Commonplace Reading - Issue #10
Good morning. For the Brits, here's some reading to keep you intellectually fulfilled through the Bank Holiday Monday. For the rest of the world: here's something useful you can do over coffee that isn't quite work, but probably counts.
We start with sex and babies - because sex-related links always get the most clicks, you dirty bunch. But there's more serious - or at least less salacious - stuff after that. Honest.
Scenes from the culture wars
Life after the Ashley Madison affair
It’s six months since hackers leaked the names of 30 million people who had used the infidelity website Ashley Madison. Resignations, divorces and suicides followed.
Why Are Powerful Women Icons Always Wearing High Heels?
A deep dive into our troubled relationship with high heels as a society, and what that says about our attitude to female status, femininity and sexuality. It also explains why my wife has a wide an extensive high heel collection she almost never wears…
The Horror Of The “Me-ternity Leave”
I really hope the article that inspired this riposte was clickbait - because the idea that parental leave is a time for reflection and personal growth is idiocy. It's basically indentured servitude in a shit, piss and puke factory.
A Better You
Looking back on your past can make you less likely to suffer depression in the future
Turns out there's a valuable psychological aspect to nostalgia.
Why So Many Smart People Aren’t Happy - The Atlantic
Basically, we think too much in terms of "scarcity" of outcomes, and lock ourselves into competitive thinking that isn't useful.
The Worst Human Addiction and 3 Steps to Get Clean
It turns out that you're addicted to problems. Maybe getting addicted to solutions would make us all happier.
Life in the remote villages of the Faroe Islands
Hauntingly beautiful images of a very different life. There's a small part of me that cases to abandon life in the densely-populated corner of Europe we call home, and head for somewhere like this.
Beautiful color photographs of 1920s England
Colour makes it seem so much more immediate. It really brings the past vividly to life.
Meet your digital ego
It’s me, your digital ego
I normally try to avoid client work here - but I feel compelled to share this, because I'm so excited. NEXT in Hamburg is, year in and year out, the most interesting conference I attend - and that started before I began working for them. They have a knack of both looking into the future of tech - and into the human impact of it. This article dives deep into what we'll be discussing in September - and what I'll be writing about for the next few months.
A sobering look at the reality of today's tech industry from an entrepreneur of my acquaintance. It highlights why the issues raised in the above post are so important - and that we need to up out game in how we think about tech.
And here ends the rather mellow set of reading for this week. I'm trying to enjoy a relaxed and low-to-no work Bank Holiday weekend for once, and spend the time with the family rather than blogging, writing or triaging e-mail. And so far I'm succeeding:
Back to the grindstone tomorrow…
Here's a question for those of you who have made it this far, and are in journalism and digital publishing: would a version of this newsletter for that part of my life be useful?