I found these stories informative and interesting. They outline the second and third-order impacts of the pandemic. They should add another dimension to your reading about the pandemic. — Om

Why Brooks Brothers went bankrupt? You might think that the COVID pandemic was to blame for the shutdown of the most American of fashion icons, but in reality, the seeds of its irrelevance were sown a long time ago.

Americans will pay too much for the COVID vaccine? Why and what one mogul thinks can be done about it.

Nothing makes us aware of our clutter problem than staying and working at home all the time, as The New York Times reports.

The pandemic could make US food system become more resilient, reports National Geographic. I hope so, but I don’t feel optimistic considering the vise-like grip of big food cartels on our economy.

It is good to take a look at the past of the elevators, which we know are about to change in the future to accommodate our new behaviors in the post-pandemic age. (h/t Nicholas Thompson)

I have been toying with an idea around “engineering” and how the meaning of the word has changed around here in Silicon Valley. And now like a spider, I find myself trapped in the web of thoughts I have woven. Three days later, I have not been able to make any progress on my newsletter. I am going to skip this week’s edition.

The Essayist

I just started re-reading Essays of E.B.White. I couldn’t help but share his self-deprecating description of an essayist. His writings, in general, are amazing, but I am particularly inspired by his essays, as I have always aspired to write longer, and deeply reported essays.

The essayist is a self-liberated man, sustained by the childish belief that everything he thinks about, everything that happens to him, is of general interest. He is a fellow who thoroughly enjoys his work, just as people who take bird walks enjoy theirs. Each new excursion of the essayist, each new “attempt,” differs from the last and takes him into a new country. This delights him. Only a person who is congenitally self-centered has the effrontery and the stamina to write essays.

E.B. White

July 25, 2020, San Francisco.