Cars as private spaces

In Japan, a survey of people who rented cars revealed that

one out of every eight users rented automobiles for purposes other than transportation.

An overwhelmingly large number of respondents said they slept or rested in vehicles, followed by customers who said they used cars as spots to talk with friends, family and business clients on the phone.

People also rented vehicles to watch TV in, get dressed up for Halloween, practice singing, rapping and English conversation, and even do facial stretches said to reduce the size of their face, NTT found.

A car may be one of the last truly private spaces left.

Using work apps for the home

A profile of families using email, Slack, Trello, Asana and even Jira the bug-tracking tool to coordinate housework has such examples as:

“We do family meetings every Sunday where we review goals for the week, our to-do list, and activities coming up,” she says. “I track notes for the meeting [in Trello]. I have different sections, goals for the week, a to-do list.” 

And

 it’s not uncommon for one of them to send an email recap, something along the lines of “As per our earlier conversation, we have decided that the children will be enrolled in tennis camp over the summer. Please let me know if you want to follow up on this.”

But also that such tools

might help even out the imbalances in household duties that often arise between partners—especially men and women—by making them more visible. “It tends to be that couples divide this work up in ways that aren’t exactly equitable, and that one person takes on more of that truly invisible work … Something like this might actually be a way for that person to say, ‘Look what I’m doing’

The moment of creation of Zcash

“Last November, journalist Morgen Peck showed up at her friend Molly Webster’s apartment in Brooklyn, told her to take her battery out of her phone, and began to tell her about The Ceremony, a moment last fall when a group of, well, let’s just call them wizards, came together in an undisclosed location to launch a new currency.”

Among my favourite Radiolab podcast episodes is this one from two years ago about the planning leading up to, and moment of creation of the Zcash cryptocurrency. A complex topic narrated entertainingly. This is high-quality journalism.

Individualism and Submission

What individualism has bought us is not the end of servitude, but merely the cloaking of masters.

It’s pretty perverse that our culture celebrates individualism and yet condones submission only to inhuman institutions like schools, companies, and governments. It’s a sort of inverse Confucianism – a system where authority can only be exercised by people who deliberately do not engage in one-on-one superior-inferior relationships.

From Servants Without Masters, Harold Lee.

Apollo and Wonderment

As a child in the 80s, I used to stare at the moon and struggled to grasp the fact that people had landed and walked on it. That people had considered having a serious go at it, and had succeeded.

It is one of the few emotions that remain unchanged to this day, as a grown-ass adult.

In fact the wonder and thrill is greater still, with photos from the Mars rover Curiosity, and the Cassini and Juno and New Horizons missions, and learning about the planetary slingshots used by Voyager 1 and 2 (which sounded like straight-up science fiction).

It makes me believe humanity, even in its current stage of evolution, is capable of most endeavours it can imagine, through science, creativity and organisation, if only it can learn to unite.

This optimism is tempered by E O Wilson’s quote “The real problem of humanity is the following: we have paleolithic emotions; medieval institutions; and god-like technology”.

Today I’m spending the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing in conscious enthralment, glad that I can still experience the same feeling I did as a child.