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Katherine Boo's Behind the Beautiful Forevers:
Maximum City by Suketu Mehta:

In which John discusses his surprising (and unearned) place in the TIME 100, Time's annual list of the most influential people in the world, and then goes to the airport to discuss this summer's nerdfighter book club pick, Behind the Beautiful Forevers. I hope you enjoy the book (read it by June 10th!) and look forward to our discussion of it.
Good morning Hank, it's Tuesday.  It's very early because I have to go to New York this morning.

So here's a funny thing that happened, Hank: Time Magazine named me one of the one hundred most influential people in the world, so I'm going to New York to go to this party.

Now, I am aware - how do I say this without sounding ungrateful - I am aware that this is an unearned honor. Like, I can personally name several thousand people who are more influential than I am who did not make the Time 100. There's Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the actress and activist Laverne Cox, the artist Ai Weiwei.

Also every single morning French President Francois Hollande wakes up and thinks, "You know, I think today I won't use France's nuclear arsenal to start a war that would end the human species." And that is an extremely influential decision.
But that noted, I am delighted and honored to have been included, and now I get to go to this party with other people on the Time 100. Like, maybe Vladimir Putin and Kim Il Sung.

Probably not Kim Il Sung. However, if he is there, I promise I will take a selfie with him and then I will make a citizen's arrest for human rights violations.

One more thing about the Time 100 before I get to the actual, like, topic of today's video, they called me a teen whisperer.
Which made me think about, like, what if I were an actual teen whisperer. Like, "Hey teens, where are we gonna go to, like, take drugs and Snapchat?"

But it's true, Hank, I know what the teens love to talk about, Pulitzer Prize winning non-fiction books about people living in a slum in Mumbai.

Alright, I have to go to the airport, but you should come with me.

Movie magic! So Hank, this summer in the Nerdfighter bookclub we're reading Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo, which is just a fascinating book.

But Nerdfighters, I realized that I didn't give you a due date, which is just terrible teachering on my part; I apologize; so, uh, the movie The Fault In Our Stars comes out on June 6th , things are gonna be a little crazy until then, so June 10th.

You must read this book by June 10th or else nothing is going to happen to you. Also, if you're the kind of student who wants extra credit,  and let's face it Nerdfighters, you probably are, then I think it's really interesting to read Behind the Beautiful Forevers - we need an acronym for it, like TFIOS... BtBF. Yes, BtBF - Anyway, I think it's really interesting to read BtBF in the context of another book about Mumbai: Maximum City. So that's your extra credit assignment.

Okay, so no spoilers but I want to talk about a few things to kinda bear in mind while you're reading Behind the Beautiful Forevers.

First, I think it's really important to resist the urge to extrapolate, like this is a book about a few people living in one community; it's not a book about slums in general or India in general.

Also, luck. Hank, we like stories that make sense. I mean that's part of the reason we tell each other stories, part of the reason why we read novels and watch movies, and we're hardwired to like stories that make sense because human memory itself is narrative, so there's like a luck-eraser inside the human mind that tells you that Z happened because of X and Y. But actually, Z happened because of X and Y and lots of luck. Luck of birth and genetics and circumstance and some editor at Time Magazine liking your book!

So how does our view of the world change when we incorporate luck into it instead of assuming that human life is like essentially a meritocracy? 

Okay a couple other things. The idea of private property, that's weird, how does land become owned? Also water. It's always worth paying attention to water. And lastly, when we talk about global poverty we usually talk about people who live on the equivalent of less than $1.25 a day. That's the case for more than a billion people. But it's not the case for the people Katherine Boo writes about, who are living in Annawadi. The people living in Annawadi live above the global poverty line and they're participating and - and some would say benefiting from - global capitalism. But of course what that actually means in their lives turns out to be very complicated.

And Hank, that's the great thing about Behind the Beautiful Forevers. Everything is complicated, governments, non-profit organizations, micro finance, religious organizations, complicated, people, complicated - it's so good!

Alright my flight is boarding so I gotta go. Hank, I'll see you on Friday.

Global international poverty -

Loudspeaker announcement: May I have your attention please. 

You can have my attention. 

Speaker: Transportation security administration mandates the removal of unattended - 

Does it REALLY?! I've never heard that before!