Stories from around the web that found our fancy

At Paper Planes, we love to read — and we’re consistently drawn to great stories centred around design, books and culture. With ‘Things to Read’, we share with you the best stories from around the web.

The internet can be exhausting. However, amid the slew of apocalyptic stories and witch hunts in the news, there are a few stories that are gentle and insightful in their approach, in their words and photographs. We put together a list of our favourite stories of late. Read on.

The Pandemic in Six-Word Memoirs
“I’ve found that some of the most memorable six-word stories arise in the extremes — during our toughest and most joyous moments,” writes Larry Smith, creator of Six-Word Memoirs, in this New York Times story. Featured are six-word stories by several adults and children on their pandemic experience. Read it here.

The Prison Between Mountains
Skye Arundhati Thomas writes in Akademi Mag about Kashmiri photographer Masrat Zahra’s photos capturing the protests in Srinagar — a body of work that captures the violence and tension in everyday Kashmir, and makes us think about what it means to be a good ally. Read it here.

The Photographer Peeking at Your Phone
A look at photographer Jeff Mermelstein’s #nyc series of photographs taken of strangers’ phone screens. The texts captured are intimate and range from heartbreaking to horny. As this New Yorker piece notes, Mermelstein’s work is reminiscent of a time before the pandemic, when we could get close enough to peek into each other’s phones. Read it here.

A Robot Wrote This Entire Article. Are You Scared Yet, Human?
The Guardian got GPT-3, OpenAI’s language generator, to write an essay. The prompt was why humans have nothing to fear from AI. And the result? A heartfelt piece about why AI would not, as Stephen Hawking put it, “spell the end of human race”. Read it here.

How Are India’s Literary Translators Coping With the Pandemic? Nothing is Lost in Translation
We’re fans of Scroll’s ongoing series on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on publishing. This story looks at literary translators in the country who are determined to be pragmatic yet hopeful about the future. Read it here.

Notes on Grief
The phenomenal Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie writes an incredibly moving piece about navigating through grief after losing her father during the pandemic in The New Yorker. Keep some tissues handy before you start. Read it here.