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Looking smart, being good

By Brian Eno  

EnO-300x225I like those strangely boxy little electric cars. I like the message of their looks. They defy the traditional sleekness of car design and instead make a point of their functionalism. They say “OK—we may look a bit funny but we use a third of the energy your car is using.” They advertise their owners’ rethought priorities. They’re nearly as cool as bikes.

On the same spectrum are two small items of recent domestic technology. The first is a little box with a screen which shows, in watts, how much…

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