This week, the Panama Papers flew everywhere. Iceland’s prime minister got the boot. A law school was named ASSoL (!) in honor of Antonin Scalia. (And all too quickly it was renamed.) Wisconsin voted for Cruz. Lena Dunham got her very own Random House imprint. News landed of the biggest, most venti Starbucks ever opening up in New York City. And if that doesn’t blow your dress up, they’ll be serving “coffee as theater.” Shall we talk about something else?

Measuring purely by the terabyte, there’s never been a bigger journalistic event than the Panama Papers. As the stakeholder publications overwhelm us with explainers, and the excluded scurry sweatily behind waving their hot takes in the air, it’s Paul Ford who’s making the most sense. To us, at least. 

For all the data there is in the world, almost none of it is in a usable, browsable form… There existed inside the law firm Mossack Fonseca a pretty accurate map of a very large part of the corrupt portion of the world economy. The map was latent—it was absolutely not in Mossack Fonseca’s interest to draw that map; it’s totally in the interests of the press to draw it, though.

“Just keep it under your… forget it."
Look. If you’re a human, this story was written for you. It’s the story of a man who meticulously architected a set for voyeurism in a tiny Colorado motel. It’s the story of a man who spent the better part of thirty years peeping from his attic in search of the most private human exchanges. It’s the story of a man who believed he was conducting important research. Pour yourself a glass of wine. Turn the lights down low. Find another human to whom you can read this smut aloud: this is Gay Talese at his finest. Now all he has to do is read some women.

Louis CK just wrapped his direct-to-audience series Horace and Pete. The profusion of think pieces died down after the first episode, but what CK pulled off with this ten-episode web series—some sort of ramshackle theater hybrid masterclass—was completely unlike anything television has yet managed. Produced without any distribution or production intermediaries and with funding direct from the audience, Horace and Pete is the very definition of uncompromising. Whether or not it provides a new kind of model, we’re thinking of founding a support group to recover from it. Please send suggestions for really depressing bars where we can all meet.

Internet of Things, they said. No downside, they said. What the heck is going on at Nest right now?

As long as we’re troubleshooting, here’s a riddle for you: What goes wrong when you network your doors and forget the basic truth that there’s no truly secure piece of code? The answer to that depends on what your doors are keeping out. Or in.

End-to-end encryption has been available through various consumer messaging platforms like iMessage (if iCloud backups are turned off), Line (if both sender and receiver have it enabled), and Signal (if you can find someone else who actually uses it). Now WhatsApp has enabled end-to-end encryption for its billion-plus user base—by default. Such pervasiveness and wide accessibility is what makes encryption meaningful. And this, curiously, under its ever-watchful and data-hoarding parent, Facebook.

Slavoj Žižek on the Panama Papers: Why Does a Dog Lick Himself?

Camouflage, sabotage, and countermeasure. Evan Calder Williams leaps out of the shadows of The New Inquiry to trace a history of actual disruption.

T-post is probably the world’s only subscribable t-shirt magazine. Though half the fun is wearing a t-shirt that you can only get at a single moment in time, we’re pretty thrilled to see them open up their back catalogue of over 120 “issues” for sale.

The Danish streaming station The Lake has been one of our favorite sources of weird and wonderful music discovery for years. Their new site takes a tentative step out of minimalism, making it a slightly more useful discovery tool. But mostly it remains a serendipity tool, which we’re totally fine with too.

What could go wrong if we outsourced journalistic fact-checking to AI bots? Pretty much nothing, we’re absolutely sure.

In attempting to locate blame in complex organizational systems, Danah Boyd looks to the development of self-driving vehicles, giving us the metaphor of “moral crumple zones.” We offer up our own necks for sacrifice in order to maintain the moral inviolability of machines.
We’ve been working on some other projects around here and thought you might like them too.

Our latest effort is Parachutes. Part book, part map, part riddle, Parachutes is a deck of cards that examines our assumptions about 21st century media, tech, design, and business. Surveying the weird, hyperconnected world in which we live, Parachutes is also a website—a Genius-ly annotatable one! So please, head on over to add your two cents.

To order a deck of your very own, use the promo code “PARACHUTES” and get 20 percent off. Check out the deluxe version featuring limited edition art from illustrator Raymond Biesinger.

Till next time, pioneers! Do share us

The Overprint is a weekly newsletter from Make Ready + The Alpine Review.
Illustration by Chris Lange.