Occult Typefaces, Troll AI, and AeStHeTiC dAtiNg

Plus: Weird corporate swag and SkyMall!

Hi, dear reader. I’ve got lots of cool stuff for you this time! As always, feel free to reply directly to this message if you’ve got thoughts, questions, comments, love letters, hate mail, or cryptic riddles.

Culture

Why is every food brand selling weird swag in online shops?

TL;DR: to get to know you better, and to build a relationship. Also IMHO if you buy swag you’re more invested in the brand.

The Evolution of Trust

Try this interactive trust game to understand a bit about game theory. I was left with the takeaway that cooperation works, but only if we continue to have exposure to differently-minded others.

Does China actively promote its way of governing — and do other countries listen?

TL;DR: Not really. But there may be a ‘halo effect’ at play.

Who Owns My Name? by Amanda Knox

My partner told me a bit about the Amanda Knox saga, and here, she discusses a bit about how one’s name can be taken out of context to mean something else. This fits with my recent interest in self, identity, avatars, and cyberspace.

Disinformation for Hire, a Shadow Industry, Is Quietly Booming

Mercenary companies are willing to provide disinformation services for governments in a way that is plausibly deniable. This is a relatively new development (since the actual campaigns occur online) and there aren’t international norms yet like in traditional warfare.

Aesthetics

After Dark in CSS

I’m highly nostalgic for flying toasters. This isn’t perfect, but it’s enjoyable nonetheless! “Only 90s kids will remember these screensavers!”

Realless

Enable camera access, and this site makes small changes whenever you blink. Freaky, and fun to play with.

CARI: Consumer Aesthetics Research Institute

Have a browse through this site and their exhaustive list of aesthetics appropriated by capital.

“…a collective association of researchers and designers dedicated to carrying on the important work of categorizing "consumer aesthetics" from the late midcentury, when work on the subject somewhat trailed off, through today.”

Typefaces of the occult revival – { feuilleton }

A lovely look at occult books and media and the fonts they adopted.

Type Tuesday: Geometric Arabic Typographic Bliss

Arabic typography is truly exceptional.

Tech

A New Wave of Dating Apps Takes Cues From TikTok and Gen Z | WIRED

Dating apps continue to try anything and everything. As a long time watcher of this space, it’s interesting to see such a focus on jUsT vIbEs~~

GM Will Suck Lithium From the Salton Sea to Make Batteries

“The Salton Sea has geothermal activity below it that loosens up lithium, which can be extracted and turned into car batteries.”

Rising Seas Are Coming For Big Tech Campuses. Who Will Pay To Protect Them?

Tech companies’ HQs are probably going to flood within the next decade. Should taxpayers be contributing to the costs of mitigating these likely disasters?

AI bot trolls politicians with how much time they're looking at phones

THIS is truly the best use of AI, IMHO.

Instagram Has Become SkyMall.

“The ads are a nonstop slurry of surreal products, and I love it”