You’d be forgiven for thinking that the designs of William Morris – his trellises and willows and honeysuckles – are a little out-of-date and irrelevant. Popular designs like Strawberry Thief adorn cushions and mugs, but do they really fit the modern interior? Surprisingly, not only have these botanical themes made a massive comeback, but Morris himself has been enjoying a new wave of popularity – as an environmental prophet and anarchist.
Jeremy Deller’s installation at the Venice biennale depicts William Morris throwing a superyacht into the lagoon (Credit: Getty Images)
At the Venice Biennale in 2013, a mural portrayed him throwing Abramovich’s superyacht Luna into the lagoon – symbolising Morris’s outrage at capitalism. The artwork by Jeremy Deller, We Sit Starving Amidst Our Gold, was interpreted as a critique not only of the yacht – which earlier had been docked so that it blocked the view of the lagoon – but also of the crass commercialisation of art.
Nobody uses the word computerized anymore. Its disappearance owes not to the end of computerization itself, but to the process’ near-completeness. Now that we all walk around with computers in our pockets (see also the fate of the word portable), we expect every aspect of life to involve computers in one way or another. But in 1967, the very idea of computers got people dreaming of the far-flung future, not least because most of them had never been near one, let alone brought one into their home. But for the Shore family, each and every phase of the day involves a computer: their “central home computer, which is secretary, librarian, banker, teacher, medical technician, bridge partner, and all-around servant in this house of tomorrow.”
In 1979, the new device forever changed the way we listened to music. At the apex of the Walkman craze, 1987 to ’97, the number of people who reported that they walked for exercise rose by 30 percent. (ioulex)
In 1979, when Sony introduced the Walkman—a 14-ounce cassette player, blue and silver with buttons that made a satisfying chunk when pushed—even the engineers inside Sony weren’t impressed. It wasn’t particularly innovative; cassette players already existed, and so did headphones. Plus, the Walkman could only play back—it couldn’t record. Who was going to want a device like that?
In times of deep distress I’ve often found the brutal, unsparing candor of Friedrich Nietzsche a strange comfort. While wholly enamored of the aristocratic, Hellenistic past of literary invention, the often bilious German philosopher nonetheless had no illusions about the nature of power, which does as it will and is not held in check by what we take for common values.
Protesters check their phones as they take part in a protest inside the Yuen Long MTR station, the scene of an attack by suspected triad gang members a month ago, in Yuen Long, New Territories, Hong Kong, China on Aug. 21, 2019. (Tyrone Siu/Reuters)
WASHINGTON—Telegram, a popular encrypted messaging app, will allow users to cloak their telephone numbers to safeguard Hong Kong protesters against monitoring by authorities, according to a person with direct knowledge of the effort.
The update to Telegram, planned for release over the next few days, will allow protesters to prevent mainland Chinese and Hong Kong authorities from discovering their identities in the app’s large group chats.