All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.

– Blaise Pascal


Featured artist: MUTI

Dense Discovery
Dense Discovery

Welcome to Issue 82!

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In times of crises we hear our leaders talk a lot about resilience. It’s usually a mix of well-meaning optimism and good old-fashioned patriotism. (🙄) But rather than talking about resilience (meaning to recover and bounce back to a previous state) I wish they would talk more about adaptability: being able to adjust to new conditions.

Pandemics, automation, climate change – let’s be honest, there will be massive upheaval in the years to come. There’s not going to be a ‘new normal’.

Last year, I interviewed The Foundation for Young Australians about their newest report on the future of work (PDF). There was a particular line that struck me: “Today’s 15 year-olds will likely navigate 17 changes in employer across 5 different careers.” Think about that the next time you’re worried about not being ready for a new job.

Most of us share a fear of uncertainty that comes with change. I’m sure there is some biological element to this. But adaptability is also a skill we can learn and, more importantly, teach our kids. Given the unprecedented scale and pace of change we will have to navigate, I think we need to bring the concept of adaptability – of learning how to sit with discomfort amidst uncertainty – into the public conversation. It’s currently sold to us as a competitive advantage in our jobs, but my guess is, it’ll soon be an essential life skill helping us deal with the fact that stability is a notion of the past. – Kai

Dense Discovery is a weekly newsletter read by more than 43,000 subscribers. Support us by (1) Sponsoring an issue, (2) Booking a classified ad, or (3) Sharing this issue with friends.


Better Posture On The Go SPONSOR



A magazine-sized sit-stand desk with four positions

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Apps & Sites

Screen →

Interactive screen sharing

Screen gives remote team members temporary control of your apps. It’s a more interactive way of screen sharing, allowing multiple users to draw on your screen or edit code. Sounds a bit scary, right? But it also opens some interesting opportunities to work together remotely. →

Shared highlights and annotations

If you’re working on a lot of online content with others, Hypothesis makes researching, organising, and discussing that content much easier: through a browser plugin you can highlight and annotate content on any website, then share your notes with team members.

QuickBudget →

Easy budgeting app

Especially now, it’s important to have a good understanding of your households finances. This simple budget calculator can help. It’s private too: all data stays on your browser, so it even works offline. →

More gender diversity on Twitter

This Twitter plugin estimates the gender distribution of your followers and those you follow, based on their profile descriptions or first names. Understanding your gender bias better can help you follow more diverse groups of people.


Indie Mag of the Week


Nevoazul →

In a society driven by information, where we quickly find ourselves in the roles of both creator and consumer, Nevoazul explores the relations we have with the means of communication and technology.

– Latest Issue: 3 (Bilingual)
– Frequency: 1 issue/year
– Formats: print
– Origin: Portugal

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!




The Wizard and the Prophet →

Two opposed views of the future

How the visions of two twentieh-century scientists shaped our thinking and what it means for the great challenges we face: “The Prophets follow William Vogt, a founding environmentalist who believed that in using more than our planet has to give, our prosperity will lead us to ruin. Cut back! was his mantra. Otherwise everyone will lose! The Wizards are the heirs of Norman Borlaug, whose research, in effect, wrangled the world in service to our species to produce modern high-yield crops that then saved millions from starvation. Innovate! was Borlaug’s cry. Only in that way can everyone win!


Poketo →

Concept Planner

This colourful planner is open-dated, meaning you enter the dates yourself to the yearly, monthly and weekly sections – you can start using this planner at any time without wasting pages. There’s also room for notes and to-do lists. The Smyth Sewn binding lies flat when open and a durable, fabric-like cover is built to last.


Overheard on Twitter

I’m in trouble if the lockdown lasts less than six months because the jigsaw puzzle I’m working on says 3-5 years.



Food For Thought

Panic, Pandemic, and the Body Politic →


Highly recommended read! Stopping an outbreak is never just a fight with nature. It’s also a fight with culture. “As a species, we have spent several centuries nurturing a collective mindset that rejects collective endeavor, and most of us are living in nations that seem perilously convinced that the human race is a thing you can actually win.”

Why Don’t We Just Ban Targeted Advertising? →


Wow. By simply making behavioural advertising illegal, we could potentially solve a lot of problems at once. An important, urgent solution whose time has come. “The task of regulating an increasingly out of control digital environment often looks like a multifront war against various enemies: privacy breaches, hate speech, disinformation, and more. What if we had a weapon that could bring all those armies to their knees?”

The infinite scroll →


Related to the above: “We have compressed and corroded and finally collapsed what used to be the core of a publication – its relationship with its readers, and the basic notion that one should not make it hard for them to read. It goes without saying that everyone involved is perpetually maxed-out and stressed and scrabbling for a dwindling and finite amount of money in an arbitrary and artificially constricted ad economy that runs on wobbly, untrustable, and easily manipulated data.”


Aesthetically Pleasing

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I’m loving everything about the packaging design for Casa Cardona wines. Brilliant, from ideation to execution.

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My goodness, that James Gilleard is talented! I just spent ten minutes getting lost in these stunning urban concept art pieces.

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It’s fascinating to watch Dave Towers hand-draw precise lines and circles in bold colours.

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JetBrains Mono is a free, open source typeface for developers with increased height for a better reading experience.



Suggestions for your senses, delivered every Saturday morning: The Slowdown newsletter brings you the best in art, culture, design, media, technology, and beyond. Subscribe today.

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Color Ninja for Mac – the all in one colour scheme app that helps you to quickly match colours and create your own beautiful colour palettes.

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The Week in a GIF


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