I don't know why people are so keen to put the details of their private life in public; they forget that invisibility is a superpower.

– Banksy


Artwork by Enisaurus

Dense Discovery
Dense Discovery

Welcome to Issue 15!

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Today I’m starting a gig at a digital social impact agency here in Melbourne. It’ll be the first nine-to-five(ish) job I had in about sixteen years which makes me equally excited and nervous.

Dense Discovery will continue as usual. After a lot of feedback from you I decided on the following:

1) For now I’m going to focus on creating the best free weekly newsletter my time affords. I may introduce an affordable paid tier in the future which will unlock parts of the newsletter for members only.

2) Until then I’ll try to somewhat reduce the time it takes to curate DD. Instead of longer editorial pieces that change with every issue, there is now a new regular feature I call ‘Idle Knowledge’ – a random factoid from the intertubes.

3) In the hope of making finding sponsors less time-consuming I also lowered the sponsorship rates. I think the current rate is a great deal for a newsletter read by 17,500 thoughtful, creative individuals. Please consider booking a slot. – Kai


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Apps & Sites

ProtoPie →

Advanced prototyping

There are tons of prototyping apps out there suitable for every level of detail – from very rough sketches to high-fidelity previews of the final result. ProtoPie sits at the latter end, making it easy to build highly interactive, sensor-aided prototypes.

Reading Queue →

Read it later, with less anxiety

I use Pocket to save so many interesting articles I come across that I often fret about opening the app, and so that humongous list just keeps growing. Reading Queue is trying to reduce that pressure by, for instance, showing you one article at a time and encouraging you to discard older items on your list.

Audm →

Listen to long-form journalism

While we’re on the topic of not getting through long articles: Audm wants to be to journalism what Audible is to books. The subscription service uses award-winning narrators to turn long articles into audio stories. Participating publications include The NY Times, Wired, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and many others.


‘A walkie-talkie for your Mac menu bar’

I want to try this app because of its name alone: with YAC (short for Yelling Across Cubicles) you can simply click on one of your team members through a menu bar app and start talking instantly. No calling, no texting, just YACking.


Idle Knowledge


Icon by Chaowalit Koetchuea

You are more likely to die from taking a selfie than from a shark attack.

Between October 2011 to November 2017, there were 259 selfie deaths in 137 incidents reported globally, with the highest occurrences in India followed by Russia, United States, and Pakistan. The mean age was 22.94 years old with male deaths outnumbering female about three to one. Compare that to just 47 deaths by unprovoked shark attacks worldwide in about the same period.


Goods & Accessories


Emotionally Intelligent Design →

Designing for emotions

A new book about a fascinating area of design: ‘As technology becomes deeply integrated into every aspect of our lives, we’ve begun to expect more emotionally intelligent interactions. But smartphones don’t know if we’re having a bad day, and cars couldn’t care less about compassion. Technology is developing more IQ, but it still lacks EQ.’


Twist Shelf →

Sculptural object and shelf in one

I love simple yet functional furniture that makes a thoughtful statement: uniting two functions by a twist, this wooden shelf hides a magnetic board on one end, perfect for pinning your notes – or storing your knives if used in a kitchen.


Overheard on Twitter

Tech folks often sneer at college, believing degrees are unnecessary. They wear a high school education as a badge of honor. The irony is that, while the U.S. system certainly has flaws, what Zuckerberg struggles with the most are things you learn with a well-rounded degree.



Food For Thought

Six Years With a Distraction-Free iPhone →


Six years ago, Jake Knapp acknowledged his addiction to and mindless use of his iPhone and took some ‘radical’ steps to counteract it. He started with deleting social media apps, followed by his email and other work-related apps until there were barely any icons left on his smartphone. Six years later he’s still largely app-free and more productive than ever. Here, he shares some easy-to-follow practical tips to reduce screen distraction.

Fuck work →


Relevant not only as part of the discussion around AI taking our jobs, this essay looks at the role work plays in our lives and ponders the question: ‘How would human nature itself change as the ancient, aristocratic privilege of leisure becomes the birthright of human beings as such?’

The way we think about charity is dead wrong →


This eye-opening TED talk completely changed the way I think about the non-profit sector: ‘We have a visceral reaction to the idea that anyone would make very much money helping other people. Interestingly, we don't have a visceral reaction to the notion that people would make a lot of money not helping other people. You know, you want to make 50 million dollars selling violent video games to kids, go for it. We’ll put you on the cover of Wired magazine. But you want to make half a million dollars trying to cure kids of malaria, and you’re considered a parasite yourself.’

The hardest job in Silicon Valley is a living nightmare →


The disturbing reality of what it’s like to be a content moderator, underpaid digital workers in the developing world ‘who scan, assess, and delete media of everything from beheadings to child pornography uploaded to services like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter each day.’


Aesthetically Pleasing

❏ ❏

Soulcraft is a free OpenType variable font designed with the idea of emulating vernacular lettering.


Paper engineer Matthew Shlian combines intricate geometric tessellations with exact folds and creases to form bas-relief sculptures.


A Single Div is a CSS drawing project by Lynn Fisher. Everything you see is pure CSS and a bit of HTML.


An archive of over 4000 images of patterns and other design features drawn from the rich cultural heritage of the Islamic world.



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The Week in a GIF


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