It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.

– Upton Sinclair

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Featured artist: Faith & Kerra

Dense Discovery
Dense Discovery
 

Welcome to Issue 95!

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After some delays, I’m finally able to launch the new issue of Offscreen today! Issue 23 starts shipping from our warehouse in Berlin later this week. While I’m excited to get this issue out, I also have to admit that it has been a difficult issue to make and to release.

Just when I had confirmed contributors, the global lockdown kicked in and threw everyone’s schedule into disarray. With on-site photo shoots out of the question, I decided to explore the idea of a fully illustrated issue. Thanks to Agnes Lee’s amazing illustration skills, the result is something we’re both proud of, even though the uncertainty of how it would turn out felt daunting at times.

As the printing date moved closer, events in the US shone a new light on an old issue: the lack of diverse representation in our industry. The global uproar finally made me see my own shortcomings on the issue of racism, and why launching an issue with four white people on the cover was no longer good enough. At that point, however, reshuffling the line-up of this issue would have been really difficult. All editing was done, Agnes was finishing up her illustration work, and printing was about to begin, with the release date already well overdue.

And so I’m launching this issue with some (well-deserved) trepidation and a public commitment that this will be the last Offscreen issue of its kind. I can do better and I will. – 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 34,000 subscribers. Support us by sponsoring an issue, booking a classified ad, or sharing this issue with friends.

 

Hi, We’re Antidote SPONSOR

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Antidote →

End-to-end email & SMS marketing that sells more

Did you know the average ROI for email marketing is 4300%!? What we do (and say) everyday counts more. Elevate your brand to a higher state through beautiful and effective email & SMS marketing. We handle it all: strategy, copywriting, design and reporting. Delivering world class results without breaking the bank.

 

Apps & Sites

GoatCounter →

Privacy-friendly, open-source analytics

A pretty simple, open-source web analytics platform that’s free for non-commercial use, available as a hosted and self-hosted service. One of its biggest selling points is the focus on privacy: GoatCounter doesn’t track users with unique identifiers and therefor doesn’t need a GDPR notice.

Motion →

Chrome quick tasker & tab manager

This Chrome extension combines some smart tab management (e.g. suspend inactive tabs, group related tabs together) and quick access tools, such as creating new calendar invites or search G Drive documents through shortcuts.

Comradery →

Custom community platform

This is one of my favourites of recent suggestions for managing small communities: Comradery offers live chat, threaded posts, and weekly email digests – it intentionally removes a lot of complexity to make managing group comms less overwhelming. Hoping that the public release comes with Android and iOS apps.

Link Drop →

Bookmarks as a newsletter

Link Drop offers an email-based way to keep track of new links: “When you find a link that you don’t have time to read or explore, save it with the Link Drop browser extension to have it sent to your inbox for review later in the day.”

 

Indie Mag of the Week

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Offscreen →

Support DD by reading my magazine! The newest issue of Offscreen includes interviews with trust researcher Rachel Botsman, security expert Bruce Schneier, entrepreneur and author Seth Godin, and anthropologist Genevieve Bell.

– Latest Issue: 23
– Frequency: 2–3 issues/year
– Formats: print
– Origin: Australia

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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Practical Empathy →

For Collaboration and Creativity in Your Work

How a better understanding of empathy can lead to both product innovation and organisational success: “Conventional product development focuses on the solution. Empathy is a mindset that focuses on people, helping you to understand their thinking patterns and perspectives. Practical Empathy will show you how to gather and compare these patterns to make better decisions, improve your strategy, and collaborate successfully.”

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One Eleven SWII →

Solar-powered watch

Reasonably priced at $75, the SWII is powered by a solar quartz movement that will last 4–6 months on a charge. As long as you wear it outside from time to time, you’re never going to run out of juice. The manufacturer One Eleven uses recycled plastics and steel for their cases and straps, solar movements to reduce toxic battery consumption, and recycled packaging materials. Different colours are available.

 

Overheard on Twitter

The American Dream is to make a lot of money with computers and then to never touch computers ever again.

@palm_beach_m

 

Food For Thought

Why we can’t stop fighting about cancel culture →

Read

In case you don’t know: ‘cancelling someone’ in this context means publicly shaming a person or company – usually through social media – for doing something that is considered objectionable. There are valid reasons for and against calling out people for their behaviour, though I cannot help but feel like it’s yet another symptom of an increasingly disconnected, apathetic society. “The debate around cancel culture is partly about how we treat each other, and partly about frustration with the lack of real consequences for powerful people. ... Even though cancel culture seems to generate few lasting consequences for celebrities and their careers, some people seem to view it as part of a broader trend they find deeply disturbing: an inability to forgive and move on.”

The luxury of atypical success →

Read

Some brief thoughts about running tiny, frugal side projects that offer little chance of immediate monetary success. “Most importantly, though, [my side projects] were cheap to maintain. I was not hedging my livelihood on their success; I did not have investors who were requiring exponential growth. I could afford (morally and financially) to let them sit and grow slowly, collecting new users and functionality like a stone collects moss.”

Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man →

Watch

Emmanuel Acho’s videos are a must-watch as part of your ongoing anti-racism education. In a succinct and captivating way he answers questions such as “How can I have white privilege if I’m not wealthy?”, or “Is racial profiling OK if Black people tend to commit more crimes?”, or this one from a 19-year-old girl from rural Alabama: “If black people can say the ‘N’ word, why can’t I?”

 

Aesthetically Pleasing

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I don’t know how I ended up on Sankar Sridhar’s page but his portrait photography of rural India caught my attention and I ended up spending twenty minutes browsing.

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I’m a big fan of brands that use a subdued colour palette and simple, clean lines in their typography, like that of Agaché.

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French street artists Ella & Pitr paint giant sleeping characters into confined spaces on rooftops, building facades, and courtyards.

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Dotties: a type family designed to swirl together. Dotties Vanilla is a humanist sans serif with a twist. Dotties Chocolate is a humanist slab serif: a ganache with panache.” I’ve always been more of a vanilla person.

 

Classifieds

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Learn a solid design process for UI/UX design. Made for designers looking to take the next step. Join the waitlist for Process Masterclass. Taken by over 1000 designers.

Classifieds are paid ads that support DD and are seen by our 34,000 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.