Find a purpose to serve, not a lifestyle to live.

– Criss Jami


Featured artist: Sotiris Kizilos

Dense Discovery
Dense Discovery

Welcome to Issue 102!

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Early last year I got a chance to prepare and edit an interview about neurodiversity for the good people at Today. I had heard of the word ‘neurodiversity’ before, but never made an effort to truly understand it. When I did, it changed my perspective on a lot of things, including on my own abilities.

Neurodiversity is the idea that neurological differences such as autism, ADHD, dyslexia and OCD, are the result of normal, natural variation in the human genome and not illnesses that need to be cured. The neurodiversity movement believes that there is no ‘normal’ but that differences in neurological function need to be respected as just another way of being.

If one of our cognitive abilities strays outside of what is expected – what is ‘neurotypical’ – we tend to look at it as a defect. If, however, we look at our neurological differences as natural, infinite variations on a spectrum, we stop seeing them as deficiencies and consider them ‘just another type’. We all have differently shaped noses, so why not accept that we can all have different cognitive abilities, too?

Digging into the concept of neurodiversity helped me unlearn some of the more established notions of ‘disability’. It also made me feel more at ease with my own mild form of dyslexia. But more generally, the language and terminology of the neurodiversity movement helped me think of our brains less like a switch board and more like a mixing console with a whole bunch of sliders and knobs that are tuned differently for everyone. And they don’t just affect our neurology but also, for example, our gender identity.

Humans like to think in binaries: good or bad, healthy or sick, straight or gay. For me, recognising and accepting that so much of how we behave, think, and identify happens on scales and spectrums made room for a new type of kindness – towards myself and others. Maybe it can be helpful to you, too. – Kai

(There is a lot more to neurodiversity than what I could fit into this little intro. A brief overview here. It’s worth noting that the concept is still controversial and that acknowledging certain differences as disabilities is important, too.)

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The Juggernaut →

Smart journalism on South Asia(ns)

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Apps & Sites

Umami →

Free, self-hosted analytics

With great-looking, free alternatives like Umami, there really is no more reason to give Google all your analytics data: “The goal is to provide you with a friendlier, privacy-focused alternative to Google Analytics and a free, open-sourced alternative to paid solutions. Umami collects only the metrics you care about and everything fits on a single page.”

Fluent →

Browse the web & learn new languages

This is such a great idea: Fluent is a Chrome plugin (hoping for a Firefox version!) that lets you interact with snippets of content on any websites to help you learn a new language. Currently French only, but more languages are coming.

Comradery →

A Patreon-like cooperative

Still invite-only, Comradery promises a new payment platform for creatives “that is democratically owned and controlled by every creator who uses it.” Here’s how it plans to operate. I always felt that the co-op model was a great fit for the platforms like Patreon or even Kickstarter.

Tori →

Time-based Twitter mutes

I miss being able to temporarily mute certain people I follow on Twitter. It was one of many great features of Tweetbot. Tori is a little open-source web plug-in that brings that feature back in a very basic way.


Worthy Five: Fadeke Adegbuyi


Five recommendations by Doist marketing manager Fadeke Adegbuyi

An activity worth doing:

Play Codenames, a stellar game I recently tried virtually for the first time with teammates! It’s extremely fun as both a player and a ‘spymaster’.

A newsletter worth subscribing to:

Monomythical by Nadia Eghbal is an eclectic exploration of everything from online communities and internet culture to cities and friendships.

A piece of advice worth passing on:

Don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements won’t steer you wrong: 1) Be impeccable with your word, 2) Don’t take anything personally, 3) Don’t make assumptions, 4) Always do your best.

A video worth watching:

The Making of Labrinth & Zendaya’s ‘All For Us’ is a behind-the-scenes look into the creative process that culminated in the release of one of the most captivating songs of 2019.

A question worth asking:

I come back to this one from Merci Victoria Grace as a defence against professional complacency: “Sunday is a great time to ask yourself: if a top notch performer replaced me at work tomorrow, what would they do? What’s stopping me?”




Huck →

The sub-culture magazine

Remember the days when you could use the words ‘counter culture’ and didn’t mean some conspiracy nutjobs who think Hillary is satan living in 5G towers? Huck is a magazine that still reports from those ‘good fringes’: a magazine that celebrates and explores independent culture – people and movements that paddle against the flow. Some insightful background on what went into choosing the cover photo of their new issue – the Sanctuary issue.


Glimpses of Utopia →

Real ideas for a fairer world

I really enjoyed reading Utopias for Realists and this book – just released earlier this month – seems to follow a similar line of action: inspire people through existing, viable solutions that haven’t made it to the mainstream yet: “All over the world, people are refusing the business-as-usual mindset and putting humans back into the civic equation, reimagining work and care, finance and government, urban planning and communication, to make them better and fairer for all.” The author Jess Scully is the deputy mayor of the city of Sydney.


Overheard on Twitter

All around us systems are in upheaval. People are, too. Plenty will fearfully cling to the status quo, particularly those already in a privileged place. Dare to imagine we can make a better world. And then, go one step further, and speak that desire. Summon it. No more silence.



Food For Thought

Ideas That Changed My Life →


This short list of concepts can be equally useful for work and private life. I particularly liked the last one: “Your personal experiences make up maybe 0.00000001% of what’s happened in the world but maybe 80% of how you think the world works. ... Start with the assumption that everyone is innocently out of touch and you’ll be more likely to explore what’s going on through multiple points of view, instead of cramming what’s going on into the framework of your own experiences.”

The Big Green Lie →


I don’t agree with everything in this article, but it does a good job of highlighting the fact that over-population isn’t the reason why we’re falling off a climate cliff, and conservationists need to stop portraying it as such. “If you’re worried about overpopulation threatening the environment, then you’re blind to the real menace: it’s not the growing number of ‘have nots’ in the South, but growing overconsumption by the ‘haves’ in the North.”

My three decades alone, basking in the company of a mountain →


Susanne Sener has spent the last thirty years living in a hut on a Colorado mountain – by herself. “Over the years, I’ve come to view my relationship with this mountain as a marriage, and like a marriage, sometimes I want a divorce. Self-reliance can be emotionally and physically draining. It’s always me paying the bills, replacing ageing infrastructure, chaining up the truck tyres, stocking the woodpile, and ploughing the heavy, back-breaking late-fall and early spring snows.”


Aesthetically Pleasing

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The stunning, colourful aerial photography by Tobias Hägg has a surreal, fairy tale aesthetic.

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Another local ceramicist: Grace Brown of Oh Hey Grace creates a mix of functional and sculptural pieces from her Melbourne studio using a combination of wheel-thrown and hand-building techniques. (Go Melbourne!)

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Lovely interplay between colours, typography and illustrations in this brand for cannabis oil maker Prismatic Plants.

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Dynamic. Expansive. Distinctly French. Sharptype’s Trois Mille has grown into a masterfully executed type family, spanning 7 weights in 21 (!) widths of roman and italic styles.



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The Week in a GIF


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