If You Only Knew the Power of the Dark Mode

Dark Modes, Cinema Ads, Deep Impacts, Aging Capitalism, and Dark Sides...

The Dark Side of Dark Mode

Adam Engst wrote this a few months ago, well before the launch of dark mode on iOS, which just rolled out with iOS 13:

Unfortunately, Apple’s marketing claims about Dark Mode’s benefits fly in the face of the science of human visual perception. Except in extraordinary situations, Dark Mode is not easy on the eyes, in any way. The human eyes and brain prefer dark-on-light, and reversing that forces them to work harder to read text, parse controls, and comprehend what you’re seeing.

It may be hip and trendy, but put bluntly, Dark Mode likely makes those who turn it on slower and less productive. Here’s why, if you adopted Dark Mode purely because Apple promoted it as the new hotness, you should think hard about switching back to the Light Mode that your eyes and brain prefer in System Preferences > General.


To summarize, a dark-on-light (positive polarity) display like a Mac in Light Mode provides better performance in focusing of the eye, identifying letters, transcribing letters, text comprehension, reading speed, and proofreading performance, and at least some older studies suggest that using a positive polarity display results in less visual fatigue and increased visual comfort. The benefits apply to both the young and the old...

Overall, it’s a nice feature to have. But it’s not beneficial for reading in most circumstance — and it’s actually detrimental, in many. Still, in an age where so many apps/sites have so much white space, it’s nice to browse without the blinding white light pouring out from our hands constantly.

Regal and Cinemark to Run Ads Closer to Feature Films

Dade Hayes:

Previously, the pre-show complement of ads had ended before the stated showtime, at which point trailers would begin to play. National CineMedia said the new agreement means its “pre-feature program” of ads will now play up to five minutes past the scheduled showtime. In other words, a showtime of 8PM can now feature on-screen ads playing until 8:05.

Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Overall, I find the movie-going experience in the UK to be superior to the US — perhaps mainly because they all serve booze. But without question, the one element that is far worse are the endless ads that run before the films. It’s honestly enough to make you show up late, hoping to miss them.

“What we feel will be very unique will be the creative” approach of the platinum spots. The expectation, he added, is for “something special and something that consumers even look forward to. … This is a very valuable piece of real estate.” Lesinski effusively compared the way platinum ads would play in theaters to the way ads play during the Super Bowl.

“Look forward to” — yeah, okay. This is total bullshit, of course. And it will backfire as it further degrades the movie-going experience. Between the tickets and the concession stands, we already pay a lot of money to go to the movies. Now we’re going to be paid to be advertised to, to be a captive audience. Guess where that won’t happen? At home.

Granted, movie trailers are ads too, but they’re highly targeted to the right audience. This is just looney. And AMC, of all companies, is the sane voice here!

Last Day of the Dinosaurs' Reign Captured in Stunning Detail

Maya Wei-Haas:

One of the most striking finds is the rate at which material was re-deposited after the impact. The asteroid strike excavated miles of ocean floor, vaporizing rock and water in a flash. A ripple of shockwaves inside the crater sent solid rock flowing like liquid to form a towering peak, which then collapsed outward to form the peak ring. Just tens of minutes later, a jumble of debris piled onto the peak ring in a layer some 130 feet thick. Some of this material came from a sheet of melted rock that splashed into place within minutes as the peak collapsed.

Then, as the ocean rushed back into the yawning molten gap, pockets of steam burst forth, flinging up more fragments of rock. Within an hour, the crater was likely covered in a churning vat of rocky oceanic soup, periodically sloshed by the collapse of the crater’s steep wall.

It’s wild how much detail — in some cases, down to the minute — they’ve been able to deduce from the rocks.

The New Threat to Capitalism

Steve LeVine:

Most of us know that global wealth surged starting in the 19th century. What is less publicized is that the explosion was accompanied by similar breakout in population, and economists connect the two — when population grows, GDP has tended to rise with it.

Shrinking, aging: But now, population growth across numerous countries — especially in the West — has stalled. By 2040, demographers say, the number of countries with shrinking populations will rise almost 50% — to 67, from about 46 now. At the same time, by 2050 about a quarter of the world population will be 60 or older.

Why that hurts capitalism: Fewer people mean less buying; older people also buy less than younger people. Hence, economies are likely to stagnate, then shrink — a challenge to capitalism, which is predicated on growth in GDP, profits, and wages.

A stark way to frame the future in a way. But it’s clearly the trend. You have to imagine that something breaks the mold of the past, but it’s unclear what. What if growth just has to stop mattering as much in a world that is in a state of greater equilibrium?

Rey’s Dark Side?

Speaking of dark mode… This post doesn’t exactly contain spoilers, but more speculation about what the latest trailer for The Rise of Skywalker could mean… And an interesting theory about what the cave scene in The Last Jedi could ultimately mean…

A couple recent 500ish posts…

Apple’s “Boar on the Floor” Mistake

A few thoughts on why it’s starting to feel like Apple is blowing it on the content side of the Apple TV equation…

That “I’m Already Paying for It” Feeling

And some quick thoughts on the immediate brilliance of Apple Arcade…