“Shakespeare”, by Ungry Young Man

Macbeth is a creepy play.

Actors have long been superstitious about acting in it. That’s partly because performances have been riddled with accidents and fatalities; indeed, actors consider it bad luck to even utter the name of the play. (They call it “The Scottish Tragedy”.) …


“FAST”, by fhir.photograph

I love watching instructional videos on YouTube. Last weekend, I used one to figure out how to replace the back tire on my bike. YouTube is fantastic for explainers where you really need to see something, and where a textual explanation isn’t as useful.

Indeed, the ease of shooting video…


It’s Monday. Time to buckle down and …

… chill out with my weekly “Linkfest” of the best reading material the web has to offer!

1)🌲 Beautiful app plays the sounds of different forests

Tree.fm is a super soothing app — each time you refresh the page, it displays a gorgeous picture of a forest somewhere in the world…


“Toboganning”, by Mike Dunens

When people worry about the impact of a new technology, often they worry it’ll set us on a path to ruin.

Sometimes they’re freaking out for no good reason. New technologies — particularly ones that affect communication, or give young people new abilities — unsettle people all the time, but…


A CPT 8100 computer, from the late 1970s

Writing is hard. But you know what can be even harder?

Rewriting.

Often I’ve written something — a magazine piece, a blog post, a chapter in a book — and I have to rewrite it. Maybe the editors have asked me to shorten or restructure it. Maybe the language in…


“In Epping Forest”, by Peter Trimming

Monday. There’s one of these every week, eh? Damn.

But hey: You what also arrives each Monday? My “Linkfest”, filled with reading material selected just for you!

Allons-y …

1) 🌳 Why Trees Improve Our Mental Health

The evidence is piling up on how proximity to nature improves our health: Lower blood pressure, lower stress, higher creativity, lower…


The punctuation from six of my recent essays on Medium

Back in 2016, Adam J. Calhoun wrote a fascinating Medium post in which he showed off something quite cool: What novels look like if you strip away the words, and show just the punctuation.

He’d written some Python code to do this, then processed several famous books. …


Beethoven Orchestra Bonn performs “Beethoven X — The AI Project”

Like a piece of implacable weekly clockwork, I present this Monday’s “Linkfest” — the finest fruits hand-plucked from the endless gardens of the Internet.

To begin …

1) 🎼 AI completes Beethoven’s unfinished 10th symphony

Beethoven was commissioned to write a 10th symphony, but died before he got very far. …


“Bullet hell” games test the limits of my endurance, but I love them anyway

Video games are difficult — yet we love playing them anyway.

In fact, we love them because they’re difficult. We play them specifically to experience different flavors of difficulty.

It’s an interesting human behavior, and pretty weird too, right? In his wonderful book The Art of Failure, the video-game theorist…


Sherco Generating Station — Xcel Energy Coal-Fired Power Plant in Minnesota. Photo/Tony Webster.

Back in the early 2000s, Australia was going through a brutal heat wave and a persistent drought. The fierce temperatures were changing the landscape and the fabric of daily life: crops and flowers wouldn’t grow, coral reefs were dying off, and the government was rationing water.

The philosopher Glenn Albrecht…

Clive Thompson

I write three times a week about tech, science, culture — and how those collide. Writer for NYT mag/Wired; author of “Coders” and “Smarter Than You Think”

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