145 / The phases that make you you

We think we understand the rules when we become adults, but what we really experience is a narrowing of the imagination.

– David Lynch

❏

Featured artist: Luciano Cian

Dense Discovery
Dense Discovery

Welcome to Issue 145!

View/share online

A friend of mine recently admitted that he’s currently into really trashy comedies. “10% or below on Rotten Tomatoes!” Another friend confided in me that she’s in a strict non-committal phase. “No long-term partners, jobs or decisions of any kind for the rest of the year!”

Both of them use a little loophole to avoid judgement. By stating that they are going through a temporary period of behaviour change, they ‘get away’ with doing things that may seem out-of-character to people around them. It’s a social license for change that I think we should use a lot more freely.

Lots of people have strong opinions on the nebulous concept of ‘work/life balance’. If you burn the midnight oil, you’re a slave to your work! But if you don’t get up every morning with a spring in your step to pursue your passion, then you’re a slacker! The reality is that both are true for most of us.

Work can be bliss, when my brain is bursting with ideas and my body is buzzing to get them out. Fifteen hours at work? Not enough! At other times I can’t imagine anything more pathetic and dehumanising than sitting on a desk tapping buttons until the sun goes down. That’s me (and probably you) in different phases of life.

This sounds pretty obvious, I know, but I think we often forget to acknowledge that so much of what we experience happens in temporary phases (that, by the way, often beget each other). Sometimes these phases don’t have clear-cut beginnings and endings. Sometimes they overlap. Sometimes we can plan for them, and sometimes they are determined by factors outside our control.

Instead of applying fixed labels, it’s useful to think of life as an accumulation of different phases. This minor perspective shift allows us to be less absolutist and judgy – about ourselves and others. It gives us permission to change, to be different people at different times.

So whether it’s shitty movies, short-term relationships or all-nighters at work, they don’t define who we are but who we want/need to be at a particular moment. – Kai

Comment on this issue →


Become a Friend of DD

With a modest yearly contribution you help keep Dense Discovery going and get access to the Friends-only DD Index, a searchable catalogue of past issues.

You receive this email because you subscribed to Dense Discovery, a weekly newsletter at the intersection of technology, design, ethics and sustainability. Writing to you is Kai Brach, also the editor and publisher of Offscreen Magazine. Do you have a product or service to promote in DD? Sponsor an issue or book a classified.


Business Confidence for Designers SPONSOR

❏

d.MBA

An online Design MBA

The d.MBA is a six-week online business program made specifically for designers. Learn how to align design and business goals without sacrificing your values. Join the next cohort of 30 designers, starting on September 27th, 2021.


Apps & Sites

Human Hotel

Stay with interesting people

What an amazing idea: instead of choosing your holiday accommodation purely based on the features of the place, Human Hotel invites you to stay with individuals that you may share interests with. Why not stay with an artist, a journalist or a scientist? They even have a dedicated section for the upcoming COP26 in Glasgow, encouraging people to ‘host a climate justice guest’.

Access Guide

Intro to digital accessibility

This easy to understand, well-structured guide to digital accessibility would have come in handy a few months ago when I was trying to help a friend with some accessibility updates to their website. Bookmarked for future reference.

Macro

Task checklist & automation

Macro is a tool that guides users through processes – a list of steps that needs to be taken – such as onboarding a new team member. By directly integrating other apps, Macro allows those steps to take place within one interface.

Than Average

Compare yourself to others

Essentially just a survey that asks you to compare specific character traits of yours with that of the average person. A simple, yet powerful way to trigger reflection on how we value and compare ourselves to others.


Worthy Five: Aaina Sharma

❏

Five recommendations by design leader and dog lover Aaina Sharma

A book worth reading:

As the world is getting smaller and more connected, it’s important to know what interacting with various cultures entails. The Culture Map by Erin Meyer does a fantastic job of outlining cultural differences and decoding cultures across the globe. I’ve read this book three times now and learn something new each time I read it.

A quote worth repeating:

‘I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’ This quote by Maya Angelou has always resonated with me and aligns so well with my personal values. Be kind. Be accepting. Be open.

A podcast worth listening to:

How to Own the Room by comedian and presenter Viv Groskop who talks to inspiring women about the art of brilliant speaking. She’s also got a great book by the same title.

