friday five 1.27.17

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JANUARY 27TH, 2017

1. chase sapphire reserve cards are a viral millennial obsession. here's why that's scary.

As someone who only just applied for her own credit card and is currently learning about personal finance, this is pretty insane. Chase actually created a card for millennials, a smart move considering that we're a highly-coveted market for our $200 billion annual buying power.

Many of the perks are good for travel, catering to experience-oriented and wanderlust-obsessed: lounge access at airports and $300 in travel credit, for example, and it's actually designed to be heavier because the weight actually increases dopamine levels. It's brilliant.

2. if you forget as fast as you read, this is for you

I've always been fascinated with memory, since mine has always been rather selective (I can list at least ten pieces of random trivia from Moulin Rouge! but I have difficulty recalling where I last put my keys). And this, along with another article about how to "hack" your memory by using your brain's "delete button," has convinced me that memorization is a mental muscle, not a talent. You have to actively work on strengthening the building of conscious memory, like using a "mind palace, a technique I'd only heard mentioned in Sherlock prior. Also, Moonwalking with Einstein has been somewhere on my reading list for a while, but now I may have to move up a bit.

3. to obama with love, hate, and desperation

I just really love this (thanks Britt). This is a president that honestly wants to hear from his people, who really genuinely cares about them and wants to be in touch with them. It's so humanizing, and I love Obama for that: "...the president in the role of a nation's therapist." And it's a nice little peek behind the curtains of the White House.

4. family obligations: crash course philosophy #43

I actually remember this debate from my AP Lang class when we read Jane English's essay, "What Do Grown Children Owe Their Parents?" She argues that the answer is "nothing" for two reasons: one, because children did not willingly enter into a moral obligation to reciprocate, and two, because true unconditional parenting does not incur "debt."

I think the conditional view is probably the most reasonable one, but even this gets tricky. Do you get points for trying to be a good parent? What does a "good" parent mean? And do you reciprocate to the exact degree of the care you received/can that ever be truly equal?

In Amy Chua's Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, she writes:

Chinese parents believe that their kids owe them everything. The reason for this is a little unclear, but it's probably a combination of Confucian filial piety and the fact that the parents have sacrificed and done so much for their children ... By contrast, I don't think most Westerners have the same view of children being permanently indebted to their parents.

I feel like all of my friends, Asian or not, feel indebted to their parents. I notice that my non-Asian friends treat their parents differently, often more like friends than superiors, but I don't think any of them are ungrateful. But I can say that most of my Asian friends feel indebted to their parents, and I don't think that's necessarily a good thing. Birthing a child does not equal parenting. And parenting does not equal good parenting.

I am, obviously, very privileged to come from good parents, but I don't think there's anything wrong with cutting your parents out of your life if they're unhealthy relationships, and I wish some of my friends would understand that. I read /r/RaisedByNarcissists sometimes, because I think it's important to recognize signs of emotional/mental abuse and to help people who are suffering from it. 

5. davos elite fret about inequality over vintage wine and canapés

An excellent article sent to me by my uncle, about the "economic elite" and the efforts to expand globalization and make it more universally beneficial. It criticizes the fact that most of the solutions proposed by the wealthy and privileged effectively blame the less wealthy and less privileged for their condition, and are little more than an attempt to placate the working class without addressing the real problem.

The author quotes Oxford professor Ian Goldin, who argues that isolationist policies are unrealistic, but also points to the Renaissance as an example of the consequences of unchecked economic equality: a great time for intellectual and cultural progress, but it alienated much of the population that was too poor or uneducated to appreciate it.

The answer is simple: redistribution of wealth. But bolstering the middle class and making globalization work for everyone are no simple tasks. I suppose it begins with this conversation, but as the title indicates, there is a great irony in the world's elite discussing the problem atop their perch at the summit of the world.

BONUS: america first, the netherlands second

A satirical video from a Dutch comedy show called Zondag Met Lubach. Hilarious.