Be curious. Read widely. Try new things. I think a lot of what people call intelligence boils down to curiosity.

– Aaron Swartz

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Artwork by Leonard Peng

Dense Discovery
Dense Discovery
 

Welcome to Issue 43!

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Last week, I went to a conference here in Melbourne. (Thanks to Kate & team for a lovely day!) Invariably, I get asked the same question about Offscreen and Dense Discovery: ‘How did you build up your audience?’

I always feel like my answer to this question is insufficient: ‘Be consistent. Be patient. Have an opinion, but be kind. The word will spread eventually.’ It’s all pretty vague, boring, non-actionable stuff that certainly does not make for a compelling growth hacking listicle. In fact, I probably miss out on a lot of ‘growth opportunities’ by not even following the digital marketing 101. Heck, there is not even an analytics tool on my website, so I know nothing about my visitors.

Read into that what you will. Perhaps respecting your visitors’ privacy and attention, and not engaging in any pushy marketing techniques simply pays off over time? Or I just got lucky. Either way, thanks for sticking around!

– Kai, Degrowth Hacker

PS: This is the ideal time to tell you to subscribe to Offscreen to be part of the first shipment of issue #21, due in late July. 😅

Dense Discovery is currently read by over 39,000 subscribers. Support us by (1) Sponsoring an issue, (2) Booking a classified ad, or (3) Sharing this issue with friends and colleagues.

 

A Message from Ueno

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Ueno is a creative agency that uses ideas to solve complex problems. We are looking for good people like you to join us in various disciplines, like design, strategy, production, partnerships, web development, and more. Our offices are in San Francisco, New York and Reykjavík, and if you think we must be one of Ad Age’s ‘Best Places to Work in 2019’, you would be right. Go to ueno.careers to find out more, and see all our open positions.

 

Apps & Sites

Sizzy →

Browser for responsive web dev

Do you find yourself constantly resizing windows during responsive web development? Sizzy is a browser specifically made for people creating responsive web experiences, showing your choice of device previews.

Bumpr →

Choose your browser

Bumpr, the app that lets you open links in your choice of browser, just got an update with a few interesting features. One of them lets you define custom rules for your favourite domains so that they always open up in specific browsers by default.

Pock →

Make your Touch Bar useful

I use a BetterTouchTool to customise my MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar, but it can be a bit fiddly to set up (and it still crashes from time to time). Pock seems like a simplified version of this. Choose from a bunch of useful widgets that make you actually want to use your Touch Bar.

Zen Flowchart →

Easy flowcharts

Does what it says on the tin: easily create beautiful flowcharts in a clutter-free environment through an intuitive interface.

 

The Internet is Beautiful

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Weird and wonderful discoveries down the information superhighway

Ancient Earth →

What did Earth look like then? Play with an interactive globe and go back in time 20 million to 750 million years.

ShowYourStripes  →

Generate and share a ‘warming stripe’ graphic for your location that shows how the temperature changed over the past 100+ years. (Here are Australia’s stripes.)

Sentences →

Explore new reading material through this weekly newsletter of single sentences from articles read by Darcie Wilder.

 

Goods & Accessories

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TitanHub →

USB-C hub/docking station

This vertical hub expands your available ports to 13 so you can attach your USB-C powered laptop or tablet to two HD monitors and a wide variety of peripherals and devices simultaneously, while delivering up to 70 watts of power to your machine.

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Migrant Journal  →

Exploring migration in all its forms

One of my favourite recent indie publishing projects is Migrant Journal, a magazine exploring the circulation of people, goods, information, fauna and flora around the world. Migrant just released their sixth and final issue which means you can now own the whole boxset of this timely relevant and beautiful publication.

 

Overheard on Twitter

We have a technology problem and we need a societal solution.

@farrisra

 

Food For Thought

The 3.5% rule: How a small minority can change the world →

Read

This is why I believe a movement like Extinction Rebellion is extremely powerful, and perhaps the only hope left to initiate profound system change: “Looking at hundreds of campaigns over the last century, Chenoweth found that nonviolent campaigns are twice as likely to achieve their goals as violent campaigns. And although the exact dynamics will depend on many factors, she has shown it takes around 3.5% of the population actively participating in the protests to ensure serious political change.”

Persuasive Technology & Optimizing for Engagement →

Watch

Last week, Tristan Harris from The Center of Humane Technology gave testimony before the US Senate on persuasive technology and the impact on society. This is the summary (and some further research) they presented. If you can’t spare 16 minutes, even just the first 5 min are definitely worth it. I’m so grateful for the work he and his colleagues are doing to inform policy makers at the highest level.

Frank Chimero on causing 'good trouble' and re-imagining the status quo to combat achievement culture →

Read

One of my favourite creative thinkers/writers Frank Chimero in a new interview: “Take a look at the increase in discussion about burnout – a natural response from trying to thrive in an achievement culture. Fatigue happens to your body, but burnout exhausts your soul. Long hours of wasteful drudgery rub up against the belief that anything is possible. What can you do with that other than collapse?”

 

Aesthetically Pleasing

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Photographer Bernhard Lang with a stunning series of aerial views of solar power plants.

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A collection of maths GIFs posted purely for aesthetic reasons.

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Casa Stencil is a beautiful, elegant stencil font that features soft curves and a sense of erosion.

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Love this gradient-based poster/brand exploration for Gradiente.

 

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The Week in a GIF

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Email us the URL to your favourite GIF and we might feature it here in a future issue.

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