A recipe worth trying:

I recently came across this delicious Mango Lassi Souffle recipe by Hetal Vasavada from Milk & Cardamom. It’s absolutely delicious!

An activity worth doing:

I’ve always loved wandering around and taking photos which has proven to be especially therapeutic during the pandemic. I usually pick an overcast day (good for street photography), put on comfy shoes, and go for a wander with my Fuji camera. Discovering unknown places has always been so liberating for me!


Books & Accessories CONSUME RESPONSIBLY

❏

The Scout Mindset

How to think more rationally

Julia Galef is an expert on rational decision-making. In her new book she describes how many of us operate on a ‘soldier’ mindset: “From tribalism and wishful thinking, to rationalising in our personal lives and everything in between, we are driven to defend the ideas we most want to believe – and shoot down those we don’t.” She argues that we need to develop a ‘scout’ mindset instead: “A scout’s goal isn’t to defend one side over the other. It’s to go out, survey the territory, and come back with as accurate a map as possible.”

❏

The Next Great Migration

Humans: a species on the move

We know that climate change will trigger migration on a massive scale. Science journalist Sonia Shah looks at our species’ migratory history, showing how natural and important migration was/is for its survival. “Unhampered by barbed wire, migration allowed our ancestors to people the planet, catapulting us into the highest reaches of the Himalayan mountains and the most remote islands of the Pacific, creating and disseminating the biological, cultural, and social diversity that ecosystems and societies depend upon. In other words, migration is not the crisis – it is the solution.”


Overheard on Twitter

Unpopular opinion: the best thing young people can do early in their careers is have wealthy parents.

@Grace_Segers


Food for Thought

We are all conspiracy theorists

Read

Avoiding binary thinking about conspiracy theories helps us realise that we all operate on a ‘spectrum’ of truth. “It’s tempting to simply divide people up into ‘conspiracy theorists’ and ‘regular people’ – to have tinfoil-hat-wearing paranoids on one side and sensible folk on the other. But the reality is that we are all conspiracy theorists, one way or another. We all know that conspiracies exist; we all suspect people in power of being involved in many kinds of conspiracies, even if it’s only something as banal as accepting campaign contributions to vote a certain way on certain types of legislation.”

The NFT Funhouse Mirror

Read

Honestly, it took me a while to read this one because anything NFT-related bores me to sleep. This is a good critique, though, showing how new tech rarely solves problems and instead often reflects and crystalises problems of the past. “The financialization of everything may be the opposite of what it’s trying to fix, and may blind us to other possible solutions. The question may not be simply, ‘How do we build a better business model for the art world?’, but rather: ‘How do we build sustainable, humane economic systems that allow all people to thrive and create?’ If we are reinventing monetary systems and value itself, it should align better with what we actually ‘value’.”

Welcome to the Internet – Bo Burnham

Watch/Listen

I’m currently on a Netflix break, so my friends introduced me – via this YouTube video – to the brilliant work of comedian Bo Burnham. He filmed himself completely alone in a room of his house without a crew or audience during the pandemic and Netflix then released it under Bo Burnham: Inside.


Aesthetically Pleasing

❏ ❏

Landscape photographer Jan Erik Waider, whom I first featured in DD122, just released this captivating series of close-up lava shots from Iceland.

❏ ❏

Say it with a Zoom background image. As usual, Mr Bingo doesn’t mince words.

❏ ❏

‘Utterly adorable.’ Those are the words that come to mind watching the stop motion clips of felt artist Andrea Love. She’s currently making a film called Tulip. Watch the trailer.

❏ ❏

Monopol is a strong, heavy display typeface with sharp angles for confident messaging in headlines, wordmarks or posters.


Classifieds

Think Like a Strategist. As founders, we get many messages about what we ‘should’ do. Tune out the noise and learn how to make the right choices for your team with email trainings.

Important, Not Important is science for people who give a sh*t. News, analysis, and action steps to feel better and build a better future – for everyone. Get it for free.

Learn just enough design with Hello Web Design. This short, advice-packed book gives you the tools and shortcuts you need to get started with web design – right now.

