What I'm Reading (Feb. 10)

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What can we learn from Joe Rogan and Daniel Ek? Growing rice for saki. What’s up with Djokovic? The topmost dishonorable moments in healthcare this year – the Shkreli Awards.

“But here’s the tell: Not once does the well-read Rogan mention two charts that are extremely familiar to anyone with the most casual consumption of news. You certainly have seen them. One displays the raw numbers of people hospitalized by Covid; the other enumerates people who die from the virus. In both charts there is a line representing people who are vaccinated—it hovers over the baseline of zero, like icing on a cake. The other line is the unvaccinated, and it is a formidable mountain. Depending on the geographical area or time frame, the numbers report that unvaccinated people are many, many times more likely to be hospitalized or die. That’s not a rumor or an anecdote or something found on an unvetted paper or a Substack declaration. It’s the truth, and you can check the coffins to confirm.

Anyone discouraging vaccine use must deal with those charts.”

By now, we have all heard the tempest over Spotify, Rogan, and Young. Here is another take on the controversy that seems to capture the whole problem of platforms and misinformation. From Wired, After 3 Hours of Joe Rogan, I Have Thoughts

Here at ACSH, we often talk about Golden Rice, but I ran across this article about rice grown far nearer to home in Arkansas.

“I just grow rice,” he added. That’s a favorite line of Isbell’s, but it’s something of an understatement. Thirty years ago, Isbell put Arkansas on the map in the Japanese culinary world when he began growing another renowned variety of Japanese short-grain rice, Koshihikari—the elite choice for making sushi—that many once believed could only be cultivated in Japan. More recently, he has helped to revolutionize the production of high-end sake in the U.S. and other countries outside of Japan. Japanese growers do not currently ship Yamada Nishiki outside of Japan, and importing it would likely be prohibitively expensive. So a growing number of brewers making forays into the 1700-year-old art of sake production, eager to try this gold-standard variety, are now finding their way to Isbell’s farm.”

From the Craftmanship Initiative, a look at The Craft of Sustainable Rice Farming


“He’s affable and funny, a spot-on mimic of other players’ mannerisms and styles.

Then there’s his own playing style. If the definition of intelligence is the ability to absorb problems, solve them, and strike a new way forward, Djokovic is a genius. On a tennis court he has the perspective of Pythagoras and the reflexes of a gazelle. He tracks down and returns shots at angles that mere mortal players don’t see.

This past January, Djokovic made headlines outside tennis for his decision to remain unvaccinated for COVID-19.”

Nautil.us takes a deep dive into Djokovic’s beliefs and, in the process, looks at healing water and its crystals. Read this to better understand Djokovic’s beliefs as more than unidimensional and to appreciate the misinformation of scientism better. From Nautil.us, Novak Djokovic and the Healing Water Crystals

Do you remember Martin Shkreli, the pharmacy-bro with the behavior that made him both a household name and prisoner of our federal penitentiary system? Among his “honors,” the Lown Institute has named an award for dishonorable behavior after him. From The Incidental Economist, a review of this year's Shkreli award winners.