Weekly newsletter

Thoughtful, inquisitive, and eclectic, each issue presents a carefully curated selection of articles exploring technology in society, signals of changes, and prospective futures.

Latest No.188 — Sep 19, 2021

The Form and Function of Science-Fiction ⊗ Brian Eno’s Design Principles for Streets ⊗ Machine Learning’s Crumbling Foundations

Warning: Your reality is out of date ⊗ Agriculture in the here and now ⊗ Intelligences ⊗ 3 ways Singapore is creating food security with urban farms ⊗ A Massive Subterranean ‘Tree’ Is Moving Magma to Earth’s Surface ⊗ SunDrive Solar Startup Beats Record in Efficiency Test

No.187 — Sep 12, 2021

Can the World Computer Save the World? ⊗ Imagining the Future Is Just Another Form of Memory ⊗ Notes Are Conversations Across Time

Lebanon as we once knew it is gone ⊗ They needed a virtual world, so they built one ⊗ European civilization is built on ham and cheese ⊗ Scientists are mining metals from an unusual source — plants  Keep reading →

No.186 — Sep 05, 2021

Technological Lessons From the Pandemic ⊗ Revenge of the Real ⊗ Solarpunk Is Not About Pretty Aesthetics. It’s About the End of Capitalism

No Utopias: Gerard O’Neill, Gundam, and the illusion of space colonization ⊗ The fungal mind: on the evidence for mushroom intelligence ⊗ Non-Extractive Architecture ⊗ Gabon becomes first African country to get paid for protecting its forests  Keep reading →

No.185 — Aug 29, 2021

Open Climate Now! ⊗ Thresholds of Artificiality ⊗ Collapse, Renewal and the Rope of History

Design for obsolete devices ⊗ Rewilding your attention ⊗ Cyberfeminism index ⊗ What it looks like to reconnect Black communities torn apart by highways ⊗ Attack of the giant rodents or class war?  Keep reading →

No.184 — Aug 22, 2021

Care at Scale ⊗ How Change Happens ⊗ Your Sci-Fi Future

A century of science fiction that changed how we think about the environment ⊗ Geofoam ⊗ Software woven into wire ⊗ Small vehicles of Tokyo ⊗ Animals count and use zero  Keep reading →

No.183 — Jul 25, 2021

A Prehistory of DAOs ⊗ Automated Discovery of New Areas of Thought ⊗ The Computer Scientist Training AI to Think with Analogies

The Pursuit of simplicity only serves to manufacture our consent, not our understanding. ⊗ The simplest tool for improving cities is also free ⊗ Thunderstorms on Jupiter ⊗ Decentralising Digital ⊗ Tokachi Millennium Forest  Keep reading →

No.182 — Jul 18, 2021

Dancing with Systems ⊗ Unboxing the Toolkit ⊗ Cartographic Evidence of Invisible Cities

Why does utopian architecture suck? ⊗ Is content moderation a dead end? ⊗ Why NASA keeps sending squid into space ⊗ Discourses of Climate Delay ⊗ Digital twins offer “a very powerful way of developing our cities” ⊗ The nature reserve with a 500-year plan  Keep reading →

No.181 — Jul 11, 2021

Positive Sum Worlds: Remaking Public Goods ⊗ Everyone Should Decide How Their Digital Data Are Used ⊗ Lithium Landscapes

The REALIST stack ⊗ Turn it all off ⊗ First you make the maps ⊗ Wildfires are detected by satellites several times per day ⊗ Billionaires won’t succeed in “escaping” to space ⊗ System for Connected Living  Keep reading →

No.180 — Jul 04, 2021

The Limits of Optimization ⊗ How Ancient Societies Reimagined What Cities Could Be ⊗ Parliaments of the Earth

Humanity’s tragic fight for the future ⊗ Unknown knowns ⊗ A framework for The Metaverse ⊗ Predestination and All You Zombies ⊗ Massive human head in Chinese well forces scientists to rethink evolution  Keep reading →

No.179 — Jun 27, 2021

How to Think Beyond Ourselves ⊗ A Messy Utopia Is All We Might Get ⊗ Storytelling and Narrative Anthropology

Mosses are a model of how we might live ⊗ Beyond the green smart cities, solarpunk can also be dark ⊗ Solargoth ⊗ Yellowstone wolf 21 ⊗ A Japanese-Inspired Home That Experiments with Interior Design, Space and Usability ⊗ Gas Giants’ Energy Crisis  Keep reading →

No.178 — Jun 20, 2021

Planetary Sapience ⊗ One Billion Seconds From Now ⊗ A Lifetime of Systems Thinking

The politics of biodesign ⊗ Secure things ⊗ A public response on the impact and challenges of NFTs ⊗ Ghost Knowledge ⊗ New Zealand Māori may have been first to discover Antarctica ⊗ Science Fiction Sparkle Salon ⊗ How Animals Color Themselves With Nanoscale Structures  Keep reading →

No.177 — Jun 13, 2021

Theses on Techno-Optimism ⊗ Minimal Maintenance ⊗ Ecological Crises and Equitable Futures

Racial capitalism, The Stack and the Green New Deal ⊗ Terraforming 2021 ⊗ A stranger than fiction Roman ring mystery ⊗ An Illustrated Field Guide to Social Media ⊗ Royal family urged to lead rewilding efforts and transform estates  Keep reading →

No.176 — Jun 06, 2021

The Ghostchain ⊗ Future Myopia ⊗ The Thrilling, Dangerous World of Language AI

Fusion & Magic ⊗ What the Silicon Valley idealists got wrong ⊗ Are We Entering a New Political Era? ⊗ These locations may look eerily familiar, but none actually exist ⊗ Sinofuturism and Chinese Science Fiction ⊗ Four-day working week would slash UK carbon footprint  Keep reading →

No.175 — May 30, 2021

Green Utopias ⊗ The Worlds to Come ⊗ The NFT Funhouse Mirror

The intelligent forest ⊗ We know what you did during lockdown ⊗ MIT Senseable City Lab maps Brazilian favela with handheld 3D-scanners ⊗ The Final Border Humanity Will Never Cross  Keep reading →

No.174 — May 23, 2021

Protopia Futures Framework ⊗ The Art of Negativity ⊗ We’ll Radically Transform Our Cities

Can climate fiction writers reach people in ways that scientists can’t? ⊗ After neoliberalism: the politics of place ⊗ The master craftsman ⊗ Nordic Pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale is a co-housing model ⊗ Enhancing Photorealism Enhancement  Keep reading →

No.173 — May 16, 2021

Superhistory, Not Superintelligence ⊗ Think About the Future’s Past ⊗ Why Generation X Will Save the Web

Manufacturing mRNA vaccines is surprisingly straightforward ⊗ How the cult of Bill Gates is leading us towards a climate disaster ⊗ The exhibition University of African Futures ⊗ 3D Printed Wood ⊗ Nature Resurges to Overtake Abandoned Architecture in a New Book of Photos  Keep reading →

No.172 — May 09, 2021

Left Alone, Together ⊗ The New Frontier of Belonging ⊗ Can Speculative Fiction Teach Us Anything in a World This Crazy?

The tragedy of the commons is a false and dangerous myth ⊗ The internal combustion engine ⊗ Filippo Brunelleschi ⊗ The Instagram ads Facebook won’t show you  Keep reading →

No.171 — May 02, 2021

Appropriate Measures ⊗ Stop Talking About AI Ethics, Time to Talk About Power. ⊗ Tech for Superheroes and Spacecraft

What is going on here? ⊗ She wants your attention, she’s the voice of the city ⊗ Meet the Renaissance Man Obsessed with Mushrooms ⊗ Deepfake satellite imagery ⊗ Every Roman Settlement, and nothing else  Keep reading →

No.170 — Apr 25, 2021

Robots Are Animals, Not Humans ⊗ Democracy, Sovereignty, Technology, and so Called Canada ⊗ The Infrastructural Power Beneath the Internet

VR goes where? ⊗ Cozy futurism ⊗ Mapping ⊗ Wind turbine ⊗ Most artists are not making money off NFTs and here are some graphs to prove it.  Keep reading →

No.169 — Apr 18, 2021

Money for Nothing ⊗ Hummingbirds and the Ecstatic Moment ⊗ Control Creep

Creativity is dead, long live curation ⊗ Waking up in the monster factory ⊗ EU Set to Ban Surveillance, Start Fines Under New AI Rules. ⊗ Indigenous Futurisms with Jason Edward Lewis  Keep reading →

No.168 — Apr 11, 2021

How to Map Nothing ⊗ Why a More Feminist Internet Would Be Better for Everyone ⊗ Civilizations Don’t Really Die

