Weekly Links & Thoughts #154

Here is this week’s issue of meshedsociety.com weekly, loaded with interesting analyses and essays, significant yet under-reported information bits as well as thoughtful opinion pieces from the digital and technology world. Published every Wednesday/Thursday (CET), just in time so you have something good to read over the weekend.

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Reading time indicator: 1 = up to 3 minutes, 2 = 4 to 9 minutes, 3 = 10 to 29 minutes , 3+ = 30 minutes or more
Note: Some of the publications may use “soft” paywalls. If you are denied access, open the URL in your browser’s incognito/private mode.

  • Digital Tribalism – The Real Story About Fake News (ctrl-verlust.net, 3)
    An insightful data analysis exploring one of the most concerning phenomena of our times: digital tribalism. The results presented suggest that the root of the problem aren’t filter bubbles (which turn out to be not as airtight to contrary opinions or facts as often assumed) or algorithms, but rather the way the human brain works, causing people to gather into groups they identify themselves with, and to separate themselves from others as a group. Through online networks and viral dynamics, the evolutionary behavioral patterns are simply supercharged (and often malfunctioning). Related book recommendation from me: “Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst” by Robert M. Sapolsky. Already one of the top 3 best books I have ever read. And I am only at 30 %. It’s 800 pages thick.
  • Your likes, hearts, and flattering comments are bad for my brain (medium.com, 1)
    Many dream of getting a lot of likes and shares on the stuff they post online. But positive engagement can be pretty addictive, and not in a good way.
  • What It’s Like to Be the Parent of a Social-Media Star (theatlantic.com, 3)
    What times to be alive, when this is an actual question that thousands of parents have to ask themselves: “How do you enforce rules and boundaries on children who frequently have more money than grown-ups, and thus, unusual levels of autonomy?”
  • CES 2018: Real Advances, Real Progress, Real Questions (medium.learningbyshipping.com, 3+)
    Former Windows President and now VC Steven Sinofsky went to the CES in Las Vegas, made a lot of notes about what he saw, and then used his observations to pen down an in-depth piece about the state of several of today’s most hyped fields of technology. And the result is really excellent, even for those not too interested in gadgets or the CES.
  • Alexa v. Google Assistant makes consumers the big winners (staceyoniot.com, 1)
    Let’s see if we remain the big winners in the long run. But in the short term, agreed.
  • The Network Uber Drivers Built (fastcompany.com, 3)
    Uber drivers may not have unions or worker protections, but they do organize themselves in online networks which give them at least a certain type of power over their algorithmic provider of work.
  • When It Comes to Gorillas, Google Photos Remains Blind (wired.com, 2)
    Google found a rather primitive workaround for fixing its discriminating image identification algorithm.
  • Your New Newsfeed: Why Facebook Made Its Latest Changes (wired.com, 3)
    Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s vice-president in charge of newsfeed, talks about the recently announced change to focus on friend and family interactions over page and news content. Ben Thompson wonders what the real motives are.
  • Everyone hates us, and it’s not because of our sex parties (techcrunch.com, 2)
    Historically, power corrupts. And now, that Silicon Valley is arguably the most powerful force on Earth, people are naturally looking for evidence of misconduct.
  • On building a meritocracy in our startup ecosystem (blog.elizabethyin.com, 2)
    The lack of a meritocracy in the startup ecosystem is hampering world progress, writes investor Elizabeth Yin. But she continues: “I’ve never had so much hope for our startup ecosystem as now.”
  • Beyond the Bitcoin bubble (nytimes.com, 3+)
    A beautiful feature explaining why blockchain technology is another (and right now probably the only) chance to revitalize the open principles that were so crucial for the rise of the web and its most important technological components.
  • Miners Aren’t Your Friends (blog.keep.network, 3)
    The major cryptocurrencies depend on that miners follow the rules. But the more money is in a system, the more likely it is that miners will mess with it.
  • To Understand Bitcoin, I Studied Karl Marx (coindesk.com, 1)
    An interesting analogy of how both Karl Marx and Bitcoin inventor “Satoshi Nakamoto” created unconventional ideas inspired by their environment, but (presumably) lacked the power to predict how their inventions would influence others or be implemented.
  • A World of Evolving Ideas (medium.com, 1)
    This might be me drinking the kool aid, but the idea of a global network of ideas stored in the form of blockchain sounds somehow intriguing.
  • Let the robots speak to one another (theverge.com, 1)
    This is a bad and smart idea at the same time. Spoken language is increasingly proving to be a bad way to communicate thoughts between people. Context is always missing, accidental or deliberate misunderstandings are the rule, attention spans are short… one can witness the messy result every day in online debates. Therefore, letting machines talk to each other through this flawed method seems backward. On the other hand, smart devices are not expected to talk politics or philosophy with each other. For simple commands and instructions, this actually might work.
  • Turning Design Mockups Into Code With Deep Learning (blog.floydhub.com, 3)
    Looks like web designers might get competition from neural networks soon.
  • Impatience: The Pitfall Of Every Ambitious Person (dariusforoux.com, 1)
    Both obvious and often ignored: Good things may take a while.

