Welcome to this week’s edition of our Friday Quality Linkage column. Please enjoy this week’s collection of interesting and entertaining links. Brew a fresh cup of coffee, find a comfortable place, and relax.
Japan’s space agency, JAXA, recently released a trove of jaw-dropping images captured by Japan’s SELENE (SELenological and ENgineering Explorer) mission — more specifically, the Kaguya spacecraft — which orbited the moon from October 2007 to June 2009. Take some time to browse all 16 pages of the gallery. The “Earthset” pictured above is my favorite.
André Spicer — author of the upcoming book, The Stupidity Paradox: The Power and Pitfalls of Functional Stupidity at Work — published this great piece for Aeon on how and why corporate/working culture is so…well, stupid:
For the past two decades, management theorists have been convinced that organisations succeed or fail on the basis of their specialised knowledge. However, our close look at the corporate world showed quite a different picture: many large corporations seemed over-run by stupidity. What’s more, this stupidity is not just the accidental result of a few corporate buffoons. It is often intentionally created. This is much more than taking advantage of the various inbuilt cognitive biases with which behavioural economists are so obsessed. Rather, it involved organisations purposefully creating a kind of collective mindlessness.
Read this and take a good, long look at the work you’re doing and who you’re doing it for. Personally, I’m so glad to be away from that sort of culture anymore.
- Another great Aeon piece worth reading (on a totally different subject): America Treats its Bold Revolution as a Reliquary
Well, earlier this year he published his first post about the voyage, covering his visit to McMurdo Station. Now, several months later — hey, great writing takes time! — he has published the second article about the trip, this one about Cape Adare:
Cape Adare is not supposed to be a place you just point your ship at and sail to. When ice forms in the southern parts of the Ross Sea, it drifts north, hits the circumantarctic current, and piles up against this piece of land in a big jumble. The belt of ice can prove impassable even in the late summer, and ships normally enter the Ross Sea far to the east.
But we’ve been sailing a straight course to Antarctica for over a thousand miles without hitting so much as an ice cube. Only the stately icebergs that pass by on the horizon have given any hint that we’re in southern waters.
Now the air, which had been clear and still, starts moving, and brings in a thick fog. Within minutes the wind is blowing hard enough to whistle through the doors on the bridge, and the sea begins to answer with sharp little waves. Tiny buttons of white appear in the water. And with the kind of ham-handedness only Nature can get away with, a fancy Antarctic dolphin breaches right in front of the ship, a sure sign that sea ice is nearby.
Lauren Campbell of Huffington Post UK shares the story of an incredible image captured by American photographer Mike Mezeul II:
Mezeul, 32, said: “I was literally in shock. It was my third frame to shoot after the sun had set, and after I saw the meteor, I knew I couldn’t beat that image, so I packed it up and headed back.”
Q: Who are some influencers that you admire?
Temkin: I truly hate thinking of people as “influencers,” thinking like that instrumentalizes all of the relationships in your life and makes them transactional. I don’t know that you can think about other people in terms of being an “influencer” or not, and still view them as honest and emotionally available to you.
You’d think author and professional book critic Laura Miller would find reader reviews (like those on Amazon and Goodreads) distasteful, but quite the opposite is true:
The great thing about the internet is that it has the potential to expose us to every kind of opinion in the world, and the awful thing is that this abundance mostly leads us to construct comfortable bubbles of self-validating input. […] But if you’re willing to escape your bubble, the internet can teach you the infinite variety of ways that a person can experience a book. The novel I regard as brilliant never quite wins the audience I feel it deserves, while the one I wave away as mawkishly overwritten strikes the reading public as wonderful. This happened before the internet, of course, but now, thanks to reader reviews, I stand a better chance of finding out why.
Side note: There is a lot of surprisingly good writing hidden in the depths of Amazon review sections. I come across it from time to time myself while writing about neat items for T&T.
Got any suggestions for articles, videos, stories, photographs, and any other links you think we should be posting in our weekly Quality Linkage? Please do let us know on Twitter.