/ Weekly Takeaways

Plants are the new plastic, Cellphones have driven down homicide and Key takeaways from Tumblr's NSFW ban

A lab in Finland has produced a headphone prototype out of plants

Avian, a lab in Finland has been experimenting with microbes to replace products that we typically make with plastic. They've released a non-functional prototype as a proof of concept that household electronics can in fact be made from materials that won't end up in a landfill.

These ‘microbe-grown’ headphones could be the future of sustainable electronics

Key Takeaway

The way we think about hardware seems to be changing rapidly, as we move from thinking about devices that stay out of our way until we need them, to products that dissolve back into the earth when we're done. This is a fantastic direction for mankind - I hope it gathers momentum.

Cellphones have been found to have drastically reduced homicide rates from the 80s through to today

According to an economist research group focused on the impact of mobile technology - the advent of cellphones has a big upside - reducing murder rates. Most specifically to murders that took place (or didn't take place) in illegal drug trade.


Key Takeaway

We tend to focus on the negative aspects of mobile technology, like being distracted, or anxiety and depression rates on the rates - but this finding may point to a larger macro benefit of a highly connected society.

Tumblr's ban on sexually explicit content may have provided a big lesson on the nuances of content filtering

The EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) published a short essay this week on what we can learn from Tumblr's snafu in banning NSFW (Not Safe For Work) content. In short - if you try to oversimplify content classification, you'll kill off your community - not because they wanted NSFW content, but because there's still no easy way of classifying content one way or the other:


Key Takeaway

Platforms like Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, etc. were all born out of technology capability, but have now morphed into platforms for community connectedness, political ideas, and in some cases, safe spaces for the marginalized. Unfortunately, they're all trying to solve ideological, philosophical and political issues with technology that has not yet evolved to meet the complex needs that these issues yield.

Plants are the new plastic, Cellphones have driven down homicide and Key takeaways from Tumblr's NSFW ban
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