A more-or-less weekly collection of the provocative, intriguing, or curious, in a world where the house is falling down. A mix of the contextual, the cultural, and other things that catch my eye.
- Robert MacFarlane’s book about the world beneath our feet is a way of writing about the Anthropocene. That’s the take of Jedediah Purdy, who reviewed it in The Atlantic. Also: Here’s an extract from Underland, courtesy of LitHub.
- Meaningless work leads to meaningless language. Words that used to say something have had their meaning drained from them by corporate culture. Meanwhile: Keynes’ 1931 vision of the 15-hour working week translates into “fully autonomous luxury communism”. (Thanks to Sahar Hadidimoud for the meaningless work link).
- The metaphor of ‘the journey’ needs to be retired. It’s used to market prepackaged services as if they are are an authentic personal experience.
- Spotify’s business model may be dodgy. But it is best in class at packaging our emotions and selling them back to us–and to advertisers.
- The big trend in entertainment and media is ME, apparently. I can see what PWC just did there, although I thought that trend had happened already. But this a good quick guide to entertainment trends.
- Two information designers spent a year creating personal infographics on postcards. Then they’d mail them to each other every week. The cards are all hand-drawn, and they look lovely. (Thanks to Victoria Ward).
- It was Father’s Day last week. The first part of this edition of History Hit is a bit self-indulgent, unless you’re a Dan Snow fan, but the interview on the history of fatherhood, 13 minutes 30 seconds in, with Laura King of Leeds University, is terrific. The interview is 16 minutes long.
The image at the top of the post is courtesy of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
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“The whole world’s at sixes and sevens, and why the house hasn’t fallen down about our ears long ago is a miracle to me.” (Thornton Wilder)
Much appreciated. Lots to read here. I had to stop myself wondering whether I would regard what I have called ‘work’ as ‘meaningless work’…..
And good to get the reminder about the FALC book – the comments beneath the post are also interesting!
Hope all going well e