Ten Stories We’ve Enjoyed This Week

11th May 2019

I attended the inspiring Digital Wellness Festival (Europe’s first) last Friday at The Crystal in London. Including speakers from Google, Headspace, The Light Phone, Ofcom and Buddhify. Some really insightful content, you can see the full line-up here. 

‘Epistemology is the term that describes how we know what we know. Most people who think about knowledge think about the processes of obtaining it. Ignorance is often assumed to be not-yet-knowledgeable. But what if ignorance is strategically manufactured? What if the tools of knowledge production are perverted to enable ignorance? In 1995, Robert Proctor and Iain Boal coined the term “agnotology” to describe the strategic and purposeful production of ignorance.’ Slowly, a virus has spread, using technology to systematically tear at the social fabric of public life.

How the news took over reality. The Guardian on whether engagement with current affairs is key to being a good citizen. Or could an endless torrent of notifications be harming democracy as well as our wellbeing?

This is how Apple controls its competitors and why regulators should take a close look at the iPhone App Store.

‘Since being released in 1987, PowerPoint has grown exponentially to the point where it is now estimated than thirty million PowerPoint presentations are made every day. Yet, PowerPoint is blamed by academics for killing critical thought. We’ve all sat in those presentations. A speaker with a stream of slides full of text, monotonously reading them off as we read along. We’re so used to it we expect it. We accept it. We even consider it ‘learning’.  The fact is we know that PowerPoint kills. Most often the only victims are our audience’s inspiration and interest. This however, is the story of a PowerPoint slide that actually helped kill seven people.’

‘Millennials are turning to astrology with increasing fervour and sincerity, looking to the stars for guidance and inspiration for everything from dating to style. Now, in an effort to capitalise on the $2.2 billion mystical and psychic services market, mainstream brands and platforms are tailoring their products to appeal to the astrologically-minded consumer.’ From JWT Intelligence.

A dictionary of words invented to name emotions we all feel, but don’t yet have a name for, amongst them: vemödalen, sonder, and chrysalism. 

Nesta, on why we should care about Drones in our cities. ‘How can we ensure appropriate and safe use of drones in public spaces?’

This reimagining of the Obi Wan Kenobi/Darth Vader fight is (dare we say it?) an improvement on the original... and here, in this famous scene, Peter Mayhew speaks English, to Harrison Ford, dressed as Chewbacca.

Full colour videos of Paris In 1896, really make you feel like you are stepping back in time.