The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.

– George Orwell

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Featured illustrator: Jessica Meyrick

Dense Discovery
Dense Discovery
 

Welcome to Issue 65!

View/share online

With Offscreen Issue 22 now in the hands of my printer, I’m preparing the website for a release around December 16th or 17th. Copies for subscribers ship as soon as the magazine comes back from the printer; it’s not too late to subscribe. (Existing subscribers: please use your account to ensure your shipping details are up-to-date.)

If everything goes according to plan with printing, the most stressful part is now behind me and I can focus on the launch, i.e. selling the magazine. I always wonder how I can reach new readers without pushy sales techniques and trite advertising lingo. Very few companies manage to advertise in a respectful, creative way and connect with me like a real human, not some marketing persona. Thoughtful, intentional marketing is hard – and probably doesn’t scale well. In many ways it follows the exact opposite approach of the typical growth hacker mindset.

For me that means: limiting the amount of promotional emails, not participating in the mass hysteria of Black Friday and similar events, and not throwing more ad dollars at Big Tech. My tiny marketing budget has so far been taken up by giving away a small amount of free copies at conferences and meetups. (Interested?) That said, I’m open to other ideas. Know any *small*, humble businesses that stood out to you and managed to win you over as a customer? Tell me how and why you think it worked on you. – Kai

Dense Discovery is currently read by over 20,000 subscribers. Support us by (1) Sponsoring an issue, (2) Booking a classified ad, or (3) Sharing this issue with friends and colleagues.

 

For a Safer Internet SPONSOR

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Work at DuckDuckGo →

Let’s build products that respect their users

It’s time to take responsibility for the products we create. At DuckDuckGo, we’re setting the new standard of trust online, empowering people to take control of their information with our Private Search Engine, Apps, and Extensions. Come work with us to make the internet a safer place by designing and developing new products that are ethically sound.

 

Apps & Sites

Walling →

Pinboard for ideas

Walling (web and MacOS app) is a bit like a pinboard for ideas and research. You can throw pretty much anything at a ‘wall’ – photos, text, links, comments, lists, etc. – and then rearrange and group them at will.

Cloze →

‘Relationship manager’

Cloze gobbles up all the data you give it about friends, clients, colleagues, and any other contact from a whole range of connected apps. It then organises it in ways that can be helpful – for example by reminding you about certain deadlines, key events or follow-up calls etc. I hope they tread carefully with that much personal data in one place.

Readaway →

Listen to articles

Readaway (for iOS) allows you to listen to written articles, essays, and interviews. Interestingly, it supports more than 60 human voices and 22 languages. If you turn on ‘podcast’ mode, it re-creates an interview experience with two or more distinct voices.

Gantt.io →

Gantt chart maker

Need a Gantt chart for a presentation? This web-app lets you create highly customisable Gantt charts in minutes. Collaborating on charts within your team is also possible.

 

Indie Mag of the Week

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Fare →

Fare is a food-focused travel magazine, exploring the depth of culture in a single city.

– Latest Issue: 6 (Tbilisi)
– Frequency: 2 issues/year
– Formats: print
– Origin: Scotland

Every week we’re giving away five copies to randomly selected DD readers. Keep an eye on your inbox to find out if you’re among them!

 

Goods & Accessories CONSUME RESPONSIBLY

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Bored, Lonely, Angry, Stupid →

Changing Feelings about Technology

“Pundits and psychologists warn us that digital technologies substantially alter our emotional states. But in this lively and surprising account, we learn that technology doesn’t just affect how we feel from moment to moment – it changes profoundly the underlying emotions themselves.”

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Weekly Pad →

Stick-it weekly planner

I saw something similar to this at a friend’s desk the other week and really liked the idea of sticking an outline of your week to the bottom of your monitor: “Plan your week, stick it up, and stick to it! This pad features 54 weekly peel and stick sheets for flexible planning.”

 

Overheard on Twitter

VCs in real life: hello
VCs on Twitter: success is a raft made out of tears. obstacles are lovers in disguise. a startup is a wish your heart makes

@caseynewton

 

Food For Thought

The Myth of Inevitability →

Listen

How much of our assumptions about the future are shaped by corporations? Margaret Heffernan argues that, in the world of technology, nothing is inevitable. “If we let Silicon Valley hijack our future, we gain the comfort of certainty, but lose our freedom. While the uncertainties of life may make us uncomfortable, they also hold all its possibilities and richness. Not knowing what tomorrow brings, gives me an opportunity to shape it.”

Just enough Internet: Why public service Internet should be a model of restraint →

Read

We don’t talk enough about the type of innovation we want for our public services. Rachel Coldicutt does, and I really like her vision for a public services internet: “Tax-payer funded public services need different affordances to Amazon and Google; they should not feel magical, they should be data light, they should meet social needs not just user needs; they should work in context, not simply fulfil a job to be done. Sometimes they should be compassionate.”

When Binary Code Won’t Accommodate Nonbinary People →

Read

An insightful piece on the challenges of fitting non-binary gender identities into the binary legacy of most databases: “The messiness of the ‘real’ world and people’s shifting identities are rarely consistent with the sleek empiricism required to effectively do the math that is under the hood in computers. This is most obvious when it comes to the gender binary and binary representation in computer systems.”

 

Aesthetically Pleasing

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Absolutely love the pencil-drawn artwork by James Lipnickas.

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The photo series ‘Endangered’ by animal photographer Tim Flach features animals who are on the edge of extinction.

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A combination of sharp, and rounded curves which gives TEG a futuristic and classic grotesque feel.

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Never Too Small is a YouTube channel dedicated to tiny apartment designs. One of my favourite projects is this 35-sqm apartment in Melbourne.

 

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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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