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Words such as ‘productivity’ and ‘efficiency’ not only permeate our work environments, but increasingly our leisure time as well. But when we measure productivity, what exactly are we measuring? In this short video, the British writer Steven Poole dissects how the word ‘productive’ lost its way, and why the concept itself comes up short.
Video by Sluggish
How a self-taught autistic artist mines creativity from life’s endless variations
Nature and landscape
An afternoon with hobbyist diamond miners in Arkansas is a thing of rare beauty
What can a Kurosawa classic tell us about reality, knowledge and truth?
Jocelyn Bell discovered pulsars. The Nobel Prize went to her supervisor
Animals and humans
A bluesy ballad tells the story of Old Bet, the first circus elephant in the US
In this 1975 lecture, the maglev train’s inventor deconstructs his ingenious design
Meaning and the good life
To know or not to know? Lillian weighs the costs of a life-changing genetic test
Information and communication
There are many ways to make a flat map of the world – each of them a unique distortion
What is it like to clean the world for tomorrow while the rest of a city sleeps?