Often it isn’t the mountains ahead that wear you out, it’s the little pebble in your shoe.

– Muhammad Ali

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Artwork by Tanawat Sakdawisarak

Dense Discovery
Dense Discovery
 

Welcome to Issue 48!

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I’m thinking about visiting family in Europe later in the year, and so over the weekend I found myself researching what I can do to minimise my carbon footprint.

What I found so far – big surprise – is that cutting air travel to a minimum is the only real solution. The next best thing is to travel as direct as possible and choosing tightly packed, modern planes with lots of economy class seating. (More comfort = more pollution)

Turns out, buying carbon offsets is largely ineffective. Airlines love to use offsetting schemes to be able to conduct business as usual. But purchasing carbon offsets is mostly about making ourselves feel less guilty. That being said, I do think supporting trustworthy environmental organisations certainly doesn’t hurt. I decided to make it a personal rule to donate a third of the cost of the ticket to two local environmental initiatives (ACF and CNCF) whenever I travel by plane from now on.

The bottom line is that I think we all need to talk more about how thoughtlessly we fly around the world. How do we determine whether a conference, a holiday or a family visit justifies a trip that produces more CO2 than several years of car use? Will there be a point in the future when we look at our globetrotting Instagram feeds with a sense of guilt rather than pride? – Kai

Dense Discovery is currently read by over 21,900 subscribers. Support us by (1) Sponsoring an issue, (2) Booking a classified ad, or (3) Sharing this issue with friends and colleagues.

 

Artfully Authentic SPONSOR

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Stocksy United →

Art-forward stock photos + footage

Stocksy United is an art-forward, royalty-free stock photography + footage agency founded on creative integrity and respect for artists. With our exceptionally high curation standards, discovering unique, beautifully authentic imagery is effortless.

 

Apps & Sites

Wire →

Secure messaging platform

A leaner Slack alternative with a focus on privacy: “Secure messaging, file sharing, voice calls and video conferences. All protected with end-to-end encryption.”

FaveJet →

Twitter, but just the likes

Imagine a Twitter stream of just the tweets that people like: “When you follow someone on FaveJet you follow their faves: tweets they’re faving, starring or liking (it’s all the same). And in turn, they can follow yours.”

Snapboard →

Editable mini dashboards

Snapboard is a minimalist dashboard app that collects the data from a wide range of apps and visually presents it on a clean dash. If you know a bit of React you can completely customise each card.

Summarize →

Keep notes of books you read

This simple iOS app lets you create a library of the books you’ve read and add some notes and key takeaways to each book, helping you remember insights and ideas you picked up.

 

The Internet is Beautiful

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Weird and wonderful discoveries down the information superhighway

The Atlas of Moons →

Our solar system collectively hosts nearly 200 known moons, some of which are vibrant worlds in their own right. Take a tour of the major moons in our celestial menagerie.

The Inverted World Map →

A fascinating render of a topsy-turvy world where land is water and water is land, continents are oceans and oceans are continents, islands are lakes and lakes are islands. (Pay attention to the names, too!)

Aircon 1000 →

Add this to your list of Tumblrs based on weird obsessions: a giant photo collection of Japanese aircon units.

 

Goods & Accessories CONSUME RESPONSIBLY

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Tonki →

Recycled cardboard frame

Tonki allows you to print and frame your photos directly from your mobile phone or computer. Simply upload your photos from Instagram, Facebook, or your photo roll. Your image is directly printed on a Tonki, a self-assembling frame, created from one sheet of high-quality, die-cut, 100% recycled cardboard.

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MAGX →

USB-C Magsafe magnetic charger cable

The MAGX brings back the original Magsafe L-shaped charger cable with all the benefits of USB-C: high-speed data transfer at 10Gbps, fast 100W power delivery, and high-res 4K video output.

 

Overheard on Twitter

The two phases of programming:
1. Why won’t this code work?
2. Why is this code working?

@kvlly

 

Food For Thought

Hope In the Anthropocene →

Read

Cennydd Bowles with an important, sobering but not hopeless message: “If fatalism is the disease, hope is the vaccine. We urgently need positive visions of the future to counter these seductive dystopias. (...) We need meaningful, realistic, flawed, yet compelling visions that inspire people to move through grief and into action.”

Data isn’t the new oil, it’s the new CO2 →

Read

A fantastic short article comparing our lack of control over our data to the lack of impact we as individuals have on climate change: “The issue is systemic, it is not one where a lone individual can make a choice and opt out of the system. We perpetuate this myth by talking about data as our own individual ‘oil’, ready to sell to the highest bidder. In reality I have little control over this supposed resource which acts more like an atmospheric pollutant, impacting me and others in myriads of indirect ways.”

The optimist’s guide to the robot apocalypse →

Read

While there are parts I would disagree with, this essay provides a good range of counter-arguments to the dystopian ‘the robots will take your job’ attitude that’s become especially pervasive in main stream media.

 

Aesthetically Pleasing

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Oldschool Grotesk is a look behind the façade of Victorian vernacular sans serif inscriptions.

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Italian artist Peeta combines graffiti and art in architectural murals that trick the eye.

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Tulip fields in the Netherlands: more stunning aerial photography by Bernhard Lang.

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The Moving Posters is a collection of animated posters from around the world. (I love poster design!)

 

Classifieds

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Classifieds are paid ads that support DD and are seen by 21,900 subscribers each week.

Book yours →

 

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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