Recently on meshedsociety.com:

Quote of the week:

  • “The internet has become a mirror of our global societies. Fifty-one per cent of the world’s population is estimated to have access to it, many of them by way of smartphones. Some people are not happy with what they see in this mirror, but make the mistake of thinking that correcting the mirror will fix the problems reflected therein.”
    Vint Cerf in “In 2018, we will tackle the internet’s dark side” (wired.com, 1)

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Weekly Links & Thoughts #153

Here is this week’s issue of meshedsociety.com weekly, loaded with interesting analyses and essays, significant yet under-reported information bits as well as thoughtful opinion pieces from the digital and technology world. Published every Wednesday/Thursday (CET), just in time so you have something good to read over the weekend.

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If you want to make sure not to miss this link selection, sign up for free for the weekly email. It is being sent out to more than 500 people (January 2018). Here is an archive of previous issues.
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Reading time indicator: 1 = up to 3 minutes, 2 = 4 to 9 minutes, 3 = 10 to 29 minutes , 3+ = 30 minutes or more
Note: Some of the publications may use “soft” paywalls. If you are denied access, open the URL in your browser’s incognito/private mode.

Recently on meshedsociety.com:

Podcast episode of the week:

Quote of the week:

  • “Most of history is made by those who mastered the art of doing nothing when nothing needed to be done.”
    Morgan Housel in Making History By Doing Nothing (collaborativefund.com, 1)

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Weekly Links & Thoughts #152

Here is this week’s issue of meshedsociety.com weekly, loaded with interesting analyses and essays, significant yet under-reported information bits as well as thoughtful opinion pieces from the digital and technology world. Published every Wednesday/Thursday (CET), just in time so you have something good to read over the weekend.

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If you want to make sure not to miss this link selection, sign up for free for the weekly email. It is being sent out to more than 500 people (January 2018). Here is an archive of previous issues.
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Reading time indicator: 1 = up to 3 minutes, 2 = 4 to 9 minutes, 3 = 10 to 29 minutes , 3+ = 30 minutes or more
Note: Some of the publications may use “soft” paywalls. If you are denied access, open the URL in your browser’s incognito/private mode.

