Book Notes: Ruth Ware’s One by One

If you are looking for a great beach read – or a book to distract you from this terrible heat – Ruth Ware’s most recent novel is perfect. It’s set at a remote ski resort. In the midst of a snow storm. And a terrible snow avalanche. Where everything is buried under a blanket of snow. And it’s really really cold.

The plot is equally delicious. A group of people who founded a fussy tech startup get together at a remote resort and start killing each other. They are all just as ridiculous and obnoxious as you imagine rich techies to be. They bicker and act so pretentiously that it’s really fun when they start getting bumped off.

I’ve read all Ruth Wares, and this is the best one yet. Breezed through it in a few hours, it was so much fun.

Dear Sir

The new Yoruba instructor who hasn’t seen my face yet addresses me as “sir” multiple times in each email.

I find it oddly endearing. Makes me feel like I’m in the military. “Sir, yes, sir! Ready to go, sir! At your orders, sir!”

We are having a Zoom meeting tomorrow, so I finally did write to say that I’m actually a ma’am to avoid shocking the instructor when he sees me.

Church Burnings

I don’t know what’s happening in Canada, honestly. Every day I read about the burnings of churches. Here’s today’s news, a Catholic church in Edmonton. Yesterday I read about an Anglican church burned in BC. I went to read comments about the burnings on Twitter and they are almost without exception justifying the vandalism.

Quote of the Day

This is a great quite from Edwin Black, the foremost historian of eugenics in the US:

Mankind’s quest for perfection has always turned dark. Man has always existed in perpetual chaos. Continuously catapulted from misery to exhilaration and back, humanity has repeatedly struggled to overcome vulnerability and improve upon its sense of strength. The instinct is to ‘play God’s or at least mediate His providence. Too often, this impulse is not just to improve, but to repress, and even destroy those deemed inferior. Eventually, the Judeo-Christian world codified the principle that all human life should be valued. . . Science offers the most potent weapons in man’s determination to resist the call of moral restraint.

Take Charge

In people under the age of 60, almost all deaths and hospitalizations in intensive care for COVID occur in obese people. The risk for people under 40 who are at a healthy weight is too low to measure.

All of the readers of this blog yawned at this point. Yeah, we all know it, what else is new.

But friends, normies don’t know this. Seriously, ask them. They don’t know. I recently asked a normie friend, “who is at a greater risk to die of COVID, a 20yo or an 80yo?” She said the risk is the same. She is a Full Professor, not some idiot living in a cave with no internet access.

This isn’t widely known. And yes, weight loss is a long-term proposition. But we’ve been at this COVID silliness for 1,5 years. Instead of pouring money and effort into keeping people sedentary and eating junk, we could have done the opposite. That would have really made a dent in COVID mortality. And diabetes. And heart disease.

But it wouldn’t be profitable for the companies that govern us with the help of what we traditionally know as governments. So it is up to us to stay alert and do the right thing for ourselves.

Prestige of Mobility

People who are leaving Canada to travel overseas have to get tested for COVID at the airport. It doesn’t seem to matter if they are vaccinated or not. The test costs $200 per person. This means $800 for a family of four tacked on to the cost of the trip.

There are people for whom this is an insignificant sum and they will continue to travel as much as they used to. But for the majority it’s not insignificant. They will travel less.

Access to all forms of mobility – be they physical or symbolic – is one of the markers of inequality in liquid capitalism. Mobility is for the new nobility.

N.B. I’m talking about airports because you still can’t travel out of Canada in your car. That’s considered more dangerous than flying and hasn’t been allowed for over a year.

Don’t Forget to Brand

Here’s a great example of building a personal brand.

An athlete took third place in some extremely niche sport nobody cares about. I honestly never heard of this sport before this week.

So what is the obscure athlete to do? How to stop being so obscure and begin to monetize?

The smart athlete makes a big show of disrespecting the national anthem and claims its her way of protesting against racism. Or sexism. Or global warming. Or whatever.

Immediately, everybody gets mega triggered and now this woman is the most talked about athlete in the country. Everybody knows her name and what she looks like. Imagine how the athletes who won first and second place in that competition must feel. Nobody gives a crap about them. The poor buggers thought it was enough to win but nobody cares about your win if you haven’t got a brand.