A Former Fat Kid, Farewell to ‘Nashville,’ and More: Today’s Recommended Reading


Here at Flavorwire, we pride ourselves on not only writing some of the best content on the internet, but keeping an eye on all of the great writing that other folks on the ‘net are doing, too. Today we have a personal essay about the trouble faced while growing up fat, a farewell to the country music show Nashville, a look at the real David Hume, and a primer on the reality of e-ink’s dominance.

First we’ve got the an essay about David Hume at the New York Review of Books, inspired by a new biography of the philosopher. The piece takes a look at Hume’s resurgence in popularity, and how his current trendiness might have something to do with the fact that he was way ahead of his time: he knocked religion in thinly veiled pieces, and eventually chose to enjoy himself socially rather than to toil away intellectually.

Still, it is probably the rise of so-called “naturalism” in philosophy that best explains Hume’s newfound appeal. Naturalism has several components, all of which were prominent in his work. Hume stressed the similarities between people and other animals: a century before Darwin’s Descent of Man, he argued that there is no great difference between the minds of humans and the minds of some creatures in zoos. (Hume also anticipated Darwin in implying that certain mental traits function to aid reproduction.)

At BuzzFeed, Isaac Fitzgerald writes about his life as a FFK, or former fat kid. As an FFK myself, I identify wholeheartedly with his battle to see himself as he is and not what he could be. Losing drastic amounts of weight after living with it for so long makes it incredibly difficult to adjust one’s perspective of themselves. Fitzgerald talks at length about how he (and many others) use the validation of sex to prolong our coming to terms with ourselves. It’s witty and funny and powerful and necessary.

Despite the triumphs of the previous summer, plus everyone at school weirdly telling me how “nice” I looked when we returned in the fall, it isn’t until this moment — as an actual character in that ’90s teen movie, albeit one getting yelled at by a jock — that I realize I’ve lost weight. It’s also when I realize that my weight and how I perceive myself aren’t at all related. I still feel fat. Ugly. Unattractive. Every time I look in the mirror I can still see my mother’s red handprint fading to white as my belly shakes.

Electronic paper is an unsung hero in the tech world. Known mostly for providing the text on Amazon’s range of Kindle e-readers, e paper is significant in the way it produces almost zero ambient light. Tech folks are finally starting to embrace what could easily be seen as an ungraceful technology, and electronic paper is popping up everywhere.

Electronic paper, as that display tech is known (E Ink is a trademarked term owned by the company named E Ink, the tech’s leading purveyor), has always been associated primarily with the Kindle and its ilk. But e-paper is about to be much bigger than e-books. These durable, easy-to-read screens are taking over the world, from billboards to price tags to the walls of your house. We’ve been imagining this future forever: the all-screen worlds of Total Recall,Minority Report, Blade Runner, and other less-dystopian movies. Researchers have spent decades working out how to turn walls, floors, ceilings, and facades into touchscreens.

Nashville was a pretty good, under-watched show about country music. It was a little soap-y, but had very good music and featured some legitimate, important Nashville institutions. We didn’t cover the show much here at Flavorwire, but over at Pitchfork they’ve written a farewell to the show.

As we wait for the real-life Nashville to finally reckon with that last point (sigh), we must say goodbye to the (many, many) characters who made “Nashville” one of the most well-rounded fictionalized portraits of the music industry to have ever existed. From the ins and outs of behind-the-scenes roles like professional songwriters, music publishers, managers, and working-class touring musicians, to the legal problems that plague superstars rich enough to charter their own jets, “Nashville” should be considered the anti-“Vinyl.”