Newley's Notes

In This Week’s Newley’s Notes: Addicted to ‘The OA,’ Why 401(k)s Suck; Snowden Revisited

2017 01 04sky

Edition 78 of my email newsletter went out to subscribers yesterday. It’s pasted in below.

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Hi friends, thanks for reading Newley’s Notes, a weekly newsletter in which I share links to my stories and various items I think are worth highlighting.

So, okay, first off: With some downtime last week, I started watching “The OA,” a new sci-fi series from Netflix that began last month.

Do you know this show?

It’s totally creepy and weird, there are cliff-hangers and plot twists even from the first episode, and it’s totally compelling. I’m only a few episodes in and really loving it.

I would provide more links to further reading about the show but I don’t want to subject myself to any potential spoilers. Highly recommended!

On to this week’s edition.


My Top 10 Posts from 2016 – A re-cap of my most-clicked posts, from Singaporean barbecue to my iPhone home screen to “coyowolves.”

The Best Books I Read in 2016 – a treatise on the importance of “deep work,” and a book on Southeast Asia’s tycoons.

Are Uncontacted Tribes Increasingly Emerging from the Wilderness? – A post prompted by watching another program on Netflix, a documentary about uncontacted people in the Amazon.


1) Dave Barry reviews 2016. His re-cap of what was a highly memorable year is laugh out loud funny.

2) Is Edward Snowden a whistle-blower or a tool of Russian intelligence? Edward Jay Epstein, author of the new Knopf book “How America Lost Its Secrets: Edward Snowden, the Man and the Theft,” says Snowden has consistently lied following his disclosure of NSA secrets.

3) 401(k)s don’t work. So say…the people who originally championed them. The nut from a WSJ story today:

Many early backers of the 401(k) now say they have regrets about how their creation turned out despite its emergence as the dominant way most Americans save. Some say it wasn’t designed to be a primary retirement tool and acknowledge they used forecasts that were too optimistic to sell the plan in its early days.

Others say the proliferation of 401(k) plans has exposed workers to big drops in the stock market and high fees from Wall Street money managers while making it easier for companies to shed guaranteed retiree payouts.

4) Thread of the week: “Physicians of Reddit: What’s the worst injury you’ve seen at a routine check-up?” Not for the squeamish.

5) “Your Life in Weeks.” That’s the title of this timeless post on the always-excellent blog “Wait But Why” about the preciousness of time.

Thanks for reading.


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