1. The world's best reading app

    Download Readup to read with @sjwoo

    Sung J. WooVerified
    • sjwooscouted3 months ago
      lynalden.com122 min

      A long, LONG article on money, but one, if you come to the end of it, you will find fascinating. Here's the money (!) shot:

      "Never before, in thousands of years of human history, has the entire world been using a money that has no resource cost or constraint. It’s an experiment, in other words, and we’re five decades into it. Many would consider it a good experiment, while others consider it a bad one, but it’s not as though it is inevitable, or the only possible outcome from here. It’s simply what we have now, and who knows what things will look like in another five decades.

      Ever since the world has been on the fiat/petrodollar standard, debt as a percentage of GDP has skyrocketed to record levels and seems to be getting unstable. Considering where we are in the long-term debt cycle, investors would do well to be creative with how they envision the future. Don’t take the past 40-50 years for granted and assume that’s how it’ll always be, whether for money or anything else. We don’t know what money will look like 50 years from now."

      1. Is it any wonder that throughout history, so many have tried (and failed) to convert lead into gold?
      2. How lucky Americans are, that we are the reserve currency of the world...
      3. ...or are we? Or, because the world uses dollars for oil, are we kinda screwed?

      So much to ponder.

    • sjwoocommented3 months ago
      The Guardian2/28/224 min
      The Guardian

      Putin really stepped in it big time, didn't he? All that goodwill since Gorbachev, poof...

      You know, I just looked up Gorbachev, to see when he passed away...he's still alive, apparently. Born in 1931. He must be so disappointed.

    • sjwooread3 months ago
    • sjwooread4 months ago
      Houselogic7/11/123 min
    • sjwoocommented4 months ago
      The New York Times CompanyAlyssa Lukpat2/1/224 min
      The New York Times Company

      My favorite recent podcast is The History of the English podcast, and it's just amazing how much disconnect there is between spelling and pronunciation due to so many little changes through time. Crismis makes perfect sense, actually.

      Because there was a time when "light" was pronounced "lich-te" and "nightingale" was pronounced "nig-hickten-gae-la." :)

    • sjwooscouted5 months ago

      Full disclosure: I'm friends with the writer. Fuller disclosure: It's a great little story about his kids and body image. :)

    • sjwoocommented5 months ago
      The New York Times CompanyVictor Lodato2/24/179 min
      The New York Times Company

      Just a perfect story all around -- the subject matter, the style, the economy. Bravo!

    • sjwoocommented6 months ago

      So much insight within and through all of this man's pain. Hang in there, Matthew!

    • sjwoocommented7 months ago
      The CutLisa Miller12/11/198 min
      The Cut

      It never ceases to amaze me how utterly different people can be. This Lisa Miller person is so totally unlike me that I wouldn't hesitate to classify us as a separate species.

    • sjwoocommented7 months ago

      All you can hope for at this point is that there will be much stricter protocols for stuff like this...

    • sjwoocommented8 months ago
      The New York Times CompanyChristie Aschwanden9/17/216 min
      The New York Times Company

      It's highly subjective, the amount of water you need. Changes day to day with what you're doing, too. And it changes as you get older.

      As someone who has recently suffered from vertigo, a huge trigger is dehydration. I never drank before a run, but now I do it religiously, and thankfully it has almost eliminated the vertigo...

    • sjwooscouted8 months ago

      The Netflix show is on now, and I just watched the first excellent episode. But you know what's even better than that first episode? This piece. Land is such a fine, fine writer -- plainspoken, clear-eyed, economical. Full of insight and humor and humanity.

    • sjwooscouted8 months ago
      The New York Times CompanyChloe Caldwell9/3/208 min
      The New York Times Company

      A happy puppy story!

    • sjwoocommented9 months ago
      ZDNetTiernan Ray8/29/2110 min

      It seems inconceivable that companies like Facebook and Google could ever go away, because they are so pervasive and have such a huge lead over everyone else.

      The only way I can see it is if the way we communicate fundamentally changes, and happens fairly quickly. That is, we are no longer using smartphones. Something seismic...not sure if I'll see that in my lifetime.

