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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- The Tiny Swiss Company That Thinks It Can Help Stop Climate Change (nytimes.com, 29 minutes)
About the possibility, economic feasibility and challenges of removing CO₂ from the air through the technology of “direct air capture”. It’s great when a long piece about arguably humanity’s most important issue right now manages to be deeply informative and to convey a constructive, even slightly optimistic picture on tackling climate change. The emotional, binary and moralizing narrative built around the idea of “panic!” which dominates the debate probably serves a purpose. But it certainly shouldn’t be the only narrative that is being heard.
- Our Extended Minds (blog.usejournal.com, 14 minutes)
A nicely nuanced, optimistic yet not uncritical essay about how the internet is extending our minds, concluding that “we need to embrace technology while being extremely cautious about its long term impacts.”
- Why Hasn’t Evolution Invented the Wheel? (medium.com, 7 minutes)
What a captivating question. The author offers some pretty deep thoughts, so skim-reading this won’t work.
- There’s No Good Reason to Trust Blockchain Technology (wired.com, 10 minutes)
That’s quite an impressive takedown of blockchain technology by Bruce Schneier.
- Madrid approves 18 micromobility companies to deploy 8,610 e-scooters (Twitter thread)
The city of Madrid has approved 18 e-scooter companies to operate in the city, among them Lime, Voi, Scoot, Tier and Wind. 8,610 scooters will be distributed throughout all neighborhoods and districts. The approved companies will have to launch within the next 2 months. Here is an article in Spanish.
- Gamifying love (thenextweb.com, 4 minutes)
It’s a trend: Apps for couples that gamify a romantic relationship to strengthen it.
- Could this wearable technology be the way forward for treating depression? (cosmopolitan.com, 4 minute)
Sounds innovative and potentially ground-breaking: The Swedish startup Flow wants to treat depression with a combination of a wearable headset and an app.
- Amazon is bringing its delivery Lockers to Coachella (techcrunch.com, 3 minutes)
Somehow insane and at the same time quite a nobrainer: Pop-up automated lockers to pick up things bought online while at a festival.
- “Spotify Teardown” Is the Book Spotify Didn’t Want Published (rollingstone.com, 6 minutes)
For a book which critically investigates the inner workings of Spotify, five researchers set up a fake record label to peer under the hood of the streaming service’s financial dealings.
- Why did Slack file for a direct listing rather than an IPO? (saastr.com, 2 minutes)
After Spotify did it, even Slack plans to skip the traditional IPO in favor of a direct listing. Why? A company saves a lot on dilution of shares and a bit (but not THAT much) on fees.
- The ARPUs of the Big Four Dwarf Everybody Else (mondaynote.com, 5 minutes)
A comparison of how much leading tech companies (and Buzzfeed) earn per user on a yearly basis.
- Meet Aurora: Finland’s AI assistant aims to give each citizen tailored advice (zdnet.com, 4 minutes)
When it comes to headlines about embracing AI on a country-wide level, Finland definitely has momentum.
- Finland basic income trial left people ‘happier but jobless’ (bbc.com, 4 minutes)
Apropos Finland: That’s a good outcome. Because making people happier is the point of a basic income.
- Sweden’s surprising rule for time off (bbc.com, 10 minutes)
In Sweden, employees enjoy a legally-enshrined right to take a leave of absence for entrepreneurship.
- The Tricky Business of Democracy (republik.ch, 18 minutes)
Switzerland has been at the forefront of electronic voting. But safety concerns are currently causing a blacklash, which also puts a Spanish company called Scytl in the spotlight. Scytl provides the e-voting software that’s utilized by the Swiss national postal service, which nowadays has the monopoly on Swiss electronic voting. Scytl doesn’t have a spotless record.
- What is the maximum group size for a proper conversation? (jackmartinleith.com, 3 minutes)
4-5, according to experts. But of course it depends on a definition of “proper” and what one values in a conversation.
- The Case for Professors of Stupidity (nautil.us, 3 minutes)
There are numerous individuals who study intelligence. But considering that one of the greatest problems facing the world is stupidity, there should be professors of stupidity, argues Brian Gallagher.
- Man plans to sue parents for giving birth to him without his consent (bbc.com, 3 minutes)
I just had to include this! “A 27-year-old Indian man plans to sue his parents for giving birth to him without his consent.” It’s both humorous and deeply philosophical.
Quotation of the week:
- “Some good advice is simple but made complicated because professionals can’t charge fees for simple stuff.”
Morgen Housal in “Short Money Rules” (collaborativefund.com, 2 minutes)
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