My weekly collection of the provocative, intriguing, or curious, in a world where the house is falling down. The contextual, the cultural, and other things that catch my eye.

Image credit: Visit Copenhagen

  • Copenhagen will be carbon neutral in 2025. The secret: the ‘five minute city’. And more here.
  • Designers need to design for the circular economy. Ellen MacArthur tells Dezeen what that means in practice.
  • The cutting edge of voting technology – is paper. It’s the only way to have a reliable audit trail. Paper trail, even.
  • The changing history of the future. Sadly, How We Get To Next has closed. The archive contains this wonderful series on how our images of the future have changed over the past hundred years or so.
  • The foolishness of smart people. Power, hubris and individualism are a fatal combination. It’s like a Brexit checklist.
  • Scott Alexander reviews Peter Turchin’s Secular Cycles. This is long, detailed and rich assessment of an important book. Related: My blog post about Turchin on Brexit. (Thanks to Walker Smith for the Scott Alexander link.)
  • How the 808 drum machine became the sound of popular music. It didn’t happen overnight. (Podcast, 28 minutes).
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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)