Can Monoculture Survive the Algorithm?

“Art’s deepest impact comes when it is least expected. In contrast, algorithmic recommendations lead us down a path of pleasant monotony: a looming monoculture of the similar. To resist it, we should embrace obscurity, difficulty, diversity, and strangeness as just as important as recognizability or universality.”

Source: Vox
Published: Dec 17, 2019
Length: 25 minutes (6,455 words)

My Own Private Iceland

When an island nation of 300,000 residents receives more than two million tourists a year, radical change is inevitable — but is it all negative?

Source: Vox
Published: Oct 21, 2019
Length: 26 minutes (6,733 words)

How Brands Get their Names, Explained By a Professional Namer

This is a very interesting conversation about how companies pay experts to shape their images, and it’s one that this professional namer might describe this interview’s title as descriptive rather than disruptive, because it “is tied to an expected functional benefit of the product.”

Source: Vox
Published: May 16, 2019
Length: 10 minutes (2,578 words)

The Cure For Your Next Infection May Come From Sewage

As our resistance to antibiotics soars, scientists find hope in phages – helpful viruses found in particularly disgusting places.

Source: Vox
Published: May 14, 2019
Length: 6 minutes (1,587 words)

Why Is the Wedding Industry So Hard to Disrupt?

Each year, the U.S. wedding industry generates $72 billion dollars in revenue, yet Zola is the first startup to succeed in the wedding category since 1996.

Source: Vox
Published: Mar 1, 2019
Length: 10 minutes (2,603 words)

Safe Injection Sites Were Thought to Reduce Drug Overdoses. The Research Isn’t So Clear.

Searching for ways to mediate the damage of the opioid crisis, cities like Seattle and New York are considering following Vancouver’s lead by creating supervised drug consumption sites. Unfortunately, more empirical evidence is needed to clearly determine injection sites’ effectiveness.

Source: Vox
Published: Aug 22, 2018
Length: 11 minutes (2,941 words)

Here’s What War With North Korea Would Look Like

Analysts and military officials describe the many likely scenarios that would play out before and during a war between North Korea, South Korea and the U.S. Nerve gas, smallpox, yellow fever, preemptive nuclear strikes, all of these scenarios are horrifying, because even though North Korea would lose, the civilian death toll would always be high.
Source: Vox
Published: Feb 8, 2018
Length: 21 minutes (5,389 words)

The Strange Alienation of Being a Latina Who Loves Hiking

A personal essay about loving hiking as a Latinx — in both Ecuador, where author Amanda Machado’s family members see it as un-classy and unladylike, and the United States, where hiking has largely been the domain of upper-class whites.

Source: Vox
Published: Jul 10, 2017
Length: 11 minutes (2,765 words)

A Legal Journalist on the “Surreal” Experience of Becoming a U.S. Citizen Under Trump

Sarah Jeong has spent the past several months covering Trump’s travel ban… while officially becoming an American citizen.

Source: Vox
Published: Jul 5, 2017
Length: 13 minutes (3,343 words)

Why I gave my kidney to a stranger — and why you should consider doing it too

Dylan Matthews donated his left kidney to a perfect stranger, in what’s known as a “non-directed” donation. Dylan’s kidney initiated a donation chain in which four people received live-saving kidney transplants.

Source: Vox
Published: Apr 11, 2017
Length: 14 minutes (3,699 words)