UN: Creative proposals wanted to combat COVID-19

UN: Creative proposals wanted to combat COVID-19 Jahsie Ault
It‘s rare to see such a big global ask be released like this, but perhaps it signifies the times that we live in. The UN has asked for any person or organisation to come forward with creative proposals to further communicate actions to counter the Coronavirus, COVID-19. There are five categories: - Personal hygiene - Physical distanc...
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Web Curios 27/03/20

Web Curios 27/03/20
It's...it's ok, this quarantine lark. The only major downside so far was seeing a naked man performatively-masturbating for his phone the other day, but such is the packed-together nature of urban living in That London (it was almost touching how long he spent getting the angle  exactly right ) (look, you would have watched too, ok?); otherwis...
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How the COVID-19 pandemic is destroying Britain's creative industries

How the COVID-19 pandemic is destroying Britain's creative industries Gus Mwanga
Music may be the greatest comfort, but will musicians, and the music industry, survive the year? In the midst of the unprecedented crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, a major concern in the United Kingdom is the lack of public support for artists, freelancers and self-employed workers. According to the Federation of Small Businesses, 4....
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BBH launches a guide to brands in the age of COVID-19

BBH launches a guide to brands in the age of COVID-19 US CDC
BBH has launched a guide to how marketing teams can manage their brand and comms in what is now a global pandemic. There will be some companies, of course, who indulge in the classic ambulance-chasing; just this morning, we had an inquiry from a CRM company who said that during this crisis, having clean data is important. Maybe so, but the app...
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How weird can music get?

How weird can music get? Pink Floyd, “Atom Heart Mother“, 1967
In the Baroque era, composers like Bach and Vivaldi made sure to avoid straying too far from  the rules they knew and the sound they were expected to create. The Classical era began to  push a few boundaries, but it was the Romantic era and figures like Beethoven who truly  introduced the bizarre to music via powerful portrayals of e...
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Imperica update 20/03/20

Imperica update 20/03/20
For us, everything stays the same. We are still taking clients. We are still writing and publishing. We‘re still here. Many companies are sending out their COVID-19 policy to unsuspecting customers. Here‘s our policy: don‘t fucking catch it . That‘s it. OK, so two things. Firstly,  Imperica Magazine issue 3 is almost ready. We‘re about a ...
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Web Curios 20/03/20

Web Curios 20/03/20
I subscribe to a lot of newsletters, and one thing all of us content monkeys have in common is we  all  hate writing this upfront bit. This week it's... uniquely  hard. Obviously Web Curios is a deeply cynical, miserable and ennui-soaked mess of my own neuroses and deficiencies as a human, but, just for once, let me try and be positi...
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Shadow text and self-surveillance

Shadow text and self-surveillance
Many years ago, I had an experience which will be familiar to most people. It concerns the  Zach Braff film Garden State, although the film itself (thankfully) is unimportant. But I'll come to  that in a moment. Essays begin by talking about an event in the past because all life-writing begins in this way: with a piece of time brough...
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Spinoza and no platforming: Enlightenment thinker would have seen it as motivated by ambition rather than fear

Spinoza and no platforming: Enlightenment thinker would have seen it as motivated by ambition rather than fear Screenpunk, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/23286095@N05/3041686162
The recent "no-platforming" of social historian Selina Todd and former Conservative MP Amber Rudd has reignited the debate about protecting free speech in universities. Both had their invited lectures cancelled at the last minute on the grounds of previous public statements with which the organisers disagreed. Many people have interpreted thes...
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Why do tech startups botch their marketing?

Why do tech startups botch their marketing? Joshua Coleman
The entrepreneurial world is littered with businesses facing a battle to attract customers, with almost two thirds folding within their first three years. That's not to say it's the fault of entrepreneurs — devising a workable business model is a very tall order. Indeed, there are many reasons companies don't work out, and it's rarely possible to p...
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Web Curios 13/03/20

Web Curios 13/03/20
Well.  That  escalated quickly!  Look, I know fcuk all about disease, transmission, virii, epidemics or any of this stuff so fear not, I'm not about to tell you What I Think about all this. Think of me instead as some sort of diligent support worker, toiling away in the content mines to bring you fresh nuggets of webspaff (globules, ...
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What support should the UK Government offer the tech sector in the upcoming budget?

What support should the UK Government offer the tech sector in the upcoming budget? Ali Yaqub
Today's budget inevitably holds great significance for the UK. Not only does it fall at the start of a new decade but is also the first of this parliament and the first for prime minister Boris Johnson. Further, there was no budget in 2019 (the only missed year of this century) after it was delayed by Sajid Javid, forcing business leaders...
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59 social media statistics you need to know in 2020

59 social media statistics you need to know in 2020 Adam Jang
It is over the last twenty years that we can really see the impact of what we think of now as social media. Prior to the launch of Facebook in 2004 and the platform's subsequent explosive success, websites such as SixDegrees and Friends Reunited paved the way for the social media landscape that we know and love – or loathe – today. What is defined ...
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Web Curios 06/03/20

Web Curios 06/03/20 Jia-Jia Ge
HELLO AGAIN I MISSED YOU! That said, I'm somewhat up against it this morning what with needing to wash the stench off the fetid meatsack I call 'corporeal reality' and get myself to a lunch reservation; let me just say, though, that I hope none of you are currently infected and that you manage to stay alive at least as long as I do in the coming pa...
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Does Facebook make you happier?

Does Facebook make you happier? Annie Spratt
People leave Facebook for a variety of reasons, and there is no denying that there is a strong case for leaving it on privacy grounds. As much as Facebook wants you to believe that it is a private, secure space, and it is taking steps to reinforce this belief, it keeps on being pulled up for privacy, governance, and managerial violations. A recent ...
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Hand gel and the ethics of surge pricing

Hand gel and the ethics of surge pricing
News of an impending Coronavirus pandemic has caused a run on supplies across Europe and further afield. Confirmed cases in the German state of Nordrhein-Westphalen caused supermarkets to sell out of practically everything on sale . The same does not appear to have been the case in the UK, though... at least, not yet. Given that the ...
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​Are we being optimised to death?

​Are we being optimised to death? Ante Hamersmit
In May 2019, burnout became an officially recognised diagnosis . Described as an 'occupational phenomenon' in the World Health Organisation's 11th edition of the International Classification of Diseases, the update ends decades of debate over how to define burnout, or whether it even existed. The new classification follows a wave of ...
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The MSCHF Box: the return of the lucky dip

The MSCHF Box: the return of the lucky dip
MSCHF is a Brooklyn-based product studio which has a sideline on what we might loosely call "art product projects". Their work includes  ​This foot does not exist ​, where a bot sends pictures of foot images which it has generated to your mobile; and ​ Bull & Moon , an iOS app which supposedly - though not really - invites you to play...
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Out-of-context photos are a powerful low-tech form of misinformation

Out-of-context photos are a powerful low-tech form of misinformation
When you think of visual misinformation, maybe you think of deepfakes – videos that appear real but have actually been created using powerful video editing algorithms. The creators edit celebrities into pornographic movies, and they can put words into the mouths of people who never said them. But the majority of visual misinformation that people ar...
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Siân Docksey: Move over sex robots

Siân Docksey: Move over sex robots Parker Amstutz
"How's the dread?" I stop to think what this would be like to receive from an app rather than a friend over Messenger. I was swallowed into a vacuum of depression at the end of 2018 and messages like this were the little intervals of hope that broke up my day - because I'm lucky, and my friends are nice and able enough to check in if I'm having a t...
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