meshedsociety weekly #224

Here is a new issue of meshedsociety weekly, loaded with interesting analyses and essays, significant information bits, thoughtful opinion pieces from the digital and technology world, and a bit serendipity.


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  • I Tried Emailing Like a CEO and Quite Frankly, It Made My Life Better (buzzfeed.com, 7 minutes)
    Being slightly impolite (because extremely brief) but quick worked very well for Katie Notopoulos.
  • Fake News Is an Oracle (locusmag.com, 9 minutes)
    Cory Doctorow explores the topic of fake news and conspiracy theories from a different angle than what is usually being done: He likens these phenomena to the trauma of living in a world where there is ample evidence that our truth-seeking exer­cises can’t be trusted.
  • What content dominates on YouTube? (blog.pex.com, 5 minutes)
    Music. And when it comes to the distribution of views in general: 0.64% of all videos ever reach more than 100,000 views, and these videos represent 81.6% of all views on the platform.
  • How I made money podcasting and why you probably don’t want to (blog.usejournal.com, 13 minutes)
    Fascinating account from Tim Romero about how he becameJapan’s first professional podcaster”, built a little media business, worked 80-hour-weeks with good revenue for one person but not enough to hire staff, gave up on the business by taking a full time job, and also about how podcasting changed him as a person.
  • The Threat Of Automation Is A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy (palladiummag.com, 15 minutes)
    The last sentence of this article is a good tl;dr: “Automation is a threat only because we believe it to be a threat, but it would stop being one if we acknowledged just how underrated humans are.
  • How the Smartphone Helped Save the Planet (wired.com, 6 minutes)
    Some might find the headline hyperbolic (and I actually modified it and replaced “iPhone” with “Smartphone”), but the point made is important to take into account: Billions of people buying smartphones isn’t automatically damaging the environment more than if these people wouldn’t have bought smartphones – because the smartphone replaced so many tools and gadgets that people now don’t buy anymore. As the author puts it, the smartphone let us dematerialize our consumption.
  • Jony Ive’s Fragmented Legacy: Unreliable, Unrepairable, Beautiful Gadgets (ifixit.com, 4 minutes)
    Seen from the perspective presented in the previous piece, maybe this “unrepairable” legacy must be considered the price we paid for having gotten the ability to dematerialize our consumption elsewhere…?
  • Eskilstuna: how a Swedish town became the world capital of recycling (theguardian.com, 12 minutes)
    The city of Eskilstuna is home to a small shopping mall named “ReTuna“, where everything on sale is secondhand or recycled.
  • In Japan, a growing number of car-sharing users don’t rent cars for driving (asahi.com, 4 minutes)
    This makes sense: In crowded (Japanese) cities, paying a few bucks for short-term access to a car in order to get a break from all the people to nap, relax or think, can be totally worth it.
  • The Families Who Use Slack and Asana at Home (theatlantic.com, 7 minutes)
    Makes me wonder if there is a market opportunity/need for a particular communication and management app targeting families.
  • Hidden VPN owners unveiled: 97 VPN products run by just 23 companies (vpnpro.com, 10 minutes)
    The VPN industry is characterized by lack of transparency and convoluted ownership structures – and a few of the companies involved are based in China.
  • Hong Kong’s protesters use AirDrop to breach China’s Firewall (qz.com, 3 minutes)
    Smart use case for AirDrop. Who knows where else this will come handy in the future.
  • Social Media and Thought Leadership for Founders (thisisgoingtobebig.com, 10 minutes)
    How to combine being an entrepreneur/startup founder and a thought leader, and why that can be a good move.
  • Response Rate is a Quality Signal (acrowdedspace.com, 3 minutes)
    Some insightful remarks on the information that emails which ask how happy a customer was with a specific service/product, provide to the sender.
  • Diversify Your Friendship Portfolio (lesswrong.com, 2 minutes)
    An intriguing analogy: As it is widely suggested to diversify one’s financial investments, one could apply the same concept to friendships.
  • Hey, grownups, it’s time to lose the backpack (inquirer.com, 3 minutes)
    Turns out, the backpack has become a thing in day-to-day (business) life among grown-ups  (in the moment I read this I realized how true this is, at least in the countries in which I spend my time), but the simple backpack etiquette (“Take it off in crowded spaces”) isn’t always followed. It’s meant as a serious read (I guess) but it’s also hilarious.
  • Why LinkedIn is the only social network that survives breakups (cnbc.com, 4 minutes)
    Apropos hilarious (as a topic someone felt worth covering). But at least for myself, it’s definitely true.
  • For 40 Years, Crashing Trains Was One of America’s Favorite Pastimes (atlasobscura.com, 6 minutes)
    Incredible. I can see why people found this fascinating. Let’s see whether in 100 years there’ll be an equivalent for today’s new technology.

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