Apple is tired of making Coca-Cola and now wants to sell champagne | The Guardian


“What’s great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest,” Andy Warhol wrote in his 1975 autobiography. “You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you know that the president drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too. A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking.”

Apple’s mobile product lines, like the iPhone and iPad, have suggested that it wants to make the Coca-Cola of the technological world.

Not for Apple the vast segmented portfolios of the likes of Samsung.

Instead, it has generally had an incredibly simple offer: the best phone or tablet it can make, or, for the more price-conscious, the best phone or tablet it could make last year.

Source: Apple is tired of making Coca-Cola and now wants to sell champagne | Alex Hern | Technology | The Guardian

A Reading Guide For Designers Who Want To Write | Co.Design


We asked designers and design writers to recommend books and essays for designers who want to sharpen their writing skills, whether to write books, work on interface copy or just tap out better emails.

This is not a comprehensive list, nor do we suggest that by reading these, you will miraculously become the design world’s very own Jonathan Franzen.

It’s a place to start.

Source: A Reading Guide For Designers Who Want To Write | Co.Design

Chinawood: Two Big Brands—‘Hollywood’ and ‘Made in China’—Merge Into One


Traditionally, the inclusion of Chinese people in Hollywood films was so rare the actors were called “flower vases.” But, with the evolution of Chinawood, the steady rise of Chinese actors has reached a point where, as Aynne Kokas half-joked, a movie such as The Great Wall included a flower vase otherwise known as Matt Damon.

Source: Chinawood: Two Big Brands—‘Hollywood’ and ‘Made in China’—Merge Into One

Iceland’s Recovery Will Be Tough to Sustain | Bloomberg View


Tourists, unlike foreign investors, were immune to the capital controls, so they enjoyed the unexpectedly cheap Nordic exotica, not to be had in notoriously pricey Norway, Sweden or Denmark. And it was they who fixed the Icelandic economy, though of course locals sometimes grumble.

Iceland, compared with Ireland and Greece, is an economist’s dream. It’s tiny and open, so it responds to stimuli spectacularly and almost without delay. It turned overnight from a fishing-dependent economy to a highly financialized one — a transition brilliantly described in Michael Lewis’s book “Boomerang“; it went just as quickly to a tourism-driven economy after the banking crash.

The quick turnaround is an advantage, but also a potential drawback.

Source: Iceland’s Recovery Will Be Tough to Sustain – Bloomberg View

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High-Tech Jobs Clustering in America’s Top 10 Metros | CityLab


While the Trump administration continues to try to clamp down on immigration, our analysis finds a close association between high-tech job growth and the level of immigration, with positive correlation to the percentage of the population that is foreign born (.53).

High-tech job growth is associated with some of the challenges of today’s urban areas, which make up what I call The New Urban Crisis. High-tech job growth is positively associated with high housing costs (.52), and higher levels of wage inequality (.54).

The power of high-tech industries in America remains spiky. From an empirical point of view, the notion of the “rise of the rest” remains wishful thinking.

Source: High-Tech Jobs Clustering in America’s Top 10 Metros – CityLab

Murder in virtual reality should be illegal | Aeon Ideas


The problem of what entertainment does to us isn’t new. The morality of art has been a matter of debate since Plato.

The philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau was skeptical of the divisive and corrupting potential of theatre, for example, with its passive audience in their solitary seats.

Humans are embodied beings, which means that the way we think, feel, perceive and behave is bound up with the fact that we exist as part of and within our bodies. By hijacking our capacity for proprioception – that is, our ability to discern states of the body and perceive it as our own – VR can increase our identification with the character we’re playing.

Source: Murder in virtual reality should be illegal | Aeon Ideas

Why the hype around medical genetics is a public enemy | Aeon Ideas


The possibility of vast profits in biotech also contribute to the propensity for hype. Buy on the rumours, sell on the news. Nowhere is that more true than in biotech and infotech.

Finally, the researchers and their funders vie for attention from a news media that is itself constantly competing for an overstimulated and numb audience. Overcoming habituation and making a splash requires ever-bigger jolts of hyperbole.

Source: Why the hype around medical genetics is a public enemy | Aeon Ideas

Materialism alone cannot explain the riddle of consciousness | Aeon Essays


The attraction of the many-worlds interpretation, for instance, is its ability to keep the reality in the mathematical physics.

In this view, yes, the wave function is real and, yes, it describes a world of matter that obeys mathematical rules, whether someone is watching or not. The price you pay for this position is an infinite number of parallel universes that are infinitely splitting off into an infinity of other parallel universes that then split off into … well, you get the picture.

There is a big price to pay for the psi-epistemologist positions too. Physics from this perspective is no longer a description of the world in-and-of itself. Instead, it’s a description of the rules for our interaction with the world.

As the American theorist Joseph Eberly says: ‘It’s not the electron’s wave function, it’s your wave function.’

Source: Materialism alone cannot explain the riddle of consciousness | Aeon Essays

South Korea’s protest culture gets results, but a political scientist says it’s “a sign of political dysfunction” | Quartz


South Korea, though, is a special case when it comes to protest, because protesting there isn’t special. Rather than an activity people do once in a while, before returning to normal routines, protests in South Korea, political scientists say, are part of everyday life.

Indeed, many Koreans have found ways to participate in them around their jobs, studies, or other commitments.

“If governance structures were working properly then citizens normally would be channeling their concerns through institutional processes—reaching out to their elected leaders, going to the courts. Spilling out into the street is a sign of political dysfunction.” – Katharine Moon

Source: South Korea’s protest culture gets results, but a political scientist says it’s “a sign of political dysfunction” — Quartz

The strange political history of the ‘Underground’ | Aeon Essays


Is there anywhere left to hide today?

Government surveillance, smartphones and social media have made our private lives increasingly public. The solipsistic cult of consumerism and convenience encourages us to spend away our cares, while alliances across social boundaries seem increasingly elusive.

.. it was in Europe that the symbol of the underground became definitively fused with political resistance. Revolutionary movements abounded in the 19th century, from the progressive Carbonari in Italy to the socialist Blanquists in France. But underground tactics were most developed in Tsarist Russia.

Source: The strange political history of the ‘Underground’ | Aeon Essays