Email template development can be tedious. There are so many limitations because of outdated email clients. We know all the tricks to make your newsletter look great. Get in touch!

Classifieds are paid ads that support DD and are seen by our 33,000 subscribers each week.

Book yours →


The Week in a GIF

❏

Reply or tweet at DD with your favourite GIF and it might get featured here in a future issue.


Comment on this issue →


Older messages

144 / ‘The Cloud is on the ground’

Monday, June 28, 2021

A failure is like fertiliser; it stinks to be sure, but it makes things grow faster in the future. – Denis Waitley Featured artist: Luis Mendo Dense Discovery Dense Discovery Welcome to Issue 144! View

143 / Denis Diderot and your new headphones

Monday, June 21, 2021

Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape. – bell hooks Featured artist: Christian Arnder Dense

142 / The upward creep of material desire

Monday, June 14, 2021

Joy is an inside job. – Lorraine Weiss Featured artist: Lolita Calistru Dense Discovery Dense Discovery Welcome to Issue 142! View/share online → As many of you know, I love thinking and talking about

141 / Progress based on compassion, not convenience

Monday, June 7, 2021

The illiterate of the twenty-first century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. – Alvin Toffler Featured artist: Tania Tania Dense Discovery

140 / Ubuntu: ‘I am because we are.’

Monday, May 31, 2021

Make improvements, not excuses. Seek respect, not attention. – Roy T. Bennett Featured artist: Ray Dak Lam Dense Discovery Dense Discovery Welcome to Issue 140! View/share online → One thing I love

"Landscape with a Hundred Turns" by Yanyi

Thursday, July 29, 2021

When you turned into a hundred rooms, Facebook Twitter Instagram Support Poem-a-Day July 29, 2021 Landscape with a Hundred Turns Yanyi When you turned into a hundred rooms, I returned each month as a

Daily Skimm: Deluxe suite, we at the Savoy

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Skimm'd while signing up for our weekly money saving tips July 29, 2021 Read in Browser Your guide to this week's top money news and tips DailySkimm' Skimm'd while signing up for our

Hailey Bieber filed a trademark with the intention to start a beauty line

Thursday, July 29, 2021

GROW OUT BANGS Everything We Know So Far About Hailey Bieber's Beauty Brand, Rhode This Primer Will Keep Your Makeup from Melting During Humid Southern Summers Shoppers Love This Clarifying Shampoo

Nicole Kidman is practically unrecognizable with a strawberry blonde pixie cut

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Your horoscope for virgo season is here View this email as a web page HelloGiggles HAIR FOR IT Nicole Kidman is practically unrecognizable with a strawberry blonde pixie cut NOW HEAR THIS Britney

These Boots From Nordstrom Will Make Your Fall Wardrobe & They're On Sale

Thursday, July 29, 2021

You'll wear them nonstop. ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ TZR logo The Zoe Report 07.28.21 These Boots From Nordstrom Will Make Your Fall Wardrobe & They're On Sale (Shopping) These

Ditch Your Basic Ponytail For This Cooler Style For Fall

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

No drab looks here. ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ TZR logo The Zoe Report 07.28.21 (Beauty) Ditch Your Basic Ponytail For This Cooler Style For Fall (Hair) Ditch Your Basic Ponytail For This

20 of the Most Twisted Movie Premises Ever

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Sometimes a mere synopsis can haunt you until the day you die.... ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ Do everything better Wednesday, July 28, 2021 Streaming 20 of the Most Twisted Movie

The Best Alternative Cookers for This Heat Wave

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

The Best Alternative Cookers Get the Magazine Real Simple Daily Recipe I'm a Chef and These Are the Alternative Cookers I Use When It's Too Hot to Turn on My Oven Read More The Easiest-Ever Way

The Meal Plan, Workout, and Motivation You Need to Get Back in Shape

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Men's Health SHOP Lose Your Gut and Get Back in Shape - Click Here View in Browser This Guide Will Change Your Body Men's Health eliminated the guesswork of getting back in shape with this

Why You Should Keep Butter On The Counter

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Why You Should Keep Your Butter On The Counter Get Allrecipes Magazine View in Browser Here's Why You Should Keep Butter On The Counter SOUTHERN LIVING Did Mom always keep the butter on the counter