meshedsociety weekly #198

Here is a new issue of meshedsociety 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.

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  • 25 Things that Won’t Exist in 25 Years (, 6 minutes)
    Pure speculation of course, and in parts U.S.-centric, but also including a couple of noteworthy points. Among the things that the author expects to disappear within the next 25 years: Zoos, keys, handheld smartphones, trustworthy video evidence, cigarettes and – I had to chuckle – baldness.
  • Podcast industry aims to better track listeners through new analytics tech called RAD (, 4 minutes)
    One great thing about podcasts is that they still are comparatively non-intrusive when it comes to tracking. But of course, the growing podcast industry wants to change that.
  • Some Words Defy Translation (, 4 minutes)
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel used the word “shitstorm” in a public speech. Among native English speakers, the term is considered a vulgarity. In German however, it has become quite established.
  • My Roommate’s Tik Tok Fame Made My Life Hell (, 14 minutes)
    An entertaining and quite insightful read (despite being content marketing – but in the end, what isn’t?! See next link). When your work consists of pleasing a big social media crowd with selfies and short video challenges, you might become a bit weird.
  • Is there an actual Facebook crisis, or media narrative about Facebook crisis? (, 3 minutes)
    Facebook might be indeed in a crisis, or it only is the media narrative. But aside from Facebook, I think there is a bigger phenomenon going on: Media narratives increasingly are living their own lives, based on what editors, writers and columnist would like to be perceived as reality – which is often partly or even fully detached from the lived reality of most. In the end, one might easily call most stuff that is published in media outlets “ideological content marketing”.
  • The dark side of too much information (, 4 minutes)
    A new study offers some not extremely surprising conclusions: When faced with an overwhelming volume of information, humans lean on a series of biases in order to wade through the torrent of data: bias towards negative information, confirmation bias, bias towards social consensus, pattern recognition.
  • An interview with the documentary filmmaker Adam Curtis (, 38 minutes)
    If you liked HyperNormalisation or Curtis’ older documentaries, you’ll probably find this lengthy interview worth the time.
  • Yep, Bitcoin Was a Bubble. And It Popped. (, 5 minutes)
    It did, but as the article notes, there is one important thing to remember: “The total amount of wealth involved — a few hundred billion dollars, spread out around the globe — was small compared to the 2000s housing bubble or the 1990s dot-com bubble, meaning the pain will be limited.”
  • On Blogs in the Social Media Age (, 4 minutes)
    I find the distinction between “collectivist attention markets” and “capitalist attention markets” proposed in this text worth pondering more.
  • Where The Wild Things Are (, 7 minutes)
    Brilliant mental model: Creativity always starts at the edge.
  • Land of the “Super Founders“— A Data-Driven Approach to Uncover the Secrets of Billion Dollar Startups (, 18 minutes)
    The result of 300 hours (according to the author) gathering data: An impressive and in parts extremely informative compilation of charts and statistics on what made the most valued startups become who they are today.
  • Can you grow a startup on the side? (, 7 minutes)
    Yes, but it means you’ll be slower and the chances to become one of the aforementioned billion dollar startups probably decrease (regardless of whether that’s a desirable goal to have or not).
  • ‘Start-up nation’: a symptom, but of what? (, 6 minutes)
    “Everywhere, institutional pressure to transform young people into entrepreneurs is becoming an obsession. It’s a symptom, but of what? Can it not be seen as a sign of panic among politicians contemplating the shortage of prospects to offer young people?”
  • The Interplanetary File System (IPFs) explained (, 11 minutes)
    The IPFS is a peer-to-peer web protocol, similar to torrent technology but for web content. Basically, people are storing parts of the data on their computers. The IFPS is still extremely niche and might never get beyond that, but who knows.
  • When Two Partners Have Very Different Feelings About Tech (, 6 minutes)
    A rarely discussed topic, but an interesting one.
  • Mechanical Keyboards (, 6 minutes)
    A mechanical keyboard is a more modern and practical equivalent of a typewriter. Writer Matt Gemmell got himself one.
  • Meet Zora, the Robot Caregiver (, 4 minutes)
    Short piece about the robot “Zora”, which is tested in France to change care for elderly patients. First results are promising: “Many patients developed an emotional attachment, treating it like a baby, holding and cooing, giving it kisses on the head.”

Recently on

Quotation of the week:

  • “Talk about ‘green growth’, not about saving the planet. When societies are asked to choose between economic growth or cutting emissions, they always choose growth. So the green story should be: let’s modernise our economies, creating jobs and cleaner air.
    Stop predicting doomsday. The message should be, ‘Yes we can, and without much pain.’ Sacrifice doesn’t sell, and when most scenarios are pessimistic, people see little point in acting.

    Simon Kuper in “How to sell climate change and save the planet (paywall,, 4 minutes)

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