The old world is dying and the new world struggles to be born. Now is the time of monsters.

– Gramsci/Žižek

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Featured artist: Maria Fabrizio

Dense Discovery
Dense Discovery
 

Welcome to Issue 90!

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Every crisis I touched on in previous introductions has in one way or another to do with privilege and oppression. Sending out a newsletter about software and design (or most other things for that matter) can feel inconsequential and disingenuous a lot of times, and this is particularly true right now.

Today, I can use this platform to share my support, grief, and anger; I can make donations; I can tweet and retweet; I can publish a few links to thought-provoking content or highlight the work of people from marginalised backgrounds. But all of that feels like nothing more than virtue signalling if I’m not making an honest effort to develop and sustain a real awareness of the systemic racism and inequality that transcends every aspect of society.

These last few days I’ve been trying to listen, to observe, and to better understand how the different forms of racism present themselves in my own country and community, my actions, and the activism I’m involved in. What’s clear already is that I have a lot of catching up to do. – Kai

You receive this email because you subscribed to Dense Discovery, a weekly newsletter at the intersection of tech, design, and culture read by over 27,000 subscribers. Support us by sponsoring an issue, booking a classified ad, or sharing this issue with friends.

 

Video Collaborations for Creators SPONSOR

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JAMM →

Visually lightweight and blazing fast video for work

What if you took the best parts of Zoom, Houseparty and TikTok to design a fun, lightweight and super-fast video for work experience? Meet Jamm – the #1 collaboration app for creative teams to easily brainstorm, spontaneously huddle, and provide updates wherever they are.

 

Apps & Sites

Untools →

Tools for better thinking

I love this small “collection of thinking tools and frameworks to help you solve problems, make decisions and understand systems”. Systems Thinking is such an important concept for trying to make sense of the current state of the world.

There →

Quick-access team organiser

It looks a bit like MacOS’ Spotlight but serves a different function: There gives easy access to everything you need to know about each member of your remote team: “Who’s asleep? Who’s on holidays? What’s the team doing right now? When will this coworker be back?”

Nuclino →

A shared space for structured content

Rigidity is often seen as a bad thing in software, but if you ever had to drudge your way through layers of Notion documents, you may appreciate this: Nuclino is “a lightweight and collaborative wiki for all your team's knowledge, docs, and notes.”

Email Myself

Send yourself links

When I’m on the go and come across something interesting online, I often email myself the link so that I can revisit it in more detail later. For a while I used a little app called ‘Mail to Self’, but that app disappeared when GDPR rules came around. Now I just found a perfect replacement: all you need to do is open Apple’s Shortcuts app, search ‘Email Myself’ in the gallery, and add the shortcut. Now you have a new option on your Share Sheet. With one tap you can send links (or anything shareable) straight to your inbox.

 

Indie Mag of the Week

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34minus1 →

An independent magazine showcasing projects made possible through a united Europe. (Issue 1 sold out, Issue 2 coming in September)

– Latest Issue: 1
– Frequency: 1 issue/year
– Formats: print & digital
– Origin: UK

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

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Lo—TEK →

Design by Radical Indigenism

There is so much to learn from design techniques based on local, multigenerational knowledge of working with nature. A fascinating, timely topic: “In an era of high-tech and climate extremes, we are drowning in information while starving for wisdom. Enter Lo—TEK, a design movement building on indigenous philosophy and vernacular infrastructure to generate sustainable, resilient, nature-based technology. With a foreword by anthropologist Wade Davis and spanning 18 countries from Peru to the Philippines, Tanzania to Iran, this book explores millennia-old human ingenuity on how to live in symbiosis with nature.”

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Art prints →

Drawn by machines

James Nolan Gandy builds a variety of drawing machines that create art. The artwork he sells on his website is all originally drawn by machines equipped with stock-standard pens in different colours, forming mesmerising shapes and patterns.

 

Overheard on Twitter

I gotta be honest the worst looting I’ve ever seen take place happened a few weeks ago when corporations collected over 500 billion dollars in stimulus money while everyone else was left with a $1200 dollar check and having to decide if they pay for food or rent.

@mrdaveyd

 

Food For Thought

For Our White Friends Desiring to Be Allies →

Read

Courtney Ariel on how the privileged can be stronger allies to the marginalised: “Being a citizen of a society requires work from everyone within that society. It is up to you whether you choose to acknowledge the work that is yours to do. It is up to you whether you choose to pay this debt and how you choose to do so.”

Professor Ibram X. Kendi on why it’s not enough to admit when you’re being racist →

Read

Professor Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist, in a short interview on how COVID-19 contributes to the current moment and what he describes as The American Nightmare. “Every individual lives in a neighborhood. And chances are that neighborhood has racial disparities. Every individual operates in an institution, whether that’s their job, whether that’s their church, whether that’s a club. Chances are their job, their institution has racial disparities or is doing nothing in the face of racial disparities. And so I think every individual can look around their own neighborhood, their own institution, and ask the question, ‘Well, who here is challenging the policy that is leading to these racial disparities?’”

What should we do with videos of police brutality? →

Read

More than once I was autoplayed a video on Twitter that left a mental scar. I agree with Kemi Alemoru here: “Footage of brutality is a powerful weapon but as much as it brings publicity to a case it also brings a lot of pain. As such [it] should be handled with care.”

 

Aesthetically Pleasing

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What a vibrant rebrand of fin-tech company KROO.

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These stunning charcoal drawings by Sara Golish are a “salute to the fertility of the sun goddess”. Available as prints.

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Brad Swartz Architects is a small Sydney-based architecture firm well known for designing small, functional spaces.

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Open Sauce Sans, Open Sauce One, and Open Sauce Two is a compact typeface set optimised for better viewing small text on screen and print. It’s available for free (or pay what you want) under the SIL Open Font License.

 

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Too much news? what happened last week is a newsletter that puts the world’s biggest developments into context. Curated and written by a political scientist in everyday-words.

Classifieds are paid ads that support DD and are seen by our 27,000 subscribers each week.

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The Week in a GIF

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