Beyond human-centered design ⊗ Policy futures and a politics of care ⊗ Dr. Kati Kariko Helped Shield the World From the Coronavirus. ⊗ Massive Lego Kingdoms That Defy the Cultural Erasure of Africa’s Medieval Civilizations.  Keep reading →

No.167 — Apr 04, 2021

Apocalyptic Infrastructures ⊗ Computers Won’t Make Themselves Smarter ⊗ mRNA Technology Could Change the World

How to mass manufacture humanoid robots ⊗ Digital sovereignty and smart cities: what does the future hold? ⊗ News & Coffee Barcelona Third Wave Coffee and Independent Magazines.  Keep reading →

No.166 — Mar 28, 2021

Impossible Silences ⊗ Delinquent Telephone Activity ⊗ Under the Big Black Sun

Outgrowing software ⊗ Unlikely union between hackers & indigenous peoples ⊗ The notion that the future is a commons ⊗ Life at a Remote Russian Weather Station. ⊗ Why Roman Concrete Gets Stronger Over Time.  Keep reading →

No.165 — Mar 21, 2021

All These Worlds Are Yours ⊗ Kits and Revolutions ⊗ The Algorithmic Auditing Trap

Explore synthetic futuring ⊗ There’s a global plan to conserve nature. Indigenous people could lead the way. ⊗ Sometimes the answer is to do nothing’ ⊗ The Antikythera mechanism ⊗ The next generation of everything: The biggest micro-trends of 2021  Keep reading →

No.164 — Mar 14, 2021

The Edge of Our Existence ⊗ The Hyperreal Life of Chen Qiufan ⊗ Open Sourcing Other People’s Hardware

Chaos strikes global shipping ⊗ Putting landsat 8’s bands to work ⊗ Who Spends Millions on NFTs? Meet Beeple’s Crypto-Rich Early Collectors ⊗ In the Atlantic Ocean, Subtle Shifts Hint at Dramatic Dangers.  Keep reading →

No.163 — Mar 07, 2021

Notes on Criticism and Technology Hype ⊗ When Engineers Were Humanists ⊗ The Billion Seconds Institute

Blueprints of intelligence ⊗ The little magazine that incubated team Biden ⊗ Stockton’s Basic-Income Experiment Pays Off. ⊗ Ryan Pohl is recycling old electric car batteries to help people live off the grid  Keep reading →

No.162 — Feb 28, 2021

Design Better Systems in a World Overwhelmed by Complexity ⊗ An Ecological Civilization ⊗ Against Performative Positivity

Attention stewardship ⊗ Reimagining the research lab ⊗ Netherlands building ages. ⊗ The problem of CryptoArt. ⊗ Beneath the blue: dive into a dazzling ocean under threat  Keep reading →

No.161 — Feb 21, 2021

Touching the Future ⊗ Surveyors, Neighbours, and Stoichiometrists ⊗ The Next Act for Messenger RNA

Can a park prevent gentrification? ⊗ How does Bill Gates plan to solve the climate crisis? ⊗ Tim Portlock on software cities and the new American sublime  Keep reading →

No.160 — Feb 14, 2021

Nurturing Architecture ⊗ Protopia Futures ⊗ The Internet Rewired Our Brains

A brief history of consumer culture ⊗ We need a new work culture ⊗ Generating fantasy maps. ⊗ A sneak peek at MetaHuman Creator: high-fidelity digital humans made easy  Keep reading →

No.159 — Feb 07, 2021

Worldbuilding ⊗ Speculative Luddism ⊗ Pop-Futurism ⊗ Repair

Bold ideas for our collective futures ⊗ Dreaming big ⊗ The future encyclopedia of Luddism ⊗ How predicting the future became a literary genre ⊗ Repair ⊗ Inevitable planetary doom has been exaggerated  Keep reading →

No.158 — Jan 31, 2021

Future Schlock ⊗ Solarpunk Is a Tumblr Vibe. It’s Also a Practical Movement. ⊗ Earth at a Cute Angle

Towards the Orthogonal Technology Lab ⊗ Luther and the roots of Nordic welfare states  Keep reading →

No.157 — Jan 24, 2021

Other Species Are Essential Workers, Whose Economies Enfold Our Own ⊗ Capitalism Is over if You Want It ⊗ After Climate Alarmism

Find something to hide as soon as possible; an interview with Anne Boyer ⊗ The internet didn’t kill counterculture—you just won’t find it on Instagram  Keep reading →

No.156 — Jan 17, 2021

Beyond the Lens of User-Centered Design ⊗ Make Way for the One-Minute City ⊗ Neofeudalism and the Digital Manor

Playing chess is an essential life lesson in concentration ⊗ ‘If the aliens lay eggs, how does that affect architecture?’: sci-fi writers on how they build their worlds  Keep reading →

No.155 — Dec 20, 2020

Facebook Is a Doomsday Machine ⊗ Pillar or Pawn ⊗ GPT-3 Feels Like a Technological Revolution

What’s breakfast cereal got to do with the future? ⊗ Predictions for Journalism 2021 ⊗ The arches of chaos in the Solar System  Keep reading →

No.154 — Dec 13, 2020

Defuturing the Image of the Future ⊗ An Interview with McKenzie Wark ⊗ The Curse of White Oil

Countdown clocks, zines, and an imagined website from 2001 ⊗ City-states are back  Keep reading →

No.153 — Dec 06, 2020

The Modern World Has Finally Become Too Complex for Any of Us to Understand ⊗ The World Is a Factory Farm ⊗ Hyperland and Intermedia

Going indie is going amateur ⊗ Google just keeps firing all of its most ethical people, huh? ⊗ International lawyers draft plan to criminalise ecosystem destruction ⊗ Fantastic reconstruction of the Beirut explosions,  Keep reading →

No.152 — Nov 29, 2020

Decision Trees ⊗ R2D2 as a Model for AI Collaboration ⊗ Civic Logic: Social Media with Opinion and Purpose

The way we train AI is fundamentally flawed ⊗ Bolivia’s new Vice President David Choquehuanca called the brotherhood to unity ⊗ Where the teens are hanging out in quarantine  Keep reading →

No.151 — Nov 22, 2020

Plastic Is a Brilliant Material, Our Relationship with It Is Trash ⊗ Great Sci-Fi About the Future ⊗ Black Death, COVID, and the Renaissance

With vaccines, the end of the COVID-19 pandemic is in sight ⊗ Love the USPS? Join the Infrastructure Appreciation Society!  Keep reading →

No.150 — Nov 15, 2020

Automating Society ⊗ Participatory Urban Rewilding ⊗ Screw the Mars Hype, We Should Move to Venus

The intriguing maps that reveal alternate histories ⊗ Ursula K. Le Guin: A Rant About “Technology”  Keep reading →

No.149 — Nov 08, 2020

Living Through Sci Fi in Lebanon ⊗ Experiments in Feral Futuring ⊗ The DOOM! Report

Teaching science fiction while living it in Lebanon ⊗ Experiments in feral futuring ⊗ The DOOM! report ⊗ Humanity is stuck in short-term thinking. Here’s how we escape. ⊗ How Discord (somewhat accidentally) invented the future of the internet  Keep reading →

No.148 — Nov 01, 2020

Race to the Future? ⊗ Data as Property? ⊗ The Self-Driving Car Is a Red Herring

Race to the Future? Reimagining the default settings of technology & society ⊗ Data as property? ⊗ The self-driving car Is a red herring ⊗ Un-fracking futures ⊗ What necromancers in space can teach us about the science of death  Keep reading →

No.147 — Oct 25, 2020

Disassembly Required ⊗ Climate Issue at Parametric Press ⊗ Is This Real Life?

