- A really good interview with Sara Hendren on design, engineering, art, and disability, among other things.
- The ways we use the internet to communicate, to search, to shop, and research are increasingly visuals-first. Media theorists at Snapchat have been talking about the sea change from photo-as-record to photo-as-communication for years now, and while that company has floundered some, the concept of a visual vernacular has taken root across a number of platforms and devices.
- Autonomous vehicles are continuously hyped as a quickly evolving, near-term technology, but the current state of moving ourselves and goods across the world is still steered by fallible, fatigable humans. For truck drivers, long hours are the norm, which makes the hypnotic wave of the highway more likely. Regulations have been written to require rest, but solving for behavioral aspects is the real key. A new sensor system deployed in the midwest hopes to address that by notifying drivers of parking availability at rest stops.
- A solid profile on the expanding subculture of digital nomads: the knowledge workers traveling the world and keeping up their 'office work' all the while. Digital nomads are in many ways an absurd inversion of the native populations they move among. The nomads are affluent, and their labor is disconnected from geography. They are free to move their labor across border after border, traversing lands that are 'cheap' precisely because of the limited options that exist for the people born there, often due to the long shadows of colonialism.
- 99% Invisible looks at the history of the U.S-Mexico border and the attempts to build an arbitrary wall across the landscape.
- More than elite runway shows, social media influencers are swaying customers and helping trends rise to prominence and stay there. The Cut has a great article detailing the evolution of this model, and how the delicate balance of luxury brand aspirations and mundane daily life seems to have more psychological pull than glossy fashion magazines. With the infinite scroll of a smart phone screen, the slick objects-as-lifestyle imagery can run on as long as our desirous eyes allow it.