It’s really a shame I ran out of time because these looked like strong contenders to be included but no point in waiting until after the holidays: “Degrowth is about redistribution by design, not by collapse” (17 min read by Mark Minkjan at Failed Architecture); Artificial Intelligence: Threat or Menace? (26 min read by Charlie Stross); What Green Costs (10 min read by Thea Riofrancos at Logic Magazine); and What the Internet Can Learn From the Printing Press (8 min read by Cullen Murphy at The Atlantic).
- How William Gibson Keeps His Science Fiction Real Since this piece on Gibson for the upcoming release of his latest, Agency, was already flying around left and right, I decided not to feature it (and haven’t read it yet) but I couldn’t not link to it!
- 99 Good News Stories You Probably Didn’t Hear About in 2019. It doesn’t always feel like it but yet, there is quite a bit of good news amidst the crazy, Future Crunch has 99 of them in Conservation; global health; living standards; peace, safety and human rights; energy and sustainability.
- 👀 How facial recognition works. Excellent 10 min doc at Vox by Joss Fong. “[T]he massive bait-and-switch at the center of facial recognition technology.. how our photos have been retroactively and irrevocably transformed into biometric identifiers by computer vision engineers…. “Facial recognition is probably the most obscurity-eviscerating technology ever invented.”
- 🤑 Time Chooses Disney CEO Bob Iger as Businessman of the Year “In reality, Iger agrees with Scorsese’s observations, because they are observations about the business of movies. Iger is reproducing mass producing risk-free nearly identical products, rebooting franchises to ensure profit and control to boost share prices. Scorsese sees this strategy as way to tailor creative expression to the needs of concentrated capital, as does Iger.”
- 🐈 🎥 How Humans Domesticated Cats (Twice). (There’s also a video of Neil deGrasse Tyson explaining the domestication of wolves.) “[H]umans have actually domesticated cats two separate times, once in southwest Asia ~10,000 years ago and in Egypt ~3500 years ago. They were probably tamed by being around human settlements for the source of food.”
- 🎶 Said the Gramophone: BEST SONGS OF 2019. I know few things about music but I know to download this every year. Plus, there are Spotify and Apple Music playlists this time around.
- 😭 Lovers in Auschwitz, Reunited 72 Years Later. He Had One Question. “At first, she didn’t recognize him. Then Mr. Wisnia leaned in close. ’Her eyes went wide, almost like life came back to her,’ said Mr. Wisnia’s grandson Avi Wisnia, 37. ‘It took us all aback.’”