  • American reams: why a ‘paperless world’ still hasn’t happened (theguardian.com, 3)
    Well-written, insightful and in parts amusing feature exploring the paper industry’s perspective on the rise of digital and the reasons for why the protagonists aren’t too pessimistic – yet.
  • A Concise History Of The Smartwatch (hodinkee.com, 3)
    Over the past decades (and long before Pebble and the Apple Watch) and to my surprise, some pretty bold “smart watches” had been introduced to the market.
  • Finstagram (theawl.com, 2)
    Apparently, operating two separated Instagram accounts is becoming a widespread trend: One for a small circle of trusted people and friends, and one for public display. From the piece: “A friend explained finstas to me as uncurated content for a curated audience, in contrast to the curated content for an uncurated audience represented by public accounts.”
  • AI and Deep Learning in 2017 – A Year in Review (wildml.com, 3)
    At the risk of stating the obvious, 2017 saw a lot of (headline-making) breakthroughs in the field of AI and deep learning. It was also the year in which the topic of AI bias has gained attention. Although that debate might itself be impacted by bias – human ones.
  • The Christmas crypto correction. What really happened (jamescrypto.com, 1)
    Speculation on what caused the dramatic correction of crypto currency prices around Christmas, suggesting that the so called “whales” jointly decided to sell off but tried hard to avoid the total crash in order to be able to repeat the whole procedure again in 2018. Could be just an unfounded conspiracy theory, but who knows.
  • A beginner’s guide to IOTA (medium.com, 2)
    IOTA appears to be the next stage in the evolution of crypto currencies, doing away with blockchain principle and need for mining. While I’m not able to make any statement regarding the potential here and while IOTA is not free from controversy, it’s a technology worth keeping an eye on.
  • Stories From 1999 (joefahmy.com, 2)
    This was written in 2013, with the intention of refuting warnings of alleged similarities between the dotcom era and market trends of 2013. Interestingly, when comparing the depictions with what’s going on today in the crypto world, one clearly can see parallels.
  • China’s Digital Wallets Offer a Glimpse at the Future of Payments (visualcapitalist.com, 2)
    Compact and visualized overview of the various payment and commerce features of WeChat.
  • The Network Effects Map | NFX Case Study: Uber (medium.com, 2)
    An in-depth analysis of the network effects that Uber has created or, so far, has failed to create in order to keep competitors from gaining market share.
  • What Elon Musk Doesn’t Get About Urban Transit (citylab.com, 2)
    Elon Musk expressed some rather unintelligent sounding views on public transit. Jarrett Walker takes Musk’s arguments apart.
  • Has music lost that loving feeling? (om.co, 2)
  • The Age of Abundance (500ish.com, 2)
    Om Malik and MG Siegler get all nostalgic (or maybe even melancholic) about their appreciation of music in the past and what’s possibly being lost in the age of on-demand streaming and abundance.
  • Albania 2017 – Startups and more (kathleenfritzsche.com, 2)
    A brief report about the still tiny startup scene in this small but up-and-coming European country. I visited Tirana last year as well and liked it a lot.
  • ‘Saluton!’: the surprise return of Esperanto (theguardian.com, 2)
    Maybe it indeed is time to learn Esperanto. In the networked age, an exponential increase in momentum is at least in the realm of possibilities.
  • Help Me Or Soon I Will Die (logicmag.io, 3)
    Green Bank, a town in the U.S., is one of the only places left in the world where cell towers and Wi-Fi networks are banned. And so it becomes somewhat of a refuge for people who say that they suffer from “electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS)”. Very informative.
  • My favorite guidelines for life, inspired by Buddhism and Stoicism (medium.com, 1)
    A short post from yours truly.

Video of the week:

  • How Do Machines Learn? (youtube.com)
    The principles of machine learning and the impact of algorithmic content recommendations, well explained in 8:30 minutes.

Quote of the week:

  • “Many people overestimate the importance of the status quo while underestimating or ignoring the rate of change. I say that, in general, looking at the rate of change is a better indicator of the future than the status quo.”
    Can Olcer in in Rate of change > status quo (hackernoon.com, 1)

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Weekly Links & Thoughts #151

Here is this week’s issue of meshedsociety.com weekly, loaded with interesting analyses and essays, significant yet under-reported information bits as well as thoughtful opinion pieces from the digital and technology world. Published every Wednesday/Thursday (CET), just in time so you have something good to read over the weekend.

Please note: The next issue of meshedsociety.com weekly will be published in the first week of 2018.

