Where is everybody? 👾

Edition #018

Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.
— Arthur C. Clarke

🤯 In 1950, Italian-American physicist Enrico Fermi sat down to lunch with some of his colleagues at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he had worked five years prior as part of the Manhattan Project. According to various accounts, the conversation turned to aliens and the recent spate of UFOs. Into this, Fermi issued a statement that would go down in the annals of history: “Where is everybody?”

👾 This became the basis of the Fermi Paradox, which refers to the high probability estimates for the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) and the apparent lack of evidence. Seventy years later, we still haven’t answered that question, which has led to many theories as to why the “Great Silence” endures. A popular one is that there must be a “Great Filter” that prevents life from reaching an advanced stage of development.

👨‍🚀 While scientists, astronomers have yet to detect alien lifeforms, most are confident of success one day, though their journey will have taken them through some intriguing highs and some despairing lows. Recently they have detected a chemical in the toxic atmosphere of Venus that could be a sign that something is alive in one of the solar system’s most inhospitable environments. (Join the conversation on Hacker News.)

ℹ️ The New York Times is still providing free access to the most important news and useful guidance on the coronavirus outbreak to help us understand the pandemic. Here are the latest updates and maps of the outbreak.

Remote jobs

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Tools & Resources

🦋 Tables, a product from Area 120 by Google, helps teams easily track & automate tasks, enabling them to save time and work smarter.

📖 The Design Encyclopedia is a vast collection of meticulously documented design tokens, components, page layouts, interaction patterns, and visualizations.

👁 Sizle helps you create and share high-converting presentations in just a few clicks, and shows you trends in viewer engagement and interaction.

🎨 WebGradients is a free collection of 180 linear gradients that you can use as
content backdrops in any part of your website.

⭐️ The Accessibility Resources is a growing list of more than 200+ hand-curated accessibility plugins, tools, articles, case studies, design patterns, assistive technologies, design resources and accessibility standards.

📱 Device Shots lets you create high-resolution device mockups with the screenshot of your website or mobile application, for free.

🔎 UXtools.co lists resources for the modern day UX designer: compare UX design tools, find books, and keep up with the industry.

👀 Fonts in the wild is a project where you can quickly find quality free & paid fonts for your next project.

🖋 Clover is the the all-in-one notebook for creatives. Brainstorm, write, and plan in a single tool.

🔥 Umami is a simple, easy to use, self-hosted web analytics solution. The goal is to provide you with a friendlier, privacy-focused alternative to Google Analytics and a free, open-sourced alternative to paid solutions. Umami collects only the metrics you care about and everything fits on a single page. You can view a live demo here.

Product & Design Resources

Explore our ever-growing website with 1400+ design tools and resources.


How to Destroy Surveillance Capitalism

Cory Doctorow | Medium

Disrespectful Design—Users aren’t stupid or lazy

Ozzie | Somehow Manage

Idea evaluation: the other side of the creativity coin

Anne-Laure Le Cunff | Ness Labs

Our new home for Atlassian Design System ✨

jennie § yip | Medium

Closing the experience gap

Case Study — Nanako Era | Airbnb Design

How creativity changes as we age

Emily Urquhart | The Walrus

Introducing Spotify’s new design principles

Spotify Design | Medium

Rethinking the App Store

Ben Thompson | Stratechery


What does it look like inside the mind of a machine? Inspired by the architectural vision of a futuristic Los Angeles in "Blade Runner," media artist Refik Anadol melds art with artificial intelligence in his studio's collaborations with architects, data scientists, neuroscientists, musicians and more. Witness otherworldly installations that might make you rethink the future of tech and creativity.

Reflecting on moments that shaped his life, actor Ethan Hawke examines how courageous expression promotes healing and connection with one another -- and invites you to discover your own unabashed creativity. "There is no path till you walk it," he says.

What happened

  • Apple showing signs it may soon launch a search engine to compete against Google Search.

    • Changes in Spotlight Search on iOS and iPadOS 14 beta, a significant update to its Applebot support page, and an increase in crawling from AppleBot signify that Apple may be launching a search engine soon.

  • Unsplash collaborated with the Library of Congress and visual historian Jordan Lloyd In honor of the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington, to release restored and recolored images of the civil rights movement. You can now find the first ever copyright-free color images of the historic day and the civil rights leaders that led it, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Angela Davis, and John Lewis.

  • Uber launches car rentals in the UK for maximum social distancing.

  • UK ditches exam results generated by biased algorithm after student protests.

  • Germany is beginning a universal-basic-income trial with people getting $1,400 a month for 3 years.

  • Studio Ghibli releases 400 free-to-use images from eight of its classic films, with more to come.

  • Spotify wants to turn its podcasts into TV shows and movies.

So what happens now?

Dion Lee | Vox

Using fresh statistical methods, the paper downbelow re-asks the question “Are we alone?” and draws some groundbreaking conclusions: We Earthlings are not only likely to be the sole intelligence in the Milky Way, but there is about a 50 percent chance we are alone in the entire observable universe.

A team of researchers at the University of Oxford brought a new perspective to this conundrum. In early June 2008, Anders Sandberg, Eric Drexler, and Toby Ord of the Future of Humanity Institute (FHI) released a paper that may solve the Fermi paradox — the discrepancy between our expected existence of alien signals and the universe’s apparent lack of them — once and for all.

— That’s it for this edition. Here are some guided meditations from Yale and an ultimate work playlist. See you next week.

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