These were the things I read in the back half of January that really stuck in my teeth, for one reason or another.
Dan Zak for The Washington Post: Everything is Not Going to be Okay
Climate change is more sly than time-lapse video of a disintegrating glacier. It’s the creep of bay water into ditches, and then onto roads.
There is opportunity in this acceptance. Marvel thinks we need courage, not hope.
Anab Jain for DingDingDing: More Than Human-Centered Design
Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.
Ingrid Burrington for DingDingDing: Terraforms, or How to Talk About the Weather
To enact the dramatic changes that the IPCC report calls for will... also require a sort of political and social terraforming: building societal structures that will support these radical environmental shifts and the mass population displacement and political transformation that will go with it.
Dr. Rich Firth-Godbehere for How We Get to Next: Silicon Valley Thinks Everyone Feels the Same Six Emotions
This made me think about the negotiation we do with the algorithms that are supposed to bucket our organic complexity into discrete categories. Rather than trusting them to work (because they never do), we instead tend to compensate by making our expressions simpler. See: "Alexa voice," what I call the weird, strained / authoritative / more clearly enunciated than usual tone most people interacting with voice assistants or even phone trees use.
Ursula K. Le Guin: A Rant on 'Technology'
Perennial classic from my queen, to be revisited on an annual basis or as needed.
Technology is how a society copes with physical reality: how people get and keep and cook food, how they clothe themselves, what their power sources are (animal? human? water? wind? electricity? other?) what they build with and what they build, their medicine - and so on and on. Technology is the active human interface with the material world.
Shannon Mattern for Places Journal: Databodies in Codespace
This is the promise of big data and artificial intelligence. With a sufficiently large dataset we can find meaning even without a theoretical framework or scientific method.
All of these initiatives see public health through the lens of geography... Individual phenotypes are mapped to urban phonotypes, databodies to codespaces.
Dr. Yong Lang: An Exploratory Study on the Use of 'I Love You' in the American Context
I came across this publication by my friend's father, a man I had grown up with who was practically my uncle, while helping to edit his obituary. It's jarring to realize how little we know about what our elders actually do outside of, say, teaching us how to play badminton or singing karaoke. This felt like a gift to uncover.
The theoretical justification and explanation for Americans’ high frequent and varied use of 'I love you' were tentatively probed. The results from this study delineated a preliminary ethnography of how I love you is used in the American context, which can help EFL teachers and learners understand it more thoroughly, translate it more accurately, and use it more appropriately.
This Lil Facehugger: