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Ugly Delicious Food, Is Philanthropy Undemocratic and A Reflection

A series on Netflix, a thought provoking podcast and a my thoughts on running an organization.
Ugly Delicious Food, Is Philanthropy Undemocratic and A Reflection
By Zack Jones • Issue #71 • View online
A series on Netflix, a thought provoking podcast and a my thoughts on running an organization.

Ugly Delicious Food
Ugly Delicious | Netflix
In a somewhat lame confession, one of my favorite things to do when I have a free night is to pick something new to cook. On Thursday night I made bread for the first time and last night I made eggplant parmesan. I’ve always been interested in food, but in the past year I’ve tried to get better at cooking. Reading Salt Fat Acid Heat gave me a helpful framework to think about all food and how to create without always using recipes.
Ugly Delicious is an exploration of good food from around the world. It feels like friends and colleagues exploring different cuisines and having genuine dialogue about the meaning of authenticity, fusion and snobbery in the food world. The perfect embodiment of this comes in episode one, after visiting some of the finest pizzerias in the world, three friends order Dominoes, sit around and debate its role in the food world.
There’s something voyeuristic about fascinating about the series. In the same way podcasts feel like you’re just listening in on a conversation between two people, Ugly Delicious feels like you’re watching David Chang wrestle with his own questions about food and what it means in our culture.
Is Philanthropy Undemocratic?
Future Perfect podcast - Vox
New podcast I’m listening to this weekend. Future Perfect season one explores the effective altruism movement. If you’re unfamiliar with effective altruism, this anecdote from an article in the Altantic is a quick way to start considering the theory behind it:
You see a child drowning in a pond. Do you jump in after her? Even if you didn’t push her in? Even if you’re wearing an expensive suit or dress? The socially acceptable answer to the question is you ruin your suit to save the child. But ordinary people with plentiful savings justify ignoring the deaths of children every day, even when the opportunity to save them is as close as an Internet connection.
Season one explores interesting questions like “Should you donate your kidney knowing it will extend someone’s life for 10 more years?” “Should we add lithium to drinking water given compelling evidence that it reduces suicide rates?”
What initially drew me into this series was an episode from season two called Your PTA vs. Equality. In this episode, and throughout season two they explore the undemocratic nature of philanthropy as a means of exercising influence over critical institutions like the legal system, politics and education.
I’m not sure if I agree with the point of view here, but I’m definitely willing to deliberate the merits of using private, tax-deducted money to fund morally questionable initiatives.
Speaking of philanthropy and tax-except organizations...
It’s been almost two years since I’ve been involved with Dual School and I still don’t think it’s hit me that I am running a non-profit. I never thought I would end up in this world, but I’m deeply curious about solving the problem of young people not having purpose and not knowing how to act on their ideas.
We run Dual School like a startup, iterating constantly to try to find the most effective, sustainable solutions to create self-directed learning opportunities for all students.
As a college student, I read constantly, watched videos and wrote about entrepreneurship from a pretty theoretical standpoint. The irony is that once you start operating an organization, it becomes a lot more challenging to find time to read, watch videos and write about the high level concepts of entrepreneurship.
While running a non profit is completely new, everything I’ve done feeds the work I do now. Leading sports teams in high school, working at a summer camp, starting a tennis camp, running the entrepreneurship club at UD, hosting student events, interning as a marketer and more. There was learning in all of it that I draw on every day in the working world.
It’s a wild journey. I appreciate it and I appreciate you for being here.
Zack
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Zack Jones

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