The Breads Roundup No. 77

The cost of building things in America, Fake Travel and Broadband Redlining

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Hello Part Time Lovers, Full Time Friends,

We got some real scorchers going on out here this week. Hope y’all are staying cool both literally and figuratively. Seriously don’t let me find out my readers are not cool people or else I will not be happy!

Cool is a relative term I think we often put too much weight on though. You can be cool without being trendy or hip. You can be cool without having a “good” or interesting job. You can be cool without having nice or expensive things. Really the only criteria to being cool is that you are a good person. So I guess just be nice to people while you are trying to keep your body temperature at a reasonable level.

Also! My Boo and I are planning to move this month. Looking for a spot in central Brooklyn area (Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, Boerum Hill, Prospect Heights, etc.) so if you have any leads and/or know any good (not skeezy) brokers holler at ya boy. Looking for a two bedroom.

Ok time for the usual linkies. Enjoy.

Why Does It Cost So Much To Build Things In America?

Just Give Me A Synopsis:
If you live in New York or any other big city that has been building a metro line or extension for what feels like decades it's because it probably has been decades. The United States is really bad at building public infrastructure for a wide variety of reasons all laid out pretty simply in this article. We far overspend for what we actually get is the gist of the story. Like buying a chicken tender bucket at a baseball game.

And A Quote From The Article Please:

The goal is bigger than a single light rail line or a trolley; it’s about creating transit networks that allow people to navigate from home to work to play easily enough to give up their cars, thereby reducing pollution and congestion. It’s not enough that the nation’s richest states can afford to build one or two transit projects every couple of decades. Bringing down costs is paramount to achieve the climate and economic benefits that accompany transit projects.

And Tell Me Why I should Care:
Improved public transportation is going to be crucial to narrowing the wealth gap, saving the environment and making us less reliant on automobiles. And it is also awesome because you can get drunk and not really worry about how you are going to get home in a responsible manner.

The US can learn a lot from other countries that do this way better than us. One of the biggest hold ups here is bureaucracy. Too often do local and state governments cater to citizens who want to raise a fuss and complain and delay things by exploiting legal loopholes that they don't actually care about all because they don't want a train nearby for whatever reason (often socio-economic motives).

At This Instagram Hot Spot, All The World’s A Stage (And The Buffalo’s A Prop)

Just Give Me A Synopsis:
This is really interesting I think. A rural county in Eastern China by the name of Xiapu has become a hotspot for amateur photographers who are simply shooting constructed scenes of bucolic Chinese life. People with buffalos that are fake working in fields, fake mist that is actually burning straw, fisherman in the water with nets who aren't actually fishing and so on.

And A Quote From The Article Please:

Such staged photo shoots have become the specialty of Xiapu County, a peninsula of fishing villages, beaches and lush hills known as one of China’s top viral check-in points. It is a rural Epcot on the East China Sea, a visual factory where amateur photographers churn out photogenic evidence of an experience that they never had — and that their subjects aren’t having either.

And Tell Me Why I should Care:
Man this might be the most George Saunders-esque thing I've ever read from real life. It is a wild reminder the lengths people will go to for the 'gram (or the equivalent in China since IG is banned there). It also shows a yearning for analog times of the past in a rapidly technologizing country. There is a reason these old timey images are so desirable and it is because they are now unique and nostalgic. People want to be seen as going to and doing unique things, even if it turns out they are actually fake.

The Broadband Gap's Dirty Secret: Redlining Still Exists In Digital Form

Just Give Me A Synopsis:
This is a very in depth piece on what sort of issues many Americans face when it comes to getting fast internet. And contrary to what some will lead you to believe, it isn't just about being able to afford it, some housing is literally not wired to support broadband internet. And coincidentally (or actually totally not) much of that map lines up with formerly red lined areas.

And A Quote From The Article Please:

The decades of redlining represent a form of systematic racism that has denied generations of Black communities the kind of opportunities many other Americans enjoy. And the fear is it's happening again with broadband internet service. Big providers, when deciding where to invest the money to upgrade their networks, often focus on wealthier parts of cities and shun low-income communities. Fiber connections are expensive, and ISPs are hesitant to expand unless they expect a return on their investment. As a result, poorer communities often have no internet or are stuck with slow, legacy networks that can't meet today's demands -- even though they usually pay as much as their wealthier neighbors who have gigabit fiber connections.

