read list: apr ’21 (week 1)

news || editorials

Malay Mail: Bank Negara on the right lines but too optimistic on growth


“On one hand, they are correct in highlighting that the balance of risks is on the downside but on the other they have a very buoyant outlook for economic growth during what is likely to be a very turbulent year.


“Given that Malaysia has been in lockdown for the first three months of 2021, BNM’s forecast that the economy will grow by 6.0-7.5 per cent for the full year looks optimistic and may be due solely to comparing this year with the low base of last year. A more realistic view of underlying growth in 2021 would be around 3 per cent which does not indicate such a strong rebound.


“In fact, BNM’s analysis of growth potential is tucked away in the back of their report and is consistent with our view that this crisis would leave us with a completely different economy. We calculated that underlying growth could be about 0.75 per cent lower while BNM estimates 1.3 to 1.5 per cent. This is a significant structural break.”

SoyaCincau has been doing fairly decent local updates of our vaccination situation. good thing the algorithm demons surfaced them for me, it’s been a useful recap.

long reads

this week’s thread on local southeast asian familiar spirits. this account has a habit of referencing their past threads, so the nested tweets is real and have fun in the rabbithole.

Tressie McMillan Cottom’s new piece on Essaying: New Money. I really admire her writing, the way she ties her personal with the larger themes in society. It’s been said that sociology as a discipline is a particularly American one, and maybe so, but her intellectual work has been very illuminating and relevant for me.


“Navigating this new money has been quite a task. Don’t cry for me, of course. I have the kinds of problems that Mother would have been so thrilled by that she would have forgotten to wrap her money back in its tissue paper. She loved my life, so alike but so different from her own. She would bend over in laughter every time I went to some new place or achieved some new thing. Seeing me with money that moves in 1s and 0s in apps on my smartphone, in amounts that could make her put away her money purse for good would have tickled her to no end.

“That is what I think about: What I owe her with this money. If I had living children, I suppose I would be thinking about their inheritance. I do not and my cousin’s children are little strangers to me mostly. I will endow the things that align with my values but I probably won’t be making any young moguls upon my death. No matter what I do with this money when I have gone on to glory (we hope), it is what I do with it now that seems to be the most important thing. It is also the hardest thing.”

video essays

I love movie translation geekery, and Accented Cinema’s new video is about translated titles of Western movies in Chinese-language markets.

random shitposts from the meme mines

For April’s Fool, r/AskHistorians had a post from King Leonidas himself, crying slander over the well-known documentary 300.

And the industrial-entertainment-streaming-complex strikes again:

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