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Journal 191

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden practice their putting on the White House putting green April 24, 2009

This week — Barack Obama's unexpectedly fraught post-presidency, the improbably huge toothbrush industry, being French and Chinese, and a Silicon Valley critic with an unusual background.

If you only read one thing — The New York Times on the landmark British documentary series Up is worth the time.


Does Who You Are at 7 Determine Who You Are at 63? | The New York Times | Life

A fine look at the landmark documentary series Up, that has met a group of people every seven years throughout their lives, and has just released its latest instalment with its subjects aged sixty-three. As the author notes the series plays with the idea that to "spend time with a child is to dwell under the terms of an uneasy truce between the possibility of the present and the inevitability of the future".

Waiting for Obama | Politico | Politics

A look at the delicate balance that President Obama has had to strike since Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton, and latterly since his former Vice President Joe Biden threw his hat into the ring for the 2020 election. He has not shown his hand, consulting liberally with many candidates, and preparing to intervene only once the Democratic nominee is decided.

The bonkers, bristly story of how big toothbrush took over the world | Wired | Business

This article on the banal topic of toothbrushes proves illuminating on the subject of consumer goods pricing, socio-economic factors in public health outcomes, and the sometimes blurry lines between scientific research and PR.

Big Tech’s Big Defector | The New Yorker | Technology

The story of a Silicon Valley cheerleader, and significant investor, turned vocal critic.

On Being French and Chinese | Granta | Society

The author writes about "being French and Chinese—about having multiple identities, and being misunderstood" in this personal essay.


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