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Volume 423

Less work, same pay. Too good to be true? This week’s coolsh*t is bringing you a revolutionised work week, a way to catch Pokémon while catching Zs, and some more dystopian technological innovation. Plus, an... unorthodox episode of the podcast.

Light Work.

When a pilot scheme for a 4-day work week was announced, we made a plea to the 3,000 participating employees: don’t fuck this up. 6 months later, the results are in. And they look… promising. Shockingly, working one fewer day a week went down a treat with employees, with 15% saying “no amount of money” would convince them to go back to working that extra day (which is utter bollocks and only really provides evidence of humanity’s habit of hyperbolising, but you can appreciate the sentiment they’re trying to express). Resignations decreased and employees reported benefits related to their sleep, stress levels, personal lives and mental health. What was perhaps more surprising, though, was that the pilot seemingly also went down well with the companies, with only 3 of the 61 participating businesses saying that they planned on returning to 5 days. Revenues “stayed broadly the same” during the trial but rose 35% on average when compared with a similar period from previous years. So, it’s good for the employers… it’s good for the employees… and it’s even good for the planet… so will the 4-day week become a thing? No, probably not. Now get back to work, you indolent swine.

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According to Locke’s ‘memory theory’, a person’s identity only reaches as far as their memory extends into the past. In other words, who one is critically depends upon what one remembers; as a person’s memory begins to disappear, so too does their identity. But what if memories could last forever? Wist Labs have developed a program that allows you to relive your experiences in AR and VR. So not only would memories last forever, but they would actually be more accurate. As stories and memories are re-told and re-lived, we have a natural tendency to adlib somewhat – sometimes just slightly embellishing, and sometimes convincing ourselves of the truth of utterly confabulated falsehoods – until eventually the ‘memory’ we are left with bears little resemblance to the original experience. With Wist, you can capture a real-life experience just like you would a regular video, and thanks to the sensors available in phones, the program can use the captured footage’s 3D information to effectively turn anything you’ve recorded into an immersive experience. Here’s an example. And, unlike Dumbledore, you wouldn’t even need a pensieve.

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Hit and Win.

Corteiz know how to generate some buzz around a product launch. From Bolo exchanges (as in jackets, not cowboy ties) to a 99p guerrilla cargos drop, the London brand have become known for some degree of unorthodoxy in their activations. They also claimed they would never do a collab, but when Nike come a’knocking, you don’t say no – even their slogan compels you to comply. And to launch the partnership in quintessentially Corteiz fashion, the brand’s founder and marketing mastermind, Clint419, held a crossbar challenge in a secret location in West London that was revealed on the day. It’s dead simple: hit the crossbar, win a pair of soon-to-be grailed Air Max’s. And, as you can see here, the scenes were immaculate. The teaser video with Eduardo Camavinga speaking with a London accent was a nice touch too.

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Can’t Pay?

Can’t pay, it’ll take itself away. As far as Orwellian nightmares go, this one at least sounds a little funny. It was announced this week that future Fords could repossess themselves and drive away if you miss your payments. In fairness, you probably should make your payments – but what if you’re just forgetful? Missing the odd one here and there doesn’t feel like adequate justification for forcibly diverting someone against their will to a scrapyard while they were driving to their grandmother’s funeral. Plus, if this technology can be used when you haven’t made your payments, surely that means it could be used whenever. Call me a tinfoil hat wearing crackpot, but the idea of being remotely locked in a vehicle and driven to wherever one’s captors wishes sounds just the faintest bit dodgy. Maybe I’m just old school.

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Snore Lacks.

You think the game finishes when you go to sleep? What is this, 2022? Grow up. Pokémon Sleep is a new game that you play while you’re snoozing. And the better you sleep, the better you do in the game. The adventure takes place on a small island where players will work with Professor Neroli and Snorlax to study the sleep styles of Pokémon. By placing your phone next to your pillow, data analysis will record, measure and categorize your rest, with higher scores obtained by sleeping longer, increasing the amount of Pokémon that will appear around Snorlax when you wake up. And you’ll also be specifically paired up with Pokémon who have a similar sleep style to you, which is an element of compatibility I don’t think anybody ever knew they needed. You don’t see that on Hinge. And while the goal is ostensibly to encourage trainers to get a better night’s sleep, the by-product is that Pokémon can now consume every single second of a gaming addict’s life. Oh well, suppose the ends justify the means and all that.

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Blooming Late Blooming.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of cynicism and select a coolsh*t story purely based on what you think you can write about it rather than on the merit of the story itself. The result of this is that a lot of the more earnest, wholesome and positive stories end up getting unjustly discarded. But not today. Setting dystopian terror aside for a moment, we’ve got something genuinely life-affirming. Diagnosed with autism and global development delay in his early years, Jason Arday was unable to speak until he was 11 years old and could not read or write until he was 18. Now aged 37, he’s about to be appointed to a professorship at the University of Cambridge. “I remember thinking if I don’t make it as a football player or a professional snooker player, then I want to save the world,” he says. Which is funny, because I remember wanting nothing more than destroy the world when I realised I probably wasn’t going to play for England. Although Kevin Davies was 33 when he made his international debut, so there’s still hope. Plus, based off the career trajectory of the current President of the United States, it would appear that it’s possible to reach one’s peak while knocking on the doors of one’s 80s. Result…

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The Coolsh*t Podcast - Ep. 41.

Broken rules, broken records and unbreakable phones.

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