16th January 2016
1) How the Oxford English Dictionary went from Murderers pet project to Internet lexicon.
‘A shot rang out into the cold night air in Lambeth Marsh, a notorious London slum. Police officers rushed to the scene. There, they found a well-dressed surgeon, Dr. William Chester Minor, who quickly admitted to committing a murder. While the body of a local man named George Merrit lay lifelessly on the ground, the doctor attempted to explain his motives…’
2) Is Facebook the enemy of truth and civic unity? From The Guardian –
The Case For – Every new technology threatens to kill off some revered institution. But in the waning months of 2015, more than a few smart and tech-savvy commentators began suggesting a radical hypothesis: that the rise of social media threatened to deliver a death blow to civic consensus and even to truth itself.
The Case Against – History is undeniably on the side of Zuckerberg. Think of all the step changes in human connection over the eons – from scrolls to the printing press to the pamphleteers to the newspapers. Yes, each transition had its own particular form of tumult, and each undermined its fair share of existing authorities, but with the hindsight of centuries, they are all now considered to be fundamentally on the side of progress: democratising the flow of information and decision-making in society, and increasing the quality of those decisions.
3) …and this initiative is certainly fanning the flames of this debate – as Facebook fights back in row over its free internet for India’s poor. Will Facebook BE the internet in India?
4) From @davetrott – ‘Why Checklists beat Brains’. How advertising can take inspiration from the Airline Industry and the World Health Organisation.
5) If you have already been enjoying podcasts such as Serial, Limetown or other great audio content from This American Life then The Atlantic’s 50 best podcasts of 2015 will be of interest; but if not, then it’s certainly worth taking a look anyway.
6) Is your tabloid news not murky enough? ProPublica launches the worlds first major news site for the Dark Web. Although some people use its anonymity to carry out nefarious activities, it is designed to help activists living under repressive regimes to communicate free of government surveillance.
7) Printed book sales are on the rise – but specific genres are driving this increase: ‘Publishers told the Associated Press this week that the rise of colouring books and books authored by YouTube stars this year seems to have contributed to Americans’ re-investment in physical books. The release of Harper Lee’s much-buzzed-about (albeit bizarre) second novel Go Set A Watchman also may have played a part; Lee’s book sold four times as many copies in hardcover as in e-book format, suggesting that most readers wanted to own a physical copy of the historic book.
8) People are pouncing on Peach, the latest social network/fad. Try as they might, brands and publishers simply can’t resist the latest shiny social bauble. Peach is a new social networking app that combines Slack-like commands with a Facebook Messenger-style interface, introduced last Friday. Major brands like Asos and Merriam-Webster are up and running, along with several publishers like Vice and The Washington Post.
9) A Visual History of Modern Art, lives on the Southbank in London, and any visitor to Tate Modern will have seen the “Tate Artist Timeline” created by illustrator Sara Fanelli and which provides museumgoers with a sprawling roadmap of the major artistic movements and important artists of the 20th century. Available in book form and now in this interactive video version, which is also installed in the museum.
10) Ending this week, with some very bad news I’m afraid – ‘The Great British Curry Crisis’ – ‘Britain has been in love with curry since at least the 1940s and over that time an estimated 12,000 curry houses have mushroomed across the country, even in the smallest villages. But tastes are changing…