The best season for a mailbag
Ozempic economics, my TV pitch, and a defense of Shakespeare
I’ve been a little preoccupied with grim news this week, but good stuff continues to happen. We’ve got a new Spanish rocket company joining the space race, some cool new research into how the immune system fights cancer, and a company seems to have successfully implanted genetically engineered pig kidneys into monkeys. I don’t know that I agree with this super-optimistic take on solar, but it’s interesting. Finally, I was happy to see Claudia Goldin win this year’s Nobel Prize in economics. She has (among other things) brought tremendous clarity to the widely discussed gender wage gap issue, and I really recommend this cartoon explainer Sarah Kliff did years ago for Vox on the subject.
I also wanted to share an update from GiveWell this week. As you may know, part of your paid subscription gets routed to their Top Charities Fund. Most recently, this meant that GiveWell was able to direct $29,073 from the Slow Boring community to the Against Malaria Foundation, buying roughly 4,900 nets and saving an estimated five lives. This was part of a larger $16 million grant to AMF, which was funded by donations in the January-March period and went toward extending the support of their program in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Obviously we want people to subscribe for many reasons, but the ability to help organizations doing direct good in the world is high on that list, so thank you for your support!
Lance Hunter: Matt Levine's newsletter today talked about how Ozempic/Wegovy/etc are starting to effect the bottom line of businesses that have typically profited from consumers' poor impulse control. Are you concerned that there may be a cultural backlash against these treatments that is astroturfed into existence by these industries?
I’m not someone who gets super worried about “astroturf,” but I do think we have to look at the incentives here.
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