"In Italy a Three In Blossom at The Roadside Would Be a Delightful Surprise" - Natalia Ginzburg
Another Sunday, Another Naive Weekly - Observations From The Internet Wilderness.
The picturesque colorful apartment buildings of Nyhavn shines on most of the postcards from Copenhagen. It is always good weather on those postcards. The sun, not directly visible, is the main character, dominant in the photos through the clear blue sky and the warm, vibrant colors, subtly encouraging the receiver to come to this place of magic, to come to warm, sunny Copenhagen.
Today’s newsletter is not such a sunny postcard.
This is the grey, rainy, stormy reality.
I had just returned from badminton when my stepdad told me to come to watch TV. That in itself was highly unusual. TV watching was not something recommended in my childhood home, especially not on a sunny afternoon. But then again, those images of the plane crashing into the first of the twin towers were highly unusual too.
No one knew exactly what was happening until the second plane crashed into the other twin tower. For 40 minutes the world was searching for meaning. The language of the old world did not have words to describe what was going on, and our minds lacked the imagination to understand the magnitude of the events. In a matter of hours the world changed, also for me, a privileged, 14 years old Danish boy living far away from the USA and Afghanistan.
Wednesday evening the Danish prime minister hosted a press conference addressing the exponentially growing spread of COVID-19 in Denmark, announcing that all schools in Denmark would be closing 14 days from Friday and all non-essential public workers would be required to working from home. Flanked by four senior officials from core public institutions, it was impossible to watch the press conference without understanding the severity of the situation we are in. It is no longer business as unusual, it is an emergency.
After 9/11, the language, habits, fears, that we learned from the emergency did not cease to exist. The emergency stayed emergent. Its spirit continued in foreign policy, breaking news, wars, and the unprecedented development of surveillance technologies. It changed international politics, and it changed our daily lives, from how we board a plane to what films we watch.
This week the invisible storm of COVID-19 hit most of the Western world. Hour by hour, the world order is changing, with more and more countries entering lock-down, introducing travel restrictions and calling national emergency.
I’m not in the mood for finding scapegoats or proposing silver-linings. We are hit by a storm we can’t see and need to act accordingly; with responsibility. The world has already changed and so will our language, habits, and imagination — if it hasn’t already. But in the midst of finding a safe ground, of closing borders and of creating certainty in the uncertain nature of the virus, let’s not forget that the actions we take today are likely to be shaping our lives, communities, and societies over the next decades.
Do you carry on to maintain the status quo or to support society?
Do you stay home to save yourself or to protect your community?
Internet Black Hole
Quarantine Book Club
To everyone stuck at home, the Quarantine Book Club allows you to chat with an author without touching anyone. Love this idea. I also love Classic Reload, a website with more than 6,000 retro games ready to be played from the browser. And in case you are still in prep-mode, do it properly with The Prepared, it is basically Wirecutter for preppers.
DoNotPay Streaming Services
DoNotPay is a company that helps you fight parket tickets, get compensation from airlines, and similar legal matters. This week they launched a Chrome extension that allows people to share their streaming service passwords between each other, so less subscriptions overall are needed. It took two days before Google removed it from the Chrome store, but *search* and you’ll find the extension online. 48 hours was also the time it took before MSCHF had to take down their latest drop, AllTheStreams.Fm, a free digital broadcaster of content from streaming platforms. Lawyers 1 - Internet 0.
Photoshop's 3D-Rendered Trees
This might be the only filter ever worth sharing, Photoshop’s hidden virtual forest. Adobe made the 34 different types of trees for architects who struggled with implementing trees into their renderings. You find it by clicking Filter > Render > Tree. Please do. And please create more Calm Internet Places.
Amazon’s Green Shipping
Imagine that Amazon offered you a green shipping alternative when checking-out. It sounds like a good idea and aligned with Jeff Bezos’ announced $10b climate emergency fund. Apparently the idea was already designed by Amazon, but never implemented due to fear of losing customers in the check-out process. I think we are not far from Big Tech feeling like Big Tobacco, Big Soda and Big Oil. For the latter two, did you read RollingStone’s excellent Planet Plastic article?
Ted Hunt - True Value
The creator behind the one of my favourite projects from last year, Circa Solar, is back with a project asking what if everything was priced at true value? The true value is made to reflect price plus the loss to all life, as opposed to the dominant narrative of price calculated based on cost and profit. As always, big Internet points to Ted Hunt.
Vicki Boykis - Normcore Tech
Vick is a data scientist. I first came across her newsletter when she wrote the best Clearview follow-up post, after the New York Time’s article from mid-January titled The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It caused a facial recognition moment on the Internet. Vicki did not lower the quality since then. Just check how she, in one newsletter, jumps from Matthew McConaughey coming to Utah to explaining the power of data centers. And in these COVID-19 times, everyone should read her latest post “All numbers are made up, some are useful”.
Natalia Ginzburg - The Little Virtues
This is a collection of short essays from the 1940-60s written by Natalia Ginzburg while she was living in Italy and England. Natalia reflects on virtues, vocation, human relationships and raising children. Her experience is clearly shaped by growing up during fascism, yet many of the essays feels extremely timely, as if they were written for today.
“I read the MSCHF profile. They are wild. It occurs to me that they wouldn’t exist without Supreme.” — Søren
Hi, I’m Kristoffer and you have just read Naive Weekly - Observations From The Internet Wilderness.
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Photograph by Ana Santl.