The Breads Roundup No. 74

Cult of Busyness, Net-Zero Emissions and American Drinking

Hello Crab Ran Goons,

Damn I really felt like I was shaking off some rust when I was writing this. It’s been three weeks since I sent out a “normal” version of The Breads. Was really enjoyable to get back into the swing of things. Hope you missed me. I missed y’all.

I’m back now though! So get used to it. Yes indeed, back just in time for the hot ass New York weather that intensifies the garbage smell and has people acting even wilder than usual because the heat has them sweating like crazy and probably less hydrated than they should be. I missed it.

It’s weird coming back from vacation when you work as a freelancer. It feels refreshing because I did actually check out way more than usual, but I also was fairly lethargic in terms of producing the things I want to produce and networking/finding new people to work with. I also missed the first round of NBA action which was sad.

Did take some sweet photos though!

Ok time for the usual linkies. Enjoy.

The Cult of Busyness

Just Give Me A Synopsis:
A very long and deeply reported piece about what the modern concept of busyness means and how it may be changing due to the pandemic. Busyness, as we all know, is now associated with importance and wealth but in the past it was the antithesis of it. Parisians used to walk turtles on leashes in the 1800s to show how not busy (and thus, wealthy) they were. In modern day terms there is quite a class divide in terms of the importance and desire for business as well.

And A Quote From The Article Please:

Busyness is a powerful social signal, though a somewhat counterintuitive one. At the turn of the 20th century, economists predicted that the ultimate symbol of wealth and success would be leisure—showing others that you were so successful that you could abstain from work. Instead, the opposite occurred. It’s not free time, but busyness, that gestures to a person’s relevance.

And Tell Me Why I should Care:
Now after a slow year we are rethinking just how important it is to be busy. We're realizing that maybe the clout that comes with talking about how busy and underwater we are is not as great as actually taking some time to ourselves and taking a break from sh*t. I had to force myself to check out on the vacation I just took and it was difficult. I felt guilty not being busy! What da hell is that? Read this piece if you need a little encouragement that being super busy all the time ain't actually all that great.

Net-Zero Emissions: Winning Strategy Or Destined for Failure?

Just Give Me A Synopsis:
You've probably heard the term "net-zero" thrown around a lot when it comes to environmental policy and marketing language from some of your favorite brands. However, if you don't actually understand what it means – like with most green washing lingo – it can seem a lot more impactful than it actually is. This paper article points out a lot of the issues around the quest for net-zero.

And A Quote From The Article Please:

The hope is that allowing negative emissions to balance continued CO2 emissions as part of net-zero policies will provide a safety net for industries where it is technically impossible to eliminate all emissions — in aviation and agriculture, for instance. The negative emissions might be achieved by increasing CO2 take-up by forests and other ecosystems, or by using industrial chemistry to capture CO2 from the air. But some fear the safety net will become a cover for business-as-usual in highly polluting industries.

And Tell Me Why I should Care:
We talk a lot about the fallacies that exist within green marketing in this newsletter. Net-zero is a big one. I think most people would assume that it means companies no longer pollute the environment with carbon. That is not the case whatsoever. What it really means is that companies commission projects to offset their carbon output (usually planting trees in far off locations). Planting trees is of course very good, but it is still really TBD if it actually offsets the actual pollution. And more importantly, as this article argues, giving companies the opportunity to continue business as usual via offset projects, as opposed to investing in new technology to pollute less, is a huge issue because it lets them continue many of the practices that got us in this dang environmental pickle in the first place.

America Has A Drinking Problem

Just Give Me A Synopsis:
Don't worry this isn't a piece of branded content in The Atlantic for DARE or MADD. It is however a very well reported analysis on the evolution of drinking in America and how we are getting dangerously close to a breaking point. As a country. Not you personally. Don't take offense. Unless you do actually feel offended, then maybe talk to some people close to you about seeing someone. A super good read if you're into anthropological history, as this sh*t goes way back. Did you know 1830 was the year Americans drank the most – 9 gallons of liquor per year on average, not to mention a barrel of cider a week per family. Sheesh.

And A Quote From The Article Please:

Southern Europe’s healthy drinking culture is hardly news, but its attributes are striking enough to bear revisiting: Despite widespread consumption of alcohol, Italy has some of the lowest rates of alcoholism in the world. Its residents drink mostly wine and beer, and almost exclusively over meals with other people. When liquor is consumed, it’s usually in small quantities, either right before or after a meal. Alcohol is seen as a food, not a drug. Drinking to get drunk is discouraged, as is drinking alone. The way Italians drink today may not be quite the way premodern people drank, but it likewise accentuates alcohol’s benefits and helps limit its harms. It is also, Slingerland told me, about as far as you can get from the way many people drink in the United States.

