Shortlisted, Issue #90

The path to mental health, what love looks like, how to get into a top Chinese university, and more…

“Love comes in ways we can easily overlook in our daily lives.” — Puuung, a Korean artist

Arts and Culture

Thoughts on Being Well *Top pick*
Nico Muhly / 12 min
“I have been, it turns out, unwell for a long time. “ Muhly, a virtuoso composer, shares a beautifully honest, precise, and vivid reflection on a decade of mental health struggles, and the path back to health.

How To Graciously Say No To Anyone
Austin Kleon / 8 min
A collection of photocopied letters from famous artists and editors turning down requests. My favorite phrase comes from my favorite writer, E.B. White: “I must decline, for secret reasons.”

Korean Artist Beautifully Illustrates What Real Love Looks Like
Pulptastic! / 4 min
Lovely watercolor paintings that aim to capture “the meaning of love in our daily lives.”

Great Questions
StoryCorps / 5 min
StoryCorps is an oral history project that has interviewed over 100,000 people. This is a list of questions they’ve compiled to help get a good conversation going.

Politics and World Affairs

Take The Test To Get Into China’s Top Universities
Yuling Yang / Bloomberg Business / 5 min
This month, millions of Chinese high school students will take the gaokao, a grueling 9-hour test that determines whether and where they go to college. Fortunately for you, the 10-question sample test included here only takes a few minutes.

Jeb Is Not The Bush You Think He Is
Jennifer Senior / New York Magazine / 23 min
Excellent profile of Jeb Bush, who is more interesting than I had imagined.

The Agency
Adrian Chen / The New York Times / 29 min
The mind-boggling story of an army of Russian internet “trolls” who work 12-hour shifts boosting political allies, hounding opponents, and manufacturing chaos — and not just in Russia. Welcome to “social media as a battlefield.”

The Fallen Of World War II
Neil Halloran / Vimeo / 18 min
A video using gorgeous data visualizations to quantify and contextualize the nature and scale of losses in WWII. History through the lens of data. (via Stephen)

Business and Economics

What Silicon Valley Can Learn From Seoul *Top pick*
Jenna Wortham / The New York Times Magazine / 7 min
In Seoul, we “can glimpse a future where the most ambitious dreams of Silicon Valley — a cashless, carless, everything-on-demand society — have already been realized.” A rich piece that manages to convey a lot in a relatively short space. (via Bo)

What’s The Shrewdest, Smartest Move You’ve Ever Seen In Business?
Quora / Discussion thread
Some good yarns, including what Warren Buffett did when he couldn’t find good investments, how Dow Chemical broke a German chemical cartel, and why Henry Ford’s decision to double his workers’ wages paid off richly.

Why Lots Of ‘Uber For X’ Startups May Be In Trouble
Kevin Roose / Fusion / 3 min
Homejoy, a startup with $38 million in venture funding, is offering $19 home cleanings. Roose writes that offering below-market rates to gain share only works in four scenarios, which don’t apply to many “Uber for x” startups.

Science and Technology

We Now Spend More Than Eight Hours A Day Consuming Media
Jason Karaian / Quartz / 2 min
In Latin America, it’s even higher: almost 13 hours. And the number is projected to grow.

Mark Zuckerberg, Let Me Pay For Facebook
Zeynep Tufekci / The New York Times / 6 min
“Facebook makes about 20 cents per user per month in profit…This paltry profit margin drives the business model: Internet ads are basically worthless unless they are hyper-targeted based on tracking and extensive profiling of users. This is a bad bargain.”

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