This has been quite the week, for me personally. We launched the Klimalabor (climate lab), a project at Swiss indie publisher Republik I've been working on since autumn. The climate lab's mission is to explore and develop what's needed for journalism to step up in the climate crisis — working closely with the community and anyone interested. Blowing past our expectations, more than 3000 people signed up on the first day alone. It's great to see so many people willing to engage with the climate crisis and the role journalism has to play in it. I'd love for you to check it out and join. If you are interested, but don't understand German, please reach out to me directly. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
What if we replaced elections with a lottery to pick a set of lawmakers who are truly representative of the population they serve? At first, it sounds absurd, because we're so used to elections being a core part of democracy. On second thought, it makes a lot of sense. But as you start thinking about how this would actually work — not so much the lottery, but what follows after — things get tricky. This piece does a good job of explaining the idea and going into the weeds with what it would entail and examples of how it has been tried and tested.
→ Related book recommendation: Against Elections, by David Van Reybrouck
This is extremely fascinating and a great way to get a glimpse into the creativity of artificial intelligence. Five themes — a representation of anxiety, an astronaut, the discovery of gravity, a horse, someone gazing at Mount Everest — turned into images by artificial intelligence in a myriad of ways: in the style of famous painters and photographers, as company logos and app icons, as movie posters or New York Times front pages from various decades, as Disney characters and bronze statues, and many, many more.
I'm a little late to this, but after seeing it last week, I cannot not recommend it. I remember reading the book as a teenager, and while I couldn't remember a thing from the plot, I still remember how I felt reading it. And what a powerful movie adaptation this is. None of the heroism that usually comes with war movies. Just the horror of war in all its explicit and subtle ways. Content warning: violence, lots of violence.
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It quite literally laid much of the foundations of the world as we know it, it has been (and continues to be) a «great emancipator in poorer parts of the world». However, it's also one of the biggest emitters of carbon emissions so we need alternatives, fast. This is the story of concrete. (An interesting fact: In the 1950s and 60s, the Swiss poured more concrete per capita than any other country.)
I didn't think I'd be interested in hearing a conversation with a restaurant critic, let alone stay hooked for 45 minutes. In the end, it's about not about haute cuisine at all, but a deeper question: What if we completely changed our criteria for what's worth our time and money?
- The best, shortest guide to networking you'll find.
- This is extremely annoying: There are 12 black dots in this image. Your brain won’t let you see them all at once.
- An interesting number to keep in mind: The median daily income worldwide is $7.56 (2019, latest available data).
- Something I learned this week: Striped icebergs are a thing.
- A stunning creature: Halitrephes maasi, also known as the firework jellyfish.
- Not quite sure what I'm looking at, but I'm intrigued: The Evolution of Visual Expression : A Tale of Art and Technology.
Thanks for reading. I wish you a nice weekend and hope to see you again next Friday!
— David 👋