My relationship with the entire world in this moment depends entirely on the relationship I have with myself.

– Paul Ferrini


Featured artist: Samantha Mash

Dense Discovery
Dense Discovery

Welcome to Issue 122!

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In a recent email exchange over (the lack of) climate action by our federal government here in Australia, my local representative, who is part of the opposition party, reassured me that they have the solutions. It was nice to get a response from him personally, though it was mostly a copy-paste answer with the clichéd political slogans from the party’s PR department.

Unsurprisingly, his reply to my concerns about a liveable future read like any other party policy position. “This is how much we save you in taxes. Here’s what we do about total ecological collapse. We are also the party that speaks business!”

From how it was framed to the proposed ‘solutions’ – nothing in his email even vaguely suggested any particular urgency. The issue was treated as just another agenda item, not the biggest existential threat humanity has ever faced.

It’s easy to dismiss this as ‘politicians being politicians’ and choosing non-alarmist words for the sake of appealing to everyone. But it was the utter lack of imagination that was most infuriating.

If there ever was a time for outside-the-box thinking and ludicrous-sounding man-on-the-moon ideas, it is now. What we get instead is offensively boring and laughably half-arsed non-solutions that statistically lead to nowhere but hell on earth.

Ironically, this unimaginative future is sold to us by mostly baby boomers who, like no other generation, benefitted from bold, audacious post-WWII policies that – not-so-ironically – contributed to a large extent to the mess we’re in today.

Apologies for sounding angry and pessimistic today. It’s just that... when you’re led by a truly cowardly government, you’d think that it’s easy for an opposition party to inspire hope. Instead, they went with ‘When the bar is low, why aim high?’

I haven’t entirely given in to disillusion yet, but when I look at what’s on offer here in Australia (and in many other countries for that matter) it gets increasingly difficult to resist that cynical ‘same shit, different smell’ attitude about politics. – Kai

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Apps & Sites

TabTab →

Share subscriptions with friends

With TabTab (iOS only) you can share the cost of subscriptions with others. I’m not sure why the app asks you to link your bank account to locate subscriptions, but the underlying idea of sharing a Netflix or NY Times plan with a friend makes a lot of sense.

novelWriter →

Editor for long-form writing

The free and open-source novelWriter is a mark-down editor for writing, you guessed it, novels and long-form essays. It “allows for easy organisation of text files and notes, with a meta data syntax for comments, synopsis, and cross-referencing between files, and built on plain text files for robustness”.

Papyrs →

The intranet is back

Most companies I know use Notion or similar, wiki-type tools to create an internal knowledge base. Papyrs builds on that idea but adds a bunch of handy widgets such as polls, calendars, RSS, and more. It reminds me of the time I worked for an agency that specialised in building custom intranet solutions, back in the early naughts.

300,000 faces →

The faces of COVID stats

This project attempts to humanise the staggering number of COVID deaths in the US and around the world. Generated by algorithms, it shows 300,000 different faces of people that do not exists but represent the individuals who make up daily statistics. Sobering and – tragically – already outdated.


Worthy Five: Yessenia Funes


Five recommendations by environmental journalist Yessenia Funes

A concept worth understanding:

Environmental racism’ because it’s killing people. Right now. Black and brown bodies live in disproportionate proximity to polluters. That’s not by accident.

A phrase worth knowing:

Climate justice is racial justice.’ This has become a pillar in the climate movement: showing why the climate crisis and racism cannot be separated.

A newsletter worth subscribing to:

Hot Take because it brings an intersectional lens to the climate crisis.

An activity worth doing:

Getting outside for a hike – even if only in a small local park. It’s good for you, and there’s no better peace than the chirping of birds or crunching of leaves.

A podcast worth listening to:

Blood River by Bloomberg follows the grisly murder of Berta Caceres, an environmental defender in Honduras. It highlights the risks people are willing to take to protect their communities and their planet – and the way private companies and corrupt governments punish them for it.




Offline Matters →

Being a better creative off screen

As the publisher of a print mag called Offscreen, this new book caught my attention: “Offline Matters is a handbook for anybody experiencing digital overload in their lives and creative work. Part insider exposé, part worker-manual, this book is for any creative seeking help on navigating the possibility of offline alternatives, countering overwork culture, exploitation, and dulled-down ideas, and recovering what you loved about your creative calling – away from the confines of our screens.”


The Anti-Anxiety Notebook →

Therapy-based journal

Designed by therapists, using the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy approach, the pages in this notebook are made to “help you track your emotions, become more aware of thought patterns, and grow over time specifically to reduce anxiety and manage stress”. And it’s all wrapped in a soothing design to boot.


Overheard on Twitter

The vaccine needs to worry about what’s in me.



Food For Thought

What Facebook Fed the Baby Boomers →


A very relatable story about how ‘innocent’ baby boomers who just want to ‘connect with their highschool buddies’ get pulled into the ideological moshpit that is Facebook. “What I observed is a platform that gathered our past and present friendships, colleagues, acquaintances and hobbies and slowly turned them into primary news sources. And made us miserable in the process.” (Soft paywall)

Newsletters →


An illustrated, short essay on why newsletters stole websites the show and why that’s a shame: “All I know is that the web today is not made for us. It’s no longer made for people to send charming bits of texts to strangers. Instead, I see the web as this public good that’s been hijacked by companies trying to sell us mostly heartless junk. The web today is built for apps – and I think we need to take it back.”

Users Are.. / People Are.. →


A powerful comparison in one graphic. “A seismic social shift has taken place seeing much of humanity evolve from a person to a user. We are all complicit in this shift. We have collectively accepted this new social contract unchallenged. We 'agreed' to it. We perpetuate and propagate it. We are now the users, the using and the used.”

A real Good Samaritan →


Someone on Twitter (sorry, I didn’t write down who) shares this lovely story with their followers every year on Christmas Day. “If you feel the need to thank me, the next time you see someone in trouble, you help them out. That will pay me back amply.”


Aesthetically Pleasing

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A great showcase of a comprehensive brand and design system for digital platform Sträbe.

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What a beauty: I love the look of this colourful Risograph-printed calendar. (For sale here – in German only)

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I really enjoy browsing visual artist and fine art photographer Jan Erik Waider’s atmospheric and abstract landscape photography of “the distant North”.

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Tongari is a type family of seven weights and their seven italics. Tongari is a japanese word for ‘sharp-pointed’. Sharp-pointed, as the swords of the seven samurai in the Akira Kurosawa movie, in which a bunch of warriors defend a village from thieves. Seven weights for seven samurai.”



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