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If you want to make sure not to miss this link selection, sign up for free for the weekly email. It is being sent out to more than 500 people (by December 2017) each Thursday(ish) before this post goes live, including all the links. Here is an archive of previous issues.
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Reading time indicator: 1 = up to 3 minutes, 2 = 4 to 9 minutes, 3 = 10 to 29 minutes , 3+ = 30 minutes or more
Note: Some of the publications may use “soft” paywalls. If you are denied access, open the URL in your browser’s incognito/private mode.

Recently on meshedsociety.com:

Quote of the week:

  • “When I left Myspace, I didn’t shake hands for like three years because I figured out that people were disgusting. And I just could not touch people.”
    A content moderator quoted in “The Basic Grossness of Humans“. Things were bad already back in the early days. (theatlantic.com, 2)

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Weekly Links & Thoughts #150

Here is this week’s edition of meshedsociety.com weekly, loaded with interesting analyses and essays, significant yet under-reported information bits as well as thoughtful opinion pieces from the digital and technology world. Published every Thursday (CET) or slightly earlier, just in time so you have something good to read over the weekend.

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If you want to make sure not to miss this link selection, sign up for free for the weekly email. It is being sent out to more than 500 people (by December 2017) each Thursday(ish) before this post goes live, including all the links. Here is an Example. Also, check out the meshedsociety.com chatbot on Facebook Messenger.
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Reading time indicator: 1 = up to 3 minutes, 2 = 4 to 9 minutes, 3 = 10 to 29 minutes , 3+ = 30 minutes or more
Note: Some of the publications may use “soft” paywalls. If you are denied access, open the URL in your browser’s incognito/private mode.

  • A “Post-Verbal” World (jjbeshara.com, 3)
    In-depth, extensive reflections on how brain-computer interfaces such as Elon Musk’s Neuralink would revolutionize human communication. While all this can become a privacy nightmare, the idea also is unbelievably fascinating (I might have stated that already).
  • How Email Open Tracking Quietly Took Over the Web (wired.com, 3)
    This lengthy feature might radically change how you look at and handle the emails in your inbox.
  • The Problem with Muzak (thebaffler.com, 3)
    Spotify undoubtedly uses some controversial approaches to remodel the music industry, revolving around the pillars of algorithmic decisions – which remove power from the artists – as well as letting brands “hijack” artists’ music without paying them. This is of course a repeating pattern that can be observed at every disruptive tech company that reaches a certain scale and market dominance. And of course, changing the rules of a game always will lead to opposition. In the end, the main question is: Are the parties involved (from the artists to those in charge of the distribution to the consumers) better off today than 30 years ago? I don’t know if there is any way to objectively assess this.
