All posts by Analyzing Trends

Inside the Rise of “Risky” Playground Design

Educators in Britain are embracing the idea that purposeful risky play promotes resilience and builds more self-reliant young people. As a result, public playspaces there are being redesigned or newly built to actively present that risk. What that looks like—playgrounds with access to saws, knives, loose bricks and two-by-fours, and fire—is something that might sound alarms for some parents here in the litigious U.S.

https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/risky-play-design

How should Twitter Change? (New Yorker)

Ai is right to compare Twitter to the weather. Although tweets are written in words, Twitter is also shaped by constantly flowing nonverbal currents. Algorithms determine who sees tweets and how fast and far they propagate; a system of likes, follows, and retweets structures our responses to what others say; millions of bots chatter into the ether and follow accounts, gaming the system and shaping our discourse.

https://www.newyorker.com/newsletter/the-daily/how-should-twitter-change?utm_source=nl&utm_brand=tny&utm_mailing=TNY_Daily_Test_CMUnit_051322&utm_campaign=aud-dev&utm_medium=email&utm_term=tny_daily_digest&bxid=5bd66dd12ddf9c6194382970&cndid=13267906&hasha=9daa350d41aff482ef70345758ade9d6&hashb=8d9dbc2d50718e70c553f3060d24988afeba31d7&hashc=305e7b751cd4cde167a93ee9770cfcfff72a85daf86fa885c4acc7e91ba511d1&esrc=AUTO_PRINT&mbid=CRMNYR012019

Gen Z Has a Fast Fashion Problem. That’s Bad for the Climate and Equity

A 2020 survey by Vogue Business found that more than half of its Gen Z participants bought most of their clothes from fast-fashion brands, like H&M, Gap, Zara and Forever 21. Market research firm Mintel has reported that Gen Z, generally seen as those born between 1997 and 2010, also buys more clothes than older generations, with the average Gen-Zer owning hundreds of dollars worth of outfits that never get worn at all. It’s a trend that analysts say is fueled by a social media culture that pressures youth and young adults to never wear the same outfit twice, as well as an industry that has made impulse buying and returning items far easier.

https://insideclimatenews.org/todaysclimate/gen-z-has-a-fast-fashion-problem-thats-bad-for-the-climate-and-equity/

The Invention of ‘Jaywalking’

In the 1920s, the public hated cars. So the auto industry fought back — with language.

If you travelled in time back to a big American city in, say, 1905 — just before the boom in car ownership — you’d see roadways utterly teeming with people. Vendors would stand in the street, selling food or goods. Couples would stroll along, and everywhere would be groups of children racing around, playing games. If a pedestrian were heading to a destination across town, they’d cross a street wherever and whenever they felt like it.

https://marker.medium.com/the-invention-of-jaywalking-afd48f994c05

https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=jaywalking&year_start=1800&year_end=2019&corpus=26&smoothing=3&direct_url=t1%3B%2Cjaywalking%3B%2Cc0#t1%3B%2Cjaywalking%3B%2Cc0

How Might Artificial Intelligence Affect the Risk of Nuclear War?

Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) are enabling previously infeasible capabilities, potentially destabilizing the delicate balances that have forestalled nuclear war since 1945. Will these developments upset the nuclear strategic balance, and, if so, for better or for worse? To start to address this question, RAND researchers held a series of workshops that were attended by prominent experts on AI and nuclear security. The workshops examined the impact of advanced computing on nuclear security through 2040. The culmination of those workshops, this Perspective — one of a series that examines critical security challenges in 2040 — places the intersection of AI and nuclear war in historical context and characterizes the range of expert opinions. It then describes the types of anticipated concerns and benefits through two illustrative examples: AI for detection and for tracking and targeting and AI as a trusted adviser in escalation decisions. In view of the capabilities that AI may be expected to enable and how adversaries may perceive them, AI has the potential to exacerbate emerging challenges to nuclear strategic stability by the year 2040 even with only modest rates of technical progress. Thus, it is important to understand how this might happen and to assure that it does not.

https://www.rand.org/pubs/perspectives/PE296.html

https://www.rand.org/pubs/perspectives/PE296.html

More than half the world’s millennials fear a nuclear attack this decade

The International Committee of the Red Cross, a worldwide humanitarian organization, surveyed 16,000 millennials — adults between the ages of 20 and 35 — in 16 countries and territories last year: Afghanistan, Colombia, France, Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Palestinian Territories, Russia, South Africa, Syria, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, and the United States.

https://www.vox.com/2020/1/20/21070621/millennials-survey-nuclear-world-war-3-red-cross

Data from wearable devices are changing disease surveillance and medical research

The ability to examine lots of human bodies as they go about their daily lives is also changing how clinical studies of new drugs are done. According to iqvia, a research firm, 10% of late-stage clinical trials in 2020 used connected devices to monitor people, up from 3% in 2016. A catalogue by the Digital Medicine Society, an American organisation, lists more than 300 examples of digital biomarkers that are used in trials.

https://www.economist.com/technology-quarterly/2022/05/01/data-from-wearable-devices-are-changing-disease-surveillance-and-medical-research

Elon Musk, Twitter and the Attention Economy

Twitter has about 229 million monetizable daily active users, the vast majority of whom live outside of the United States. Twitter said that its first quarter growth and increased usage was largely “due to the war in Ukraine as people turned to Twitter to organize, share news, find sources of support and stay connected.” In an attention economy, much of our value as consumers is measured by the time we spend on the site — liking memes, signal boosting information, clicking on links. During times of crisis and fast-moving world events, it’s an invaluable resource.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-05-04/elon-musk-twitter-and-the-attention-economy