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Hello All –

Summer is rolling by and as we begin to close out July, there are several great links in this week’s UXD Inspired Reads. In our ever-present lean-forward vs lean-back discussion, the first article is a great call to “doing”. Encouraging creativity, growth, and action are always important to promote, along with having a clear focus on attention to detail. Our writing style matters, much more in these days of careless shorthand and lower attention spans. We shift over to look at what lengths some people will go to commute for work. As a former long-distance commuter, I can attest that drawbacks to commuting more than two hours a day are very high. More links on AR/VR, screen time, and the idea of time well spent. The final links this week focus on climate change, antibiotics, and cyber-hacking. While they may be ultimately depressing reads, they are certainly becoming more prevalent.

Hope you all have a great weekend and spend some time outside.


1. I’m A Thinker. How Can I Also Become A Doer?
“I am creative, intelligent, innovative and philosophical. But I find it incredibly hard to actually get something done. How can I find a balance between doing and thinking? I want to become a doer.”

2. Hacking Creativity: How Play Is Crucial To Your Success
“Creativity, however, can be hacked, and in a way that enhances our output in other areas of our lives — even those traditionally less creative pursuits like medicine or law. Research shows that creativity fuels the thinking behind the most successful ideas. Having studied creativity for a while now, 3 common trends stand out that give people the edge in life when starting a business — and they’re not what you might think.”

3. Why You Should Care About Your Writing Style
“Your writing style says a lot about who you are. It either draws people in and compels them to read more, or it chases them away. People on average are reading 19 minutes a day. That includes blogs, newsletters, emails, books or any other content. Now I read more than that, and you may as well. But the point remains that while the amount of content in existence is skyrocketing, people’s attention spans are shortening.”

4. Einstein’s First Proof
“Einstein became particularly enamored of the Pythagorean theorem and—“after much effort,” he noted in the Saturday Review—he wrote his own mathematical proof of it. It is my intention to lead you through that proof, step by logical step. It’s Einstein’s first masterpiece, and certainly his most accessible one. This little gem of reasoning foreshadows the man he became, scientifically, stylistically, and temperamentally. His instinct for symmetry, his economy of means, his iconoclasm, his tenacity, his penchant for thinking in pictures—they’re all here, just as they are in his theory of relativity.”

5. Extreme Commuting
“The number of people who commute two hours or more to work is expected to grow, especially now that it is easier to work occasionally from home.”

6. Will AR/VR Replace Travel & Tourism?
“Summer has arrived (for half of the world, at least). This means roughly 45% of people are itching for a fun getaway — and, if Facebook posts are any indicator, many of these are due solely to parents’ need to maintain a certain level of sanity during the off-school months. According to travel statistics, this equates to 657,000,000 long-distance trips in just fourteen weeks.”

7. Our Minds Have Been Hijacked By Our Phones. Tristan Harris Wants To Rescue Them
“Sometimes our smart phones are our friends, sometimes they seem like our lovers, and sometimes they’re our dope dealers. And no one, in the past 12 months at least, has done more than Tristan Harris to explain the complexity of this relationship. Harris is a former product manager at Google who has gone viral repeatedly by critiquing the way that the big platforms—Apple, Facebook, Google, YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram—suck us into their products and take time that, in retrospect, we may wish we did not give. He’s also launched a nonprofit called Time Well Spent, which is devoted to stopping “tech companies from hijacking our minds.” Today, the TED talk he gave last April was released online. In it, he proposes a renaissance in online design that can free us from being controlled and manipulated by apps, websites, advertisers, and notifications.”

8. In The Attention Economy, Technology And Media Are Designed To Maximize Our Screen Time.
“As technology gets more and more engaging, and as AI and VR become more and more prevalent in our lives we need to be more conscious about how we’re designing our future.”

9. Amazon Has A Secret Health Tech Team Called 1492 Working On Medical Records, Virtual Doc Visits
“The new team is currently looking at opportunities that involve pushing and pulling data from legacy electronic medical record systems. If successful, Amazon could make that information available to consumers and their doctors. It is also hoping to build a platform for telemedicine, which in turn could make it easier for people to have virtual consultations with doctors, one of the people said.”

10. Climate Change-Fueled Storms Could Leave Less Water For Drinking
“Algal blooms aren’t new. In fact, they happen naturally. Florida’s was dangerous because of humanity’s industrial-strength thirst and hunger, leading to big, fertilizer-based agriculture. Add climate change to those pre-existing conditions, and you’ve got a water system primed to snap. More rain in already-wet agricultural areas will leach away even more nutrients, causing more blooms, leading to more water shortages—impacting fisheries, agriculture, and public health.”

11. Why I Still Have Hope For Coral Reefs
“Corals in the Pacific Ocean have been dying at an alarming rate, particularly from bleaching brought on by increased water temperatures. But it’s not too late to act, says TED Fellow Kristen Marhaver. She points to the Caribbean — given time, stable temperatures and strong protection, corals there have shown the ability to survive and recover from trauma. Marhaver reminds us why we need to keep working to protect the precious corals we have left. “Corals have always been playing the long game,” she says, “and now so are we.””

12. What Gene-Swapping Cheese Microbes Could Say About Antibiotic Resistance
“You and your favorite cheese—whether it’s cheddar, Wensleydale, or a good aged goat brie—have something in common: You’re both home to a constantly evolving menagerie of microbes. The bacteria inside you and your fermented dairy live together in a community called a biome, growing and changing in response to their environments. And they adapt to their homes—a cow’s hide, a chunk of Swiss, or your gut—by stealing their neighbors’ genes.”

13. How An Entire Nation Became Russia’s Test Lab For Cyberwar
“It was a Saturday night last December, and Oleksii Yasinsky was sitting on the couch with his wife and teenage son in the living room of their Kiev apartment. The 40-year-old Ukrainian cybersecurity researcher and his family were an hour into Oliver Stone’s film Snowden when their building abruptly lost power.”