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
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- 73 Mind-Blowing Implications of a Driverless Future (medium.com, 3)
This is an updated version of a post first published in 2016. While not every single prediction from the extensive list will turn out true, the piece manages nicely to present in detail how radically driverless and autonomous transportation will disrupt our way of life.
- The WeWork Manifesto: First, Office Space. Next, the World (nytimes.com, 3)
An informative feature profiling WeWork, the fast-growing New York based startup operating a network of currently more than 200 shared work spaces around the globe. One thing the readers learn: Consumption of alcohol is an “inherent virtue” at WeWork.
- No Office Workstyle (ma.tt, 1)
This trend could be considered an antithesis to what WeWork is doing, but also fueling demand for (temporary) shared work spaces: startups/companies without offices.
- The case for ending Amazon’s dominance (timharford.com, 1)
A well thought out, nuanced and unemotional take.
- A former Russian troll speaks: ‘It was like being in Orwell’s world’ (washingtonpost.com, 2)
Insights from a factory producing disinformation and polarization.
- The More Gender Equality, the Fewer Women in STEM (theatlantic.com, 2)
Interesting study results, and unfortunate considering that STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) has such an outsize impact on our world. A lack of diversity among software engineers, especially among those working with AI, is likely to translate into discriminatory algorithms, as Microsoft AI researcher Timnit Gebru explains in this interview with the example of the extreme lack of black people working in AI.
- Why I don’t use my real photo when messaging with customers on my website (kapwing.com, 2)
Some users turn their brains off when the customer chat shows the photo of a female representative.
- How I was hacked, and all my cryptocurrencies were stolen! (fabricegrinda.com, 2)
Not the first story of that kind. The mobile phone number appears to be one of the really weak links when it comes to people’s digital security.
- Why Ad Companies Love Google’s Ad Blocker, But Hate Apple’s Privacy Features (howtogeek.com, 1)
In the end, it’s simple: Google is the advertisers’ ally, Apple is not. This affects everything these companies do, and how much they are willing/able to protect customers’ privacy.
- The House That Spied on Me (gizmodo.com, 3)
It’s the kind of text which raises the fundamental question why we are so eagerly exposing ourselves to all this. The answer is in the next article.
- The Tyranny of Convenience (nytimes.com, 2)
The professor and book author Tim Wu sees convenience as perhaps the most powerful force shaping our individual lives and our economies. But, as he accurately points out, convenience is all destination and no journey – while it’s generally journeys that give meaning to our lives.
- The Risks of Knowing Your Risk (points.datasociety.net, 2)
Providing people with detailed, personalized information about their individual future health risks can, depending on the type of person and mindset, itself pose a risk to their well-being and health.
- Your First Thought Is Rarely Your Best Thought: Lessons on Thinking (fs.blog, 1)
So simple in theory, yet so difficult to implement in practice.
- Meet the blockchain that pays you to watch porn (hackernoon.com, 1)
As if people need another incentive to watch porn.
- Poland’s Central Bank Secretly Paid Youtubers to Slander Cryptos (trustnodes.com, 1)
“A Polish Youtuber, with around one million subscribers, was paid circa $30,000 by the Central Bank of Poland, in collaboration with the Polish Financial Supervision Authority, to portray cryptocurrencies in a negative light without disclosing the payment in the video.”
- Moving from a default trust to default skeptic society (machinelearnings.co, 1)
I am afraid this is exactly what’s coming. What impact will this have on people’s ability to trust strangers in the analogue realm?
- How I Cracked Facebook’s New Algorithm And Tortured My Friends (buzzfeed.com, 2)
Facebook’s most recent newsfeed re-engineering leads to posts with a lot of user commenting re-appearing on top of the newsfeed over and over again.
- The Artist and The Innovator (blog.leanstack.com, 2)
According to the author, there are two archetypical personas of an entrepreneur — the artist and the innovator. Most founders start as artist and ideally transform into innovators, at least in the virtual space.
- This Is Your Brain on Silence (nautil.us, 3)
Many of us probably don’t think too often about the role and importance of silence for our brain and mental state. This article is an invitation to change that.
Quotation of the week:
- “The engineer’s mindset has been replaced by the lawyer’s mindset, wherein you pick a side in advance of getting any evidence, and then do absolutely everything you can to belittle, dismiss, and ignore any opposing data, while trumping up every scrap that might support your own side as if it were written on stone tables brought down from the mountain by Moses.”
Jon Evans in “Fake news is not the real problem” (techcrunch.com, 2)
Video of the week:
- Instravel – A Photogenic Mass Tourism Experience
A two minute long video documenting the uniformity of mass tourism in the age of Instagram.
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