Ten Stories From This Week

20th Feb 2021

From Tim Harford. We’re living in a golden age of ignorance. How did it come to this? ‘The simplest explanation — to repurpose a phrase from former US Treasury secretary Larry Summers — is: “There are idiots. Look around.” But while there is a certain visceral satisfaction in that explanation, there is much more going on. Disttractions stop us from paying attention to what matters, and political tribalism makes us reject evidence that casts our tribe in a bad light. Combine the two, add steroids and you get the third element of the age of ignorance: conspiracy thinking’.

Transcendent shows. Meditation apps are migrating to streaming platforms, bringing a dose of mindfulness to the entertainment industry.

The Clubhouse App and the Rise of Oral Psychodynamics. ‘In other words, oral culture is not suited to certain kinds of knowledge accumulation and legibility of the world, some of which is necessary to hold our institutions together. And this under-appreciated transition is certainly one big reason for the current tension in this historic transition: because of technology, oral psychodynamics have broken through at scale, and we are trying to manage them with institutions that operate solely through an within print/written culture. And that cannot, will not, hold without adjustment.

Like the observation last week (from@geniusteals) who can’t shake the feeling that they’ve seen Clubhouse somewhere before – on late night television in the 80’s and 90’s. (30″)

From HuffPo. Working at home during the COVID-19 pandemic? The choice to dress up or stay in your pyjamas can affect your mental health in surprising ways.

In US presidential elections, since 1824, only five winning candidates failed to win the popular vote. You know one of them, the other four are less obvious.

Gongbang videos: why the world has gone wild for 12-hour films of people studying.

Off the wall, but revealing from XKCD comic. An explanation of how vaccines work, with a little help from Star Wars.

Love these realistic job titles from Marketoonist. ‘If the only constant is change, a close second is the resistance to that change.’

(The Making of) Ludovico Einaudi’s Elegy for the Arctic. (3’02”). Including a hiatus to filming, following a wave caused by the collapse of a nearby glacier.