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Hello, Insiders. Hope you’re having a great holiday season! Happy Boxing Day to those who celebrate. Full disclosure: We’re off today. So I’m trying to stay away from Slack, take some time to relax, enjoy living in the moment with my family, and catch up on reading.


So if you’re also on the hunt for fascinating stories, you’re in luck. We’re sharing some of Insider’s most popular stories of the year. From what it’s like to be a Las Vegas bottle girl to billionaires’ quest for genetically superior kids, we’ve got some great reads for you.


— Nicholas Carlson 

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Top reads

Brandon Bell/Getty; DorianGray/Getty; Anna Moneymaker/Getty; Drew Angerer/Getty; joebelanger/Getty; Mike Kline/Getty; Anna Kim/Insider
  • “Red, White, and Gray”: Inside America’s gerontocracy. We explored the costs, benefits, and dangers of life in a democracy helmed by those of advanced age, where issues of profound importance to the nation’s youth and future — technology, civil rights, energy, the environment — are largely in the hands of those whose primes have passed. What happens when the government grows old?
  • Billionaires like Elon Musk want to save civilization by having tons of genetically superior kids. When the longevity craze hit Silicon Valley in the 2010s, titans like Jeff Bezos, Sergey Brin, and Larry Ellison poured billions into trying to defy death. Now, there’s another movement taking hold: “pronatalism.” Followers believe it’s their duty to fill the earth with their children — and some are funding new technologies to make it possible. Read our full report.
  • “I made $200,000 last year ghostwriting tweets for superstar VCs.” Twitter is Silicon Valley’s most important social club, and top investors pay ghostwriters big bucks to make them look good in 280 characters. We spoke with a tech startup founder turned ghostwriter, who can bring in $100,000 for a single thread. Inside the booming business of ghostwriting tweets.
  • A former employee of Elon Musk shares what it was like to work for him. Jim Cantrell worked at SpaceX during its earliest days in 2001 and 2002. He told Insider that there was good Elon and bad Elon: One who was funny and charming, and one who would yell and call employees at 3 a.m. What it’s like to work for Musk.
  • Summer 2023 could be the time to buy a house. Jonathan Miller, a veteran in the real-estate industry, laid out the drivers behind the US real estate market slowdown and explained why next summer might be a good time to jump back into the market. Here’s what he said.
Watch this
One of Insider’s most popular videos of the year: In East Java, Indonesia, hundreds of miners face deadly smoke to mine sulfur, or “devil’s gold.” So why do they do it? In this episode of Risky Business, our team heads to Ijen volcano to find out. Watch now.
Today’s team
This edition was curated by Nicholas Carlson, and edited by Jordan Parker Erb, Hallam Bullock, and Lisa Ryan. Get in touch:
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Categories: Law/Justice

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