This week's reading

Posted: 16th June 2019

I figured I'd try something to get me writing more regularly: a weekly post of one or two articles I've enjoyed.

This week's options are both pretty long (I had a flight).

First up is Hubert Horan's article in the Journal of American Affairs: Uber's path of destruction. It is a pretty thorough deconstruction of Uber's business model, arguing that Uber isn't intended to make money: just appear to. I guess this makes Uber something of an IPO hot potato (which, I think, is how most start-ups expect to make money). I'm not an economist or business analyst so can't comment on accuracy or correctness but it confirmed a lot of my biases and didn't seem unreasonable. If nothing else it really highlights the shit stuff Uber has been up to as a company (rather than the BS that it's various employees have been doing) which is useful because they're still horrible.

My second pick is equally everything-is-terrible: The mindfulness conspiracy by Ronald Purser in the Guardian. I think mostly I agree with its thesis: mindfulness itself is useful as a technique but as an industry it is too invested in creating a narrative that focuses on the individual as the problem with stress rather than the conditions that produce that stress. The main reason I found this article interesting was that it made me think about how capitalism warps things like mindfulness (and, frankly, everything).

In other readings this week: I finished Dogs of War by Adrian Tchaikovsky which I found deeply affecting, very interesting but not the best story (well worth a read though). I've also (just) started Becoming Dangerous which is a collection of essays on rituals, edited by Katie West.

Anyway, lets see if I can stay at this...