Caitlin Dewey has written a brilliant piece for The Washington Post on the half-life of online empathy (4 min), examining the rate at which online solidarity vanishes in the aftermath of (typically tragic) events.

Aside from obvious questions about what the duration of our collective grief says about us, Dewey points out that it raises serious questions for us:

The split-second half-life of social grief is problematic, however, because the research suggests that we need time to reflect — and we need to reflect to feel empathy. Short-circuiting that process exhausts our ability to feel for other people or help them or act to change anything. There’s a real risk, in other words, to processing grief with the speed and insincerity you would a viral meme.

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Not as trivial as it may first seem: Facebook, rethinking what happens digitally when we break up (7min). This is quite smart, and uncharacteristically GDS-like.

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There are legitimate scientific reasons why most computer-generated voices are female (5 min). If that doesn’t change soon, though: #becauseSexism

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Randy Olson crunched, essentially, every comment thread on Reddit for FiveThirtyEight, creating the world’s most comprehensive slang nGram viewer (∞).

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Related: Todd W. Schneider crunched more than one billion NYC taxi rides (22 min), and what it reveals about us is astonishing. What it reveals about the plot feasibility of Die Hard with a Vengeance is even more so:

There are 580 such taxi trips in the dataset, with a mean travel time of 29.8 minutes, and a median of 29 minutes. That means that half of such trips actually made it within the allotted time of 30 minutes! Now, our heroes might need a few minutes to commandeer a cab and get down to the subway platform on foot, so if we allot 3 minutes for those tasks and 27 minutes for driving, then only 39% of trips make it in 27 minutes or less. Still, in the movie they make it seem like a herculean task with almost zero probability of success, when in reality it’s just about average.

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The Internet o’ Waste-Sensing Devices (IoWSD) (4min) is upon us.

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In the wake of the National Football League’s very public recent failure, Usabilia has a post on best practices in designing for the color-blind (7 min).

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The present is for the customer. The future is for the customer. Skeptical, impatient, simplicity-demanding, this customer has been set free by the Web. (4 min)

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If you somehow missed The Clock of the Long Now (3 min) as it circulates around the Interwebs, give it three minutes of your life (and you’ll be repaid in spades). From the description:

The Clock of the Long Now is a portrait of Danny Hillis and his brilliant team of inventors, futurists, and engineers as they build The 10,000 Year Clock—a grand, Stone Henge-like monolith, being constructed in a mountain in West Texas.

The film, like the clock itself, celebrates the power of long-term thinking and mankind’s insatiable thirst to solve life’s biggest problems.

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Until next week.