Weekly Links & Thoughts #177

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. Usually 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 (or subscribe if you find yourself reading a lot of the content on a specific site and want to support it).

  • Digital ads are starting to feel psychic (theoutline.com, 2)
    Brilliant piece describing how the new methods of data collection have become so uncannily accurate in their knowledge of users as to occasionally feel indistinguishable from actual ears listening in on and understanding intimate conversations.
  • Fortnite Has Become the Instagram of Video Games (nymag.com, 3)
    After last week’s brief look at the similarities between Fortnite and social networks, here is a more in-depth analysis of how Fortnite became such a groundbreaking game phenomenon.
  • How Silicon Valley Fuels an Informal Caste System (wired.com, 2)
    With the rise of technology and the heavy global influence of Silicon Valley, the rather unpleasant dynamics described in this text are slowly being exported everywhere else. Or will different cultural norms, world views and value systems prevent this?
  • Big Tech’s View of Universal Basic Income Is Deeply Flawed (mondaynote.com, 2)
    Frederic Filloux doesn’t argue against the idea of a basic income itself, but against using it as a an excuse for not having to do anything else to fix the negative effects of growing tech-fueled inequality.
  • Germany x France: Who Shaped The Entrepreneurial Culture For European Startups? (medium.com, 2)
    Insightful observations from a German working at a French VC fund. On a similar topic, Jon Evans wrote a very optimistic take on France’s potential to become a tech power.
  • The Electrification Game (thealeph.com, 3)
    Great overview of where the market of electric vehicles is at the moment and which challenges are lying ahead.
  • Living with a best-selling Indian phone for 10 days (buzzfeed.com, 3)
    Low budget Android/Android Go smartphones sold in developing markets are limited in ways which owners of flagship smartphones would find completely unacceptable. But of course, if the alternative before was a feature phone, then it still is an improvement.
  • An Overview of National AI Strategies (medium.com, 3)
    Comprehensive and updated list of AI initiatives of about 20 nations/geographical areas.
  • How the BBC and ITV are fixing delays on World Cup live streams (wired.co.uk, 2)
    The world cup is over but this is relevant and interesting even beyond.
  • Radical remembering, for extreme crypto survival (hackernoon.com, 2)
    Maya Middlemiss offers a helpful mind hack for remembering the 12 word phrase used to access one’s crypto wallet.
  • Why Most of Us Fail to Grasp Coming Exponential Gains in AI (singularityhub.com, 2)
    People are fooled by logarithmic scales and linear graphs failing to effectively show the nature of exponential trends.
  • Why the Color of Technology Must Change (medium.com, 2)
    Thought-provoking reflections on the colors of technology and why bright blue light isn’t ideal.
  • Curious and fractal (jarche.com, 2)
    How to thrive in today’s world: Being curious and being “fractal” – a person who can hold opposing views and multiple valences of understanding, as well as one with an acceptance of life in perpetual beta. This is similar to the ability of “quantum thought“.
  • The Nation as a Service and its fractional citizenship (hackernoon.com, 2)
    Nation as a Service is an extremely exciting concept.
  • Letter from Shenzhen (logicmag.io, 3)
    “Chinese tech isn’t an imitation of its American counterpart. It’s a completely different universe”.
  • Declutter for Deep Personal Growth (zenhabits.com, 2)
    I’m a big fan of decluttering, and I guess I am lucky that it actually gives me a lot of mental rewards, so getting rid of stuff is not something that feels like a burden to me.
  • The Most Important Asset (ofdollarsanddata.com, 2)
    If you would be as rich as Warren Buffet but also as old (87 years), would you trade with him? An interesting way to put the value of time and money into perspective. I also like the thought concept presented in this piece about monetizing a blog with other people’s time (instead of money) – which is in fact exactly what everyone does who publishes anything for free for other people to consume.
  • Secondary Stressors and Tactile Ambition (lesswrong.com, 2)
    On the lookout for concepts that map well to reality but that lack a word or phrase to describe them. Interesting thought exercise.

Podcast episode of the week:

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