The only thing that will redeem mankind is co-operation, and the first step towards co-operation lies in the hearts of individuals.

– Bertrand Russell

❏

Featured artist: Brad Cuzen

Dense Discovery
Dense Discovery
 

Welcome to Issue 83!

View/share online

Like many of you, I’m reading a lot of ‘how this will change us’ essays on the current situation. There is one article that stood out to me last week: Prepare for the Ultimate Gaslighting.

A lot of us share a feeling of despair, but also hope. Hope that this unique moment in history forces us to pause, to consider what is truly important in our lives:

“What the crisis has given us is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see ourselves and our country in the plainest of views. At no other time, ever in our lives, have we gotten the opportunity to see what would happen if the world simply stopped. Here it is. We’re in it. (...) If we want to create a better country and a better world for our kids, and if we want to make sure we are even sustainable as a nation and as a democracy, we have to pay attention to how we feel right now.”

In this vulnerable moment we are also very gullible. We long for our old routines. And so as we get out of this crisis, we will most likely gobble up anything and everything that brings back a sense of normalcy:

“What is about to be unleashed on American society will be the greatest campaign ever created to get you to feel normal again. It will come from brands, it will come from government, it will even come from each other, and it will come from the left and from the right. We will do anything, spend anything, believe anything, just so we can take away how horribly uncomfortable all of this feels. And on top of that, just to turn the screw that much more, will be the one effort that’s even greater: the all-out blitz to make you believe you never saw what you saw. (...) Business and government are about to band together to knock us unconscious again. It will be funded like no other operation in our lifetimes. It will be fast. It will be furious. And it will be overwhelming.”

Traditional power structures are hard at work to close the window of opportunity for systemic change this crisis has ripped open. But if anything good is to come from this chaos, we ought to resist the narrative of simply ‘going back to normal’.

We talk about this lockdown as a period of hibernation, as being dormant. But perhaps we’ve never been more woke than right now, more cognizant of a system that normally keeps us too busy to demand better. – Kai

Dense Discovery is a weekly newsletter read by more than 39,000 subscribers. Support us by (1) Sponsoring an issue, (2) Booking a classified ad, or (3) Sharing this issue with friends.

 

Meet Harpoon SPONSOR

❏

Harpoon →

Next generation time tracking and billing

Plan and predict a healthy, profitable future for your agency. Harpoon helps you set, track, and achieve a yearly financial goal, while providing best in class revenue forecasting, invoicing, scheduling, project budgeting, expense tracking, & reporting tools. 14-day free trial.

 

Apps & Sites

Around →

Nonintrusive video meetings

Another week, another contender for the video calling space: Around offers a very minimal user experience and has some unique features, such as head position-tracking and smart muting.

Otter.ai →

Automated transcriptions

Another app that I’ve tried for helping with Offscreen interview transcriptions. Unfortunately, Otter.ai also didn’t yield the results I was hoping for. Still, it’s a useful tool that can be handy for other tasks, such as transcribing meeting notes or informal interviews.

Applied →

Unbiased recruiting

I personally have no experience in recruiting or interviewing for jobs, but a lot of my friends who run companies and are looking for new employees swear by Applied to collect, organise, assess and internally discuss applications in a fair and efficient way.

Typehut →

Minimal publishing platform

What a lovely, even simpler alternative to Medium: “Write posts > publish them, as simple as that. You can optionally add labels. And people can subscribe to your sites. That’s it.”

 

Indie Mag of the Week

❏

NXS →

NXS is a collaborative research project born from the urge to trace the ever-evolving essence of the self in the digital age.

– Latest Issue: 5
– Frequency: 1–2 issues/year
– Formats: print
– Origin: Netherlands

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!

 

Books & Accessories CONSUME RESPONSIBLY

❏

Abolish Silicon Valley →

How to liberate tech from capitalism

Launching today: “Abolish Silicon Valley is both a heartfelt personal story about the wasteful inequality of Silicon Valley, and a rallying call to engage in the radical politics needed to upend the status quo. Going beyond the idiosyncrasies of the individual founders and companies that characterise the industry today, Wendy Liu delves into the structural factors of the economy that gave rise to Silicon Valley as we know it. Ultimately, she proposes a more radical way of developing technology, where innovation is conducted for the benefit of society at large, and not just to enrich a select few.”

❏

GOMI →

Charger from repurposed batteries

Not only is the casing of this battery bank made from 100% recovered, non-recyclable plastic, the battery cells are taken from local manufacturers who can no longer use the batteries within their products, due to misprints or irregularities. They are then tested and given a new life in this 12,000mAh portable battery pack.

 

Overheard on Twitter

Being an old person who votes against climate change [action] is like farting in an elevator right before you get out.

@meganamram

 

Food For Thought

A Mile an Hour – Running a different kind of marathon →

Watch

Australian Beau Miles runs a marathon over 24 hours and does a lot of other stuff in between. Definitely not the content I usually share here, but this may have been the most uplifting and inspirational video I watched in a long while. It’s also quintessentially Australian. “I get asked a lot ‘Why do you run, Beau? Why do you scavenge for old wood?’ Well, unless you’re hunting for food or making a baby, there is no real point to anything. So I ask myself: what’s really the point of all this? And I think, well, I may have just had the ultimate day... of running and making and fixing and being.”

‘We can’t go back to normal’: how will coronavirus change the world? →

Read

There are two very different futures we could end up in. “The world feels awfully strange right now, but not because – or not just because – it is changing so fast (...). It feels strange because the past few weeks have exposed the fact that the biggest things can always change, at any minute. This simple truth, both destabilising and liberating, is easy to forget. We’re not watching a movie: we’re writing one, together, until the end.”

Life is Short →

Read

Revisiting this essay by Paul Graham, because now is a good time to think about the pace of our lives. “It’s easy to let the days rush by. The ‘flow’ that imaginative people love so much has a darker cousin that prevents you from pausing to savor life amid the daily slurry of errands and alarms. One of the most striking things I’ve read was not in a book, but the title of one: James Salter’s Burning the Days.”

 

Aesthetically Pleasing

❏ ❏

This lovely brand design for Asian-fusion restaurant Heritage merges a playful sense of the surreal and subversive.

❏ ❏

Calvin Seibert builds brutalist sandcastles.

❏ ❏

The amazing digital art by Jakub Cichecki makes me want to go on an adventure.

❏ ❏

A contemporary font family designed to represent Wales to the world in an authentic and creative way, putting the provenance and unique linguistic traits of the Welsh language front and centre.

 

Classifieds

Observer Club is a private community for curious and action-oriented professionals. Interested in thought experiments, socratic discussions, and actionable philosophy? Join us!

More signal, less noise. Aveling Ray helps ethical enterprises fulfil their digital dreams. Get strategic advice and creative solutions to your code and content problems.

Want to make awesome landing pages? Get Landing Page 101 today. A straight-to-the-point field guide on making amazing first digital impressions with the websites you create.

Hoping to work for yourself remotely or become a digital nomad? Set the stage perfectly for your journey with this free, zero-to-one, action-based book: Remote Foundations.

Classifieds are paid ads that support DD and are seen by our 39,000+ subscribers each week.

Book yours →

 

The Week in a GIF

❏

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

[email protected]