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.
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 November 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.
Reading time indicator: 1 = up to 3 minutes, 2 = 4 to 9 minutes, 3 = 10 to 29 minutes , 3+ = 30 minutes or more
- Elon Musk: The Architect of Tomorrow (rollingstone.com, 3)
An incredible profile of Elon Musk and his mental states. Astonishing how emotional he appears to be. Or he just wants to come across that way, hard to say.
- ‘I see things differently’: James Damore on his autism and the Google memo (theguardian.com, 3)
The debate about the Google memo suffered from lack of nuance. But this long, insightful profile of Damore and his controversial text has a lot of nuance.
- Our future is networked and feminine (jarche.com, 2)
A very trenchant description of our changing times. Probably everyone reading this understands that, but I still want to emphasize: “feminine” is not related to biological gender, but to certain traits and characteristics that were traditionally associated with female behavior. In my eyes, everyone can develop and perfect these traits and characteristics (while also keep cultivating those traits that traditionally have been labeled as “masculine” and that still are useful). It’s mostly about the willingness to combine the best of both worlds. And I mean, objectively, one would be stupid not to do that.
- I’m on the FCC. Please stop us from killing net neutrality (latimes.com, 2)
Unfortunately, the U.S. is getting very close to killing net neutrality. Why net neutrality is important for every person on the internet? The author Jessica Rosenworcel puts its well: “Net neutrality is the right to go where you want and do what you want on the internet without your broadband provider getting in the way.”
- Inside Google’s Struggle to Filter Lies From Breaking News (bloomberg.com, 2)
Good summary of the tricky territory that Google (like Facebook) is trying to navigate here.
- How to Motivate the Unmotivated (leadershipfreak.blog, 1)
From 2013, but a question that never goes out of fashion. Relevant in professional, personal, societal and political contexts.
- Can a superintelligence self-regulate and not destroy us? (digitopoly.org, 1)
“If you activate an AI that is superintelligent, you can’t control it. I assume that this control problem does not go away. That means that to prevent this you either must not activate an AI (which we all agree some human will do regardless) or an activated AI must choose not to destroy us even though all it wants is more paperclips.” See also: paperclip apocalypse.
- AI offers us a new path to opportunity (codeburst.io, 2)
“We need a new generation of benevolent entrepreneurs, who focus on AIs that can offer abundance for everyone”, argues .
- Can you distinguish between a bot and a human? (blogs.spectator.co.uk, 2)
It’s definitely getting harder. Here is an older piece from me about the same topic: Twitter makes humans look like bots.
- Will Coinbase Be the Biggest Bank In The World? (hackernoon.com, 2)
If not a gigantic crypto crash or a wave of hostile regulation ends up destroying the collective belief in crypto currencies, it seems not implausible that Coinbase will evolve into a massive player. Winner-takes-it-all (or at least most of it), again.
- Bill Gates and Steve Jobs raised their kids tech-free — and it should’ve been a red flag (businessinsider.com, 2)
I find speculations about whether tech luminaries consciously “know” things about technology and its impact on humans that most people don’t know to be questionable. For example, Mark Zuckerberg or the Twitter guys were very obviously unable to anticipate the impact of their creations. My default working assumption is: These people are as clueless as everyone. However, they might have a few particularly distinct intuitions – which still come with a significant chance of being wrong.
- Whatever Happened To MOOCs? (larrycuban.wordpress.com, 1)
The hype about Massive Open Online Courses is gone.
- The Simple Art of Getting Anything You Want (medium.com, 2)
Zat Rana on selection filters and why the life is shaped by what you say “no” to.
- A year with AirPods, or, how my AirPods fell into the toilet and lived to tell the tale (stephencoyle.net, 1)
Good, one more person who wants an in-ear variant of Apple’s AirPods.
- PressCoin is a cryptocurrency for investigative journalists and their readers (venturebeat.com, 1)
Intriguing idea, at least on paper – like so many blockchain projects.
- Is WeWork the Apple of Real Estate? (rethinking.re, 2)
WeWork is reshaping collaboration and physical work spaces.
- Billion-Dollar Bumble: How Whitney Wolfe Herd Built America’s Fastest-Growing Dating App (forbes.com, 2)
For long it looked as if Tinder would own the casual mobile dating market forever. But now the fast-rising competitor Bumble is turning into a real threat. It was founded by Tinder’s cofounder and former vice president of marketing, Whitney Wolfe.
- The remarkable, inspiring story of Medellin (medium.com, 2)
My trip report from Medellin, which is a great place to study and explore if one is looking for some reason for optimism.
Podcast episode of the week:
- Pessimist’s Archive: Coffee
On the centuries-long fear of coffee. Hilarious.
Thanks for reading! If you want to make sure not to miss this link selection in the future, sign up for free for the weekly email.