#5SmartReads - August 9, 2022
Hitha on inflation, reconciliation, and the long history of brain rot fears
If you’re finding it difficult to get a proper gauge of the economy and inflation, well, you’re not alone.
KCM’s interview with Cecila Rouse, the chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, answered a lot of my questions on the basics of some of these terms that are thrown about, where we’re at, and where we expect to go when it comes to inflation, gas prices, cost of living, and student loan debt.
A quick Google search of Rouse’s name led me to interviews she granted to a wide variety of publications with high engagement - The Black Wall Street Times, Fortune’s The Broadsheet as well as Katie Couric Media) and it’s consistent with this administration’s different press strategy of engaging with smaller outlets with strong readership and engagement more than the major media companies (whose reporting does often skew towards the more sensational, as to earn clicks and time on site/viewed).
Not only do I find a kinship in their strategy (it’s been my own here at #5SmartReads), but maybe it also means we could get our own interview with a member of this administration? Maybe?
Manifesting/plotting a way to make it so…
Zawe Ashton Is Manifesting Her Future (Thrillist)
Speaking of manifesting, one could say Zawe Ashton has done just that with her career (along with a ton of hard work perfecting her craft and thickening her skin to deal with a lot of rejection).
And we love to see it and see Zawe on stage and on the screen - right now in Mr. Malcom’s List (which is available to stream and is EXCELLENT), and soon in The Marvels (which can’t come soon enough).
Did I also mention that she’s engaged to fellow Marvel star Tom Hiddleston and expecting their first baby, and dealing with the press onslaught that comes with that? Zawe has a much cooler head about her when dealing with all of that - and life in general.
“"Maybe me a few years ago would have said something different, but I don't feel like I have to do anything," she tells me. "And we're having really important conversations that will help us out of very, very disturbing times about women and their own power and autonomy over their own bodies. That can also be a mindset. So I feel very autonomous in myself at this point in my life." If she can make some kind of statement by appearing pregnant on a red carpet, she will.”
How the Senate Strategy Known as Budget Reconciliation Works (Washington Post)
If you wonder, every year when a reconciliation bill comes to the floor in the Senate, just exactly what it is…well, I have the answers for you.
Rather, the Washington Post does.
This smart primer answers all your questions, from why a Senate typically requires 60 votes (it’s actually a vote to end debate and file cloture on the bill - the bill itself only requires a simple majority), to what is budget reconciliation and the history of this certain type of bill, and when it can and cannot be used to the frustration of both parties and moreso, the American people.
It’s a quick read, but a very valuable one.
This one is NOT a quick read, nor an easy one (I had to read it a few times to really comprehend it). But it’s very, very smart, given that much of my media preferences falls under the ‘trashy’ description and I have no qualms or concerns about it.
My parents, however, relentlessly judge me for it and believe it has and will brainwash me. Me? I find it to be the only kind of media that will help my Energizer Bunny of a brain to actually stop and rest.
I digress. This piece is less about the impact of trashy media actually rotting your brain, but more about how this fear has been well-documented over a number of centuries. That this narrative has persisted through different forms of media, the Industrial Revolution and other advancements that have transformed our lives and content itself is pretty insane.
This is quite an academic read, so save it when you have the time and the mental capacity to read through it (and maybe read it again and again). But I found it fascinating, and even more validated that everyone should enjoy what they enjoy with their fullest passion, and to keep our more critical opinions to ourselves to not ruin someone else’s pleasure.
Sustainability in the modern space industry seems to be an oxymoron (and perhaps it is, with the advent of space tourism when billions in this planet fail to have their basic needs met).
It is, however, NASA’s priority with the Artemis program. The program’s goal is not just to make history by landing the first woman and non-white person on the moon, but to establish a long-term presence (a la For All Mankind - a phenomenal show on Apple TV+) and to set us up for more manned spaceflights in our solar system.
But first, the moon. And sustainability.
I will let this article explain it in further detail, but it has me even more excited and back on my space book obsession. Is it time to re-read the Lady Astronaut series again? I think so.