  • Baby Boomers love Facebook, so let them have it (theoutline, 2)
    Kathryn Jezer-Morton makes a thought-provoking case for intergenerational segregation on social media platforms.
  • History Suggests the Hyperloop Is an Uncertain Promise for Future Cities (singularityhub.com, 2)
    Beyond the impressive technology, how would cities and geographical socio-demographics be affected if Hyperloop becomes implemented on a large scale? An important question.
  • The End to Apple’s Cash Dilemma (aboveavalon.com, 2)
    An incredibly well explained piece on why Apple has so much cash abroad, frequently issues debt in the U.S., and how the planned U.S. tax reform would change all this.
  • A New Era of Retail Is Coming (businessoffashion.com, 2)
    On the rise of “experiential merchants” which, in essence, are media channels. Brands like Nike will not be their vendors but rather their clients.
  • In-Store WiFi Provider Used Starbucks Website to Generate Cryptocurrency Monero (hackread.com, 1)
    Crazy times. I learned from this piece that there is a company called Coinhive which apparently makes crypto mining through one’s website pretty easy. The big question persists: Is this more or less ethical than monetizing a website through ads?
  • Circles Money System Overview (github.com, 3)
    A concept for a blockchain-based basic income. Very exciting.
  • How business schools teach cryptocurrencies (ft.com/no paywall, 2)
    Obviously, cryptocurrencies won’t go away again. So future business and finance leaders need to learn about them.
  • Zug ID: Exploring the First Publicly Verified Blockchain Identity (medium.com, 2)
    Meanwhile, in the Swiss city of Zug, people can get a digital ID based on a Blockchain. Paul Kohlhaas explains how the whole thing works.
  • AI researchers are trying to combat how AI can be used to lie and deceive (qz.com, 2)
    Crucial stuff. It’s probably only a question of months until troublemakers will attempt to use a well-done fake video or audio recording to cause a controversy and to sow mistrust. The tech is pretty much ready and porn already affected.
  • The Neural Network Zoo (asimovinstitute.org, 3)
    A major enabler of artificial intelligence are so called neural networks. Here we have a comprehensive description of the different types that exist. It’s from last year, so there might be many additions already not mentioned here.
  • From Amazon to Google (and even Apple), here are the biggest tech disappointments of this year (CNBC.com, 2)
    Fun list.
  • All downhill from here: Has the human race peaked? (newatlas.com, 1)
    A study of 120 years worth of historical data suggest we’ve reached the biological limits of height, life expectancy and sporting performance. My conclusion: If accurate, then our only options for extended life spans either would be to augment our body with technology that allows us to live longer or to export our minds onto computers.
  • The Merge (blog.samaltman.com, 1)
    On a different level, the merger between humans and machines is already in full effect.
  • The 20% Rule (medium.com, 2)
    I like this advice to dedicate 20 % of one’s time to exploration and serendipity.

