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More Tabs, Please #3: Hypno-Soviets, Data Detectives, and Funny Porridge Culture
Another week, another More Tabs, Please. Christmas music has finally started in the office and the decorations are up, but we’ll be holding back on the festive stories for now. Anyway, grab some Twiglets, a brandy and a cigar, and get ready.
Your album this week is Janelle Monae’s The Electric Lady. Enjoy it as it’ll probably just be Christmas music from now til the end of the year.
When I snap my fingers you’ll think you’re a communist
Derren Brown is pretty good, isn’t he? He can pull people completely out of reality, seemingly with a light pat on the shoulder. But you can’t pat a whole country on the shoulder, can you? Brown probably couldn’t even hypnotise a city (although he did once try to convince a whole town that a statue had special powers).
So what do you do when you want to convince an entire country of something but don’t want to spend millions on propaganda? You call Anatoly Mikhailovich Kashpirovsky.
‘A Psychic Healer Tried to Hypnotize Soviets to Distract From the Fall of Communism‘ tells the story of Kashpirovsky as he attempts to soothe an entire nation using just the magic of TV.
Porridge is actually hilarious
So, it turns out comedians have been wasting their time. You don’t need jokes to be funny. Single words will do. Sort of.
‘Porridge is funnier than oatmeal, and booby is funnier still‘ takes a look at what ‘funny’ actually is, discussing theories from Plato to Aristotle to Hobbes. Is it because we want to feel superior or is the ridiculousness of a concept more important?
The article also talks about why some words are funny, others aren’t, and how you can put an unfunny word with a funny one and create a funny phrase.
Bringing the internet to the people
Being unable to access the internet’s wealth of information, training, jobs, and tools can hold communities back economically and disconnect them socially and culturally.
With 40% of Detroit residents not connected, the Detroit Community Technology Project decided to do something.
‘Ignored By Big Telecom, Detroit’s Marginalized Communities Are Building Their Own Internet‘ looks at how activists are stepping in where companies and the government have failed to appear.
Hire This Person: Connor Stolte
This week’s artist you should hire is Connor Stolte, a second year illustration student at the Alberta College of Art and Design. I found him after he posted some goblin designs on the Worldbuilding subreddit.
Stolte’s style shows a lot of deep character, and a range of approaches. There’s a clear influence from comics—some of his work clearly stays in this area, but other pieces bring a comic influence to more realistic illustrations. I particularly like his black and white mini-comic he did for Inktober this year.
“Superheroes saved my life.”
During our darkest days, it’s often our hobbies and interests that we turn to to make us feel better.
Whether this is a certain album, a certain TV show, or a certain comic book, what can seem silly to one person can be the most important thing in the world to another.
‘Listening to My Heroes‘ is an incredible piece from LaKase Perry detailing how comic books and superheroes helped her after facing abuse as a child.
The article is powerful reminder of just how much a simple piece of fiction can mean to us.
The kids are alright but you aren’t
The internet is weird because people are weird. It’s hilarious because people are hilarious. It’s dangerous because people are dangerous.
But what if worrying about who is online is making us miss a greater danger?
‘Stop Worrying About What Algorithms Do to Your Kids. Worry About What They’re Doing to You.‘ looks at recent reports on creepy kid’s YouTube videos and why something more sinister is happening to all of us.
Are you the next top Digital Tailor?
Every year brings new jobs that never existed before. Many of the roles we see as normal today would sound and seem ridiculous just 20 years ago.
So what jobs might be common place down the line? ‘21 occupations of the future‘ has tried to figure it out.
From Data Detective to Virtual Store Sherpa, this piece looks at the growth of these roles, salaries, and what they’ll be replacing. I’ve decided to become a Personal Memory Curator.
Watch and Listen: Stuff You Missed in History Class
There’s a lot of history about and it seems like there’s more every day. So weird. Obviously we get taught some at school, but what about all the stuff outside the curriculum?
Stuff You Missed in History Class is an excellent podcast for getting some sweet, sweet history into your brain. Covering everything from shipwrecks to sad royal childhoods, the topics touch on all parts of the world and times in history. Listen to all these and you’ll be a pub quiz machine.
Want more? Check out the previous More Tabs, Please: