👁 an eye for an eye in hong kong.

welcome to sam’s brain drain, a weekly collection of thumb-stopping things to tap, read, & watch.

estimated reading time: 4m 29s.

⚡️ happy monday.

this is the 10th consecutive newsletter that i’ve published—thanks for sticking around!

based on some feedback last week—i’m including a new ‘earworm’ section—detailing a track or album that i think is worth listening to.

i already cover what you need to read & watch, why not what you hear too?

on the agenda this week: brockhampton, hongkongers & the death of a billionaire.

⚡️ tag me on instagram or twitter if you enjoy this week's brain drain!


👂 earworm:

‘ginger’ is the fifth studio album by american hip hop collective brockhampton.

2018 was a year of upheaval for the group. there were moments of maturity in their lives and in their business after signing a $15 million rca deal. the group kicked out ameer vann over the summer of 2018 when he was accused of sexual assault and after the release of iridescence in the fall, they scattered for six months to deal with a stressful year, before returning together and recording this new album.

this album does take on a different tone. gone are the joyous gospel choruses and soulful beats, but rather they hone in on the anger at society and the harshness of their collective and individual pasts.

- magnetic mag

unmissable tracks:

  • no halo

  • heaven belongs to you (ft. slowthai)

  • big boy

stream it now:

listen on spotify or on apple music.


📚 word of the week

ruthful”:

an antonym for ‘ruthless’, meaning “full of or causing sorrow or pity”.

forbidden knowledge was everywhere,
but the ruthful ocean said:
you shall not be so innocent again
& me the merry mariner
sinking, the world sinking
sinking,
with each tall thought a mast.
raking the deck of the reach-me-down world, louis phillips


🧠 brain candy

🚉 no need to fly:

this campaign (by the geniuses at ogilvy) really drew my attention this week:

according to german rail, 72% of germans travel abroad for their holidays. so the train operator wanted to convince germans that a staycation would be as exciting as a foreign holiday, without breaking the bank.

german rail, with ogilvy germany and getty images, used a lookalike algorithm to identify german locations that resembled iconic international landmarks.

then using facebook data, german rail targeted travel enthusiasts interested in specific destinations on instagram and facebook. finally, through geo-tagging technology and google search, the audience was served video ads updated with real-time prices, comparing two gorgeous locations (one in germany and one aboard), detailing the cost of travel from their closest airport to the foreign country.

read more.

🇭🇰 the hong kong way:

exactly 30 years after the baltic way took place, pro-democracy protestors in hong kong took inspiration from the demonstration & joined hands across the city to form a massive human chain on the 19th of august. there was symbolic support for a young protestor & volunteer medic who may lose her eye after being shot by police with a beanbag gun. many of those in the chain wore bloodied bandages over their right eyes or held their hands over their faces as a symbol of resistance:

a human chain stretched for kilometres across both sides of hong kong harbour on friday night, as people turned out for a peaceful demonstration inspired by anti-soviet protesters three decades ago.

joining hands and singing songs, tens of thousands of demonstrators lined hong kong’s pavements, overpasses, waterfronts and parks, and scaled one of its most famous peaks, picking out the outline of lion rock with the light of waving mobile phones.

on 23 august 1989, around 2 million protesters formed a human chain stretching 370 miles (600km) across estonia, latvia and lithuania, a show of defiance against moscow that became known as the baltic way. within a year, the three countries would all be independent. the symbolism is unlikely to be lost on authorities in beijing.

read more.

🇺🇸 david koch’s ‘legacy’:

the death of david koch is unlikely to diminish the power of the network of influence that he & his brother created. the billionaire’s lasting legacy will be the fortune he used to underwrite climate change denial and undermine american democracy:

the kochs liked to couch their political aims in high-minded terms — that they supported “liberty” or “economic freedom.” and they spent a good deal of money funding and promoting such ideas in academia. but these aims often coincided with their business and financial interests, since koch industries is a major oil refining and chemical conglomerate. policies aimed at reining in carbon emissions and combating climate change would generally be bad for the kochs, so they fought any such proposal tooth and nail.

dating back to the 1970s, charles and david helped found and fund libertarian organizations, but in the ensuing decades they shifted their efforts toward more straightforward support of republicans. it was during president barack obama’s administration that the kochs dramatically escalated their political activity and became two of the most important political funders on the right.

due to large donations, david koch’s name is all over major cultural institutions in new york city: the metropolitan museum of art, lincoln center, the american museum of natural history. but it’s his and his brother’s political spending that will be his most memorable legacy.

read more.


🤪 mildly humorous:


that’s all for this week.

i hope you hold me accountable to keep this interesting 😝.

😌 see you next monday!


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👋 read more of my posts:

🚦 green means go.

🚶‍♂️ everywhere, everywhen.

🇺🇸 a note on death.

🧠 life's ebb & flow.

😏 new emoji?

⚡️ the power of aligned incentives.

⏰ 176 days to the year 2020.

💡 rising from the ashes, again.

🎉 something new.