Disassembly required ⊗ Parametric Press’ climate issue ⊗ Is this real life? ⊗ AOC’s Among Us Twitch stream is the future of politics ⊗ Cohesion is not conspiration  Keep reading →

No.146 — Oct 18, 2020

Inventing Plausible Utopias ⊗ Ethnographies From the Future ⊗ Government IT and Public Infrastructure

Kim Stanley Robinson on inventing plausible utopias ⊗ Ethnographies from the Future: What can ethnographers learn from science fiction and speculative design? ⊗ Using government IT to teach and build public infrastructure ⊗ The great unravelling  Keep reading →

No.145 — Oct 11, 2020

Magic & the Machine ⊗ Lanier in Conversation with Maughan ⊗ The Deep Anthropocene

Magic and the machine ⊗ Jaron Lanier in conversation with Tim Maughan ⊗ The deep Anthropocene ⊗ Community-led futures is a radical act ⊗ The fox and the hedgehog, polymathy’s past and future  Keep reading →

No.144 — Oct 04, 2020

Revolution and American Indians ⊗ Don’t Blame Social Media ⊗ Coupling Digital with the Environment

Revolution and American Indians: “Marxism is as alien to my culture as capitalism” ⊗ Don’t blame social media. Blame capitalism. ⊗ The green taming of the smart shrew: Coupling digital with the environment ⊗ Design for the future when the future is bleak  Keep reading →

No.143 — Sep 27, 2020

The Gamification of Games ⊗ Government Technology Needs Better Governance ⊗ Degrowth and MMT

The gamification of games ⊗ Scream if you want to go faster! Why government technology needs (much) better governance ⊗ Degrowth and MMT: A thought experiment ⊗ Reasons revealed for the brain’s elastic sense of time ⊗ Architecture & mixed reality  Keep reading →

No.142 — Sep 20, 2020

The Future Beyond the Rusted Chrome of Yestermorrow ⊗ The Environment Is Not a System ⊗ Stones that Calculate

SOLARPUNK - Life in the future beyond the rusted chrome of yestermorrow ⊗ The environment is not a system ⊗ Stones that calculate ⊗ How to talk about books you haven’t read  Keep reading →

No.141 — Sep 13, 2020

Beginning with the End ⊗ Lawful Neutral ⊗ The Right and Wrong of Cities’ Current Moment

Beginning with the End ⊗ Lawful neutral ⊗ The right and wrong of cities’ current moment ⊗ Exit to community  Keep reading →

No.140 — Sep 06, 2020

Future of Tabletop Games ⊗ Sinofuturism v Orientalism ⊗ The Office Economy ⊗ Graeber ⊗ Maps

The digital future of tabletop games ⊗ Sinofuturism as inverse orientalism: China’s future and the denial of coevalness ⊗ Remote work is killing the hidden trillion-dollar office economy ⊗ The privileged have entered their escape pods ⊗ David Graeber ⊗ Maps  Keep reading →

No.139 — Aug 30, 2020

The Cloud and the Countryside ⊗ Pace Layering ⊗ The Tyranny of Chairs

The cloud and the countryside ⊗ Pace layering: how complex systems learn and keep learning ⊗ The tyranny of chairs: why we need better design ⊗ How to foster ‘shoshin’ ⊗ The conscience of Silicon Valley  Keep reading →

No.138 — Aug 23, 2020

Home Body ⊗ Squad Wealth ⊗ How We Hypothetically Tamed COVID

Home body ⊗ Squad wealth ⊗ How we hypothetically tamed COVID-19 and zoonotic diseases ⊗ The uncanniness of algorithmic style  Keep reading →

No.137 — Aug 16, 2020

How Not to Know Ourselves ⊗ Assemblage Space ⊗ The Next Media Model

How not to know ourselves ⊗ Introduction to Assemblage Space ⊗ Rise of the Renaissance Creator and the Next Media Model ⊗ How the Dutch invented our world  Keep reading →

No.136 — Aug 09, 2020

Crossroads Towards Dystopia ⊗ Beyond Smart Rocks ⊗ Afrofuturism Can Help the World

We’ve reached a crossroads on our path towards dystopia ⊗ Beyond smart rocks ⊗ How Afrofuturism can help the world mend ⊗ Taiwan’s internet and democracy evolved together ⊗ The truth is paywalled but the lies are free  Keep reading →

No.135 — Jul 19, 2020

Come for the Network, Pay for the Tool ⊗ Stories on Earth ⊗ The Paradox of Individual Creative Work

Come for the network, pay for the tool ⊗ Stories on Earth: A collective voice for the human and non-human ⊗ A moment of reflection: On the paradox of individual creative work ⊗ ‘Defund the police,’ ‘cancel rent’: The left remakes the world  Keep reading →

No.134 — Jul 12, 2020

Tolentino on the Discipline of Hope ⊗ Liminal Space ⊗ Artificial Intelligence Shifts Power ⊗ Jemisin on the City We Became

Jia Tolentino on practicing the discipline of hope ⊗ Liminal space ⊗ Don’t ask if artificial intelligence is good or fair, ask how it shifts power ⊗ N.K. Jemisin on the City We Became ⊗ Facebook is out of control. If it were a country it would  Keep reading →

No.133 — Jul 05, 2020

Public Goods v Tech ⊗ Most Transformative Decades ⊗ The Myth of Green Growth

The loss of public goods to big tech ⊗ Why 2020 to 2050 will be ‘the most transformative decades in human history’ ⊗ The myth of America’s green growth ⊗ Is DNA hardware or software? ⊗ We’re losing the war against surveillance capitalism because we let Big  Keep reading →

No.132 — Jun 28, 2020

Land ⊗ Sudden Change ⊗ Defund the Police, Not with Surveillance Tech

A new land contract ⊗ The slow road to sudden change ⊗ Defund the police, but don’t replace it with surveillance tech ⊗ The pandemic is making the suburbs even more appealing ⊗ Capitalism is destroying ‘safe operating space’ for humanity  Keep reading →

No.131 — Jun 22, 2020

Racial Capitalism, The Stack and the Green New Deal ⊗ Finding the Right Simplifier

Racial Capitalism, The Stack and the Green New Deal ⊗ The righteous joy of finding the right simplifier ⊗ COVID-19 Broke the economy. What if we don’t fix it? ⊗ You might hate jellyfish. But almost everything in the ocean depends on them A year ago →  Keep reading →

No.130 — Jun 14, 2020

Long Shadow of the Future ⊗ Food Supply ⊗ Pandemic Futures

The long shadow of the future ⊗ The sickness in our food supply ⊗ Pandemic futures ⊗ Our cities only serve the wealthy. Coronavirus could change that ⊗ This is a global catastrophe that has come from within  Keep reading →

No.129 — Jun 07, 2020

Universal Basic Everything ⊗ Managing Abyss Gaze ⊗ The End of Efficiency

Universal basic everything ⊗ Managing Abyss Gaze in a time of difficult futures ⊗ The end of efficiency ⊗ The deepening paradox ⊗ On the rise of dark stores and “multifunctional retail”  Keep reading →

No.128 — May 31, 2020

Thinking in Maps ⊗ Film Production Renaissance ⊗ The Insecurity Machine

Thinking in maps: from the Lascaux caves to knowledge graphs ⊗ The Great Film Production Renaissance: Are you ready? ⊗ The Insecurity Machine ⊗ The “Frankenstein” that wasn’t: a realistic appraisal of today’s China  Keep reading →

No.127 — May 24, 2020

Umami Theory of Value ⊗ Cultural Invention ⊗ Spaces in Cities

The umami theory of value ⊗ Cultural invention ⊗ The spaces that make cities fairer and more resilient ⊗ End of the ‘human climate niche’ ⊗ The end of meat is here ⊗ Veil.  Keep reading →

No.126 — May 17, 2020

BANI ⊗ The Screen New Deal ⊗ It Gets Weirder

Facing the Age of Chaos ⊗ The Screen New Deal ⊗ It’s Only going to get weirder ⊗ The Secret Lives of Fungi ⊗ Stanislaw Lem ⊗ Doomer lit  Keep reading →

No.125 — May 10, 2020

Just Enough ⊗ Less Normal ⊗ People Are Pretty Decent ⊗ The History of the Future ⊗ Sidewalk Labs

Living with just enough ⊗ Life less normal ⊗ Brace yourself for the most dangerous idea yet: most people are pretty decent ⊗ The history of the future ⊗ Sidewalk Labs  Keep reading →

No.124 — May 03, 2020

Home Screens ⊗ Conducive to Life ⊗ Not Fit for This Future

Home Screens ⊗ The conditions conducive to life ⊗ Not fit for this future ⊗ Can speculative journalism help us prepare for what’s to come? ⊗ Fortnite and the Metaverse: Why Epic Games may build the next version of the Internet  Keep reading →

No.123 — Apr 26, 2020

Maintainers ⊗ Build ⊗ Tokyo as Slowdown City ⊗ Mass Consumption

Hail the maintainers ⊗ It’s time to build (is it?) ⊗ Tokyo as slowdown city ⊗ Mass consumption is what ails us  Keep reading →

No.122 — Apr 19, 2020

After Dread ⊗ Digital Civil Society ⊗ Revolution

After dread ⊗ Civil society in a digital world ⊗ These are conditions in which revolution becomes thinkable ⊗ The tech ‘solutions’ for coronavirus take the surveillance state to the next level  Keep reading →

