Basketball, Happiness, And The Risk Of Misreading The Jordan Peterson Phenomenon (Ethan Strauss)


For today's episode, I spoke with Ethan Strauss, a reporter at The Athletic and formerly ESPN. Ethan is working on a book about the Golden State Warriors which touches on the question of whether and to what extent professional success, even at the highest levels, brings lasting fulfillment. We discussed politics as well, and Ethan told me the story of the time he and the Aussie NBA center Andrew Bogut went to see Jordan Peterson in Los Angeles. We also talked about the time Kevin Durant got mad at him. (Overall, Ethan has better stories than I do.)

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Announcing Singal-Minded 2019 Summer Hours

I am going to eat so many things in the next month

That photo is of Berlin, where I am very lucky to be heading tomorrow. I’m doing an apartment swap and for the rest of July the plan is to spend most of my time working on my book and the rest of it eating and drinking and hanging out with the small crew of people I still know from when I did a fellowship in Berlin approximately 10,000 years ago (2013-2014).

There is SO MUCH to eat and drink in Berlin — it’s pretty overwhelming. One of my goals is to change the law so I can legally marry this salad that has sesame-encrusted halloumi in it:

(You were right, conservatives — it was a slippery slope the whole time.)

It is also important to me that I revisit this waffle shop where the gimmick is they spell out your name for you on the plate. I love this spelling!


For the rest of this summer, I’m going to cut back on the free version of Singal-Minded. Free subscribers will still get new episodes of my podcast when they are released (I have two recorded that will be out in the next couple weeks), but other than that it’ll generally be radio silence until the end of the summer. At that point, I’ll make a longer-term call about the frequency of the free newsletter.

The short version of why I might change it is that I’ve been pretty lucky with the paid newsletter so far — while I am definitely not getting rich off it, it has quickly proven itself to be a solid source of side income, and at a time when journalism is in serious, serious trouble — so I feel less incentive than I might have otherwise to continue doing the free one as an advertisement for and on-ramp to the paid one. There is a big difference between doing 2-3 total newsletters a week and doing 1-2 — especially given that I’m always juggling other work — so I want to try this lighter schedule for the rest of the summer and see how it goes.

Paid subscribers, of course, will continue to get their 1-2 newsletters a week. If you want to become one, here you go:

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I can’t believe I’ve already been writing this newsletter for seven months. It’s really been a blast, and I’m proud of what I’ve created and thankful to you, my readers, free and paid alike. (I’m overdue for a mailbag, by the way, but that’s on the agenda for this summer.) Free subscribers, you’ll be hearing more from me soon. Paid subscribers, you’ll be hearing more from me very soon. In the meantime, I hope everyone has a great summer. Enjoy these random photos from last year.

Questions? Comments? Observations that given Berlin’s staggeringly rich and heavy history it’s weird to associate it mainly with food? I’m at or on Twitter at @jessesingal.

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