friday five 1.6.17

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1. 5 bleeding-edge brands that are infusing retail with artificial intelligence

This is so rad. I've actually been really curious about the way AI and consumer data would affect fashion ever since I watched Clueless and read about Rebecca Minkoff's high-tech flagship store in New York. Technology is amazing. Artificial intelligence is so futuristic and it's happening right now and becoming such an integral part of our lives and experiences. I also love Watson; I just think he's so cute. For a supercomputer, he's got a lot of personality.

2. Hillary Clinton’s likability problem, as explained by Gilmore Girls and Dawson’s Creek

This one is more about social politics than actual politics, but equally as important. For everyone that claims that misogyny had nothing to do with the election results, and that Hillary Clinton was just "unlikable," it's important to consider why she is unlikable. Her behavior, while definitely questionable, is almost expected of seasoned politicians, and her ambition, while intimidating, would probably be a positive attribute for a man. The author says it best:

This is not to say there can't be valid reasons for someone to dislike Clinton. But an enormous part of the narrative that surrounds her isn't attached to specific things she's done; it centers on a vague sense of dislike and distrust.

Would we have cared that a man supported the war in Iraq? Are we not going to talk about the 72% of Americans that supported it in 2002, or the 96% of Republicans and 41% of Democrats that voted for the Iraq Resolution? I don't know, but it's worth thinking about. But I do love that people are still writing commentary regarding the election. It's good for understanding voter demographics and class/educational privilege, it's good for public discourse, and it's the best possible use of a free press (for now).

3. L.A. NOIR

Stunningly gorgeous.

4. document, don't create

I read his article on Medium a while ago, but I only just found the complementary video, and it's more relatable than ever right now, when the demand for quality content is so high and personal branding is such a competitive space. But I actually liked his YouTube channel because a lot of his vlogs of him just talking to the camera, detailing his everyday thought process, are 10x more interesting that much more "focused" vlogs I've watched.

I of all people am the most guilty of perfectionism (but it's only partly a conscious choice). I've probably deleted more blog posts than I've published, and my editing process is both an arduous and ruthless one, because I reread and rewrite my posts around a million times before I actually press "publish," and I literally cannot sleep if there's a grammatical mistake. And sometimes I'm still not satisfied with the wording the next morning. But I started the Minute Thoughts series because I didn't want all of my blog posts to be declarative, important, carefully-researched think pieces. Much like Instagrams, these thoughts, while technically candid, are heavily filtered and thoughtfully crafted. Sometimes you should Snapchat instead. Sometimes you just really want to talk about singing elephant shrews, and you should. And the interesting thing is, people liked the Minute Thoughts. They liked knowing all of the little things I wrote down when I was walking to work or drinking a cup of tea at a café. They identified with all of the day-to-day existential crises and tiny, pointless inklings that popped into my head. And that's why I love rereading all of them—it's like a time capsule. It's a snapshot of my life at a given moment, a very minute piece of it (heh).

5. overpopulation - the human explosion explained

This is pretty uplifting, actually, and makes a good case for global economic development. But this whole channel is wonderful. Really intelligent, well-illustrated, easy to understand, and I could listen to narrator guy's accent all day. My favorite video is still the one on addiction, but I liked the explanation of the problems with the war on drugs as well (plus, they have an "Existential Crisis Playlist," which is really fun).

Honorable mention: Divine Command Theory: Crash Course Philosophy #33

As someone with a bit of a complicated relationship with religion, I liked that this video effectively questions the moral tenets of religion without attacking it.