No.121 — Apr 12, 2020

Quarantine Urbanism ⊗ Slowdown Papers ⊗ Rush to the Future

18 lessons of quarantine urbanism ⊗ Slowdown papers ⊗ Rush to the future ⊗ Design for systems, not users ⊗ Getting compound interest on your thoughts.  Keep reading →

No.120 — Apr 05, 2020

Premonition ⊗ Not the Apocalypse ⊗ Supply Chains

Premonition ⊗ This is not the apocalypse you were looking for ⊗ Perhaps China’s centralised supply chain won’t last forever ⊗ After supply chain capitalism ⊗ Mapping impacts and implications A year ago → How will AI change your life? This is issue is not what I  Keep reading →

No.119 — Mar 29, 2020

Equitable Futures ⊗ AI Is an Ideology ⊗ Ban Targeted Advertising

Ecological crises and equitable futures ⊗ AI is an ideology, not a technology ⊗ Why don’t we just ban targeted advertising? ⊗ That feeling of being there  Keep reading →

No.118 — Mar 22, 2020

Superheroes & Tech ⊗ Where Be Dragons? ⊗ Defining Information

Why superheroes are the shape of tech things to come ⊗ Where be dragons? ⊗ Defining information ⊗ Leading by example  Keep reading →

No.117 — Mar 15, 2020

New Beginning ⊗ Earth’s Layer of Life ⊗ Futurists and Uncertainty

A blank page for a new beginning ⊗ We’re destroying the Earth’s layer of life ⊗ How futurists cope with uncertainty ⊗ Cory Doctorow explains Attack Surface, his next sci-fi novel ⊗ How to read like Rossellini  Keep reading →

No.116 — Mar 08, 2020

Progress, Postmodernism and the Tech Backlash ⊗ Jan Morris ⊗ A Smart City Built on Empowerment

Progress, postmodernism and the tech backlash ⊗ Jan Morris: ‘You’re talking to someone at the very end of things’ ⊗ How to design a smart city that’s built on empowerment ⊗ The master tapes ⊗ It doesn’t matter if anyone exists or not A year ago →  Keep reading →

No.115 — Mar 01, 2020

Digital Socialism ⊗ Trees as Infrastructure ⊗ Distortion

Digital socialism ⊗ Trees as infrastructure ⊗ On distortion ⊗ A text renaissance  Keep reading →

No.114 — Feb 23, 2020

More-than-Human ⊗ Sense vs. Maps ⊗ Narrative Strategy

Calling for a more-than-human politics ⊗ Sense-makers vs. map-makers ⊗ Narrative strategy ⊗ The personified city  Keep reading →

No.113 — Feb 16, 2020

Anthropology, Cybernetics, and 3AI ⊗ Centaurs or Butlers? ⊗ Rural Futurism

Anthropology, cybernetics, and establishing a new branch of engineering at ANU ⊗ Centaurs or butlers? Designing for human relationships with non-human intelligences ⊗ The manifesto of rural futurism ⊗ A world without privacy will revive the masquerade ⊗ All your favorite brands, from BSTOEM to ZGGCD A  Keep reading →

No.112 — Feb 09, 2020

More-than-Human Design ⊗ Degrowth ⊗ Toxic Hellscape

What I mean when I talk about more-than-human design ⊗ Can we have prosperity without growth? ⊗ The Internet is a toxic hellscape—but we can fix it ⊗ Going back to the roots with production in rural Japan'  Keep reading →

No.111 — Feb 02, 2020

You Are Now Remotely Controlled ⊗ Splendid Isolation ⊗ Banning Facial Recognition Misses the Point ⊗ Rewilding Food, Rewilding Farming

You are now remotely controlled ⊗ Splendid isolation: how I stopped time by sitting in a forest for 24 hours ⊗ We’re banning facial recognition. We’re missing the point. ⊗ Rewilding food, rewilding farming ⊗ The internet’s impact on culture  Keep reading →

No.110 — Jan 26, 2020

Getting to the Metaverse ⊗ Cities that Aren’t Surveillance States ⊗ This Secretive Company Might End Privacy ⊗ Rebirth of Indie Bookstores

The Metaverse: what it is, where to find it, who will build it, and Fortnite ⊗ The case for … cities that aren’t dystopian surveillance states ⊗ The secretive company that might end privacy as we know it ⊗ Lessons for retailers from the rebirth of indie  Keep reading →

No.109 — Jan 19, 2020

Does Minimalism Really Make Us Any Happier? ⊗ Logistics Landscapes ⊗ How Scifi Imagined the 2020s ⊗ World on Fire Won’t Shock Us Much Longer

Does minimalism really make us any happier? ⊗ Logistics Landscapes ⊗ How scific imagined the 2020s ⊗ The world on fire won’t shock us for much longer ⊗ Blackrock  Keep reading →

No.108 — Jan 12, 2020

William Gibson Keeps His Scifi Real ⊗ A Persistence of Magical Thinking? ⊗ Mediating Consent ⊗ The Internet Can Learn From the Printing Press

This week → How William Gibson keeps his science fiction real ⊗ A persistence of magical thinking? ⊗ Mediating consent ⊗ What the Internet can learn from the printing press A year ago → When Automation Bites Back - Near Future Laboratory. How William Gibson Keeps His Science Fiction Real  Keep reading →

No.107 — Dec 15, 2019

An Introduction to Metamodernism ⊗ Jeff Bezos’s Vision of the Future Is Blade Runner ⊗ The Dark Side of the Nordic Model

An introduction to metamodernism: the cultural philosophy of the digital age ⊗ Jeff Bezos’s vision of the future Is basically Blade Runner ⊗ The dark side of the Nordic model ⊗ It’s 2071, and we have bioengineered our own extinction.  Keep reading →

No.106 — Dec 08, 2019

A Better Internet Is Waiting for Us ⊗ Epic’s Metaverse ⊗ The Myth of the Return of the City State ⊗ If You Don’t Build It, They Won’t Come

A Better Internet Is Waiting for Us ⊗ Epic’s moves towards the Metaverse ⊗ The Myth of the Return of the City State ⊗ If you don’t build it, they won’t come  Keep reading →

No.105 — Dec 01, 2019

General Ludd in the Long Seventies ⊗ Better than Ethics ⊗ Taiwan Is Making Democracy Work Again ⊗ Oil Is the New Data

General Ludd in the Long Seventies ⊗ Better than ethics ⊗ Taiwan is making democracy work again. It’s time we paid attention ⊗ Oil is the New Data  Keep reading →

No.104 — Nov 24, 2019

Cyberpunk Is Dead ⊗ On Serendipity ⊗ The Return of the Night Train ⊗ Imagine a Future of Distributed Coops ⊗ What Is a Weird Internet Career?

Cyberpunk is dead ⊗ On serendipity ⊗ The return of the night train ⊗ Imagine a future of distributed cooperatives ⊗ What is a weird internet career?  Keep reading →

No.103 — Nov 17, 2019

The Captured City ⊗ Against Economics ⊗ Reimagining Privacy Online Through A Spectrum of Intimacy ⊗ The Internet We Lost

The Captured City ⊗ Against Economics ⊗ Reimagining Privacy Online Through A Spectrum of Intimacy ⊗ The internet we lost A year ago → We Are All Bewildered Machines. The Captured City Jathan Sadowski at Real Life magazine coining the term Captured City to reframe the smart  Keep reading →

No.102 — Nov 10, 2019

Haraway on Truth, Tech, and Resisting Extinction ⊗ Utopian Overreach ⊗ The Cult of the Imperfect ⊗ The Troubling Age of Algo Entertainment

Donna Haraway on truth, technology, and resisting extinction ⊗ Utopian overreach ⊗ The cult of the imperfect ⊗ The troubling age of algorithmic entertainment ⊗ We live in The Good Place. And we’re screwing it up. A year ago → Don’t believe every AI you see. In  Keep reading →

No.101 — Nov 03, 2019

Just Enough Internet ⊗ Techno-Fix Futures Accelerate Climate Chaos ⊗ We Misremember the Internet’s Origins ⊗ How a 24/7 World Destroyed Time

Just enough Internet ⊗ Techno-fix futures will only accelerate climate chaos ⊗ How we misremember the Internet’s origins ⊗ Douglas Coupland: How a 24/7 world destroyed time ⊗ Never underestimate the intelligence of trees.  Keep reading →

No.100 — Oct 27, 2019

A World Built to Burn ⊗ Bundling & Unbundling ⊗ Neural Nets, People All the Way Down ⊗ Moderation Creates Communities ⊗ Catalonian Activism

