Oct 23, 2020

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News presented free of algorithm

Should we really scream at each other about lockdowns before figuring out what the word means?

The headlines tell the story. “Thousands in Madrid to lock down”, “New Covid-19 rules for more parts of North and Midlands”, “Can a ‘circuit break’ halt the second Covid wave?”, “‘Voluntary lockdown’ plea to university’s students” and “Further Covid-19 measures ‘likely’ in London”. That is just one website — the BBC — and all those headlines were displayed simultaneously. But despite the numerous headlines, it is far from obvious what a “lockdown” is supposed to mean, and the lack of clarity risks making a bad situationworse. The most obvious risk is that people become too confused and irritated to follow the rules. The“rule of six”, for […]Read full article >
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What I’ve been reading: everyday design and the first draft of Covid history

The 99% Invisible City by Roman Mars and Kurt Kohlstedt. A beautifully-illustrated guide to the miscellanea of our everyday surroundings. Roman and Kurt have produced a cornucopia of miniature essays on topics ranging from the slip-base (an elegant piece of design that causes traffic signs to fail gracefully and safely when someone crashes into them) to the awkward implication of Thomas Jefferson’s plan to package and sell squares of land: namely, that squares of land do not actually fit on the curved surface of the earth. This is a delightful book to dip into. If I might be permitted a self-serving recommendation, if you like the […]Read full article >