Collaborating Authors

Amazon's new Instagram thingy is the grossest, purest thing on the internet


If every social network were brutally honest with you, they'd be Amazon Spark. The newest feature on the Amazon app is the grossest, purest thing on the internet. It is digital capitalism, incarnate. It's so naked in its purpose, it's almost hard to hate. It is the smarmiest stripe of conspicuous consumption.

Review: Gary Hustwit's Dieter Rams Documentary Criticizes Consumerism


He was there to introduce a movie, of which he is begrudgingly but indisputably the star. "The film has my name, but it's less about me, and more about my chief concerns," the 86-year-old said with characteristic self-effacing charm. Rams, who is famous for his clean-lined designs for home goods companies like Braun and Vitsoe, has many concerns--the state of the world, the state of design, the way our appetite for shiny, new things is leading us down a gluttonous path of destruction--and he voices all of them in the new documentary Rams. The film is the newest from Gary Hustwit, who serves as the design world's de-facto documentarian having made the lauded Urbanized, Objectified, and Helvetica. Unlike Hustwit's other films, which center around concepts, theories, and ideas, Rams is very much a portrait of a person, despite its subject's protestations.

Mad about the Paris agreement? Here's the workout plan to get your carbon footprint right for the summer

Los Angeles Times

The only thing planet Earth hates more than CO2 is the CO2 that comes from hot puffs of hypocrisy. And in the weeks since President Trump announced he is withdrawing the United States from the Paris climate agreement, temperatures have been rising. I know we're angry about the direction our country is heading. To many of us, President Trump's decision to withdraw from the accord is a crime against humanity and an unfathomable act of arrogance. But here is another bit of unsavory news for the people crying about climate change but still driving to In-N-Out: You are a part of the problem just as much as Donald Trump.

You Don't Actually Own Your Data and Devices


One of the contradictions of our age is that while the Internet increasingly makes all kinds of information available, many devices and services are increasingly including less accessibility as a feature. For every Wikipedia that you can edit, there are a thousand devices and appliances that are manufactured to discourage tampering. We like to think the world is becoming an open access and open content nirvana with information available to all, but the reality is that more and more knowledge is hiding behind paywalls and similar closed access barriers (and even super closed access channels, which make info available only through limited or hidden outlets). We live in a renter society where we prefer to pay a monthly fee to use something for a short while and then move on when a new version comes along. Even the stuff we think we own is really not ours, the best example being all those ostensibly purchased e-books that it turns out you actually only rent and that can be undownloaded (that is, yanked from your e-reader) without warning.

Simon Stålenhag's The Electric State shows post-war world

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Virtual reality is becoming increasingly popular and sophisticated in the modern-day world, providing people with the opportunity to experience new worlds and enter entirely alternate realities. But there is a darker side to the ever-improving technology - one that has been candidly portrayed in a set of illustrations, which depict a desolate and empty world destroyed by a war between robots and people as a result of humans' obsession with virtual reality. Set two decades ago, in 1997, the artwork by Swedish author and illustrator Simon Stålenhag charts the travels of a young girl and her robot toy as she journeys across a horrifying wasteland, which is all that remains of the US. Thought-provoking: Many of Simon's illustrations show deserted areas that seem to reflect this reality's extreme poverty In Stålenhag's reality, there is no Bill Clinton, no OJ Simpson trial, and no Britney Spears to fill up the minds of Americans. Instead, the world looks as if it's about to end, having been crushed to ruins by the excesses of a human race overtaken by consumerism.