The sound system district of Mexico City is really, really loud

Around the historic center of Mexico City, there are thousands of retail stores, each grouped by neighborhood according to what they sell. There are blocks and blocks of nothing but tire stores, for example, or lighting fixtures. 

Hilariously, the sound system section of the city features stores trying to draw attention over the others by blasting music. They're ALL blasting music. And so walking down the street is an extremely noisy experience, according to my Apple Watch's sound level warning feature. 

(Video taken via Ray-Ban Meta glasses.) 

Israel-Hamas war propagandists are churning out disinformation, including AI-generated images

And the sad part is that people are believing the falsehoods and sharing them broadly on social media. 

The picture above, for example, which appears to show a man carrying his children out of the rubble. The Chinese embassy in France claimed on Xitter that "This image will symbolize the West for decades to come. They will not forgive and will not forget and those children (if they survive) will grow up angry, very angry."

Except those children don't exist. The picture is generated by AI. And not even good AI. The children have the wrong number of toes, clothing blends together and it has other telltale problems. 

AFP has a good fact-check page chronicling some of the disinformation. AP is doing a pretty good job as well. is doing a great job. And DW has a nice "how to spot fake content" explainer. 

Woman complaining about digital nomad living should have read my book

Francesca Specter, writing for The Guardian, laments what she sees as the downsides of digital nomad living after trying the lifestyle for a year. But her troubles were probably avoidable. 

For example, instead of enjoying the best of both worlds of work and play, she claims she could "access neither the tranquillity and sense of routine I need to do my best writing, nor the relaxed holiday mindset to enjoy the luxury of being abroad." And she complained about too much actual travel and that "departure lounges became my office space" and airline problems like lost luggage and flight delays.

In my book, Gastronomad, I specifically recommend much longer stays in each location — months, instead of weeks, which greatly reduces all these troubles.

Specter seems surprised by the inconveniences, hazards and discomforts of living nomadically, about which I devoted an entire chapter with remedies for all. 

She also didn't get my memo about living as a temporary local, rather than as a non-stop tourist.

Don't let this happen to you! If you're going to work while traveling, please read Gastronomad!! I learned everything the hard way living nomadically for 17 years! Read my book to learn the easy way!

Why the whole "woke Snow White" scandal is dumb and delusional. You want the original? You can’t handle the original.

Dishonest conservative news outlets looking to drum up controversy for the generation of outrage against liberal Hollywood have railed against a so-called "woke" version of "Snow White." Now the controversy has delayed the film by a year.  

Specifically, commentators seemed vexed by the fact that Snow White isn't white enough, and that the "Seven Dwarves" were dwarfy enough. Or something.

But the whole outrage is based on pure ignorance. Fox news, for example, seems to think that the Disney cartoon from 1937 was the original. In fact that telling of the story was radically whitewashed and sugar-coated beyond recognition, in keeping with the mores and sensibilities of that era. 

In the closest thing we have to the "original" story, published by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in 1812, the evil queen sends a huntsman out to kill Snow White and bring back her lungs and liver, which she intended to eat. The original featured intimations of cannibalism. 

When Snow White was finally killed by the queen, she was still seven years old. And so it was a seven-year-old corpse that the prince fell in love with and tried to buy from the Dwarves. The original featured intimations of pedophelic necrophilia. 

Snow White was seven years old when she married the prince. The original featured an adult man marrying a child bride, something right out of the Taliban. 

To exact revenge, Show White and her adult husband then had the queen tortured and executed by forcing the queen to step into red-hot iron shoes and then dance until she "fell down dead." 

By contrast, the Disney version from 1937 was "woke." Any notion that adding a patina of diversity or any nod to the morals and sensitivities of 2023 are nothing compared to what Disney did in 1937.

How digital nomads contribute to the economic transformation of developing countries

Developing countries attract nomads with a lower cost of living. Though nomads contribute to local economies, their higher incomes also raise housing costs, displacing residents, according to a growing (but in my view, mostly false) consensus. (I'm quoted in the article.)

While digital nomads bring fresh money, emerging economies must balance this against protecting longtime natives from being priced out of their own neighborhoods, according to Isabela De los Rios Hernández, writing for Harvard International Review.