And Tell Me Why I should Care:
Mostly because this is just super interesting and does a really good job of bringing together human evolution, anthropology, US history and contemporary socio-economic issues. As a bit of a spoiler it seems the big issue for us is drinking alone, not so much drinking in general. Social drinking is generally a good thing and has made us the successful species we are now. Drinking ourselves into oblivion yelling wrong answers at Jeopardy on the couch by ourselves every weekday night is not a good thing, though.

Weird Internet Resource Of The Week

Eunoia is a repository of words in other languages that don’t quite translate or have very specific definitions. We think of German as having a lot of these, but every language does as well. The irony is that for many of these words, the translation in English will never truly capture their meaning. Regardless it will give you some good words to use when you’re over the thesaurus.

Other Interesting Things You May Or May Not Care About

  • Farewell, Millennial Lifestyle Subsidy
    Basically, sh*t is about to get real. We've been living a subsidized life through all the outrageously VC funded startup service platforms we use on a regular basis (Uber/Lyft, Doordash/Grubhub, etc.) but those startups are no longer subsidizing users to the same level they were before because they were losing cash faster than James Harden at a Magic City. So things are very pricey now. Noticed that your Uber is way more than it used to be? Yeah that is the new future. Learn the bus schedule bruh.

  • Meet The Mystery Woman Who Mastered IBM’s 5,400-Character Chinese Typewriter
    It didn't work out in the end, because nobody wanted to buy the typewriter. But what this woman did was very impressive nonetheless.

  • LeBron James’s Agent Is Transforming The Business Of Basketball
    A profile of Rich Paul and all he is doing to lead the age of "player empowerment" as it is known. Fun fact: LeBron met him selling vintage jerseys out of his car at the Akron airport. Talk about a come up.

  • The Real And Fake Bathroom Breaks In Pro Tennis
    There is a certain gamesmanship to taking bathroom and injury breaks in pro tennis. The classic "I have to pee" excuse when you're trying to break up your opponent's flow. Here is a breakdown of how it all works and some great examples.

  • Kihnu: Europe's Last Surviving Matriarchy
    On a small island off Estonia's coast women do literally everything (as men have traditionally always been away at sea) espousing traditional gender roles. This is a portrait of these elderly women living on what is known as "The Island of Women."

  • A Nostalgic Trend Paying Homage To Cartoon Network's Adult Swim Is Blowing Up On TikTok
    If you waste dozens of hours a week on Tiktok like ya boy here does you're obviously familiar with this trend, but if not you should get privy to it. It is probably the best Tiktok trend I've seen because of the beauty and creativity of the videos being uploaded to the platform.

  • German Military To Ship Surplus Beer Back From Afghanistan
    A bunch of German beer is stuck in Afghanistan because the German commander decided it is a bad idea to keep letting soldiers get their two beers per day allotment. And they can't sell it over there either because of religious restrictions, so they need to bring in a civilian ringer to get the stuff out of the country. Someone please write a movie about this that is a combination of Beerfest and Triple Frontier.

  • Fall In Love With Fabric Samples From Early 1900s Scotland
    An academic collection of some, frankly, quite dope fabric swatches from some old company (Donald Brothers) that operated in Scotland way back in the day. Some of these are real dandies. Should we cop some of these for Breads merch purposes?

Brands I Quite Like

There are so many brands out there that are not cool or unique that I thought I would highlight new brands that I think are in fact doing dope things and are worth knowing about. This is not sponsored or full of affiliate links.

Japan Poster – Vintage and Contemporary Japanese Movie Posters

Run by a Japanese couple that splits time between Japan and the UK these folks specialize in original Japanese posters from mid 1900s all the way to modern films. The biggest thing is that they just look dope as hell. Don’t be the guy with like 15 movie posters as decoration in your home, but if you want to go for an original Japanese one, that is way cooler than its American version, to complement your other art I would highly recommend it.

Let’s Just Looks At Art Because Reading Sucks

You Wanted Music! You’re Getting Music!

This list from Fader of The 8 Projects You Should Stream Right Now is great and features a good mix of big artists and lesser known ones.

Lists Are What The Internet Was Made For!

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“Breads to Breads!” – Creepy Keith David from Requiem for a Dream

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