meshedsociety weekly #199

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.

meshedsociety weekly will be back in early 2019. Happy holidays and new year.


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  • Animated visualization of GDP by country from 1961 until today (twitter.com)
    Absolutely breathtaking to watch. Also great choice of music! :)
  • On the age of computation in the epoch of humankind (nature.com, 19 minutes)
    Thought-provoking big picture view on how the digital world impacts the planet through feedback loops and changing behavioral patterns.
  • Alexa will be able to tell when your relationship is ending, experts predict (nypost.com, 2 minutes)
    Fantastic! I’ve been thinking about a feature like this for smartphones, but it’s probably better for a smart home assistant. This could be truly life-changing (“Warning: Your conversation is close to turning into a fight. Take a break”).
  • The Coming Commodification of Life at Home (theatlantic.com, 8 minutes)
    Regarding the previous case: Maybe the smart home assistant would not warn the couple of the imminent relationship end and instead see potential for making someone money, by automatically ordering a breakup emergency package filled with napkins, booze and whatever other products it knows its owners want to have when going through a breakup.
  • What Does “On Demand” Mean, Anyway? (pedestrianobservations.com, 6 minutes)
    Yes. Despite the label, even “on-demand” transportation services come with wait times. “People within the tech industry dismiss schedules out of hand. Thus they insist that transportation be on-demand, even when in practice the wait is longer than on a competing mode of travel that is scheduled.”
  • Become A Facebook-Free Business (m.signalvnoise.com, 2 minutes)
    “Being a Facebook-Free Business means your customers can trust that you aren’t collaborators with the Facebook machine.”
  • Naval Ravikant Answers Questions (stoicjournal.com, 19 minutes)
    An amazing treasure trove of (life) wisdom and catchy quotes from AngelList CEO & founder and deep thinker Naval Ravikant. Among my favorites: ” We are biological machines programmed to survive and replicate. Happy is anti-evolution.”, “Looking forward to holidays takes the joy out of the everyday.” and “Meditate in bed. Either you will fall asleep or have a deep meditation. Victory either way.”
  • Asking the right question is more important than getting the right answer (lemire.com, 5 minutes)
    The value, impact and potential of (good) questions is certainly underestimated. I agree with the author: “The world would be better if we had more people asking better questions.”
  • The Spacing Effect: How to Improve Learning and Maximize Retention (fs.blog, 13 minutes)
    Humans are better able to recall information and concepts if we learn them in multiple, spread-out sessions. This effect can be leveraged by using spaced repetition to slowly learn almost anything.
  • What I learned from getting deported twice and building two successful businesses in the process (medium.com, 9 minutes)
    Some people’s resilience is so remarkable: Farzad Ban is a successful entrepreneur who had to endure 2 deportations from Sweden since the age of 14. Even though he runs a growing Stockholm-based company, he currently has no country in which he can stay in for more than 90 days.
  • Our Ownershipless Future (ivaylopavlov.com, 7 minutes)
    Is the trend to rent everything instead of owning it a net positive or net loss?
  • A Brief History of Leverage and Power (salon.thefamily.co, 13 minutes)
    When people talk about power in 2018, they mean “leverage”. Leverage is the ability to get more for your efforts than the energy you put in. Leverage is how you can get a bigger-than-hoped return on investment on your efforts. A couple of traditional rules about how to obtain and preserve power don’t apply anymore.
  • Instagram Stars Are Posting Fake Sponsored Content (theatlantic.com, 8 minutes)
    By the way, this weekly reading list is made possible in partnership with Apple, Tesla and Waffle House.
  • Why YouTube’s Biggest Star Can’t Be Cancelled (nymag.com, 8 minutes)
    YouTube is essentially dependent on its biggest stars. So if Felix Kjellberg, a.k.a. PewDiePie, says something questionable, it’s not like on Twitter where a person just would be banned right away. On the one hand, this is very good as a defense mechanism for free speech. On the other hand, it comes with problems, as detailed in this piece. Because once you are as big as PewDiePie, you have responsibility, because millions are influenced by what you are saying. What if a YouTube star cannot handle this responsibility?
  • The Dynamics of Network Effects (a16z.com, 9 minutes)
    Network effects are changing, not naturally leading to winner-take-all-markets anymore. Related: 16 Ways to Measure Network Effects.
  • Do we really need a mobile edge? (staceyoniot.com, 4 minutes)
    Mind-boggling: “Rahul Vijay of Uber told the audience that each self-driving Uber car generates about 4 terabytes of data a day. A terabyte is 1,000 gigabytes, or roughly 250 HD movies.”
  • How to make your podcast the right length (podnews.com, 3 minutes)
    I’ve never consciously thought about what the right length for a podcast would be. This article changed that. Currently my personal preference is about 1 hour, because I try to take hour-long walks as often as possible.
  • Everything you ever wanted to know about 5G but were too afraid to ask (sifted.eu, 6 minutes)
    Good primer with focus on the rollout of 5G in Europe.
  • Mental wellness startup Wisdo launches with $11 million in funding (techcrunch.com, 3 minutes)
    Sounds very impactful and like a potentially big market: Wisdo aims to connect and support people in some of their toughest moments.

Recently on meshedsociety.com:

Quotation of the week:

  • “As more of our actions and thinking happens while connected to the internet, our unconscious mind is no longer private.”
    Kristoffer Tjalve in his newsletter Naive Weekly (kristoffer.substack.com)

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