Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Featured artist: RC Johnson

Dense Discovery
Dense Discovery
 

Welcome to Issue 98!

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‘How to rethink the world for a better tomorrow.’ The pandemic has led to a ground swell of dreamy articles that want us to re-imagine everything. I quite enjoy reading them because... well it’s a hell of a lot more fun than reading the actual news.

Talking about some of those bold ideas with friends and family usually evokes pretty strong opinions. Dismissive reactions to, say, defunding the police or ridding cities of cars are mostly based on a lack of information (what new research tells us) but also a lack of imagination. Even when people admit that current ‘solutions’ aren’t working, a different approach often remains unimaginable.

The war on drugs is a good example: heavy-handed anti-drug enforcement has cost us hundreds of billions of dollars without any convincing evidence of a positive effect. And still, people continue to support the law-and-order approach, because... ‘drugs are bad!’

For my mum, her car represents “the last bit of freedom” (her words) she enjoys as a pensioner. It sounds like a TV commercial and that’s exactly where that line of thinking comes from. Her instinctive reaction is ‘They want to take my freedom away!’ and not ‘Does the lack of public transport make me more car-dependent?’

And that’s why I love seeing all these utopian-sounding, ambitious ideas reach a more mainstream audience. Even if they evoke strong, defensive reactions in some, they still plant a seed. Amidst all the doom and gloom, what keeps me (and I think a lot of you) from capitulating and curling up into a ball 24/7 is that sense of positive upheaval – that finally we may get a chance to inject some much-needed imagination into this dysfunctional system of ours. – Kai

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Resource Planning Tool SPONSOR

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Float →

The resource planner that keeps projects on track

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Apps & Sites

Linear →

Issue tracking tool

“Linear helps streamline software projects, sprints, tasks, and bug tracking.” A great-looking app (available for web and MacOS – Windows and Linux coming soon) to keep track of software development milestones.

Breathwrk →

Guided breathing exercises

Since none of the mediation apps I try seem to stick, I’m giving this breathing exercise app (iOS only) a go for some easy relaxation techniques before going to bed.

Hylo →

Community management

Hylo is another platform that was recommended to me while searching for a Facebook Groups alternative (mostly to manage the community of a building I’m moving into next year). The features look great, though a big caveat with smaller alternatives like this is that mobile app support is limited or not available on all platforms.

When Are →

Visualise your team’s timezones

There are lots of apps to keep track of the local time of your team mates, but only Whena.re puts your colleagues on a 24-hour dial to help you visualise where (or rather when) in the day they currently are.

 

Worthy Five: Patrick Tanguay

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Five recommendations by obsessively curious synthesist and curator of knowledge, Patrick Tanguay

A question worth asking:

We don’t think enough about future generations and the impact of today’s (in)decisions: would you be considered a good ancestor?

A Twitter account worth following:

Paul Cooper. Great curator and writer of fantastic threads about history, always with lots of images and useful or strange details.

A concept worth understanding:

The half life of knowledge. Provides a more nuanced way to understand science, and reflects the need to be constantly learning.

A newsletter worth subscribing to:

Other Valleys by Anjali Ramachandran. Globally diversified look at emerging markets innovation, technology, business and creativity.

A podcast worth listening to:

Flash Forward by Rose Eveleth. Each episode proposes a potential future, and then presents some solid research on how it might come to be.

 

Books & Accessories CONSUME RESPONSIBLY

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Isolate Zine →

Depicting life in isolation

Started as a creative project to spark inspiration during isolation, Isolate Zine aims to shine a light on global issues, whilst giving photographers a platform to showcase their work and raise money for relevant charities. The upcoming second issue focuses on the Black Lives Matter movement with all the proceeds going to that cause.

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The Conscious Creative →

Practical ethics for purposeful work

Author Kelly Small had to navigate a crisis of ethics and burnout in their career in advertising. With this new book (released early August) they want us to admit our complicity in problematic systems and take on the responsibility of letting our own conscience guide our decisions: “An actionable guide to mindfulness and practical ethics for any creative professional who wants to make a living without selling their soul.”

 

Overheard on Twitter

White supremacy won’t die until White people see it as a White issue they need to solve rather than a Black issue they need to empathize with.

@teachmrreed

 

Food For Thought

Defund (And Redesign) Everything →

Read

Jordan Hall makes a case for defunding and overhauling more than just police departments: “Our institutions become self-serving, bloated, out of touch, and inhumane. Time is corrosive and the forces that tend to push all institutions into corruption have been hard at work across every aspect of our social field for decades. At the same time, the context in which those institutions were born is also far in our past. Both the problems and possibilities of 2020 are very different to those of 1960. What was a good car, phone or computer in 1960 is now a relic. Our social institutions are likewise relics of a past remembered by only the eldest among us. Designed by and for a different age.”

Julia Gillard and womens’ leadership  →

Listen

Julia Gillard was Australia’s first female prime minister and in that role she had to endure horrendous amounts of sexism on a daily basis. In this excellent interview, she talks eloquently about being judged differently to male leaders, why trivial things such as her choice of clothing mattered, and how her experience compares with many other trailblazing women in powerful positions. If you haven’t watched it yet, I can also recommend her famous 2012 misogyny speech in the Australian parliament.

Zuckerberg Never Fails to Disappoint →

Read

Kara Swisher with another succinct take-down of Facebook and a very fitting analogy: “Think about Facebook as a seller of meat products. Most of the meat is produced by others, and some of the cuts are delicious and uncontaminated. But tainted meat ... also gets out the door in ever increasing amounts and without regulatory oversight. The argument from the head butcher is this: People should be free to eat rotten hamburger, even if it wreaks havoc on their gastrointestinal tract, and the seller of the meat should not be the one to tell them which meat is good and which is bad (even though the butcher can tell in most cases).” (may require a free account)

 

Aesthetically Pleasing

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Lovely earthy colours in this brand design for EcoGround, an investment fund focused on sustainable agriculture, designed my Mexican studio Menta Picante.

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Great dimensionality using an eclectic range of objects in the work of collage artist and graphic designer Martine Mooijenkind.

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The concrete sculpture work by David Umemoto reminds me of playing Monument Valley.

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A fun new addition to the Grilli Type font catalogue: “Instead of the traditional view of a typeface as a collection of static styles, GT Flexa embraces the idea of a fluid design space. As a dynamic tool, it enables joyful typesetting that allows for fully responsive designs.”

 

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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.