Stories We’ve Enjoyed This Week

20th Dec 2020

From The New Yorker. ‘When the decade began, tech meant promise — cars that could drive themselves, social networks that could take down dictators. It connected us in ways we could barely imagine. But somewhere along the way, the flaws of technology became abundantly clear. What happened?’ (This is) The Decade That Lost Its Way.

NESTA’s 10 predictions for 2020. Always a great read. Including – ‘meet your digital twin’, ‘the rise of 21st century unions’ and ‘eco-anxiety will save the planet’…and here are Carat’s Ten Trends for 2020 – ‘the year of all conquering eco-systems.’

‘In this powerful new RSA Minimate, TIME’s Editor-at-Large Anand Giridharadas argues that while the winners of our age might be well meaning in their desire to give back, too many stop short at the kinds of real change that would see power more radically distributed.’ Part of the issue is the privatisation of the solution of public problems. (short animated video)

From Wired. Don’t give the gift of corporate surveillance this Christmas. 

An amazing story and matching infographics. HT @neilperkin. ‘Months ago, someone contacted us with an astounding dataset. It tracked the precise movements of more than 12 million Americans in several major cities including Washington, New York and San Francisco. Today we published our findings’ – One Nation Tracked. An investigation into smartphone tracking.

Mapped: The World’s Top 10 Cities in 2035 using three key metrics: GDP, GDP Growth and population. Very few of the contenders are in Europe… (HT @here_forth)

SMMRY summarises text to save you time. Paste an article, text or essay in the box and hit summarise….

From The Cut. ‘There’s a lot of content: sweaty gym selfies as an excuse to show off her abs, golden lattes, dinner with “the girls” at Pastis, lines like “I just took a DNA test, it turns out I’m 100% that bitch..” Meet The Unfluencer, the person who makes me want to do the opposite of whatever she’s doing and throw out whatever I already own, that she has posted about…..’

Been loving all the outputs from Julian Cole (Planning Dirty) in his first year of consulting. Here is a compendium of everything he has put out this year. 

Bit of a plug for one of my favourite brands and reads, this is Brighton based My Green Pod and their Consumer Revolution Issue.

A couple of interesting pieces regarding Instagram this week. From The Guardian. The Instagram decade: #hashtag holidays and other travel trends…and The New Yorker, on The Age of the Instagram Face.

Great fun. Cartoon from xkcd – the Star Wars Spoiler Generator.

YouTube’s top earners: Eight-year-old Ryan (of Ryan’s World) tops the list with $26m.

Love this. A new codex collects (Belgian artist) ROA’s, black-and-white creatures in photographs from around the world. 

And finally…. From the often inspiring Aeon. ‘When we strip away the myths, such as his princely youth in a palace, a surprising picture of this enigmatic sage emerges.’ Who was the Buddha? 

This will be the last newsletter of 2019 and I would like to thank you for subscribing and reading this year. Next edition out on the 10th Jan. Best wishes to you for Christmas and the New Year.
Nick