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When Björk speaks, people listen. Whether it’s on technology, creativity and society in general. She does tend to harp on about a lot of stuff these days. This week she’s unhappy about Facebook and your scrolling habits, which she likens to gorging on a few burgers. A thought piece to wet your appetite below.
Then there is the little known English label behind global phenomenon Adele, XL Recordings, and the genius behind its empire built on consistent taste. And finally if you feel like things are going too fast, well they are, we’re fascinated by a growing movement of people called ‘accelerationists’, who want things to go at warp speed. Oh and one more thing, Americans spend $11 billion a year in the pursuit of happiness. Read on.

“We just have to define technology. There’s no one answer. Sometimes you have to burn yourself…You can be on Facebook for a long time, and then you get a feeling in your body like you’ve had three hamburgers. You know it’s trash.” The wildly eccentric Icelandic icon Björk talks about how we need to put the humanity into technology on the eve of her VR-driven Björk Digital exhibition Los Angeles debut.

“For fashion and luxury to be the same, it means that anything fashionable to be luxurious. Immediately we know this to be false, since some of the most important fashion garments of the 20th century were made from cotton, cheesecloth, and rubber.” To confuse fashion and luxury is to misunderstand some of the greatest designers of our time, from Dries Van Noten to Rick Owens. Find out why it is important to note the difference.

“To do a record label well is so similar to being an artist. You have to be bloody-minded, and you have to be awkward. You have to be like, ‘I’m doing it like this.’ Every artist you’ve ever loved has done that.” XL Recordings has been called the ‘Holy Grail’ of record deals. CEO Richard Russell talks about a career signing acts such as Adele and The XX with long-term potential rather than chasing viral hits.

“California is a place that takes personal liberty and the idea of freedom seriously and this has been translated into the designs and technologies born there.” A new exhibition at London’s Design Museum explores California’s enduring influence in the world of design, from its 60s counterculture movement to today’s Silicon Valley tech-revolution.

“She had been drawn to the summit because, as she put it, she’d ‘been trying to figure out how to cultivate self-love and figure out her stuff.’ She’d surfed the scripture and verse of TED, and hoped to land somewhere with ‘positive-ass vibes’ after graduating from college.” Americans spend $11 billion a year in the pursuit of happiness. A reporter joins these utopia seekers for the first-ever World Happiness Summit.

“For wealthy Chinese, Vancouver has emerged as the perfect ‘hedge city’ – scenic, cosmopolitan, with good schools, a long standing Chinese community, and an undervalued real estate market where capital can be sheltered against mounting economic and political uncertainties back home.” With Jared Kushner’s family business promising Chinese investors a ‘golden visa’ in return for buying American real estate, cities are being sold off to global elites. Will this lead to social and economic unrest?

“Technology is still playing an important, if not central, role in today’s political scandals. From the Pentagon Papers to the Watergate tapes to Hillary Clinton’s private email server, the fundamental questions are the same: What information is being hidden from the public, and why?” From Xerox machines to emails and tweets, can technology destroy a presidency?

“We all live in an operating system set up by the accelerating triad of war, capitalism and emergent AI. Like it or not, we are all accelerationists now.” A controversial fringe philosophy known as accelerationism has developed from a fictional device into an actual intellectual movement pushing for accelerated progress. But how fast is too fast?