A World We Built to Burn ⊗ Bundling and Unbundling ⊗ Neural nets are just people all the way down ⊗ Twitch CEO Emmett Shear on how moderation creates communities ⊗ Catalonia has created a new kind of online activism. Everyone should pay attention  Keep reading →

No.99 — Oct 21, 2019

Counter Mapping ⊗ Is the Anthropocene an Epoch After All? ⊗ The Internet of Creation Disappeared ⊗ AI in 2019: A Year in Review

Counter Mapping ⊗ Is the Anthropocene an epoch after all? ⊗ The Internet of creation disappeared. Now we have the Internet of surveillance and control ⊗ AI in 2019: A year in review  Keep reading →

No.98 — Oct 13, 2019

This Economist Has a Plan to Fix Capitalism / The Myth of Inevitable Tech Progress / Addicted to Screens? / AIs that Understand the ‘Why’

This week: This economist has a plan to fix capitalism. It’s time we all listened / The myth of inevitable technological progress / Addicted to screens? That’s really a you problem / An AI pioneer wants his algorithms to understand the ‘why’ / This is why California will keep burning  Keep reading →

No.97 — Oct 06, 2019

Minimal Maintenance / How Time-Travel Stories Explain Our Era. / To Pay Attention, the Brain Uses Filters, Not a Spotlight

Minimal maintenance / The future of another timeline: how time-travel stories explain our era. / To pay attention, the brain uses filters, not a spotlight  Keep reading →

No.96 — Sep 29, 2019

Comrades in Deep Future / Growth Must End / Counterfeit Capitalism / Build a Second Brain or Go Offline / Merger of Vox Media & New York Mag

Comrades in Deep Future / Growth must end. Economist don’t seem to realise that / WeWork and Counterfeit Capitalism / If you do not build a second brain or go offline, you will BECOME the second brain / Vox Media and New York magazine isn’t a marriage, but  Keep reading →

No.95 — Sep 22, 2019

The Great Reckoning / Tech-Master Disaster / Decomputerize to Decarbonize / The Beginnings of the Era of Climate Barbarism / A Smart Commons

Facing the Great Reckoning head-on / Tech-Master Disaster / To decarbonize we must decomputerize: why we need a Luddite revolution / “We are seeing the beginnings of the era of climate barbarism” / A Smart Commons  Keep reading →

No.94 — Sep 15, 2019

Face Recognition, Bad People and Bad Data / Risks in Econ. Model of Climate Change / Quantum Algo May Be a Property of Nature / Hidden Cities

I’ve been wondering what to do for issue No.100 and I missed this last week: it’s been two years of Sentiers!! ??? For the last too many weeks, I’ve been pondering a paying version of Sentiers, twisting and turning (and twisting and turning, and tw…) what it should entail, at  Keep reading →

No.93 — Sep 08, 2019

18 Thinkers on the Sidewalk Labs Plan / Data Deluge, Astronomers Turn to Automation / Feeding the 11 Billion / Spoils of Nature on Instagram

With everyone back from vacation, a couple of client projects have reactivated, which means in coming months I have only 2 other open slots for larger or recurring projects, and gaps here and there for 1-2 day engagements. Have a look on the homepage for some details on what I  Keep reading →

No.92 — Sep 01, 2019

The Glimmer of a Climate New World Order / Always in, Wireless Headphones Are AR Devices / Soft Cities / The Planet Needs a New Internet

The glimmer of a climate new world order / Always in, wireless headphones are augmented reality devices / Do you live in a ‘soft city’? / The planet needs a new internet / The internet has made dupes—and cynics—of us all  Keep reading →

No.91 — Aug 25, 2019

Neal Stephenson on Depictions of Reality / A Walk in Hong Kong / Tech Companies File Weird Patents / Misinformation and a New World Disorder

This past week was Mutek’s Forum IMG in Montréal, where I had the pleasure of seeing excellent talks and chatting with friends old and new. Hopefully the organizers will have some videos up in the next few weeks and I can share some here. There’s a slight overlap of interests  Keep reading →

No.90 — Aug 18, 2019

Progress & Its Discontents / The Arrogance of the Anthropocene / Inside DeepMind’s Mission / The Sinister Brutality of Container Architecture

Over the last few weeks a couple of people sent me links with notes like “sorry if you’ve seen this already.” Never apologize! Always send the links! It’s very much appreciated, whether I’ve read the article or not.  Keep reading →

No.89 — Aug 11, 2019

This Land Is the only Land There Is / China’s Experiment in AI Education / Netflix Is Not a Tech Co / Lab Grown Dairy / Social Acceleration

This land is the only land there is / China has started a grand experiment in AI education / Netflix is not a tech company / Forget synthetic meat, lab grown dairy is here / On social Acceleration  Keep reading →

No.88 — Aug 04, 2019

Frankenstein at 200 / Humans Will Never Colonize Mars / Tarek Loubani 3D-Prints in Gaza / Walking, Easy Superpower / Serendipity v Algorithmy

This week I was guest editor at Kottke dot org, here’s the wrap up post with my favourite finds. Between that and the last few details of a client report, the week was pretty packed so I’ve re-used some blogging bits here, if you were following along, you might experience  Keep reading →

No.87 — Jul 28, 2019

The Hidden Costs of Automated Thinking / Sci-Fi and an Uncertain Future / Past Futures / ‘Mind-Blowing Potential’ to Tackle Climate Crisis

Welcome back! A few admin notes to begin; I redid the Sentiers homepage with some new copy and more emphasis on the idea of Thought Partnership, please have a look if you’re curious. I also wrote an article about how I see that practice. There’s also a new version of  Keep reading →

No.86 — Jun 30, 2019

New Wilderness / Asimov on Creativity & Having New Ideas / Living in Space / What’s a ‘Smart City’ Supposed to Look Like? / Desert of The Real

The New Wilderness Sharp take here by the multitalented Maciej Cegłowski, introducing the idea of “ambient privacy,” the society level intersection of everyone’s individual privacy which surveillance capitalism is eating away. He ponders how this loss affects our democracies and then makes (as others have done) the parallel with the  Keep reading →

No.85 — Jun 23, 2019

AI Can Thrive in Open Societies / The Past, Present, and Future of AI Art / Save Our Food, Free the Seed / Rethinking Technological Positivism

I attended a small event this week. When entering the room they asked for everyone to leave their phone in a box, to be claimed on exit. “So that people would talk more.” At the end of the event, the embargo being lifted and everyone still being encouraged to talk,  Keep reading →

No.84 — Jun 16, 2019

Not Relevant for Fantasy Purposes. Human Civilization (Probably Not) Coming to an End Within 30 Yrs. Plan to Save the Planet by Working Less.

Not Relevant for Fantasy Purposes. Human Civilization (Probably not) Coming to an End Within 30 Years. The Radical Plan to Save the Planet by Working Less. Data Training Program at the NYT.  Keep reading →

No.83 — Jun 09, 2019

Handle the Post-Truth. Systems Collapse, People Rise. Speculative Design & Glass Slaughterhouses. Design Is Not an Intellectual Exercise.

You can handle the post-truth. As Systems Collapse, People Rise. Speculative Design and Glass Slaughterhouses. Design Is Not an Intellectual Exercise. How Politicians and Scholars Turned Against Big Tech.  Keep reading →

No.82 — Jun 02, 2019

It’s 2059, and the Rich Kids Are Still Winning. Nnedi Okorafor. The Dark Forest Theory. AGI Has Been Delayed. New Zealand’s Liberal Milestone.

Summer is (supposedly) here which means vacations and traveling. If you’re a reader and end up swinging by Montréal, email me, lets grab coffee.  Keep reading →

No.81 — May 26, 2019

Sociological & Psychological Strorytelling. Bell Talks Anthropology. Bullet Time. Why I (Still) Love Tech. AI with an Indigenous Worldview.

Sociological and psychological strorytelling. Genevieve Bell talks anthropology. Bullet time. Why I (Still) Love Tech. Artificial intelligence with an Indigenous worldview.  Keep reading →

No.80 — May 19, 2019

Tiny Neural Networks. Bezos Space Habitats. The Cement Ban. The Art of Noticing. Jellyfish Supper.

Probably of interest to very few readers but just in case; I managed to wrangle up a pass so this week I’ll be attending C2 Montréal, hit me up if you’re around.  Keep reading →

No.79 — May 12, 2019

Born-Digital Publications. Science Fiction Doesn’t Have to Be Dystopian. Generalists Triumph in Specialized World. IPBES. Industry, Rules, AI.

