This entry is part 4 of 10 in the series Snapshots at 27

The relentless hustle of startup culture, or the crunch of game development, or whatever synonym other tech-adjacent industries like to use for the endless grind of work, all rest on the metaphor of the worker as a single-minded machine.

Photo of a smartphone, Apple earphones, and a cup of coffee

Podcast notes: Broader implications

Listened to an illuminating episode of the Global Dispatches podcast recently. The featured guest was Dr. Angela Chang, who discussed a groundbreaking study on the links between vaccines and poverty prevention. This is the first study that looks closely at the non-health impact of vaccines. It’s impressive: the research uses Read more…

Radiolab on thinking trees

 Great episode from Radiolab on the vast underground networks that link trees together. Does that sound dull? It’s a testament to the Radiolab team’s skill that this remains one of the most riveting podcast episodes I’ve heard in months.

Futures Within Our Grasp

Pokémon GO has been all over the news since its launch, talked up everywhere from NPR and Forbes to regional and local news sites. Even my old law school blockmates have been posting about it on Facebook (Law students agog over a gaming app! Imagine that.), which isn’t surprising considering the Read more…

Ancient civilizations and failures of imagination

A couple of months ago, the BBC reported new findings on puquios, which  are spiralling holes scattered across Peru’s Nasca region. Through satellite imagery, a team of Italian researchers deduced the purpose of the once-mysterious holes: based on their placement and proximity to settlements, puquios seem to be part of a complex water retrieval and distribution system.

The BBC report carries a standout quote from the lead researcher:

“What is clearly evident today is that the puquio system must have been much more developed than it appears today,” says Lasaponara.

There are a lot of other notable quotes regarding this breakthrough, but that one dredged up a memory from one of the anthropology classes I took in college.


Beer Tales

Two interesting stories popped up on my various feeds this week, and it just so happened that they were about beer. The Chemical is Cultural First, an article from Science Alert about the discovery of the oldest known brewery in China. Two points in particular caught my attention. First, this: Read more…