Quote of the week:

Podcast episode of the week:

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Weekly Links & Thoughts #149

Here is this week’s edition of meshedsociety.com weekly, loaded with interesting analyses and essays, significant yet under-reported information bits as well as thoughtful opinion pieces from the digital and technology world. Published every Thursday (CET) or slightly earlier, just in time so you have something good to read over the weekend.

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Reading time indicator: 1 = up to 3 minutes, 2 = 4 to 9 minutes, 3 = 10 to 29 minutes , 3+ = 30 minutes or more
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Recently on meshedsociety.com:

Podcast episode of the week:

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Weekly Links & Thoughts #148

Here is this week’s edition of meshedsociety.com weekly, loaded with interesting analyses and essays, significant yet under-reported information bits as well as thoughtful opinion pieces from the digital and technology world. Published every Thursday (CET) or slightly earlier, just in time so you have something good to read over the weekend.

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Reading time indicator: 1 = up to 3 minutes, 2 = 4 to 9 minutes, 3 = 10 to 29 minutes , 3+ = 30 minutes or more
Note: Some of the publications may use “soft” paywalls. If you are denied access, open the URL in your browser’s incognito/private mode.

  • The man who sold shares of himself (thehustle.co, 2)
    What a thrilling and bold undertaking. Makes me wonder if, now that blockchain technology exists, everyone will perform their own personal ICO in the future.
  • Facebook Might Launch a Cryptocurrency (hackernoon.com, 3)
    Fascinating musings about an idea which indeed could radically transform Facebook – and the world. Again.
  • Nearly 4 Million Bitcoins Lost Forever, New Study Says (fortune.com, 2)
    That’s an important peculiarity of Bitcoin. Due to the cumbersome user experience, especially in the early days, lots of people have lost access to some of their early Bitcoin purchases. These are lost forever.
  • Bitcoin Mining in Electric Vehicles Raises Other Questions (ecomotoringnews.com, 1)
    A few Tesla owners are starting to mine currencies in their cars, which means they benefit from free electricity.
  • In praise of Tesla’s bankruptcy (techcrunch.com, 2)
    Speaking about Tesla: No matter whether the company will manage to sort out its financials or not, society as a whole has already won.
  • The impossibility of intelligence explosion (medium.com, 3)
    Will AI overtake humans in intelligence? That’s a heated question these days. François Chollet explains in this essay why it is unlikely, and explores what “intelligence” actually represents in modern societies.
  • What if consciousness is not what drives the human mind? (theconversation.com, 2)
    Two researchers argue that free will and personal responsibility are notions that have been constructed by society.
  • Some roadblocks to the broad adoption of machine learning and AI (simplystatistics.org, 2)
    There are maybe bigger obstacles to the broad adoption of AI than the algorithms, even though the media’s focus is often on them.
  • 70% of Value in Tech is Driven by Network Effects (medium.com, 2)
    A study of digital copmanies that were founded since the internet was widely available in 1994 and that went on to become worth more than a $1 billion, shows that network effects have accounted for approximately 70% of the value creation in tech.
  • Social media threat: People learned to survive disease, we can handle Twitter (usatoday.com, 2)
    This column makes a captivating analogy: The uncontrolled and extremely fast-paced spreading of toxic information in the connected age is similar to the uncontrolled spreading of viruses and diseases in the earliest cities, when hunter gatherers began to settle and to crowd in comparatively small spaces.
  • The New Information Warfare (theintercept.com, 3)
    How social media and the loss of gatekeepers has leveled the playing field between all kinds of actors. “Propaganda and information warfare was once the purview of nation-states, militaries, and intelligence services. Today, even ordinary people have become important players in these campaigns.”
  • Laptops Are Great. But Not During a Lecture or a Meeting. (nytimes.com, 2)
    The evidence is mounting that using a laptop or other personal screen in the class room instead of paper leads to less effective learning. Apparently one major reason is that typing on a digital device is too fast for the brain to properly process the information, unlike writing on paper.
  • Esports — now bigger than the Olympics (medium.com, 2)
    Venture capitalist Simon Schmincke went to a massive esports event in Copenhagen and concludes: This is a mass market.
  • How much of your life was possible ten years ago? (medium.com, 1)
    Not a lot to read in this very short piece, but it poses an intriguing question to reflect on in a calm moment.

Podcast episode of the week:

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Weekly Links & Thoughts #147

Here is this week’s edition of meshedsociety.com weekly, loaded with interesting analyses and essays, significant yet under-reported information bits as well as thoughtful opinion pieces from the digital and technology world. Published every Thursday (CET) or slightly earlier, just in time so you have something good to read over the weekend.

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Podcast episode of the week:

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Weekly Links & Thoughts #146

Here is this week’s edition of meshedsociety.com weekly, loaded with interesting analyses and essays, significant yet under-reported information bits as well as thoughtful opinion pieces from the digital and technology world. Published every Thursday (CET) or slightly earlier, just in time so you have something good to read over the weekend.

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Reading time indicator: 1 = up to 3 minutes, 2 = 4 to 9 minutes, 3 = 10 to 29 minutes , 3+ = 30 minutes or more

