February 4, 2020
More or less at random, one interesting film, one good book, one very good Netflix mini-series:
Film – Parasite. This is a South Korean film, and I’m at a loss as to how to describe it. It’s part black comedy, part psychological thriller, part sociological study. It involves two Korean families, one very rich and one more or less on the bottom rung of society. Alternately creepy, funny, and violent.
Book – The Rise and Fall of American Growth, by Robert J. Gordon. This book came out in 2016. It is a detailed history of the American standard of living from 1870 to 2015. It’s largely a story of how technology (in the form of railroads, electric lights, antibiotics, telephones, indoor plumbing and other advances) changed life and made all Americans vastly richer in ways that do not always show up in GDP figures. It is absolutely amazing how much life has changed in just 150 years.
Mini-Series – Inside Bill’s Brain. This is a three part mini-series on Netflix. It’s done by Davis Guggenheim, who directed the excellent Waiting for Superman. We track Bill Gates’ early life and career, but we also see him applying his analytical and managerial skills to major problems such as global health and climate change.
That’s it, keeping it short today.