Here is this week’s issue of meshedsociety.com 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. Published every Wednesday/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 = 4 to 9 minutes, 3 = 10 to 29 minutes , 3+ = 30 minutes or more
Note: Some of the publications may use “soft” paywalls. If you are denied access, open the URL in your browser’s incognito/private mode.
- Don’t Be Evil (logicmag.io, 3)
The Stanford professor and Silicon Valley expert Fred Turner offers tremendously fascinating (historical) insights into the Silicon Valley’s ethos and how it impacts the products and services that are being created there.
- Against the synchronous society (kimonote.com, 2)
This essay can easily be argued against, as there are numerous societal advantages of synchrony of certain processes and events. But that doesn’t make exploring the disadvantages of the synchronous society less intriguing.
- The Era of Systems (danablankenhorn.com, 2)
When the most world-changing technologies of the past decades are combined with today’s mega trends such as blockchain and AI, the result is a new era: the era of systems. “Blockchain can turn cities into systems, it can turn food into a system, and it can turn health care into a system”.
- Why 2018 could be the software industry’s ‘seatbelt’ moment (medium.com, 2)
It took decades from the debut of the first car until seat belts became mandatory. This seems to be a helpful metaphor to understand a very likely trend of 2018.
- Biology, the New (Old) Technical Debt… (a16z.com, 2)
Let’s continue with another thought-provoking metaphor.
- Triple Meltdown: How So Many Researchers Found a 20-Year-Old Chip Flaw At the Same Time (wired.com, 3)
“The key question isn’t how so many researchers stumbled onto the same class of attack at roughly the same time. It’s how the attacks remained undiscovered for so long—or whether they were in fact discovered, and used to hack unwitting targets in secret.”
- 95 Crypto Theses for 2018 (medium.com, 3)
The title would typically trigger a “pass” reflex in me. Too many items on a list, plus theses/predictions which are an inflationary phenomenon. But I am glad I didn’t skip it. Lots of good insights and perspectives from the founder of CoinDesk and other services in the blockchain space.
- The Church of Currency (medium.com, 2)
What have crypto currencies in common with religions? Turns out, quite a bit.
- Masayoshi Son: The Tech World’s Unstoppable Force (adage.com, 2)
The Japanese telecommunications giant Softbank is investing billions into the world’s biggest tech firms and thereby redrawing the industry’s global map. This profile points out that most of the investing is actually done by one single person: Masayoshi Son.
- Why sex with robots is a complicated business (wikitribune.com, 2)
Sex robots are a topic filled with uncomfortable aspects and ethical/moral challenges. But society most likely won’t be able to escape it.
- Everyone has a different idea about what harassment is, study says (theverge.com, 2)
This is what makes blocking/banning of user content online such a can of worms.
- Content moderation is not a panacea: Logan Paul, YouTube, and what we should expect from platforms (points.datasociety.net, 3)
“It seems we are too eager to blame all things on content moderation, and to expect platforms to maintain a perfectly honed moral outlook every time we are troubled by something we find there.”
- What we learned from analyzing 225 million hours of work time (blog.rescuetime.com, 2)
Wednesday around 15:00 is the most productive hour of the week. The first Friday of the year is the least productive day. For Slack users, 8.8% of the day is spent in the app.
- Productivity isn’t about Getting Things Done anymore (medium.com, 1)
Interesting point: In the digital age, productivity is about the ability to take seemingly disparate elements: untapped desires, cultural trends, and unrecognized problems — and combine them for explosive ideas.
- Ripple, a Tinder spinoff backed by Match, launches app for professional networking (techcrunch.com, 2)
Is there really a point of having a Tinder-like version of LinkedIn? I have my doubts, but Ripple (not related to the cryptocurrency startup) can prove me wrong.
- How smart speakers stole the show from smartphones (theguardian.com, 2)
Amazon and Google are racing ahead, Microsoft and Apple are struggling to catch up.
- Machine Learning won’t reach its potential without the human element (machinelearnings.co, 2)
An informative interview with the investor Sarah Catanzaro on how machine learning will transform companies, on the question of trust in AI, and the need to be able to interpret algorithms.
- South Korea is using a wooden computer to communicate with the North (theoutline.com,2 )
The device appears to run Windows XP.
- Putting remote control of robots within everyone’s reach (gcn.com, 2)
Cool. A field of application for VR that I haven’t heard about before: to control robots. Meanwhile, the German startup Wandelbots has come up with another way for humans to steer (and teach) robots: with a sensor-laden suit that a person wears.
- The day I accidentally killed a little boy (bbc.com, 2)
This essay has nothing to do with the scope of topics around here, but it is just too griping and profound not to share with you.
Recently on meshedsociety.com:
- The lost blog post about “World Leaders on Twitter”
When publishing its blog post defending why Donald Trump’s tweets aren’t violating Twitter’s behavioral codex, the company must have accidentally approved the wrong draft. I did the necessary corrections.
Podcast episode of the week:
- Unchained: Vitalik Buterin, Creator Of Ethereum, On The Big Guy Vs. The Little Guy
An in-depth interview with one of the most important persons in the blockchain world right now. Somehow, Buterin’s way of talking reminds me of Mark Zuckerberg.
Quote of the week:
- “Most of history is made by those who mastered the art of doing nothing when nothing needed to be done.”
Morgan Housel in Making History By Doing Nothing (collaborativefund.com, 1)
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