And Tell Me Why I should Care:
Access to fast and reliable internet will become one of the defining battles of the next decade in America. With so much online now it is one of those things that can continue to limit the building of generational wealth for historically oppressed groups as it will become another barrier to equal access that already manifests itself in so many other ways. It's also another example of how government fails to quickly evolve with changing technology. So while internet may not be literally as essential to life as potable water, you could argue access to it is just as important as things like mail, garbage collection, paved roads and many others that are provided by government.

Weird Internet Resource Of The Week

The Wayback Machine is an internet project that allows you to take a look at what any website looked like at any given point in time. So that one blog you were into when you were 17 is probably on there and you can go back and look at all the dumb things you cared about back then.

Other Interesting Things You May Or May Not Care About

  • How TikTok Became Home To A New Kind Of Fashion Influencer
    The argument here is that it is a natural evolution to go from the hyper-curated, ungenuine-at-times world of instagram to the super unfiltered and unfettered opinions of Tiktok.

  • When Will Regular People Be Able To Visit The Moon?
    This is only one person's opinion answering this question, but they also seem pretty knowledgable about the topic and more importantly, a realist. Hate to say it, but if you're old enough to read this newsletter right now, and don't have billions of dollars, you probably ain't hitting that big ball of cheese in the sky anytime in your life (unless we figure out how to get suuuuper old before you die).

  • Hotter Than The Human Body Can Handle: Pakistan City Broils In World’s Highest Temperatures
    While yes it is hot all over the place right now there is a place in Pakistan, Jacobabad, where it is simply not possible for the human body to survive because it is too hot and humid for sweat to have any effect in cooling us down.

  • Scottie Pippen Has Something To Say
    This Scottie Pippen interview is pretty bonkers and I would recommend reading it because he says some truly wild stuff in it. Does not hold back.

  • A TikToker Smelled This ‘Devil’s Breath’ Flower And Accidentally Drugged Herself
    The plus side is that this isn't one of those videos where people on social media do really stupid amounts of drugs just for clout. Instead she just found the flower growing in her neighborhood and smelled it, so that may actually be scarier, I don't know. Don't smell flowers that you don't know about I guess.

  • Where Are The World’s Millionaires?
    For the first time ever, more than 1% of the globe is made up of millionaires, which is definitely not cool because I am not in that group. Like how am I not super rich yet? I’ve been doing this newsletter for over a year now! I’ve been hustling! Gary V lied to me!

  • The Evolution Of The Billboard
    From the good folks over at Tedium, a site that specializes in deep dives on mundane and banal topics that are actually way more interesting than you realize. This one looks at billboards, which unless you live way out in the woods, you are probably consumingly passively on a very consistent basis.

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.

Troop - Canned Cocktails

Look, there are one million different canned cocktail brands at this point you can choose from. But what I like about these guys is that they don’t get crazy with the ingredients (super simple and listed on every can) or the flavors – as they only have three options, all classics, at the moment. The Gin Spritz is my favorite and a superb summer option that will have you feeling like you’re kicking it on the Adriatic even if you’re just sitting in a lawn chair as a fire hydrant pelts you with questionably potable water, but f*ck it, it’s hot as hell so get that coolant where you can. I digress, they’re tasty and not overly sweet as a lot of these canned cocktails can be. Check em out.

Let’s Just Looks At Art Because Reading Sucks

You Wanted Podcasts? You’re Getting Podcasts!

In a slight deviation from the norm I will be recommending a podcast instead of musical stylings this week. May I highly recommend The Takedown, a two part story that is part of Gimlet’s Crime Show. Full disclosure, my friend Matt made this, which is how I listened to it. But as you all know I am a cynical ass, so I would tell him to his face if it sucked, which it does not. It is very good and entertaining and at only two episodes it can be taken down on a commute! It is a true story about an aspiring MMA fighter in London who decides to rob a bank. It’s on some Guy Ritchie sh*t and is all delivered in Matt’s sultry Scottish accent, which if I’m being honest is played up for the listeners - his accent is not that guttural and sexy in real life. It’s wildly entertaining and has a phenomenal ending. Great all around. Check it out.

Lists Are What The Internet Was Made For!

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“So I ball so hard mothaf*ckers wanna fine me, but I still always read The Breads” - Jay-Z

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