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MinnPost Picks: on drone pilots, the Lakers dynasty, and why so many COVID predictions were wrong

Our weekly roundup of recommended reading, listening or viewing by MinnPost’s staff and contributing journalists.

John C. Reilly, Jason Clarke and Quincy Isaiah in “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty.”
John C. Reilly, Quincy Isaiah and Jason Clarke in “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty.”
HBO

“Why So Many COVID Predictions Were Wrong,” The Atlantic
It was unprecedented, so bad predictions could be expected. But this article by Jerusalem Demsas describes the actions by government and others that responded to predictions like the eviction tsunami, the “she-cression” and deep state and local government deficits that might not have been actual threats (or may well have been headed off by economic interventions). —Peter Callaghan, state government reporter

“Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty,” HBO Max
As a fan of the 1980s “Showtime” Los Angeles Lakers, the mere idea of a bio-doc series on the team led by superstars Erving “Magic” Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was enough to get me to tune-in to this series, but the poetic license in telling the stories was what got me hooked. I’m watching wondering how much is accurate and how much is that “poetic license,” but I’m riveted either way. The stories go far beyond the court and offer deep takes on how Dr. Jerry Buss came to acquire and transform the franchise and how “Magic” went from Lansing, Mich. hooper to the most valued face in the NBA. The removal of the “fourth wall” to talk directly to the viewer offers an added element, making you feel as if you’re right there in the middle of the mayhem and excitement. —Harry Colbert, Jr., managing editor

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“How movements can maintain their radical vision while winning practical reforms,” Waging Nonviolence
This interview with Dr. Rebecca Tarlau discusses the MST, or the Landless Workers Movement of Southern Brazil, and their decades-long strategy of organizing, mutual aid, education, and how they’ve engaged with government structures. — Jonathan Stegall, user experience engineer

Solomon Gustavo“The Unseen Scars of Those who Kill Via Remote Control,” The New York Times
The Kroll Show, one of my favorites, has a sketch that plays on the remote aspect of being a drone pilot. In the bit, the pilots clock in for work at a strip mall and have water cooler conversations as neighborhoods in the Middle East are decimated by bombs. This New York Times expose into the lives of drone pilots — who carry out and witness the killing of enemy combatants but also civilians like women and children on high definition cameras — showcases how drone pilotry is no laughing matter. —Solomon Gustavo, metro reporter