Rollins's Review, November 18
On my favorite Substack columns this week
The Wonderland Rules is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Isaac Simpson from The Carousel made waves a few months ago with a post entitled “There’s Gonna be a War in Montana.” I saw it at the time, but I was just getting my own ‘stack started, and it didn’t really register to me how good Simpson’s reporting actually was. He’s published a follow-up, and like the first piece, it’s excellent.
Mikala Jamison writes about disordered eating and exercise on ‘stack, Body Type. Not having walked in her shoes, I don’t feel qualified to comment when she talks about eating disorders. I am, however, right on board with her attitude toward exercise, and her post this week on the subject was so right on. Use your body in a way that makes sense based on how you’re built, but use your body.
Murtaza Hussain makes a point about crypto I’ve been hammering on for ages in his ‘stack, Three Minute Book Club: It’s useful. Not as an investment, not as a precious-metal-equivalent hedge, not as a tool for facilitating crime. Crypto payments are an alternative to dealing with payment processors that function as unaccountable but quasi-governmental entities with power over your life. If we could get away from the idea of crypto as something you sorta hold onto and move toward crypto as money you spend, ordinary people might be happier. FTX and SBF notwithstanding, crypto isn’t inherently bad, it’s just consistently misapplied.
I find myself reading more Southerners lately. It’s not by design, it’s just what’s happening. Julia Levy is one. She writes about expressing gratitude and why it’s important. I agree with every sentence.
Finance Bros are not to be fucked with. I’m hard to intimidate on an individual level, but as a class, I treat them with the cautious respect due people who are evilly creative, smarter than academics, and have more money than God. PETITION is a Finance Bro blog, and it’s fucking interesting to see the way these guys think. Their take on the SBF thing is excellent.
Rounding out the week, Bari Weiss hosts a banger on Common Sense by Geoffrey Cain on the dangers of TikTok. I am of the opinion that the internet should be unplugged and its infrastructure dismantled anyway, so I’m on board with this to begin with, and I stopped watching even the TikToks I’ve been sent by friends and family when I realized how transcendently manipulative the format has the power to be—it is exactly analogous to digital fentanyl.
First Poiema and now the Carousel. Thanks!
Agreed on that Common Sense on TikTok: that is some really nasty stuff. Not so much because it is inherently bad content, but because it is sort of a hyper evolved method of screwing with someone's head for someone else's profit. A distilled down, highly refined brain incentive manipulator. Or a synthetic drug. Turns out there is kind of a word for that, although administering it digitally through the eyes and ears is a new approach.