Born-Digital Publications. Science Fiction Doesn’t Have to Be Dystopian. Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World. IPBES. Attenborough. Industry, rules, and AI.  Keep reading →

No.78 — May 05, 2019

Digital Future for Newspapers. Agnotology and Epistemological Fragmentation. Nothing Fails Like Success. Political Moment for Climate Change.

Digital future for newspapers. Agnotology and Epistemological Fragmentation. Nothing Fails Like Success. Extinction Rebellion and a Remarkable Political Moment for Climate Change. Venice and Fairbnb.  Keep reading →

No.77 — Apr 28, 2019

Smart Cities the Wrong Way. Built to Shill. Extended Intelligence. Dare to Declare Capitalism Dead. ‘Unbelievable’ Facial Recognition Machine.

Thinking of smart cities the wrong way. Built to shill. Extended Intelligence. Dare to declare capitalism dead. An ‘unbelievable’ facial recognition machine. A beautiful book house. Chestnut agroforestry.  Keep reading →

No.76 — Apr 21, 2019

A Vision for a Shared Digital Europe. New Ways of Seeing. Climate Rebellion. Wrongheaded Nature Protection. Cities Are Rising in Influence.

A Vision for a Shared Digital Europe. New Ways of Seeing. Climate Rebellion. It’s wrongheaded to protect nature with human-style rights. Cities Are Rising in Influence and Power on the Global Stage.  Keep reading →

No.75 — Apr 14, 2019

AI Changing Lives. D&D Is Cool. Surveillance. A Studio for Ideas. Undersea Cables. Right to Repair. GoT.

AI changing lives. D&D is cool. Surveillance. A studio for ideas. Undersea cables. Right to repair. GoT.  Keep reading →

No.74 — Apr 07, 2019

Public Libraires. Could We Blow Up the Internet? The Third Phase of Clean Energy. AI Music. Zuck and Bengio.

Public libraires. Could We Blow Up the Internet? The Third Phase of Clean Energy. AI music. Zuck and Bengio.  Keep reading →

No.73 — Mar 31, 2019

Getting Cities Our of Cars. Copyright Horror. Intelligences. Bogost. Malaise Self-Care. Civic Futures. Turing.

Lots of replies to last week’s issue (thanks!) but also an abnormally low open rate which makes me think that more than a few of you didn’t get No.72, do have a look in your various automated “M@rketing and sp@m” folders to catchup.  Keep reading →

No.72 — Mar 24, 2019

Natural’s Not in It. Futurism Needs to Get Real. Reinvent Democracy. A Future Without Fossil Fuels? Face Masks Get Fashionable.

It’s not a new interest, but after recently including the piece On Foresight in Organisations by Stuart Candy in Sentiers at Work No.4, I’ve been on a bit of a foresight / forecast / futurism trajectory, thus lots of mentions of “future” in this week’s selection. Btw, feel free to  Keep reading →

No.71 — Mar 17, 2019

AI in Art and Science. Design Nonfiction. A Tech Supra-State? Greta. Hudson Yards. The Tool to Travel Through Layers.

AI in art and science. Design Nonfiction. A tech supra-state? Greta. Hudson Yards. The tool to travel through layers.  Keep reading →

No.70 — Mar 10, 2019

Reading and Wandering. Economics After Neoliberalism. Economism, Technocracy, and Citizens. Magicverse. Aquaponics. A Minister for the Unborn.

Reading and Wandering. Economics After Neoliberalism. Economism, technocracy, and citizens. Magicverse. Aquaponics. A minister for the unborn.  Keep reading →

No.69 — Mar 03, 2019

Metamodernism. Everything Is Connected. The Big Nine and AI. Bezos on Blue Origin’s Mission. Deutungshoheit.

This week: Metamodernism. Everything is connected. The Big Nine and AI. Bezos on Blue Origin’s mission. Deutungshoheit. A year ago: The Art of Laser Focus. You don’t decide what you are more focused on, you discover the direction and the alignment. Metamodern Values for a Listening Society Excellent long interview  Keep reading →

No.68 — Feb 24, 2019

Naam on GND. Super-Tall in NYC. Mirrorworld. Netflix Expanding Your Interests. Insects. Peper Q&A with Harkaway.

Naam on GND. Super-tall in NYC. Mirrorworld. Netflix expanding your interests. Insects. Peper Q&A with Harkaway. A year ago: Why Decentralization Matters. How to decarbonize America — and the world Ramez Naam expanding on his Twitter thread I linked to last week, with lots more detail. His central point is  Keep reading →

No.67 — Feb 17, 2019

Fortnite as Metaverse. Design From Homescreen to City. Supposedly ‘Fair’ Algorithms. German Ruling. Plummeting Insects.

Back in the days of The Alpine Review, working on a photo spread layout with our designer, she mentioned aligning the eyes of a horse in one picture with the eyes of a sailor on the previous page. Élise said that even though most readers wouldn’t see the connection, she  Keep reading →

No.66 — Feb 10, 2019

Schneier on Blockchain. AOC’s Green New Deal Resolution. Three Layers of Identity. Purpose. VR. And a Vegetative Faraday Cage.

Because I’ve been meaning to try it again and time was a bit short this week: a different format for this issue, no categories, just a series of my most interesting / note-worthy finds.  Keep reading →

No.65 — Feb 03, 2019

A High Five that Can’t Land. Model Metropolis. A Flâneur Approach to Social Media. Micromobility. Greta Thunberg. The Big Here.

A high five that can’t land. Model Metropolis. A flâneur approach to social media. Micromobility. Greta Thunberg. The Big Here.  Keep reading →

No.64 — Jan 27, 2019

Zuboff’s Surveillance Capitalism. Big-Tech-Brother. Architecture that Is More than Green. Paradox Mystery Format. More-than-Human Design.

A very Warren Ellis issue this week. I couldn’t get his Normal and abyss gaze out of my head after reading the first couple of pieces below and I’m linking to him concerning book formats in Miscellany. Enjoy. A year ago: Ursula K. Le Guin passed and I linked, among  Keep reading →

No.63 — Jan 21, 2019

Intellectual Humility. Automation Bites Back. Gradually, Then Suddenly. Defending Earth’s Biodiversity. Light Electric Vehicles. Oumuamua.

Quick note that I completely redid the template for this newsletter, partially based on the Tinyletter styling. I’m trusting their code but do get back to me if you encounter display issues. Intellectual humility: the importance of knowing you might be wrong Excellent piece at Vox on reasons for and  Keep reading →

No.62 — Jan 13, 2019

Future Books, Mags, Publications. Very Slow Movies. Shenzhen to Africa. Hassabis. Cafes. Libraries.

Welcome back and happy new year! Lots of stuff so lets get right to it. (Admin notes and announcements, if any, will now be found at the end.) The ‘Future Book’ Is Here, but It’s Not What We Expected Craig Mod looking at what “we” thought would be the future  Keep reading →

No.61 — Dec 16, 2018

We Can’t Own Information. Attention-as-Experience. AI Recommendations. Hickel v Nordhaus. Kim Stanley Robinson.

I try to not do this too often but a quick reminder that you can support Sentiers by becoming a Patron. Pitching in over the next couple of weeks would be super appreciated and useful to round out this first quarter of “patronizing.” Also very useful and appreciated is if  Keep reading →

No.60 — Dec 09, 2018

The Sublime. Responsible AI. Generative Design. A Green New Deal. The Material of Outcomes. Rams.

I would like to have more interactions with readers and amongst readers, get some form of collective intelligence going, something perhaps akin to a salon but virtual. Ideally without using a chat or messaging app. Interest? Ideas? Also, looking at early 2019, I’ve got some availability, hit reply if you  Keep reading →

No.59 — Dec 02, 2018

The Digital Maginot Line. ShareTown. Ruining the Internet. Solar Geoengineering. Meanwhile Spaces. InSight.

In case you haven’t subscribed to Sentiers at Work but find it interesting, I added a holiday pricing for 3 months so you can try it out or gift it to someone. Check it out. The Digital Maginot Line Lots to think about in this piece by Renee DiResta making  Keep reading →

No.58 — Nov 25, 2018

We Are All Bewildered Machines. The Next Weird. Utopian Fiction.

The first issue of Sentiers at Work was sent to members on Friday morning, be sure to check your filters if you haven’t seen it yet. Lots of stuff this week, lets get to it! ⁓ We Are All Bewildered Machines “Bewilderment is the antidote to scientific reductionism.” The author,  Keep reading →

No.57 — Nov 18, 2018

Don’t Believe Every AI You See. Trolls Controlling the Media. Using the Internet Mindfully. Silicon Beach.

