Written by

Chris Gonzales


Lena Bell

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.

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Photo: Lynne Sladky, Associated Press

Photo: Lynne Sladky, Associated Press

Seas Are Rising at Fastest Rate in 28 Centuries »

Justin Gillis of The New York Times reports on a study published this past Monday predicting that if we don’t get the world’s emissions under control, the ocean could rise as much as three or four feet by 2100:

“I think we need a new way to think about most coastal flooding,” said Benjamin H. Strauss, the primary author of one of two related studies released on Monday. “It’s not the tide. It’s not the wind. It’s us. That’s true for most of the coastal floods we now experience.”


The findings are yet another indication that the stable climate in which human civilization has flourished for thousands of years, with a largely predictable ocean permitting the growth of great coastal cities, is coming to an end.


The Deactivation of the American Worker »

Carter Maness, The Awl (emphasis mine):

On Twitter, the deactivated Slack account became a way to demonstrate fear of being laid off. “Is my Slack down or am I fired?” is a good joke in a Freudian sense because it reveals a deeper truth about how tenuous jobs have become. Before, a worker might arrive to the office to find her keycard no longer works, or their desk contents boxed and ready, a security guard waiting to escort them back to the parking lot. It’s a messy image, bad for morale and, now, easily avoided by quietly deleting a worker’s access to their work and colleagues. As the open office, with its cacophonous lack of privacy and false promise of improved collaboration, is replaced by a virtual one running on labor and benefits platforms like Slack and Zenefits (lol), the American employee is increasingly no longer an employee at all, but someone granted the privilege to work by a network administrator, an opportunity just as easily revoked.

Sigh. Designers and publishers, you can do better than this.

Sigh. Designers and publishers, you can do better than this.

The Guilt Trip as a User Interface Element »

Katie Notopoulos of BuzzFeed on the irritating trend of websites using opt-out buttons that try to shame users into signing up for things they don’t want (e.g. “No thanks, I hate creativity!”):

The worst shame offender of all, however, is quickly becoming the mailing list opt-out guilt trip. When visiting a website, a pop-up implores you to sign up for their fantastic mailing list. The only way to get rid of this list is to click on the fine print at the bottom. But too often, this doesn’t merely say “Opt out” or “No thanks.”

No. It forces you to click a statement acknowledging you are a terrible, deplorable, disgusting human being.

It is not just enough that you don’t want to subscribe to the mailing list about political news. You must admit that “no, I DON’T care about being well-informed and reading great journalism.”

This sort of thing needs to stop. If you’re a designer reading this, please don’t ever implement a “shame button” in your work. Publishers, don’t ask this of designers. It’s gross.

Related: The “cruelest opt-outs” Tumblr.

72 Hours in Hong Kong »

As part of his “72 hours in…” travel series, photographer Finn Beales published this gorgeous set of photos of Hong Kong and its surrounding areas. Peruse the whole series because it’s all fantastic.

Photo: Jenna Putnam, The Great Discontent

Photo: Jenna Putnam, The Great Discontent

Juliette Cezzar Interview on The Great Discontent »

It’s been a while since I’ve linked to an interview on The Great Discontent in this column — too long in fact, which I will now rectify by pointing you to their latest conversation with graphic designer and author Juliette Cezzar:

If I would want to model anything or tell someone about leadership positions, I’d say this: once you are given decision-making power, resist the urge to step back in case you make a mistake. It’s so much better to go in full speed ahead and say, “This is the way I want to change things, this is what I want to do. If anybody doesn’t like it, they can send me a sharply-worded email.”

Illustration: QuickHoney

Illustration: QuickHoney

The Secret Lives of Tumblr Teens »

Elspeth Reeve of New Republic wrote an opus about the teen comedy geniuses of Tumblr, whose empires rise and fall without adults ever noticing:

When I began reporting on the world of Tumblr teens, I first wanted to explain the absurdist comedy of Pizza and dozens of other Tumblrs like hers. But I soon discovered a secret world hidden in plain sight, one in which teenagers, through wit and luck, had stumbled into a new kind of viral fame and fortune, by outsmarting internet ad networks and finding ways to earn thousands and even hundreds of thousands of dollars from their intentionally unambitious jokes.


“These kids are so advanced—so, so advanced,” [Danielle Strle] said softly to her screen. Not just in their comedy, but in their business savvy. “They are the most brilliant digital strategists,” she said. “These teens are better marketers than anyone in the game right now.”


“Just Tell Him You’re the President” »

I’m obviously late linking to this since it was released at the end of 2015, but this episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee with Barack Obama is just delightful. I’m really gonna miss this president when his term is up.

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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.