We can be the first sustainable generation

An invisible epidemic, things we peak at late in life, how censorship sparks creativity (#458)

1. Are we the last generation – or the first sustainable one?

You won't find a more effective dose of optimism this week: Hannah Ritchie makes the case that we have an incredibly exciting opportunity before us: to become the first ever generation to live sustainably. It won't be easy, and we're falling short in many ways, but it's doable. I've featured Hannah's work several times here (and she also guest curated an issue). This talk encapsulates all of it. 13 minutes, extremely well spent.

Are we the last generation -- or the first sustainable one?
The word “sustainability” gets thrown around a lot these days. But what does it actually mean for humanity to be sustainable? Environmental data scientist Hannah Ritchie digs into the numbers behind human progress across centuries, unpacking why the conventional understanding of sustainability is mi…

2. 24 hours in the invisible epidemic

I've always been fascinated by the dataset that details how Americans are spending their days, minute by minute. Visualising large quantities of deeply personal data in a way that feels human and empathetic is difficult. This interactive piece does a terrific job of turning the all these numbers into a story about loneliness, its impact on happiness, and ultimately: health.

24 hours in an invisible epidemic
Watch 24 hours of an American day, and the invisible crisis hiding in plain sight

3. Never past your prime! 13 peaks we reach at 40 or later

A recommendation completely unrelated to my own age: a list of good qualities we peak at beyond age 40. Some interesting ones: Our arithmetic skills peak at around 50, we're nicest to others after reaching 60, our confidence in our own body is highest at 74 for women and 80 for men, and peak happiness comes at the tender age of 82. On average, that is.

Never past your prime! 13 peaks we reach at 40 or later – from sex to running to self-esteem
Ageing doesn’t have to mean slowing down. In fact, you’re more likely to win an ultramarathon in midlife, not to mention get happier, wiser and more body confident

4. How Chinese citizens use puns to get past internet censors

Have you ever heard of the rice bunny movement? Probably not, as you don't need to evade Chinese censors and can call it by its better known name: #MeToo. This is an interesting, nicely illustrated piece on all the creativity censorship sparks.

How Chinese citizens use puns to get past internet censors
Chinese social media companies and users are locked in a never-ending battle between free speech and censorship.

5. The Magical Japanese Art of Luggage Forwarding

An ode to takkyu-bin. In Japan, apparently (and: obviously!), you never need to carry your luggage to whatever's your next destination. You can simply have it forwarded for you, for a small fee. I know this exists in Switzerland as well, sort of, but it's expensive and not very flexible. In Japan, no hotel or guest house too small to offer it.

The Magical Japanese Art of Luggage Forwarding
Please don’t roll your big bags around town

What else?

The Future of...Work

Remote screens flicker,
AI and humans blend—
Work's new frontier calls.

The Haiku is produced using ChatGPT, the illustration is made with Midjourney. Apart from formal instructions, the prompts are as simple as "The future of...x". Previously in this series...

A gem from the archive

A fascinating, and surprisingly wholesome, journey down the rabbit hole of Spotify spam. How some artists rack up millions of plays for their songs even though nobody knows them (if you think you know the answer: No, sneaking songs into playlists is for beginners).

#183 The Venova King | Reply All
This week, a Super Tech Support: a listener’s Spotify Wrapped is dominated by a mysterious artist she’s never heard of and swears she’s never listened to. And the songs she supposedly played are even weirder. Emmanuel investigates.

Thanks for reading. I wish you a nice weekend and hope to see you again next Friday!

— David 👋

Thank you for supporting my work with your membership.
It makes a difference.