Space of possibilities

In Andrew Curry’s latest missive, his ‘two things’ are Climate and Business. The diagram below is actually from the latter section, but I think it’s actually also very relevant for the former.

At his Roblog blog, Rob Miller has a short and engaging post on why businesses fail over time. I’m not sure it’s right, but it’s certainly interesting, and he tells the story through three diagrams.

He argues—following the work of Jens Rasmussen—that successful businesses operate in a safe space that sits between economic failure, on one side, lack of safety, on another, and overload, on a third.

Source: 4 May 2022. Climate | Business – Just Two Things

Popular culture has become an endless parade of sequels

Once you start recognising colour schemes and sound effects, every new film ends up looking and sounding the same.

Yes, I’m getting old, but as Adam Mastroianni from Experimental History explains, there’s shifts happening in everything from books to video games.

The problem isn’t that the mean has decreased. It’s that the variance has shrunk. Movies, TV, music, books, and video games should expand our consciousness, jumpstart our imaginations, and introduce us to new worlds and stories and feelings. They should alienate us sometimes, or make us mad, or make us think. But they can’t do any of that if they only feed us sequels and spinoffs. It’s like eating macaroni and cheese every single night forever: it may be comfortable, but eventually you’re going to get scurvy.

[…]

Fortunately, there’s a cure for our cultural anemia. While the top of the charts has been oligopolized, the bottom remains a vibrant anarchy. There are weird books and funky movies and bangers from across the sea. Two of the most interesting video games of the past decade put you in the role of an immigration officer and an insurance claims adjuster. Every strange thing, wonderful and terrible, is available to you, but they’ll die out if you don’t nourish them with your attention. Finding them takes some foraging and digging, and then you’ll have to stomach some very odd, unfamiliar flavors. That’s good. Learning to like unfamiliar things is one of the noblest human pursuits; it builds our empathy for unfamiliar people. And it kindles that delicate, precious fire inside us––without it, we might as well be algorithms. Humankind does not live on bread alone, nor can our spirits long survive on a diet of reruns.

Source: Pop Culture Has Become an Oligopoly | Experimental History

The Climate Game

The Financial Times has a free-to-play game where the aim is to try and keep global warming to only 1.5°C by the year 2100. There are different things to choose from and decisions to make.

I only managed to keep it to 1.88°C and still had to make some pretty drastic decisions. We’re utterly screwed. We need to act on the climate crisis, but also start adapting too.

(also worth looking at the article on how they made this)

See if you can save the planet from the worst effects of climate change

Source: The Climate Game — Can you reach net zero? | Financial Times