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Pat Dryburgh

Scott Galloway explores the trend of online trading platforms taking advantage of the same psychological and hormonal processes that other tech companies have exploited to maximize profits:

The most recent crack dealers are online trading platforms (OTPs). What does endless scroll look like on a trading platform?

  • Confetti falls to celebrate transactions
  • Colorful candy crush interface
  • Gamification: users can tap up to 1000x per day to improve their position on the waitlist for Robinhood’s cash management feature (essentially a high-yield checking account on the app)

The platform that falls into this category in Canada is WealthSimple’s Trade app. I downloaded it when it was first released and fell victim myself to my excitement overshadowing my ignorance of how an IPO works. On my second trade1 I got the confetti and then two days later lost 50% of its value.

Thankfully I did know enough to follow two important rules when investing:

  1. Don’t risk more than you’re willing to lose.
  2. Buy low, sell high.

These rules prevented me from realizing the loss in Slack’s share value because I did not sell the shares, which have since recovered roughly 50% of the value I lost in those first few days. I won’t sell these shares until they have netted a healthy return, perhaps years in the future, because I don’t need that money right now.

What Scott identifies is that not everyone joins the game with these rules in mind and the platforms are actively working to stimulate the same psychological stimuli as a casino or lottery to make even those who do have a strategy lead with their heart instead of their brain.

And much like with social media, the stakes can be life and death.

  1. My second trade was a couple day’s after Slack’s IPO; my first was in Apple which as of writing is up 26.84%. 

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The Plague Nerdalogues is a collection of speeches from genre film & TV as read by famous genre actors. Access to the collection is provided by making a donation of any size, all to benefit Black Lives Matter.

Initially created as a response to and in support of those affected by COVID-19, the project is the brainchild of podcaster and producer on Star Trek: Picard, Marc Bernardin. On last week’s episode of Batman Beyond, Marc’s podcast with director Kevin Smith, Marc shared his thoughts and feelings about the history of violence against African Americans and other People of Colour.

Once you’ve made your donation, access to the videos will be available for as long as the site is online. It’s so simple that the collection isn’t even really behind a paywall; it’s just an HTML page you are redirected to after you’ve made your donation. I could share that page with you right here, right now and nothing could stop you from accessing the videos for free. It’s a project built on the honour system, and I for one choose to honour the system and ask that you donate to Black Lives Matter, as well.

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It’s been nearly three months since I deleted my Twitter and Facebook accounts and a week since I disabled my Instagram account.

Apple News+ has kept me abreast of what’s going on in the world in a way I’ve found far more insightful and far less frantic than Twitter. I still have my Micro.blog account and follow a dozen or so people there, but only check it once every few days. I’ve continued reading RSS feeds and listening to podcasts as I have since 2007.

I miss seeing updates from the majority of my friends who are locked into the big social networks. As a transplant from Ontario, social media was a window into the lives of people I care about but can’t be close to. Having now deleted my Instagram account, that window is now mostly shut.

I’m calling friends and family more, which you may be surprised as I was to learn is far more enriching than faving a tweet or liking a photo. iMessage, WhatsApp, email, and Slack are my primary methods of text communication. I’ve found that if I don’t initiate contact, I have only a small handful of friends who will reach out to me first. I am grateful for those people.

There are big changes coming to my life in the coming months and I want to be as present as possible to both savour and safely navigate the experience. Removing the most addictive social media apps feels like a good step toward that goal.

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Responsive design turns 10 years old today! The originator of the concept, Ethan Marcotte, has written the story of how the concept of Responsive Design came to be and how it eventually led to one of the greatest sea changes in web design since the introduction of Cascading Style Sheets.

The original article on Responsive Design by Ethan came out the same month I quit my first design job in order to freelance full time. It was an exciting time in the industry with so much to learn and so many interesting challenges to tackle.

I took to Responsive Design immediately. Unlike designers who came from the world of print design, I considered myself a “native web designer”, which basically meant I could code anything I designed. Just a few months prior, Meagan Fisher had reintroduced the world to the idea of designing in the browser rather than starting in Photoshop, which was tailor-made for designing responsive websites.

I can’t at the moment count the number of responsive websites I’ve designed since Ethan first published that article, but I am forever grateful to him, Meagan, and everyone else in this community who have taught me everything I know.

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In times of despair, it is important for people to have the ability to communicate in order to avoid adding isolation to the mix. One of our primary methods of digitally communicating emotion is through the use of Emojis.

I wasn’t surprised to find that there is currently only one Emoji that includes a visible face mask. However, I was sad to see that its expression looks rather gloomy.

No doubt when the original face-mask Emoji was first introduced, face masks in Western society were primarily worn by professionals or those under medical care. However, we have since joined our global neighbours in places where face masks are worn by everyone and as some people have pointed out, this makes communicating emotions through facial expressions really tough.

Given this, I think we need more expressive face-mask Emojis. I think a suite of Emojis expressing alternate emotions through a face mask would allow us a small opportunity to show solidarity with one another as we brave this new world.

Below is my attempt at melding Apple’s current Face With Medical Mask Emoji (top left) with a few of their other Emojis to create my proposal for new face-mask Emojis. I’m sure a better artist could come up with more effective examples; I simply hope to illustrate the idea.

Original 'Face With Medical Mask' Emoji on the left, proposed 'Smiling Face with Medical Mask' on the right

I’m probably breaking some sort of copyright by doing this, but who cares? Come at me, Tim Apple.

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