Vox interview Tristan Harris — "Phones are designed to be addicting."

No, it's not a surprise. But Harris (former Google design ethicist) outlines the three big things you can do to reduce your device's hold on your life.

  1. Turn off all non-human notifications
  2. Change your screen to grayscale (this is my favorite — never even occurred to me, but it's brilliant)
  3. Restrict your home screen to everyday tools

That last point is part of a housecleaning I do every few months and I recommend it. Take a few minutes to manually move all your apps to your second screen leaving only one app that you're sure you use every day. From there, each time you open your phone to perform a task, consider whether your frequency of performing that task requires the app to be first-screen accessible. Over a few days, you'll have all the apps you really use back on the home screen and likely have cleared a bunch of cruft in the process. 

Thomas Flight on Blade Runner 2049 Side-by-Side the Original

Blade Runner 2049 is my favorite film of last year. It's aged well, and for lovers of the original, it's practically a love story. This post from Thomas Flight is a celebration of the motifs Villeneuve and Roger Deakins applied to bring us a new story that feels so deeply rooted in the universe of Blade Runner

We did a breakdown on the film when it opened on The Next Reel Film Board last year.

The true value of student debt to the US Economy? Canceling it.

Terrific summary from Brian Alexander on this study from a Bard College research team:

What would happen if the United States decided to cancel all student debt?

A Bard College economics research team (Scott Fullwiler, Stephanie Kelton, Catherine Ruetschlin, and Marshall Steinbaum) decided to explore what such a bold near-term future could look like in “The  Macroeconomic Effects of Student Debt Cancellation” (pdf).  

The tl;dr result?  It’s a good idea for the country, for debtholders and non- alike.  “Student debt cancellation results in positive macroeconomic feedback effects as average households’ net worth and disposable income increase, driving new consumption and investment spending.”  They find other, noneconomic benefits as well.