Stories We’ve Enjoyed This Week

24th June 2020

Our masked future. Wearing a mask all the time affects how we interact with each other. But how? ‘When the lower half of someone’s face is obscured…we tend to see..emotions as more muted. Happy babies seem less happy if their mouths are obscured by pacifiers. Smiling women are perceived as less smiling when their mouths are covered by veils. This is true, even accounting for cultural biases against niqabs or pacifiers: Without the lower face, we tend to read even strong emotions as muted ones.’

The tone was serious and formal when suddenly everything changed. The door behind the man chairing the meeting burst open and his toddler ran in, jumped on his lap and smeared Vegemite all over his computer screen. Children interrupting Zoom meetings could be the reboot corporate culture needs.

‘Since May 2014, when Chinese Communist Party Secretary Zhang Chunxian announced the People’s War on Terror in the Uighur region, Chinese technology firms have received billions of dollars in Chinese state capital to build a comprehensive Muslim “re-education”
system in Northwest China. Here are the global implications of “re-education” technologies in northwest China.

Snapchat unveils a platform plan to take on Google and Apple. Snap says augmented reality will be foundation for next major shift in technology.

Throwback Thursday. This piece from 25 years ago records the moment that a company called Google received $25 million in equity funding.'”We are delighted to have venture capitalists of this caliber help us build the company,” said Larry Page, CEO and co-founder of Google. “We plan to aggressively grow the company and the technology so we can continue to provide the best search experience on the web.”

From the traditionally fairly neutral, Tortoise Media. ‘Coronavirus is a vicious illness which has brutally exposed the weakness of the British government. The UK stands alone, suffering damage which is almost without parallel’

HT @here_forth. How Amazon plans to save, not ruin, the $520B fashion industry post coronavirus.

Countries with the highest share of plug-in electric vehicles in new passenger car sales in 2019. Any idea who comes out on top (by quite some margin)?

Bravo Headspace. An important part of my mindfulness journey and great to see, in these troubled times, they are offering their premium service free to those who may be unemployed, in the UK and the US.

On a related subject, my blog post from last week. Going On A Retreat.

‘A doting grandfather, Patrick Hutchinson started off his Saturday looking after his grandchildren – a nice gesture ahead of his daughter’s birthday. By the end of that same weekend, he was headline news, his picture splayed across the nation’s papers. Photographed carrying a white protestor, slung over his shoulder, through the crowd at an anti-racism protest in London, the iconic image went viral.

A simply lovely piece about the lockdown. ‘I promise myself I will remember to thank my children and husband for the heart-lifting gift of their real and frequent hugs. We are lucky. All keeping safe and well, surrounded by love, the odd argument and then more love. We walk and ring on familiar doorbells, then run back and wave at our best friends. We mime hugging them with our arms aloft in the empty air. I tell myself our reward will be drinking wine with these friends and spending time with much-missed parents and grandparents. I will hug them all and never, ever let them go.

We’re living in a fever dream. One day we will wake up.