The Practical Polymath #53
Greetings from Brooklyn!
After nearly five years of living in the US, I went to see a basketball game for the first time this week. What struck me is how much entertainment is injected into the experience. I know next to nothing about basketball but seeing Kevin Durant is a real treat regardless. The giant inflatable fries were also a highlight🤷.
See you in two weeks,
“How many coffees in your sugar?”. This is a joke I would get a lot from my friends in college.
Their horrified eyes would stare at my hand dropping three, four, five....six spoonfuls of white crystals in the dark steaming liquid.
I know people who skip dessert without bothering. This is inconceivable to me. As sure as a sentence ends with a full stop, a meal has to finish in sweetness.
I love taking my son to the pastry shop down the street. Not because I’m a nice dad but because I get to eat chocolate frosted cupcakes with the cover of fatherhood.
Perhaps you might say a little sugar never hurt anyone. But the trouble is the second I have a little, I have to have a lot. I’m an adult version of Augustus Gloop in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
It’s not that I’m particularly concerned about the effects of sugar on my health. I just find it utterly annoying that sugar has such a hold over my brain.
So I decided to remove it from my diet entirely. No more added sugar.
At first, it was hard. Every time my partner would eat something sweet, I’d feel like Ulysses chained to his mast, resisting the bewitching call of the chocolate bar.
“Everything in moderation” the saying goes. But for some of us, I’m sorry but that’s just not an option. Eradication is the way forward.
Now I just eat dates. Lots and lots of dates.
📚 Flash Fiction: This week, I went down the Flash Fiction rabbit hole. Flash Fiction is a literary genre that consists of writing short essays or stories in as little as 350 words. This one by George Saunders is my favorite so far. And of course, there is the shortest of them all, a six-word story (probably incorrectly) attributed to Hemingway: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn”.
💡 Philanthropy versus Charity: I’ve grown quite skeptical about the philanthropic sector’s ability to support good ideas or drive effective change. But my skepticism gave way to a renewed sense of optimism after reading this excellent piece by Nadia Eghbal. My favorite line: “If venture capital is risk capital for private goods, philanthropy is risk capital for public goods.” This is a topic I want to write more about in the future.
“We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living.”
Thich Nhat Hanh