A gripping series on gun-control in the US

A gripping series on gun-control in the US
5. General

A gripping series on gun-control in the US

Welcome to the thirty-fifth edition of ‘3-2-1 by Story Rules‘.

A newsletter recommending good examples of storytelling across:

  • 3 tweets
  • 2 articles, and
  • 1 long-form content piece

Let’s dive in.

🐦 3 Tweets of the week

This is remarkable for two things. One is the finding itself – that we face 3X more interruptions to work at home than in office.

And second, how Ethan is able to use simple language to convey the researchers’ findings. I mean consider this ‘gem’ of a line from the actual study abstract: “Such a framing employs a sociomaterial approach which reveals how contemporary knowledge work is itself a complex entanglement of social practices and the materiality of technical artifacts” !!

Slow clap guys, slow clap.

I need to do more of this.

Whichever side you take in the Israel-Palestine conflict, this is a remarkable piece of writing. Masterful use of anthropomorphism.

📄 2 Articles of the week

a. ‘Do Arab States Support Palestine?’ by Tomas Pueyo

Of all the stuff I’ve read about the Israel Palestine issue, this one had the most surprising insights for me.

Arab neighboring states don’t want Palestinians in their countries. At best, they wanted to use them to pressure the world into creating a Palestinian state. At worst, they wanted to get rid of them. They were like Israel in that regard. It meant that Arab countries favored a Palestinian state among other things to dump Palestinian refugees in it. Now, they also consider using them as bargaining chips.

It features a lot of cynical realpolitik. Countries may profess deep concern for a cause, but when it comes to actual decisions, national interest reigns supreme.

It’s unsurprising then that the biggest supporter of Hamas is Iran, a country that is not Arab, doesn’t have Palestinian refugees, promotes Islam, and wants to destabilize the Middle East and the Arab countries it is competing with.​
In other words, in the past, Arab neighboring states used to support Palestinians only insofar as they destabilized and threatened Israel. They had no use for a Palestinian state, and little tolerance for the actual plight of Palestinians.

b. ‘A Few Laws of Getting Rich’ by Morgan Housel

Some good ol’ wisdom from Morgan Housel on the need to temper our obsession with amassing wealth:

I think what many people really want from money is the ability to stop thinking about money. To have enough money that they can stop thinking about it and focus on other stuff. It’s this weird relationship: They become obsessed with making money with the hope that someday they can ignore it altogether.

That obsession is fueled by stress and anxiety. It often shows up as career ambition, aggressive investing, and Type-A motivation.

Then, once they become rich, they realize they can’t let go of that stress. It’s become ingrained in their identity.

Morgan’s posts always feature some remarkable anecdotes:

My friend Chris Davis grew up in a wealthy household – his grandfather is legendary investor Shelby Davis, who turned $50,000 into almost $1 billion – and was told when he was young that he wouldn’t see a penny of it because his family didn’t want to rob him of the opportunity of making it on his own.

Chris joked: “They could have robbed me just a little.”

🎤 1 long-form listen of the week

a. The Guns series in ‘Revisionist History’ by Malcolm Gladwell 

The US is a unique nation in terms of civilian gun violence problem – a problem which has several deep-rooted, complex, and inter-related factors.

In an epic six-part series, Malcolm Gladwell dives into this knotty issue and unravels some fascinating threads for us. For instance:

  • The strange obsession with 17th-century English case law in deciding 21st century cases in the US
  • The long shadow of 1950s to 1970s American television – specifically the dominance of ‘Westerns’ (and police procedurals) – and how they might still be impacting people’s perception of guns.
  • The misplaced obsession that gun-control activists have with assault rifles (which may not be more dangerous than regular handguns)
  • The role of medical (especially surgical) innovation and improvements, which have drastically brought down deaths due to gun violence (but sadly, not the actual violence itself)… and how that may be giving rise to moral hazard

The series makes for gripping and illuminating storytelling.

That’s all from this week’s edition.

Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash

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