Harper Lee died this week. Obama planned his sleepover in Cuba. Myopia was deemed a worldwide epidemic. Apple rebuffed the FBI. Kanye West tweeted his debt and asked that Mark Zuckerberg pay it off. Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar were effectively knighted. All-gender washrooms took center stage at Toronto schools. And the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s new logo was dubbed a “typographic bus crash.” That’s a bit harsh, IMO.

In the wake of a belatedly confirmed theory of Einstein’s, Matthew Francis explores the concept of genius through the lens of its archetypal figure.

Historians of science once subscribed to a ‘Great Man’ theory, but we now know that transformative ideas emerge from the work of many talented individuals, instead of emerging ​ex nihilo from one brilliant mind… Thanks to the diversity of human experience and human talents, we know that genius isn’t a monolithic quality that appears in identical form everywhere we find it. Einstein’s genius was different from Curie’s, and scientific genius is different from musical genius. Celebrity, on the other hand, tends to follow more predictable patterns.

The scenic route to success
Resilience isn't something we passively acquire, just as trauma isn't something we magically overcome. As Maria Konnikova argues in this fascinating New Yorker article, there's a lot to learn from the hard work children do to cope.

This New York Times op-ed is one of the more delightful things we’ve read lately. At 35, Kate Bowler is a mother to a little boy and a recent stage 4 cancer patient. She starts there and takes us on a wonderful unpacking of the American prosperity gospel, her intellectual obsession with it, and ultimately, the importance of compassion for the diversity of human experiences. Her nuanced interpretation of one of the most popular forms of Christianity is something special. 

Tim Cook spoke up this week in a letter to Apple customers. Critics are divided on whether he stood up for what’s right or for what gets press. Either way, the conversation’s an important one. Can and should Apple make an exception for the San Bernadino case, allowing the FBI to access the encrypted iPhone of the notorious gunman? This is for context. And so is this

This week the BBC announced a radical overhaul of their corporate structure, designed to prepare them for a future in which genres and audiences, rather than siloed platforms, determine programming. The web is the television is the radio is the podcast is the snapchat is the AI-bot-driven chat. The point is to tell the story right and let the platforms follow. We'll see how a venerable old bureaucracy adapts to such a simple, modern truth.

This week the UK government released a massive collection of data that tracks three decades worth of eating habits in 150,000 households. Traditionally, this data is well-guarded and used for internal estimates only. This blog post, by the head of the statistics team responsible for the release, shows the very real challenges bureaucracies face in figuring out the value of open data. Meanwhile, the BBC got straight to work turning it all into graphs.

With the US primaries in full swing, the “unelectable” candidates are showing their true force. Sanders and Trump, essentially third-party candidates, are using social media to unsettle the old guard and its polite rules of serious political conversation. According to Clay Shirky, we’re on a path that leads from Ross Perot through Howard Dean and Obama, and heading out into uncharted territory.

The new Matmos album is a next level laundry experience, composed entirely of sounds made from a single washing machine. 

Music from every era, from every faraway land, for every mood, and every tempo. This is good.

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Illustration by Chris Lange.