5L: Issue #010

DuetTok, Creative Destruction, and Check, Mate


Probably the most popular gambit

Over the past week I’ve been devouring the addictive Netflix series, the Queen’s Gambit. I loved it. I almost made this entire issue of Five Links chess themed in homage. But then I figured that might alienate a few of you and so I will limit my gushing to just this one link.

I can’t put my finger on why it’s so easy to watch. Is it the gorgeous Anya Taylor-Joy? Possibly. Is it the wonderful scene-setting of the 50s and 60s? Possibly. Is it the chess?Probs not. Is it the crisp ticking of the chess clocks? Maybe..

Whatever it is, I was hooked, and if you haven’t checked it out yet I suggest you do so.

The best article I’ve read on the series explores how the author found inspiration for his Queen -

Tevis took some of the money from the movie rights of The Hustler and moved his family to Mexico so he could work on his follow-up: a science-fiction novel about an alien who winds up in Kentucky called The Man Who Fell to Earth. It was in Mexico that Tevis began drinking, though he disguised it as celebration. “I grabbed the money that I made from the movie and I went to live in Mexico,” Tevis told TheLouisville Courier-Journal, “and I discovered that you could get gin for 80 cents a liter. I stayed drunk for eight months.” Tevis also discovered that when he was drinking, he couldn’t write (“One drink and the typewriter was completely out of the question”). He managed to sober up long enough to finish his book, and it too was sold to Hollywood. Tevis was suddenly a literary darling, with the world anxiously awaiting his next book. They would wait a long while.

The Man Who Brought ‘the Queen’s Gambit’ to Life


Alcoholism in another setting

And another series I’ve been watching a lot of since Issue #009 sits at the other end of the spectrum. Rather than a bajillion dollar world-wide Netflix series, it’s by indie YouTuber slash Aussie farmer, Beau Miles.

I’ve linked to to what I think is a good entry point below but you can start anywhere - so far I’ve enjoyed everything he’s released. Each video tends to go for something between 15 and 30 minutes and they’re well produced, distinctly Aussie, and super interesting. Push it to your TV while you make dinner or after the kids go to bed. Pop open your own bottle of red and enjoy.

Junk Wine: drinking wine found on the side of the road


Can we stop Duetting videos..

Now for something more bite-sized. Remember back in Issue #007 when I linked to the big showstopper of the up-and-coming musical ‘Fighting in a Grocery Store’. Well, TikTok’s Duet feature has been used to create some more new-age art. I still don’t ‘get’ TikTok, and I may not know art, but I know what I like…

link: the trolls of TikTok are on another level

(and subsequently link: I’m so glad I downloaded it lol most interesting for sure and link: I don’t know how they gonna top this one)


How Schumpeter’s Gale lead to the Mickey Mouse Club

Plugging another newsletter now, Packy McCormick has written an excellent piece on how redundancies being put through the startup sector will (hopefully) lead to a burst of creativity and innovation - a result of something known as ‘Schumpeter’s Gale’.

I’d never heard of this particular mental model before. The premise is that one positive of the turmoil that comes from capitalism’s inherent boom-and-bust cycle is a release of pent-up creativity, which had been trapped within established (and often dying) businesses. Similar to how a forest needs a wildfire to germinate, sometimes undiscovered genius needs to be shaken from comfortable stability to show the world what can be achieved.

We’ve been lucky in Australia to avoid a lot of the COVID-carnage experienced overseas - but we do love a good boom-and-bust. I thought this was a great read.

Capitalist societies that allow creative destruction to occur, Schumpeter says, see increased productivity, better products, more wealth, and a higher quality of life than socialist or communist societies that intervene to keep workers and capital in dying industries. 

Cox and Alm cite confirmatory examples of professions that died, and in dying, unlocked talent to work in more productive roles. They cite carriage and harness makers, boilermakers, and switchboard operators. 

I already put you through a lot of economics for a Monday morning, though, so let’s look at a more fun example: The Mickey Mouse Club.

Schumpeter’s Gale


There’s a bit going on there..

A few years ago a smart guy told me that when attending an art, wine, or other cultural appreciation event, the best way to bluff your way through the experience is to master one simple manoeuvre. Sample the product. Stand tall. Breathe in through your teeth while looking up a little bit and say to yourself, ‘hmmm.. there’s a bit going on there.’

Well.. let me just say the real estate agent for this 4 bedroom, 5 bathroom home in New Jersey must have been quite the cultural enthusiast because I have no idea how they could have bluffed their way through this listing. It starts off looking quite nice from the outside but then… well.. Bit. Going. On. There.

1 Rivers Edge Drive

(via Abandoned Jerks)


We’ve made it to Issue #010 ! That’s 20 straight weeks of 5 Links.

Thanks to all of you that have been opening my email and clicking on the links. We’re at 81 subscribers now and I’d really like to get to 100 by the end of the year.

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Bennett.