The tools available to the artist, engineer, designer, musician, etc. end up shaping the outcome. The viscosity of pre-mixed tube paints changed the significance of gesture for painters, and a building's construction might reveal the precise version of CAD software used in its design. In music, the introduction of new technologies can spur surprisingly lengthy eras of sonic sea change: electric guitars shaping rock, synthesizers fueling new forms of dance, or Auto-Tune changing the sound of vocals across genres.
Machines for Moving:
An interview with a solar engineer working in Puerto Rico on the demand for alternative energy systems there, and the environmental and economic challenges in building robust, capable networks.
Mature manufacturing processes can be surprisingly under-evolved, with dirty byproducts and inefficient energy usage. This is partly because retooling a production system is incredibly capital intensive, and partly because lenient regulators frequently allow manufacturers protected status with provisions that 'grandfather in' outmoded procedures. Researchers at Boston Metal are hoping to clean up the steel industry with new, electric technologies for processing ore. If they are successful at scale, global carbon reductions could be significant.
Millennials have lower divorce rates than their predecessors, possibly because they are marrying less often: either living unpartnered, or living together without the formalization of marriage. Economic pressures like high housing and education costs also seem to be contributing to a general delay, where alignment between individuals may be more greater, and divorce less likely.
Climate change is not a sudden erasure of the world à la annihilating meteor, but the gradual rot of termites, the kind of force that slowly and irreversibly compromises quality of life and comfort, before collapsing fully. Elisa Gabbert looks at how 21st century nihilism about the slow-motion car crash of climate change is manifested in grim memes that ironically clamor for the whole mess to just speed up already.