This Week's Top Reads (there are a six)

Nathanael Yellis By Nathanael Yellis • Last Updated May 18, 2021

Three Top Reads

New York Times: How to Spend 47 Hours on a Train and Not Go Crazy

Long-distance-train passengers tend to belong to one of four categories. The first, perhaps most obvious category is occupied by people who refuse to fly, whether because of religious beliefs, fear or health reasons, but there are fewer of these than you might expect. The second category belongs to train buffs, known less commonly as rail fans, GERFs (glassy-eyed rail fans), or foamers, a term coined by railroad employees to refer to people who became so excited by trains that they seem to foam at the mouth like rabies victims.

Read the whole Voyages piece on trains.

I normally think interviews are dumb and hard to read. But I liked this one from Jason Fried on his new book, Remote. Also is it on Quartz, so I am contractually obligated to like it.

Jason Fried’s next project, “Remote,” is a book-length refutation of Yahoo’s ban on telecommuting

Your accountants are usually outsourced, and your legal team too, and all that works fine. Most companies outsource that to someone in the same city or across the country, and never consider it to be a problem that their lawyers are not sitting next to them. 

So it’s always interesting to us that people think their own work can’t be done remotely. I think people need to start putting that together, that they already do hire people for remote work. They don’t happen to be employees but they’re vendors.

The whole interview at Quartz.

TNR has a great read on why Washington is surprised when anyone breaks a mold, even if it was as predictable as the sun rising.

Washington Is Wrong About Cruz and Warren The freshmen senators are exactly who they promised to be.

As others have noted, Washington of late has had a double standard on high-profile arrivals, expecting Democrats to be respectful, diligent understudies and Republicans to be inexperienced, bumptious china-breakers. 

In fact, both Cruz and Warren are defying those stereotypes in different ways. How are they behaving? Not in accordance with pre-formed molds, but rather exactly as the Washington establishment should have expected them to—if it had bothered to pay attention to the senators' careers.

I read too much this week, so here are three more:

You know you want to read about how 2/3 of Alaskans are in their namesake airline's frequent flyer program. (Want to go to Wal*Mart? Fly there.) NYT Magazine: Alaska Airlines, Flying Above an Industry’s Troubles.

Grantland has this fascinating takedown of the Tiki Barber company where you pay old athletes to do things for you. The Wonderful and Weird World of Thuzio.

John Gruber, at Daring Fireball, illustrates the best kind of argumentative writing. Plus he's talking about technology and business practices. Open and Shut.

This Fast Company piece reads like a sendup of marketing, except when you realize the marketing professor means what he says and it is eerily like what the actual GOP is paying consultants to tell them. Rebranding The GOP: Can A Marketing Facelift Overhaul The Republican Party?

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