    • sjwoocommented9 months ago

      I don't understand...if Australia is forbidding its citizens to leave and come back, I can see the reason. But if an Australian citizen wishes to leave and NOT come back...i.e., they promise never to return to Australia -- why is that a problem for the country? I'd think they'd actually favor that, since that would mean less people to have to oversee/quarantine?

    • sjwoocommented9 months ago

      A bit of a tangent, but unlike the previous OJ series, I have no desire to see the show in the least. I think the OJ series was helped tremendously by the great nonfiction series that aired just before it...

    • sjwoocommented9 months ago
      blog.readup.comThor Galle9/8/219 min

      Congrats, Thor!! 🎉🥂

    • sjwoocommented9 months ago

      I wrote my first novel in two years, writing an hour in the morning. I didn't want to wake up earlier, so I asked my boss if it was OK to come in an hour later and work an hour later. She was fine with it.

      I tried to put in a few more hours on the weekends, and on some days I succeeded, but by and large I failed. And yet even working an hour a day for two years, when all I could eek out was maybe half a page...365x2x0.5 = 365pp.

      That's a book. And that is the power of persistence, however slow it may be...

    • sjwoocommented10 months ago
      Raptitude.comDavid Cain8/12/216 min

      It is really quite remarkable, isn't it, how we come to be? I've always been fascinated with how we learn language -- I've done it twice but it's still a mystery to me, how we stitch together these words that flow through time and space.

      Seems like the question of "why" will always exist. Why is there anything at all, and most quixotic of all, why am I here, asking this very question? We'll never know, though I have an inkling that there is no reason. The universe has existed, the universe exists, and the universe will exist -- when this one dies, another will take its place -- and there is no answer.

    • sjwoocommented10 months ago
      The New YorkerHaruki Murakami9/30/1932 min
      The New Yorker

      I've read many of his novels, but this is the first time I've heard him speak of his life. He wrote the running book a while back, and the sarin gas attack book even further back, but this is quite an illuminating memoirish piece.

      Reading Murakami always imbues me with two emotions: wonder and melancholy. No exception here. He's absolutely spot on about the accidental nature of life. It's all an accident, and we humans have the unfortunate need to gather various narratives to try to form some kind of meaning to what is very much a meaningless existence...

    • sjwoocommented10 months ago
      Texas MonthlyMadeleine Aggeler6/2/2111 min
      Texas Monthly

      How so very much I can relate to Adriene's initial ambivalence to getting another dog after the passing of your beloved canine. It took me a year to even consider it, and another six months after that...and even now, I don't know. The psychic wound of a pet's passing is gargantuan.

      Anyway, here's the boy -- I try not to think about the heartbreak to come, which, if I'm lucky, will be more than a decade from now:


      BTW, how do you embed photos into you comment? I know it's possible because I've seen it...

    • sjwooscouted10 months ago
      The AtlanticJoe Keohane8/4/2112 min
      The Atlantic

      Thank you, @Jessica, for the rec! Love this.

    • sjwoocommented10 months ago
      The AtlanticApoorva Tadepalli7/29/217 min
      The Atlantic

      I'd certainly be the first to admit that this pandemic has left me lonely in so many ways. In fact, that's what I hate most about this virus -- that it has taken the simple, easy pleasure of just being around people, on the most basic level.

      I'm not someone who talks to his stranger seatmate on an airplane, but I still enjoy the ancillary, surface interactions of people in close proximity. Like eating at a packed restaurant with that awesome hum of chatter. Like watching a Broadway play in elbow-to-elbow seats. You and I, separately but together, can enjoy this painting in this museum.

      Right now, none of this is possible without the pervasive, oppressive fear that also accompanies it. And I'm beginning to believe that these simple times will never return. :((

    • sjwoocommented10 months ago

      Aftercare guidance depends on the patient’s existing body type, but all of them must wear a faja, a corset-like garment that keeps the body shape in place, for about three months as the new fat learns to connect with the existing fat. Sleeping must be done face-down for at least six weeks, and sitting requires a special pillow. To help with circulation, patients must schedule regular post-op massages, which are often painful. Peeing, by the way, is its own hurdle. “I’ve seen people where they’ll keep [the garment] on while they go to the bathroom, they’ll literally just pee all over themselves and live like that,” Helly says.

      High heels, pancake makeup, corsets, plastic surgery -- it never ceases to amaze me the lengths some women go to achieve the unachievable. (I'm sure there are plenty of men getting plastic surgery, too...and I feel sad for them, too.)

