Nimcels vs. Zombies vs. Us

The New New — Issue Eighteen

In which algorithmic anxiety has us heading back to the future—all while materials, vehicles, and prostheses keep getting smarter.

Image from Sony Design’s INTO SIGHT sensorial effects exhibit at London Design Festival 2022

Let’s get right to it.

In this issue, we go broad across culture and society. Branding and marketing. Energy and intelligence. Materials and locomotion.

And guess what?

It turns out we may all be formerly-chic algorithm-worrywarting, nimcel-wannabes who like zombie brands, hand-painted billboards, and smart things that won’t run us over.

So, let’s start with the intrigue and end with a personal request.

All the Cool Kids Are Doing It

Closed Captions, popular with multi-tasking younger generations

Nimcels, niche internet micro-celebrities are taking over the internet

No More “Chic,” gone the way of “random,” “slay,” millennial pink, and the Harlem Shake

Algorithmic Anxiety, feeling like the computer is more in control of our choices than we are

Marketing Goes Backwards

Curated Collectivism, hot from 1993–2005, the social (media) curve has returned to this era

Zombie Brands, replacing nostalgia with NFT-hawking rogue social managers (looking at your RadioShack)

Hand-Painted Billboards, combating digital fatigue (and stopping traffic) as artists use actual paintbrushes on brands’ OOH advertisements

Smart meets Smarter

Intelligent Materials, creating an engineered material that can simultaneously sense, think, and act

Memory Prosthesis, copying the function of the hippocampus to boost the encoding of memories

Clean Energy Charging, optimizing device charging times for when the grid is using cleaner energy sources

On the Move

Drone Trailers, this “driverless mobility concept” is a sci-fi semi-truck brought to life

Methanol Cars, China’s new big bet sees carbon-saving potential in “wood alcohol”

Pedestrian Apps, keeping self-driving cars from running over you

The Forewarned Request

This lockdown-born newsletter, which started on a whim with a let-us-see-what-happens approach, has been building quite the audience—thank you, everyone!

I appreciate all the shares and recommendations, the comments and likes, and the references and replies.

I’d love more thoughts on how to make the New New better for you. Please fill out this concise, three-question feedback form. I promise zero NPS-styled questions are asked.

Back At It

The New New will be back again.

Until then, here are some things from the archive that I am still talking and thinking (and worrying) about.

In Issue 11, we went direct-to-Avatar, from DNA to faces, across the pre-service tip invasion, and into Quantum Apocalypse. Oh, and of course, there were robots.

The New New is an irregular—and often irreverent—roundup of emerging experiences, culture-driven experiments, and scoops of perception.

It’s pulled together by me, Brent Turner, and published on LinkedIn, Substack, and my site, re:Turner.

See you back here soon.

- B

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Brent is a member of the executive team for Opus Agency, an experience agency that delivers flagship programs for 13 of the top 20 global brands.

Connect with him on LinkedIn, Twitter, and .

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