Packed, packed days this week, but good things happening. If you are subscribed to Sentiers at Work, the first real issue is coming in a few days. If not a member yet, have a look. And for everyone, as always, using the link at the upper right and sharing broadly  Keep reading →

No.56 — Nov 11, 2018

Fight for the Web. Tech and the Rural Future. AI and Meaning. Vectorialism. Tiny Books.

Over the last week, for a quick client research project, I skimmed through all 55 previous issues of Sentiers. a) I’m going to have to organize all the bits and pieces in something more useful than just text files. b) I used to have more section-like titles, depending on the  Keep reading →

No.55 — Nov 04, 2018

Mariana Mazzucato. Dark Consensus About Screens. Toxic Air. Human Terrain. Oral Tradition.

Thanks to everyone who’s signed up to be a Patron or to receive Sentiers at Work, it’s very much appreciated, as are the very very flattering comments I got from a number of subscribers following the launch. ? — Last issue, the most clicked link was: Exploring the Future Beyond  Keep reading →

No.54 — Oct 28, 2018

Cook on Privacy. Sachs on Tech Tax. Shaping Cities as Skeptical Urbanists. Octopus Smarts

Big news this week. I finally completed the prototype phase and the new website, I’m officially launching Sentiers at Work ?! It builds on all the research and reading I do at large and for this newsletter. It provides briefings to feed your curiosity at and around work, organisations, and  Keep reading →

No.53 — Oct 21, 2018

Fiction Microgenres. Jobless Futures. AI Wars. Hope Beyond the IPCC.

And we’re back! I hope you used the skip week to either catch up on past issues or do something relaxing. I wasn’t writing the newsletter but I did keep reading so this is actually a super long issue.  Keep reading →

No.52 — Oct 07, 2018

The Automation Charade

This week we have: The Automation Charade. Tim Berners-Lee’s Inrup. The Chia cryptocurrency. Plain, trains, and automobiles. IP and data in Toronto. In praise of mediocrity. Hidden details of the NYPL, and much more. Fall is here ?, make sure to take long walks outdoors, enjoy the colours where you  Keep reading →

No.51 — Sep 30, 2018

Making Government as a Platform Real. Common Cyborg.

Finishing this up later than usual, I hope everything’s in order! Big Sentiers week with the launch of a new website where you can see the archive of all issues and refer people for signing up. Only a couple of things are surfaced right now but there are a few  Keep reading →

No.50 — Sep 23, 2018

Slow Reading. What to Measure.

So this is issue No.50. I’d hoped to produce something special for it, either some twist on the content or some artefact to “commemorate” but in the end, it’s “just” a newsletter and, more importantly, I’ve spent some time on finally finalizing Sentiers at Work, the prototype of which I’ll  Keep reading →

No.49 — Sep 16, 2018

Harari Doing some Bleak Abyss Gazing

Harari twofer, lots and lots of tech topics this week, including an important copyright vote in Europe which I couldn’t really bring myself to write about more but it’s in there, you should read up. Also a longer than usual Miscellany section, including a couple that might be classified elsewhere  Keep reading →

No.48 — Sep 09, 2018

Resisting Reduction: A Manifesto

We need to teach our children to read, and to enjoy reading.We need libraries.We need books.We need literate citizens.— Neil Gaiman (see Miscellany, which is the “books section” today) Resisting Reduction: A Manifesto The MIT Media Lab director, Joichi Ito, proposing an interesting vision for the future. Contrasting the “religion”  Keep reading →

No.47 — Sep 02, 2018

Systemic Challenges in Dealing with Climate Change

Two things to celebrate this week. First, I found the problem with the lower open rates, it’s a “feature” of Gmail and I’ll make sure to stay below that limit in the future. Second, in two days is the one year anniversary of sending these things. Here’s the archive, if  Keep reading →

No.46 — Aug 26, 2018

Ethics for Data. Dynamicland Geokit. Fossil Fuels Policy.

This week features a good look at ethics for data, there’s some awesome mapping fun happening at Dynamicland, deeper thinking behind restrictive supply-side policies for fossil fuels, some Doctorow and some Morozov in tech, and two artsy pieces in miscellany. Quite a bit of an uptick on Mastodon this week,  Keep reading →

No.45 — Aug 19, 2018

Social Media Evolution. Space Cyborgs. Three Horizons Framework.

Welcome to this new version of Sentiers, sorry it’s coming to you late. I’m introducing a new template (work in progress), and I’ve moved from Tinyletter to Mailchimp to have more visual flexibility and to centralize things for when I launch my new product in September.  Keep reading →

No.44 — Aug 12, 2018

Sentiers No.44

As broad as Sentiers is, it doesn’t cover every topic hitting my radar and is written from a specific perspective, for myself and for readers whom I see as “curious, engaged citizens.” This September, I’ll be launching a new project focused more tightly on a few topics, something that might be described  Keep reading →

No.43 — Aug 05, 2018

Sentiers No.43

Welcome new readers, thanks for joining! Quick reminder that if you’re in Montréal I also host a very informal coffee chat every couple of months, you can signup to be notified here, it’s called Les ponts (jusqu’à maintenant, plutôt en français mais “on parle bilingue”).  Keep reading →

No.42 — Jul 29, 2018

Sentiers No.42

I’m very happy to say that starting in August I’ll be helming another newsletter, this one a collaboration with Atelier 10, who publish the excellent Nouveau Projet print magazine. It’s called Repères and you can subscribe here. It’s in French and will be sent monthly, threading much the same topic selection as Sentiers. Lastly, since  Keep reading →

No.41 — Jul 22, 2018

Sentiers No.41

For this issue, in the end, I kept a Cities section but I’m toying with the idea of streamlining things, having the usual few “featured” articles to start (any topic), then a Tech section (absorbing The Churn and AI), followed with something perhaps titled Shorts regrouping everything else. Oft included sections like Cities and Milieu would be folded in there.  Keep reading →

No.40 — Jul 15, 2018

Sentiers No.40

You might have noticed that I did end up skipping two weeks to properly enjoy my vacation. I hope you used the time to catchup on past issues and other newsletter because this one is gigantic. I’m not sure if I should say “sorry” or “enjoy.”  Keep reading →

No.39 — Jun 24, 2018

Sentiers No.39

As you read this I am on vacation. As such, for once, I have enforced a hard deadline on myself and closed up shop before dinner/supper Friday. That has meant cutting reading and writing short a bit, making this issue more succinct than usual.  Keep reading →

No.38 — Jun 17, 2018

Sentiers No.38

Happy father’s day to the dads around here. I hope some of what I include in these newsletters helps you in understanding the world we are leaving our kids and in taking some actions.  Keep reading →

No.37 — Jun 10, 2018

Sentiers No.37

This is a long one. It’s all good stuff (of course) but there are two main parts if you want to focus; ‘books and learning,’ followed by a ‘technology’ section. Then a short ‘cities’ and a very miscellaneous ‘miscellany.’ ✕ Don’t Eat Before Reading This I can’t say Anthony Bourdain is  Keep reading →

No.36 — Jun 03, 2018

Sentiers No.36

This week ended up with something of a futures theme with critics of technology, design fiction, and a very dark future by Charlie Stross. Lots of drones. And my extreme ? of the week with Trudeau ignoring the future and purchasing a pipeline, with Bill McKibben’s reaction.  Keep reading →

No.35 — May 27, 2018

Sentiers No.35

Hello and sorry for the delayed arrival, quite a hectic week and the coming one will likely be the same so a shorter issue than the last few.  Keep reading →

No.34 — May 20, 2018

Sentiers No.34

The longest section this week is the one titled ‘Milieu’ which makes me realize again that I never did publish that glossary of terms a couple of people asked for. The use of ‘Milieu’ is something we used in The Alpine Review to encompass the natural world, our impact, and the related  Keep reading →

No.33 — May 13, 2018

Sentiers No.33

Lots of reading material this week as I did a bit of catching up and, as always, there’s a lot happening. Includes duplicitous Duplex, neo-colonialism, thoughtless AI, replicable cities, alchemy and hauntings, and minimal ethics for the anthropocene.  Keep reading →

No.32 — May 06, 2018

Sentiers No.32

Welcome to new subscribers coming from my short stint at Kottke.org this week. I hope you enjoyed what I posted there. To those who didn’t follow, imho I did a pretty darn good job. So after a day away, breezing through the blog this morning, I decided to link to a few in the last section  Keep reading →

No.31 — Apr 29, 2018

Sentiers No.31

Sorry for sending this a bit late, the last couple of days didn’t turn out as expected. On the (very) positive side though, next week I’ll be guest editing Kottke.org. That’s a huge honour, I’ve been reading Jason pretty much since the beginning and I’ve always been a fan.  Keep reading →

