This is a special edition of _consider, dedicated to Anthony Bourdain.
A self-proclaimed essayist and story-teller, he left behind a an astonishing catalog of written and visual brushes with humanity, food, and culture that could take years to sort through. Below you’ll find our personal favorites…
The Gambler Who Cracked the Horse Racing Code, Fortnite, Captain Fantastic and Michael Pollan.
“In pursuit of mathematical perfection, he became convinced that horses raced differently according to temperature, and when he learned that British meteorologists kept an archive of Hong Kong weather data in southwest England, he traveled there by plane and rail.” Such is the extent of horse racing gambler Bill Benter’s obsession in Kit Chellel’s story of two card counters turned multi-millionaire horse racing gamblers
Avicii, The Outline, Amazon shareholder letter and Wait But Why career picking.
If the name Tim Bergling doesn’t ring any bells, his DJ alias “Avicii” might. The Swedish phenom, responsible for bringing dance music to the mainstream, died this month at 28 of an apparent suicide. Bergling’s exponential rise to fame and grueling tour schedule are both subject and suspect in “True Stories”, a documentary released this fall…
Gilead, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, The Farthest and an Ichiro profile.
From guest reviewer Sally Adua: The writing is beautiful, and the premise is bittersweet: an aging small-town preacher in Iowa records his everyday events, as well as his family’s history, for his young son. Through this novel and its very realistically human characters, Robinson convinced me of the value of religion more than four years at a Catholic college did.
Starting this month in _consider, we’re including a special guest write up of a recommendation from one of our readers. Our goal is for a larger portion of our recommendations to not be driven by us. We are most likely to find content that changes our perspective when we talk to you - over 250 people with different tastes and life experience than our own...
AlphaGo, Shoe Dog, Wind River and Jaylen Brown.
AlphaGo follows the team at Google’s Deepmind and their quest to beat Lee Sedol, the premiere world champion in the Chinese board game Go. This is the story of an AI moon landing as told by the people who lived it. It is also the story of Go itself, a game so rich in complexity that playing is “like grasping the third handrail of the universe”
Gleason, Universal Basic Income, A Son's Race to Give His Dying Father Artificial Immortality and Dragons of Eden.
A former NFL star faces a world of contradictions when he’s diagnosed with ALS right as his wife becomes pregnant with their first child. Offering an intimate look at the realities of a degenerative disease and the tolls it takes on a young family, Gleason showcases the resilience of the human spirit and the power of believing our futures will be greater than our pasts...
Cook and the Chef, Between the World and Me, Abstract: The Art of Design and Is AI Riding a One Trick Pony?
An investigation deep into the mind of Elon Musk. The fourth and final installment in Wait But Why’s essential series on Musk provides a blueprint on first principles thinking -- the “secret sauce” that is changing the world...
Icarus, A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, Our Minds Can Be Hijacked and Chef's Table: Francis Mallman.
When Filmmaker Bryan Fogel set out to make Icarus, his goal was to explore the depths of doping in pro-cycling. He never anticipated that one of the biggest stories in the world would land in his lap. Dust off your copies of 1984 and buckle up. Icarus is a miracle of a film and a warning sign to the world...
Why we exist
Tribe, the Upstarts, The Barkley Marathons and more.
Tribe is a broad exploration of humans at war. Its unique thesis argues humans find meaning in suffering and lack of meaning in peacetime. Junger - who lost one of his best friends to war - discusses the subject with a candor that makes this a deeply moving read. Graffiti in Bosnia to this day reads "Things were better when they were bad"; Tribe is the necessary explanation of how we got here and where we're going...
A handful of books, documentaries and podcasts have changed my life. Some I found from friends; others on Reddit and Hacker News; some I just saw in book stores. The things that change our mental model of the world have a strange way of appearing when we least expect it.
That shouldn't be the case.