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  • kathleen.goodwin

monday memo 130: bugs, brothers & the metaverse

Welcome to the Monday Memo — your pop culture snapshot from Manifesto.

Hey friends, Mondays can be tough. Here are 7 things to make May 15th, 2023, a bit better. But first, call your mom if you forgot yesterday was Mother's Day...


Used with permission from the artist. Explore more of their work on Instagram @bro.hornsby 1. Artist of the Week: Brooke Hornsby

Brooke Hornsby is a Newcastle-based illustrator and tattoo artist. She pulls inspiration from children’s book illustrations and everyday objects (like her dog, Bella), leveraging simple linework and vibrant color to create her signature creatures. Who says tattoos have to be all skulls and crossbones? We love a little whimsy. You go, Brooke.


2. What we're listening to: The Album by The Jonas Brothers Back in March, The Jonas Brothers performed a five-night residency on Broadway, with each night focusing on one album from their discography. On the final night, The Album made its grand debut in front of a live audience. Well, now the rest of us get to hear it. We already love "Waffle House" and "Wings," so we can't wait to jam out to the rest.


3. What we're watching: Taste The Nation with Padma Lakshmi - Hulu

In Taste the Nation, Padma Lakshmi takes audiences on a journey across America, exploring the rich and diverse food culture of various immigrant groups, seeking out the people who have so heavily shaped what American food is today. We can't wait to dig in.


4. Trend & Advertising Highlight: Here Lies the Metaverse According to Business Insider, the Metaverse has entered the tech graveyard and will spend eternal rest next to fellow failures but once hopefuls like Quibi, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 (yes, the phone that kept exploding), and so many more. Born in 2021 to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg, the immersive, virtual reality experience was dubbed "the future of the internet." Zuckerburg believed in it so much that he changed the name of Facebook's parent company to "Meta." Wall Street and the world of tech rejoiced at its birth. While the grandiose vision of what it could be was captivating, the actual technology to back it up never materialized despite the $100 billion spent on research and development. The concept of virtual worlds where users interact with each other using digital avatars is an old one, going back as far as the late 1990s with massively multiplayer online role-player games. Yet as the real world continued to open up after COVID-19, there was less and less need for a virtual world to escape into. Simply put, no one was engaging in it. Earlier this year, both Disney and Microsoft shuttered their Metaverse operations, and in March, Zuckerburg shifted the Meta company vision to focus on incorporating AI into every product offering. Even Meta is done with the Metaverse! So, the real question emerges when we shift to the new focus of AI. Will it simply be another (very expensive) flash in the pan? Or, as a former Google AI expert recently claimed, will it cause "profound risks to society and humanity?" Well, only time will tell, so maybe don't change your entire company name until you are absolutely sure...


5. Cognitive Bias of the Week: Zero Risk Bias

Zero risk bias relates to our preference for absolute certainty. We opt for situations where we can completely eliminate risk, seeking solace in the figure of 0%, over alternatives that actually offer greater risk reduction. This is because we have a cognitive bias that leads us to crave absolute certitude of outcome when we make decisions. Irrationally, we prefer to have a few guaranteed benefits rather than the possibility of much more significant benefits. As many of us book summer travel plans you may wonder, do I really need to pay that extra money for travel insurance? Do I need health insurance in case I get sick in a foreign country? Typically these are famous last words before a disaster. Although the policy might not be worth the premium we pay, part of what we’re buying is the peace of mind in knowing we’ve eliminated the potential risk. In marketing, if you can attach a zero-risk quality to your products or services, customers are more likely to make a purchase—and to choose yours over other options that may contain an element of risk. For example, should you offer two similar products—one that is better value for money but doesn't have a great returns policy and another that is much more expensive but offers a 30-day money-back guarantee—customers are more likely to opt for the more expensive option because they feel as though there is no purchasing risk attached.


Recently featured on “The Drew Barrymore Show,” the cup eliminates the need for a separate lid, as the folding design features a notch that locks into place to maintain that on-the-go reliability — without crowding landfills. 6. Good News of the Week:

  • A foldable cup is revolutionizing the disposable plastic takeout industry (GGG)

  • Small acts of kindness are universal: Global study finds we help each other every 2 minutes (GNN)

  • A group of middle-aged dads who formed a dance crew to perform at their kids’ school become unlikely social media stars (GNN)

  • An account on TikTok ranks "Top 5 Dogs of The Week" for reasons ranging from heroic to adorable (TikTok)


7. Bonus: "If I Ain't Got You" by Alicia Keys ft. Queen Charlotte's Global Orchestra

Can you believe it has been 20 years since Alicia Keys released "If I Ain't Got You"? To celebrate the release of Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, Netflix, Shondaland, and Alicia Keys created a 74-piece Global Orchestra made up entirely of women of color to perform a rendition of “If I Ain’t Got You” on the 20th anniversary of the song. Also, does Alicia Keys simply not age? What is her skincare routine? Asking for a friend...


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