No.30 — Apr 22, 2018

Sentiers No.30

Busy weeks ahead but at least spring seems to finally be here in Montréal, a few week late. There are at least four or five longform articles I didn’t manage to read for this issue, hopefully for the next.  Keep reading →

No.29 — Apr 15, 2018

Sentiers No.29

There’s the very loose idea around this newsletter that it might, at some point, turn into something more like a magazine, or lead to a magazine project. Or a “publication,” which I see as a more bookish, less regular, but still periodical “thing.” CLOG being one example. Following a reader’s comment this  Keep reading →

No.28 — Apr 08, 2018

Sentiers No.28

Hello and welcome back, last week was likely the last break for a little while, thanks for sticking around. I’m hoping to keep thinking about the first item below and blog (or even launch) something in that area. Although what I’m writing is still pretty blurry.  Keep reading →

No.27 — Mar 25, 2018

Sentiers No.27

I’m not sure yet how the Easter long weekend will turn out with travel or not so I’m not sure if No.28 will get to you then or later. However, I’m really intent on not talking about Facebook as much as in this issue. Promise.  Keep reading →

No.26 — Mar 18, 2018

Sentiers No.26

Welcome back, I hope you used this short break to catch up on other newsletters. Quick question: I (mostly) prepare these things on Friday afternoon, should I send it on Fridays when ready or stick with noon(ish) on Sundays?  Keep reading →

No.25 — Mar 04, 2018

Sentiers No.25

Next week is “spring break” over here and I’m taking the week off so No.26 will either be super short, or pushed back a week. Sharing https://tinyletter.com/sentiers on social or forwarding is much appreciated, thanks in advance!  Keep reading →

No.24 — Feb 25, 2018

Sentiers No.24

Thanks to everyone who reached out this week with super positive feedback, I’m especially interested in knowing what you like / are most interested in, and welcome to the new subscribers. If you enjoy this newsletter, don’t hesitate to share broadly by forwarding or talking about it on social networks.  Keep reading →

No.23 — Feb 18, 2018

Sentiers No.23

Sorry for the late arrival of this issue, a weekend away and meeting friends on Friday have pushed back the assembling and writing. I’ll also note that I’m quite hopeful we can use technology to help us have more livable cities, the articles below happen to be quite questioning of  Keep reading →

No.22 — Feb 11, 2018

Sentiers No.22

A very “churn heavy” issue this week with lots of dystopic symptoms. Sweet dreams! (Note that for most of these articles, the technology depicted is super interesting, the implementation usually doesn’t pay enough intention to the implications. Akin to programming AIs with biased data used without serious enough forethought.)  Keep reading →

No.21 — Feb 04, 2018

Sentiers No.21

Had a lovely time working from a public library yesterday, nice change from hipster third wave places (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Give that a try. All sharing to friends is appreciated!  Keep reading →

No.20 — Jan 28, 2018

Sentiers No.20

Feedback is always appreciated but this week I have a small request; it’s always a challenge to decide exactly which articles to feature more, which to discard so this newsletter remains readable, and which to include only as links.  Keep reading →

No.19 — Jan 21, 2018

Sentiers No.19

This one starts social media (FB) heavy, sorry about that. Good articles though and lots of other excellent stuff further down. It’s the longest issue yet, I’m pretty much done catching up with holiday readings and will get back to the slightly shorter usual.  Keep reading →

No.18 — Jan 14, 2018

Sentiers No.18

Hello again, I hope you had a good holiday break. I’ve managed to get back into the habit of checking RSS again (!!) and I’m hoping to re-reduce my Twitter reading so if you think this week there are too many links to Twitter threads, you’re right and it’s possibly  Keep reading →

No.17 — Dec 23, 2017

Sentiers No.17

A day early for this last Sentiers of 2017. In the end I decided to write a normal issue and skip next week, and possibly the one after. I’ll ‘see’ you on the 7th or 14th of January. Happy Holidays!  Keep reading →

No.16 — Dec 17, 2017

Sentiers No.16

I’m not planning on talking about Bitcoin/blockchain all the time but the current price and worries around energy consumption are also surfacing interesting discussions. So, more blockchain in this issue with Vinay Gupta and some pretty mind blowing ideas. There’s an “Updates” section at the bottom with news on topics covered previously.  Keep reading →

No.15 — Dec 10, 2017

Sentiers No.15

No real intro this week because, oops, after the shortest issue ever here’s the longest. ✕ The Commons To Oppose The Churn Q&A: Yochai Benkler on the Benefits of an Open Source Economic System The brilliant Benkler on the potential of the commons as a way to organize our world,  Keep reading →

No.14 — Dec 03, 2017

Sentiers No.14

This issue randomly ended up as more focused on physical and/or the past, with great threads of historical topics, a Media section, and a Print section with books and bookstores. It’s also a bit shorter, do hit reply and tell me what you think.  Keep reading →

No.13 — Nov 26, 2017

Sentiers No.13

Apologies if you are getting this on (your) Monday, I finished up this issue just before dinner on Sunday my time. Nothing much else to say in lieu of intro except that my new favorite expression is Irony poisoning.  Keep reading →

No.12 — Nov 19, 2017

Sentiers No.12

I held a lunch & learn last week on the topic of Personal Knowledge Mastery (PKM), based in part on Harold Jarche’s Seek, Sense, Share framework. Preparing the slides (with Deckset, you should check it out) made me realize that, other than this here newsletter I recently started, the Sense(making) and Sharing  Keep reading →

No.11 — Nov 12, 2017

Sentiers No.11

You’re getting this a bit later than usual. Sorry about that, I spent a good chunk of the afternoon finally watching Blade Runner 2049. Found it pretty great but I sure hope the objectification of women changes quicker than that in the actual future.  Keep reading →

No.10 — Nov 05, 2017

Sentiers No.10

Issue ten already, and just in time for the ? X! So far I’m having fun writing this, although still struggling a bit with finding the time.  Keep reading →

No.9 — Oct 29, 2017

Sentiers No.9

It’s starting to feel like some recurring categories and groupings are settling down while keeping things flexible with numerous one offs. OH this week: “I’m in my filter bubble and I’m enjoying it.”  Keep reading →

No.8 — Oct 22, 2017

Sentiers No.8

This week is the longest Sentiers so far, although still at a manageable length I think. I got some great feedback this week from readers randomly bumped into in town but do hit reply and tell me what you like, what’s less likeable or annoying and what you think of the  Keep reading →

No.7 — Oct 15, 2017

Sentiers No.7

Writing this up in a cafe on a Sunday morning but I’ll have to finish a bit later on since there’s a piano here with a guy playing classical music loudly and beautifully, and it’s hard to concentrate. Nice problem to have, I know. Unintended consequence; the time I spend  Keep reading →

No.6 — Oct 09, 2017

Sentiers No.6

Welcome to all the new subscribers sent this way by the brilliant Warren Ellis, I hope you enjoy what you find and I’m looking forward to your feedback. Probably a bit of a ‘duh!’ comment but as I’m writing this, ignoring Holywood pervs, dotards, and “gun printing” bores, I’m coming to  Keep reading →

No.5 — Oct 01, 2017

Sentiers No.5

This week feels mildly Berlinish thanks to Sight & Sound, an event held in Montréal’s Eastern Bloc and Never Apart venues. It feels like this because, as I said on Twitter, the lineup is exactly what I see in Europe, always wondering and bemoaning why we don’t have this kind of program here.  Keep reading →

No.4 — Sep 24, 2017

Sentiers No.4

Issue 4 already, almost a month gone by. Thanks for joining and for the good comments. There are no real analytics on this platform so I don’t know what you click, hit reply for feedback but also for what’s especially interesting or useless. Do forward to friends when you enjoy  Keep reading →

No.3 — Sep 17, 2017

Sentiers No.3

Completely unrelated slice of life: back in 2009 when we spent a few months in Berlin, I was impressed and jealous about how many people were flying in and out of the city, “I’m off to Portugal for five days,” “we’re going to London for the weekend”  Keep reading →

No.2 — Sep 10, 2017

Sentiers No.2

In the first issue I mentioned the following ones would likely be shorter… and it’s not. So far this actually feels like a good length to cover the highlights of what I’ve read over the week and link to a couple of older things for context.  Keep reading →

No.1 — Sep 03, 2017

Sentiers No.1

Here we go, finally joining the internet of newsletters. Better very late than never I guess. Although, technically, I’ve been writing the We Seek newsletter for two years, does that count? In case you don’t speak/read French: sentiers means paths. I like the idea of finding paths amidst everything that surrounds us, figuring stuff out.  Keep reading →