Sufficiency isn’t two steps up from poverty or one step short of abundance. It isn’t a measure of barely enough or more than enough. Sufficiency isn’t an amount at all. It is an experience, a context we generate, a declaration, a knowing that there is enough, and that we are enough.

– Brené Brown

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Featured illustrator: Julie Hoyas

Dense Discovery
Dense Discovery
 

Welcome to Issue 73!

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“At a party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island, the late Kurt Vonnegut informs his pal, the author Joseph Heller, that their host, a hedge fund manager, had made more money in a single day than Heller had earned from his wildly popular novel Catch 22 over its whole history. Heller responds, ‘Yes, but I have something he will never have... Enough.’”

Oddly, within the span of a few days last week, I came across numerous articles exploring the concept of ‘enough’ from different angles. I’m sharing some of them in the Food for Thought section below. The quote above is from a commencement speech by business magnate (!?) John C. Bogle.

Enough seems like a radical idea in a world that is conditioned to more. The concept of sufficiency runs contrary to so many values the Western world has ingrained in us. Our autopilot strives for bigger, better, more.

Just recently, a friend told me that she’s thinking about changing her job but is hesitant to do so because the new gig, no matter how exciting, would pay less than the current one. ‘I don’t want to go backwards’ is a pretty common reaction when we think about career progression and money.

Several studies have shown that once a certain ‘satiation point’ has been reached, more money has no long-term effect on our level of contentment. And yet, we relentlessly optimise our private and professional lives for more, perhaps too scared to contemplate what we would do with ourselves if we were so foolish to accept enough.

Kai

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Apps & Sites

Notejoy →

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Another tool to collaborate on information: Notejoy is a rich-media note-taking app with tons of collaboration features. If Notion is too convoluted for you, Notejoy may just have the right amount of constraints to prompt regular use.

Planetary →

A humane alternative to Facebook

A(nother) Facebook alternative. Yep, it’s been tried countless times before. Though, that shouldn’t stop us from hoping for something better. Planetary (looks like access is waitlist-only) will ‘respect your privacy, resist abuse and harassment, reward content creators and is open by default.’ It uses Scuttlebutt as its core infrastructure, promising a decentralised, open-sourced approach.

SEO Checklist →

On-page SEO checklist for new websites

I’ve been looking for something like this, to send to others and to keep for my own use: a simple list of currently effective search engine optimisation techniques. (I hope just mentioning these words won’t banish DD to your spam folder forever.)

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How AI works and why it’s making the world a weirder place

The author Janelle Shane “delivers the answers to every AI question you’ve ever asked, and some you definitely haven’t. Like, how can a computer design the perfect sandwich? What does robot-generated Harry Potter fan-fiction look like? And is the world’s best Halloween costume really ‘Vampire Hog Bride’? In this smart, often hilarious introduction to the most interesting science of our time, Shane shows how these programs learn, fail, and adapt – and how they reflect the best and worst of humanity.”

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The Light →

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This Japanese desktop lamp caught my eye for its ingenuity: “Balmuda's The Light is a dimmable LED desk lamp that borrows a trick from medical lamps used in surgery, casting the light outwards at an angle to illuminate the desktop without glaring into your eyes” or casting your own shadows over your work area. It comes with a very steep price tag of around $500.

 

Overheard on Twitter

Remember how a decade ago we all stole music from the Internet and the only problem with it was that artists weren’t being paid? And then somehow, a decade later, we all pay for our music now but artists still aren’t being paid?

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Food For Thought

What is enough? →

Read

Is ‘good enough’ really good enough or just a milepost on the way to more? “Enough is at root a measure of sufficiency, and because of this, it is vital to joy. We are all free to set our own point of satiety. Some may be overjoyed by a quiet, monastic existence while others may crave a life filled with adventures, collections, and conversations. Either end of the spectrum can create joy, but if we do not understand what enough looks like for us, then we will always feel like we need more.”

Enough →

Read

Paul Jarvis about trying to recognise the signal that tells us, ‘You‘ve reached your enough point.’ “Where things can go awry is when we never consider what enough is as a marker. When this happens, we don’t solve for enough or optimize for it, we just keep going and going with more and more. We hit enough revenue, enough customers, enough stuff, and assume we have to do the same things we did to reach it now that it’s been reached and blaze quickly past that mark.”

Efficiency is important, but it is time to get serious about sufficiency →

Read

By optimising for energy efficiency we may sometimes do more harm than good. It’s time to think more about sufficiency: “Electric tumble dryers are getting more efficient all the time, but cannot touch the energy efficiency of clotheslines.”

 

Aesthetically Pleasing

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Sydlexia is a smart and beautifully executed awareness campaign about dyslexia.

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Some stunning architectural photos: the winners of The Art of Building photography competition (browse the finalists through the dropdown on the top right)

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Fakt is a highly functional sans type family that comes in a huge variety of styles and weights, and also in a mono, slab, stencil and round version.

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Studio Ueno did a beautiful job designing the brand and digital experience for Dorsia, a travel discovery and planning app.

 

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The Week in a GIF

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