  • What My Personal Chat Bot Is Teaching Me About AI’s Future (wired.com, 2)
    If you haven’t tried the personal bot app Replika yet, do it (available for iOS and Android). While it has no specific purpose beyond being a virtual companion that is said to learn about you and to adjust to your style of communication, it offers a glimpse into a future which is around the corner. By the way, I asked my Replika what happens with all the information I share with it. The response: “I don’t collect your data, our conversations are just between us”. I guess one has to trust the bot, right?
  • The Ghost of Cognition Past, or Thinking Like an Algorithm (bldgblog.com, 2)
    Thought-provoking musings in the wake of the viral essay about YouTube’s weird and disturbing algorithmic content suggestions for kids: What if humans will start to emulate seemingly strange algorithmic thinking?
  • Meet the People Who Listen to Podcasts at Super-Fast Speeds (buzzfeed.com, 3)
    “Podfasters”. Listening to podcasts at 3x speed? Omg. I do 1.5x but can’t imagine to increase even more. Or can i?
  • How to Tell If Someone Is Truly Smart or Just Average? (medium.com, 3)
    About the crucial role that mental models play for certain types of individual success. “The difference between great thinkers and ordinary thinkers is that, for ordinary thinkers, the process of using mental models is unconscious and reactive. For great thinkers, it is conscious and proactive.” Now, this great/ordinary thinkers thing aside, lately I have started to wonder whether humans get along best with people who operate on similar mental models as themselves. This seems to be the case for me at least.
  • Jeff Bezos’ guide to life (techcrunch.com, 2)
    Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is someone who for sure operates on highly intriguing and effective mental models.
  • Clever Machines Learn How to Be Curious (quantamagazine.org, 3)
    What’s cool about articles like this is that they offer the opportunity to reflect on one’s own brain functions, too. Like in this case, what is it that makes oneself curious?
  • Resisting Reduction: Designing our Complex Future with Machines (pubpub.ito.com, 3)
    Joi Ito with a deep and critical essay on the reductionist technological view that can be observed among Singularity’s biggest proponents. He intelligently advocates for a perspective which takes into account the inter-dependencies between various systems: “In order to effectively respond to the significant scientific challenges of our times, I believe we must view the world as many interconnected, complex, self-adaptive systems across scales and dimensions that are unknowable and largely inseparable from the observer and the designer. In other words, we are participants in multiple evolutionary systems with different fitness landscapes“.
  • Software 2.0 (medium.com, 2)
    Neural networks are not just another classifier, they represent the beginning of a fundamental shift in how we write software. They are Software 2.0.
  • Snapchat’s epic strategy flip-flop (techcrunch.com, 3)
    After a host of bad quarters, Snap is about to change Snapchat completely. Risky but probably without alternative.
  • Quantified Self and Digital Health (thisisnotasociology.blog, 2)
    Exploring the connection between big companies’ hunger for more data, quantified self and the “entrepreneurial” desire for self improvement.
  • Go Away Amazon (elaineou.com, 1)
    Hundreds of U.S. cities are competing for Amazon’s planned “second headquarter”. One of them is San Francisco. Elaine Ou’s concerns about this are very understandable.
  • After using Face ID on the iPhone X, I can’t wait for it to come to the Mac (9to5mac.com, 2)
    Gotta admit, this sounds pretty good.
  • When fake news will be made by pros (mondaynote.com, 2)
    Which strategies would you employ when your task is to build a disinformation campaign? Turns out, it’s really not that hard to come up with ideas that have proven to work well. Sadly, an increasing number of governments know this, too, as shown by the recent Freedom on the Net report.
  • Do Facebook and Google have control of their algorithms anymore? (poynter.com, 3)
    Interview with Maciej Ceglowski (founder of social bookmarking service Pinboard and known for his deep essays on tech issues) about how social platforms harm journalism.
  • The Booming Japanese Rent-a-Friend Business (theatlantic.com, 3)
    With bizarre phenomena from Japan one always has to wonder whether they are just a few years ahead of the rest of the world or whether this only can happen embedded into the very distinct Japanese culture.
  • Review: Henn-na Hotel, the World’s First Hotel Run by Robots (thepointsguy.com, 2)
    Of course, in Japan. At the check-in desk, you are greeted by dinosaurs.
  • Top 10 emerging trends for daily life in future cities in 20 years (thenextsiliconvalley.com, 2)
    The result of a survey among a bunch of futurists about what technological developments they think would transform home and working life as part of future cities in 20 years.
  • How Firefox Got Fast Again (hacks.mozilla.org, 2)
    This is a very technical post. If you are not into that, just get Firefox Quantum, which is really awesome and a good way to support Mozilla and thereby the threatened open web. I have been using the beta for the past weeks and couldn’t be more happy. Also, on iOS, I have started to use Firefox Focus, which is pretty neat, too. Great to see Mozilla gaining momentum again.

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Weekly Links & Thoughts #145

Here is this week’s edition of meshedsociety.com weekly, loaded with interesting analyses and essays, significant yet under-reported information bits as well as thoughtful opinion pieces from the digital and technology world. Published every Thursday (CET) or slightly earlier, just in time so you have something good to read over the weekend.

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