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Inside the world of luxury water collectors. (Yes, I’m serious.)

It’s Thursday, my friends, and I’m J.D. Roth. Today, I have three excellent articles for you. Seriously, if I were to rate installments of Apex Money by total quality of the links curated, this would probably be in the top 5%. Each of these three pieces is interesting in one way or another. Don’t believe me? Go read them yourself…

What’s the point of a primary care doctor? [Mel Magazine] — “Against an apparent backdrop of decline in both patient demand and doctor enthusiasm for end-to-end treatment within primary practice, you might wonder why you’re still being shunted through their waiting rooms, when it’s a specialist you really want to see. You might also wonder, since you’re in a diagnosing frame of mind, where all this pressure for referrals and over-treatment is really coming from.”

How tiny, cheap smart speakers unlocked the rise of digital payments in India. [Rest of World] — “Abbas Ali, a vegetable vendor in an upscale neighborhood in New Delhi, started accepting digital payments in 2021. But every time a customer paid online, the 48-year-old, who can neither read nor write, would need to call his son to confirm that the payment had been received. The customers, often in a rush, would get impatient…Eventually, a fellow vendor suggested he subscribe to a ‘sound box’ — a nifty internet-connected device that reads out payment confirmation messages.” [Always interesting to get a glimpse at other cultures.]

We’ll conclude today with what might be my favorite article so far in 2023. It’s early in the year yet, but this piece is golden:

Inside the very real (and very complicated) world of luxury water collectors. [Bon Appétit] — “I remained skeptical. Water, to me, tastes like water. The only texture I can describe it having is ‘wet.’ How could someone justify spending hundreds on bottled water when entire communities, like those in East Palestine and Philadelphia, are affected by contaminated water supplies? What could compel someone to spend weeks at the Doemens Academy in suburban Germany sipping on different waters? What does it mean to elevate something like water, a fundamental human need and a growing scarcity in some places, to this level of luxury?”

I liked that article so much, in fact, that I did I found the author’s homepage so that I can read all of his other stuff. I am — no joke — tempted to send him fan mail.

Yes, I’m a nerd. But so are you, right? Otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this! 😀