Essays from Hollywood, Russia, and Beyond

A screenwriter on the upcoming strike. The most important natural resource in the world. Plus: a Putin critic shows us how to live in truth—even from inside a Russian cage.

One of the best requests we’ve ever received came from a reader named Nicole Jones. (Hi, Nicole.) Here’s what she said:

I wish y’all had like a “Best Essays of the Week” section or something. Because if there’s anything I want from y’all, other than more and more content, it’s for y’all to also edit the internet for me. Collect the best. Be my algorithm.

Be my algorithm! It’s a phrase that stuck with us. 

We’re having an ongoing debate about the best way to be your algorithm—the best way to save you time so you don’t have to spend all day scouring the web. (We love reading the internet. Yes, we’re a bunch of masochists.)

We’re batting around different ideas. Would you like a daily collection of links? A weekly digest summarizing the best pieces of the week? (Tell us at:

For now, we are trying out something simple: reprints of the best journalism you might have missed. 

So for today:

Rob Long, the executive producer of six TV series (including Cheers), writes about the upcoming writers strike—and how, though he comes from a long line of union-busting industrialists, working in Hollywood has turned him into an unlikely union man. (Originally published in Commentary.)

Ted Gioia, whose newsletter The Honest Broker has fast become one of our must-reads, on the most important natural resource in the world.

And last: what does it look like to live in truth, even when you are inside a cage? Vladimir Kara-Murza, who was sentenced Monday by a Moscow court to 25 years in prison for criticizing Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine, shows us how in his powerful, final speech. Read this one to your kids.

Enjoy. And, as always, tell us what you think in the comments.

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