Dec 7, 2021 2 min read

Mental Models, How to Live, Food & Utopia

Happy December fellow Frivolous!

I found this wonderful article about mental models in my readings this past week and have since been thinking quite a bit about it.  I liken this to the worldviews we develop for ourselves on how things are or ought to be.  This follows a line of philosophies around how best to make decisions given complex situations, often talked about in leadership conferences.

But it struck me that fiction, and particularly speculative fiction, are ways to explore these via example.  Take, for example, the set of climate fiction stories that have come out recently: thought experiments on different aspects of this challenge.  Or, for example, a number of stories written by or about marginalized authors (from gender non-conforming, to writers from other countries or backgrounds) which provide windows into a different experience.

Along those lines, below is a list of readings that push for understanding a different life.

How Do You Live? by Genzaburo Yoshino; translated by Bruno Navasky

This was first published in 1937 in Japan and is a coming of age classic there.  It centers around 15-year old Copper, who is faced with figuring out life after his father dies.  Interspersed in between Coppers story are journal entries from Copper's uncle offering him advice and sharing knowledge on the challenges Copper's facing.

For anyone who's a fan of Hayao Miyazaki's films (My Neighbor Totoro, Howl's Moving Castle), this was apparently his childhood favorite book, so much so that he's announced coming out of retirement to craft his final film based on this book.

Khoreo Magazine's Issue #4

The last issue of the year is themed around food, and maybe its the non-western in me, but food is a love language, so this definitely gets a shout out. There's a particularly warm short story by Aun-Juli Riddle about a star-faring restaurant ship, the main character and her mother as they prepare food for customers and explore relationships and loss.

Solarpunk Magazine - New issue drops Jan 2022

There's a lot of speculative fiction dealing with distopian futures.  I like the tagline here and am looking forward to their first issue.

That's it for this week folks!  

Keep reading and send me notes on what we might be missing (which is a lot). As always spread the word and invite your friends & family to subscribe.

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