Issue #416
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a project of Dynamic Skillset Ltd.

Hello!

Another busy week. I reckon this time of year, as well as the end of May / start of June are usually my busiest. It's funny how these things go. Check out my weeknote.
Busy cat
After intense activity and concentration, I'm delighted the sun is shining and that the UK is on a path towards ending lockdown. Hopeful Doug is hopeful.

Note: I've added some links at the bottom for you to check out as I haven't had been able to prioritise going back through articles and pulling out quotations over the last few days.
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One should always be a little improbable

Object hitting and bending a wall
🍲 Introducing ‘Food Grammar,’ the Unspoken Rules of Every Cuisine — "Grammars can even impose what is considered a food and what isn’t: Horse and rabbit are food for the French but not for the English; insects are food in Mexico but not in Spain. Moreover, just as “Hey, man!” is a friendly greeting for a buddy but maybe not for your boss, foods may not be suitable in all grammatical contexts. “A Frenchman would think it odd to drink white coffee with dinner and an Italian probably would resent being served spaghetti for breakfast,” writes Claude Fischler in “Food, Self and Identity.” By the same token, rice is appropriate for breakfast in Korea but not in Ireland."

The essence of this article is that food is a reflection of culture, and our views of other cultures can become ossified. A good read.

🌍 Scientists begin building highly accurate digital twin of our planet — "The digital twin of the Earth is intended to be an information system that develops and tests scenarios that show more sustainable development and thus better inform policies. "If you are planning a two-​metre high dike in The Netherlands, for example, I can run through the data in my digital twin and check whether the dike will in all likelihood still protect against expected extreme events in 2050," says Peter Bauer, deputy director for Research at the European Centre for Medium-​Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) and co-​initiator of Destination Earth. The digital twin will also be used for strategic planning of fresh water and food supplies or wind farms and solar plants."

This is the kind of thing that simultaneously fills me with hope and fear. On the one hand, such a great idea; on the other, if we get the model wrong, it could make things worse...

🤑 Why an Animated Flying Cat With a Pop-Tart Body Sold for Almost $600,000 — "The sale was a new high point in a fast-growing market for ownership rights to digital art, ephemera and media called NFTs, or “nonfungible tokens.” The buyers are usually not acquiring copyrights, trademarks or even the sole ownership of whatever it is they purchase. They’re buying bragging rights and the knowledge that their copy is the “authentic” one."

I've got a blog post percolating in my mind at the moment about digital reserve currencies, NFTs and deepfakes. There's something here about an emerging hyper-capitalist dystopia, for sure.

Quotation-as-title by Oscar Wilde. Image by Tu Tram Pham.


Until next week!

Doug
PS Those bonus links:
Thought Shrapnel Weekly is published by Dr. Doug Belshaw. You can connect with him by replying to this email, or via Twitter, LinkedIn, and Mastodon.


Some say he's given up sugar for Lent. Others think he's sure to try and circumvent. No-one thinks he's likely to repent.


PS I'm booking in work for May at the moment, so get in touch if you fancy a free, no-strings chat. It would be nice to hear from you anyway, to be honest.

- hello@dynamicskillset.com (digital literacies, critical friend & coaching)
- doug@weareopen.coop (everything else)
Many thanks to Bryan Mathers of Visual Thinkery for the Thought Shrapnel logo.

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