Siddhartha Mukherjee Writes In Bed

I sang his praises here. He won a well-deserved Pulitzer for general nonfiction for Empire of All Maladies. And he deserves a Nobel Prize for science writing for helping a knucklehead like me (mostly) understand cellular biology.

I’m just settling in with The Song of the Cell: An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human.

Here’s the backstory to the book and his writing process.

How To Interview Professional Athletes

Fellow UCLA homie, Russell Westbrook is hella surly, especially after losses. Shooting 29% from deep will do that to you. If you ever get a chance to interview him after a(nother) Laker loss, follow this reporter’s three-step formula—stroke his ego, stroke his ego, stroke his ego.

Watch from 2:17-3:05.

The Ripple Effects of College Sports’ Name, Image, and Likeness Ruling

Excellent University of North Carolina case study detailing the wide ranging impact of the Supreme Court’s recent decision to let college athletes receive money for their “name, image, and likeness”. The main take-away is that alumni donations that used to go to athletic departments are going directly to a few star football and basketball players through “collectives”. One result is a glaring economic divide between teammates. Another is ever greater financial hardship for minor sports, many which are on life-support.

As always, the top comments from readers are interesting.

  • “I find it interesting that athletic directors and. coaches who rake in mega million dollars for themselves and billions for the schools, find it somehow disconcerting when the players, who generate the wealth for the system, make a couple hundred thousand. The player who makes $300,000 is somehow preventing that same $300,000 from going to the swim team? — funny that we don’t hear that argument when $5 million goes to the head football coach.”
  • “A lot of hand wringing over athletes getting their fair market value. I say: if coaches get paid, athletes should too. Oh, other sports may die out? Let colleges can dip into their endowment, tv rights, donations, etc. If they can find a way to pay coaches $10,000,000 a year, they can find a way to keep their swimming program.”


Pre and Post-Pandemic. . . What’s Different?

Besides, obviously, a lot of people having died.

Many “experts” made bold predictions about how the world would never be the same, but looking back now, they were mostly wrong.

Most people who worked in offices still do. Most people still go to doctors’ offices. Most schools aren’t any more on-line than they were during “Before Times”.

People prefer working out in gyms and eating out at restaurants. More generally, people enjoy doing things outside their homes with others.

To a large extent, we’ve returned to our “Before Times” setpoints.

One noticeable difference in my small, upper left-hand corner of the world is that there are more cycling groups attracting more people. Peloton’s stock was down 60% last year. From my anecdotal vantage point, group rides are up about the same amount.

What else has changed for reals?

On Congress

Glass empty. The faux representative of many names is providing endless comedic fodder, but his presence in the House is damaging its already declining reputation. Every rep’s credibility will be questioned a little or a lot more. Everyday he “serves”, people’s trust in the legislative process will erode further. Fairly or not, when it comes to our worst colleagues, we are often guilty by association.

Glass full. Keep an eye on MGP, a different kind of Demo.

“I don’t think that your traditional pedigreed Democrats are the solution to Trump extremism. I think that a lot of these traditional Democrats, the m.o. is to go into a community and start explaining shit. Nobody likes that. I’ve heard that so often: I’ll go to an urban community, and people will be like, ‘“’Oh, like this candidate was amazing. They are so smart.’ And then I’ll go to a rural community and talk to them about the same candidate. And they’ll say: ‘Yeah, they’re pedantic and they don’t understand. They didn’t listen to us.'”

Marie Gluesenkamp perez

Wednesday Required Reading