PICKS are stories from many sources, selected by our editors or recommended by our readers because they are important, surprising, troubling, enlightening, inspiring, or amusing. They appear on our site and in our daily newsletter. Please send suggested articles, videos, podcasts, etc. to picks@whowhatwhy.org.

Amazon Could Run Out of US Workers in Two Years, Leaked Memo Suggests (Maria)

The author writes, “Is Amazon about to run out of workers? According to a leaked internal memo, the retail logistics company fears so. ‘If we continue business as usual, Amazon will deplete the available labor supply in the US network by 2024,’ the research, first reported by Recode, stated. Amazon is right to be worried — its staff turnover rate is astronomical. Before the pandemic, Amazon was losing about 3% of its workforce weekly, or 150% annually. By contrast, the annual average turnover in transportation, warehousing and utilities was 49% in 2021 and in retail it was 64.6%, less than half of Amazon’s turnover.”

‘War Fatigue’ May Cause West to Lose Interest in Ukraine Support (Sean)

The author writes, “As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine grinds into its fourth month, officials in Kyiv have expressed fears the specter of ‘war fatigue’ could erode the West’s resolve to help the country push back Moscow’s aggression. The US and its allies have given billions of dollars in weaponry to Ukraine. Europe has taken in millions of people displaced by the war. And there has been unprecedented unity in post-World-War-II Europe in imposing sanctions on President Vladimir Putin and his country. But as the shock of the February 24 invasion subsides, analysts say the Kremlin could exploit a dragged-out, entrenched conflict and possible waning interest among Western powers that might lead to pressuring Ukraine into a settlement.”

An Immunologist Fights COVID-19 with Tweets and a Nasal Spray (Sean)

From Quanta Magazine: “Akiko Iwasaki, an immunologist who became a lifeline for the worried and the curious during the pandemic, thinks that nasal spray vaccines could be the next needed breakthrough in our fight against the coronavirus.”

Stanford’s New School of Sustainability Is a Gift to Fossil Fuel Companies (Reader Steve)

From The Nation: “This summer, Stanford University will officially launch its new Doerr School of Sustainability with the help of a record-breaking $1.1 billion gift from John and Ann Doerr. According to the Doerrs, who amassed their wealth in venture capital, the new school reflects a ‘bold’ commitment to tackle humanity’s greatest challenge. And yet Stanford seems set to replicate the mistakes of past climate research: inviting conflicts of interest by soliciting fossil fuel funding, paying lip service to environmental justice, and forcing a dated and narrow-minded vision of ‘objective’ climate work.”

Air Pollution Worse for Global Lifespan Than Cigarettes or Alcohol (Laura)

The author writes, “Breathing is more dangerous than smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol. That’s according to the latest report from the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, which says that air pollution now takes more than two years off the global average life expectancy — more than cigarettes, alcohol, or conflict and terrorism. The annual report, known as the Air Quality Life Index, or AQLI, was released [on June 14]. It found that particulate air pollution — a mixture of contaminants such as smoke, fumes, dust and pollen — has remained high, even as the coronavirus pandemic slowed the global economy and brought blue skies to some of the world’s most polluted areas.”

‘Wallets and Eyeballs’: How eBay Turned the Internet Into a Marketplace (Howard)

From The Guardian: “[Pierre] Omidyar was fond of this form of online life. He had been a devoted user of the internet since his undergraduate days, and a participant in its various communities. He now observed the rising flood of dot-com money with some concern. The corporations clambering on to the internet saw people as nothing more than ‘wallets and eyeballs,’ he later told a journalist. Their efforts at commercialisation weren’t just crude and uncool, they also promoted a zombie-like passivity — look here, click here, enter your credit card number here — that threatened the participatory nature of the internet he knew.”

Narcissistic Bosses Stymie Knowledge Flow, Cooperation Inside Organizations (Mili)

The author writes, “Narcissism is a prominent trait among top executives, and most people have seen the evidence in their workplaces. These individuals believe they have superior confidence, intelligence and judgment, and will pursue any opportunity to reinforce those inflated self-views and gain admiration. According to new research from the University of Washington, narcissism can also cause knowledge barriers within organizations.”

Airbnb Will Pay You $100,000 to Design and Build a Really, Really Weird Home (Dana)

The author writes, “Airbnb has really been leaning into the weirder side of its platform recently. Properties like this giant shell-shaped house and this remote cabin on stilts are now easier to find than ever thanks to its new filter system, which allows you to search by categories like ‘island,’ ‘windmill,’ or ‘OMG!’ And now the company is even offering a load of cash to people who want to create their own epic rentals. That’s right — if you’ve ever thought about becoming a host, now’s the time. You’ll get a lump sum of $100,000 (£81,000) from a dedicated $10 million (£8.13 million) fund, set up to help you create the most ridiculous home imaginable.”