inspiration & news

In the News 25.09.15 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets


The Magic of Untidiness


I am unpacking my library. The initial author of that line, Walter Benjamin, understood that a book collector’s passion “borders on the chaos of memories.” Had I stuck with Benjamin, I might have gotten on with the long-deferred task of shepherding my books from their basement bunker to the places where they belong. Instead, as a delaying tactic, I consult Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, translated from the Japanese by Cathy Hirano, which has hovered at the top of best-seller lists for almost a year.


Read the rest of this article at The Point

This free online encyclopedia has achieved what Wikipedia can only dream of


The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy may be the most interesting website on the internet. Not because of the content—which includes fascinating entries on everything from ambiguity to zombies—but because of the site itself.

Its creators have solved one of the internet’s fundamental problems: How to provide authoritative, rigorously accurate knowledge, at no cost to readers. It’s something the encyclopedia, or SEP, has managed to do for two decades.

The internet is an information landfill. Somewhere in it—buried under piles of opinion, speculation, and misinformation—is virtually all of human knowledge. But sorting through the trash is difficult work. Even when you have something you think is valuable, it often turns out to be a cheap knock-off.

Read the rest of this article at Quartz

Where Tiny Houses and Big Dreams Grow


BARRYVILLE, N.Y. — Five years ago, Zach Klein, a successful tech entrepreneur then in his late 20s, was living in New York City but dreaming of the wilderness. A former Eagle scout, partner at CollegeHumor, and founder of Vimeo, the elegant online video platform, he was in between ventures, teaching entrepreneurship at the School of Visual Arts and spinning cycles, as he put it, while looking for land to buy — a lot of land — upon which he hoped to spend time building things and reconnecting to the scouting skills of his childhood. Most urgently, he hoped he could persuade his friends to come along for the ride. Mr. Klein got lucky in Sullivan County, N.Y., where he found 50 acres of forest with an understory of ferns and mossy boulders, lightly accessorized with a rough­hewed, one­room shack free from plumbing and electricity and a separate sleeping porch perched on a steep hill overlooking a rushing stream called Beaver Brook.

Read the rest of this article at The New York Times

What If Tinder Showed Your IQ?


The not-so-young parents sat in the office of their socio-genetic consultant, an occupation that emerged in the late 2030s, with at least one practitioner in every affluent fertility clinic. They faced what had become a fairly typical choice: Twelve viable embryos had been created in their latest round of in vitro fertilization. Anxiously, they pored over the scores for the various traits they had received from the clinic. Eight of the 16-cell morulae were fairly easy to eliminate based on the fact they had higher-than-average risks for either cardiovascular problems or schizophrenia, or both. That left four potential babies from which to choose. One was going to be significantly shorter than the parents and his older sibling. Another was a girl, and since this was their second, they wanted a boy to complement their darling Rita, now entering the terrible twos. Besides, this girl had a greater than one-in-four chance of being infertile. Because this was likely to be their last child, due to advancing age, they wanted to maximize the chances they would someday enjoy grandchildren.

Read the rest of this article at Nautilus


From 3D-printed chairs to evolved kitchens, the world’s biggest furniture retailer is reassembling the future. WIRED visits its labs in Sweden and Shanghai.


Supply and demand are predicated on getting the balances just right, making sure factories fulfil existing orders, avoiding excessive surplus, and that someone, somewhere, is stimulating demand for new stock. Ikea sits atop one of the most sophisticated and efficient supply chains in the world. The Swedish furniture giant is a logistical titan, a multi-billion-euro business — sales across the globe between September 2013 and August 2014 were €29.3 billion (£20.9bn) — that owes its success to the relentless pursuit of the margin, eking out efficiencies in every part of its vast and disparate corporate structure.

Älmhult, in southern Sweden, is Ikea’s spiritual home. Company founder Ingvar Kamprad opened the first Ikea store here in 1958, turning his burgeoning mail-order business into a bricks and mortar outpost.

Served by a modest railway station about an hour’s drive from Malmö, Älmhult lies in low, forested hills, a landscape of baked red cabins with white trim and neat lawns. The original Ikea building is still there, buried in six decades of accreted industrial structures and offices, and is in the process of being turned into a museum. The town, which has a population of less than 10,000, is at the heart of a company that claims not to have a dedicated HQ or flagship location, and which remains under the control of the Kamprad family.

Read the rest of this article at Nautilus

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M.