes
(the dip at the top 20-1)
3. Fast growth of income among the global top 1%
(what it says on the…

You’re a donkey. Find your carrot

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I used to ignore my children because I was in the middle of an online game. Now I still ignore my children, but I don’t feel bad about it. Now I only play while exercising (stationary bike, not in traffic). I still game, but I don’t have a gaming problem. I’ve used my addiction to discipline myself.

Forget a fitness app that gives you more information. What about one that gives you less, unless you move? Unlocking your phone would take 10 push-ups. If you don’t get 10,000 steps, no social media. No YouTube unless you’ve slept for 7 hours.

Nobody needs more health data. …


Indi Samarajiva

A writer living in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He/him.

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