Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy.

– Pope Paul VI


Featured artist: Lore Mondragón

Dense Discovery
Dense Discovery

Welcome to Issue 89!

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...and welcome to Kai’s weekly therapy session. I have to admit that I struggled through last week. The compounding effects of too little socialising and too much news finally got to me. After reading that our government here in Australia plans to go big on fossil fuels to save the economy, my hopes for progressive post-pandemic change are dissipating quickly.

And so my friend Jon Leighton couldn’t have timed sharing his latest thoughts on the climate crisis any better. He eloquently brings together many of the things circulating in my head.

Jon describes how he arrived at a place of acceptance: “2019 was the year I finally allowed myself to think: maybe it won’t be OK? What then? (...) Accepting that some huge and devastating impacts are likely within my lifetime allows me to start asking how I should relate to that. Can I be OK with leaner times ahead? Can I find purpose and meaning in the context of escalating suffering? What is most important to hold on to, and what can I let go of? What skills will be needed in the future, and how can I gain them now?”

While this perspective of acceptance may sound defeatist and somewhat self-centred, his point is to strive for living in balance regardless of the outcome: “What I am saying is that I think it’s helpful to let go of any attachment to a particular outcome. I can try to live in a way that feels in balance, and this can be meaningful regardless of whether or not the worst predictions of the future actually come to pass.”

He goes on to write about discovering permaculture and how it helps him understand his relationship to place and nature: “I feel that it’s insufficient to say, ‘I’m a software developer, so I don’t need to know anything about the land I depend on for food and shelter’. I do believe that we won’t fundamentally change anything without re-establishing our connection to land and the non-human world.”

As an inner-city apartment dweller, I’m inspired by Jon’s article to think more deeply about that connection and whether it can exist in an urban context. The shift in thinking from ‘how can we stop this’ to ‘how can we live with this’ gives me something more personally relevant to focus on. Which plans of mine need reassessing and what skills are worth gaining in order to make myself and the communities I’m part of more resilient, regardless of what the future holds?

I highly recommend you read the whole piece. – Kai

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Expand Your Interests SPONSOR


Keen →

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Apps & Sites

Octopus →

Visual sitemap builder

A sitemap and prototyping tool that can help you visualise the structure of a project. It also comes with a quote feature, so you can attach a price estimate to different sections of the sitemap.

Stack →

Multi-account, multi-task browser

Stack has evolved quite a bit since I first featured it in DD more than a year ago. Stack allows you to create tab groups and layouts for the many apps and sites you are using throughout the day. It also supports multiple accounts, so you could, for example, manage a stack of tabs for personal and for work use.

Replier →

Structured responses

Replier helps you respond to long email or chat messages with more structure and clarity: copy-paste the message into Replier and select what you want to respond to. In the next step, write your responses to each point and transfer them back into your email/chat app. This (free) little tool would make a great plugin that integrates more deeply into Gmail or Slack.

Medito →

Free-forever meditation app

Meditation is one of those things that I know would be good for me, I just never manage to make it a regular habit. There surely is no shortage of apps. Giving it one more go, this time with Medito.


Indie Mag of the Week


Fifty Grande →

Fifty Grande is a new biannual magazine that explores the US through travel, music and food.

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

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!




Don’t Be Evil →

The Case Against Big Tech

A timely book: as we’re coming out of the lockdown, Big Tech emerges as the winner of the pandemic. “Today Google and Facebook receive 90% of the world’s news ad-spending. Amazon takes half of all ecommerce in the US. Google and Apple operating systems run on all but 1% of cell phones globally. How did we get here? How did the tech industry get to dominate our world so completely? How did once-idealistic and innovative companies come to manipulate elections, violate our privacy, and pose a threat to the fabric of our democracy?”


Pen Type-B →

Precision machined pen

Yes, more ‘forever pen’ options! The Type-B by CW&T is “a minimal everyday pen, over-engineered to last generations. Precision machined to create a piston-like effect between the pen and sleeve. The pen falls slowly and makes a nice popping sound when you pull it quickly from its sleeve.” Very satisfying to watch. And very expensive.


Overheard on Twitter

A group of white men is called a podcast.



Food For Thought

No Apocalypse →


Not an easy read, but it ultimately offers hope in the form of human perseverance and ingenuity: “The human species will likely survive in spite of itself, though in a world warped by the bitter cruelties of our ruling classes. We may in fact go on surviving quite a bit longer than some prognosticators may imagine. There will doubtless be consequences for the effects we have on the environment, but no species before us has has the ability to engineer around these consequences.”

En-ROADS Climate Simulator →


This video is just a short introduction to an openly available climate policy simulation tool (you can play with the tool itself here). What a fascinating way to illustrate the impact of systemic action as it relates to energy generation, economic growth, land use, and other aspects.

Doordash and Pizza Arbitrage →


You might have seen this in your feeds. If you haven’t read it yet, it’s worth your time. The food delivery business model has no winners: “Uber Eats is Uber’s ‘most profitable division’. Uber Eats lost $461 million in Q4 2019 off of revenue of $734 million. Sometimes I need to write this out to remind myself. Uber Eats spent $1.2 billion to make $734 million. In one quarter.”


Aesthetically Pleasing

❏ ❏

The branding for ATM Pizza (“inspired by the practicality and availability of an ATM itself”) features bold, retro-style graphics.

❏ ❏

Chauxhien has some impressive stitching skills.

❏ ❏

I just can’t get over how talented James Gilleard is. His use of colour to create three-dimensional spaces is just *chef’s kiss*. Check out his ongoing series Japan by Car.

❏ ❏

Ginto – consisting of two sister-families Ginto Normal and Ginto Nord – is a geometric-humanist typeface. Fundamental to its identity is the tension between circles and rectangles.



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The Week in a GIF


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