    • sjwooscouted10 months ago
      The New York Times CompanyCaity Weaver7/29/2111 min
      The New York Times Company

      This is quite funny, and just perfect that it involves Dan Brown, the author of those fairly terrible Da Vinci Code series of books. Also funny that the subject of this story is a filmmaker who "ironically" reads him. For an ironic pursuit, that's a lot of read books.

    • sjwoocommented11 months ago
      Continuing Ed — with Edward SnowdenEdward Snowden6/15/2110 min
      Continuing Ed — with Edward Snowden

      Edward is a pretty smart dude, isn't he? If that wasn't clear before, it sure as hell is now.

      Though I don't agree with him that full internet anonymization is still the end-all/utopian solution. We have the tools to be anonymous on the internet, as much as we can be, but if you really think about it, how has anonymity ever existed pre-internet? It's always required guile and deception (i.e., masks, secret locations, and the like).

    • sjwoocommented11 months ago
      bookbear expressAva7/5/214 min
      bookbear express

      I tend to think we live life bouncing between three states: acceptance (2%), denial (18%), and obliviousness (80%).

    • sjwoocommented11 months ago

      I don't know if there will ever be a good time for very rich people to do very rich people things. The optics will always be bad, because the world as a whole is kinda not looking good. I mean yes, we can buy 80" TVs for $300 or whatever (which, when you really think about it, is also just a way for us to not deal with the present -- staring into the boob tube), but looking at what's happening out there -- erosion of democracy, climate change getting worse, etc. -- no wonder people want out.

      Bezos, Branson, and Musk better get working on their moon cities sooner than later.

    • sjwoocommented11 months ago
      bookbear expressAva2/21/2113 min
      bookbear express

      Lately I've been feeling kinda bad that I give so little thought to race relations. Maybe I'm just a fatalist, but honestly, I don't think I belong here in the US and I don't think I ever will, and I'm okay with that. I'm an interloper; I don't think it's possible not to be when you are first generation. So perhaps I have it easier than Ava here, who was born here.

    • sjwooscouted1 year ago
      sungjwoo.medium.comSung J. Woo6/25/218 min

      Somebody made an audiobook of my second novel, and I had no idea it existed.

    • sjwoocommented1 year ago

      I guess I'm in the minority -- I love going to sleep. I also like waking up. What I don't like is not going to sleep when I'm sleepy!

    • sjwooread1 year ago
    • sjwoocommented1 year ago
      Shaktian SpaceShakti Shetty6/1/213 min
      Shaktian Space

      I've seen that burning monk photo many times, but I still marvel at the man's control over his body. That is some next-next-next level stuff.

    • sjwoocommented1 year ago

      It's almost comical what higher education has become nowadays, with the power having shifted almost entirely to that of the student body -- who are basically overgrown teenagers. Very, very glad I'm nowhere near academia...

    • sjwoocommented1 year ago
      The New York Times CompanyKelli María Korducki6/6/214 min
      The New York Times Company

      It's funny that no matter how much you get paid or how famous you are, work kinda sucks, doesn't it? ;)

    • sjwooscouted1 year ago
      #StopAsianHateSung J. Woo5/24/216 min

      Where I discover a new word, hyggeracisme, while visiting the city of Copenhagen.

    • sjwooread1 year ago
      ricky.substack.comRicky Yean5/16/214 min
    • sjwoocommented1 year ago
      The New YorkerJill Lepore3/30/2015 min
      The New Yorker

      Zoom; we all have found out by this point; is indeed a poor substitute for the real thing...

    • sjwooscouted1 year ago
      sungjwoo.medium.comSung J. Woo5/19/215 min

      How I spent my COVID vacation...in the city of Los Santos.

    • sjwoocommented1 year ago
      Collaborative FundMorgan Housel4/14/219 min
      Collaborative Fund

      I really dig these types of stories -- they're like little gold nuggets of neat information! Steve Johnson's book is like a whole book of this type of stuff: https://www.mprnews.org/story/2014/10/22/daily-circuit-steven-johnson

      I recently listened to Housel on a podcast and he was equally delightful and illuminating: https://www.infiniteloopspodcast.com/morgan-housel-the-psychology-of-money-ep06/