one.point.zero

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The Burj Khalifa should never have been built.

On the pointlessness of ego-based architecture:

Was anyone actually impressed by this building as a feat of engineering when it went up in 2009? Obviously not — by this point, it is well understood that anything in architecture is possible if you have enough money, and the Burj Khalifa cost over $1.5 billion dollars.

I knew they trucked tons of sewage out of that building due to the lack of infrastructure. I didn't know that close to a third of it was basically hollow:

The city of Dubai did not green light a building that extends a half-mile into the air because of a pressing need for residences in downtown Dubai. To the contrary, the top 800 feet (244 meters) of the building, or 29% of the structure’s total height, is devoted to non-usable floors.
Linked on the 12th of August, 2022 Details

The Medium Really Is the Message.

Hungry. That was the word that hooked me. That’s how my brain felt to me, too. Hungry. Needy. Itchy. Once it wanted information. But then it was distraction. And then, with social media, validation. A drumbeat of: You exist. You are seen.

This really hit home: Ezra Klein, echoing Marshall McLuhan, on how the medium does shape us, not just the message.

Linked on the 11th of August, 2022 Details

The Nazi concentration camps on British soil.

I knew the Channel Islands had been occupied during the second world war. I had no idea there were concentration camps on one of them. The UK government originally tried to suppress knowledge of it, but there's now a heated debate going on about how many people died there and if the reality of it all should be more openly visible.

Linked on the 8th of August, 2022 Details

The old "I've go nothing to hide" argument.

Note: playing video here may allow YouTube to track you across sites. View at source.

Another video concerning online tracking and all the data about you constantly being hoovered up. This one takes a good look at the difference between privacy and security.

Added on the 7th of August, 2022 Details

Essays that became books.

One of the best ways to find good things to read is to look for the essays that were so good that they eventually became books.

An interesting list of essays that eventually became books, with links to both. I've read a few and, honestly, the essay is usually fine. Non-fiction books have a tendency to add filler in order to hit a minimum page count.

Linked on the 7th of August, 2022 Details

How palm oil ended up in everything.

An interesting history of palm oil and its presence in an obnoxious amount of processed products, not just food.

Campaigners tend to be more hostile towards palm oil than towards other tropical products such as cocoa and soy which also pose threats to ecosystems. He suggests that this hostility comes down to the fact that ‘palm oil is perceived as being in things, rather than a thing in its own right.’
Linked on the 28th of June, 2022 Details