Urban Darwinism, “Smashomancy”, and Why Gen Z Loves Subtitles

I bring you the finest Internet reading in my weekly Linkfest

Clive Thompson


It’s Monday.

The weekend beginneth.

Rather than actually do work, just crack open my weekly Linkfest and you can stare at your screen looking busy …

… with the finest Internet reading I could scavenge.

To start …

1) 🎻 The internal architecture of musical instruments

Charles Brooks is a cellist, but also a photographer who’s embarked on a fascinating project — to photograph the insides of musical instruments.

That picture above? It’s the view inside Matthew Cave’s gorgeous Charles Theress Bass, which was crafted around 1860. But in his photo, Brooks transforms it into a mysterious room from inside some dreamscape wooden house, where sunlight peeks in through skylights cut in the shape of ferns.

As Brooks says on his site …

Architecture in Music explores the spaces inside some of the world’s finest musical instruments. Photographed using exotic probe lenses and specialist processing techniques these instrumental interiors appear as vast concert halls or contemporary architecture. Each shot is comprised of dozens to hundreds of individual images, carefully blended to give the illusion of space.

You can buy prints of his work at his site, and see more of it on his Instagram feed.

2) 🏗 ️Urban Darwinism

Here’s a fascinating Q&A with Menno Schilthuizen, a biologist who studies how the pressure of living in cities forces animals to evolve, often extremely quickly.

The examples are wild, including American cliff swallows who have developed shorter wings “so they can take off faster vertically in the face of oncoming cars”, or birds that now sing at a higher pitch — compared to identical species in the country — because they have to be heard above the city’s noisy frequencies.



Clive Thompson

I write 2X a week on tech, science, culture — and how those collide. Writer at NYT mag/Wired; author, “Coders”. @clive@saturation.social clive@clivethompson.net