31st January 2016

“Shen Xiang lives in a shipping crate on a construction site in Shanghai which he shares with at least seven other young workers. He sleeps in a bunk and uses a bucket to wash in. “It’s uncomfortable,” he says. Still, he pays no rent and the walk to work is only a few paces. Mr Shen, who was born in 1989, hails from a village of “mountains, rivers and trees”. He is a migrant worker and the son of two migrants, so he has always been a second-class citizen in his own country.” You can read Generation Uphill at The Economist and it should be well worth your time.

I am admittedly a fan of AFC Bournemouth so this article is obvious for me to publish, but you do not need like football to understand why Every single game now I go out to play for her is such a compelling read. It is incredibly emotional and highlights how some (heroic) people deal with the loss of an unborn child. I remember watching the match and was amazed at the performance he gave, it was almost as if she was with him willing him on. “I did manage to do the speech and I actually kept it together,” Arter says. “I used what happened to say to the lads: ‘Listen, I’ve experienced how short a life can be, what’s happened to my little baby could happen to someone in this team, so make sure you give everything today because these football moments are not going to last forever, and what I’ve learned from this experience is that life can end at any second.’”

Virtual personal assistants have found their way on to most modern mobile devices, despite the fact that usage figures are very low, and you can now read Siri, Alexa and Other Virtual Assistants Put to the Test to see which ones work best. More at the New York Times.

There are currently twelve master penmen in the entire world. Jake Weidmann is the youngest by three decades and when you watch the video below, it is hard not to marvel at the skill he displays, and the ease at which he does do.

View the stunning talent of Jake Weidmann.

Maximum Wage is such a good idea, but imagine trying to implement it. “Let’s say we decided as a society that no private company should have a pay ratio above 40:1. That would lead to a radical decrease in income inequality, and it wouldn’t involve a cent of additional taxes. Every private company would be allowed to keep the exact same portion of its income. The government wouldn’t be extracting money out of the private sector; it would just put some boundaries on the way the private sector distributes its money internally. Critics would scream that such a dramatic intervention would be terrible for business, but of course the one sector of the economy that has already voluntarily embraced this ratio turns out to have nurtured the most profitable corporations in the history of capitalism.”

I can think of many uses for The NoPhone, despite the novel nature of the product. From keeping your hands busy when trying to break your phone habit to simply having a laugh with it, I see some potential here. Thanks to Neil for the link.

Here is yet another article about the seemingly innocuous act of going offline for a while, but The Useless Agony of Going Offline is actually quite interesting. “I found out about this tragedy two days after it happened, on a Sunday afternoon, in a way that sort of typifies the manner in which I learn about most things these days. My wife and I were sitting together on the couch, watching a football game on my laptop…”

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