Weekly Links & Thoughts #130

Here is this week’s edition of meshedsociety.com weekly, loaded with thoughtful opinion pieces, interesting analyses and significant yet under-reported information bits from the digital and technology world. Published and annotated every Thursday (CET), just in time so you have something good to read over the weekend.

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Reading time indicator: 1 = up to 3 minutes, 2 = 3 to 10 minutes, 3 = more than 10 minutes

  • The evolution of trust (ncase.me, 3)
    A fun, gamified demonstration of the dynamics of game theory and of why people seem to trust each other less instead of more.
  • This Is How Your Fear and Outrage Are Being Sold for Profit (medium.com, 3)
    Spot-on essay. One of my biggest hopes right now is that eventually, enough people will grow tired of participating in this destructive process. Without “eyeballs” and user engagement, there is no business model. But it would mean for people to significantly reduce (or even stop) using feed-based social media (aka the Facebook news feed and Twitter), and to acknowledge their role as exploited characters in someone else’s game. Without admitting this and without being willing to make sacrifices, things likely will get worse and the dumbing down of the media landscape (and subsequently of the public debates and political sphere) will continue.
  • The quitting economy (aeon.co, 3)
    Food for thought: “In a way new to the world, and begun by the re-orientation of companies to maximise shareholder value, quitting work is now central to what it means to have a job in the first place. People apply for jobs with the conscious plan to quit, with an eye toward what other jobs the job for which they are applying might help them get.”
  • Money Is A Consensual Hallucination (feld.com, 1)
    The more electronic or digital currency is finding its way into our lives, the more apparent gets the abstract concept of money.
  • The Rise of the “Retro Human” Business (medium.com, 1)
    If the vinyl can have its come back, the human worker can have too – in selected scenarios at least in which people crave nostalgia.
  • This Is Tesla’s Greatest Competitive Advantage (singularityhub.com, 1)
    Indeed often overlooked: Tesla is building technology platforms, not simply electrical cars.
  • A few points to keep in mind when reading any upcoming story about Elon Musk (observationalepidemiology.blogspot.com, 2)
    Or is this all just a house of cards and Tesla founder Elon Musk’s actual strengths don’t go beyond creating hype and raising money?
  • Daimler and Bosch create a driverless parking garage (techcrunch.com, 2)
    In my opinion this is an absolutely brilliant way of introducing people to the benefits of self-driving cars. Because, who likes navigating through a narrow parking garage to find a tiny parking spot between two huge pillars?!
  • A Discussion with Albert Wenger: Thoughts on a ‘World After Capital’ (hackernoon.com, 3)
    The German-born but NYC-based Venture Capitalist Albert Wenger is one of my favorite digital thinkers. Unsurprisingly, this interview is filled with plenty of smart observations and musings. One I find especially worth highlighting: “I think one of the most foundational steps is to just educate more people about what we now know about the brain. There’s this strange thing where you can go through high school and you have physical education, economics, math, but where’s the owner’s manual to your brain?”. Yes. Yes. Yes. 
  • 15+ Ways a Venture Capitalist Says “No” (unsupervisedmethods.com, 2)
    If you ever find yourself in need of raising a financing round from a Venture Capitalist or want to know what those who do have to go through…entertaining list.
  • Windows 10 is making too many PCs obsolete (computerworld.com, 2)
    It appears as if Microsoft really wants people to buy new PC hardware sooner than technically necessary. Not cool.
  • Intel packs a neural network into a USB stick (newatlas.com, 1)
    AI on a stick.
  • What It’s Like to Be a Woman at a Tech Conference (shift.newco.co, 2)
    Nice, non-angry write-up encouraging empathy and reflection without a “I’m the victim” tonality.
  • Where Do the Initial Coin Offerings End? (observer.com, 3)
    The untamed hype described in this intelligent and for the complex topic remarkably comprehensible analysis reminds me a bit of what I’ve read about the final days of the dotcom boom.
  • Facebook worker living in garage to Zuckerberg: challenges are right outside your door (theguardian.com, 2)
    That’s quite a dilemma and the result of a too big gap between the top earners and the rest of the population: The workers at Facebook’s cafeteria at the company headquarter in Menlo Park earn comparatively well, but way too little to be able to afford housing in the notoriously overpriced area. So they live in a garage.
  • YouTube And Latin America Are Taking Over The World (musicindustryblog.wordpress.com, 2)
    Fascinating point: Latin America is turning into a music streaming powerhouse, especially on YouTube, generating snowball effects for songs which then subsequently even receive global fame.
  • Shazam’s First Television Venture Is Already A Hit, And It’s Just Getting Started (forbes.com, 2)
    There is a show running on U.S. TV called “Beat Shazam” and it is exactly about what you imagine. As the author notes: “Beat Shazam only works because there aren’t many people left in America, or the world by this point, who don’t at least know what Shazam is and what it can do.”
  • Here’s Spotify’s biggest problem – in a Netflix-shaped nutshell (musicbusinessworldwide.com, 2)
    Both companies grow on the same rate. But the average revenue from a Netflix subscriber is going up, while the average revenue from a Spotify subscriber is going down.
  • Should you force quit your iOS apps? Let’s look at the data (birchtree.me, 2)
    No, the tiny savings in processing power are not worth it.
  • Say Goodbye to Spain’s Glorious Three-Hour Lunch Break (citylab.com, 2)
    Throwing in this article even if it is completely unrelated to everything I am writing and sharing here. But I learned a lot from this piece about why the Spanish work and meal schedule differs so much from most other countries in the world, and why this might be changing.

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